1 Wednesday, 30 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you commence, Mr. Waespi, I'll take this
7 opportunity to give a decision on a Prosecution motion that was filed on
8 the 2nd of May, requesting that the statement of witness W-146 that had
9 been previously admitted with redactions and pursuant to Rule 92 bis be
10 admitted pursuant to Rule 92 quater on the grounds that the witness proved
11 to be unable to complete the 92 bis requirements owing to her medical
13 The Defence did not respond to this motion. The Chamber has
14 reviewed the material provided by the Prosecutor and notes that the
15 statement was given before an investigator of the Prosecution with the
16 assistance of a certified interpreter who read the statement back to the
18 The statement is cumulative and, in addition, the medical
19 documentation attached to the motion shows that the witness is suffering
20 from the consequences and complications of a stroke. The Chamber is
21 satisfied that the witness is unavailable and finds from the circumstances
22 in which the statement was made and recorded that it is reliable.
23 As such, the Chamber admitted the statement of witness W-146
24 redacted as specified previously pursuant to Rule 92 quater.
25 Mr. Waespi, you may now proceed with your cross-examination.
1 WITNESS: STEVAN VELJOVIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Veljovic.
7 A. Morning, Mr. Prosecutor.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak into
9 the microphone. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, please speak in the microphone. Perhaps
11 you should come closer.
12 MR. WAESPI:
13 Q. I have a number of questions for you this morning, and I'd like to
14 tell that you if you don't understand any question, please get back to me
15 and ask me to clarify. Is that okay?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now what's your profession currently?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
19 repeat his answer.
20 MR. WAESPI:
21 Q. Can you please repeat your answer.
22 A. I'm a technician for the final process of lumber processing,
23 timber processing.
24 Q. So you are back to the job you had before the war started? I
25 think you told us you were a wood cutter.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, what was the last rank you had in the military?
3 A. Major.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Veljovic. Now, let's talk a little bit about what
5 you testified about your specific role in the brigade in 1991 or 1992.
6 Just tell us again, what was the name or number of the brigade you were
7 part of in 1992, just before the JNA left. What was the name or number of
8 the brigade?
9 A. Before the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army into the
10 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the name of my brigade was the 216th
11 Mountain Brigade.
12 Q. And you said that the deputy commander was Asim Dzambasovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And who was the commander?
15 A. Colonel Milosevic, Dragomir.
16 Q. And after the withdrawal of the JNA, was there a renaming, a
17 renumbering of that brigade; and if so, into what denomination?
18 A. No. There was no change of name. It was the Army of Republika
19 Srpska that was established, and it changed the name of the corps and the
20 corps determined the names of the brigades.
21 Q. And did that brigade at one time become the 1st Romanija Brigade?
22 A. It was called the 1st Brigade within the Sarajevo-Romanija
23 Brigade; whereas, the 216th was its name in the 4th Corps of the Yugoslav
24 People's Army.
25 Q. And so the SRK, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, as it was called when
1 it was a VRS corps, was previously the 4th Corps of the JNA?
2 A. No. Only similar buildings were used, or rather, the same
3 buildings, but different officers came on orders from the Ministry and the
4 Supreme Command for commanders.
5 Q. Yes, I accept that. But just the name changed from the 4th Corps
6 of the JNA into the SRK of the VRS; is that correct?
7 A. I don't know that, because I was not involved in politics.
8 Q. Now, you said that Dragomir Milosevic was the commander of the
9 216th Brigade. Do you know for how long he had been the commander of the
10 216th JNA Brigade?
11 A. I remember, I remember that Dragomir Milosevic was commander of
12 the brigade from the summer of 1989.
13 Q. Summer 1989; is that correct?
14 A. That's when I met him. Maybe he came earlier.
15 Q. And in May 1992, what was his rank, the rank of now General
16 Dragomir Milosevic?
17 A. The rank he had was that of colonel.
18 Q. Now, did at that time Colonel Milosevic remain the commander of
19 the 216th Brigade once it was transformed into the Romanija Brigade?
20 A. No.
21 Q. So who became the commander of the brigade you were a part of?
22 A. The 216th Mountain Brigade, 99.99 per cent of its complement were
23 reserve soldiers and officers from the territory of Sarajevo, Sokolac,
24 Vlasenica, Han Pijesak, and Rogatica.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Veljovic, the question was: "Who became the
1 commander of the brigade that you were a part of?" Do you know who became
2 the commander of that brigade?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It did not have any soldiers. There
4 were some active duty officers. There was partially withdrawal on the
5 19th, and I don't know if anybody was there, because it became an invalid
6 brigade in the territory of Republika Srpska.
7 MR. WAESPI:
8 Q. Yes. Let me follow up. What was your function in, let's say,
9 August 1992 within the army?
10 A. I was an operations officer in the 1st Romanija Infantry Brigade.
11 Q. And the 1st Romanija Infantry Brigade was part of the
12 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in August 1992?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And who was the brigade commander of the 1st Romanija Infantry
15 Brigade in August 1992?
16 A. The commander was Colonel Dragomir Milosevic.
17 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now, do you know how long Colonel Dragomir
18 Milosevic stayed the commander of the 1st Romanija Brigade, as far as you
19 can tell?
20 A. Commander Milosevic remained commander of the 1st Romanija
21 Infantry Brigade from May, the 19th of May, 1992, until the month of
22 February 1993.
23 Q. And your role, you told us that you were an operations officer.
24 How long did you stay in the 1st Romanija Infantry Brigade as an
25 operations officer?
1 A. I was an operation officers within this brigade from the 19th of
2 May, 1992 until the 19th of December, 1994.
3 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
4 Let me go back to something you said, I think it was yesterday
5 when you described the area of responsibility of the 1st Romanija Brigade
6 and you told us --
7 MR. WAESPI: And if I could ask that map ter number 02829 be
9 Q. You told us, Witness, that the brigade was grouped, starting from
10 south, Grbavica, against the clock, towards east, up north, to Spicasta
11 Stijena. Do you remember saying that yesterday?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, can you tell us who was your neighbouring brigade in
14 Grbavica? Who was west of your brigade?
15 A. West, our neighbour on the left, if you look at the north of the
16 map, was the 1st Sarajevo Motorised Brigade.
17 Q. Now, I just want to focus on Grbavica. Do you see Grbavica on the
18 map in front of you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, you told us, as I just explained, that your brigade spread
21 from Grbavica to the right, and I'm asking you which was the brigade which
22 was spreading from Grbavica to the left?
23 And perhaps the usher can help you later to make a marking. But
24 please just answer the question, if you can. Which was the brigade that
25 was left of your brigade?
1 A. The left neighbour was the 1st Motorised Sarajevo Brigade.
2 Q. And can you make a marking, in fact a strike, which marks the
3 separation line between your brigade and the 1st Motorised Sarajevo
4 Brigade in or around Sarajevo, please.
5 A. Here it is.
6 Q. Can you make a marking which would indicate that on the right
7 side, it is your brigade; on the left side, it's the 1st Motorised
8 Sarajevo Brigade. Maybe a little bit longer marking, if you can do that.
9 A. This is it. Djukica Potok. That's a brook.
10 Q. Very well. Can you please add the letter A, please.
11 A. Here? Here? The letter A, where I marked it.
12 Q. Just below that blue line, a large letter A so we can follow the
13 transcript later.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, to the north in Spicasta Stijena, you
16 said that's where your area of responsibility ended. Which was the
17 brigade that followed, again to the left, from Spicasta Stijena, the SRK
19 A. In 1992, up until the month of September, it was the Kosovo
20 brigade; and after that, the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade.
21 Q. So in 1994 and 1995, left to your second marking was the 3rd
22 Sarajevo Infantry Brigade; is that correct?
23 A. Its name was Kosevska, the Kosovo brigade, during the first six
24 months of 1992.
25 Q. And in 1994 and 1995, it was called the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry
2 A. Sarajevo Infantry Brigade.
3 Q. Can you please add the letter B on top of this second marking?
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Thank you very much, Witness. Now, can you tell us where was the
6 headquarters of your brigade, of the 1st Romanija Brigade?
7 A. We often changed the command post. It was here in the village of
8 Miljevici up until October 1992.
9 Q. Can you please attach a letter C next to your headquarters so
10 people read the transcript can later identify and follow your testimony.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Yes. Thanks. It is a small C, but I think we can see it.
13 Where was the headquarters of your brigade in 1994 and 1995?
14 A. It was in the region of the municipality of Pale to the west of
15 the Derventa crossroads, about 800 metres to the west, at a motel called
17 Q. But I take it in 1994 and 1995 you still had kind of an
18 observation post, or perhaps even a forward command post, at this location
19 here, which you had -- have identified as C?
20 A. In 1994, in the month of September, the 1st Romanija Brigade was
21 not in this area.
22 Q. So what was the brigade that covered the area of responsibility of
23 the 1st Romanija Brigade, as outlined by you right now?
24 A. The battalions in Grbavica: The Trebevic Battalion came to belong
25 to the 1st Motorised Brigade, the Kresevo Battalion belonged to the 3rd
1 Sarajevo Brigade.
2 Q. I'm not sure I understood your answer. Which SRK formations,
3 which formations of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps were located around the
4 demarcation line between Grbavica, spreading to the east, up to Spicasta
5 Stijena from 1994 onwards? Which brigade or which battalions?
6 A. The battalion that covered Grbavica and the battalion that covered
7 Trebevic by the decision of the commander were attached to the 1st
8 Sarajevo Motorised Brigade. The Kresevo Battalion from here to here was
9 attached to the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade. The same people remained
10 there and the same commander.
11 Q. And who was the commander who remained there?
12 A. The commander of the 1st Sarajevo Motorised Brigade was Colonel
13 Veljko Stojanovic; whereas, the commander of the 3rd Brigade was Colonel
14 Dragan Josipovic.
15 Q. And where was the headquarters of the 1st Sarajevo Motorised
17 A. Over here, somewhere in Lukavica. I don't know exactly, but
18 somewhere here.
19 Q. And where was the headquarters of the --
20 A. Partly over here in the barracks; that is to say, that it changed
21 due to activities. There always had to be alternatives, so it's roughly
22 these two locations, but sometimes I just happened to be there, but just
24 Q. You just marked two different spots about two centimetres apart
25 from each other in the area of Lukavica, for the benefit of the
2 Can you tell me, where was the headquarters of the 3rd Brigade you
3 have mentioned a moment ago?
4 A. Somewhere around here, in Vogosca or behind Vogosca.
5 Q. And was there still a headquarter at the location where the 1st
6 Romanija Brigade had its previous headquarter? That's the location you
7 had marked as C.
8 A. No.
9 Q. Let me move to an exhibit you discussed yesterday with the
11 MR. WAESPI: Before that's being done, could this map be -- become
12 an exhibit, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As P740, Your Honours.
15 MR. WAESPI: If the exhibit, Defence Exhibit 185 could be
16 retrieved, please.
17 Q. Now, Witness, yesterday you remember that you were asked questions
18 about the Judges about the "Osa" weapon, which was mentioned in a report
19 you have signed in September 1992; do you remember that?
20 A. Let me just have a look. I remember.
21 Q. Yes.
22 MR. WAESPI: And while this is being retrieved, I don't think
23 that's the right exhibit. It's Defence Exhibit 185, which is a document
24 dated 13 September 1992.
25 Q. Let me quote what you said yesterday, Mr. Veljovic. You said,
1 "The Osa is," and I quote you, "a firing at the Jewish Cemetery held by
2 the Romanija forces. Osa was an anti-rocket launcher intended to destroy
3 bunkers and other armoured vehicles."
4 That's at page 20 of yesterday's transcript. Do you remember
5 having said that, Witness?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And is that correct?
8 A. No. It's not an anti-rocket launcher. It's a rocket launcher
9 intended for destruction of armoured vehicles, bunkers, fortified
10 positions and, at the same time, it also destroys personnel.
11 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Now, when you said yesterday
12 that it was "a firing at the Jewish cemetery held by the Romanija forces,"
13 which Romanija forces were you referring to?
14 A. Parts were at the Jewish cemetery, which means that our forces
15 didn't hold it completely. They held only one part facing Grbavica were
16 held by our forces, the 1st Romanija Brigade, to be precise.
17 Q. Of the SRK?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, looking at this document again. In paragraph 2 it says, and
20 you testified about that yesterday, "that units of the brigade respond
21 only in exceptional circumstances when enemy fire reaches such intensity
22 that endangers lives of our soldiers."
23 That's something you wrote; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What is the basis of your knowledge? How did you know at the time
1 that you were drafting that, that units of the brigade responded only in
2 exceptional circumstances?
3 A. Each unit, a company, a platoon, a squad, a battalion, sent to the
4 operations centre of the brigade, there are daily reports; and on the
5 basis of those reports coming from battalions and brigade -- the battalion
6 and brigade drafted their reports and sent them to the corps command. We
7 had radio communication and wire communications at the operations centres,
8 and immediately the battalion commanders reported any provocation to the
9 centre about what was happening on the separation line between the two
10 armies, or rather, what kind of combat activity was in progress.
11 Q. And it was the duty of the subordinate units to portray an
12 accurate picture of what was happening in their area of responsibility.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So you, being the operations officer, were aware, were completely
15 aware, of what was happening in the area of responsibility of your
17 A. Yes, provided I was in the brigade at the time, if I was not
18 elsewhere on a leave. But there was a duty operation officer who
19 collected information on a daily basis, and it need not have
20 necessarily be me. I could have been perhaps 20 kilometres away with
21 another battalion or other unit.
