1 Thursday, 3 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
11 Good morning, Witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Ms. Issa.
17 MS. ISSA: Yes. Good morning, Your Honour. I do believe
18 Mr. Stojanovic has one more question, and I don't have any problem, as I
19 indicated to him, if he asks it before I begin my cross-examination,
20 subject, of course, to Your Honours.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
22 Mr. Stojanovic.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
24 Yesterday after we reviewed the statement from the yesterday's
25 cross-examination, we just needed another explanation, which I will
1 require in the form of one question only. Thank you for your
3 WITNESS: WITNESS DP-105 [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic: [Continued]
6 Q. [Interpretation] I apologise, but if you could please just help
7 us. Yesterday at one point you said that battalion commanders are under
8 the command of the unit attached to this unit, exceptionally there is a
9 possibility, in absence of the commander or chief of staff or other
10 operations officers, higher-ranking officers, a duty operations officer
11 could convey certain orders to you. Can you tell us under which
12 regulation did you come to that conclusion.
13 A. It's an internal regulation which is normally called the
14 instruction for work of the duty operations officer. It prescribes that
15 under all these extraordinary circumstances, when the duty operations
16 officer has no one to consult with he can make a decision on his own. In
17 other words, after he has exhausted all other possibilities, someone has
18 to make a decision.
19 Q. This instruction is an internal document adopted by the brigade
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you to the witness.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: Thank you to the Chamber. I have no further
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Now, Ms. Issa.
2 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Issa:
4 Q. Good morning, sir.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Sir, I'd like to start off with the -- one of the last documents
7 that I believe was used in your examination-in-chief, the document signed
8 by Ognjenovic, the previous commander of the Bratunac Brigade. Another
9 officer testified that the statement to make life miserable for the
10 Muslims in Srebrenica was actually made in order to boost the morale of
11 the troops. Do you agree with that?
12 A. I don't.
13 Q. Are you aware, sir, that thousands of Muslims were murdered by the
14 VRS army after the fall of Srebrenica?
15 A. I have learned about that from the press and from what is going on
17 Q. So you didn't -- you're telling us that you weren't aware of it at
18 the time.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. Objection.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: That's not what he's saying, Your Honour. We're
22 beginning the same process over and over again with this particular
23 Prosecutor. Please look at the question, please look at his answer and
24 then draw the conclusion from the following question. That's not what the
25 gentleman said and the Prosecutor is being totally unfair on this point.
1 And I mean totally.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we see no problem for the
3 Prosecutor to ask this question. It's very logical.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, in my Aristotelian logic, it doesn't
5 follow from that line of questioning. She can ask the question, but to
6 say it's so based on the previous answer, it doesn't follow; not that
7 logic. She's drawing some conclusions and I think she's being unfair with
8 the witness. She can do aggressive cross-examination, I have no problem;
9 but I want fair cross-examination.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think it's a problem of the form of the
11 question, actually and certainly there's no difference.
12 Ms. Issa, you may put your question in the form of a question.
13 MS. ISSA: Okay.
14 Q. Are you telling us then, sir, that you were not aware of the
15 thousands of Muslims that were killed after the fall of Srebrenica during
16 that period of time?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So when did you become aware of this?
19 A. When the topic reached the media, the press, et cetera.
20 Q. And that was after the war?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you aware, sir, that on the 25th of May, which was the first
23 day that Colonel Blagojevic became commander of the brigade, that
24 Srebrenica was shelled and a civilian was killed as a result of that
1 A. I can't remember that at all, and I don't know anything about
2 that. And I don't see any reason why particularly on that day it should
3 have been. On the day of the handover, I don't know what the purpose of
4 that would be. I really don't know.
5 Q. Do you believe, sir, that the thousands of Muslims were killed by
6 the VRS army?
7 A. I don't exclude that possibility, but it is up to you to
8 demonstrate and prove whether that's the case or not.
9 Q. Well, I'm asking you whether or not you actually believed it.
10 A. The fact is that these people don't exist anymore. I don't know
11 how many exactly, whether it's thousands. Probably it's a huge figure,
12 but I can't say exactly. I didn't summarise these data. It is certain
13 this is appalling what had happened, and I condemn this, but I didn't
14 research this.
15 Q. Okay. But the question was whether you actually believed that the
16 VRS army committed these crimes.
17 A. I think it is.
18 Q. And at the time that you were asked this question, sir, in the
19 interview in Banja Luka did you tell investigators whether or not you
20 believed that it was the VRS army that committed these crimes?
21 A. Even now I don't want to say the VRS. It's too broad a notion.
22 Maybe it was done by individuals or elements, but I can't say that the
23 whole army was focused on that. I myself was a member of that army and I
24 can guarantee for what I did at the time. As for the others, I can't say.
25 In 1999, we can analyse what I said at that time as well.
1 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday, sir, you were asked some questions by
2 Mr. Stojanovic about the role of the duty officer. And you testified that
3 the duty officer conveys information to the command from the battalions.
4 Do you remember telling us that yesterday?
5 A. I do remember.
6 Q. Isn't it also true, sir, that the commander also conveys
7 information to the battalions through the duty officer?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You also testified, sir, that the battalions had engineering
10 support. Wasn't the 5th Engineering Company at Lomenac Brook, where you
11 were located, in order to mine that location between 6 July and 12 July,
12 or during that period?
13 A. The 5th Engineering Company, it wasn't that. I had the
14 5th Infantry Company, not the Engineering Company, and they are not
15 trained to do things like that. And even nowadays some civilian
16 organisations are working on demining this area.
17 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to the I believe Exhibit P403, the minutes
18 of the meetings of the command. We can go to that, please, with the
19 assistance of Madam Usher. And in the English translation, we would be
20 turning to page 8. And it's dated the 3rd of July. It's the last page in
21 that series. I'll just read it out loud, sir, and then I'll ask you about
23 "The assistant chief of staff for operations and training,
24 problem of gap in the Lomenac brook must be resolved urgently. If
25 possible, the engineering battalion from Konjevic Polje should be engaged
1 to mine this location."
2 Can you tell us what the problem was there, sir?
3 A. The problem was that according to some earlier information that we
4 had had or intelligence that we received, enemy groups infiltrated across
5 this creek, their sabotage and reconnaissance group. And for the purpose
6 of closing this gap which was not a very big one, but nevertheless there
7 was a gap, I requested that it be -- engineering works be done there
8 because this is a very delicate area in terms that it leads towards the
9 town and the road. And that was a problematic area itself if it were to
10 become accessible for passage. Even before that there were minefields in
11 that area and unfortunately they still do exist there. And I know that
12 some civilian organisations are demining it. That's it.
13 Q. Okay. Let's go to another area. Now, yesterday, sir, you were
14 asked a number of questions, and I believe as well on Tuesday in your
15 examination-in-chief, regarding the term "zone of responsibility." Were
16 you aware, sir, that the map you were shown yesterday that was entitled
17 the "zone of responsibility," "Bratunac Brigade zone of responsibility"
18 was in fact seized from the Bratunac Brigade?
19 A. I suppose that was the case, that it was seized.
20 Q. Okay. Were you aware of that or not?
21 A. I don't remember. This particular map, it doesn't mean anything
22 in particular to me.
23 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday, sir, you said - I believe it was at page
24 22, line 18 of your transcript - that "a battalion does not have a zone of
25 responsibility, not even a brigade has one."
1 Do you recall saying that?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. And in your examination-in-chief on Tuesday, you said: "According
4 to the rules that were in force and that were in force and that we
5 observed, a battalion has its own area of defence, not a zone of
7 And you also said: "I don't even know this term 'zone of
9 Do you remember saying that?
10 A. The term itself was used, but I can't give an expert opinion or
11 find any for that, nor can I find where it is based in the military theory
12 or practice. It was a jargon term that kind of its way into everyday
13 usage but I don't know where it came from. If you can tell me where this
14 term can be found, certifying that either a battalion or a brigade had
15 zones of responsibility.
