1 Thursday, 24 May 2007
2 [Defence Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 4.05 p.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before we have the opening statement, I'll ask
7 the court deputy to give numbers to the documents that we mentioned
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Further to the oral decision by the Trial Chamber earlier today,
11 D34 MFI will be Exhibit D34; D94 MFI will be Exhibit D94; D107 MFI will
12 be Exhibit D107; D104 MFI will be Exhibit D104; D109 MFI will be Exhibit
13 D109. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I also want to clarify the matter that was
15 raised by the accused in relation to the time of his arrival and time of
16 his departure and the fact that he has to wait for such a long time. It
17 is essentially a matter for the Dutch government, but I quite understand
18 the position of the accused and, indeed, of any human being who would
19 find himself in a position where he has to sit and wait doing nothing for
20 an hour and a half or two hours.
21 The conduit between the Tribunal and the Dutch government in a
22 matter such as this is the Registrar, and I will instruct the
23 court deputy to bring this matter to his attention so that appropriate
24 representations may be made to the Dutch government.
25 Now, Mr. Tapuskovic, I understand that you will make an opening
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may proceed.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, about 20 days ago
5 we had an opportunity to present some of our general views in respect of
6 Rule 98 bis, and since I spoke about that at the time, I will not have to
7 deal with that again now. I'm referring to what it was that I was saying
8 then; namely, on the long-term campaign of shelling civilian sites and
9 the civilian population of Sarajevo with a view to intimidating the
10 population, killing it, wounding it, and committing inhumane acts against
11 the civilian population. There is no reason for me to repeat any of what
12 I said then. I believe that in my introductory remarks I would not have
13 to give any particular assessments that rather belong to the final
14 arguments in a case. I'm just supposed to indicate some of the elements
15 that the Defence will deal with during its part of these proceedings.
16 Again, I have to repeat that we were, indeed, in a delicate
17 situation at the moment when we were deciding on the evidence we wish to
18 call and today when we speak about all of that. Since we are still
19 awaiting to see the fate of adjudicated facts. This has caused great
20 difficulty for us, but I'm not going to dwell on that either. In a way,
21 when I thought about my opening statement today, I really did bear that
22 in mind, as well.
23 During the Prosecution case, you heard a number of witnesses, I
24 have to say that, and their statements primarily had to do with the
25 experience of the victims. Of course, in such proceedings, that had to
1 be dominant. What I can say is that none of these witnesses had seen
2 soldiers in Sarajevo, none of them had observed weapons, none of these
3 witnesses had observed any military activity from Sarajevo. According to
4 what they said, this was a town of civilians that was exposed to horrid
5 terror, where the only objective was killings, woundings, inhumane acts
6 against civilians. I certainly understand all injured parties, so I'm
7 not going to dwell on this any longer.
8 Also, you heard a great many witnesses here who were policemen,
9 who also know nothing about activity coming from town, who also did not
10 see weapons, who also did not have occasion to note any serious
11 activities coming from town. And, of course, at the end, one will have
12 to assess what they had said, also in the context of what the Defence
13 will have to say during its case.
14 In their view, this was a civilian environment in which the
15 police, like in any civilian environment, worked on crime investigations
16 and they handled that the way they described it, with the difficulties
17 involved due to the constant gun-fire that the town was exposed to.
18 Of course, the Prosecution brought a number of witnesses here
19 before you who were international observers from UNPROFOR and so on.
20 When these witnesses testified, the Prosecution insisted only on the
21 civilian dimension of the environment where all of this took place. I
22 don't want to refer to all the witnesses called, but expert witness Donia
23 said inter alia that indeed at that point in time, the town of Sarajevo
24 was a civilian environment, and there's no need to repeat all of that
25 now. However, at any rate, what dominants in the Prosecution's position
1 is that this was a civilian setting inhabited by people who were exposed
2 to the suffering referred to in the indictment.
3 What the Defence will try to do is to bring in a number of people
4 who were - and I'm not going to say on the other side of the front - but
5 people who also lived in that town, also in the inner city that was a
6 protected area for all, including those who lived in the inner city in
7 certain areas that could not be separated that easily. These areas were
8 also supposed to be treated as protected areas - that was the rule - and
9 they experienced what they did, they will try to describe that here
10 before you, and then you will be able to see all the facts, and you will
11 be in a position to assess the responsibility of Dragomir Milosevic
12 properly in this way.
13 Of course, I'm not going to bring victims here because we are not
14 in a position to do that. I am going to call here before you people who
15 fought and who, throughout the war - and I have to look at the position
16 of Dragomir Milosevic - who were in the area at the time. I cannot bring
17 in policemen. I will perhaps call a single Defence witness who's a
18 policeman who will be able to say to you that the same kind of
19 investigations were conducted in other places within the inner city or on
20 the other side of the front line, if I can put it that way, so that you
21 know, at least up to a point, about what was going on on the other side
22 as well.
23 If I manage to, and I hope I will, I'm going to bring here before
24 you a single witness who is a member of UNPROFOR, an international
25 observer, who will be of assistance or should be of assistance in terms
1 of clarifying one of the key incidents mentioned in the indictment.
2 Let me now move on to this problem that particularly has to be
3 accentuated. In the initial indictment, and not even in this amended
4 indictment dated the 18th of December, 2006 - I'm trying to speak slowly
5 because of the interpreters, because I did not provide any of this
6 material to the interpreters in view of all the busy work we had.
7 But nowhere in the indictment is there any reference to an armed
8 conflict between the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and the 1st Corps of the
9 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is no mention of a clash between two
10 armies in that area. It is true that my colleague Mr. Waespi -- well,
11 sorry, it wasn't you, Mr. Waespi. You now have this difficult job ahead
12 of you, but who actually said this -- the person who actually said this
13 was Mr. Whiting. It was mentioned during the testimony of Mr. Donia, and
14 he says the line of conflict was static, and the SRK held the line with a
15 firm hand, although the army in Sarajevo had four times more soldiers
16 than the SRK, they had 75.000 soldiers, and so on and so forth.
17 At any rate, that is what was stated in Mr. Whiting's opening
18 statement. However, I have to say, and I insist, that this was mentioned
19 by way of an illustration, and that this fact remains that this armed
20 conflict is not referred to at all in the indictment. Truth to tell, if
21 you look at paragraph 26 of the indictment, it says:
22 "At all material times relevant to this indictment, an armed
23 conflict existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the territory of the former
25 That was said at the very end of the indictment as a post
1 scriptum, as if that had nothing to do whatsoever with Sarajevo itself.
2 It was stated that that was a conflict that existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 in certain areas, or rather, that in the former Yugoslavia there was an
4 armed conflict, but nowhere -- quite literally, nowhere in the entire
5 indictment is there any mention of the armed conflict as a fact that did
6 exist. And there is no mention in particular of the 1st Corps of the
7 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as if it never existed.
8 There is a single spot in the indictment, in paragraph 7, where
9 it says that:
10 "In Sarajevo hostilities broke out after Bosnia-Herzegovina was
11 recognised by the international community on the 7th of April, 1992."
12 That is correct. But hostilities between who? Which two
13 parties? It is never stated, and yet again they try to avoid stipulating
14 that clearly, just as they did try to avoid mentioning the existence of
15 an armed conflict.
