1 Thursday, 15 July 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 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 very much. Good morning, ladies and
10 gentlemen. I'm sorry for the delay.
11 Good morning, Witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE LIU: Would you please stand up and make the solemn
14 declaration in accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
18 WITNESS: MINJA RADOVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
22 Examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Can you hear me?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you please introduce yourself. What is your first name and
3 your last name?
4 A. My name is Minja Radovic.
5 Q. For the transcript, could you please slowly spell your first and
6 last name.
7 A. My name is M-i-n-j-a, and my last name is R-a-d-o-v-i-c diacritic.
8 Q. Mr. Radovic, where and when were you born?
9 A. I was born on the 22nd of October, 1950, in the village of Tuvare
10 in the municipality of Medvedza in the Republic of Serbia.
11 Q. For the record, could you please once again tell us the place
12 where you were born.
13 A. Tuvare.
14 Q. And could you please tell us about your school education and
15 professional education.
16 A. I finished elementary school in the place where I was born, high
17 school in Pristina. The first two years of university I also completed in
18 Pristina, and then I graduated in Zagreb.
19 Q. Could you please tell us, what education did you complete in
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are finding it very hard to
22 understand the witness.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Minja, could you please speak loudly, more loudly because of
25 the interpreters.
1 A. Very well.
2 Q. Let me repeat the question. Which university did you complete and
3 what was the title that you received?
4 A. I completed the first level of the construction engineering
5 faculty in Zagreb, and I'm a construction engineer.
6 Q. Thank you. And then after that, how did your career evolve?
7 A. I got a job in the Yugoslav company in Belgrade in October 1974.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand the name of
9 the company.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then I worked out in the field, and
11 I came to Zvornik on the 13th of February, 1975 for the construction of
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Let me interrupt you here for a second. Where did you come for
15 the construction of Glinica?
16 A. To Zvornik.
17 Q. And did you stay in Zvornik after that?
18 A. I met my wife there, and I got married in 1976. In 1976, I began
19 to work in the municipal office as a local inspector.
20 Q. And what was your job when the war broke out in Bosnia and
22 A. I was the chief for the construction of high buildings and
23 infrastructure in the office for communal construction in Zvornik.
24 Q. Did you serve your military service before the war broke out?
25 A. Yes. I served my military tour of duty in Karlovac in 1973 in the
1 training battalion of the engineering training centre.
2 Q. Were you trained to carry out engineering tasks as a military
3 person -- as military personnel?
4 A. I was working as a pioneer, and I left the army with the rank of
6 Q. When you say you were in the pioneers as your speciality, could
7 you please clarify that a little bit. What does that mean, your
9 A. The VES is the speciality in the military service, and a pioneer
10 is a person who works on laying mines, on fortifications using mines and
11 explosive devices.
12 Q. Were you a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina or a citizen of
14 A. I was a citizen of Yugoslavia and Serbia and not Bosnia and
16 Q. Once the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina did you join the
17 Territorial Defence and after that the army of Republika Srpska?
18 A. In March 1992, in Celopek where my wife is from, I joined the TO.
19 Q. How long were you in the TO, and when did you transfer to the VRS
20 -- or, rather, when was the VRS formed?
21 A. I was in the TO until the 15th of June 1992, and then I went and
22 joined the pioneer detachment once the brigade was formed.
23 Q. Could you please tell us who the commander of the brigade was.
24 Who were the commanders of the brigade in 1992?
25 A. I'm not sure whether Blagojevic was a commander. He was there
1 briefly. And then he was followed by Major Vasiljevic, but I'm not sure.
2 That was when the brigade was formed.
3 Q. In that period in 1992, did you meet Dragan Jokic? How long have
4 you known Dragan Jokic and since when?
5 A. Dragan Jokic came from Kiseljak in 1992 to take over and form the
6 engineering company - I don't know where he was in 1992 - and that's when
7 we met.
8 Q. Did you know him before that?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Can you remember which rank, which position Dragan Jokic held at
11 the time?
12 A. I think that he was captain first class or captain at the time.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us continue with questions about you. When was
14 the engineering company formed?
15 A. The engineering platoon existed until Mr. Jokic arrived at the
16 unit, and then he joined the logistics platoon to the pioneers one, and
17 that's when we formed the engineering company, and this was sometime in
19 Q. Who was the commander of the engineering company right after it
20 was formed?
21 A. Until Mr. Jokic came, I was the commander of the platoon. This
22 was not a company, it was a platoon. Mico Eric was the chief. When
23 Mr. Jokic came, then there was a young man in our unit who had the rank of
24 lieutenant, second lieutenant, and he was appointed as commander. At the
25 proposal of Mr. Jokic the commander appointed this gentleman Mile, I don't
1 know his last name, to command. He was a second lieutenant.
2 Q. Does that mean that the commander of the engineering company is
3 picked by the brigade commander?
4 A. Because this was a staff unit, of course it's normal that the
5 commander of the brigade would appoint the commander on the suggestion or
6 proposal of the chief of engineers.
7 Q. At one point did you take over the command of the engineering
9 A. The second lieutenant Mile was a younger man. He didn't have much
10 authority. And then there was a suggestion that I should become the
11 commander again, that I should take over the company. This was also in
12 1992. I don't know exactly in which month. And then I was appointed by
13 the commander without written orders, but this was confirmed in writing,
14 this oral order, but I didn't receive any document about that, anything
15 like an order of appointment.
16 Q. How long were you the commander of the engineering company?
17 A. I was the commander of the company until the 23rd of June, 1995,
18 formally. I was on sick leave from May 6, 1995, after the fall of
20 Q. Does that mean that formally and practically you were the komandir
21 of the engineering platoon until the 6th of May, 1995?
22 A. Yes. Actually until May 6th. That's for how long I was on that
24 Yes, I'll do that.
25 Q. After the 23rd of June, Mr. Radovic, who took over the duty of the
1 commander of the engineers company?
2 A. After the 23rd of June the command of the company was taken over
3 by Mr. Dragan Jevtic.
4 Q. Would you tell us, please, whether Dragan Jevtic before that was a
5 member of the engineers company.
6 A. He was the komandir of the -- of the platoon, road platoon.
7 Q. And what education has Dragan Jevtic had?
8 A. He's a graduated civil engineer.
9 Q. Perhaps this is a good occasion, Mr. Radovic, to ask you about the
10 reason you're no longer performing the duty of the commander of the
11 engineers company.
12 A. I became ill after a fall, and I asked to be demobilised, to be
13 released from the army.
14 Q. And were you permitted to leave the army of Republika Srpska?
15 A. Yes, pursuant to the law. Since I'm not a citizen of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, since I wasn't a citizen of BH during the war, I was
17 allowed to do so, to step down.
18 Q. Did you leave after that?
19 A. Yes. I left and went to my native village of Medvedza.
20 Q. Did you have to give up your property in Zvornik, the rights to
21 your apartment?
22 A. Yes, I gave my apartment over to Mr. Jevtic so that he could live
23 in it.
24 Q. Does that mean that in July 1995 you were not in Zvornik?
25 A. No, I was not in Zvornik from the 26th of June, 1995, to the 1st
1 of December. I wasn't there at all.
2 Q. Mr. Radovic, from the 26th of June, 1995, up until the 20th of
3 July, so during those 20 days do you know whether the regulations changed
4 regulating control and command of the engineers company?
5 A. As far as I know, the regulations did not change. They were not
6 amended in that area.
7 Q. I should now like to ask you, in view of the fact that there were
8 no changes in the regulations, to help us out and to explain to us how --
9 what was the structure of the engineers company in the month of June, June
11 A. In June 1995, we had three platoons; the pioneer platoon, the road
12 construction platoon, and the barrage platoon or fortification platoon.
13 Q. Did the engineers company have its command?
14 A. Yes, it did.
15 Q. The three platoons that you mentioned of the engineers company,
16 did they have their komandirs or platoon commanders?
17 A. Yes, they did.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher's assistance
19 now, please, and show the witness a list of the members of the engineers
20 company in July 1995. And for identification purposes, it is Exhibit P114
21 [as interpreted], Your Honours, and was used -- the document was used
22 during the testimony of Mr. Butler.
23 Q. For the record, I'd like to repeat what I said. It is an exhibit,
24 Prosecution Exhibit P514.
25 Mr. Radovic, you have in the B/C/S underneath the English version
1 the record of the people who were present in July 1995 in the engineers
2 company. Can we go through the list now to see the structure and command
3 of the engineers company. It says "Command," if you can follow that, then
4 it says "komandir Jevtic" being the last name, the first name is Branko,
5 and then it says Dragan. Does that confirm that Dragan Jevtic, in July
6 1995, took over the duty from you of command of the engineers company?
7 A. Yes, that does confirm that.
8 Q. The next name on the list is Bogicevic, father's name Stanko,
9 first name Slavko. Could you tell us who Slavko Bogicevic is and what he
10 did in the command of the engineers company.
11 A. Slavko Bogicevic was the assistant commander of the company for
12 moral guidance, and he was also the deputy.
13 Q. When you say he was also the deputy of the company commander, what
14 did that mean?
15 A. That he had the right to replace him when the commander, company
16 commander, was absent. Then Mr. Bogicevic would replace him.
17 Q. Were there situations in which there was no control and command
18 over the engineers company? If the komandir wasn't there, the deputy
19 wasn't there either. Could that happen?
