1 Wednesday, 6 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I mention at the outset that the -- in
7 setting out the schedules for Friday, Friday's sittings, the Chamber's
8 order of two days ago inadvertently failed to mention that Friday, the
9 8th, that is two days' time, we will not be sitting. We will not be
10 sitting on Friday, the 8th.
11 I see Mr. Tapuskovic has no objection to that.
12 And it's Mr. Waespi, who was -- Mr. Sachdeva? Oh, we are still in
13 examination-in-chief, so it's Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
15 Thank you very much for this, but I first have to say something.
16 According to the initial schedule, Witness Vaso Elez was supposed to be
17 examined first and then we changed it to T 53, but now we've had to revert
18 to the initial schedule, so that we will first be examining Witness Vaso
19 Elez. We've notified the Prosecution and they are not opposed to us
20 reverting to the initial schedule, so I'm just notifying Your Honours
21 about this change.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Waespi, am I wrong? Did I
24 say something that is not correct?
25 MR. WAESPI: No, not at all.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 WITNESS: Sinisa Krsman [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic: [Continued]
5 Q. Mr. Krsman, you will recall that we stopped yesterday with a map
6 that was on our screens. Could we please have it back on our screens?
7 Could we enlarge it a little bit more?
8 Now I would like you to go back to this largest space. You
9 explained what it is. And if you can put a large letter S somewhere in
10 the middle of this area?
11 A. This area, the largest area?
12 Q. Yes, the largest area.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. The smaller one, could you please mark it with D?
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And the smallest one, who lived here? Could you please repeat?
17 A. This was the majority Serb population, the Serb who is had lived
18 there for centuries.
19 Q. Could you please mark it with S2?
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Last time we got as far as the first incident and the second
22 incident at the Bozic gas station. That's what you were telling us
23 about. And what happened after that, if we can cut a long story short,
24 how --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Sachdeva is on his feet.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'm terribly sorry, I understand my
2 learned friend asked for the letter D to be put into the second circle and
3 the letter E is there. I just want to ask what the letter E stands for.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: D?
5 MR. SACHDEVA: E.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh. Now I wondered whether E stood for D.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, it doesn't really matter.
8 We can use letter E or any other letter because the witness has already
9 explained that this is an area where people who had moved there in 1974
10 moved there. These were people who were moved out of Serbia at that
11 time. That's what he said.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we understand what the letter E means.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Krsman, if you're able, can you please tell us when did the
15 people in this area first started arming themselves, in this period that
16 we were talking about? And what kind of weapons did they get?
17 A. Well, as I've already explained, after those incidents, we got
18 organised in our village and we set up village guards. We had hunting
19 rifles. There were quite a few huntsmen in our village. We organised
20 five or six groups, armed with hunting rifles, who controlled this
21 territory along this edge here, this boundary, lest any extremists should
22 break into our territory and cause similar problems as they had in those
23 two or three incidents that we spoke about.
24 Q. And what about this area marked with E?
25 A. At night, when we patrolled, those were our neighbours. We would
1 meet them and they also patrolled, and in conversation, we learned that
2 they had also set up a similar system, lest their own extremists in their
3 own ranks should make any other such incidents.
4 Q. Were there any conflicts at that time? What month are we talking
5 about in 1992?
6 A. Well, this was March and early April, 1992.
7 Q. Could you please tell the Judges what happened then, after the
8 first few days in April?
9 A. Well, after that, somebody notified us, I don't know who that was,
10 but all the villagers of military age went to the Rajlovac barracks. This
11 was the barracks where our assembly point was. Some drills used to be
12 carried out there. And we went there and our Muslim neighbours from the E
13 area, all of us were issued weapons at the Rajlovac barracks on the same
14 day. There were about 200 of us. We were issued 200 weapons, rifles, and
15 they, from Sokolje there were 800 of them and they were issued with 800
16 rifles and we all went back to our respective villages.
17 Q. Thank you. And what happened then in the period that followed?
18 A. Well, what happened was that there was a lull up until the 5th of
19 May, when, as we were to learn later, some extremists that were
20 infiltrated into this E area attacked on the 5th of May using all weapons
21 they had, the Rajlovac area. They concentrated their attack on the
22 Rajlovac area. But they also attacked the outskirts of our village, in
23 particular I mean my house.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you please mark the location of the Rajlovac
25 barracks here on this map?
1 A. [Marks]. This is the Rajlovac barracks.
2 Q. Could you please mark it with R, letter R?
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. And what happened then? I apologise, Your Honours. I've already
5 marked the location where the witness used to work with letter R so could
6 we please mark it with K so if we could erase this R?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Thank you. Could you now tell the Judges what happened then?
9 A. On the 5th of May, here where my house is, in Bjelice, Boro
10 Bjelica was killed there. This is the first casualty in our
11 municipality. More than 30 shells landed around my house. I managed to
12 evacuate my wife, my two children, my father and my mother, and we moved
13 deeper into our territory.
14 Q. Thank you. Where did you move your wife, your father, mother and
15 your two children at that point in time?