16 Q. Well, sir, I'm simply quoting from your statement or your evidence
17 on Tuesday. Now, yesterday you told us that this term was used. On
18 Tuesday you told us: "I don't even know this term zone of
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: It's been asked and it's been answered. And I
22 believe he posed a question. Now, whether the Prosecutor can demonstrate
23 where in the rules, for the brigade or battalion, there's a zone of
24 responsibility she can produce it. But I believe he did give an
25 explanation, so it's an asked and answered. And I would also ask the
1 Prosecutor to point exactly where the rules say for brigade or battalion
2 that they have a zone of responsibility.
3 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, Mr. Karnavas is interfering with my
4 cross-examination. I don't have to conduct it in the way that he's
5 suggesting. And I'm simply asking a follow-up question, which I believe
6 I'm entitled to do.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe. You may proceed.
8 MS. ISSA:
9 Q. So, sir, on Tuesday you told us: "I don't even know this term
10 'zone of responsibility.'"
11 And yesterday you told us it was used informally. Right?
12 A. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I -- in the military theory and
13 practice, I am not able to give you an expert explanation. I can't find
14 it anywhere. If you can do so, please be my guest.
15 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to your transcript from yesterday's
16 testimony. And I'm reading from page 39 at about line 3. And you say,
17 again yesterday: "I wouldn't be able to say who could draw a zone of
18 responsibility, which as I emphasised did not exist at a term. So I have
19 no idea who could possibly have made this map."
20 So therefore again, sir, you say that this term does not exist.
21 A. I don't know how many times I have to repeat this in order to make
22 myself sufficiently clear. At the level of a brigade or a battalion, in
23 the military theory and practice it doesn't exist. It is a fact that it's
24 written in the report, but who wrote it, whether it was a professional
25 and/or a trained officer has written this, I doubt that one would do that.
1 Maybe it was done by an amateur.
2 Q. Okay. Is that a term that you would use, sir? Or maybe it was
3 done by an amateur.
4 A. I shouldn't use it either.
5 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to the interview in Banja Luka. I'm going
6 to give you a copy of your transcript with the assistance of Madam Usher.
7 Thank you very much.
8 In the English version if you could turn to page 24, line 12. And
9 for you, sir, in the B/C/S version page 26, starting at line 15, and then
10 moving down on to page 27. I'm just going to start reading your answer.
11 You say: "It was for -- which belonged to the Muslim" -- there's
12 something unintelligible there. "And it was of interest to me to observe
13 the positions which the Bosniaks sat there on that line, to confirm what I
14 have previously conceived about their way of contacting defence, and I was
15 going around their position to see how they had established their defence
16 and all of what they said is true. That all what I have said is true, I
17 offer you the possibility of checking my story with any of my soldiers by
18 method of casual sample. I won't suggest anyone. You can pick anyone you
19 want. I don't mind if you want to ask where we were on that day."
20 And then you go on and you say: "Under the condition, of course,
21 that they were not somewhere outside the zone of responsibility. Some
22 were ill."
23 And it goes on. So in your interview, sir, you used that term
24 yourself. Isn't that right?
25 A. I don't know if it was correctly translated. Because you have
1 emphasised and mentioned so many times zone of responsibility, it maybe
2 entered my vocabulary as well. But I stand by my assertion that in
3 theory, in professional theory of military practice, the theory doesn't
4 exist. I said that it was an amateurish and jargon term.
5 Q. Well, let's go to page 23, line 13. And I believe for you, sir,
6 it's at page 22, 21. And you're being asked.
7 Question: "Okay. Kravica would be on this map here. Okay. So
8 in this area here -- so this would not be your area of responsibility?"
9 And you answer: "My zone of responsibility ended at Ilina Bara,
10 this 555."
11 A. I can't find it here. If someone would help me, please. But when
12 I explained what the defence sector was, would you please also include
13 that. Don't skip that.
14 Q. Well, sir, I'm simply referring to the actual term at the time
15 being. That's just another example of you using the term in your
17 A. But please don't overlook the fact that I'm referred to the
18 defence sector and the depth of defence at the time as well. I think that
19 Mr. Harmon and Mr. Ruez, who questioned me at the time, insisted on that
20 term. And it may have been that I also used this incorrect term. But
21 could you please find the part in my statement where I explained what the
22 defence sector was and what the -- in depth of the defence sector implied.
23 Q. Well, sir, the question has nothing to do with the defence sector.
24 The question was simply whether or not you used that term, and I think you
25 explained yourself now. Let's go to a different area.
1 Thank you very much, Madam Usher. I don't think I will be needing
2 the assistance of the transcript for the time being.
3 Now, sir, you were asked questions about daily combat reports in
4 your examination-in-chief, and you discussed each -- well, many of them.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Now, all of these reports - and we could look at them - actually
8 go out under the name of the commander. Isn't that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So he would be responsible for their contents. Right?
11 A. In indirect manner, yes. But these reports were written on his
12 behalf by duty operations officer or other responsible officer present on
13 the spot. That's the practice even nowadays, commander signs reports but
14 the reports are compiled either by an operations organ or a duty
15 operations officer. The commander doesn't always have the time to look
16 into it.
17 Q. So you're saying he signed the reports without reading them?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. That's not what he said and
19 that's -- she's not pointing at any signed reports by Colonel Blagojevic
20 at the time. If you could kindly listen to the answer.
21 MS. ISSA: Your Honour --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: There's a distinction between a report being made
23 between an operations officer and sent to the Drina Corps when the
24 commander is not there versus the one the commander prepares and signs
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think you raised your objection.
2 That's enough.
3 Yes, Ms. Issa.
4 MS. ISSA: Well, Your Honour, I think the witness answered the
6 Q. Wouldn't it be normal, sir, for the battalion and specifically the
7 battalion commander to provide daily combat reports to the brigade
9 A. It would be understandable if it were feasible, but I don't know
10 in which form are you referring to, depending on what the battalion has at
11 its disposal in terms of communications devices. If it is possible to
12 send a telegram, just as was the case with the brigade command, then it's
14 Q. Well, just like the brigade provides daily combat reports to the
15 Drina Corps and the Drina Corps provides reports to the Main Staff and so
16 on and so forth, isn't it normal for the people on the ground, the
17 battalions, to provide the information to the brigade by way of reports?
18 A. That's the way it should be.
19 Q. Okay. So any information regarding things such as captured
20 prisoners or the location of the enemy, et cetera, in the brigade daily
21 combat reports would, in fact, be coming from the battalion reports,
22 wouldn't they?
23 A. I did not understand that question.
24 Q. Any information regarding a specific battalion, sir, that is noted
25 by the duty officer would be coming from -- in the brigade daily combat
1 reports would be coming from the battalion, wouldn't it?
2 A. Not necessarily only from the battalion. There could be many
3 other sources of information apart from those reports. The commander
4 himself can find himself in the field and observe things that are
5 essential and important. There are many items that are reported on. It
6 can happen that somebody else from various organs of the command makes his
7 own contribution to the report. It's not necessarily that the battalion
8 is the only source of information. There can be others.
9 Q. Well, information regarding a particular battalion where a
10 particular battalion is located and information relating to the enemy or
11 captured prisoner, wouldn't that come from the battalion?
12 A. Not only from the battalion. Others, too, can observe the enemy
13 and everything else, even civilians can. Some organ or authority from
14 that territory can be a source of information. There are many ways in
15 which information can be obtained.
16 Q. Well, you're also telling us though, sir, that the battalion can
17 also be a source of information, can it not?
18 A. Certainly.
19 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what happened to the daily reports that your
20 battalion provided?
21 A. First I have to emphasise that during those days we had rather
22 poor communications with our superior command for a variety of reasons.