20 A. No. There always had to be someone, either the komandir or his
21 deputy, his replacement. There's the duty officer, of course, as well in
22 the company.
23 Q. So what is the -- what are the duties of the duty officer in the
25 A. His duties are to see that the tasks are implemented, the tasks
1 and assignments issued by the company commander in the morning that they
2 receive from the brigade command are carried out and that everything
3 functions properly and that the orders issued by the company commander are
4 carried out.
5 Q. How long is a shift of duty? Is it temporary or permanent, or how
6 long does it last?
7 A. Shifts last 12 hours, and then the replacement comes in.
8 Q. Let me ask you now where the headquarters of the engineers company
9 of the Zvornik Brigade was located.
10 A. The headquarters of the engineers company was, first of all, in
11 Sunnud [phoen], and two or three months later it was transferred near
12 Glinica to Karakaj.
13 Q. Could you tell us the distance from the command of the Zvornik
14 Brigade, the Standard company building, from the headquarters of the
15 engineers company. How far is that?
16 A. Well, I would say it was between 600 to 800 metres. I don't think
17 it's one kilometre. It's less.
18 Q. Were there any links between the engineers company and the command
19 of the Zvornik Brigade; and, if so, what kind?
20 A. There was a civilian telephone line and also the RUP military
21 communication line, using the RUP equipment.
22 Q. Does that mean that there was constant communication between the
23 engineers company and the brigade all the time?
24 A. Yes. We had telephone communication throughout.
25 Q. Thank you. Now to move on and have another look at the document.
1 The next name on the list in the engineers company is Vojislav Sekanic.
2 Who is Vojislav Sekanic and what did he do?
3 A. He saw to the records. He was in charge of the company records.
4 He would write daily -- out the daily orders and see that they were
6 Q. Give us an example. When daily orders are written out as an act
7 of command on the part of the command of the engineers company, who
8 actually compiles the written order?
9 A. The daily report or order was written out by Vojislav Sekanic. He
10 was in charge of writing out the daily orders and keeping records for the
11 engineers company. He was the record keeper, in fact.
12 Q. Thank you. The next name on our list is Dusica Matic in the
13 command of the engineers company. Who is that?
14 A. She was a member of the staff. Her brother was killed as an
15 officer, and she came to work with us as a clerk, as an employee of the
16 company. It is a lady.
17 Q. And what duties did she perform as a clerk or employee?
18 A. She would write out documents, see to the administration side of
19 the job.
20 Q. The next name on the list is Kirilo Vidakovic in the command of
21 the engineers company. Who was that?
22 A. I don't know officially what assignments he had and duties he had,
23 but since he was at the academy with the commander, he enjoyed special
24 status, and he was the commander of a warehouse where mines and explosive
25 devices were stored.
1 Q. And finally in the command of the engineers company, the next name
2 is, I think, Dragan Markovic. Who is that?
3 A. Dragan Markovic was the driver.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, briefly, can you tell us who the commander of the
5 pioneers platoon was.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
7 MR. WAESPI: I'm sorry to interrupt. Just for clarification
8 purposes, the witness said that this person Vidakovic was at the academy
9 with the commander. If it could be cleared up which commander is meant.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He was with Commander
12 Pandurevic. He was there to begin with, but he left the academy later on.
13 Vidakovic, I mean.
14 JUDGE LIU: Maybe, Witness, you could give us a time frame. When
15 was that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand the question.
17 When was what? Could you repeat, please. The academy, you mean, or what?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, when he was at the academy with the commander.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know when they were
20 there. I don't know what year that would be. I think they were born in
21 1950 something, so I'm not sure when they attended the military academy
22 but they were cadets at the academy during the first year, but Vidakovic
23 left. It was the military academy in Belgrade, I mean.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Q. May I just ask a question here to clarify matters and focus on the
2 substance. Did the fact that he was on good terms with Vinko Pandurevic,
3 the commander, was that the reason that he -- they put him in the rear, to
4 stand guard at Glinica?
5 A. Yes. He had enjoyed special status as being a cadet and peer of
6 the commander at the military academy.
7 Q. Perhaps this is a good occasion for me to ask you as the commander
8 of the engineers company, did the soldiers like joining up with the
9 engineers company because it was a non-combat unit? Is that why they
10 liked to be placed in the engineers company?
11 A. Well, we're talking about the pioneers platoon. It was a
12 difficult job. And as for the other platoons, people liked going there
13 but not the pioneers platoon because it was the backbone for most platoons
14 where the work was very difficult and dangerous and people were left
15 maimed. They would be left without arms and legs, so it was a very
16 dangerous place working in the engineers platoon. But the other two
17 platoons were favoured and people liked to be sent to the other platoons.
18 Q. So the other platoons, the road construction platoon and the
19 obstacle construction platoon, what about that?
20 A. Well, the road construction platoon, of course, built roads,
21 sometimes up at the front line, but if they had to work up at the front
22 line it was very difficult to send them out there. When the bulldozers
23 were there we were targets and shot at because the bulldozers were
24 mistaken for tanks, particularly the TG 20, the larger type of bulldozer
25 was very often mistaken for tanks, so that was dangerous when it was up at
1 the front.
2 Q. Thank you. Now may we dwell for a moment on the document, go
3 through that and finish the document. Now, after the words "Pioneers
4 platoon," the first name on that list is Stevo Cvoric. Was that the
5 commander of the pioneers platoon?
6 A. Yes, that's right. At that time it was Stevo Cvoric. He was the
7 commander of the pioneers platoon.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, if we turn to the next page and look at line 7,
9 after the word "Fortification Platoon" we see the name of Spasoje Tomanic,
10 if I'm reading the name correctly, Spasoje, Zoran. Now, Tomanic, Zoran
11 Tomanic, was he the commander of the fortification platoon?
12 A. Yes, he was.
13 Q. And on page 1, to go back on -- to page 1 because I skipped
14 something, after the word "Road Construction Platoon" it says "Damjan
15 Lazarevic." Was Damjan Lazarevic the commander of the road construction
17 A. Yes. He had replaced Dragan when Dragan took over the company.
18 So Dragan Jevtic, during my time, was commander of the road construction
19 platoon before he took up his other duties.
20 Q. So when Dragan Jevtic went to take up his post as commander of the
21 company, who took over as commander of the road construction platoon?
22 A. That was Damjan Lazarevic.
23 Q. Thank you. We're finished with that document for the moment.
24 Can we now take a look at another document. It is the rules and
25 regulations governing companies and platoons in the engineers branch or
1 arm of service, and let's look at the -- how this governs work of the
2 engineers company and platoon.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for purposes of
4 identification, this is exhibit -- an exhibit used by the Defence, and it
5 is D26, Exhibit D26/3.
6 Q. Mr. Radovic, may we go through this document briefly. It is
7 entitled "Combat Rules," and can we read Article 25 together of the combat
8 rules. And Article 25 says the following: "The company is under the
9 command of a company commander, and the platoon is under the command of a
10 platoon commander. The company/platoon commander receives tasks from the
11 commander of the unit to which the company/platoon organisationally
13 Were you able to follow?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. May we comment on what this looks like in practice. Who issues
16 orders to the company commander? Of the engineers, I mean.
17 A. The commander of the company, right after the brigade command. It
18 was standard practice --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander, the commander of the
21 brigade, issues orders further down the line.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Can we repeat that again, please. We can speak slowly and
24 enunciate our words for the interpreters. You said that orders were
25 issued by the brigade commander.
1 A. Yes. Brigade commander or the chief of the brigade if the
2 commander is absent.
3 Q. And what does a company commander do once he receives orders from
4 the chief of staff or brigade commander?
5 A. He passes it down the line, down the chain of command to the
6 platoons who are in charge of carrying out the tasks. On the basis of
7 subordination, the chain of command down the line.
8 Q. Which document does the company commander use to issue orders to
9 the platoons? What is the document called?
10 A. It is called a daily order.
11 Q. Is the daily order the method by which the company commander
12 issues orders and tasks to the platoon commanders?
13 A. According to the rules of service, this is the correct way, yes.
14 Q. Does or can the platoon commander do anything on his own
15 initiative without an order from the brigade commander or the chief of
17 A. A company commander can do nothing on his own initiative.
18 Q. A practical question: In June 1995, combat activities were
19 ongoing. Could the company commander, through the daily order of the
20 engineers company, issue an order to his platoons to use the machinery,
21 the mines, without the knowledge of the brigade commander?
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. WAESPI: Object to the foundation. I believe he said he
25 wasn't in command in June, that he was de facto out from -- I believe it
1 says May, sometime early May -- May 6, 1995. So I don't think this
2 witness can talk about that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We understand that is kind of a speculative
4 question. Since the witness has already answered that question, we'll let
5 it go.
6 You may proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. I will ask you once again, Mr. Radovic: To your knowledge, from
9 May 1995 until July 1995, did these regulations change at all? Were any
10 new regulations enacted?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, no, they weren't.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. WAESPI: Objection. Since the witness wasn't there, how could
15 he know whether the rules or regulations were changed after that? He was
16 sick. He went back to Serbia. That's what he testified.
17 JUDGE LIU: And we already -- I think you have already answered --
18 asked this question, and the witness has already answered at the very
19 beginning of the testimony.
20 You may proceed to your next question.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Radovic, after everything you have just said, what is the role
23 of the platoon commander?
24 A. Platoon commanders have to carry out the tasks assigned to them by
25 the command of the brigade through the company commander, through the
1 daily report, so they have to carry out those tasks.