22 Q. And all that information that comes in and is collected in the
23 operations centre is analysed on behalf of the commander of the brigade,
24 so he can make his decisions about how to proceed?
25 A. Yes. The commander of the brigade receives a report, and the duty
1 operations officer and the operations and training organ prepare their
2 regular combat reports to be sent to a higher command. These reports had
3 to be approved by the brigade commander. In his absence, that would be
4 the Chief of Staff. In his absence, though, this will have to be approved
5 by an operations officer.
6 Q. Did you also orally brief the Chief of Staff or the brigade
7 commander about what was happening in your area of responsibility or is it
8 only done by written reports?
9 A. Both orally and in writing. Written reports were sent to higher
10 ranking units, and the commander of the brigade received oral reports from
11 the operations officer about the events involving the brigade.
12 Q. Let me move to paragraph 4 of this same document. You have
13 briefly touched on it yesterday. It talks about the killing of a civilian
14 in the Soping area and that the case was reported to the military police
15 which has been investigating it.
16 Do you remember what was the outcome of the investigation by the
17 military police?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Who would know about the outcome of this incident?
20 A. The intelligence and security organ and the commander. But there
21 were killings every day; and, normally, if it didn't have during combat
22 operations on the front line, then the military police would investigate
23 whether someone killed that person from the inside; that is, by our
24 forces. They wanted to establish the exact circumstances of the killing.
25 Q. And the victim was a civilian?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
3 If we move on to the next subject, and this is your role as an
4 operations officer under the accused, Dragomir Milosevic.
5 Now, you told us last week and also yesterday, today again, I
6 believe, that in December 1994, in fact on the 12th of December, 1994, you
7 became the operations officer or an operations officer of the SRK?
8 A. On the 12th of December, I received an order from the 1st Romanija
9 Infantry Brigade to be transferred to the 1st Corps, and I arrived at the
10 corps command on the 19th of December, 1994, so that would be a week later
11 or so.
12 Q. Yes. I'm interested now in your specific duties as an operations
13 officer. What was your job?
14 A. A corps operations officer's duty is to prepare combat documents,
15 maps, and to communicate with all chiefs and services to pile -- compile
16 all orders to be on duty and is occasionally engaged in the focus of
17 combat operations, together either with at commander or the Chief of
18 Staff. At times, he could be assigned a command duty.
19 Q. And who was your immediate boss, who was your superior?
20 A. My first immediate superior was Colonel Cedomir Sladoje.
21 Q. And he was the Chief of Staff of the SRK?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. And how many people worked alongside you? Were you the only
24 operations officer under Colonel Sladoje or were there other operations
1 A. There was a lieutenant with me; and in my operations and training
2 department, there should have been a chief of that department. We didn't
3 have one, and it also should have between 10 and 11 operations officers.
4 Q. Where was your office?
5 A. Lukavica, the command post, the barracks, the Princip Seljo
6 barracks. The forward command post were at Trnovo, Nisici, or Vogosca.
7 Q. Did you visit the forward command post as well?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Would you sometimes accompany the -- General Milosevic to these
10 forward command posts?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. We'll come to that later, but let me continue about your -- your
13 prime office at Lukavica.
14 Was it the same building that Colonel Sladoje had his office in?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And was it the same building Dragomir Milosevic had his office in.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was it on the same floor as the office of Colonel Sladoje?
19 A. No.
20 Q. On which floor were you located?
21 A. The operations centre was on the ground floor. The commander was
22 on the floor, he was on one side and the Chief of Staff on the other side,
23 and they used it at the same time as sleeping quarters. And most of the
24 time when I was at the command post, I spent time in the operations
1 Q. Let me just clarify. You said your office, the operations centre
2 was on the ground floor. That's correct?
3 A. Can you please repeat that?
4 Q. You said that your operations centre, your office was on the
5 ground floor?
6 A. Yes. Only I had a small room where I slept, so I was able to stay
7 there, but I had to be most of the time at the operations centre, provided
8 I was not elsewhere on the mission visiting the units and surveying the
10 Q. And the office of Commander Milosevic was where? Was it on the
11 first floor? Was it on the second floor?
12 A. On the first floor, and the operations centre was on the ground
13 floor, but there were other offices, too, there. It was the same building
14 where the command post was housed.
15 Q. Now, you told us on Thursday about that map, how it came into
17 MR. WAESPI: And this is, Mr. President, Your Honours, D59, the
18 big map, which is besides the witness.
19 Q. Now, when did you see the map for the first time after the war
21 A. I was demobilised in 1996, on the 24th of February, and I became
22 commander of the 4th Sarajevo Brigade on the 7th of August, 1995.
23 Q. My question was: When did you first saw the map again after the
24 war? Did you see it in 2002? Did you see it when you came to The Hague?
25 A. Only after my arrival in The Hague, I saw it with Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 Q. Where was that map located during the war? Was it in your office
2 in the operations centre?
3 A. This map was in the operations centre, and another map was with
4 the corps commander in his office. It was protected with a curtain so
5 that if somebody from a higher instance came to visit, he was able to
6 discuss certain situations and use the map in the process.
7 Q. Was that map up to date?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And who kept it up to date, the map which was hidden behind the
10 curtain in General Milosevic's office? Was that your job as well?
11 A. Yes. But he himself could have made some entries on the map in
12 his position as a commander, and the same applied from someone from a --
13 higher ranking levels. It was his right to do so, and he also could have
14 ordered a new map to be drawn if it was smeared or it didn't correspond to
15 the standards of a proper working map.
16 Q. And I don't know whether you know, but if you know, can you tell
17 us what was the basis of the information General Milosevic had to alter
18 the map, if he in fact did so. Were that visits to subordinate units?
19 A. He could make changes in the map as he pleased, but I don't think
20 that he did so. He usually asked operations officers to do that, and we
21 were not supposed to know certain things. It was important that he knew
22 what we were doing, and we did not need to know everything that the
23 commander was doing.
24 Q. You told us on Thursday that you had personally received an order
25 from the Chief of Staff, which, as we know, is Colonel Sladoje, to draft
1 documents about the defence in 1995. Do you remember testifying that?
2 A. Yes. Since in 1994, we had to shift as a result of the BH army
3 action and the true picture during the truce and the issues of defence had
4 to be reflected in the map, so that we knew the exact deployment of
5 personnel and equipment on both sides. And as an operation officer, I
6 immediately started drafting these documents following an order, and that
7 was a usual practice in every army, including the VRS.
8 Q. And you have received the order to do these things, you have
9 outlined by your superior. That is Colonel Sladoje?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that's the way staff works, that people do what they are told
12 by their superiors; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, in fact, that's the way an army works as a whole, that people
15 are ordered to do things and they have to report back after they have done
17 A. Yes. A map is reviewed, corrected, altered, amended, if
19 Q. You told us, I believe it was yesterday, that you were "familiar
20 with almost everything that happened at the corps level."
21 Is that correct?
22 A. Not about everything, but I was pretty familiar.
23 Q. And that would even more apply to the Chief of Staff, which is
24 Colonel Sladoje?
25 A. It is very probably that he was more familiar; and as you go up to
1 a higher level, the knowledge expands. There were meetings between the
2 commander, deputies, Chief of Staff, assistant for information, assistant
3 for morale and legal affairs, and the assistant commander for logistics as
4 a corps meetings. The Chief of Staff conveyed orders to specific branches
5 such as infantry, engineering units, artillery, anti-aircraft artillery
6 units, the chief of communications, and so on and so forth.
7 Q. So what was the role of the Chief of Staff? What was his function
8 as you were able to observe while you were one of his subordinates?
9 A. The Chief of Staff was, at the same time, a corps deputy
10 commander. In the absence of the commander, he was at the head of the
11 Corps Staff, apart from the assistants that I just mentioned. When acting
12 as a deputy, he was in charge.
13 Q. So it's probably fair to say that he was the alter ego of the
14 commander. They were very close to each other. Because if the commander
15 was away, was absent, if somebody happened to him, he has to be able to
16 take over at any time?
17 A. Yes. And the two of them always coordinated the actions and how
18 the command and control was going to be performed.
19 Q. Was part of your duties as an operations officer also to take
20 notes when subordinate commanders, brigade commanders would visit the
21 corps commander?
22 A. Yes, but not always.
23 Q. How many times would the commander - and I'm talking about
24 Dragomir Milosevic - call meetings that involved all subordinate
25 commanders, commanders of brigades, of independent battalions, and so on?
1 A. Well, it didn't happen often. It most probably happened once in a
2 month or twice in a two month or in a fortnight, depending on the
3 situation. Sometimes it happened that there is were two meetings in the
4 course of ten days.
5 Q. When you needed information as part of your job to maintain these
6 documents, to maintain the map, you were able to get information from
7 subordinate units. You could request information from subordinate units.
8 Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What kind of information would you request from subordinate units?
11 Can you give us examples?
12 A. Well, I communicated with the brigade operations officer inquiring
13 whether they had carried out certain orders, conducted training, and
14 everything that concerned the operations and training organ. I talked to
15 the operations officer -- officers, and I didn't issue orders to brigade
16 commanders nor was I able to do so, unless I had a specific approval by
17 either the commander or the Chief of Staff, if I wasn't assigned to do the
18 inspection and checking up. But I was not authorised to issue orders to
19 brigade command unless I was given approval in specific instances.
20 Q. Was there a subject you could not get information about from the
21 subordinate units? Were there some secret dealings you were not supposed
22 to know about?
23 A. We were supposed to know things, but many things are not revealed,
24 just like in any structure or organisation, and by their token in an army,
25 too. That is why security and intelligence organs exist, the ones
1 involved in intelligence and those involved in counter-intelligence.
2 Q. And who was the assistant commander of security and intelligence
3 in your corps in 1994 and 1995?
4 A. The consistent commander for intelligence and security was Colonel
5 Marko Luganja.
6 Q. And he was reporting to the Chief of Staff or directly to the
8 A. He reported directly to the commander, and they also had a special
9 channel to the Main Staff. This security and intelligence organ is
10 usually quite an independent one.
11 Q. So I take it you say they had a professional communications line
12 to the chief of security of the Main Staff?
13 A. No. Most likely because I was not involved in any security
14 issues, I dealt with the combat-related issues and training .
15 Q. So you don't know about these issues?
16 A. Very little, except if we were to draft some orders for defence,
17 then the intelligence organ was supposed to give me some information about
18 the grouping of forces so that I could plot that on to the map. But as to
19 how they gained intelligence, what they did in the intelligence and
20 security organ, that was not something that I knew about.
21 Q. So you didn't know about the sources, but you received information
22 from them which you could use for your work.
23 A. Well, only as far as combat-related issues were concerned, in
24 order for us to be able to direct our units as properly as possible so
25 that they can perform their tasks properly.
1 Q. And an example of that information would be, I take it, positions
2 of the enemy, strength of the enemy, weaponry of the enemy; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, is it correct that sometime in August 1995 you became a
6 brigade commander yourself?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that was the 4th Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade, near Pale?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember when you were appointed or when you actually took
11 effective command of that brigade?
12 A. I took effective command of the brigade on the 7th of August,
14 Q. And I think it was a fairly well-staffed brigade. I think about
15 89, 90 per cent of the men you were supposed to have you actually had?
16 A. Well, when the battalions were shifted from some other brigades,
17 they were attached to me. That was the Jahorina Brigade from the 1st
18 Romanija Brigade, the Trebevic battalion from the 1st Sarajevo Motorised
19 Brigade, and the -- another battalion from Gorazde area.
20 Q. So that is about correct, you had almost full strength in your
22 A. Yes. But I didn't have enough support artillery and I had to rely
23 on the corps artillery, and I was appointed the acting commander because
24 the operations officer was supposed to take part in figuring out the
25 establishment of the brigade, the logistics, all other forms of support.
1 And that is how I was appointed the acting commander of this
2 brigade, and I remained in this post until after the Dayton agreement was
3 signed; and then I remained there for two months, two additional months,
4 and then I ended my military career.
5 Q. You briefly talked about your assets available. I think you had a
6 few tanks and also relied occasionally on sniper ammunition; is that
8 A. We were very far away from the city, and we couldn't use snipers
9 to target the city at all; and if we had any snipers, we probably did
10 have, they could only be deployed on our positions to target enemy
11 soldiers and we were not within the range of the city. Our snipers were
12 not within the range of the city, and I can state that with full
13 responsibility and we can check that on site, if you wish.
14 Q. Yes. I wasn't asking about Sarajevo. I just asked whether you
15 had tanks and sniping ammunition, sniping weaponry available to your
16 brigade. That's the only issue I wanted to ask you.
17 A. I had a tank. I had a sniper using 7.9 ammunition, but not more
18 than four or five such snipers in the whole brigade. I had one tank, one
19 APC, and that's all. I didn't really have any other armour.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness, for these answers.
21 Let's move on to another topic. You talked yesterday a little bit
22 about the dealings you had with General Dragomir Milosevic. And, in fact,
23 in the notice you got from the Defence about what you're going to testify,
24 it said that you were one of the closest associates of Dragomir Milosevic.
25 Is that correct, were you one of the closest associates of Dragomir
1 Milosevic during the time he was commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
2 A. No. I was not one of his closer associates, but he did have some
3 respect for me as an officer, my character, my conduct, my honesty, and my
4 general attitude towards the service.