16 I understand that this may refer for April -- to April 1992 at
17 the very outset, but during the material time when Mr. Milosevic was in
18 command, what was in existence were both the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and
19 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And to mention hostilities in such a way
20 without going into detail and without mentioning facts that I hope will
21 be proven through our case was responsible. I believe some of it was
22 already corroborated by some of other witnesses during the Prosecution
23 case. I believe the indictment cannot be viewed as such, unless it is
24 corroborated by a decision from the Bench; only then can some importance
25 be attached to the way it was phrased.
1 In the same paragraph, it is also said that:
2 "The city was subsequently subjected to blockade and relentless
3 bombardment and sniper attacks. Bombardment and sniper attacks mainly
4 came from positions in the hills around and overlooking Sarajevo, from
5 which the attackers had a clear, detailed, and commanding view of the
6 city and its civilian population."
7 This is not the right moment to try and assess or guess who it
8 was that was on the hills overlooking Sarajevo, who it was that took
9 advantage of that geographical position during the material time.
10 Because in the proceedings so far, we heard a lot about that. Therefore,
11 I do not wish to state any position now. However, to state that a
12 military crew was stationed for three and a half years up on a hill,
13 whoever that hill belonged to, in order to have a commanding view of the
14 civilian population, in my view - well, how should I put it? It is
15 nonsense and I'm not afraid of using that word.
16 To take up such position can only have a singular goal of
17 obtaining a commanding view of enemy positions in a clash of two armies.
18 It doesn't matter who occupied a particular hill because being positioned
19 on a hill, having artillery there in order to target a civilian
20 environment, well, that is beyond comprehension for any human. That is
21 why at this moment I did not wish to comment on who it was on those
22 hills. We will try to address that during our case within the authority
23 that we have as Defence.
24 To try and be direct, by our evidence, although we've heard some
25 things during the Prosecution phase, we will try to show that throughout
1 the material time, mentioned in the indictment against General Dragomir
2 Milosevic, that there was a frontal as well as in-depth and in-width, an
3 armed conflict with confrontation lines exceeding 200 kilometres where
4 there was the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the 1st Corps of the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. These were the two armies present in the Sarajevo
6 theatre as well as in the inner city, separated by Miljacka River. The
7 separation line went through buildings, houses, front yards, literally.
8 Along the entire front line, the two armies were very close to each other
9 in their respective trenches. In such conditions in urban warfare, both
10 warring parties inevitably had to sustain civilian casualties. Each of
11 the parties were aware that any small-arms fire, any and every bullet or
12 artillery projectile may cause death among civilians because these were
13 settled areas.
14 I wish to remind you of one sentence of one of the last witnesses
15 we heard, the journalist, Martin Bell page 5253, lines 13 through to 21
16 of the transcript. He said:
17 "I think that in one of my books I wrote down that there was no
18 monopoly over human suffering, and this certainly pertained to the Serbs
19 as well."
20 This is what the witness stated. Defence --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction --
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] There was suffering of the
23 civilian population within the area of responsibility of the 1st Corps of
24 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina due to the activities of the
25 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. That is what he said.
1 We should also mention the 40.000 Serbs who remained in Sarajevo
2 who did not flee because they were unable to leave with the 120.000 Serbs
3 who had left Sarajevo initially. What we have today in Sarajevo is but 3
4 per cent of all the Serbs that lived there at the moment of the outbreak
5 of hostilities, and this is a well-known fact. The civilian population
6 within the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps suffered
7 as well, due to the activities of the 1st Corps of the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not only did they suffer and not only did they live
9 in fear because of the combat activities, that was present on both sides,
10 but also the Serb population suffered casualties.
11 What Martin Bell said is a fact which needs to be weighed upon
12 and taken into account when deliberating. This reciprocal suffering
13 should be taken into account. This suffering being the consequence of an
14 armed conflict between the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the 1st of the
15 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we will continuously point to that in our
16 part of the proceedings.
17 I want to make myself completely clear. The existence of such an
18 armed conflict in which civilian casualties are unavoidable, of course
19 that cannot be used as an excuse for targeting civilians directly, for
20 sniping and shelling civilians exclusively. The same applies to any type
21 of retaliation. It is completely out of the question.
22 However, we need to take into account a representative sample of
23 incidents in order to try and see whether that, indeed, happened the way
24 it was described in the indictment. Unfortunately, as Defence counsel, I
25 cannot offer evidence in that regard because we couldn't carry out our
1 investigations in the city of Sarajevo itself. But based on the evidence
2 we heard so far concerning many incidents, we may and can certainly
3 provide our opinion in order to attach relevant importance to each and
4 every piece of evidence.
5 Another thing I wanted to mention is the following: In its
6 indictment, the Prosecutor neglected the existence of an armed conflict
7 and the inevitable fact of the loss of civilian life in such a conflict.
8 It unilaterally ascribed all civilian casualties to only one side,
9 describing as a campaign of intentional targeting of civilians, as if
10 there was no armed conflict and as if it was an exclusively civilian
11 area. What we could hear, for example, from the expert witness,
12 Mrs. Tabeau, was that all victims in the heart of Sarajevo, even on the
13 Serb side, she simply put together in a total number of victims.
14 We have to keep pointing to the fact that there was an armed
15 conflict in existence, and we will try to prove that the campaign, as
16 discussed here, the armed campaign, was very much present on both sides,
17 and especially during an important period of time, this being almost half
18 of the time encompassed by the indictment against Dragomir Milosevic
19 between May until end November, since that was the time of the offensive
20 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the NATO bombardment which ensued
21 following an incident.
22 We will put forth evidence, although we've heard some of that
23 already, that that offensive did, in fact, exist and, by and in itself,
24 it had to result in civilian casualties. Of course, I can only reiterate
25 what I've already said, that no intentional targeting of civilians is
1 permissible in trying to achieve one's military goals. And especially
2 between May and November 1995, in my view, what one cannot distinguish
3 between the campaign that existed and the one mentioned in the indictment
4 as if there was no armed conflict and as if the SRK campaign went on by
5 itself, as if there was nothing going on on the other side. All this
6 made up for the entire context, describing the nature of the conflict at
7 that moment.
8 We will try to show that the fighting resumed after almost four
9 months of truce, during which period there were certain minor incidents,
10 irrespective of which side started them. And according to many witnesses
11 and a lot of evidence, such a campaign on the BH side was well-prepared
12 and long-lasting throughout the fall of 1995.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1994.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Intentional targeting of
15 civilians cannot be viewed isolated or separated from the rest of an
16 armed conflict. If one wishes to prove something beyond reasonable
17 doubt, one would need to show that, indeed, such targeting was
18 intentional. However, although some examples were taken here as
19 illustrations and portrayed as if the targeting was intentional, I am of
20 the opinion that this was merely a consequence of a previous exchange of
21 fire or in response of an intentional firing upon civilians on the part
22 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to achieve certain political
23 or military goals, as Martin Bell put it before you, having said that no
24 party had a monopoly over suffering. The same goes for any monopoly over
25 truth concerning the events in that area, in that period.
1 One needs to see things from one side and from the other side,
2 especially in such areas where the warring parties were so close, like in
3 the case of the Miljacka River.
4 We heard witness Ghulam Mohatarem, and I wanted to point out his
5 statement in particular at page 725 of the transcript, lines 12 to 25 and
6 the first, second lines of page 726, I believe he was -- in answer to Mr.