2 Q. Thank you. I would now like us to concentrate on the chief of the
3 engineers arm of service and the job done by Jokic. What was his duty?
4 What were his -- what was his role in the orders issued?
5 A. He was an advisory organ, proposing solutions having to do with
6 the area of engineering, mining, obstacle construction, and so on and so
8 Q. Was the commander duty-bound to accept the proposal given by the
9 chief of arms of service?
10 A. Well, as far as I know, he wasn't duty-bound to do so, but in
11 principle he should have done it.
12 Q. Could the chief of engineers issue a direct command to you?
13 A. As a rule, not. He couldn't because it was the command and the
14 commander who were my superiors, not the chief of engineers.
15 Q. You said at one point that the chief of engineers transmitted
16 orders to you. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Would you please explain what this was about.
19 A. As the chief of engineers attended staff meetings at the brigade,
20 he would receive the tasks at the meeting and transmit them to us by
21 telephone, or he would bring this to the company and then he would
22 transmit it to me orally or in writing.
23 Q. While you were in command of the engineers company, did you ever
24 receive a direct order from the commander or the chief of staff?
25 A. Yes, on several occasions in various situations. I would get a
1 call from the commander or the chief of staff, and they would issue an
2 order to me directly.
3 Q. In what way were these orders issued, orally or in writing?
4 A. Well, usually orally, or I would be summoned to the brigade.
5 Q. Mr. Radovic, could it ever occur that the chief of an arm of
6 service issues instructions on the use of machinery in the area of
7 responsibility of another brigade without the knowledge of the chief of
9 A. No. This couldn't happen. Are you asking about the chief of
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. No. He couldn't issue any orders without the brigade commander or
13 the chief of staff.
14 Q. Was it possible to take from the logistics service any fuel
15 without the command of the chief of staff?
16 A. No. He couldn't do anything without this order. We had to ask
17 for approval for an ordinary car. We had to ask the chief of staff for
18 approval for fuel for any kind of vehicle.
19 Q. Does this mean that he could not requisition fuel or anything else
20 without the approval of the chief of staff?
21 A. No, he couldn't. He couldn't do anything on his own initiative.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
23 MR. WAESPI: There was obviously a leading question from
24 Mr. Stojanovic.
25 JUDGE LIU: I did not get you, Mr. Waespi.
1 MR. WAESPI: Yes, it was a leading question.
2 JUDGE LIU: In this situation we are not talking about the period
3 of July, so somehow the leading question is allowed. I think it's just
4 some background information according to the normal situations.
5 You may proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Radovic, let us move on. In these rules you have before you,
8 it says that after the company commander receives tasks from the unit
9 commander, the company commander receives the task orally on site, but in
10 exceptional circumstances he can receive the task through means of
11 communications, through representatives of the superior command, or by way
12 of a written order.
13 Would you please clarify what this means. What does it say that
14 he generally receives tasks verbally on site?
15 A. I don't really understand this very well, but I think this means
16 when we are on the battlefield, when we're not in the command. That's
17 when orders can be received by way of courier, either verbally or in
18 writing from the command, and then an order can be transmitted to us in
19 this way from the commander or the chief of staff.
20 Q. Thank you. Perhaps it might be a good time to ask you now about
21 Dragan Jokic's position. What was your impression of his position, his
22 standing in the brigade staff, his authority and his standing there?
23 A. I worked with him for approximately three years, and in this time
24 Mr. Jokic was, in my view, an unusual person. He had a higher rank when
25 he came from the JNA than the commander of the brigade or the chief of
1 staff, but he did not rise to a position higher than the chief of
2 engineers. This was in line with his training, but in my opinion, he was
3 not ambitious. He wasn't an ambitious enough soldier to try to get a
4 higher rank. He was interested in defending the people. But as for
5 authority as a person, he did not enjoy a high level of authority like
6 Mr. Pandurevic or Mr. -- that is, the chief of staff, Dragan Obrenovic.
7 They had a kind of authority and leadership qualities far -- to a far
8 greater extent than he did, and in my view that's how it was. I may not
9 be objective, but that's my opinion.
10 Q. I'd like to ask you when you spoke of the authority of Pandurevic
11 and Obrenovic, what do you mean by that?
12 A. They enjoyed a great deal of authority among the men. They were
13 able officers, the soldiers obeyed them, although it was very difficult to
14 command in those conditions and during wartime with those men, but they
15 managed it, especially Pandurevic, the commander.
16 Q. Did they like Dragan Jokic among the engineers, as a man?
17 A. Oh, yes. The soldiers adored him.
18 Q. Did Dragan do his best to avoid sending them into combat, the most
19 difficult tasks?
20 A. Yes. He tried to help get the soldiers to do their professional
21 work and not be used in combat situations.
22 Q. Did Dragan Jokic sometimes go himself to carry out certain
23 engineering tasks?
24 A. Yes. He preferred to do things himself rather than issue orders
25 to others, and whatever he did, he did with great professionalism and
1 precision. None of us could do an engineering task better than he did.
2 We have to admit that. I take my hat off to him.
3 Q. Did the komandir of the engineers who succeeded you, Dragan
4 Jevtic, enjoy authority? Was he well liked?
5 A. I don't think he had authority, but because I had to go, there was
6 nothing else to be done and I asked Dragan to accept the appointment, I
7 offered him my apartment to move into, so that I could be released.
8 Q. Was Dragan Jevtic a professional engineer and a civil engineer?
9 A. He was trained to some engineering tasks but not the majority of
10 the tasks of the pioneers, because according to his military occupation
11 speciality, he was not an engineer, and he did not have any rank, as far
12 as I know.
13 Q. Will you tell us what kind of work Dragan Jevtic was trained for
14 and which not.
15 A. Well, he was trained for road construction and obstacle
16 construction but not for mining, not for mining at all.
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Radovic --
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And before I ask my next question
19 I would like the usher to show the -- to show the witness the list of
20 members of the engineers company, Prosecution Exhibit P514, and I will put
21 just one brief question to Mr. Radovic about this document.
22 Q. You have before you a list of members of the engineers company in
23 July 1995. My question is the following: Did the members of the
24 engineers unit ever include Veljko Kovacevic and Rade Boskovic?
25 A. As far as I know, while I was in the engineers company, no, they
1 were not its members.
2 Q. Mr. Radovic, you have before you now the list for July 1995, July
3 when Dragan Jevtic was the commander of the engineers company. Would you
4 please go down the list to see whether these two machine operators are on
5 the list at all, the list of members of the engineers company. Just take
6 your time and look at the whole list platoon by platoon.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. WAESPI: Well, I believe the document speaks for itself and
9 then this witness is used to comment on something where he was present.
10 He says that as far as he recalls while he was commander they weren't, he
11 said, part of his company, whatever, but I don't think it's appropriate
12 now to have him comment on something about July.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. The document itself speaks for itself.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If this is not in dispute, I will
15 not labour the matter, Your Honour. We have already heard these two
16 members -- these two names as machine operators working on the burials in
17 Kozluk, Branjevo.
18 THE INTERPRETER: In Orahovac and Branjevo. The interpreter
19 apologises for the error.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Radovic, let us now move on.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher just please show
23 you the document that we named D12/3 for ID purposes. This is a document
24 that we have already used in these proceedings, Your Honour. And this is
25 a summary report about the engineering from the 20th of December, 1995,
1 for the entire period of 1995.
2 Mr. Radovic, could we please look at page 2, item 8, information
3 on material supplies which the engineering company had in 1995. Have you
4 found it?
5 A. Under B --
6 Q. We're going in the proper order. Under B there is a list of the
7 equipment and materiel supplies which you had in the whole of 1995. It
8 states: "TG 140 bulldozer, 12 years old. TG 220 bulldozer, TG 75
9 bulldozer, and TG 110 bulldozer. Could you please explain to us what kind
10 of a machinery a bulldozer is. What do they look like?
11 A. The name speaks for itself, bulldog and dozer. It has -- it has
12 caterpillar wheels and is used for digging out the terrain. It cannot dig
13 any holes, it can just remove layers of earth.
14 Q. The bucket that it has in front of itself, what is that?
15 A. It's a bucket, but it cannot load anything. It can just push
16 forward and dig. It cannot actually excavate any holes.
17 Q. Do you know what kind of a machine a ULT 220 is?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down. The
19 interpreters are finding this very technical.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, please slow down. The interpreters
21 have some difficulties to follow you. It's a very technical issue.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is very difficult to understand, and
23 he speaks very fast, very technical matter, and that's why we're having
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Sir, could you please wait for my question to be interpreted and
2 then try to answer. Thank you very much.
3 Let us start again. Could you please tell us what the bulldozer
4 looks like and what kind of technical tasks it can carry out.
5 A. A bulldozer is a machine constructed in order to build roads, for
6 road construction. So it can only move earth, but it cannot excavate. It
7 can remove layers of the earth. It can move the earth and push it to the
8 side, but it cannot load anything. And it has some devices at the back
9 that it -- it can use to break down terrain and also remove layers of
11 Q. This machinery, according to the technical characteristics, can it
12 excavate holes? Can they dig holes?
13 A. No, they cannot dig classic holes, for sure.
14 Q. Could you please tell us what a ULT 220 machine looks like.
15 A. A ULT machine 220, a loader, has four wheels. It has a loading
16 bucket, depending on the type, whether it's a 220 or 170, it depends on
17 the capacity of the bucket. It can work in different types of soil, and
18 it can dig as well as load up to a certain amount -- up to a certain
19 height. For example, it can load earth into a truck.