23 First of all, I spent almost all my time at my forward command post, from
24 which I had no wire communications, that is to say secure communications
25 that couldn't be jammed or listened to. And second, we had very great
1 problems with our means of communications with our equipment. And they
2 were very old, in poor working order, batteries were often low or empty.
3 We had a problem charging them, and we were often without any means of
4 communication. So there was an exchange of information, but not in a very
5 large scope.
6 Q. Okay. But the question was, sir: What happened to the reports
7 that you provided to the brigade? Where are they?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Well, sir, you testified yesterday that you were part of a
10 commission in 1997 where documents were handed over to you from the
11 brigade. Right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Perhaps, sir, for --
14 MS. ISSA: Actually, Your Honour, perhaps we can go into private
15 session very briefly.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
17 MS. ISSA: If I can get the assistance of Madam Usher.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 10231 redacted, private session
12 Page 10232 redacted, private session
12 Page 10233 redacted, private session
4 [Open session]
5 MS. ISSA:
6 Q. Now, sir, on Tuesday you testified that you had no artillery
7 during that period --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you recall that?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And yesterday after we looked at the -- and I believe it's in your
12 examination-in-chief looking at the July 5th minutes of the brigade
13 command meeting --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You were asked if you can explain the purpose of "increasing the
16 accuracy and direction of artillery fire." And that was in relation to
17 the chief of staff coming down to your battalion to increase the accuracy
18 and direction of artillery fire. Do you remember being asked about that?
19 A. I don't know. It's a bit complicated. If I was talking about the
20 firing system, that's something I can explain. More specifically, that's
21 something that the chief of artillery should have adjusted. But I'm not
22 really quite clear. What exactly are you asking?
23 Q. Well, sir, in the July 5th minutes of the meeting that we saw
24 yesterday it says: "The chief of staff will go to the 1st Battalion to
25 increase accuracy and direction of the artillery fire."
1 And you were asked if that occurred and you said it has. Right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, on Tuesday, sir, you also told us that you had mortars.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And yesterday - and I'm referring to page 47, line 3 - I
6 believe you said you didn't. So which is it? Did you have mortars or
8 A. First of all, mortars do not count as artillery. Yesterday, in
9 one brief answer I emphasised there were in the structure in infantry
10 units. Those people who operate them do not have the military economic
11 specialty of artillery men. They are trained to operate them as
12 infantrymen. I said that I did not have mortars, and that's clear.
13 Q. Okay. On Tuesday, sir, you said you did have mortars. Right?
14 A. I'm telling you even now that I had mortars. We did have mortars.
15 I'm not denying at any point that we had mortars. I'm just saying that a
16 mortar is not considered as an artillery piece in our army. And maybe in
17 some other armies.
18 Q. I appreciate that, sir, and I'm not asking you about artillery
19 pieces at the time. Right now I'm just asking you about mortars. And
20 yesterday I'm going to quote you from your transcript.
21 A. All right.
22 Q. Page 49, line 16, you say: "I did not have combat support. I
23 have this line, only the first line of defence. All this behind within
24 the framework of companies I did not have. I didn't have mortars, nor did
25 I have any anti-armour weapons within companies, nor did I have the
1 second-echelon company, or the light artillery rocket platoon. So many of
2 the things from this general scheme are lacking in my structure in those
4 So the question, sir, is you either had mortars or you didn't.
5 Now, are you telling us now you had mortars?
6 A. I remember what I said on that occasion. I said I did not have
7 mortars within the framework of companies. Maybe that was misinterpreted.
8 When I was looking at that diagram, within the composition of that diagram
9 it says: "Company firing group." Those are mortars; that I didn't have.
10 And at battalion level, I had them; every battalion had them. Now, if you
11 go into it what kind of mortar and in what condition they were, that's
12 another matter.
13 Q. Did you fire from your position at all at anybody during the
14 period of 6 to 12 July, sir?
15 A. Not against observed targets, but in a preventive manner. When I
16 was entering the area of Cizmici, I fired against trig point 413 and on
17 some former trenches where the enemy used to be, yes.
18 Q. Okay. Did you fire at the UN observation post located in front of
20 A. I'm not mad. Why would I do that?
21 Q. Were you aware, sir, of the DutchBat observation post November,
22 located right in front of your position?
23 A. Well, it was obvious.
24 Q. It was obvious, so you saw it there. Right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. According to the UN report, sir, on Friday, 7 July, this
2 observation post was shelled by mortar fire. One shell struck the
3 entrance of the observation post, and one the protective wall. Were you
4 aware of that?
5 A. No, and I believe that is really not true. On the 7th of July,
6 that we were firing?
7 Q. That was the question.
8 A. I'm saying it's untrue. It's untrue.
9 Q. Okay. What about on the 8th of July? According to the --
10 A. No. Not then either. I am telling you with absolute certainty
11 that I did not shoot at the post, absolutely not. You can perhaps check,
12 even now, even today, whether there are any remains of shells, but I tell
13 you for a fact I did not shoot at the observation point.
14 Q. Okay. Well, according to the report, sir, on 8th of July it says:
15 "The intensity of the shelling increased that day. 15 mortar shells
16 struck at a short distance from the observation post." And then on Sunday
17 9 July it was quiet until the 12th of July. And then on the 12th of July
18 at approximately 2.30, it says: "The observation post was shelled by
19 artillery and mortars for ten minutes. The shots fell just next to the
20 observation post. Three anti-tank missiles then struck the observation
21 post. Immediately afterwards, a group of Bosnian Serb army soldiers ran
22 up the hill firing their weapons. In the end, there were some 60 Bosnian
23 Serb army soldiers in the observation post. DutchBat personnel were
24 disarmed and the vehicle was plundered. At the end of the afternoon they
25 arrived in Bratunac under Bosnian Serb army escort."
1 Are you telling us, sir, that all of that didn't happen?
2 A. The way it sounds in this report, it's like a scenario for a film.
3 I have to tell you that this observation point, first of all, was located
4 in front of my positions as much as it was in front of the positions of
5 other battalions. It was like in the palm of your hand. If I had wanted
6 to do something, I could have targeted it and shot it from my
7 self-propelled gun at any moment. However, I didn't give any orders to do
8 any such thing; I did not have any such orders.
9 I have the impression that it's somebody's screenplay. I really
10 cannot understand it. It's totally inconceivable.
11 Q. Well, sir, this is a very serious matter and I wouldn't be
12 referring to it as a screenplay. Did you actually observe the observation
13 post being shelled?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So you saw nothing?
16 A. That point was not targeted; it wasn't targeted for sure. I
17 emphasised that while we were entering into that area, trenches were in
18 that territory and the observation point allowed enemy soldiers to fortify
19 all the time. They were digging trenches before their very eyes. I could
20 not stop to check whether the enemy was there at the time or not. In one
21 of the official reports, it was noted that in front of the observation
22 point, in front of the observation point at that time in that period,
23 enemy soldiers in trenches were observed. So I could not allow it to
24 happen that somebody from those trenches should kill my soldiers. That
25 has absolutely nothing to do with the observation point.
1 Q. Okay. Well, the question was, sir: You did not see the
2 observation post being shelled. And you've told us you haven't. Isn't
3 that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Are you aware, sir, that the Muslim men in the column that were
6 going through the woods were ultimately -- many of whom were ultimately
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, what does that have to do with the
9 observation post that was shelled and incidentally there was no testimony
10 by any Dutch soldiers or Karremans was never brought here by the
11 Prosecution to tell us how he was personally attacked at that post. What
12 does the post have to do with the column of the men?
13 JUDGE LIU: Maybe that's another subject.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: It could be. It could be. But the way it's posed,
15 it's fused, one would think that --
16 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm objecting to this.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MS. ISSA: It's totally inappropriate for Mr. Karnavas to keep
19 standing up making his own comments, essentially attempting to testify.