7 Waespi's question, I think he asked him whether the events when they took
8 place were actually a stage that could have been viewed by the entire
9 world - that was my interpretation - and that the world could learn the
10 truth of those events the very same day. And when nothing was known
11 about the casualties on the other side and, as Martin Bell said, he said
12 that the television war was very present, that it was actually a
13 televised war.
14 It was a one-sided propaganda, stereotypes were being put into
15 place, and it is difficult to deal with such circumstances even today,
16 even as completely new arguments emerge. However, I'm convinced that
17 this Chamber in this case, as in some other cases, will reach different
18 conclusions after having heard evidence because such a monopoly over
19 truth, as existed at the time, always resulted in a momentary judgement,
20 which always, without exception, went against one of the parties. Such
21 judgements were made on the very same day by the international public and
22 the community by the most responsible political bodies of the UN and
23 NATO, resulting in immediate action, be it sanctions or bombardments
24 after each of such incidents that were learned of the very same day.
25 This [indiscernible] to the events in Sarajevo.
1 Let us just take three representative incidents described in the
2 indictment and about which you are going to deliver your judgement. The
3 terrible death of Nermin Divovic on the 11th of November, 1994, and the
4 wounding of his mother, Dzenana Sokolovic with one single bullet, this is
5 what the whole world learned about on the very day, and this truth still
6 pertains and with this truth is -- the Prosecution case started. This
7 was done by a terrible person, a criminal, from one location who managed
8 to hit with a single bullet a mother and her child, wounding the mother
9 and killing the child.
10 There is another tragic incident which took place in Markale in
11 which 40 people, according to the indictment, died, and another 80 were
12 wounded. The judgement about this event was made on the very day, and
13 the NATO started its humanitarian bombing, of course with aerial bombs,
14 with blast effect, and depleted uranium, targeting civilian settlements
15 as well. And we know that these aerial bombs, just like any other
16 artillery weapon, cannot be very selective with engaging target. So the
17 Defence is most definitely going to deal with these matters as well.
18 And, finally, the event of the 28th of June, 1995, when an
19 air-bomb hit the TV building in Sarajevo, killing one person and wounding
20 a large number of people. As the Defence counsel of the accused Dragomir
21 Milosevic, I believe that these incidents will show in a most convincing
22 way why it is so important to examine the importance of each incident
23 within the campaign through the prism of an armed conflict and the
24 existence of a variety of interests and parties involved in the
25 conflicts. I will talk about many other things when the time comes, but
1 I would like to point out this issue because these were representative
2 incidents chosen by the Prosecution, that the Prosecution used it as a
3 basis to reach a conclusion which will just be extended from one case to
4 another, by claiming that there was a campaign with a one single
5 objective which was to kill, maltreat, and terrorise civilians, and there
6 was suffering on both sides.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, the interpreter is asking you to
9 slow down.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will do that.
11 A while ago I spoke about the witnesses that we need to call to
12 appear before this Court for the Defence in order to establish certain
13 facts, and they will be of assistance in that. You always have to
14 establish beyond a reasonable doubt, and this is something that is most
15 certainly the case. As far as I'm concerned, at the end of that horrible
16 armed conflict, there was something that was relevant and important and
17 it's something that His Honour Judge Robinson said himself, that even the
18 First and Second World Wars bear certain relevance, but of course this
19 cannot be of any significant relevance to this particular case. There
20 are some influences of historical events and the fact that in 1991, 20
21 per cent of the population had survived the Second World War. But that
22 cannot be a dominant fact when the time comes for the judgement.
23 As Defence counsel and my colleague, we are working together on
24 this, intend to bring here a historian, an expert witness, who I'm going
25 to ask to -- just to describe to you the most important aspect and -- but
1 this is not going to be of any significant influence on your judgement;
2 nevertheless, I hope that this will be valued and evaluated in a proper
3 way, at least when we are talking about geographical and demographical
5 What the Defence intends to demonstrate in its case is that when
6 speaking of the starting date of the period of responsibility of Dragomir
7 Milosevic and his individual responsibility, which ended on the 25th of
8 November, 1995, and began in August 1994, is something that can be of
9 crucial importance and the key reason to establish his individual
10 responsibility. My colleague put it in a conversation that we had: This
11 should be a zero starting point that will lead to the determination
12 beyond any reasonable doubt and under the given circumstances and within
13 the time work to establish his criminal reliability. I'm not going to
14 repeat the things I mentioned before, and I'm going to come back to them
15 later. It is possible -- is it possible that in a criminal proceedings
16 there can be an inherited culpability and guilt? This is not something
17 that any criminal law recognises. Whatever it is, the only --
18 responsibility of a particular individual can be established, and only
19 within the time-frame when something happened. This is the rule that is
20 going to sustain as long as civilisation exists.
21 Therefore, I have to point out only to the most significant
22 aspects of the Defence case that pertain to these basic framework and
23 circumstances prevailing in the time in question in addition to what I
24 mentioned before. I'm not going to repeat anything about the campaign
25 and what I said about the armed conflict, but I am going to talk about
1 the period in which they have certain relevance and significance.
2 Now, these specific circumstances are as follows, and I'm going
3 to mention only the most important ones. Let me try to be concise and
4 point out only those of utmost importance. When he assumed
5 responsibility on the 10th of August, even before that - and that's an
6 irrefutable fact - the Republika Srpska Republic of Srpska, somebody
7 referred to it as the so-called Republika Srpska, which, in fact, was an
8 area under the control of the people who had been living there ever since
9 early ages when they came to this area.
10 Sanctions were imposed by someone and this will have to be
11 evaluated properly, and sanctions were imposed by the members of the same
12 ethnic community and the international community as well. This caused a
13 large number of problems relating to the supply of food, fuel, and
14 everything else, but primarily relating to the things that were directly
15 linked to this armed conflict, and by that I mean ammunition and weapons.
16 A Serb Montenegrin aggressor was referred to at the beginning,
17 but it is certain that according to the evidence called to date, on those
18 delineation lines it is only people from that -- those areas that live
19 there who stood on their own door-steps, in front of their own homes,
20 guarding what they guarded as best they could. It was hard after such a
21 long time for someone to think differently. Would a civilian in Sarajevo
22 be a target. They have relatives there. So they -- their relatives were
23 also victims. So under those circumstances, that's the way it was.
24 However, we can say that there was this other very important new
25 fact, and that is the Total Exclusion Zone, and it can certainly be
1 stated that it was observed to the greatest possible degree, all the way
2 up to May 1995, and it started in 1994. According to what witnesses
3 said, international witnesses at that, all the way up to October this was
4 observed and then there was some changes, there was some sporadic
5 incidents, but at any rate this campaign -- sorry, not campaign but Total
6 Exclusion Zone existed all this time. And what happened later on in May
7 is a matter that will be discussed and that will to be proven here. And
8 now whether that situation -- this was also infringed upon. Well, that
9 is something we are going to deal with during the further proceedings and
10 you're ultimately going to rule on that.
11 In the view of the Defence, it is not disputable that from the
12 moment when the accused, Dragomir Milosevic, took over his duty, this
13 Muslim offensive started immediately after he assumed his duties in the
14 summer of 1994, and this offensive in some form went on all the time.
15 And then when there was a cease-fire -- and then when there was a
16 cease-fire at the beginning of 1994, this cease-fire was used only to
17 prepare a new offensive, and there was no question of continuing this
18 cease-fire any longer.
19 I'm not going to go into the political strategic reasons of any
20 politician or any other person who was a decision-maker in this regard.