5 Q. So you never told the Defence that you were one of his closest
7 A. No, but I was close.
8 Q. And how close were you? Were you a personal friend of his, or was
9 it a purely professional relationship you had, based on respect?
10 A. It was a professional relationship because in combat operations,
11 the operations officer must accompany the commander to coordinate combat
12 operations and to propose certain positions to be taken; and then the
13 commander is, of course, free to accept or not accept the suggestion, but
14 the commander must not be alone on the focus area of the combat
15 operations. There has to be somebody from the staff; and because we
16 weren't that many, I often accompanied him during combat operations. I
17 was close to him in those situations.
18 Q. And he -- you knew him very well also because you were already an
19 operations officer in his brigade in 1992, when he was commander of the
20 1st Romanija Brigade. Is that correct?
21 A. That's correct. I would not have joined the corps had he not held
22 my work in high regard and also my character.
23 Q. And you were even made a brigade commander, an acting brigade
24 commander, after that, which is quite a career for a staff officer.
25 A. Well, the operations officer in the corps was at the same level as
1 the brigade commander, but somebody from the operations organ must always
2 be there to help with the establishment of a brigade. We didn't have
3 enough high-ranking officers, and that is why I was appointed to this post
4 until a proper -- properly educated and trained colonel could be find to
5 tack up this post. One who had undergone all the proper training and
6 education and had proper schooling and so on.
7 Q. Now, you just told us that you often accompanied General Milosevic
8 during combat operations, and I believe also yesterday you said that
9 General Milosevic was often in the field. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. That would be a real soldier, always on the
11 front line, highly respected by the officers and soldiers alike, precisely
12 because he was always there where the fighting was at its worst. He was
13 not always just sitting in his office or where the civilians were.
14 Q. But how was it possible for him to keep abreast of what was going
15 on if he was always sort of out where things were happening?
16 A. Well, as in every army, we had communications equipment, we had
17 our corps tables, and we were always able to find out what is happening.
18 If you say "four, four, four," that means that at such and such a spot we
19 had casualties or combat operations began. We would put in those codes,
20 and we would immediately know what is happening. We knew that the enemy
21 was monitoring our communications, unless, of course, we used the land
22 lines, then we were able to talk freely. Everybody has the same system,
23 every army: Belgians, Serbs, Muslim, German, you name it.
24 Q. So I take it from what you're saying that General Milosevic had a
25 very good sense of what was going on at the front lines of his corps?
1 A. Yes. He knew about those things, but not about every minor
2 detail. It was impossible. You had all kinds of people serving in the
3 army, people with criminal background, people who had been taken out of
4 the prison, convicts. Because of the situation, this is how it was. You
5 would have doctors, professors, engineers. In particular, in the prison,
6 in a war situation, people would be let out of prisons, convicts, so you
7 would end up having murderers in your ranks.
8 Q. How does that relate to -- to the notion of General Milosevic
9 knowing what was going on had his area of responsibility, these criminals?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not sure I understand that question.
11 Well, let us see whether he can answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead, Witness.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were people who had
15 served their sentences, and they were assigned to various tasks during the
16 war. Some had come directly from prison and so on. And when you have a
17 war, they're mobilised. Those convicts are mobilised and they are
18 assigned to their units, just as people who have Ph.D.s.
19 MR. WAESPI:
20 Q. Yes, I understand you now. Did these people pose a problem for
22 A. Well, sometimes yes, but then the military police would
23 intervene. And sometimes those really bad criminals did some really bad
24 things, but then the security organ took care of that because they had
25 lists of those people, and they really kept tabs on these people to
1 prevent them from stealing military secrets or committing crimes or doing
2 things that were not in compliance with the orders, against the enemy.
3 Q. And always these dealings with the military police, with these
4 people, these really bad criminals, was General Milosevic aware of those
5 or was that something you give as an example he couldn't be aware of
6 because it was one of the minor issues he wasn't aware of?
7 A. Well, in any army, there are minor details that you don't really
8 know, but they were always closely monitored, lest they should do
9 something, but you had all kinds of people.
10 Q. But the situation was under control with the help of the military
11 police, is that what you're saying?
12 A. Well, yes, 95 per cent, I'm sure of that. But it's impossible to
13 achieve 100 per cent control over everything, and that's how it is
14 everywhere, in every army.
15 Q. Just a couple of points, a little bit more into details about
16 movements of General Milosevic, if you're aware of them. How often would
17 you see him? Would you see him on a daily basis, even several times
18 during a given day?
19 A. Well, sometimes I would see him several times a day and sometimes
20 we would spend days at the position, and sometimes five or seven days
21 would pass without me seeing him at all.
22 Q. And you mentioned a moment ago that you accompanied him to
23 subordinate units. Did you visit front lines with him?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you give us examples of the front lines you visited when you
1 were with him?
2 A. Well, there's hardly a location or a trench on this map that we
3 had not really visited as we toured the positions, and we actually went to
4 every trench on this long front line, not once, but several times.
5 Q. You and General Milosevic?
6 A. General Milosevic and I, sometimes I would go alone depending on
7 the task we were given. Sometimes one would go to one side, one to the
8 other, one would accompany the general, and sometimes communications
9 officers would say also tour the front line. And because everybody had to
10 inspect their own branch, then the operations officer would get all the
11 information and put everything on the paper and the Chief of Staff would
12 then be given all this information, check whether it is all accurate, and
13 that would be it.
14 Q. So if you visited front lines on your own, you would report back
15 orally or in writing so that ultimately the commander would be informed
16 about what you have seen visiting the front lines.
17 A. Yes. Sometimes we would report to the Chief of Staff, and the
18 Chief of Staff would then report to the commander as the highest member of
19 the staff; and then sometimes in the morning or in the afternoon, we would
20 have briefings. The commander would be there, and everybody would report
21 on the activities of the day before, what was observed, what shortcomings,
22 and then everything would be taken care of, branch by branch.
23 Q. And who would be present during these briefings?
24 A. When the whole staff was present at the briefing, all the
25 assistants and all the chiefs, together with the Chief of Staff were
1 present there. And sometimes you would have a briefing for the staff with
2 the brigade commanders and their assistants for security, intelligence,
3 and so on. That was not the usual practice, but it sometimes happened
4 that way.
5 Q. Now, do you know whether at one time General Milosevic was wounded
6 and had to go under treatment?
7 A. Yes. We were together. A tank from the opposite side hit our
8 trench. I had lost consciousness, but I was not injured. I already had
9 some experience because my trench had been hit twice already by a tank
10 shell, so I knew what to do. I opened my mouth, and I was not injured;
11 whereas, other people got injured. You could have various abdominal
12 injuries, internal injuries, ear injuries, and this is what happened in
13 the command bunker where quite a few officers were present. Quite a few
14 of them got injured, and one soldier, who was with us, he was quite
15 seriously injured, in fact.
16 Q. You just described the incident when General Milosevic was
17 injured. That was in the command bunker when other people were injured as
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where was that command bunker located?
21 A. It was at Trebevic, above Zlatiste at an elevation there, and they
22 had a line of vision from Zuc from the opposite side. It was about two to
23 three kilometres away, and a tank shell had our command trench.
24 MR. WAESPI: If we could retrieve, again, 02829, please, the map,
25 that would be appreciated.
1 Q. When did that incident occur, when the command bunker was hit by a
3 A. It was on the 17th of May, 1995, above -- just above Zlatiste.
4 Q. And do you know when General Milosevic went to treatment?
5 A. As far as I know, he underwent treatment in August, because there
6 was some complications following his injury.
7 Q. Do you know where he went to go for treatment?
8 A. Most probably, he underwent treatment at the Military Medical
9 Academy in Belgrade, but I'm not sure.
10 Q. Do you know when he left for treatment and how long he stayed away
12 A. I don't know the exact date because on the 7th of August, I took
13 up my post as the brigade commander, and I did not go to the corps every
14 day, so I can't really remember the exact date. But I do know that he
15 returned sometime in September.
16 Q. And who replaced you as the operations officer of the corps when
17 you became a brigade commander in the beginning of August 1995?
18 A. Sladojevic was appointed the chief of operations organ. He was a
19 colonel. I can't recall his first name, but he was appointed to that
20 post. Sladojevic, something like that; he was a colonel.
21 Q. Was he a competent officer?
22 A. Highly educated, highly competent officer.
23 Q. And do you know whether the relationship you had with General
24 Milosevic, the professional relationship, continued while Colonel
25 Sladojevic was the operations officer of the SRK?
1 A. Well, I don't know if it was Sladojevic or maybe something else.
2 I can't really remember. But I think their relationship was quite
4 Q. And who was in charge of the corps when Dragomir Milosevic went
5 for treatment in Belgrade?
6 A. His deputy, Colonel Cedomir Sladoje.
7 Q. And you said that Dragomir Milosevic came back from Belgrade
8 sometime in September, I believe?
9 A. I can't remember, but I think that's how it was.
10 Q. Do you know if he came back earlier than he expected?
11 A. I don't know that, and I was not in a position to know that. In
12 fact, I was not supposed to know that, because I was not supposed to ask
13 the commander at all. I only addressed him when I needed to. There was
14 the chain of command, and the superior officer issues orders. The
15 subordinate is supposed to comply with those orders.
16 Q. And I don't know whether you know the answer to that; but when
17 Dragomir Milosevic came back to the corps area sometime in September, do
18 you expect that the deputy commander, the acting commander, Sladoje, fully
19 briefed General Milosevic upon his report about the events that occurred
20 during his absence?
21 A. I was not present, so I don't know if he briefed him fully, but I
22 am convinced that it was so because it was his duty to fully brief him.
23 But I can't tell you that, because I was not present there anymore.
24 Q. So you're saying it would be the duty of the acting commander to
25 fully inform the old and new commander when he came back from his absence?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And before the break, if we could briefly have a look at the map
3 we have discussed already. It's probably not on the map, but
4 approximately, can you point to the location of the command bunker when it
5 was hit by a tank in May 1995?
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Waespi, while we're waiting for the picture,
7 it seems to me that you keep talking about a command bunker and the
8 witness keep talking about a trench, at least in the translation that I
9 receive. So maybe you could clarify if it is an a concrete bunker or just
10 a trench.
11 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much, Judge Harhoff.
12 Q. Can you tell us, Witness, what facility was hit? Can you describe
13 the facility that was hit by that tank in May 1995?
14 A. A bunker is just a better fortified trench. There was no
15 concrete. There was just a wooden, some thick wooden planks to cover it,
16 then some rocks, then some thick planks on top, and then again some rocks.
17 Because had the bunker been hit directly, we would all had died. But the
18 shell hit this cover and it hit an area that was 830 centimetres above our
19 heads. And had it not been for this cover, we would all had been killed
20 by the force of detonation itself and yet no shrapnel penetrated this
21 area. It is a very heavy shell, 100-millimetre calibre, 20 kilograms in
22 weight. This was here in this area.
23 Q. Yes. Can you mark it with a letter A, but please a large letter
24 A. Just a dot you have put where you say that --
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. That's great. Thank you very much for that.
2 How far away from --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Judge Mindua has a question.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. Waespi, but I have a
6 Witness, please, regarding your military career, you said that you
7 became brigade commander when you were a major. Generally a brigade
8 commander is a general, you know, or a colonel, maybe a lieutenant-colonel
9 in the extreme cases, but you were just major. And you said that as
10 major, you were in charge of corps operations because there were not
11 enough high-ranking officers. But I note that when you were appointed
12 brigade commander, Colonel Sladojevic becomes operations officer.
13 So where did he come from, this Colonel Sladojevic? Was he a
14 member of the corps along with you, at the same time as you? That's my
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Colonel Sladojevic hails from Banja
17 Luka. That's where he was born. And where he was before he came to us, I
18 don't know. But I know that he used to be brigade commander in Subotica,
19 during peacetime.
20 Afterwards, what he did afterwards, is something that I don't
21 know, except when he came to our corps as operations chief. I was not
22 operations chief, chief of the operations department. I was the highest
23 ranking operations officer after the chief, because the chief of
24 operations is the deputy of the Chief of Staff and stands in for him when
25 he is absent. Now, why I was appointed to the such duties with this kind
1 of rank, the law provides for that possibility in a case of war. And we
2 Serbs say when there are no young girls, make do with an old lady as well.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Fine, fine. You've answered my
4 second question, in part, the second question I wanted to ask you.
5 Because when you needed a colonel, there was one in Banja Luka that was
6 obtained. But you as major you became -- you became brigade commander
7 after the operations. So I'm wondering whether it is maybe because you
8 had an excellent relationship with General Milosevic. You said you had a
9 good personality and so on. Because military-wise, you were an engineer
10 in the lumber trade to start with, weren't you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A technician, a technician, not an
12 engineer, but I completed the reserve officers school for the infantry. I
13 was appointed brigade commander because there weren't enough personnel,
14 and it wasn't a final appointment. It was a temporary appointment both
15 times until the commander came in, because officers are sent to help set
16 up a brigade staff.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, on that note, we'll take the break.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
21 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I wonder whether Judge
22 Mindua's question has been sufficiently answered.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much.
1 Q. Could we please return to that map here. How far away from the
2 Pale-Lukavica road was that "bunker" you marked as -- with the letter A?
3 A. Right above the road. If you were there above Zlatiste, you know
4 where it is. Vertically, there is this big rock and that is where it was,
5 so that we'd have a better view.
6 Q. And as the crow flies, the distance in metres between the road and
7 the bunker?
8 A. It's a rock that is right above the road. So it's just higher up,
9 but it's right there. It's just a few metres.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Veljovic. What was the bunker's purpose? Was it a
11 forward command post? Was it an observation post?