20 He does this every single time. We all see what he was doing. It's
21 pretty obvious I was moving on to another subject. There was no fusing
23 MR. KARNAVAS: If --
24 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
25 MS. ISSA:
1 Q. Sir, the question was: Are you aware that the Muslim men in the
2 column, many of whom were ultimately murdered?
3 A. Only through newspaper reports when all these events were over.
4 In 1996, I already started to read about it. But at that time that I
5 should have been aware of it, that I had any knowledge, that I was an
6 eyewitness, no, that is not true.
7 Q. Okay. Well, maybe we can go to your map, the map that you marked
8 on Tuesday.
9 MS. ISSA: If I can have the assistance of Madam Usher. Thank
10 you. P186/1.
11 Q. Now, just to confirm your location, sir, as I understood your
12 testimony, your command post was located at Bozici. Is that right?
13 A. In Bozici, yes.
14 Q. Could you please take the pointer and point that out for us.
15 A. Before the 6th of July, we were around this area here, Bozici.
16 Q. And you remained there until the 12th. Is that right?
17 A. Until the 12th, with the proviso that I spent most of my time at
18 the forward command post. I would be there all day.
19 Q. And when you say to us before the 6th of July you were in the area
20 of Bozici, how long were you there before the 6th of July?
21 A. I don't remember, perhaps a year or two. Because our command post
22 used to be at another location and we moved in the meantime.
23 Q. Okay. So for about a year or two you were located
24 mostly -- largely at Bozici. Right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you testified, as I understand it, on the 12th of July you
2 moved a little bit more forward down to Cizmici, if I'm pronouncing that
3 correctly; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that arrow that you have pointing in the direction is where
6 you say you saw the column moving, the column of men. Right?
7 A. I don't know which arrow you are referring to.
8 Q. Well, there's an arrow, sir, that appears to be going in the
9 direction on the left side of the map.
10 A. Is that the one?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. I showed that there was a gap there between the Milici and the
13 Bratunac Brigades. That's what it means. And this column took this
15 Q. Okay. So that's where the column was moving or what you saw?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Now, sir, the Court has heard evidence that there were thousands
18 of Muslim men flooding the area behind the lines and into Susnjari and
20 A. Behind which lines? Whose lines?
21 Q. Behind --
22 A. Behind or in front of? I don't understand your question. Behind
23 the lines, in front of the lines? I'm totally at a loss here.
24 Q. It would be both behind and in front. They were flooding the
25 area. You didn't see that?
1 A. That's not correct, that they flooded the area behind the lines
2 and the rest of it. That's not true. The column was moving along one
3 trodden road.
4 Q. And they were all moving single file along just one road?
5 A. Yes. That's the way we saw them.
6 Q. You didn't see anyone moving into the Susnjari and Jaglici area?
7 A. This column was moving towards Jaglici.
8 Q. Okay. You didn't receive any orders at all regarding the column,
9 sir, the thousands of men?
10 A. No, no particular orders other than that we monitor the situation
11 and try to avoid any possible surprises.
12 Q. Now, if you wanted to, sir, you could have called the artillery
13 unit and called in the coordinates of the column. Right?
14 A. That column was not directly in front of me, it was more to my
15 right-hand flank in front of the 4th Infantry Battalion, which you can see
16 here. You can see where the battalion was and where Jaglici is. So
17 directly in front of them.
18 Q. But the question was: If you had wanted to, you could have called
19 in the coordinates of the column?
20 A. I could maybe just give a more precise location, but I don't know
21 about the coordinates. I could just tell what their direction -- what
22 direction they were moving in.
23 Q. Okay. Now, witnesses from the column, sir, have reported that
24 they have been shelled on the 12th and 13th of July. Did you know about
1 A. There were fighting those days. Shots were heard coming from
2 different directions, particularly in the area of Bokcin Potok. There was
3 fighting constantly going on there. I can't be more specific than that.
4 Q. Did you see the column being shelled?
5 A. We heard detonations, so I can presume that was that. Let me tell
6 you, first this particular location is a very inconvenient one to be
7 targeted. It's the very peak and it's difficult for a gun, for instance,
8 that our artillery had to engage this target because they cannot engage
9 this in a so-called upper angle of firing. And we from the artillery know
10 that it's very difficult to hit a peak, and that is what I could see from
11 my sector.
12 Q. Okay. Now, the blue lines on the map that you drew that you
13 marked on Tuesday.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, that represented the order that you were given on 14 July to
16 sweep the terrain. Right?
17 A. That's a very rough term. A more proper term would be to search
18 the terrain. To tell you frankly, I didn't -- I don't recall seeing this
19 order. I tried to construe this order here.
20 Q. Okay. Well, that's the question, sir, that you -- what you marked
21 on the map is what the order was?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if we look at that line and we look at where you saw the
24 column, that goes right into the column, doesn't it?
25 A. Well, according to this, yes.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. But the order dated the 14th was given when -- at the time when
3 the column was not there any longer. As I said, we moved on the 16th.
4 Q. Okay. Did you report back to Colonel Blagojevic that you didn't
5 follow the order?
6 A. I already told you that I didn't see this specific form of the
7 order. And as you could see at the top of this order, you can see that
8 it's addressed to the chief of staff. And we did not act in that manner,
9 but rather, where we found ourselves at the moment, we continued to move
10 from there forward.
11 Q. Okay. Well, you say you didn't see a specific form of the order.
12 Did you or did you not receive the order?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So you did receive the order. Right?
15 A. We did receive it, but not in this form. And I really cannot
16 remember the exact moment when we did receive it. I just assumed that we
17 did receive it, but I cannot recall the time and the way in which it had
18 been conveyed to us.
19 Q. Okay. Well, the question was then, sir: Did you report to
20 Colonel Blagojevic, your commander, that the order was not followed?
21 A. Since I cannot recall the time specified for us to set off on the
22 mission of the searching the terrain, I cannot remember. But I presume
23 that the commander knew at the time where we were. But just as we didn't
24 move, the 2nd Battalion didn't move as well. In addition, the chief of
25 staff was there with me until the 12th, and he probably reported back to
1 the commander how far we had reached on the 12th. So perhaps I thought it
2 wasn't necessary for me to report back.
3 Q. Okay. Now, as I understood your testimony --
4 MS. ISSA: I think I'm finished with the map. Thank you very much
5 Madam Usher.
6 Q. As I understood your testimony, sir, on Tuesday you said that you
7 didn't know about the attack on Srebrenica before 6th July. Is that
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Were you aware, sir, of the observation post, the DutchBat
11 observation post, OP Echo, located at Zeleni Jadar in May and June of
13 A. I knew that somewhere in the area around Zeleni Jadar it was
14 located, but I didn't know the specific site.
15 Q. Were you aware, sir, of what happened to it?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were you aware that it was shelled, forcing the DutchBat to
18 abandon the observation post?
19 A. I didn't know anything specifically about that.
20 Q. Did you send personnel to Zeleni Jadar before the attack on
22 A. We had about four or five men in the area of Zeleni Jadar, but all
23 units assigned the so-called temporary manpower for that specific area.
24 But I cannot say exactly whether they were in Zeleni Jadar or in
25 Pribicevac or I can't even remember the names of the soldiers who were
1 there at the time. I proposed once that this be manned by different
2 soldiers. And I think that it was manned by members of the Workers'
3 Battalion, but I cannot confirm the names of my soldier. If you have this
4 kind of information, maybe we can try and see whether it is really true or
6 Q. So now you're telling us you are unable to remember the names of
7 your own soldiers who were sent to Zeleni Jadar?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I just want to object. You're telling us now as if
11 he had told something previously. So again, these are very unfair. Just
12 look at the question, Your Honour: You're telling now, as opposed to
13 whether on a previous occasion he mentioned the names of those particular
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, I don't see any problems with this
16 question. Maybe I'm not as concentrated as you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Maybe I didn't get enough sleep, Your Honour, I
18 don't know.
19 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Ms. Issa.