21 I am talking about the people. I have to talk about soldiers as well,
22 because they did not really meddle in politics or strategy and certainly
23 not in history. Questions that were related to political matters, had
24 there been reason on both sides, it is quite certain that this offensive
25 would not have taken place at all, and there would have been many fewer
1 casualties and victims, if any at all. However, a campaign, no way.
2 That will be shown through the evidence that is to be called by the
3 Defence and what happened during the war conflict of such intensity at
4 that time, it will be for you to assess the significance of all of that.
5 Then there is another matter, this domination over the hills that
6 was referred to and that we will be dealing with. With the incessant use
7 of the tunnel that existed at that time and through which soldiers went
8 to their theatres of war, and there was a normal circulation of goods,
9 people, food, everything else. After that, can one say that this was a
10 milieu that could not meet its basic requirements because of activities
11 launched from another side?
12 It has already been proven that this tunnel was primarily used
13 for military purposes and primarily to arm a particular environment that
14 was supposed to be a demilitarised area at that period of time. And in
15 terms of the Dragomir Milosevic indictment, it got even more equipment
16 and became better equipped than the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps at the time
17 Dragomir Milosevic was there. And they also had supremacy in terms of
18 manpower and during the offensive it became even more dominant, perhaps
19 the ratio became 1 to 5 or 6, rather than 1 to 3.
20 We have already reached the stage that refers to the
21 responsibility of the accused Dragomir Milosevic and the indictment
22 against him. All of that will be shown through evidence, it led to a
23 complete change of tactics of the 1st Corps of the Army of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You heard about that here already, that the army was
25 moving en masse outside the area of responsibility of the Army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or rather, the 1st Corps of the Army of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Within the inner city of Sarajevo, it was moving to
3 other areas, and then there was activity down the entire front line, the
4 front line being over 200 kilometres long. And I think that the
5 witnesses we will be calling will testify about that, too.
6 I just have to point out something that I've already said in a
7 way; namely, that throughout this time that pertains to the period
8 embodied in the Dragomir Milosevic indictment, there is absolute
9 domination of the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the
10 point of view of weapons and the quantity of ammunition used in combat
11 operations, and we're going to prove that through documents of the Army
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which show how this was done and what the quantity
13 of ammunition used was, especially in the time for which the accused,
14 Dragomir Milosevic, was responsible.
15 That means, and that is what I'm trying to say in this regard, is
16 that only under such circumstances with the existence of an armed
17 conflict and these circumstances that I've already described that
18 prevailed at the time relevant to the indictment, can one refer to
19 individual responsibility, individual criminal responsibility in keeping
20 with the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal.
21 Another fact that is very important and that the Court has to
22 deal with, and the Defence will focus on that in particular, is again
23 related to Article 7 of the Statute, because on the basis of that article
24 the responsibility of the accused is derived, that he planned the
25 activities referred to in the indictment. In paragraph 19, this is
1 particularly highlighted. I don't want to go back to that because it's
2 hard for me to find the relevant passage. Because only when there is
3 irrefutable evidence that such orders, such plans, existed, namely, to
4 target civilians, terrorise them, torture them, and kill them, it is my
5 understanding that that can only be established through the existence of
6 written orders or irrefutable proof that somewhere such an order was
7 issued verbally.
8 In the Galic case - well, I'm not going to deal with that now,
9 that should be dealt with at another point in time - what was taken as a
10 point of departure was an interpretation of various conversations he had.
11 And on that basis it was inferred that he directly issued such orders.
12 I'm not going to analyse that now, but I believe that that cannot be just
13 taken over, just like that. This need displayed by the Prosecutor to do
14 that; namely, through agreed facts in the Galic case to get to these
15 orders, these plans, in such a way, I think that that is basically
17 In this case, you will not be able to establish through a single
18 shred of evidence that there was such a direct order, that there was such
19 a direct plan. You will not even be able to establish that he ever
20 talked to anyone along those lines; namely, that it was necessary for
21 such a plan to be carried through and implemented.
22 If we look at any kind of inference process, I don't think it
23 would be possible to simply take this over from another case, and I hope
24 that this Trial Chamber is going to devote great attention to this if
25 they look at that fact. As for the witnesses that will be called here
1 before you, people that the accused saw every day and communicated with
2 every day, they will be able to tell you about this, of course with the
3 assistance of some of the documents that the Prosecution has.
4 I think that one order that is referred to here and that was
5 issued in the context of military activity after all, in anticipation --
6 well, the way it is, in anticipation of some attacks from the other side
7 cannot be sufficient proof of such a crucial capital element indicating
8 the existence of an order that would then pertain to Article 7 of the
9 Statute of the Tribunal.
10 Finally, I would just like to add a few more things. What was
11 referred to several times here was whether the Defence insisted on
12 certain matters that could pertain to the rule or principle of tu quoque.
13 At one point in time, the Prosecution did not allow the Defence to deal
14 with this at all. Of course, it never crossed the Defence's mind,
15 because it would be pointless, to prove to you here what the number of
16 killed soldiers was on the side of the Army of Republika Srpska. For us
17 to bring you figures as in 2500 casualties, that would be pointless.
18 However, witnesses will confirm that there was a great deal of loss of
19 lives on the army -- on the side of the Army of Republika Srpska, the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, that is.
21 Or we're not going to bring you lists of civilians, but the
22 witnesses are going to tell you about this. Just as people were killed
23 in other areas, they were also killed in the areas where these people
24 lived and where the soldiers of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps were. Least
25 of all did we want to deal with the enormous number of Serbs who were
1 killed, not by shells but who were the victims of the most serious crimes
2 that were committed during this armed conflict. We are not going to
3 prove that through our evidence, but if terror existed anywhere, it
4 existed among the civilian population.
5 Serbs, Croats, and Muslim civilians in Sarajevo were killed in
6 this way, and the main fear was who would knock on your door tomorrow and
7 who that would be and what would happen to you. We are not going to deal
8 with that, but this fear that prevailed and the feelings of people who
9 stood on their positions in front of their homes that they were defending
10 could have been present as a particular element that could have motivated
11 their perseverance in protecting themselves from such a thing.
12 I did not oppose the Prosecutor when he admitted a large number
13 of exhibits. I would just like to refer to one, P484, by way of an
14 example. It has to do with information about the prevalence of crime in
15 the zone of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps where it says
16 in a large number of these documents pertaining to individual months, and
17 this is June 1995:
18 "International law of war in terms of this type of crime in this
19 relevant period, not a single criminal report was filed in this respect."
20 Well, of course, it could not have been filed because in the zone
21 of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, there were no killings,
22 there was no torture, there was no abuse of prisoners. Whenever people
23 were taken prisoner, they were exchanged, either for other prisoners or
24 for dead Serbs; that will be proven through our evidence. And no one was
25 ever exposed to what the Serbs in Sarajevo were exposed to. From that
1 point of view, that is what is stated in these documents.
2 Another question that you will have to give serious thought to is
3 whether in such a situation, especially during the course of this
4 conflict between May and November 1995, could have dealt with
5 investigations or was in a position to deal with the investigation of
6 cases when shells were fired in such an armed conflict, and such shells
7 could cause death and did cause death. Was that ever possible in any war
8 when even physically one could not go to the other side? That will be
9 for you to assess. But I indicated this dimension pertaining to that;
10 namely, that in the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija
11 Corps, there were no crimes like those that were committed against the
12 Serbs in Sarajevo. That is one of the elements that is very important
13 for the behaviour of the people who were members of the Sarajevo-Romanija
14 Corps. And in my view, that cannot be tu quoque. Had there been such
15 crimes, then tu quoque would be the case.