12 A. Well, you know that on the 15th, 16th of May, combat activities
13 started at Debelo Brdo and here towards Zlatiste, and that is why since we
14 were in danger because the enemy forces could have cut off our
15 communications and made it impossible for to us receive resources that
16 were indispensable for the population and the army. That is why most of
17 us from the command where the thrust of the combat activities was,
18 although we were, the corps command, we were there on the very front line
19 in order to boost the morale of the troops and also in order to make the
20 right decisions.
21 Q. And for how long, if you recall, had General Milosevic been at
22 that position above the Lukavica-Pale road before the bunker was hit by a
24 A. We were there an hour or an hour and a half before that.
25 Q. And that was on -- on which day? Was it on the 15th or the 16th
1 of May?
2 A. That was on the 17th of May, sometime in the afternoon.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic is on his feet.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, he decidedly said
5 on the 17th of May. He did not mention the 15th or the 16th at all. The
6 first time he was asked, he said it was on the 17th of May.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. That clarifies it. Let's move on.
8 MR. WAESPI:
9 Q. And on the 15th and 16th of May, were you and/or General Milosevic
10 also at that location, if you recall?
11 A. Yes. As soon as combat started, we came to that location. Here
12 from the Lukavica command, we came there straight away.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness speak
14 notice microphone all the time. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, please speak into the microphone. The
16 interpreter is not hearing you very well.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We, from the command, from the corps
18 command, from the command post of Lukavica, we came there to the
19 separation line to one of the command bunkers. It was that bunker there
20 that had been built in the Galic days.
21 MR. WAESPI:
22 Q. And just to make things clear, when did combat start in those
24 A. As far as I can remember, in this area of Debelo Brdo, it was from
25 the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and so on, up to the 20-something.
1 The fighting went on for about seven days.
2 Q. Thank you, Witness.
3 MR. WAESPI: If this map could be exhibited, please,
4 Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As P741, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Witness, I would be interested to know just to
8 have an impression of the level of military intelligence that both parties
9 exercised on the other. Was it your impression that the ABiH intelligence
10 knew about General Milosevic's presence in that bunker the day he was hit
11 and so whether that was an attempt to take him out, or was it just a
12 random firing against one of the military targets that the ABiH had
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Most probably, the intelligence service knew that General
16 Milosevic was there in the bunker, because General Milosevic was always on
17 the front line in all fighting. And they knew that that was the best
18 target of all, the command post, the command bunker, the general, and they
19 probably got their best people to guide fire from the tank in order to
20 destroy it.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honour.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. WAESPI:
25 Q. And following up or following on Judge Harhoff's question,
1 likewise, the intelligence you had of the enemy positions in the city was
2 also very good?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm smiling because I had suggested to Judge
4 Harhoff that he ask the very same question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we knew, too. We had quite a
6 bit of information about the deployment of their forces, but some
7 particular bits of information were totally inaccessible. So there wasn't
8 100 per cent intelligence and that is impossible, otherwise it would be
9 very ease to resolve a situation in their favour or in ours.
10 MR. WAESPI:
11 Q. But you certainly knew where the ABiH positions were, where the
12 headquarters were, at all levels where the communications were. That was
13 privy to you?
14 A. Well, we did not know exactly, but things changed during the
15 course of a particular day or a week, and sometimes the wrong kind of
16 information would arrive as well.
17 Q. Do you know who Mirko -- Marko Luganja is?
18 A. Well, I have already said that Marko Luganja was Commander
19 Milosevic's assistant commander for intelligence and security.
20 Q. Yes. He in fact told the OTP, confirmed what you just said, that
21 it was extremely good the information the SRK had of the ABiH positions.
22 And he told us, and I can quote, that: "Their positions, their
23 assignments were familiar to us. We knew where their command posts were
24 at all levels, communications centre, roads that are used for transport
25 and evacuation. The way they reinforce their units, and all these
1 activities took part mostly in the urban part of the city; that is, in the
2 city itself."
3 That is what the chief of the intelligence of the SRK told us.
4 Would that be consistent with the way you saw things?
5 A. Well, most of it, yes. But that he knew everything, 100 per cent,
6 that would not be true. But most of it, yes. There is no one who knows
8 Q. I agree. Let's move on to another topic. You told us this
9 morning, when I asked you about the sniping capabilities of your brigade,
10 the one you took over after August or in August 1995, and I quote you,
11 you said on page 24 this morning: "We were very far away from the city,
12 and we couldn't use snipers to target the city at all."
13 You remember saying that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So I take it if you were closer to the city, you were able -- you
16 would have been able to target the city with snipers.
17 A. We would be able to, but we would never do that kind of thing to
18 the civilian population.
19 Q. We will get to that in a moment, but let me ask you on the issue
20 of looking into the city. You told us on Thursday that "the
21 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps couldn't really look down into the city, that the
22 only area which was kind of dominant was Trebevic and Trebevic was a
23 forested area." That's on page 45 and 47.
24 Is that your testimony? That the only dominant feature the SRK
25 had around Sarajevo was at Trebevic Mountain and that was a forested area,
1 so one cannot open fire precisely from there?
2 A. Yes, that is correct, that we dominated at Trebevic; and from
3 Trebevic, we could not see the city, except from the place where the
4 funicular would get out from town. That was used by citizens for
5 recreation purposes, and also the Muslims could not see our villages,
6 only the woods and a little bit.
7 Q. But, of course, I take it that the observation post where the
8 Corps Staff was located in to observe the battle in May 1995 was a good
9 viewpoint over the city.
10 A. There was only a good view of town from Zlatiste, the so-called
11 number 8. After that, in Trebevic, there is just wood and you cannot see
12 anything all the way to Pale, except for where the funicular arrives?
13 Q. So what could you see from that bunkers that was hit by the ABiH.
14 A. We could observe Debelo Brdo well, and it was at 3 to 400 metres
15 away. Also we could see the deployment of their trenches that were
16 squid-shaped, and we could see the part of town that is on this other side
17 of the Miljacka river, or rather, on the right bank of the Miljacka, that
18 part of the city.
19 Q. Okay. Fine. So you could see parts of the city from your
20 observation point. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. Most of the city on the right bank: Zuc, Grdonj, Sedrenik,
22 Kosovo, and the parts that are there when you cross the river, right over
23 here from this place where the bunker was.
24 Q. So if you had weapons --
25 A. The left bank of the Miljacka, we could not see, because
1 underneath Debelo Brdo there are these rock that are simply cut off and
2 then and you cannot see.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness speak
4 into the microphone all the time. He tends to moves away from the
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're being asked again, Mr. Veljovic, to speak
7 into the microphone all the time. That may require you to move further,
8 move your chair closer, or to lean forward. Yes. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Mr. President.
10 MR. WAESPI:
11 Q. So, if Witness, if you had - I'm not saying you had - but if you
12 had weapons, direct weapons located at that observation point, could you
13 have hit, not only seen but also hit, the areas you just outlined a moment
14 ago. Just a hypothetical question for you.
15 A. No. No. Weapons do not have that kind of range, but in order to
16 have a tank up there -- even if a tank were there, it would be destroyed
17 by the enemy because this would be a target. And only a bigger weapon
18 with bigger calibres could be used. This is two kilometres or two and a
19 half kilometres away, and there are no infantry weapons that have that
20 kind of range and, therefore, it could not succeed.
21 Q. Very well. Incidentally, you don't need to see the city, you
22 don't need to see the target if you use indirect weaponry, such as
23 artillery, mortars, air bombs; is that correct?
24 A. Mortars, artillery, yes. Air bombs, this is an imperfect weapon,
25 I don't think so. And we know that mortars can fire directly and
1 indirectly, and that is known all over the world. In all armies of the
2 world, people know about that, and all military institutions that deal
3 with that, academies and so on.
4 Q. But you need to have an observer who sees the target, even if you
5 fire with artillery and mortar, so they can guide the fire into the target
6 and make corrections.
7 A. Yes, yes. That is the basic rule, that there are artillery
8 observers, but there are also sometimes situations in a war that no one
9 can see parts of the terrain at certain points in time and then the
10 targeting is approximate, in accordance with a map. Fire is guided by
11 plashets and by maps as well.
12 Q. Would you fire into an urban environment without having proper
13 observation just using, as you call it, approximate targeting?
14 A. Urban targets were prohibited by an order, and we were not
15 supposed to violate such orders without the corps command with --
16 vis-a-vis built-up areas. We were allowed to open artillery fire only at
17 separation lines where the soldiers of the enemy side were. That is what
18 was underlined.
19 What could happen was that a projectile might simply miss a target
20 because the targeting was not done properly, but that would be 50 metres
21 or 100 metres off target; or if there was not a sufficient charge, or if
22 the gun powder charge got damp, or if there were other technical
23 deficiencies, that kind of thing can happen. If artillery is firing from
24 the other side, and they're helping us, then it might happen that if the
25 charge is damp, that the shell does not have a proper range and then it
1 falls into a built-up inhabited area of town.
2 But we were careful about that kind of thing, and sometimes a
3 soldier would be upset, psychologically, and would forget to measure the
4 right angle and would not do things properly and a mistake could be made.
5 But to intentionally target something like that, no. And also from the
6 urban area when they were targeting our positions, they could have the
7 same kind of shortcomings, too. And often this did happen because their
8 manufactured weapons were of lesser quality; and if they targeted Zuc,
9 then due to technical deficiency, their shells would fall on their own
10 units or the urban part.
11 And that happens in all armies in the world, and the French army
12 in the First World War had over 10.000 casualties from their own army.
13 They were targeting at such close range that often the shells would fall
14 on their own troops, and I would often hear this kind of communication and
15 they would say, Friendly fire killed three of our own soldiers, and things
16 like that. So it's that kind of thing.
17 Q. Let me ask a couple of follow-up questions.
18 Do you know of one single incident of friendly fire of the ABiH of
19 the 1st Corps firing out of city, if it happened, according to you, that
20 the target, accidental target would be inside the confrontation line. Can
21 you give us an example?
22 A. These things happen often on both sides. So many times our shell
23 hit our trenches. Due to short range, we sustained casualties. Ten, 20,
24 50 soldiers lost their lives; and on their side, this number was even
25 higher, I suppose. As you saw yesterday, the deployment of support forces
1 was such that they could hit a building due to the trajectory. Maybe the
2 circumference of the shell does not fit the barrel, and the ceiling of the
3 shell was such that exhaust gases were -- exhausted.
4 So there was no mistake-free firing. Sometimes the shells fell 20
5 metres short of a target, and that happened to us on a number of
7 Q. And if an incident like that occurred, and if there were
8 casualties among soldiers or civilians, that would surely make its way
9 into a combat report off that day, at battalion level, brigade level, or
10 corps level. Isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. When a mortar barrel burst on our side, it
12 was reported, and other similar incidents. That's what happened in the
13 1st Romanija Brigade.
14 Q. And going back to my initial question about whether you could tell
15 us an example of the ABiH firing, if that happened out of the city causing
16 accidental or any damage within the confrontation lines, do you know an
17 example of that personally or have you seen documents shown by the Defence
18 to you that would prove or at least give some reliability to your
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said that we had an opportunity to see from
21 certain sectors that this is exactly what was happening. I didn't see
22 their documents, but these things did happen in our corps as well, in our
23 1st Brigade, with mortar batteries of our battalion. It happens that the
24 barrels would burst and cause injuries to the personnel. This is a well
25 known fact in all armies in the world. I don't need to give a lecture on
1 that. This has been taught in the US and elsewhere.
2 Q. Yes. I don't need a lecture; I need an example. You said that it
3 happened. You haven't seen documents, but you said it happened in the
4 ABiH setting, and I just -- if you cannot do that, fine. But if you
5 remember an example of - and I repeat it for the third time - of the ABiH
6 firing out of the city, if that happened, that they accidentally hit
7 people inside the city, whether ABiH soldiers, MUP, civilians, anybody.
8 Can you give me a concrete example?
9 A. We know about the examples reported to us by the army. During
10 firing, especially in the evening, you can see the fire and you can see
11 that the shells didn't reach their targets. Initially, they used to build
12 these shells no ordinary factories that were inaccurate. They didn't meet
13 the technical requirements.
14 They used to make all kinds of devices, and this was the whole
15 truth. They used to fill in Coca-Cola cans with explosive to serve as
16 bombs. They used to manufacture all kinds of improvised devices. There
17 were all forms and kinds, and there were numerous examples when these
18 things happened. And if something major happened in the city, immediately
19 the Serbs would be accused of doing it.
20 Q. Very well. Let's move on to the subject I intended to raise that
21 is these dominant positions which you say the SRK did not have. Let's
22 just discuss a few of them, Debelo Brdo to start with. You just explained
23 add moment ago that from that observation point that was hit by a tank in
24 May 1995, you were able to observe Debelo Brdo.
25 Now, it's correct, is it not, that while the ABiH controlled part
1 of Debelo Brdo, whatever was left, the United Nations was sitting on top
2 of Debelo Brdo. Isn't that a fact?
3 A. Debelo Brdo was fully under control of the BH army. The
4 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps forces were under the hill, facing Grbavica and
5 facing the Jewish cemetery. They were at a lower point, Zlastiste, where
6 our bunker was, and Debelo Brdo are almost at the same level. The
7 approximate difference in height is about ten metres, and only from that
8 positions were we able to see the city, and then came the forest. The VRS
9 was deployed below the road but not above the road.