20 MS. ISSA:
21 Q. So you don't recall the name, sir, of your own soldiers who were
22 sent to Zeleni Jadar before the Srebrenica operation?
23 A. Would you be able to give me 500 names of the people you know?
24 Could you remember the names of your classmates from your secondary
25 school? This is totally irrelevant, the names of these people. I don't
1 know who they are and why -- my memory is not so good. Maybe it's
2 your -- respectfully, your memory is good, but I really can't remember all
3 the names.
4 Q. Well, sir, you told us it was four or five people, with all due
5 respect, not 500. That's why I'm asking the question. You don't recall
6 that, is what you're telling us?
7 A. (redacted). Do you understand
8 that? And these people were sent there by lower-ranking officers, for
9 example, company commanders. Why should I know where each and every
10 soldier is at every point in time? It was not my job to know that. I
11 don't have a flying carpet to see and observe where and what every soldier
12 was doing. I'm not a wizard. I really can't know that.
13 Q. I didn't ask you, sir, whether or not you were a wizard. The
14 question was very simple. You could have answered it by saying yes or no,
15 but I think I understand your answer.
16 A. Very well.
17 MS. ISSA: I think, Your Honour, it is the time for the break and
18 I'm prepared to stop here at the moment.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll have a break and we'll resume at quarter
20 to 11.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa. Please continue.
24 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 If I can just get the assistance of Madam Usher, I'd like to refer
1 to the map once again that the witness marked. Thank you.
2 Q. Okay. Now, sir, could you take that pointer and point out where
3 the observation post November was located in front of you, the DutchBat
4 observation post in front of you when you were at Bozici.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
7 Approximately here in this part, there's a clearance here but I
8 cannot say exactly. This is where the 2nd Battalion was and this is where
9 my battalion was, both could have been seen from that observation point.
10 MS. ISSA:
11 Q. Okay. So just -- if -- to be clear, it's just slightly north of
12 Cizmici. Is that right?
13 A. Well, sort of, above Cizmici.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 Sir, getting back to questions we were dealing with before the
16 break, you told us that you sent about four or five men to Zeleni Jadar
17 before the Srebrenica operation. I'd like to refer to P863/A.
18 MS. ISSA: With the assistance of Madam Usher, we can just refer
19 to that document.
20 Q. Now, that's dated 4 June 1995 from the Pribicevac forward command
21 post, Bratunac Brigade to the Trisic command under the name of
22 Colonel Blagojevic. And if you look at paragraph 1 - and I'll read it out
23 slowly - "I hereby order: The commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion
24 shall assign a platoon of 27 men (Platoon leader, 24 men to take up
25 positions, 2 men from the logistics platoon for logistical support). The
1 platoon shall occupy four trenches to the right of the asphalt road
2 between the village of Zeleni Jadar and Srebrenica."
3 So in fact, sir, there were 27 men that were sent, not four or
4 five. Isn't that right?
5 A. Yes, but I said four or five men in July. This is June, the 4th
6 of June.
7 Q. Okay. Well, I think the question was before the operation of
8 Srebrenica. I didn't ask -- tell you a specific month. Was there another
9 set of men sent in July as well to the Zeleni Jadar area?
10 A. Not that I know of. How many people in total were there? I
11 suppose there were four or five because there was one trench there. In
12 the meantime, we were receiving reinforcements from the Workers'
13 Battalion. Maybe my colleague, who was the commander of the 3rd Infantry
14 Battalion, would know better about that, how many men there were and how
15 deployed they are. However, in the meantime before the operation in
16 Srebrenica started, about one month had elapsed. So in that meantime,
17 many things could have been changed.
18 Q. Okay. So -- but according to this document, 27 men would have
19 been sent to the Zeleni Jadar --
20 A. That's what is written here, but it's a different question whether
21 they were actually dispatched. Quite often we had tremendous problems in
22 deploying people to other areas, whether in any battalion, Pjenovac, or
23 any other sector. It does not necessarily mean that there were exactly 27
24 men sent there.
25 Q. Let's go to the next page, paragraph 9.
1 A. All right.
2 Q. And that says: "Keep the reconnaissance platoon of the
3 1st Infantry Battalion in the region of the village of Zeleni Jadar
4 (UNPROFOR checkpoint between 5" -- sir, let me finish reading. "Between 5
5 June and 9 June 1995 (replacing the military police)), and after two days
6 of rest, integrate into the original unit on 12 June at 0900 hours."
7 Do you see that there?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Now, sir, were you aware that this area, Zeleni Jadar, was the
10 axis of the attack on Srebrenica?
11 A. I knew that the attack was launched along that axis, but not
12 towards Srebrenica, but rather to cut the line or the route because
13 connecting the two enclaves, those of Zepa and Srebrenica. That was the
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. But not at that time. That was not an objective at that time.
17 That was an objective on the 6th of July.
18 Q. Okay. Now, let's move on to something else. Going back to the
19 minutes of the meetings of the Bratunac Brigade, which is at P403. Page 8
20 in the English translation. Now, that says: "The battalion commanders
21 have submitted analysis of combat readiness, and it will be completed by
23 And then the second-to-last line --
24 A. Yes, I see it.
25 Q. Okay. And then the second-to-the-last line says: "Battalion
1 commanders will stay with me and the chief of staff."
2 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let's go to another exhibit, D179/1.
14 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, I think I have to remind you that this
15 witness is a protected witness.
16 MS. ISSA: Okay.
17 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
18 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
19 Okay. Perhaps, Your Honour, we -- and I appreciate the reminder.
20 Perhaps we can go into private session just for the next few questions.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to private session, please.
22 [Private session]
12 Page 10252 redacted, private session
12 Page 10253 redacted, private session
12 Page 10254 redacted, private session
17 [Open session]
18 MS. ISSA:
19 Q. You said you only heard about that from the media. When did you
20 hear about that?
21 A. Yes, around 1996 I heard about that. I heard some stories. I
22 believe some footage was shown and something like that. But specifically
23 I don't even remember from which particular mass medium I learnt about it.
24 Q. Okay. Well, if we can go to the next exhibit. I just want to
25 show you a map which I believe has already been admitted into evidence,
1 which is P566.
2 MS. ISSA: If we can -- if I can ask that the Glogova area be
3 blown up on the ELMO so we all can see it more clearly, where it says
4 numbers 1 and 2 on the axis 96. Thank you very much.
5 Q. Now, sir, your command post was in Bozici. Can you point to that,
7 A. Yes, yes. This part here.
8 Q. Okay. And we see that it says Bozici just below that.
9 A. Yes, yes. Above that.
10 Q. Okay. Now, you see the numbers 1 and 2 on the map there, sir?
11 A. I see that.
12 Q. Okay. Do you realise, sir, that those are the mass graves that
13 were created within about a kilometre of your command post in Bozici?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Now counsel is testifying about a kilometre. I
17 take it she is going to testify to us that it was a kilometre from the
18 command post to where these are located.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 Ask a question to this witness. Ask this witness to tell you
21 what's the distance.
22 MS. ISSA: Okay. Perhaps I can find another way, Your Honour.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Then I would ask that the question be noted as
1 having no value whatsoever, because the witness -- the Prosecutor just
2 indicated that it was a kilometre away. I take it she had a good-faith
3 basis in making that assertion. If she has a good-faith basis, I would
4 like to know what it was. If she is just guesstimating, I would like to
5 know that she was just guesstimating based on the distance on this map.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are waiting for the questions from the
7 Prosecution at this moment.
8 You may proceed.
9 MS. ISSA: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. And just to clarify, the
10 squares on the map are approximately a kilometre each. It's a map that I
11 believe was made to scale.
12 Q. We see there, sir, your command post at Bozici, which is very
13 close to the graves. There's no question about that. The graves were
14 located where they are located on the map. Do you realise that they were
15 created that close to your command post?