16 Another thing that I believe is going to be important during the
17 Defence case and something that was perhaps shown until now as well, is
18 whether people who comprised the Army of Republika Srpska could decide
19 just like that to target civilian areas of the city of Sarajevo, knowing
20 that they had relatives, brothers, uncles, friends, the closest of
21 friends living there. Is there any logic there, unless it was done when
22 it simply had to be done?
23 I repeat that any crime that was committed in terms of targeting
24 civilians directly has to be punished; however, one has to make a
25 distinction between such things.
1 And let me finish, please. I don't know to what extent in this
2 way we will manage to show during our defence case, some things have
3 already been demonstrated even until now, this is what the conflict
4 looked like. I'm going to finish by saying the following:
5 I have here a document signed by Rasim Delic. I didn't want to
6 refer to other documents, although I did have them. I hope that
7 Rasim Delic will appear here before this Tribunal.
8 In this document, it says -- and this is a document dated the
9 11th of July, 1995, the document is 3542, DD00 from our 65 ter list, that
11 Can you see it? I would just like to read out the most important
12 part of it:
13 "In view of the fact that we have entered the fourth year of our
14 war against the Serb Montenegrin aggressor and that there are well-known
15 forms of combat activity, frontal, combined, and partisan warfare are not
16 always useful, and our activities to date show that partisan type of
17 combat actions within the same we use very little, although the
18 deployment of our forces, particularly characteristics of the terrain
19 enable that, and for the purpose of intensifying the partisan form of
20 combat activities, active activities, and particularly combat action
21 diversions, I hereby do order.
22 "Up to the 15th of July, 1995, and in the basic zone of
23 responsibility carry out all preparations for execution of diversion
24 actions at the level of divisions."
25 And then paragraph 4, and let me end by reading that out:
1 "These tasks to be realised as frequently as possible and as
2 deeply as possible to PZT and create with the enemy as great an
3 insecurity as possible. Actions to be taken according to the system:
4 Destroy and come back."
5 If I have such an order in writing, then one should take into
6 account, at least a bit, what I said, that such orders have to exist.
7 And why is it indispensable to prove that there is an armed conflict?
8 This is best shown by what we see here now.
9 I wish to end on that note and to thank you for your attention,
10 thank you for the time you've accorded me and these problems that we will
11 be dealing with during our Defence case, so that you can make a valid
12 decision at the end beyond a reasonable doubt. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll hear the first witness.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we go for a
18 break now? First of all, we weren't able to show the layout of the
19 courtroom to the witness, and I can regroup during the break and launch
20 my examination more efficiently. The witness arrived quite late, and we
21 couldn't have used the previous break for preparing him.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll take the break now, 20
24 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 --- On resuming at 5.37 p.m.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
6 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 WITNESS: STEVAN VELJOVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, can you tell me your first and last
11 name, please.
12 A. My name is Stevan Veljovic.
13 Q. You know that I appear on behalf of General Dragomir Milosevic.
14 I believe you are familiar with that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. We met and discussed various matters on several occasions,
17 particularly in such moments when we were still discussing your possible
18 testimony; that is, whether you will appear before this Tribunal or not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In order to move as expeditiously as possible through the
21 examination-in-chief, I would kindly ask you to speak slowly and to wait
22 for my question before beginning your answer since it is the only way to
23 make good use of our time. Did you understand me?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It is best for you to look at the screen in front of you. When
1 the cursor stops, that means that I have concluded my question or that
2 you have concluded your answer. Did you understand that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell the Chamber the year of your birth?
5 A. I was born on the 29th of November, 1956.
6 Q. Could you tell us where?
7 A. I was born in the village of Mislav at the tripartite border of
8 the municipalities of Han Pijesak, Sokolac, and Rogatica, although we are
9 in the Rogatica municipality. It was in the former Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the SFRY.
11 Q. Can you tell us something about your education?
12 A. By vocation, I am a wood-cutter and I process wood as well.
13 Q. When did you complete your education?
14 A. 1974.
15 Q. Let us slow down a bit.
16 Besides the education you mentioned, have you completed any other
18 A. As concerns my civilian life, no.
19 Q. I asked you that because it is of some importance for you to tell
20 the Chamber whether you acquired some military knowledge as well.
21 A. I completed the infantry school for reserve officers in Bileca in
22 1976 -- it was, rather, between 1976 and May 1977. The course lasted 15
24 Q. Were you assigned a rank with the military?
25 A. Upon completion of that reserve officer's school, I became a
1 reserve lieutenant second class.
2 Q. At the time you were assigned that rank back in 1978, what did
3 that mean -- excuse me, just wait until I have finished with the question
4 and then start answering.
5 Mr. Veljovic, I asked you what it meant at the time when you
6 completed the reserve officer's school in 1978?
7 A. It meant that I was to remain with the reserve forces as an
8 officer, and I was supposed to be at the disposal of the then-Yugoslav
9 National Army or the Territorial Defence. I occasionally received calls
10 for exercise.
11 Q. Could you please expand on that? Once you completed the school,
12 what was your occupation? How did you make your living?
13 A. I worked on my civilian job.
14 Q. Again, Mr. Veljovic, please bear in mind the cursor on the screen
15 and do not begin your answer before it has stopped. As of 1978, did you
16 earn your living working in the civilian sector?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. As for your duties of a reserve officer, what did that comprise
19 between 1978 and the moment of the outbreak of hostilities in
21 A. According to the law that was in place, it was my duty that every
22 four years I attend military exercises and to undergo additional training
23 if summoned by the competent body.
24 Q. What sort of a duty was it, a military one? I don't want to lead
25 you in any way.
1 A. In our country, there was a duty on the part of each and every
2 able-bodied officer and soldier to serve in the reserve.
3 Q. If you were, indeed, drafted every four years, how much time
4 would you spend with the JNA on each occasion during those 12 or 13
6 A. We would remain there between seven and 30 days at a time.
7 Q. I will go back to that topic later on, but for the time being can
8 you tell the Chamber what happened once the conflict broke out in 1992 as
9 regards your duties; that is, your duties of a citizen?
10 A. Before the conflict, in February we were called by the competent
11 ministries and bodies - and when I say "we," I mean the reserve officers
12 and soldiers of Serbian ethnicity as well as Muslims and Croats - to
13 report to our respective wartime assignment units.
14 Q. In those units and in the areas where you went to attend
15 exercises, who were the people who were called to assemble there?
16 A. All able-bodied men, irrespective of nationality or ethnic
18 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber what it looked like in practice,
19 in real life?
20 A. Within the unit that I was assigned to, most members were Muslims
21 and Serbs. There was a number of Croats. As for the officer cadre, we
22 had other nationalities as well, including Slovenians and Albanians.
23 Q. What period is it exactly?
24 A. January, February, and March of 1992.
25 Q. Did you know of what was happening in some other parts of the
1 former Yugoslavia at the time?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What was happening?
4 A. There was a conflict between the Yugoslav People's Army and the
5 Slovenian Territorial Defence. I also knew that there was a war in
6 Croatia in 1991 waged between the Serbian and the Croatian people, as
7 well as the JNA.
8 Q. When you were mobilised in 1992, what were your hopes,
9 expectations, as a reserve officer? What were the hopes you had
10 vis-a-vis the army that was still in existence at the time?