10 Q. So let me read what General Fraser, who was the assistant to
11 General Soubirou, I believe, and Gobillard at that time, said about Debelo
12 Brdo, and I quote him, and this is on page 1764: "The Muslims had their
13 positions just below the pimple called Debelo Brdo. The UN were right on
14 top of it, and the Muslim trenches were just below it. And if I could
15 also say, then the Serbs were just to the south on that higher piece of
16 ground that looked down on to Debelo Brdo."
17 Do you agree or disagree with what General Fraser said here?
18 A. General Fraser says that they had a dominant position over the
19 entire hill. If the hill is facing the city, they were behind this
20 height, so they had actually the whole hill behind them. I'm talking
21 about the BH army.
22 We were only in this little corner at Zlatiste where Kula was, and
23 we only had the view of Debelo Brdo. All the other's positions, the
24 Jewish cemetery and due south, all of these positions were beneath Debelo
25 Brdo and didn't offer any view of the city.
1 And it was only natural for the UN to be on -- on the peak, but in
2 front of them were BH army facing Grbavica and, therefore, they had the
3 entire hill under their control. In other words to explain it in more
4 simple terms, this is where UNPROFOR was, and the positions underneath
5 were under their control entirely.
6 Q. So you would agree with me, then --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to ask the witness whether he could
8 demonstrate that on the map, because I believe it's a fairly significant
10 Could you demonstrate on the map the relative positions of the two
11 armies on the mountain.
12 Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. This is exactly what you
14 are insisting on, and I was about to ask the witness. He was showing with
15 his hands the frame of the screen in front of him and said this was where
16 it was. Now, coming back to your questions and to what he said, I would
17 like to ask him to explain in more detail.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. No. You cannot ask him to explain in more
19 detail now. You may have another chance in re-examination. I have asked
20 him to do something, and that is what he will do now.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was my
22 intervention. Yes. He indeed said, This is where it was. Now, coming
23 back to his statement and his showing on the screen, that's what I thought
24 he should explain, not what you asked him about. I'm not going to go into
25 that at all.
1 However, when he said, This is where it was, doesn't mean
2 anything. He just showed it with his hand. I thought that this warrants
3 further explanation. That was his response to the Prosecutor's question,
4 and I guess your question has to do with this as well.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not to answer, Mr. Tapuskovic. Just
6 demonstrate on the map the relative positions of the two armies.
7 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, there is a much better map, which is
8 P197, if that could be retrieved, because it's more detailed.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us have a look at --
10 MR. WAESPI: 197.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- P197.
12 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps if the portion which is below 115 Brigade in
13 the middle, bottom of the middle, could be expanded. Yes.
14 Q. Now, Witness, can you just explain and using your pen, but mark it
15 clearly first with a cross where you say that the Muslim positions were;
16 where you say that the UN positions were; and, lastly, where you say that
17 the SRK positions were. But just start with the ABiH positions, according
18 to your assessment.
19 A. This map is not clear because I cannot locate Debelo Brdo on this
20 map. This map is inaccurate, and this map is actually incorrect.
21 Q. What is incorrect?
22 A. It is not correct to mark on the map that we were much more in
23 depth in their territory than we actually were. Debelo Brdo is a peak
24 with the surface 100 by 150 metres. It is in the shape of a cone facing
25 the city, and this part of the Grbavica. Had we captured Debelo Brdo, we
1 would have had the whole city in the palm of your hand and had it under
2 fire and their forces towards Trebevic would be incapacitated. Below
3 Debelo Brdo towards Grbavica were our positions, but they had a vantage
4 point; and due to that, we were unable to see this.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, I understand you to say -- just a minute.
6 You're saying that this map is inaccurate.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let move on to the other map.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us return to the other map which was on the
11 screen before.
12 MR. WAESPI: This was 65 ter number 0289.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this map accurate?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a small-scale map, but I can
16 clearly see Debelo Brdo here, and this is exactly the positions of their
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we have lost it.
19 Show us Debelo Brdo.
20 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have marked with red. Yes. And where were
22 the forces of the Serb army and the ABiH army?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serb forces here and the BH army
24 here, holding the elevation, and on the peak were the French contingent
25 forces. And there were observation posts within the territory held by the
1 BH army behind their positions.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us have a map to identify them. What would
3 you suggest, Mr. Waespi, for the Serb forces? Can we rely on the English?
4 Yes. Put S beside where you have marked for the Serb forces.
5 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: And ABiH for the other forces.
7 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, that shows that the ABiH forces were at a
9 higher position than the Serb forces. I'm asking you to --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At a higher position facing
11 Grbavica. Going to Trebevic where the observation post was, Zlatiste and
12 Kula, Zlastiste was some ten metres higher that Debelo Brdo, but we from
13 Zlatiste could see the other side of the town and Debelo Brdo in our
14 direct view.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
16 MR. WAESPI:
17 Q. So let me just conclude this subject by the assessment of General
18 Fraser again. At the end of questions, he was asked by Presiding Judge
19 Robinson, and I quote General Fraser: "The Serbs had the better position
20 in the region because they commanded that the entire ridge line to the
21 south of the city. Debelo Brdo was just this little pimple which was a
22 significant piece of ground that lay between where the Serbs position was
23 and the city, and the UN had that. And the Muslims had what was left,
24 which was the area just on the east and west of it, which was the best
25 they could get in that particular area. But the Serbs had the dominating
1 vantage point in that region."
2 And this is pages 1766 to 68, General Fraser. Do agree with his
3 final assessment on the distribution of forces at or near Debelo Brdo.
4 A. Debelo Brdo was Alpha and Omega of all this, having to do with the
5 largest populated area of Sarajevo. Had we captured Debelo Brdo, we would
6 have had a dominant position, and everything would be like in the palm of
7 our hand. From Zlatiste, you could only see Debelo Brdo and the other
8 side of the town. And from Zlatiste, you immediately go into the forest
9 which is obstructing the view. From that area, we could only see the
10 other -- the entire other part of the town, including Zuc, Kosovo, Grdonj,
11 et cetera.
12 Q. Very well, Witness. Let's move --
13 A. But from Zlatiste, we couldn't see the left bank of the river
14 Miljacka and the settlement on it, and that was the problem and why Debelo
15 Brdo was particularly important. I did say that we dominated on Trebevic,
16 the wooded area, and I guarantee that this is true; and if I'm not telling
17 the truth, I'm prepared to face the consequences.
18 Q. Let's move to Sharpstone, another important feature we have heard
19 lots of testimonies by internationals and locals, and I believe the Judges
20 have seen parts of it as well on their site visit.
21 To start with, do you agree with me that Sharpstone, Spicasta
22 Stijena, was an excellent vantage point and offered the perfect view of
23 over the city, and there is a densely populated area just below to it and
24 a vertical stone in front of it. So it was actually very difficult to
25 conquer it. Do you agree with these propositions?
1 A. No.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness. Witness, may I ask you once again to
3 move forward, because I'm getting these requests frequently.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Spicasta Stijena is located on
5 Grdonj feature. This feature rises above the Rijeka and Sedrenik
6 neighbourhood. It had vertical cliffs where Muslims forces were. It's
7 overgrown with pine wood.
8 The Serbian forces did not have a good view from that area of the
9 city of Sarajevo, except to the right towards Zuc and the Hum repeater and
10 our positions that were in this pocket facing Kosovo and Poljane. It is
11 very far from the city and doesn't offer any opportunity for infantry fire
12 targeting any populated area of the city and I say this with full
13 responsibility. And because of the distance, its range is poor.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you saying then that Trebevic was the only
15 area in which the Serb forces had a dominant view, had a vantage point?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serb forces had the only
17 dominating position on Mountain Trebevic, but it did not offer a good
18 view, expect from the exit point of the cable car where this area is about
19 70 to 100 metres wide, so it covered only small area. For the rest part,
20 the army was in the wood, and below the BH positions was the infamous pit
21 at Trebevic where civilians were killed. Otherwise, if we had had a good
22 view, they wouldn't have been bringing civilians and killing them here
23 with which the commander of the brigade in old city is accused of, Ramiz
24 Delalic, known as Celo.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
1 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President. Before we move on to a series of
2 pictures, I take it that this map should be --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 MR. WAESPI: -- also tendered.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit this map as marked.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Prosecution Exhibit.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes P742.
9 MR. WAESPI: If we could move on to ter number 03165, please.
10 Q. And while that is being done, Witness, we heard testimony from --
11 from various witnesses, as I mentioned to you. One of them was an UNMO
12 called Knustad, and he said at pages 2029 and 30, talking about
13 Sharpstone: "I conclude that completely since I witnessed this with my
14 own eyes, and it was very easy to know actually where the confrontation
15 lines were in the Sharpstone area. And we had very good control of the
16 Bosnian Serb sniper positions on the Sharpstone, and we knew it was
17 Bosnian Serb territory, since they always made sure that the Bosnian Serb
18 flag was on the top."
19 Do you remember that Bosnian Serb flag that marked the Sharpstone
20 feature of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
21 A. No, sir. You painted a good picture of the situation, and you can
22 see this pine wood here; and because of the combat activities, it was
23 destroyed. We were from -- we were on the other side at Velika and Male
24 Kula; and because this is a sheer cliff, had we had a dominant position at
25 Grdonj and had we been at the edge of this cliff, then we would have had a
1 line of vision of this area, inhabited area. But they actually manned the
2 positions on this ridge. And the bullets would actually go at Trebevic if
3 we were to fire from the infantry weapons, because the BH army held these
4 positions here and because the pine wood was so dense here and because it
5 was beginning to dry out because of all the artillery.
6 And we can see then this is how it was, and this is what I
7 explained to you the first time when I gave my evidence. In the direction
8 of Sedrenik and Hrese, this is a huge, huge area, covered in pine wood,
9 and we were absolutely unable to see anything. Because if we held Debelo
10 Brdo and Grdonj, well, they would have stood no chance. Everything would
11 have been over. They wouldn't have been able to move at all, because we
12 would have exerted fire control over the whole area, and the very defence
13 of the city depended on them holding these positions.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apologise: We cannot follow
15 because there are so many place names mentioned.
16 MR. WAESPI:
17 Q. Okay. Witness, you basically --
18 A. I'm really glad that we can see this picture here, because you can
19 see that I explain things the way they really were, so you can see this
20 wood here, the forest.
21 Q. Yes. You basically make two points. You, on one hand, say, the
22 way I am understanding, that it wasn't the SRK who had these positions;
23 and, on the other hand, even if it was so if the SRK had those positions,
24 you know it was -- you couldn't see anything. You were absolutely unable
25 to see anything.
1 So let's look at the first point. Looking at this picture, you
2 are saying that it was the ABiH who had the top, the ridge, you know,
3 where you see the trees scattered all over?
4 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. That is what your are saying the ABiH had. That contradicts
6 everything we have heard in this courtroom. Are you standing by that?
7 Can you mark the positions of the ABiH? Take a pen, mark the positions of
8 the ABiH as you think they were at that time.
9 A. Behind the ridge, in the woods. Because if we had climbed up the
10 ridge, the ridge is the dominant position; and then below the ridge --
11 Q. Just mark the ABiH positions as you see them?
12 A. Here, behind. I can't really draw it here, but behind the woods
13 and inside the woods, and then 100 metres away from this sheer cliff, the
14 way I described it, without seeing this picture because I'm very well
15 acquainted with this terrain.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is the ABiH that he has marked?
17 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just put ABiH beside it for me.
19 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, there were Serb positions as well.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 100 or 200 metres behind.
23 MR. WAESPI:
24 Q. So you're saying that the ABiH controlled that ridge?
25 A. The BH army had full control of the whole ridge and Spicasta
1 Stijena, and this is the Grdonj feature.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: So just put an S beside the Serb position for me,
3 the line you just marked.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Republika Srpska army, plus SRK.
5 MR. WAESPI:
6 Q. And where was the --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: So, Witness, you say the red line which indicates
10 the Serb position was some 200 metres behind the position of the ABiH.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Towards the Serb villages, and we
12 could not see this sheer cliff at all. Had we been on top of the sheer
13 cliff, we would have had everything under our fire control and on the
14 spot. And I'm happy to see this picture, because I had told you that this
15 is a wooded area.
16 Had we been here up on the ridge, we would have had a line of
17 vision towards Breka and those parts of the city. And we -- our line of
18 vision extended for maybe 30 metres or so because of the wood. Because of
19 woods, we were unable to see any house at all. You can see the ridge how
20 it rears up, and it was always a heavily wooded area. But because of all
21 of the artillery fire, the trees were damaged and had to be -- had to be
22 cut later on. But can you see here, it's a heavily wooded area.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the woods prevented you from seeing, but were
24 you also at a lower position than the ABiH?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, naturally. We were on
1 the lower ground, because they held the dominant ground facing Sarajevo
2 and we were unable to see Sarajevo. Had we taken this ridge, that would
3 have been a huge success, the biggest success of all; and then could you
4 say -- you could have said that we had a line of vision towards the city,
5 that we could open fire on them. Because if you fire a bullet from an
6 infantry weapon and if we were to hit this ridge, it's hundreds and
7 hundreds of metres above the inhabited area, because the ground just falls
8 all the way down to Miljacka. It is a sloping terrain, and here this is
9 the ridge and then have you the inhabited areas here and then towards
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: One more question. Over what period were these
12 positions maintained? What period of time?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The positions at Grdonj remained as
14 they were from 1992 until the end of the war. They never changed.