20 Q. Could you please look at this document and tell us, according to
21 what you know and also based on this document, whether you as an
22 engineering company ever had or owned a ULT 220.
23 A. As long as I was the commander of the company, we never had one
24 such machine, but sometimes we loaned it or had the use of such machinery,
25 and this went through the regular requisition channels.
1 Q. Maybe this is a good time to ask you the following, I was actually
2 planning to do this later: What is the standard requisition procedure for
3 the requisition of machinery? How does this work?
4 A. If it is necessary to do any kind of construction work on the
5 lines or for the needs of the battalions, we then request such a machine
6 through the command of the brigade and through the staff of the brigade.
7 Then the brigade command sends a request to the Defence Ministry and then
8 they requisition the required equipment from state or private-owned
10 Q. Is it possible that you as the commander of the engineering
11 company, without the knowledge and approval of the commander, go to a
12 private company and requisition a machine that you need, you or any of the
14 A. This was never possible. It never even occurred to me to do
15 anything like that. First of all, the private companies would never give
16 me such equipment like that, and also this was not the correct procedure.
17 They had to give me such machinery, however, if it was requisitioned
18 through the Defence Ministry.
19 Q. Could the chief of the branch of service, Dragan Jokic, go to a
20 private company without approval or without an official request by the
21 commander of the chief of staff and requisition a machine?
22 A. No. That is not possible either.
23 Q. Did it happen that such machinery worked in the area of defence of
24 certain battalions?
25 A. There were all kinds of requisitions for the use of such
1 machinery, and all such requests were sent to the battalion command. The
2 machines would not come directly to us, but we did maintain the records
3 about that in order to keep track of fuel usage.
4 Q. That is exactly what I was going to ask you next, Mr. Radovic. So
5 is the procedure then that the commander of the battalion requests the
6 requisition from a battalion -- from a brigade commander and that such a
7 request would not go through the engineering company?
8 A. I don't know if there was such any cases or not. Usually it went
9 through engineering because these were engineering machines. So it would
10 go through that arm. It had to go through that arm in order to account
11 for fuel spent.
12 Q. I would like to give you an example. A machine is required to
13 operate in the area of the 6th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade for
14 certain construction or engineering works. The engineering company does
15 not have such a machine. There is such a machine in a privately owned
16 company, however. How is such a machine then requisitioned, on whose
17 request, and is a record of that kept with the engineering service?
18 A. It's requisitioned by standard procedure through the commander,
19 the commander of the brigade. When the request is made, it can either go
20 through us or it can be submitted directly by the person from the
21 battalion. The machine operators and the fuel, however, would go through
22 us. It's being recorded with us for the purpose of keeping track of the
23 fuel spent and who the operators were. We had operators who were in the
24 units, but we didn't have the machinery. We had people who were operators
25 of construction machinery, bulldozers and so on. They knew how to run
1 such machinery.
2 Q. Key question: Who commanded and issued tasks for the operator and
3 the engineering construction -- engineering machinery if they were in a
4 certain zone of responsibility of a certain battalion?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
6 MR. WAESPI: That is a two-part question, who issued tasks and who
7 commanded. So if that could be split, please.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, it's a compound question. You may rephrase
9 it, Mr. Stojanovic.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Radovic, the question is as follows: In the case that you
12 discussed just now, who commands the control -- the use of this machinery?
13 A. It's under the command of the commander in whose zone of
14 responsibility it is, the battalion commander.
15 Q. Does that mean -- I will rephrase my question in order to avoid a
16 leading question.
17 Is the commander of the engineering company then able to control
18 the use of that machinery if it's in the area of responsibility of the 6th
20 A. Mostly the practice was that when a machine was sent to the
21 battalion there is a qualified operator who would then perform the task in
22 accordance with the instructions of the battalion command.
23 Q. Now I would like to go back to the second part of the question.
24 Who issues the order of what that machine operator should do?
25 A. That arises out of the request. When the battalion makes the
1 request, then the order is expressed there as well. It's all part of some
2 kind of auxiliary building or road construction or something. It's
3 usually defined in the request. It was mostly road construction
4 machinery. The machinery could not work on the fortification and building
6 Q. And now I would like to ask you something. You mentioned several
7 times that you needed to account for the fuel spent and that these records
8 were kept by the engineer. What is this all about, Mr. Radovic?
9 A. When a machine is requisitioned, it of course requires diesel oil
10 or gas to run. When a machine was requisitioned according to its size,
11 the required amount of fuel would be approved necessary to carry out the
12 tasks. The fuel could be issued for one day or for several days, but it
13 had to be accounted for. Also, there had to be an accounting of whether
14 the fuel was actually spent in doing the task or whether somebody stole a
15 part of it. Once the task was completed, somebody would come to the
16 terrain, to the field, and inspect what the task was supposed to be and
17 whether the amount of fuel requested was justified and was actually used
18 in the implementation of a particular task.
19 Q. Then it is logical to ask the following: Why is this not done by
20 the battalions? Why do they not keep a record of the amount of fuel
21 spent? Why is this done by the engineering?
22 A. The battalions cannot have such machinery. This is construction
23 machinery by definition. They can possibly have trucks in order to supply
24 food to their units, but they cannot have such heavy machinery. This is
25 just the way the army is organised.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this is a
2 good time to go on a break. I'm about to move to a different topic, so
3 perhaps now this is a good moment to go on our break.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll have a break, and we will resume at quarter
5 to eleven.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.45 a.m.
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic. I believe that yesterday you told us
9 your direct examination would take one session, so I assume that you are
10 almost approaching to the end of your direct examination; right?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think I'll
12 complete the examination within the next ten minutes, and that's what I
13 promised Mr. Waespi too.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Minja, if you remember, we stopped off talking about the
17 engineering machinery and what machinery the engineers company had in
18 1995. So I should now like to go on with that topic and look at the
19 report on the work of the engineers and look at point 8.B, in fact. After
20 the bulldozers, we have records of a Torpedo excavator called a Schipper,
21 15 years old. Can you tell us what kind of machine that is? Do you
22 remember whether the machine existed, that piece of machinery, while you
23 were there?
24 A. Yes, I do remember. It was a Torpedo excavator, having the power
25 of a tractor, with two loaders, front loader and back loader, and I think
1 the manufacturer was the company of Torpedo in Rijeka.
2 Q. Was this machine able to dig large holes?
3 A. Usually the excavator's used to dig canals and smaller scale
4 construction work using smaller capacities.
5 Q. Can you tell us the size of the bucket that is used to load?
6 A. The front bucket is 30 in width and the 60 and 80 are the largest.
7 Half a cubic metre is the capacity.
8 Q. And finally, would you take a look at the next piece of machinery,
9 the BGH 700 excavator, ten years old. Do you know anything about that
10 particular machinery?
11 A. I think we had an excavator of this -- or, rather, we did have one
12 excavator, but I don't know whether it was the BGH 700 or what the
13 description was, but it had a large bucket.
14 Q. And was that piece of machinery able to dig holes?
15 A. That particular piece of machinery has a larger capacity and is
16 able to dig larger holes than the previous one.
17 Q. A moment ago you said that the machinery was not in working order,
18 that machine piece.
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Where was it located? Physically speaking, where was it?
21 A. It was in the Youth Settlement, as far as I remember.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher's assistance
24 again now, please, for another document to be shown to the witness. It is
25 an excerpt from the daily report book, logbook, of the company commander,
1 the entry for the 14th and 15th of July, and they are exhibits for
2 identification purposes. They are Prosecution exhibits, P513 and P521.
3 Q. Mr. Radovic, would you please take a look at the daily order or
4 task of the 15th of July, and they are written out in English -- I'm
5 sorry, in the B/C/S by hand. In the B/C/S version, they are written out
6 in handwriting. So may we look at the tasks of the 15th of July.
7 Have you found them?
8 A. Yes, I have.
9 Q. It is page 126 of the English version. So the next page, please,
10 Madam Usher.
11 Mr. Radovic, can we go through these tasks for the day. Who
12 issued those tasks? What does it say in line 1?
13 A. Company commander's order of the day for the 15th of July, 1995.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
15 MR. WAESPI: Just an objection because the witness usually answers
16 very quickly after questions. I just want to again reiterate that the
17 witness wasn't there. So he may be asked about perhaps a term, what's a
18 "motoristi," for instance, and these kind of issues, but certainly not
19 anything related to particular activities which happened on that day.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. On this issue we agree with the Prosecution. If
21 the document is self-evident, we could read that document by ourselves,
22 but if not, this witness was not there and you just ask this witness to
23 speculate. So try to rephrase your question. Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes.
25 I'm just going to go through this order of the day as an example of what
1 we spoke about earlier, and that will be the end of my examination.
2 Q. Mr. Radovic, what should an order of the day contain and what does
3 this particular order of the day contain? What is the company commander
5 A. He's saying precisely what is written down here. It says company
6 commander's order of the day. It says who the duty officer was on that
7 day, what parts of units were engaged in and what machinery was used
9 Q. Under points 5 and 6 of this document, it says "Work with ULT 220
10 at Orahovci," and number 6 is "Work with ULT at Petkovci." My question to
11 you is as follows: Was Orahovac in the area of responsibility of any
12 specific battalion of the Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. Yes, it was the area of responsibility of one of the battalions.