11 A. Myself, as well as other reserve officers of other ethnicities,
12 were of the opinion that there was -- there wasn't going to be a conflict
13 between the citizens of Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim ethnicity in
15 Q. How did you view your duty?
16 A. With patriotism, since the state of Yugoslavia was still in
17 existence, including all the republics. It was a state recognised by the
18 UN and it was a member of the non-aligned movement, actually one of its
20 Q. Can you tell us in brief what happened at a certain point in
21 time? I don't want to lead you in any way. What happened within that
22 organisation that used to be multi-ethnic?
23 A. Up until May, most officers and soldiers of other ethnicities
24 were still with their respective wartime units. On the 3rd of May, when
25 the army command was pulling out of the city, it was attacked by some
1 illegal armed formations called the Green Berets and the Patriotic
2 League. What happened then was that many soldiers were killed, and then
3 the soldiers and officers of other ethnicities began leaving their units
4 for some other units of their own that I had no knowledge of.
5 Q. Can you tell the Chamber who were members of the Yugoslav Army up
6 until that moment? I'm referring now to the people you knew personally
7 and I am particularly now referring to the commanding officers.
8 A. The deputy commander of my brigade was at the time
9 Lieutenant-Colonel and currently Brigadier in the BH army,
10 Asim Dzambasovic. In the operations and training organ, there was
11 Major Nehru Ganic, currently a general in the BH Army. In the corps that
12 we as a brigade were part of, the chief of the operations section was
13 Rasim Delic; there was also Sefer Halilovic, Hadzihasanovic, and many
15 Q. And what happened with regular soldiers after the time that you
17 A. Ordinary soldiers of other ethnicities put down their weapons and
18 went home.
19 Q. What did you do?
20 A. I remained with my unit.
21 Q. What time specifically are you talking about?
22 A. I'm talking about April and May 1992.
23 Q. Was that still the regular army?
24 A. Yes, that was the Yugoslav People's Army until the 19th of May;
25 after that date, the JNA had been ordered to withdraw to the Federal
1 Republic of Yugoslavia.
2 Q. And then what happened?
3 A. While the army -- the army command was pulling out from the
4 Bistrik sector in Sarajevo on the 3rd of May, our task was to help
5 members of the JNA to evacuate by providing them with vehicles, fuel, and
6 other assets necessary for the pull-out and departure towards Yugoslavia.
7 Q. And what happened with the Yugoslav People's Army?
8 A. The command of the Yugoslav People's Army was attacked by
9 paramilitary units and did not manage, with the exception of a small
10 number of members, to evacuate from Sarajevo. They were killed while
11 they were in column, including soldiers and officers, and most of them
12 were taken prisoner.
13 Q. Can you tell us what happened after they had pulled out, the JNA?
14 A. All the units that were not surrounded withdrew on the 19th of
15 December towards the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; however, the units
16 from Sarajevo failed to pull out of the Marsal Tito barracks. Those were
17 cadets, and among them were other ethnicities, not only Serbs. They did
18 not pull-out of the Viktor Bubanj barracks, too, as well as from the use
19 of Djonlic barracks at Ali Pasin Most. They managed to get out only on
20 the 5th of June, 1992.
21 Q. What was the position and the situation of the soldiers and
22 barracks before June 1992?
23 A. They were completely surrounded. They were being attacked, and
24 concurrently there were negotiations about their departure from the
1 Q. So once they managed to leave Sarajevo, what happened then?
2 A. They were sent in columns to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
3 to continue their training, the rest -- except for the soldiers and
4 officers who were originally for -- from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Were there any officers who were born in Serbia, but who
6 nevertheless decided to remain in that area?
7 A. Yes, they were, but very few of them.
8 Q. Those who stayed behind, why did they decide to remain?
9 A. I believe that the reason was that they spent their entire
10 working life in Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were married to women from
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they also had certain property, houses, land, and
12 things like that.
13 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber what was the status of the
14 accused, General Dragomir Milosevic?
15 A. General Dragomir Milosevic was at the time a colonel. He had a
16 flat in Sarajevo. He was married to a woman in Sarajevo from the Vogosca
17 municipality. He had a weekend cottage in the general area of Mokro
18 village in Pale municipality.
19 Q. And where was his flat?
20 A. His flat was in the city of Sarajevo. As far as I can remember,
21 the name of the neighbourhood was Socijalno. It was not very far from
22 the Marsal Tito barracks, about 300 metres from the main street of the
23 Sarajevo, between Cengic Vila and Marin Dvor.
24 Q. And do you know what happened with this flat?
25 A. I don't know exactly where it is, and I don't know what happened
1 with it.
2 Q. And where was his family at the time?
3 A. In their weekend cottage in the village of Mokro in Pale
5 Q. Do you know what happened with the property of other JNA officers
6 who for that time had been living in Sarajevo?
7 A. As far as I know, after they left their flats were occupied and
8 they never managed to be granted restitution rights, although most of
9 them had bought these flats according to the law and these flats were
10 actually private property.
11 Q. Apart from the officers, what happened with the residents of
12 Sarajevo who up until that time had been living in Sarajevo?
13 A. Many citizens of the Serbian ethnicity left the town even before
14 the war broke out. After the war broke out, those who did not leave and
15 went to the Serbian-held territories were arrested, maltreated, and some
16 of them were liquidated.
17 Q. Did some people manage to get out of the city?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In what way?
20 A. There were commissions set up at the level of Republika Srpska
21 and at the level of the then-Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was also possible to
22 leave the town with the assistance of UN forces, and there were other
23 ways to leave the town since there were people who were well-connected
24 and probably with some kind of remuneration they managed to be sent
25 towards the Serb-held territories.
1 Q. Do you know anything at all about the existence of paramilitary
2 formations in 1991?
3 A. We knew about that. Particularly we, reserve and active-duty
4 officers, were informed that the SDA party had begun organising
5 paramilitary units under the name of the Patriotic League and the Green
6 Berets, that they were arming themselves, that they were undergoing
7 training, and that they were making preparations for armed attacks on
8 Serbian villages, neighbourhoods, and the Yugoslav People's Army, and its
9 depots filled with combat equipment and quarter-master equipment and
11 Q. What happened with these JNA depots?
12 A. The depots that were being secured by the Yugoslav People's Army
13 in April 1992 came under attack, specifically I mean the Faletici depot
14 in the eastern part of Sarajevo, north-eastern part of Sarajevo, where
15 equipment was stored belonging to the staff of the Territorial Defence of
16 the city of Sarajevo. According to the information that we had, there
17 were around 45.000 pieces of weaponry.
18 Q. So what happened?
19 A. When they entered the warehouses, and I mean the Patriotic League
20 and the Green Berets, they started driving the weapons away and a
21 conflict broke out between the local residents of Faletici, which
22 included the villages Mrkovici, Bijoska [phoen], and Hresa, and the
23 Muslim paramilitary forces; i.e., the Patriotic League and the Green
25 Q. What was the conflict about?
1 A. The dispute about who was going to take the weapons because
2 members of the Patriotic League and the Green Berets started taking the
3 weapons in large quantities, and that is when the Serbs started to take
4 weapons themselves.
5 Q. Please, in order for us to be able to continue this
6 examination-in-chief, can you turn towards the map behind you and do your
7 best that while you are explaining the map to speak in the microphone,
8 otherwise this exercise would be futile.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] If possible, can the camera turn
10 towards the map, so that we can see it on the screen and so that I can
11 pose questions.