15 Sometimes we would lose some of our positions in the direction of our
16 communication routes because they wanted to prevent us from moving
17 population and supplies, but we would then recapture those positions.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI:
20 Q. But what we see on the picture is not Grdonj. Grdonj is to the
21 left of it. Isn't that true?
22 A. No, no. All of it is Grdonj. This is the Grdonj feature. Just
23 as you have the Mojmilo feature, and then have you Asimovo Brdo and then
24 some smaller hills. And those small features that's what they're called,
25 and one of those smaller features is Spicasta Stijena, which is a part of
1 the Grdonj feature. Grdonj feature is a broader term, and Spicasta
2 Stijena is a narrower term.
3 Q. So what do you define as Spicasta Stijena looking at this picture?
4 Please mark with any colour what you consider Spicasta Stijena.
5 A. Here, this one here.
6 Q. Please mark a circle about a centimetre.
7 A. Do you have a picture taken from the other side, because this
8 picture was taken from the Muslim side.
9 Q. Yes. I will come to that in a second, but I want you to mark with
10 a circle about a centimetre big where you say Spicasta Stijena is.
11 A. Well, somewhere here. I can't really be more specific than that.
12 But if we were to go on there, on a site visit, that would actually would
13 I like the most because then I would be able to show you everything. But
14 I'm really glad to see this image here.
15 Q. Can you mark, please, SS for Spicasta Stijena to the marking where
16 you said Spicasta Stijena was, according to your assessment.
17 A. S -- what letter should I put?
18 Q. SS is great.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Now, have you seen any information -- have you seen any
21 information report by the ABiH or the SRK which would say that there was
22 sniping from the ABiH, who, according to you, had these positions up
23 there, into the city? Have you seen any information report also from the
24 United Nations, to which you can point us to? Any document that would
25 prove your allegation that it was not the ABiH -- the SRK who had snipers
1 up there, but it was the ABiH who had those positions?
2 A. I don't know if the BH army had any snipers. But from Spicasta
3 Stijena, a sniper would not have enough range to hit the city, and this is
4 what I say with full responsibility. The rifle, the range is not
5 sufficient for the city to be targeted with rifles, in particular, because
6 this is a sheer rock and wooded area.
7 Q. Great. That's a third argument, now the range of weaponry.
8 So let's look at one document. This is an UN document dated --
9 yes, Mr. President, if this picture could be tendered into evidence,
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As P743, Your Honours.
13 MR. WAESPI: If ter number 0314 -- no. I'm sorry. That's a
14 different one. 00033, I'm sorry, could be retrieved. And for everybody's
15 benefit, this is an UNMO report dated the 6th of March, 1995. And on page
16 1, you'll see attacks on personnel, UN personnel, equipment,
17 establishments. The English version, I'm sure it's the same in the B/C/S
19 And I quickly read letter 3B: "During the activity in the area of
20 Sharpstone, there's a grid reference and the resulting casualties reported
21 at paragraphs 8.a.ii and 8.a.iii" --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Tapuskovic is on his feet.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, of course, I do not
24 oppose the showing of this document to the witness, but I have to make an
25 observation on a matter of principle. This document, on the initial list
1 that the Prosecutor provided to us after the witness gave solemn
2 declaration, this document was not on this list, neither were those
4 But I'm not opposed to the use of this document and those
5 photographs, but I have to make this remark because I'm afraid that
6 perhaps in the future we might find ourselves in a similar situation, and
7 I would like to make such a remark that these are the materials that we
8 were given by the Prosecution at a later stage. They were not on the
9 initial list that was given to us as soon as the witness made his solemn
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, what do you say to that?
12 MR. WAESPI: First of all, we were very liberal with the Defence
13 when they had late documents, and I think even with this witness we had
14 late documents; and, second, Mr. President, looking at the 65 ter summary,
15 it was impossible to predict that this witness is going to contradict what
16 all the other witnesses said about vantage points into the city. There is
17 no way I could have anticipated that, looking at the 65 ter summaries.
18 I think 65 ter summary talked about: [Interpretation] It says
19 only confrontation line between the two warring factions and the military
20 operations during the period of the indictment.
21 [In English] That is a very good example why these 65 ter
22 summaries are insufficient and, in fact, impedes the course of both the
23 Defence work and the Prosecution work and your job, because we have to
24 come up, work late to retrieve these documents to find these photos to
25 show that the witness is not correct.
1 That's my response, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. In light of all the relevant circumstances,
3 the Chamber will allow the cross-examination to proceed on the basis of
4 these documents, even though they were not on the list. And we do so
5 because, as Mr. Waespi has indicated, he can only identify documents on
6 the basis of the 65 ter summary, which itself is exceedingly sparse and
7 the Chamber allowed it, and we had good reason allow it, but we have to
8 take that into consideration when we answer the complaint that you have
10 Moreover, we also take into consideration that the Prosecution was
11 quite liberal in relation to the Defence late submission of documents
12 during their cross-examination. So we think in the interests of fairness
13 and carrying on the case as expeditiously as possible, we will proceed.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have to
15 understand me. I'm not opposed to it. The only thing that I ask myself
16 is when the examination started, had we completed the examination on that
17 day, I would not have been aware of these documents at all, and I would be
18 in a situation in which I would actually finish my examination-in-chief
19 without referring to those documents at all.
20 I wouldn't have said anything, but at the beginning of the trial
21 there was a problem when I actually provided the Prosecution with some
22 documents after I had already given the list and all the documents, and
23 then there was this issue whether I had actually abused the procedure. So
24 this is just as a matter of principle. It should -- it should be provided
25 at the beginning of a witness testimony, because other Defence witnesses
1 will not be on the stand for such a long time.
2 So this is just as a matter of principle and, rest assured, I will
3 try to maintain the same kind of attitude, fair and proper attitude that
4 the Prosecution has evidenced during its case.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let us proceed.
7 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. I was just starting to read the second paragraph of item 3, and it
9 related to incidents which are mentioned later in this document in
10 paragraph 8. But before we come to that, let me finish the sentence.
11 "The EgyptBat anti-sniping APC at that location returned fire on
12 to BSA positions on Sharpstone. Following this retaliation, UNMO Vogosca
13 team received a telephone call from the commander, Radava, BN Vogosca
14 brigade, BSA, at 061530 March 95, stating that if the EgyptBat, APC, in
15 his target practice area, Sedrenik, is not removed within 30 manipulate,
16 it is will be fired upon."
17 And just going on to the third page, paragraph 8 which actually
18 lists the casualties observed and retaliated against by EgyptBat. It's on
19 the third page, paragraph 8, yes. We see that just above the middle, ii.
20 I quote: "Civilian male, aged 48 years, injured by small arms
21 round in the left foot at 6061325A March 95." Grid reference is given.
22 "Origin of fire assessed at UNMOs at location of Sharpstone." Grid
23 reference given.
24 And the second alinija [phoen], it says, iii: "Civilian male, aged
25 14 years, injured by SARD," I guess small arms, "in the left forearm at
1 61350 March 1995." Grid reference given. "Origin of fire assessed by
2 UNMOs at location as Sharpstone" and grid reference given.
3 So that appears to be a clear contradiction to what you said. Not
4 only did the BSA fire from Sharpstone, it actually saw that EgyptBat which
5 was located down at Sedrenik return fire so they were able to quickly
6 respond to that. What do you say to this assessment, Witness?
7 A. Sir, I am well acquainted with this, and it is impossible that
8 from the sector near Spicasta Stijena, where the Republika Srpska army
9 units were deployed, to have a line of vision to Sedrenik, the inhabited
10 area of Sedrenik, let alone to fire it on from our positions.
11 This is a patent untruth, and the photograph that you showed us is
12 really good. But what we should do is going there on the spot and then we
13 would be able to see what the situation was like, all of us together with
14 the Judges.
15 Q. In fact, only a few weeks later, EgyptBat, the headquarters they
16 had at Vasin Han was targeted by the Bosnian Serb army; do you remember
18 A. Vasin Han is located below the Borije feature; and as we can see
19 from the documents, that it says hold the dominant points, Borija, Grdonj,
20 Debelo Brdo, Mojmilo and all that. This means that it was impossible
21 because of Vasin Han is in a valley between Sedrenik and Borija. So,
22 gentlemen, this is untrue.
23 He may have been hit; but by whom, that's the question. You must
24 keep in mind, sir, that there were numerous cases of revenge here. If
25 Muslim was killed by a Muslim, the would say, Oh, he was killed by a Serb,
1 and also with the Serbs. And if an UNPROFOR vehicle was hit, then Muslims
2 would say, Well, the Serbs did it; the Serbs would say, Well, the Muslims
3 did it.
4 Q. So you are denying that in August, in fact, it was on the 22nd of
5 August, 1995, EgyptBat at Vasin Han was targeted by the Bosnian Serb army,
6 had injuries to EgyptBat soldiers. An investigation report was done about
7 that. Are you denying that?
8 A. This is not true because it was impossible to hit at Vasin Han on
9 UNPROFOR APC. This is not true. We have to go on the site and see for
10 ourselves investigate what happened.
11 Q. I didn't talk about an APC. I talked about the positions, the
12 headquarters of EgyptBat, and I can show a sketch where you see the
13 impacts caused by the Bosnian Serb army on the 22nd of August 1995 caused
14 the Bosnian Serb army. You have never heard of that?
15 A. It is it possible that long range, high calibre artillery weapon
16 hit this area from Trebevic. But it was impossible to do it from this
17 area. And can you see Sedrenik from Trebevic where the funicular is. But
18 from this area, it is impossible to see this area, and it's impossible to
19 target Sedrenik from Spicasta Stijena, because it is in the completely
20 opposite direction.
21 Q. I thought you said earlier today that for shelling, for mortar,
22 you didn't need to see the target, that this was known all over the world,
23 and now you're saying that you need to see the target north to engage at
24 EgyptBat at Vasin Han?
25 A. It is impossible to target such a small point. If you don't have
1 a line of vision, you can't target an area. If you have a small target,
2 you can't do it. But if you have an area that maybe 200, 500 metres wide,
3 then you can target it. But there is no gunner in the world that could
4 hit this small target; and for him to hit it with a first shell, it's
5 impossible. No one has been able to do that, ever.
6 Q. Very well.
7 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could first admit the document
8 that we just discussed.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let it be admitted.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As P744, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's 20 minutes after 12.00 and time for the
13 MR. WAESPI: If after the break, document 00594 could be
14 retrieved, please.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just identify the document that has just been
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is document 65 ter number
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Waespi.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 If we could retrieve the next document, which is 00594, please,
25 and that is an UNPROFOR military police report dated 23rd of August, 1995.
1 Q. And as with see on the first page, Witness, it indicates the
2 various parts of this report. It has listed witness statements, and there
3 is a sketch at the end. Do you see that, Witness, on the first page?
4 A. I see where it says, "contents or index."
5 Q. Yes. Incidentally, did you have contacts with UNPROFOR at the
6 time you were operations officer for the SRK?
7 A. No.
8 MR. WAESPI: Let's move on to page 6, please, and page 6 is a
9 brief summary of what this report is about. It's in both B/C/S and
10 English version on page 6, electronic page 6.
11 Q. I quickly read the paragraph 9, Circumstances: "On 22nd of
12 August, 1995, at about 10.00 hours, the Bosnian Serb army started shelling
13 the area of Vasin Han to the north-east part of Sarajevo. According to
14 the injuries statements, the first shell landed at about 20 metres out of
15 the OP. After that, in the same time, the second shell landed inside the
16 OP. As a result of the second shell, Lieutenant-Colonel Amro Ismaiel and
17 PTE Mohammed Ahmed had been injured by the fragments of the second shell.
18 "During the presence of the OP personnel in the shelter, the other
19 four injuries discovered that they had been wounded. The platoon
20 commander ordered evacuating them to the GMC at PTT building. According
21 to the OPs room information, there were more four shells on the same OP,
22 three between 1015 hours and 1035 hours, one more at about 1730 hours.
23 There were no injuries according to go these shells."
24 MR. WAESPI: And in the last page, on both versions, we see a
25 sketch, if we could turn to that.
1 Q. And this sketch indicates, does it not, the shells that landed,
2 the first shell, and then all the other ones fairly close to each other.
3 That looks like an intentional shelling of the EgyptBat OP at Vasin Han,
4 does it not, Witness?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, on the 22nd of August, 1995, I was commander of
6 the 4th Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade. I do not know about this because
7 I was not within the corps command.
8 Q. Yes. I'm just putting that to you, on the basis of what you said
9 before, that the incident reported by EgyptBat on Sharpstone was not true,
10 that is was incorrect. And I want your view about this document, the
11 shelling of EgyptBat, whether that looks like an intentional shelling?
12 I'm not saying that you were involved. I'm not saying that you
13 heard about it. It's just my question to you is whether that was
14 intentional or one of these arbitrary shellings which had an error margin
15 you testified about earlier?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you say who fired it?
17 MR. WAESPI: Yes. The report says, at page 6, conclusions,
18 paragraph 9, it was the Bosnian Serb army that fired it.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness gave an
22 explanation as to why he believes he cannot answer that.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just explain something. A few
24 moments ago --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. You only speak when we ask you to speak.
1 Right now we're hearing from Mr. Tapuskovic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, I do
3 apologise because of this, because I --
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecution cannot ask the
5 witness for an opinion. The witness is supposed to confirm whether he did
6 see something or did not see something or whether he heard something or
7 did not hear something, but the Prosecution cannot seek the witness's
8 opinion as was the case just now.