14 I'm not sure whether it was the 5th or which number.
15 Q. What about Petkovci? Are they in the area of responsibility of
16 one of the battalions of the Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. Yes, Petkovci is.
18 Q. And who is in charge of defending the area and who is in charge of
19 the machinery pieces used?
20 A. The commander of the company, the company commander is.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: First of all, he answered that already before the
23 break, who is in charge in theory, and again I object to specific dealings
24 with any of these issues which relate to a specific date where he wasn't
25 present. He can ask where Orahovac is and Zivinice is and so on, but not
2 JUDGE LIU: We have already said that the answer of this witness
3 concerning of these questions are kind of speculating, because this
4 witness was not there at that time. So you may ask some question, compare
5 with the orders or task assignments during this witness's period under
6 that specific task. Yes.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So, Mr. Radovic, my question would be as follows, directed to the
9 principle of the work of the commander of the engineers company: For
10 example, if in the order of the day it says the use of machines not
11 belonging to the engineers company, what then? And were sent to the area
12 of defence of a battalion. My question to you is as follows, in fact:
13 Who is in charge of the machinery and the people operating the machines?
14 Who issues orders to them? Who is in command?
15 A. They are subordinate to the command of the unit under whose
16 command they are placed.
17 MR. WAESPI: I believe that was asked --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the area of their responsibility.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, I believe so.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That
21 completes my examination-in-chief. I think the matter has been clarified.
22 Let me just say that the commander of the engineers company, Dragan
23 Jevtic, during these days was not in the engineers unit at the time. He
24 was with a group of engineers in Snagovo. And we were not able to go
25 through the documents in any other way than by looking at the company
1 commanders, the engineers document. It wasn't our objective to speak
2 about the events because he wasn't there, that's quite right. But that
3 complete my examination-in-chief. I have no further questions of this
5 Thank you, Mr. Radovic. You might be asked some questions by
6 Mr. Karnavas and the Prosecution team. Please be so good as to answer
7 their questions. Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: I believe that your statement will invite some
9 objections. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour. We do object to that, and I --
11 I will, unfortunately, point out that we do see Dragan Jevtic's name on
12 the daily order book. It is his signature. He has acknowledged it is his
13 signature, and there is a long story about how it ended up there. So --
14 which I don't -- I won't go into, but we agree, yes, he was out in the
15 field on those days, but all the rest of the stuff, whether they could
16 have gotten him or not, I won't comment on, it's not appropriate, and I
17 know you understand that. But there is -- to each story there is another
18 story, as you're aware. Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: We understand this issue is still in dispute, and it
20 is not proper for the counsel to present his case and to declare his
21 positions on such matters before the witness, Mr. Stojanovic. I hope you
22 could bear that in mind.
23 Yes, Mr. Karnavas, do you have any questions for this witness?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President; good morning, Your
25 Honours; good morning, sir. I have no questions for this witness.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 Any cross-examination? Mr. Waespi.
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President, I do have.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:
5 Q. And we can just kick off with the last document that you were
6 asked to talk about. That was P521, the document dated 15th July, 1995.
7 And, Mr. Radovic, we see here, just above "Tasks," the following
8 quote: "Days off to be taken only with approval of the company commander
9 and engineer in chief." The engineer in chief, that was, as we call him
10 here, the chief of engineers; is that correct?
11 A. I cannot know that or, rather, can I answer.
12 Q. Yes. I believe you have the B/C/S version. Doesn't it say
13 "nacelnik" engineer in B/C/S?
14 A. No. The "nacelnika inzinjerije" is not mentioned. It says "Days
15 off to be taken only with the approval of company commander," full stop.
16 There's nothing about the chief of engineers.
17 Q. If you -- the B/C/S version could be put onto the ELMO, please,
18 for a moment.
19 Just above the English word "task" there is a sentence that starts
20 with "Slobodni." And if you could read what it says.
21 A. I had one -- page 125, the wrong page. Sorry. I wasn't given the
22 right page.
23 Q. Okay. If I can repeat, "Days off to be taken only with approval
24 of the company commander and engineer in chief."
25 A. That's what it says here, yes.
1 Q. And that would be the chief of engineers.
2 A. Yes, chief of engineers, "nacelnik inzinjerije" yes.
3 Q. And that was Dragan Jokic, as far as you know, in July 1995?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. The document can be returned.
6 A. But he wasn't in charge of that. That didn't come under his
8 Q. Yes, but do you agree with me that it says "days off needs the
9 approval --"
10 A. Yes. That's what it says, yes.
11 Q. It needs the approval also of the chief of engineers. That's what
12 the document says.
13 A. It wasn't necessary. He was directly the company commander. But
14 as a rule, he is not in command, although it does say so here.
15 Q. I understand that, and we'll get to that, the way command was
16 exercised in those days.
17 Let me ask you first a couple of other matters about Mr. Jokic. I
18 believe you told us, and much of it we know already, he was captain when
19 you met him in 1992. Is that correct?
20 A. Captain or captain first class, I'm not quite sure of the rank.
21 Q. And later, I believe, he was promoted to major.
22 A. I think towards the very end of the war, 1995.
23 Q. And after the war he got promoted to lieutenant colonel. Are you
24 aware of that?
25 A. Yes. I heard about that.
1 Q. The second point I would like to raise: Do you know whether in
2 the engineers company, which you led for a while, a person with the
3 nickname of Brko, B-r-k-o, was present?
4 A. Yes, Slavko Bogicevic, nicknamed Brko, or "moustache." He was
5 deputy company commander.
6 Q. And I believe you talked briefly about him. Now, the second name
7 is Ostoja Djuric. Do you know a person of that name in your company?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
9 Q. What was he doing? Was he in one of the platoons?
10 A. I don't know exactly what he was listed as. He would go and
11 procure goods, repair machinery, that kind of thing. He didn't have any
12 engineering assignments in actual fact. The period I was there, at least.
13 Q. Now let me go back to the core of it. That's your role as a -- as
14 a company commander. Now, you -- you were a professional engineer. In
15 fact, you are a professional engineer.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you also had a military rank while you were leading that
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. What rank was that?
21 A. I was sergeant first class.
22 Q. And that's the rank you also had when you left the unit in May, I
24 A. When I left on the 28th I was promoted to the rank of second
25 lieutenant, on the 28th of June, 1995, once I had already left, but I was
1 still listed in the book by order of the Supreme Commander.
2 Q. Now, the background of Mr. Jevtic, who followed you, was quite
3 different in a military terminology; is that correct? He was a -- an
4 infantryman, I believe, was he not?
5 A. I think that's right. I didn't actually know about that, but
6 that's what he told me.
7 Q. And as you testified this morning, he had no rank.
8 A. He didn't, no, as far as I know.
9 Q. And he came from that platoon, the road platoon, which the people
10 liked to belong to because it was sort of a -- something attractive,
11 certainly more attractive than being on the front lines; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, when he took over, do you know for how long he stayed as a
14 company commander?
15 A. I don't know. According to what he said, September 1995 until he
16 left. From June to September that means. I know about that because he
17 told me, but I never saw it myself personally in any of the documents, but
18 as we worked together, he told me that. For a time I was his boss. I'm
19 in a different department, but he's now the boss in the department I used
20 to be in.
21 Q. And Major Jokic, the chief of the engineers, was there right from
22 the beginning. In fact, you told us this morning that he was part of the
23 founders of the engineering company in 1992.
24 A. At the beginning, he was there when that pioneers platoon was
25 established. Then he was in Kiseljak, in the battalion there, working on
1 engineers' tasks, obstruction tasks, obstacle construction, in actual
2 fact. He wasn't in the engineers company at the time. It was Mico Eric,
3 who was a reserve captain, he was there.
4 Q. Now, wouldn't it be natural that Major Jokic took a major role in
5 the operations of the engineers company after you had left with a novice
6 military person taking over? Wouldn't that be natural?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes? Yes, Mr. Stojanovic?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this is a
9 speculative question. The witness is being asked to assume or guess.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course it's a speculative question, but we'll
11 allow this question because the witness could give his answer whatever in
12 his mind.
13 You may proceed.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that the pioneers platoon
15 led by Cvoric had gained so much experience that they could work on their
16 own without having a commander. Mr. Jevtic did not have qualifications to
17 command them. He had experience because then he became a director. So he
18 had a natural ability to organise work. And with the help of the chief
19 and people like Coric in the pioneers, Lazarevic and the other engineers,
20 he was able to do this.
21 MR. WAESPI:
22 Q. Yes. So my question again would be: So you would expect
23 Mr. Jokic, Major Dragan Jokic, chief of engineers for two or three years,
24 to take an active role in the operations of the company. That was my
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I'm going to object at this point because now
2 he's asking to delve into Mr. Jokic's mindset. That's beyond speculation.
3 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no. You would expect Mr. Jokic to take the
4 active role in the operation. It's about his mind. This witness's mind,
5 not Mr. Jokic's mind.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe -- Your Honour, with all due respect --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: -- he's asking this gentleman to figure out what
9 Mr. Jokic would be doing. At least, that's how I --
10 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no. It was the expectation in this witness's
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: I understand it's a speculative question, and the
14 witness was, you know, not there after he left. I understand that. I've
15 already said that.
16 Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think the question
18 is vague when it refers to "active role." What is an active role? What
19 was the role, the active role, Dragan Jokic was supposed to have taken on?