16 A. First of all, they are not as close as you seem to represent.
17 Looking at the map I believe you have no military training, and that is
18 why you said what you said, namely that it is 1 kilometre. This is
19 actually much more than a kilometre, even as a crow flies. And on the
20 ground it is even more. If you wish, we can do a professional terrain
21 profile and see how much the distance exactly is. Can you tell me exactly
22 how the -- when those graves were created as far as you know.
23 Q. They were created, sir, between the 13th of July and 14th of July.
24 A. Very well. I told you a moment ago where I was on the 12th and
25 where my command post was -- or more precisely, where my former command
1 post was. We are talking about my former command post. Is that all
3 Q. Okay. So you don't know anything about that, right, is what
4 you're telling us?
5 A. No, no.
6 Q. And you moved everything, your command post that had been there
7 for two years, the quartermasters, the equipment, everything, in one day?
8 A. No, I didn't move everything. The command post is not linked to
9 the logistics. Those are two different things. I didn't move everything.
10 Some elderly men and people who cooked food remained. It was not a very
11 unwieldy unit. In fact, we had some women for cooking.
12 Q. Okay. So those people remained at the command post and -
13 according to this map, which is to scale - within a kilometre where the
14 graves were created. Right? Just answer the question.
15 A. Would you kindly, since you claim it is a kilometre, prove it is a
16 kilometre. I say that isn't. Second of all, I would be grateful if you
17 would emphasise that it is my former command post, meaning that it did not
18 exist as a command post.
19 Q. It's approximately 1 or 2 kilometres from your command post,
20 sir --
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour. I mean, I really don't
22 like interrupting, but the gentleman has indicated that he can demonstrate
23 to us professionally how far it was. And so now it went from a kilometre,
24 because the squares are a kilometre, to now 1 to 2. So if Ms. Issa knows
25 exactly, she can tell us rather than just guessing because of the blocks.
1 Otherwise, either accept the gentleman's answer or allow the gentleman to
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think that is important, how far the
4 distance is. But as a matter of fact, it's very near, very close --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: If you look at the map itself, it might look close.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: But we don't know what the terrain looks like, we
8 don't know visibility, we don't know any of that.
9 JUDGE LIU: The question is whether the witness knew about the
10 graves or not. This is the gist of the question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: And I believe he's answered that question,
12 Your Honour, that he did not. But I'm willing to sit here and she can ask
13 the question over again. I don't care.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Ms. Issa.
16 MS. ISSA: I think we all get the point, so I just have maybe one
17 or two more questions.
18 Q. Now, you testified in your examination-in-chief, sir, that you
19 were at the meeting of 16 October 1995, where Nikolic stated: We are
20 currently engaged in tasks issued by the Army of Republika Srpska,
23 A. I don't think the interpretation is correct, because it was
24 emphasised that it was the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,
25 wasn't it?
1 Q. What it says, sir, is: "We are currently" - this is at the
2 meeting that you were present at on October 16, 1995 - "engaged in tasks
3 issued by the Army of Republika Srpska, General Staff, asanacija."
4 I'm reading that, a quote.
5 A. Yes, I was there.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I would like the record to quote that in the
9 previous question General Staff was omitted.
10 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I wasn't quoting in the previous question.
11 JUDGE LIU: I didn't hear the General Staff appear, it only
12 appeared in the answer of the witness. Maybe there's a problem of
13 misunderstanding there.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Or maybe there was an omission, a purposeful
15 omission by the Prosecutor.
16 JUDGE LIU: Maybe Ms. Issa could ask another question to this
17 witness so that to clarify this issue for us.
18 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I attempted to clarify to the witness
19 because of the question he asked me, and I quoted directly. And I think
20 that for Mr. Karnavas to continuously make these outrageous allegations is
21 extremely inappropriate and disrespects the very process that we are
22 engaged in. And it happens all the time, as we know.
23 Q. Sir, notwithstanding that you were at the meeting and asanacija
24 was talked about, you don't know anything about that?
25 A. I know what the term "asanacija" means, but do you know what it
1 means? It doesn't have to mean anything that terrible. Asanacija or
2 clearing of the terrain is a preventive action and a normal action that is
3 undertaken after a battle. One of the reasons why it is done is to
4 prevent contamination or infection by contagious diseases. And a number
5 of other actions are implied. It is to be undertaken by logistical
6 organs, organs in charge of moral and some other organs. It is not a very
7 fortunate subject for a person to deal with.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I believe that the Prosecutor asked you
9 a very simple question. In most of the cases, the question could be
10 answered simply by saying yes or no. If you have some questions, you
11 could ask for some clarification. So please concentrate on the question
12 put to you by the Prosecutor. The question is very simple. Did you know
13 anything about that? It's a yes or no question.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Apart from having heard that term, I
15 didn't know anything else.
16 MS. ISSA:
17 Q. Just to clarify, sir, there was no battle at the time in October,
18 was there?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. Okay. Are you aware, sir, that several soldiers or members of the
21 Bratunac Brigade have testified that they were engaged in the reburial
22 operation that occurred in October?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: They are military police officers, Your Honour.
24 There's a distinction between being a soldier and a military police
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, the witness could answer that
2 question if he knew.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if she was to pose it properly and
4 accurately, that military police officers testified, I don't have a
5 problem. But to say "soldiers" encompasses a wide and broad area and
6 could be very misleading. If he says no, he appears to be dishonest.
7 MS. ISSA: Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MS. ISSA: I actually also stated members of the Bratunac Brigade.
10 I don't think you can get more general than that and I think perhaps
11 Mr. Karnavas should listen more carefully.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I just want to note the personal attacks constantly
13 on me. I'm being accused of personally attacking the Prosecutor. I'm
14 sitting here taking my medication from the Prosecutor. So I want the
15 record to reflect that --
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, the question is: "There were soldiers or
17 members of the Bratunac Brigade have testified. They were engaged in the
18 reburial operation that occurred in October."
19 There's no problem with this question.
20 MS. ISSA:
21 Q. Were you aware of that, sir?
22 A. I wasn't.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. ISSA: I have nothing further.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Any re-direct examination?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I have a few questions.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Just some matters of clarification.
5 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
6 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could have that map back again, I believe it
7 was 566.
8 Q. If you could assist us in answering some of the questions you were
9 not able to answer before. Now, just for clarity's sake, knowing -- I
10 take it you do know the terrain that we're speaking of, where your command
11 post was and where we see numbers 1 and 2?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Knowing the terrain, could you please first tell us what is the
14 terrain like. Is it flat ground? Is it mountainous? What's the
15 visibility level from where you are to these locations?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, that's totally leading. He could simply
18 have asked him: What is the terrain like? Without going through this
19 multiple choice that he just went through.
20 JUDGE LIU: If this is a direct examination, I would say that is
21 leading. But this is re-direct. I think the leading question is allowed
22 in this occasion.
23 You may proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Just please describe to us what the terrain looked like.
1 A. This terrain was very difficult, inaccessible. This road which
2 you see in behind here was overgrown. There were some trees there, and it
3 simply wasn't used for communication for the simple reason that it was
4 easier to use the asphalt road here than this one. There were some houses
5 there, destroyed by previous action. There were also minefields laid
6 during earlier battles that we assumed were there still. So this terrain
7 was not used for supply routes or for any other sort of communication.
8 And it is also hilly, as you can see on the map. It is wooded and hilly.
9 Q. All right. Could you please tell us to your understanding and
10 knowledge of the terrain what's the distance that we're talking about?
11 A. If we look at the distance by walking on the road, it could be 3
12 and a half to 4 kilometres.
13 Q. What about if we just look -- can you look from your command post
14 to those locations and observe them?
15 A. No way.
16 Q. Why not?
17 A. Because there are natural obstacles such as woods. It's simply
18 impossible. There's no way you can see anything. And it is also
19 shielded. If my command post was here and there is a curve between my
20 command post and this location, so you cannot see it anywhere.