9 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President --
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Before we enter into a dialogue, can I just ask
11 whether this incident, that is to say, the shelling of the EgyptBat
12 position in Vasin Han, is that relevant to the issue that we were
13 discussing before the break; namely, whether or not, or rather, which of
14 the two parties were holding the Sharpstone positions?
15 MR. WAESPI: It's kind of relevant because it was EgyptBat who had
16 observed those sniping shots that caused two casualties on, I think, the
17 6th of March, 1995, and this witness said that it was incorrect, that it
18 wasn't true. The report went on to say that the commander threatened
19 actually to engage EgyptBat. I'm not saying this is immediately
20 following, but it shows a line of action that EgyptBat who made
21 observations, that are in our submissions absolutely correct, were
22 targeted by the Bosnian Serb army.
23 So it goes to the credibility of this witness who flatly rejected
24 that allegations of the observation of EgyptBat.
25 Also, the witness said. Just before the break, that it was
1 impossible to target this position at Vasin Han. He said you can target
2 an area; and so this shows that indeed if you want to target with mortars,
3 it's very well possible to do that.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: I would agree to your submission if it were so
5 that you could document who fired the shells and from which position.
6 MR. WAESPI: All we have is that what is mentioned in -- on page
7 6, and this is based on witness statements which can be found in the
8 report. It says, on the first line: "On the 22nd of August, 1995, at
9 about 10.00, BSA," which is the Bosnian Serb army, "started shelling the
10 area of Vasin Han.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: But we still do not know from which position, do
12 we, or do have you evidence to show that these shells that hit the
13 EgyptBat on that morning were fired actually from Spicasta Stijena?
14 MR. WAESPI: No. No. We don't say that at Spicasta Stijena
15 itself, which was a sniping position and not a mortar position. These
16 shells must have come from further on. As you know, in the previous
17 document, the reference you wanted, this UNMO report, it actually lists
18 one of the brigade commanders on -- on the first page.
19 It says that the Vogosca team received a telephone call from one
20 of the commanders of the Vogosca Brigade who then threatened, you know,
21 the EgyptBat. So I think a likely assumption is that it was this brigade
22 commander who actually wanted to punish EgyptBat for -- for what they
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: But that is your interpretation, which has not
25 been confirmed by the witness.
1 MR. WAESPI: That is correct, Your Honour. He flatly denies
2 what -- what EgyptBat did, but he did say that it was impossible to target
3 Vasin Han with mortars. And especially the sketch shows that it was very,
4 very well possible to do that.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let's move on.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. We have to come back to the objection raised
7 by Mr. Tapuskovic, that you're asking for the witness's opinion, as to
8 whether, in your words, does this not look like an intentional shelling.
9 By "intentional," I presume you mean in contra-distinction to an
10 accidental one.
11 MR. WAESPI: Yes. The witness said, I think, in the first session
12 that the shellings he had observed from ABiH and SRK, there were errors
13 made, and sometimes it would even explode, you know, within their own
14 troops or causing friendly fire. And this is actually what the
15 Prosecution always says in relation to the incidents we have charged, that
16 these were intentional shellings. That is a great example, and especially
17 the sketch on the last page states how accurate these mortars could be, if
18 they wanted to hit the target.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, we're having difficulty understanding
21 how the witness can do anything about speculate as to whether the shells
22 were fired intentionally or accidentally.
23 MR. WAESPI: I --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're not going to allow the question. It may be
25 that you may be able to reformulate it and point the witness to specific
1 factors which would help him to make that determination. But in the
2 manner in which it was put in that broad way, we consider that the answer
3 would be speculative, and we will not allow it.
4 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I will move on then. If
5 that could be marked for identification.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let it be marked for identification.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we'll mark this for identification
8 as P745.
9 MR. WAESPI: If the 65 ter number 03162 could be brought, up, and
10 we're going back to Sharpstone.
11 Q. Witness, do you accept that this is a view from Sharpstone. I'm
12 not sure whether it's your Sharpstone, but generally it's what
13 international observers and other witnesses have described as Sharpstone.
14 Do you accept that? You can see that long winded path which goes in
15 circles down there --
16 A. No.
17 Q. -- which is an important feature. You don't accept that?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Great. Let's move on to the next picture.
20 MR. WAESPI: If that could be marked for identification, in fact
21 admitted as an exhibit, because I think it is important for the
22 credibility of this witness that we have this picture in evidence,
23 Mr. President.
24 It shows, Mr. President, and Your Honours, a view from Sharpstone,
25 which shows the clear view of the city, and the next two photos will be
1 even more insightful.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask the witness, why does he say that it
3 doesn't show a view of Sharpstone?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not a view from Sharpstone,
5 and this picture was taken from Muslim-held territory, and nowhere is it
6 this steep. There aren't any residential home this is close. This is it
7 not Sharpstone. We saw how those rocks are, and this, if I'm not
8 mistaken, is towards Vasin Han, that area.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us about the extent of your familiarity with
10 the area, where you were born, where you grew up, and how you became as
11 familiar with the area as you appear to be.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
13 completed my technical vocational school in Sarajevo, Omladinsko
14 Setaliste, near the Institute of Physics and Chemistry. That is where I
15 went to secondary school, this vocational secondary school, technical
16 school. I know every corner in Sarajevo. I was there practically every
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: But, Mr. Waespi, hold on a minute. The picture we
19 saw just a while ago of Sharpstone from Sedrenik showed that there was a
20 huge field that led up to the rise of the cliffs, and I would agree with
21 the witness that this might be Sharpstone, but it doesn't show Sharpstone
22 from the angel that we saw before from Sedrenik. So where, again, is this
23 picture from?
24 MR. WAESPI: I can move to -- to other pictures which might be
25 better, but this is just taken from -- from the basically the middle of
1 Sharpstone. Nowhere near Vasin Han. You can see, on the right side,
2 that's what we usually call Grdonj, where the TV tower is. It's a bold,
3 bold area which was in fact held, at least technically, by the ABiH;
4 although, I doubt they had troops up there.
5 But this photo was taken by Zoran Lezic, whom you know. From the
6 position, in fact, we see on the next picture. So we can perhaps mark
7 this for identification and move on.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Where is the field?
9 MR. WAESPI: Should we move to the next picture? That might be
10 easier to explain.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You want us to mark this for identification?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer? May I answer in
13 response to this comment, that is?
14 Your Honours, there is no tower on Grdonj. The tower is on Hum,
15 facing Zuc.
16 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Let's move on to these next two pictures.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: You don't want to have this marked for
18 identification, then, just move on?
19 MR. WAESPI: No. The point I made before, I think it's because of
20 the credibility of the witness that it should be an exhibit.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We mark it for identification.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we'll mark this for identification
23 as P746.
24 MR. WAESPI: The next exhibit is 03163.
25 Q. Now, once you see that, Witness, can you confirm that this is,
1 again, a view from what's commonly referred to as the Sharpstone feature?
2 A. This could correspond to the closer area of Sharpstone. But, see,
3 as the Judge observed a few moments ago. There is this field further
4 down. So this is broader area, and it is behind the hill, behind the
5 person who is taking the picture. So it's in depth.
6 Q. So you accept that this is the view from Sharpstone? Yes or no.
7 A. No, no, no. No. This is not Sharpstone. No. These are
8 positions where there is a vertical rock; and a bit further off, here, all
9 of this was held by Muslims, up to this height where there is a small
10 tower; and then behind that, behind this vertical part in depth, further
11 on towards our positions, their positions went on for about 100 metres.
12 So it's not correct.
13 Q. Yeah --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is it then. Can you say what it is a view
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can see, this is the
17 broader area of Grdonj, a part that right at this moment I cannot ...
18 That's it.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first photograph was the best.
21 It was self-explanatory. It was obvious that it was Grdonj, and it was a
22 broader view when you could see it properly.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, is your question whether these
24 photographs represent a view from a particular area or of a particular
1 MR. WAESPI: It's the latter. It shows from an area. It shows
2 that, we say, the SRK snipers were positioned here on Sharpstone; and that
3 from these dominant features, they had a perfect vantage view over the
4 city, over important where we say sniping casualties were caused. And
5 this witness said on Thursday that they had no vantage view.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. WAESPI: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Let's hear from Mr. Tapuskovic.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I observe this
10 properly and if I listen carefully enough, and I think that I did, the
11 witness said a few moments ago that he thought that these were positions
12 that were under the control of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I
13 think that is already part of his statement.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let Mr. Waespi continue with his
17 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Let's look at the last pictures of this series,
18 and that is -- if this one could be admitted as well, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Marked for identification
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we'll mark this for identification
22 as P747.
23 MR. WAESPI: And the next exhibit, proposed exhibit, will be
24 03164, please.
25 Q. And, again, the Prosecution's position, and I'll put it to you, is
1 that this is a shot from the middle of Sharpstone where we allege sniping
2 positions were located, observed by international observers, and it shows
3 now the left side of Sarajevo. Do you accept that this was taken from
4 Sharpstone overlooking Sedrenik and the eastern part of Sarajevo, Witness?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Very well.
7 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if these exhibits could be in fact not
8 marked for identification but introduced --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Positions were not in a place like
10 this, neither ours nor the Muslim ones. This would be in depth in terms
11 of the Muslim positions. Well, look at this. No one ever built a bunker
12 or trenches. Look at this. This is intact nature; otherwise, you would
13 have to see trenches that were dug out. This was taken from a rock, but
14 this rock was deep into the Muslim positions. The Muslim positions were
15 even behind this man who is on the picture, and we were more than 300
16 metres away behind the pine wood forest.
17 These are things that the Prosecution is using very skillfully,
18 and in this way they are concealing some things and putting a trap.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that's not for to you say, Witness. The
20 Chamber has control of the proceedings; and if we find that the
21 Prosecution is doing anything improper, we'll not only reprimand them,
22 we'll take any further action that is necessary.
23 MR. WAESPI:
24 Q. So let me ask you, Witness, because you were kind of fairly
25 elaborate where ABiH positions were. So if you're so knowledgeable about
1 that, you can tell us whether this position where these photos were taken
2 from, that's, in your view, Sharpstone? Yes or no. Is it from the
3 position generally considered as Sharpstone? Where the sniping positions
4 were, whether they were ten metres below or above, it doesn't matter. But
5 this is Sharpstone generally. Is that correct, Witness? Yes or no.
6 A. This is picture that you're showing now I cannot guarantee that.
7 But if this is the area, then this place where this man is standing was
8 deep into Muslim-held territory; that is to say, that their forces were
9 not on this slope. They were deeper in the woods so that we could not get
10 them off this rock in a single move and take the entire area, then we
11 would be holding everything.
12 Q. Let me go back to my question.
13 I'm not talking now about who occupied it. I'm asking you: Is
14 this position Sharpstone? Yes or no.
15 A. Well, I cannot know on the basis of this and say exactly, Yes,
16 this is Sharpstone. When I saw the first photograph, when I saw the
17 cliffs and everything, well, you know, I cannot say just this is
18 Sharpstone until we get to the site itself.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, the witness has been saying when he
20 saw the first photograph.
21 What is it about the first photograph that you wish to say? Did
22 that photograph illustrate Sharpstone?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You couldn't see Sharpstone clearly,
24 but you could see the entire area. You can see the flat land, and you
25 could see Grdonj and the cut off cliffs; whereas, here you just see a tiny
1 little bit, and you cannot really orient yourself. You don't know what it
2 is. As for this place where the man is taking a picture, no one ever
3 built any positions there, not even the Muslims let alone the Serbs.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're saying, then, the first photograph offered
5 a better view of Sharpstone than any of the last, is it two or three that
6 we have been looking at? Is that so?
7 MR. WAESPI: Three, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. Just answer the question. Have you
9 heard -- just listen to my question. You have referred to the first
10 photograph once or twice, and I'm asking whether you're saying that first
11 photograph offers a better view of Sharpstone than any of the latter two
12 or three that we have been looking at.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask, then, the first photograph be shown
15 again, because I want to see.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I just say something? On this
17 photograph here, there is some kind of a pole that you couldn't see on the
18 other photograph.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I would like to us look at the first
20 photograph again.
21 MR. WAESPI: This is 03615, a clean photograph, not the one the
22 witness marked.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: And when it comes on the screen, I'd like the
24 witness to point to the features that make it comparatively better than
25 the others, in relation to Sharpstone.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's somewhere here, behind, Behind
2 this forest.
3 MR. WAESPI:
4 Q. And how far behind the forest?
5 A. You can see the forest all across the ridge. It's covered with
6 forest. And Spicasta Stijena faces Kosovo; whereas, Sedrenik faces Vasin
7 Han diagonally, and one cannot see it at all.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: So where is Sharpstone? I'm not clear.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Somewhere here where I put this
10 mark, behind the forest.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: There are two marks there. Which one?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This spot. I don't know why I put
13 the other mark.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're not seeing it on the screen. Could you put
15 an X beside it.
16 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see, yes.
18 MR. WAESPI:
19 Q. Okay. Witness, I think we have discussed it enough. You have
20 apparently a different view of Sharpstone?