20 We are now trying to show whether Dragan Jokic led the engineers
21 company. I have no problems with the question, but let my learned friend
22 explain what he means by "active role." Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: I believe that the witness has already heard your
24 objections, and whether it's active or not and how active it is, the
25 witness could answer it. Right?
1 Yes, Witness. Can you answer this question?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Mr. Jokic, he
3 would not take up an active role in leading the company. This was below
4 his level. He was a member of the command at the brigade staff level.
5 MR. WAESPI:
6 Q. Let me show you then a part of a witness statement Mr. Jevtic gave
7 to the Tribunal.
8 MR. WAESPI: And, Your Honours, this is Prosecution Exhibit P875.
9 And we do have a B/C/S version of it. And the relevant part is on page 31
10 and 32 in the English version.
11 Q. And in the B/C/S, Mr. Radovic, it's in the middle of page 25.
12 MR. WAESPI: And, Ms. Usher, I do have a marked version for the
14 Q. Mr. Jevtic, as we heard today at the end of your testimony, what's
15 been argued by counsel is that Mr. Jevtic, in fact, had to go to Snagovo
16 about the 13th, and he -- he then talks about the order he has been given
17 to go away, and let me just read out the English version. His answer was,
18 Mr. Jevtic, "The order was not given to me directly but was given to Major
19 Jokic -- was given to Major Jokic, since he was in the company, and 95 per
20 cent of his time he spent in the company; and basically he made all the
21 decisions, plus me, as acting company commander, plus I was just a private
22 and I couldn't make any decisions."
23 And then we move on. The interviewer asks him, and they talk
24 about the relationship he had, Mr. Jevtic with Mr. Jokic, and Mr. Jevtic
25 answers: "Yes, yes, thanks to that relationship, actually I accepted that
1 duty of acting company commander, because he promised me I won't have to
2 lead that unit, because basically I was not capable of leading the unit.
3 First of all, I'm not military person at all; and second, I was not from
4 the engineering. My basic training in the army was infantry. I have
5 never laid one mine. So objectively, I could not be a company commander.
6 But I accepted to become acting company commander because Major Jokic
7 convinced me that he's going to do all that work while I'm there, but in
8 practice, I didn't make any decisions, because when the tasks were
9 assigned in the morning when Major Jokic came, we would sit together. He
10 would sit behind the desk, the main desk, and the rest of the group
11 consisted of me and the platoon commanders, plus morale officer within the
12 company. And the major was giving orders to everyone what they are going
13 to do, either go and cut the wood, cherry woods, and I went a million
14 times to cut the wood myself."
15 Now, does that change your opinion on whether Major Jokic would
16 play an active role or not while Mr. Jevtic was the company commander of
17 the engineers company?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I would like to register an objection
19 at this point in time. First of all, the Prosecution made a big deal
20 yesterday and today that this gentleman should only discuss matters up
21 until the point that he was in the position that he held. He left. Now
22 he's being asked to speculate about a period when he wasn't there on the
23 basis of a statement given by someone where he might, for a variety of
24 reasons, be claiming all sorts of things. So I don't think it's proper to
25 try to elicit an answer or conclusions from this gentleman based on this
1 statement, given that he wasn't there at that point in time.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any reply?
3 MR. WAESPI: First of all, I wonder the grounds Mr. Karnavas is
4 objecting, since he chose not to elect to cross-examine. The other answer
5 is the witness was called. Otherwise, why would he be called if it wasn't
6 somewhat relevant? Because he talked about -- I believe it was Exhibit
7 D26, an exhibit I think dated 1974 and somewhat, you know, relates to the
8 period we are talking about. So I believe we have all right to say the
9 way it really was, the way the company commander, who was active at that
10 time, saw his relationship to Major Jokic. I think it's very relevant.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Waespi, for some questions which are not
12 directly related to the criminal responsibilities of the accused, I
13 believe that some speculative questioning is allowed, but this piece of
14 the evidence is very sensitive, which is directly related to the alleged
15 criminal activities of the accused. So I'm afraid that this witness is
16 not the proper witness to give some comments and testimony of this piece
17 of the information at this stage.
18 Maybe you could change of your question or maybe in the future you
19 could find some more proper witness to give some evidence on that issue.
20 MR. WAESPI: I don't want to dispute with you, Mr. President, but
21 we were led to believe that everything was done according to the rules.
22 We have seen allusions to these rules. I just mentioned 74, I believe.
23 And then here we have a witness who basically seems to confirm that. So I
24 believe we are entitled to put it right, to confront him with the way it
25 was really done, not in books but in reality. But if you are saying that
1 this witness can't say anything relevant about the time, he wasn't there,
2 then of course that's fine.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
4 MR. WAESPI: If I could have a moment, please, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. WAESPI: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any redirect, Mr. Stojanovic? Your
9 microphone, please.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Just one question
11 for Mr. Radovic. I would like to show the witness an exhibit we have
12 used. That's 5 -- 513 -- P513 and P --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the number.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] -- the orders, and I would like
15 to ask Mr. Radovic to comment on some points.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Radovic, if you recall, at one point you
18 said --
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you please put 124, page
20 124 in English, on the ELMO.
21 Q. At one point, Mr. Radovic, you said that in the daily order there
22 was an error when it said that days off are to be taken as approved by the
23 company commander and the chief of engineers. Do you recall?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Would you please look at the order of the 12th of July.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. What does it say?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: Objection. I don't think that's within the scope of
6 what -- what I said.
7 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, I understand your point, but first of
8 all you have to establish the relevance, you know. I believe that the
9 Prosecution used another -- another document, but here we have this
10 document here. You may ask some questions along this line, but first of
11 all there must be some relevance concerning the cross-examination of
12 Mr. Waespi's.
13 MR. WAESPI: And I don't think the witness said there was an
14 error. He said he had looked at the wrong document, the way I believe --
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. WAESPI: He didn't say there was an error. So if that's your
17 presumption, then it's wrong in my view.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I agree with the Prosecution on this particular
19 issue, but you may proceed.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in that case, I
21 think there is a misunderstanding. We have to -- I have to ask the
22 witness about the 15th of July then, by your leave.
23 Q. Mr. Radovic, would you please look at the daily order of the 15th
24 of July.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
1 put page 126 on the ELMO.
2 Q. Mr. Radovic, it says here: "Days off: To be taken only with the
3 approval of the company commander and the chief of engineers."
4 A. That's what it says here.
5 Q. My question is: If you can look at the daily order for the
6 following day, the 16th of July, does it say anything about days off?
7 A. Days off are not to be taken.
8 Q. Would you please look at the order on the previous day, the 14th
9 of July.
10 A. "Days off: To be taken as per the published schedule as approved
11 by the company commander."
12 Q. Does it say here that they should also be approved by the chief of
14 A. No, it doesn't.
15 Q. Do you think that on the 15th of July, where it says days off to
16 be taken with the approval of the company commander and chief of
17 engineers, that this is a mistake by the person who typed this up?
18 A. Well, it wasn't usual for the chief of engineers to approve days
20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Waespi.
21 MR. WAESPI: That's again asking for speculation about something.
22 In the event, he wasn't present.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, in this case we'll allow the question to be
24 asked and then answered, because it is our intention to know some reasons,
25 and the witness has the right to give some explanations, whatever it is.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Radovic, in the context of the response you gave to
3 Mr. Waespi, did the chief of engineers approve days off for members of the
4 engineers company or was this the task of the company commander?
5 A. It was the task of the company commander, and it was only I who
6 did that.
7 Q. Do you know where Dragan Jokic was in those days in July 1995?
8 A. July 1995? I suppose he was in Zvornik. I don't know. I wasn't
9 there, so I can't really know where he was.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, I have
12 no further questions.
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Waespi.
14 MR. WAESPI: Given the extent of redirect, am I allowed to ask one
15 further question?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that all the questions asked by the --
17 Mr. Stojanovic was within the scope of your cross-examination. I see no
18 reason for you to ask any questions. First of all, in this case we
19 believe that the document speaks for itself. Secondly, the witness was
20 not there. All his answer is kind of speculative nature. With those two
21 understandings, I don't think you should ask any questions again.
22 MR. WAESPI: Sure. I wanted to ask him about another speculation,
23 but that's okay, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well -- thank you.
25 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Mr. Stojanovic?
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. D12/3, the
2 summary report in the engineering area. All the other exhibits have
3 already been admitted into evidence, although I'm not sure at this moment
4 whether D12/3 has been admitted. If it has not, I wish to tender it, but
5 I have now been advised that it has already been admitted. Therefore, we
6 have no new exhibits to tender.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, I was informed that this document has been
8 already admitted into the evidence, so there's no need for you to tender
9 it once again.
10 On the part of the Prosecution, do you have any documents to
11 tender at this stage?
12 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, Witness, thank you very much for
14 coming to The Hague to give your evidence. The usher will show you out of
15 the room, and we wish you a pleasant journey back home. Thank you very
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, do you have another witness waiting
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. As we agreed,
21 my colleague Mr. Lukic will question the next witness.
22 JUDGE LIU: So there are no protective measures for the next
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: By the way, there is a change of schedule. Tomorrow
1 morning we'll sit in this courtroom instead of afternoon since tomorrow is
2 Friday afternoon. And as the rule of rotation, this week we should sit in
3 the afternoon instead of the morning, but since another case is not on, so
4 we moved the cases. Our sitting is in the morning. So tomorrow morning
5 we will resume in the same courtroom at 9.00 instead of the afternoon.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
13 WITNESS: BRANO DJURIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Lukic. Your direct examination, please.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Djuric.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. We don't have too much time today, so we will try to speed up the
21 examination-in-chief as much as we can. At the same time, I would also
22 like you to pause after I put my question so that the interpreters can
23 have the opportunity to translate everything into English and French.