12 Q. Mr. Veljovic, can you tell us, did you have anything to do with
13 the making of this map?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. I'm going to ask you about this a little bit later. In what way
16 are you connected with the making of this map?
17 A. I and a group of other officers worked on this document.
18 Q. In what capacity? Where were you at the time?
19 A. At the time I was an operations officer in the staff of the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
21 Q. Can you tell us what time-frame are we talking about and when did
22 you assume that duty?
23 A. I became an operations officer of the corps pursuant to an order
24 issued on the 12th of December, 1994.
25 Q. Who issued this order?
1 A. It was issued by the corps commander, General Dragomir Milosevic.
2 Q. When did you assume your duty?
3 A. I assumed my duties on the 19th of December, 1994.
4 Q. Can you be more specific as to the time when this map was made,
5 or at least give us an approximate date?
6 A. This map was made in January 1995.
7 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber all these inscriptions and
8 writings that we can see on the map? What do they represent?
9 A. Each unit at a higher level must have its own documents. This
10 also applied to the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Among those
11 documents, one of the most important one was -- would be a military
12 topographic map.
13 Q. Very well, I understand. But now can you explain at the time
14 when you arrived at the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, you were given a task
15 concerning this map. Can you explain in more detail?
16 A. Since in December 1994, a truce was signed between the Army of
17 Republika Srpska and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina which lasted for four
18 months, we in the staff started making and drafting all the necessary
19 defence documents relating to our zone of responsibility.
20 Q. Can you please tell me, I asked you a question and you gave me an
21 answer, pursuant to whose order you did, who endorsed this, and what
22 these signatures on the map mean, or rather, what the inscriptions in the
23 map mean?
24 A. This was approved by the commander of the Main Staff of the Army
25 of Republika Srpska, allowing the corps to make preparations for defence
1 since there was intelligence indicating that a major offensive was about
2 to take place by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina targeting the forces of
3 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
4 I personally was tasked with, or rather, the whole staff, as a
5 matter of fact, with preparing, drafting, the documents that would serve
6 the purpose of defending our region, and part of this documentation is
7 this topographic map. I personally received an order to this effect from
8 the Chief of Staff, Colonel Cedomir Sladoje, and most probably he had
9 been given an order, an oral order, by the commander, General Dragomir
11 Q. Could we now try to explain to the Trial Chamber at this point in
12 time at least the most basic things marked on this map. First of all,
13 could you please explain what those two coloured lines denote?
14 A. This is a military topographic map, 1:50.000 is the scale, which
15 means that on this map 1 centimetre represents 500 metres in actual fact.
16 This map shows the deployment of forces of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
17 and it is marked in red. Also, there is the deployment of the forces of
18 the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is depicted in
20 Q. If you look at these maps, they depict what you said but what
21 else do these lines show as marked here?
22 A. These lines show what the deployment forces looks like in the
23 field in terms of artillery pieces and trenches.
24 Q. As far as I can see - and I looked at this quite often - that
25 line is interrupted. Can you explain that, what that means? Why is this
1 line interrupted? Why is it not a whole line?
2 A. Such interrupted lines show that in this entire area, there were
3 no dug-outs or trenches. It means that they had a dispersed deployment
4 since neither the Sarajevo Corps or the corps of the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina could not cover the line in terms of having one
6 soldier next to another one in view of the size of the front line,
7 especially the units of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. In terms of
8 manpower, they had four times less than the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 the 1st Corps had. The 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had,
10 in terms of manpower, personnel, about 78.000 troops.
11 Q. I beg your pardon, you said the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps --
12 A. No, no, the corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas the
13 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was four times weaker in terms of human
14 potential; it had 18.000 soldiers and officers, which shows that the
15 ratio of balance of forces was 1 to 4 working in the favour of the Army
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. How long was this line that is marked here in two colours; one
18 colour on one side, the other colour on the other side?
19 A. If we look at this from a professional point of view, a
20 topographic map starts from 0. That means that everything is flat.
21 Since Bosnia-Herzegovina is a very hilly terrain, this front, both sides
22 was 245 to 250 kilometres long.
23 Q. What can that mean then in view of the number that you mentioned
24 a few minutes ago, the number of soldiers that the two respective sides
25 had? What was the situation like at the separation lines on the basis of
1 your knowledge and on the basis of what you've stated so far?
2 A. In order to cover the entire front line, from a military point of
3 view about 100.000 soldiers were needed in order to have a regular
4 deployment in terms of combat disposition.
5 Q. And how many persons were there?
6 A. 18.000 soldiers of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps were there and on
7 the Muslim front of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 1st Corps, that
8 is, there were 78.000 soldiers meeting all the requirements of that
10 Q. What else does this map depict when we look at the separation
11 line in view of these topographic characteristics?
12 A. What is very characteristic is something that I shall put to you
13 now. The city of Sarajevo is surrounded by many mountains, some of them
14 of Olympic calibre, and parts of the town of Sarajevo are on the slopes
15 of these mountains; namely, Trebevic, Jahorina, Igman, and Ozren, as well
16 as Romanija.
17 If we look at the separation line here in the area of Igman, we
18 see that the Muslim forces are predominant, that they are at an altitude
19 higher than that where the forces of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps were
21 Q. Please.
22 A. If we move towards the urban area, in the region of Hrasnica that
23 was under Muslim control and in the area of the village of Vojkovici,
24 which was part of Vukovica, they were at the same altitude. It's only 1
25 or 2 metres as these rivers flow into the Bosna River. If we move here
1 towards the urban settlement that is called Dobrinja and above Dobrinja
2 and all the way up to Lukavica and Vraca is the feature Mojmilo, where
3 the forces of the corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were dominant.
4 They were dominant at an altitude of above 150 metres in respect of the
5 forces at Lukavica and the forces in the urban areas where the Serbs
6 were; that is, Grbavica.
7 If we go into the urban area, we see that our position is more or
8 less the same in terms of altitude since we're close to the Miljacka
9 river, both sides close to the Miljacka but not on it, then there is the
10 hill of Debelo Brdo, an imposing feature held by the Muslim forces.
11 There was cross-fire there, and they were firing all the
12 entrances into Grbavica and Vrace, both from the area of Mojmilo and the
13 area of Debelo Brdo.
14 Further on, the line continues over Mountain Trebevic. This is a
15 forested mountain. So the forces of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps are
16 dominant; however, the evergreen trees there were between 10 and 20
17 metres high, so from Trebevic you cannot see the urban area, only one
18 part where the funicular is and that area is 70 metres wide. It is from
19 there that one can see this part of town.
20 As for this part of Trebevic, the one covered in forest, that is
21 where we were of a higher altitude; however, we could not see anything,
22 we were in the forest together with the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In
23 this area, the road leading to Pale, the Muslim forces were dominant,
24 from the area of Colina Kapa, Zastavnik and Popovac. We are at a lower
25 altitude. If we go further on towards Hresa and --
1 Q. Please, please, Mr. Veljovic, could you take a look at a document
2 pertaining to these matters precisely, D110 is the document. It was
3 tendered by the Defence a long time ago. So could you have a look at
4 that now, and could you link it up to what you've been telling us until
5 now, D110?
6 It will appear on the screen. Then, before you continue
7 explaining this, could you have a look at the document and tell us
8 whether what you've been saying corresponds to this document?