21 JUDGE MINDUA: I have a question, Mr. Prosecutor.
22 [Interpretation] Witness, please, here you put a cross where,
23 according to you, there is Sharpstone; and according to your statement in
24 the forefront, there were the --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the closer area.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So on the forefront, you have the
2 ABiH line; and then 300 metres in depth, you would have your own forces.
3 Is that what you're saying and you're contending?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. Three hundred metres
5 behind this cliff in depth, and they were not on the very edge. They were
6 also deep into Spicasta Stijena, so there was not a single position on the
7 edge of Spicasta Stijena. This vertical part was inside the Muslim-held
8 territory, and I would really prefer that we go on the location and to
9 show you that.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So I would like to know the nature
11 of your mission, the mission of your brigade. You say that you were 300
12 metres behind ABiH -- the ABiH line.
13 So I want to know whether you engaged in operations in combat
14 operations. Did you shoot shells or any kind of weapon; and if so, for
15 what reason, from where you were, 300 metres in depth?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just like any other army, we wanted
17 to reach this ridge at any cost in order to have a view and keep under
18 fire control all the movements of their forces. Had we managed to do
19 that, then the BH army would not have had any chance, and it would have
20 been completely militarily threatened due to this advantage. That is why
21 I'm saying they were holding all the dominant points around the town to
22 prevent us from controlling access points to the features where their
23 forces were.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Fine. So when you fired, you would
25 fire on ABiH positions. Shells never fell beyond that, either in the city
1 below or on the EgyptBat. That never happened?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From these positions where Grdonj
3 is, one cannot see the EgyptBat at all in Vasin Han and Sedrenik. One
4 cannot see it at all. Under Spicasta Stijena and this ridge, there was
5 Breka neighbourhood, and all the way to the left among the hills was Vasin
6 Han and Sedrenik neighbourhoods.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. WAESPI:
9 Q. Let's turn to the last area I want to discuss about vantage
11 The road, Pale-Lukavica, was controlled by the SRK, was it not?
12 A. Yes, across Trebevic.
13 Q. And you said yesterday that people from the Serbian side of -- of
14 the ABiH side of the confrontation line would shoot at people who would
15 use that road and cause civilian and military casualties; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So I take that if the ABiH could shoot at the road, the opposite
18 was possible as well, that people using the road, people stationed at the
19 road could fire into wherever the ABiH fired from; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. So you accept now that features on the Pale-Lukavica road were
22 good enough to fire into the city?
23 A. Towards Debelo Brdo. If we were to shoot towards the city, then
24 we would have targeted Grbavica and that is where our forces were.
25 Q. I put it to you that it was very, very well possible from SRK
1 positions, near or on the Lukavica-Pale road, to fire into the city, for
2 instance, Kosovo, and other Muslim-held parts. Isn't that correct?
3 A. I already said that the right bank of the Miljacka towards Kosevo
4 Selo could be seen from Zlatiste and that is where Pale-Lukavica road
5 passes through, and that an infantry weapon didn't have that range;
6 whereas, guns and other infantry weapons had that range, even from a
7 further distance.
8 Q. So now you accept that there was not just one SRK dominant
9 position around Sarajevo. Some were hidden in the woods of Trebevic, but
10 there were real SRK vantage positions from which you could fire into the
11 city. Do you accept that?
12 A. From tanks on the road, it was possible to target Kosovo and
13 Sedrenik from Zlatiste. Had we done that, the artillery was capable of
14 firing from Pale, having the range of 30, 22, 15, and ten kilometres. It
15 does not have to be close to the lines at all. But I said, if a tank was
16 at Zlatiste, it could easily have fired at any neighbourhood on the right
17 river bank of the Miljacka.
18 It was also within its range from Vidikovac and Trebevic, where
19 the cable car was. It was only impossible for small arms and snipers to
20 fire. Artillery could have fired from Lukavica, from Mokro, from 20
21 kilometres away at all targets in the city had we been allowed to do that,
22 because that was within its range.
23 Q. Okay. So contrary to what you testified on Thursday, you now say
24 that there were positions on the Lukavica-Pale road that were dominant
25 vantage points from which the city could be engaged. Perhaps some
1 different weapons, longer ranging weapons, but it could be seen. There
2 weren't any trees which would prevent seeing and firing. Is that correct?
3 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said this several times. From the Zlatiste
4 feature, situated on the Lukavica-Pale road, is where Mount Trebevic
5 starts, and it ends in the area of the Pale town. Only from the cable car
6 was one able to see Sarajevo, and that is the right river-bank, Sedrenik,
7 and other neighbourhoods. And Zlastiste was near Grbavica on the road
8 leading to Trebevic, from which in the area 100 metres wide one could see
9 the town, as I explained.
10 Twenty kilometres through a forest, one could not see anything,
11 and I'm talking about the Zlatiste feature.
12 Q. Okay. Let's just look at this photo then. This photograph is
13 03166. And let me just remind you what you said on Thursday just before
14 left. You were asked --
15 MR. WAESPI: Yes. If the current picture could again be --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tuesday. Tuesday.
17 MR. WAESPI: Thursday, I meant Thursday.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Last week.
19 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Today is Wednesday but I'm referring to
20 something witness said last week. But perhaps if this picture which is on
21 the screen right now could be admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As P748, Your Honours.
24 MR. WAESPI:
25 Q. And let me just remind you, Witness, what you said on Thursday.
1 You were asked, and I quote the questions by the Defence:
2 "When we look at the entire line you were mentioning, along that
3 line, what is the only place where we could say that the Sarajevo-Romanija
4 Corps units dominated at."
5 And your answer was: "Only in the area of Trebevic, which is
6 forested; and, as such, one cannot open fire precisely at the positions of
7 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
8 Now, let's have a look at this new photo once it is retrieved,
9 03166. Do you accept that there is no better vantage point from which the
10 SRK could open fire into the city.
11 A. I told you that from Vidikovac, it wouldn't have been called
12 Vidikovac or vantage point, and there would not have been a cable car if
13 one were unable to see Sarajevo from there. However, looking at this
14 area, it is very narrowed down. I don't see the poles of the cable car,
15 and I can't recognise the location.
16 Q. Do you accept that this is a perfect military position from which
17 you can engage. In fact, the city is in the palm of your hand as many
18 witnesses already said. Do you accept that?
19 A. I don't accept this, and this photograph was taken in such a way
20 to show that the city is between 20 or 50 metres away from this point. If
21 one looks at topographic maps, scale 1: 50.000, and if I make precise
22 measurement, one can see that from between Vidikovac and the city itself,
23 the distance is at least three kilometres.
24 Q. Maybe if we disregard use of weaponry, can we at least agree that
25 this is it a perfect observation point to observe the city, observe
1 features, observe whatever was happening there?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
3 Just a minute. Just a minute, please.
4 Mr. Tapuskovic.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness already
6 answered and said that this place, in view of the photograph, does not
7 correspond to the configuration of the terrain because this can only be
8 viewed alongside the map, and what he just said in some way I wouldn't
9 confirm. But you know how it is possible to make a photograph from a
10 certain location that does not reflect reality. I would like to ask the
11 Prosecutor to tell us where exactly we are in this photograph.
12 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I believe Your Honours have been at
13 these locations, and it is taken on the Lukavica-Pale road. I think to
14 the left you see the -- in fact, if you look at the city itself, you see
15 the Kosovo hospital, you see the Kosovo stadium. And so it is exactly in
16 front of that. To the left is Debelo Brdo and then Colina Kapa. There is
17 also a symmetry very, very not too far away below from that feature.
18 Although, I have not been at the site visit, I'm convinced that
19 you have been at this location, this very location.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic is saying that the witness has
21 already answered and said that this place doesn't correspond to the
22 configuration of the terrain.
23 MR. WAESPI: Well, it's a photo, Mr. President. It is not a map,
24 and the photo say what is it says, or shows what it shows.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Let me hear from the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to see this road
4 behind the back of this person, on the very road.
5 MR. WAESPI: Well, that wasn't my question. You know, it's
6 cross-examination. I can put it to you that this was taken from the
7 Pale-Lukavica road. It is a statement I made because you said that you
8 couldn't see the city because it is all forested area, and this is to show
9 you the opposite, and I ask you to either accept it or not to accept it.
10 A. No.
11 Q. What you don't accept?
12 A. This does not correspond to the terrain.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: To what terrain?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The terrain between the sector of
15 Osmice and Vidikovac, and generally speaking the positions above Debelo
16 Brdo situated at Zlatiste, because there is a tower built in the
17 Austro-Hungarian times at Zlatiste. It is made of stone, and anyone who
18 had visited this place could have seen it.
19 MR. WAESPI: If we could move on, Mr. President. I would like to
20 mark it -- I think these should all be exhibits because the witness looked
21 at it. He claimed to have knowledge about Sarajevo because he lived
22 there. He was raised there, and he says it is not Sharpstone. So I think
23 this whole series of photos are very, very illustrative and goes to the
24 credibility of this witness.
25 So I ask that all these photos be admitted, not just marked for
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, Witness, what do you say this shows?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This photograph, in my view, was
4 made on purpose in order to prove that we were on Trebevic, somewhere
5 close to a populated area, and this does not correspond to the actual
6 situation on the terrain between Zlatiste and Vidikovac.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, what does it correspond to?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably, this is far deep in
9 the Muslim-held territory, somewhere beneath Colina Kapa or closer to
10 Bistrik. So that is not it.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, just for clarification, are you
12 saying that the photo is falsified, that it is a fake photograph?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm 100 per cent positive.
14 MR. WAESPI: If it could be entered into evidence, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, what do you mean when you agree that it is
16 a fake, or when you say it is a fake? Why do you say it is a fake?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I've never seen such a
18 position under our control, and you have seen for yourselves how I
19 recognised the first photograph.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: So by "fake," you mean it does not represent what
21 it is purported to represent?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is most probably the case.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We'll admit it.
24 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. But I'd like that all
25 these photos be admitted because it is the same transaction, because the
1 witness -- otherwise, we don't understand his testimony if we don't have
2 recourse to these photos.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I admitted this one because the witness did
4 actually say what the photograph represented, but we'll look at that issue
5 later, Mr. Waespi.
6 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, sorry for the interruption. This
8 will be admitted as P749.
9 MR. WAESPI: Two more issues before we break.
10 Q. The first one, Witness, you testified, I believe yesterday, about
11 a Lukovac Operation; do you remember that?
12 A. Yes, since at the time I was with the 1st Romanija Brigade. I was
13 not with the corps.
14 Q. But there was a second or another Lukovac Operation in 1995, which
15 was done under the umbrella of the corps of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps;
16 is that correct?
17 A. That's not correct, and it was never carried out. Had this
18 operation been carried out, that would become common knowledge. An
19 operation is a major military undertaking.
20 Q. So you're saying you heard of it but it wasn't carried out; or are
21 you saying, you have never heard it, and that's why you assume it wasn't
22 carried out?
23 A. I never heard of it, but I don't know if the close circle team had
24 been planning or contemplating such an operation. I can not have any
25 knowledge about that. I'm only asserting that there was no repetition of
1 Lukovac Operation. Had there been any documents concealed among an inner
2 circle of people, I cannot confirm that.
3 MR. WAESPI: Let's have a look at P694, please.
4 Q. Now, can you tell us what this document is?
5 A. This is a document of the SRK command drafted on the 27th of
6 March, 1995, which is the time when I didn't work at the command as an
7 operations officer, but I was, rather, with the command of the 1st
8 Romanija Infantry Brigade.
9 Oh, yes, on the 27th of March, I was there, but I no nothing about
10 this document. I first have to see whether it is signed, who signed it,
11 who drafted it, et cetera. As far as this kind of document is concerned,
12 I know nothing about them, and this particular order was never carried out
13 in practice on the ground.
14 Q. Yes. Please have a look at the whole document, which is a
15 one-page document.
16 MR. WAESPI: And if it could be scrolled down, the B/C/S version,
17 so the witness can see perhaps the signature block.
18 Q. So why do you say --
19 A. I don't see any signature here.
20 Q. Yes. It's not very well, but can you look at the top?
21 A. There's no signature at all here. There's just a stamp, but it is
22 also illegible.
23 Q. Yes. But it appears to be a document coming from the SRK, do you
24 agree, if it is stamped? It is probably just a bad copy. Would you agree
25 with that?
1 A. The letter head is there, but there is no signature and no
2 indication of who drafted, typed, or signed this document. I cannot see
3 anything about this. I know that this was never carried out, and I also
4 don't know who prepared or drafted this document without a signature on
6 Q. Yes. I think we just cannot see the signature. That is my
7 proposition to you. Do you accept that? Because it is a bad copy.
8 A. No.
9 Q. Very well. Do you see that we have -- in fact, six copies were
10 made of this order. Can you see at the top right entered in handwriting.
11 Can you see that?
12 A. It's something like "06" added by hand. Everything else is typed,
13 and there's only number "6" or something like that. Either it's is a zero
14 or a 6 or a 5, but I think it is a 6.
15 Q. Yes. And it says, "copy number 6." What we see is the sixth copy
16 of that order; is that correct?
17 A. That's how I see it, but I don't understand the purpose of it.
18 Q. Very well.
19 A. Who made it and who signed it?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: He can say that he sees a 6, what it means
21 perhaps from his army experience.
22 The Prosecutor is asking whether you would agree that the 6 means
23 that it is the sixth copy.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably.
25 MR. WAESPI:
1 Q. But it says, at least it is ordered, that they Operation Lukovac
2 95 be carried out. That's what this document is about. Do you agree with
4 A. Yes. Somewhere on Mount Igman towards Bijelasnica.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, I'm very reluctant to go beyond
6 quarter to, for many reasons, not least because Judge Mindua will be in
7 court again at 2.15.
8 We must adjourn.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st day of May,
11 2007, at 9.15 a.m.