24 For the record, could you please tell us your first and last name.
25 A. My name is Brano Djuric.
1 Q. Could you please spell your first and last name.
2 A. B-r-a-n-o D-j-u-r-i-c diacritic.
3 Q. Since the two of us met for the first time yesterday evening,
4 there were some errors in your personal data which we provided to the
5 Prosecution and to the Trial Chamber, so I would like you to tell us now
6 your date of birth.
7 A. I was born on the 31st of January, 1960.
8 Q. Where were you born?
9 A. In Mladjevici, municipality of Ilijas.
10 Q. And which schools did you attend?
11 A. I completed the geodesic technical school.
12 Q. After completing your schooling, where did you get your first job?
13 A. I started to work in the Bosna putevi Sarajevo construction firm.
14 Q. And in which town did you work?
15 A. I worked mostly out in the field because this company does a lot
16 of projects.
17 Q. Did you work in Zvornik before the war?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. Where did you live before you came to Zvornik?
20 A. Before I came to Zvornik, I lived in Zivinice, and this is where I
21 worked in the municipal geodesic administration, the land surveyors
23 Q. Is that where you were when the war broke out?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. When you did you leave Zivinice?
1 A. I left Zivinice on the 3rd of May, 1992.
2 Q. Why did you leave Zivinice?
3 A. I left Zivinice because of combat operations. Before that, my
4 wife and children had already left for Banja Koviljaca in the municipality
5 of Loznica.
6 Q. Could you please tell us how you came to Zvornik. Which route did
7 you take?
8 A. I went to Zvornik with an acquaintance of mine, in a car, and we
9 used the Tuzla-Bijeljina-Zvornik route.
10 Q. Did you join - and if so, when - the army of Republika Srpska?
11 A. I joined the army of Republika Srpska on the 15th of May. I
12 joined the Niksic brigade of the Ilijas municipality. This is my place of
14 Q. How long did you stay in Ilijas?
15 A. I stayed in Ilijas until the end of August 1992.
16 Q. Where did you go after you left Ilijas?
17 A. I went to the municipality of Zvornik after I left Ilijas. That
18 is where my family found accommodation. After arriving there, I joined
19 the Zvornik Brigade.
20 Q. Which unit of the Zvornik Brigade did you become a member of?
21 A. On the 10th of September, 1992, I officially transferred to the
22 engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade.
23 Q. Were you immediately deployed to one of the platoons of the
24 engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade?
25 A. Yes, I was. Since I was a land surveyor, they believed that a
1 person was needed to record the minefields. So I joined the engineering
2 platoon of the engineering company.
3 Q. Once you came to the Zvornik Brigade, did you have any rank?
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. Besides serving your regular military duty, did you have any other
6 kind of military training?
7 A. No.
8 Q. How were you trained in mine handling then?
9 A. There were people, soldiers, in the engineering company who were
10 trained in mining and explosive devices, so they came to train the
11 soldiers, the men, to do these tasks, and that is how I was also trained
12 to lay mines and for de-mining. And I also mapped and kept records of the
13 minefields that were laid down.
14 Q. In 1995, in July, were you still a member of the pioneers platoon
15 of the engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Could you please explain to us in more detail the structure of the
18 pioneering platoon of the engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade in
19 1995. More specifically, in July of 1995.
20 A. The pioneering -- or the pioneers platoon of the engineering
21 company at the time, in my assessment - I was just a regular soldier at
22 the time - numbered about 15 men who were trained to lay down mines and
23 dismantle them.
24 Q. Did the pioneers platoon have its commander?
25 A. Yes, it did.
1 Q. What was the name of the pioneers platoon commander?
2 A. At the time, the commander of the pioneers platoon was Stevo
3 Cvoric. I'm now speaking about July 1995.
4 Q. Were there frequent changes in the composition of the pioneers
5 platoon; and, if so, why?
6 A. Yes. The pioneers platoon, from the beginning of the war, from
7 1992 until the end of the war, was re-staffed three times because this is
8 a very dangerous job in wartime, and people were killed either by mines or
9 in combat. Some were killed, some were wounded, so that new men had to be
10 trained three times in order to replenish the pioneers platoon.
11 Q. Were the members of the pioneers platoon in one place all the time
12 or were they deployed in different units?
13 A. The members of the pioneers platoon were in one place. Only when
14 the entire line of defence moved, then they operated compactly, as a
15 whole. They would then lay down minefields. In any other case, they were
16 deployed in battalions, in groups of two or three sappers per battalion.
17 Q. In which way were orders issued and conveyed to you, the ones that
18 you were supposed to carry out?
19 A. Mostly we received oral orders from the company commander. Also,
20 they were conveyed through the means of communication if we were out in
21 the field.
22 Q. And why were commands not issued by the platoon commander?
23 A. In most cases, the platoon commander was also deployed in one of
24 the battalions. In this case, he was deployed together with me to the 3rd
25 Battalion. We called it the Memici battalion. I'm speaking about July
2 Q. When you were deployed in the battalions, did you receive your
3 assignments from the battalion commander?
4 A. We were coordinated by the battalion commander based on their
5 requirements, and we laid down mines in the front section of the line in
6 accordance with how we were trained to do that, with the cooperation of
7 the soldiers of the battalion. This is how we did our job.
8 Q. And what was the form of this cooperation with the soldiers who
9 were assigned to you from the battalion and who were not members of the
10 engineers platoon?
11 A. Their primary task was to monitor the enemy to see if we were
12 being watched. They were also supposed to protect us sappers from any
13 possible attacks from the enemy. That was their main assignment.
14 Q. So those soldiers were in fact providing security for you and
15 didn't take part in the mining process itself; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Do you know whether the pioneers platoon ever received orders from
18 the chief of engineers in the staff of the Zvornik Brigade?
19 A. Specifically, we didn't receive orders from the chief of engineers
20 but from the commander of the company, or sometimes the platoon commander,
21 if he was present.
22 Q. For example, if you were deployed in the battalions, who did you
23 report to about the tasks you had accomplished?
24 A. While we were mining for the needs of the battalion, we would
25 first report to the battalion commander, submit a report to him, where we
1 worked. Then afterwards, once we arrived back at barracks, we would hand
2 in the records and diagrams of the minefields to the company commander,
3 and then we would deal with all the information in the field, with all the
4 attending diagrams and then compile a final report.
5 Q. Did you report directly to the chief of engineers in the staff and
6 headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade?
7 A. No, never. We never did that.
8 Q. Did your men go to the Wolves of the Drina unit, for example?
9 Were they assigned to them; and, if so, what was their assignment?
10 A. The soldiers of the pioneers platoon were deployed in the platoons
11 of the Vukovi unit only when those units were engaged in battles and
12 combat, and then two soldiers, assault soldiers, were deployed there when
13 they were engaged in offensive operations, and that was their task. If a
14 mine was seen, they had to neutralise that mine, for example.
15 Q. Faced with a situation when the members of the pioneers platoon
16 were assigned to the Wolves of the Drina, the Drina Wolves unit, were they
17 attached to their commander and resubordinated to their commander?
18 A. Once they were deployed to the Drina Wolves unit, they were
19 subordinated to the platoon commander, the person in charge of the unit
20 engaged in a particular operation.
21 Q. Where were you yourself, for example, from the 6th of July up
22 until the 20th of July, 1995? Can you recapitulate and give us your
23 movements during that period of time?
24 A. From the 6th of July, 1992, I was in the Youth Settlement of
25 Karakaj, which is where the engineers company had its headquarters. I
1 think that sometime around the 10th of July I left together with two other
2 sappers to join the number 3 battalion that was called the Memic
3 Battalion, and I stayed there until the 16th of July, in the evening.
4 1992 [as interpreted], of course.
5 Q. And what happened on the 16th of July, 1995?
6 A. On the 16th of July, 1995, what happened was this: The forces of
7 the BH army, and we called them the Muslim forces, from Srebrenica
8 launched - how shall I put this? - a breakthrough towards Tuzla in the
9 region of Baljkovica.
10 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, now we should show the witness the map,
11 and I don't think we have time to go into this area, so if we may make a
12 break at this point and continue after the break.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, of course. I'm entirely in your hands
14 concerning the break. So we will resume at 12.30.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.55 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Lukic. Please continue.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 I would like to ask Madam Usher for her help.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Djuric, when we were talking yesterday, we
21 used a map which was marked by another witness. I would like to ask you
22 to orient yourself on this new map as I put some questions to you on the
23 topic that we will be dealing with now.
24 You said that until the 16th of July, 1995, you were in one place.
25 Can you tell us where you were and also show it on the map.
1 A. On the 16th of July, 1995, I was in the 3rd Battalion, and that is
2 the axis of Memici, and this is where it is on the map.
3 Q. That day there was an attack by the 2nd Corps of the army of the B
4 and H, as you said.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where were you on the 16th after this attack?
7 A. After the attack on the 16th, they informed us in the evening at
8 the battalion command that the engineering platoon should report to
9 Karakaj, and then they brought us to the Youth Settlement, Omladinsko
10 Naselje, in Karakaj, where we spent the night.
11 Q. Did you return to the area of Memici over the next few days; and
12 if so, when?