21 Q. Now, could you please tell us where you had moved the location.
22 You showed us where you were on the -- up until the 12th, and then you
23 indicated that you had moved. And if we were to accept the Prosecution at
24 their word, that these occurred on the 13th and 14th, these graves, please
25 tell us where you would have been at that point in time.
1 A. In this area here, Cizmici.
2 Q. Where again? Could you please show us that.
3 A. This area, Cizmici.
4 Q. Now, from that area, could you please tell us what the distance is
5 from Cizmici to 1 and 2.
6 A. As the crow flies it's at least 4 kilometres or thereabouts. And
7 the terrain is terribly difficult to cross. There are no communications.
8 There were many minefields in that area and it is along this route that
9 some of my soldiers got killed, including that commander I told you about.
10 It's an extremely inaccessible, impassable route, terrain.
11 Q. Could you please tell us from that location what the visibility
12 would have been like. Can you get a clear view from Cizmici to where,
13 say, you see 1 and 2?
14 A. The visibility is nil. You could not observe anything.
15 Q. And again, could you please tell us why.
16 A. The same reason, natural obstacles, woods. It was in a
17 depression, shielded by some elevations, therefore you could not observe.
18 Q. And could you please just describe -- show us a little bit from
19 where you were located on the 12th, in which direction and how you moved
20 your troops to Cizmici. Did you -- in other words, did you go by 1 and 2
21 or did you go by another direction? Which way did you go?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I believe it was already asked and
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, he asked the witness to show on the map what's
1 the road from the former command post to the new one. I think it is
2 necessary for the Court to understand that.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I moved from these areas -- from
4 this area here of Vresinje, using these routes here, from Pajici to
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. What about from the command post, where you were?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. Where was the command post on the 12th? Show us.
10 A. Here.
11 Q. Okay. Well, that's where you -- well, was that established on the
12 12th or was it there before the 12th?
13 A. It wasn't there before the 12th. We established this command post
14 on the afternoon of the 12th.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can clear it up, Your Honour --
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
18 MS. ISSA: I don't know if that's where Mr. Karnavas is going. I
19 was just trying to assist, Your Honour. I think he was referring to the
20 forward command post, just to make sure that the record isn't unclear.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think that. I think the following question
22 will ask the witness to identify the former command post. And we just
23 want to know the road he travelled to the new command post.
24 Am I right?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
1 Q. If I may direct your attention so that Mr. McCloskey doesn't
2 whisper too much to his colleague about me clearing this up --
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, this is unnecessary --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: It is, but it's very interrupting. It's extremely
5 interrupting and I'm trying to do re-direct examination.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's the third attack on us today, Your Honour.
8 I'm sorry to interrupt. There's a difference between the forward command
9 post, the former command post, and the command post. It's a little bit
10 confusing. I know it's late in the day and we're trying to help on that
11 particular issue.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's all we're trying to do. Most of my
14 whispering is designed to communicate with my counsel. That may not be
15 how this man works. But to do this in the middle of the testimony
16 repeatedly like this it's really -- it's appalling.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't need any help from the Prosecution. When
20 the time comes, if it ever, God help me, I might ask. But at this point
21 in time, I don't need any help.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, put your question to this witness.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, earlier when you were being questioned by the Prosecutor, you
25 told us, before you moved your troops, where the command post was located.
1 Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Could you please point that out to us. We're talking before you
5 A. Here.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you.
7 Now we want to know which direction you moved toward when you
8 established your new post, because you indicated you moved on the 12th and
10 A. I would like to avoid any confusion here, because as I understood
11 the Prosecution, they believe that a forward command post was in Cizmici.
12 It was a command post there. The forward command post was formerly in
13 Vresinje, which we don't see here in the map. That is where the forward
14 command post used to be.
15 Q. Okay. Now, having clarified that, could you please tell us, show
16 us, the direction when you moved from one location to the next.
17 A. I came here from the Vresinje sector, after these units entered
18 from these directions. And then I joined them from the Vresinje sector
19 where my forward command post was.
20 Q. Now, one last question on this map. When you and your troops
21 moved, did you or any of your troops go by the area where 1 and 2 is
22 designated on the map?
23 A. No, there was no need. What kind of role was that to be played?
24 No way.
25 Q. I just want the record to be clear on that. Okay, thank you. We
1 can move on. I don't need the map anymore. Thank you.
2 Now, I just want to start from the beginning, hit a couple of
3 points. You were asked about reports, you as the -- what sort of reports
4 would have been submitted. Now, in watching the occupying forces in Iraq,
5 we see soldiers with computers, laptops, wiring into a foreign country
6 where they have an operations war room going on. Could you please tell
7 us: How many computers did you have available at the terrain so you could
8 wire in e-mail, send in your reports in a written fashion?
9 A. We didn't have any modern equipment. Maybe I would just like to
10 draw your attention to something that should be borne in mind, and that is
11 military task and obligation to monitor the situation on the ground. And
12 this process differs largely, for instance, in the army of the U.S. and in
13 our army. The U.S. Army is capable of monitoring the situation from the
14 ground --
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MS. ISSA: Your Honour --
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the question is: What's the means of
18 your communication during that period? It's very simple. We don't have
19 to involve Iraq here.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I just thought since we see all this modern
21 equipment from North America, you know, that perhaps we could bring it
22 into context in 1995 in Bosnia.
23 Let me move on to the next question.
24 Q. We talked a little bit about the security organ, and then you were
25 asked about some reports that were in a safe of the security organ. First
1 of all, could you please tell us whether at the battalion level members of
2 the security organ were required to report to the battalion commanders as
3 to what they were reporting to the security organ higher up.
4 A. We discussed that in the private session.
5 Q. Okay. Well, we can go into the private session.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session.
7 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in open session.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. Now, there were a series of questions quoting from a UN report,
25 and the suggestion might have been that perhaps you from your location
1 were targeting the UN post over there. When you were in Banja Luka being
2 questioned, the Prosecution at that time, I believe Mr. Butler was there,
3 did they show you any photographs of your units attacking UN posts?
4 A. No, he didn't.
5 Q. Did he show you any photographs of the result of these attacks
6 that they assert?
7 A. No, he didn't.
8 Q. Did they show you any statements of witnesses who were there at
9 the time under attack that would require them to notify the UN, so under
10 the rules of engagement the UN can then bomb, as they did later on on the
12 A. No, he didn't show me that either, but if I may say one more thing
13 on that issue. Had we done that, as it's claimed in the report, they had
14 a possibility to report this to the organs in charge. And through our
15 organs in charge, through the chief of staff or the duty operations
16 officer, warn me to stop doing that. For a period of time, we had a
17 telephone line, direct telephone line, with them that we used to
18 communicate with. So I claim here that no one, either from the command to
19 stop attacking them, and of course they didn't ask me to do that because I
20 never attacked them. And in addition, they were not a problematic target.
21 And it never occurred to me to attack them. I am a man who has high
22 respect for UN institutions, and I myself applied to become a member of
23 peacekeeping forces, so I would never have done such a thing.
24 Q. All right. Now, you were asked some questions about some minutes
25 working -- of a working meeting. I would like to go back on that and
1 clarify one point. So I would like to show you what has been marked as
2 D165/1. And we have some yellow stickies, both the one for the gentleman
3 in his language and for us in English.
4 And again, first of all, I'm going to read the section. I believe
5 I have it underlined for you. This would be on 5 July 1995. And
6 hopefully we will get an accurate translation as to what is on the paper
7 itself. And then we can proceed from there.
8 It says: "Chief of staff will go to the 1st Infantry Battalion to
9 increase accuracy and direction of artillery fire."
10 Now, could you please read out what it says in the handwritten
11 version in the language in which it was written.
12 A. There's an obvious mistake. I'm looking at this English
13 translation. It says that: "The chief of staff should go to the
14 1st Battalion to direct the -- to precisely establish the fire and
15 direction of firing weapons."