9 A. Could it please be enlarged a bit? Very well. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: The document that is on our screen is the court
11 schedule, I think.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: For us, we haven't received it yet.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] He has the translation.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could it just be enlarged a bit?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, may I ask the Prosecutor, do you have the
18 document in front of you -- no, I mean on your screen? No.
19 It's there now.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, here it is.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could it please be enlarged a bit?
22 A bit more, please.
23 Very well. Could you please lower it a bit? Yes. I cannot see
24 the whole page.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could we please see both
1 versions? Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can read it now.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't have the English.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It was there a few moments ago.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]...
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Veljovic, please have a look at the document and could you
8 analyse it? Could you please give your comments to the Trial Chamber in
9 relation to everything you've said so far before we continue with the
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, I prefer if you put specific
13 questions to the witness, rather than to invite him to comment generally,
14 you know.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Witness, you've just started explaining these topographic
17 elements. What you've said so far and what is in this document, does it
18 correspond to what you've been saying so far? I'm asking you this before
19 you continue explaining the map further.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you see now what all of this is, and can you explain what
22 this is all about?
23 A. This is what this document is about. All vital features, Grdonj,
24 Borija, Colina Kapa, Debelo Brdo, Mojmilo, Azici, Stupsko Brdo, Vis, Zuc,
25 the faculty of traffic and transport engineering must have wire
1 communications from two sides.
2 "Wire lines must be dug into the ground or extended along
3 connecting trenches (depending on the cable and terrain, digging into
4 connecting trenches is allowed). To implement paragraphs 1 and 2, chiefs
5 of communications shall send an itemised list of equipment needed to the
6 division," et cetera.
7 "Chief of Staff Colonel Rizvo Pleh," and in the letterhead it
8 says the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 12th Army
9 Division Command. So this confirms that they hold all vital features.
10 Q. Who?
11 A. The army, the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That
12 is what this document shows.
13 Q. Now, can you continue from where you broke off?
14 A. Yes. I explained this. Grdonj, Borija, Colina Kapa,
15 Debelo Brdo. Now, there's Hum, Zuc. This is a big feature, Zuc, from
16 which there is a good view, that is the feature of Zuc; that is to say,
17 facing Rajlovac and Vogosca, and from Hun towards Polje. So this is a
18 very strong feature which controls the entire area here of the
19 south-western front, right over here on this urban area.
20 Q. These hills on the northern side in particular, on this northern
21 side, is there a single position where the Army of Republika Srpska was
22 and that you know of?
23 A. Not a single dominant feature on the north or the north-western
24 part was under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska, or rather,
25 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
1 Q. Can you explain to the Court the position of the so-called
2 Spicasta Stijena?
3 A. Yes, this is where Spicasta Stijena is. It is above the
4 settlements of Breka and Sedrenik and towards the village of Mrkovici.
5 This part here from Spicasta Stijena down to Borija is a wooded area.
6 There are small pine trees there, whereas the elevations such as Grdonj,
7 Pasino Brdo were under the control of the 1st Corps. From the forested
8 area and from that elevation, the forces of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
9 had no view of the settlements and the city, apart from one part here
10 close to Spicasta Stijena they could see Kosovo and Polje, whereas in
11 this part, they had no view whatsoever. That was the only direction they
12 had any view of.
13 Q. We'll get to that. In addition to the northern side and the
14 elevations you've indicated, can you show us the features important for
15 the western side?
16 A. Going to the west, towards the west, there is the feature of Zuc,
17 Hum and Zuc, two features. At those elevations there were units of the
18 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, of its 1st Corps, that is. They controlled
19 and they were dominant because we were some 150 or 200 metres below.
20 From this part we couldn't see Sarajevo at all because of the Zuc
22 Q. Continue?
23 A. Now we move on to Rajlovac and Ilidza. This is the railroad
24 where more or less there was a balance because one has a view of both
25 sides on both sides of the confrontation line. This entire part here up
1 to Nedzarici and Kasindolska Street at the airport, there was a balance
2 of forces, so to say, apart from a part of Nedzarici because at Mojmilo
3 the altitude is greater and there were activities from this feature
4 towards Lukavica and Dobrinja as well, that was the dominating feature.
5 Q. Excuse me, if I may. After all this explanation, for which
6 locations can we say that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps had dominance over?
7 A. The units of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps dominated in the area of
8 Trebevic, in this part here, but this is all forests. We had no view of
9 the city. The units of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, of its 1st Corps,
10 were also in the forest; however, we were perhaps at a somewhat greater
11 altitude of 20 to 50 metres.
12 Q. What was the distance between positions if we take a look at the
13 red and the blue line? What was the actual distance between your
14 position at Trebevic, at its highest point, and Colina Kapa only the
15 other hand, for example?
16 A. This is Colina Kapa. This is about 1500 metres. I would say
17 between 800 and 1200 metres, I cannot be precise. I would have to have
18 something to measure it with, and I was talking about Colina Kapa. There
19 was no range for any pieces and they had no view of anything; therefore,
20 they couldn't use them.
21 Q. What is an approximate distance between Colina Kapa and, for
22 example, Marin Dvor?
23 A. Between Colina Kapa and Marin Dvor.
24 Q. Please wait until I finish my question before you start
25 answering. You can continue?
1 A. Colina Kapa to Marin Dvor. As the crow flies, it is about 4
3 Q. Thank you. What is the distance between Zlatiste and
4 Debelo Brdo?
5 A. This is Debelo Brdo, this is Zlatiste.
6 Q. If I may, according to the map who had Debelo Brdo under its
8 A. According to the map and according to the documents signed by the
9 commander of the 12th Division, units of the 12th Division were there and
10 they were part of the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as
11 stated in the document.
12 Q. Compared to Debelo Brdo, where is Zlatiste?
13 A. Zlatiste is around 3 or 400 metres away from Debelo Brdo.
14 Q. What is the difference in altitude between the two features?
15 A. This feature of Debelo Brdo is shaped in such a way that from
16 Zlatiste you cannot see much of this part of the city; however, you can
17 see the other part of the city which is on the other side of the Miljacka
18 River. The distance is around 1500 metres as the crow flies or maybe
19 2.000 metres, depending on the layout of terrain. The map is flat. The
20 topographic reference point is 0, but if we take into account the actual
21 fact, the layout of the terrain, the distance is much greater.
22 Q. Thank you. When we look at the entire line you were mentioning,
23 along that line what is the only place where we could say that the
24 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps units dominated at?
25 A. Only in the area of Trebevic, which is forested; and as such, one
1 cannot open fire precisely at the positions of the Army of
3 Q. Did the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or could they also open
4 effective fire since they were also in the forested area?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Explain, please.
7 A. Well, it is difficult to fight in the woods. One cannot aim
8 precisely and one cannot target personnel or embankments, since the trees
9 prevent you from doing that.
10 Q. In the relevant period --
11 A. There were no changes in terms of positions from 1992 until the
12 end of the war.
13 Q. Yes, I see.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will cut my
15 examination short tomorrow. I would just kindly ask you if we could
16 break now since I am exhausted, and I will make up for the time lost
17 tomorrow -- or on Monday, I guess.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we are not resuming tomorrow, we will resume
19 on Tuesday, the 29th. Monday's a holiday.
20 But we can break now. We'll break now and we'll resume on --
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 We'll resume at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday, the 29th, in Courtroom II.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.54 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of
1 May, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.