13 A. No. Already the next day, on the 17th of July, a group of sappers
14 - there were about six or seven of us - went to the 4th Battalion in
15 Baljkovica. I'm indicating it here on the map.
16 Q. Which tasks did you receive and who issued these tasks?
17 A. We were tasked by the company commander to go to the 4th Battalion
18 because the line was severed in that area because of the passage of Muslim
19 forces; namely, the VRS pulled back to the left towards Baljkovica and
20 towards this other part. This is where the line was cut. And it was our
21 task to lay mines again in this area in front of the first line of
23 Q. This area that you are pointing to, does that have a name, that
24 area or that sector?
25 A. We called this area the Gresnik trench. This is where the line
1 was physically severed for some 2 to 300 metres. It was not possible to
2 lay down trenches there. This Gresnik was at the end of the line, then it
3 was severed, and then on the other side of the river the line of trenches
4 resumed again. The place is actually called Baljkovica.
5 Q. So on the 17th you left. That is the next day, according to our
6 estimates. What did you do?
7 A. Yes. My group of sappers began to lay mines in front of the
8 lines, because the already existing minefields were quite damaged by the
9 artillery or with the passage of the infantry forces. So we began laying
10 down mines again on the 17th of July, 1995.
11 Q. When did you complete the laying down of the minefields in that
13 A. We stayed there for two more days, I think, the 18th and the 19th,
14 to complete the laying down of the minefield in that sector.
15 Q. Was Dragan Jokic there with you there during that time?
16 A. Yes. Major Jokic was there. I saw him on the 18th of July in
17 this Gresnik trench, which I mentioned earlier. That's where I saw him.
18 Q. Will you please tell us what happened on the 18th of July, 1995.
19 Do you recall anything of that day?
20 A. Before that - I don't know exactly what time it was, I think it
21 was maybe around noon - we were on a break. I and a couple of my comrades
22 were in a trench. At that moment, the soldiers brought five young boys to
23 the Gresnik trench. They were Muslim boys going towards Tuzla, and that
24 is when our soldiers came upon them quite close to the trench in the
1 They brought them to the trench. I was there at the time. Major
2 Jokic spoke with them, offered to them to eat something for lunch, to
3 drink something. He talked to them, and then at one point he asked, do
4 any of the sappers -- "Are any of the sappers here? We would need to let
5 these boys go, but somebody would need to lead them through the
6 minefields." I was there, so I said, "I'm here, Major, sir." At that
7 point, two other soldiers from the trench went with me to guard me. I
8 walked in front, the two soldiers walked behind me, and then the young
9 boys walked behind them. Of course they were at a distance from me. I
10 was walking ahead because of the mines. At my sign that they should stop,
11 I -- I then continued and I disarmed the mines, and then we would continue
12 to walk.
13 The terrain there is covered with trees. We walked for another
14 100 metres through these trees. This is not a coloured map so you cannot
15 see where the meadows are and where the woods are. This place here is
16 where the meadows were, and this is where the forest was.
17 I told them to seek shelter behind some trees, and I called out to
18 the Muslim soldiers who were quite close, across from the meadow in their
19 own trenches. At some point one of them responded and asked what we
20 wanted, and then once again I called out loudly, saying that we had some
21 young boys here that I wanted to let through and that they should not
22 shoot and that they should make sure that those boys don't hit any of
23 their mines. They didn't believe us. So I asked the boys to step out
24 into the clearing, into the meadow. Very slowly, a little bit afraid,
25 they did walk out of their cover, and at the moment they saw them they
1 said, "Oh, yes. That is really so." So the three of us, myself and the
2 two soldiers who were guarding me, waited for the other side to take over
3 the boys. It wasn't a large distance. And then we went back to the
4 trench, and as we were going back, I rearmed the mines again.
5 So this is all that I wanted to say about this event.
6 Q. Just one question about this: Did you see if the boys made it
7 safely to the other side?
8 A. Yes. I waited as they were walking across. The grass was quite
9 high, so I waited until they entered into their part of the forest. One
10 of the soldiers from the other side walked ahead to meet them, so I
11 couldn't really see much further. But later, as their soldiers were
12 calling out to each other, I could hear that they had made it safely
13 across to the other side. They also thanked us.
14 Q. Did you hear that sometime in mid-July there were executions of
15 captured Muslims?
16 A. At the time, I didn't hear about that. I only heard about it when
17 I returned after the 19th or the 20th of July to the engineering company
18 unit. From the stories of other soldiers I heard that something had
19 happened, but I didn't know any details.
20 Q. Did you ever receive any official information about those
22 A. No. I was just a regular soldier. I was never informed
23 officially about this by anyone.
24 Q. How did you find out about these killings?
25 A. From stories of people, the things that the soldiers were saying
1 and so on.
2 Q. Now we will be moving to our last topic that we wish to cover in
3 this examination-in-chief. The period that we will be talking about does
4 not correspond to the period mentioned in the indictment. We will
5 actually be discussing the character of Dragan Jokic.
6 After the signing of the Dayton Accords, did you personally take
7 part in the de-mining in the Zvornik Brigade zone of defence --
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. -- which were laid down by your pioneers platoon.
10 A. Yes. I personally took place in the de-mining of those
12 Q. Did Dragan Jokic take part in these operations?
13 A. Dragan Jokic took an active part in the de-mining of the terrain,
14 because according to his military occupational speciality, and I forgot to
15 mention this earlier when I was talking about this, sometimes in
16 coordination with us, he also took part in the laying down of minefields
17 so that when the war was ended, he took an active part in the de-mining of
18 those same fields and in the restoration of the terrain.
19 Q. Would you please tell us, in which areas did you complete your
20 de-mining, and did some minefields stay uncleared; and if so, why was
22 A. The Zvornik Brigade -- actually, the engineering company of the
23 Zvornik Brigade worked from the river Spreca in the direction of
24 north-east all the way to the border with the municipality of Ugljevik.
25 But this is much further, you cannot see this on the map. So this is an
1 area about 40 kilometres long, according to my estimates. It's so long
2 because this is not going in a straight line.
3 The sappers de-mined all the mines from the river Spreca via
4 Memici, in this whole area, up until the settlement of Boskovici. In that
5 area the mines were left as they were because there was no record or
6 sketch of the minefields in that area. The mines were too close. The
7 mines were laid down at night. And that area was not officially recorded.
8 So that was the only part that was left over.
9 And then we continued on the other side all the way until the
10 border with the municipality of Ugljevik.
11 That whole area was totally de-mined, and as far as I know, from
12 the time that the war ended up until the present, no single case of any
13 accidents or injuries of civilians by mines were recorded. As far as I
15 Q. In the process of de-mining, did it happen that any of the sappers
16 were wounded and, if so, do you know who they were?
17 A. As far as I know, in the area of the village of Setici, Goran
18 Tomic was wounded. That was the name of the sapper. Another one, a new
19 man, was also wounded. His leg was blown off by a mine, so he is an
20 invalid as a result of that accident.
21 Q. After the war, did the pioneers platoon of the engineers company
22 of the Zvornik Brigade receive any kind of recognition from SFOR for the
23 de-mining that it carried out?
24 A. The SFOR issued oral recognition and commended us for the work
25 that we did. I recall one detail where one high-ranking officer of the US
1 army was showing his soldiers how you could, in a classic and very simple
2 way, keep records and sketches of minefields and then successfully de-mine
3 the same fields without the use of any modern technology. But like I
4 said, these were just oral recognition and commendations that we received.
5 Q. You said that as to the crimes against the Muslims of Srebrenica,
6 are concerned, you heard that from the stories that were told; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In those stories or, rather, the rumours going round, was Dragan
10 Jokic ever mentioned as a perpetrator in those events?
11 A. As far as I remember, his name was never mentioned in that
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jokic [sic]. That would be all that the Defence of
14 Mr. Dragan Jokic had to ask you. You will now be answering questions from
15 Mr. Karnavas, if he has any, and from the Prosecution, if they have any,
16 and possibly from Their Honours the Trial Chamber. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
18 Any questions you put to the witness, Mr. Karnavas?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour, I have no questions for this
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any cross-examination, Mr. Waespi?
22 MR. WAESPI: No cross-examination, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, at this stage are there any
24 documents to tender? Mr. Lukic?
25 MR. LUKIC: We used only this map, and it has already been
1 admitted, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: I guess there is no document to tender from the
5 Prosecution side. Yes.
6 Well, Witness, thank you very much indeed for your coming to The
7 Hague to give your testimony. Now the usher will show you out of the
8 room, and we wish you a pleasant journey back home. You may go now.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, do we have another witness
12 waiting outside?
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. As I promised
14 yesterday, we thought we'd complete these two witnesses today. Our
15 witness for tomorrow will be arriving in the course of the afternoon, and
16 we'll have a talk to him between 6.00 and 8.00, and we'll be ready to go
17 ahead with the examination-in-chief of the next witness tomorrow morning.
18 So we're keeping to the schedule.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But -- but I think we lose another 50 minutes
20 for today, and since we have a long list of witnesses next week, so if we
21 could do the testimony of the witness as early as possible, that will
22 greatly improve our efficiency. But since we don't have the witness for
23 today, I believe that we have to adjourn, and we will resume tomorrow
24 morning, 9.00, in the same courtroom. The hearing is adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.54 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Friday, the 16th day
2 of July, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.