16 Q. Okay. Now, I want you to read it slowly without any comments so
17 that we can -- okay. Just cekajte, wait a second. Go ahead.
18 A. "The chief of staff should go to the 1st Infantry Battalion to
19 establish precisely the fire and direction of firing weapons."
20 Q. All right. Concretely speaking, concretely, is artillery fire
21 anywhere in the original version, not the one that was translated by
22 whoever translated this?
23 A. In the original, it's not mentioned. Artillery fire is not
24 mentioned in the original version.
25 Q. All right. Now, in light of what you have in front of you, that
1 is, the accurate version, could you please explain to us what exactly the
2 chief of staff was supposed to do in accordance with this note that we
3 have here.
4 A. The chief of staff was supposed only to help us in planning the
5 fire, or rather, to see how we conceived the firing direction of certain
6 weapons and range of fire so that we coordinate those and perhaps see
7 whether any additional minefield should be laid up or any obstacles put up
8 or to prepare better covers for -- and shelters for men. Also, to see how
9 we had linked up with the adjacent battalions, whether there were any
10 uncovered gaps, undefended gaps. Quite simply, to see the overall
11 situation of our preparedness for carrying out defence operations.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe we're through on that. I think we've
14 clarified that issue.
15 Q. Now, you were asked a series of questions about zone of
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That it is true that the
18 word used in this item "orudje" is only used for artillery pieces and not
19 for other weapons.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: In light of that --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Administratively, Your Honour, we have not
23 objected to Mr. Karnavas trying to sort out translation errors on the
24 cuff, because sometimes it can be helpful, but when you're talking about
25 serious issues, we're inviting this kind of thing to happen. When there
1 are translation issues, I think we need to invite the translation to go
2 back for CLSS to deal with them, not suggesting that we put the people in
3 the booth under the pressure to resolve these issues. Because this is now
4 what we find ourselves in. It's more confusing.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I just like to find out myself, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, after this sitting, we'll entrust the
7 registrar to ask the translation booth to check the exact translation of
8 that phrase disparity. You may proceed.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
10 Q. Just going back, just so there's no misunderstanding, was the
11 chief of staff there to do anything --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think this matter is over. I
13 think you made your point.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Very well, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Please move on.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. You were asked a series of questions about the term "zone of
18 responsibility." Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. This topic came up also when you were -- when you testified in the
21 Krstic case, did it not?
22 A. Yes, and this issue was raised while I gave statement to the
23 Prosecution at their headquarters in Banja Luka. I also claimed at that
24 time that a battalion doesn't have a zone of responsibility. But maybe
25 due to some leading questions, I may have made a slip of the tongue and
1 used the term "zone of responsibility."
2 Q. All right. So I take it you would not be surprised if we were to
3 go through the transcript during the Krstic case where you emphatically
4 note that you did not have a zone of responsibility --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa? No?
6 MS. ISSA: Obviously, an improper form of the question,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think we have already spent much
9 more time on the zone of responsibility. The position of the Prosecution
10 as well as the position of the witness is quite clear. I don't know which
11 area are you going to clarify.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I just wanted to note for the record that under
13 oath in a previous hearing, the gentleman emphatically stated the same as
14 what he has under oath today, and that is when he was given the
15 opportunity to question -- to answer a question regarding zones of
16 responsibility, he indicated that neither the battalion nor brigade had a
17 zone of responsibility.
18 JUDGE LIU: I don't see your point. I don't think it's useful to
19 do this kind of practice.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: It's rehabilitation, Your Honour, just in case
21 there was any, you know --
22 JUDGE LIU: We know the position. We know the answer of this
23 witness. I think that's enough.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Okay. Very well.
25 Q. Now, you indicate -- I just have one last question.
1 You indicated that there was some -- you know, with respect to the
2 attack on Srebrenica, you had indicated that you had expected an attack or
3 had some information about a potential attack from the Muslim army that
4 was in the demilitarised enclave, so-called demilitarised enclave during
5 that period. Do you recall saying that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I take it you would not be surprised, then, to learn that just
8 recently we received copies of intel reports, intelligence reports,
9 related to Mr. Salapura that in the period of January to June 1995 that
10 indicated that they had information that the 28th Division was about to
11 attack? That would not surprise you, would it?
12 A. No, it wouldn't.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any further cross?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, just two
19 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Today, sir, you were asked about the 5th
21 Engineering Battalion. Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes, first the company, then the battalion was mentioned.
23 Q. Yes. This is exactly where my questions are going in order to
24 eliminate any possible dilemma. Is it true that as part of the
25 Drina Corps there was the 5th Engineering Battalion?
1 A. I suppose there was, but I don't know much about it. I know where
2 they were located, but I don't know much about them.
3 Q. In any case, it was not part of the Bratunac Brigade?
4 A. No, no.
5 Q. Was this unit headquartered in Konjevic Polje in July 1995?
6 A. I suppose there was -- it was, because there was some heavy
7 machines there at the time.
8 Q. Do you perhaps know who was the commander of that unit?
9 A. I know that -- who the commander was later, because he was my
10 senior at the academy. But before that -- I think it was Captain -- but I
11 can't remember his last name. I think I saw him once. He was a tall man,
12 and I think I saw him once in 1993 or 1994 when they were constructing a
13 road. I can't remember his last name.
14 Q. Let me try to remind you. Was that the man whose last name was
15 Avramovic [Realtime transcript read in error "Obramovic"]?
16 A. Yes, I think that was his last name.
17 Q. I am asking all these questions just for the record, that this
18 unit is totally unrelated to Dragan Jokic. Is that correct?
19 A. There could be no connection because it was subordinated to the
20 corps. So there could be no connection and he could not have given them
21 any orders.
22 Q. Thank you. It has been brought to my attention that the last name
23 in the transcript was not spelled correctly. It's Avramovic, with an A.
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
1 no further questions.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 At this stage, are there any documents to tender. Mr. Karnavas?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. D185, to be under seal; then
5 D183; D184; D186, that should be under seal; D187, that should be under
6 seal as well; and then D188; and D189. And if you wish, I can give
7 explanations as to each one of these.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Any objections? Ms. Issa.
10 MS. ISSA: Sorry, Your Honour, I'm just taking a look at the
11 document. No, no objections.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Those documents are admitted into the evidence, with three of them
14 under seal as indicated by the Defence counsel.
15 And by the way, I think I have already informed the Defence team
16 that as for the B/C/S version this Bench only needed two sets.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: And how many is the Bench receiving, Your Honour?
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, at least each of us will get a bundle of the
19 documents, which is a heavy burden to us. And I guess it must be so with
20 the Defence to copy.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I thought we rectified that situation, Your Honour,
22 but I'll look into it.
23 JUDGE LIU: The B/C/S version.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Right.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 At this stage are there any documents to tender on the
2 Prosecution's side?
3 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour, we will be tendering P863, that's the
4 4 June report or order, rather.
5 JUDGE LIU: Is that all?
6 MS. ISSA: Yes.
7 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: No objections, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, any objections?
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honour, and
11 we have no documents to be proposed to be tendered as exhibits.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one other comment on the documents. Document
15 P851, which is again the UN debriefing report. As you know, we have had
16 an ongoing offering that into evidence; it's again referred to. I think I
17 owe the Court a listing of all the times it was referred to by Mr. Butler
18 and other witnesses and I'm still working on that. But I just would call
19 your attention that we have an ongoing offer of that into evidence, just
20 to remind everyone.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for that.
22 Well, this document P863/A is admitted into the evidence. It is
23 so decided.
24 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
25 your evidence. We wish you a pleasant journey back home.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there is nothing else, I would like to
3 declare that the hearing for today is adjourned. And we will resume
4 tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the same courtroom.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
6 at 11.58 a.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
7 the 4th day of June, 2004,
8 at 9.00 a.m.