16 A. At first, we moved -- I moved my mother, my father, my two
17 children and all the children in our village across the River Bosna.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked to repeat his
19 answer? The interpreters didn't get it.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Would you repeat your answer,
21 please? The interpreter didn't hear. The answer to the last question.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Just the location where the people were moved.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Could you please tell the Judges where you moved everybody?
25 A. My wife, my two children, my mother, my father, so that would be
1 my family, and all the other inhabitants of our village who were in those
2 categories, children, women, the infirm, they were all moved halfway there
3 to the village of Nelise [phoen] across the River Bosna, to the river --
4 to the village of Rjecica.
5 Q. And could you tell us how far did you move?
6 A. I and other men of military age moved and set up our defence line
7 halfway down the village. I can mark it if you want me to. [Marks].
8 Q. Yes. And did you hear about the events to the east of these areas
9 that you just marked?
10 A. Not only did we hear about it, we had this terrible experience,
11 maybe some 10 days later, around the 15th of May, maybe 20th of May, in
12 mid-May in other words, from Pofalici a part of Novo Sarajevo.
13 Q. Thank you. So could you please tell us where from and could you
14 please mark this area and could you please mark this location that you are
15 going to -- that you're going to mark, and if you can pull the letter that
16 I'm going to tell you?
17 A. Well, this is Pofalici. It's a fairly large part of town. That
18 would be about it. [Marks]. This was the majority Serb population there
19 in 90 per cent of the cases.
20 Q. Could you mark this area, this circle, with the letter P?
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. What happened in that area in this period that you were talking
24 A. The Green Beret or the Patriotic League attacked this whole area
25 of Pofalici in those days. They killed more than 100 people. Entire
1 families were wiped out. And the whole population, 5.000 people, moved
2 across Zuc, Debelo Brdo, Perivoj to Rajlovac. If you need me to do so, I
3 can mark their route with an arrow, 5.000 people, including women and
5 Q. Could you please do so, what you just said? Could you just mark
6 this arrow?
7 A. [Marks]
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, which year is this?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you can ask the
10 witness. I wouldn't like to offer this information myself. He can give
11 you the exact month and year. So let us hear it from the witness when
12 this happened, when these 5.000 people moved and when 100 people were
13 killed. Let us hear from the witness when this happened.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sure. I just want to say that I normally try to
15 respect the integrity of the counsels by putting my questions to the
16 witness through the counsel as long as the counsel is either in
17 examination-in-chief or cross-examination. It's only when the counsels
18 have finished their examinations and the judges can pose questions
19 directly to the witness that I do so.
20 But, Mr. Witness, can you just tell us which year this happened?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This happened in May of 1992. To be
22 more precise, on the 19th of May.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So what happened with these 5.000 people when they arrived at the
2 A. These 5.000 people, that is to say 1.000 indigenous people from
3 the area marked S2, crossed over to the barracks and all of them were
4 received at the barracks. They had enough space to provide accommodation
5 for these people for the period of five to 10 days.
6 Q. If we can just go through this quickly, you showed the line that
7 you reached after the initial conflict and you drew this line. How long
8 did you stay at this separation line vis-a-vis the opposite side and were
9 there any shifts in the ensuing period?
10 A. To put it briefly, the war -- the real war started on that day.
11 As far as the line is concerned, since the army of Republika Srpska was
12 formed very soon thereafter, we established a defence line there. The
13 line was shifted only in one part, that is in the section where we
14 withdrew on the 12th of June 1993 and it was moved a little bit deeper
15 into our territory and that is how it remained until the end of the war.
16 Q. Can you draw this in the map? Where is that?
17 A. So our line of defence ran from the Miljacka along the railway
18 tracks to the Rajlovac barracks, then it went on through my village of
19 Zabrdje towards Mijatovic Kosa. Then on the other side of the Vis hill,
20 Golo Brdo hill, on the other side of Zuc and all the way to Kobilja
21 Glava. [Marks]
22 Q. How long did this situation remain in place?
23 A. From the 12th of June 1993 until the Dayton Accords were signed,
24 this line did not change.
25 Q. Can you put a letter D at the very end of this line?
1 A. [Marks]. I'll put a D at the beginning and at the end as well.
2 Q. Tell me, this line, with respect to the deployment areas of the
3 opposite side, geographically speaking, where was it?
4 A. Let us start from Miljacka, from the Miljacka river. This is
5 elevation 490 something. This is the Rajlovac Polje. The line ran along
6 the railway tracks and that is where our positions were. Opposite us was
7 Brijesko Brdo hill, 100 metres high, and the BH army positions were on the
8 hill. So we were in the field and they were on the hill. If we proceed
9 then to more urban area of the neighbourhood, the line goes on to Zuc and
10 Orlic and it stretched or rather ran through a forested area starting from
11 the Mijatovic Kosa, to Vis hill which is around 700 metres, then Golo Brdo
12 elevation, 870, then Zuc 756 and Orlic and all the way to Hum which is the
13 highest hill because there is a TV repeater. The BH television repeater
14 was there. The entire line faced downwards while the entire line of the
15 BH army was on the hills facing downwards towards us.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we save the map
17 with all the markings as a Defence Exhibit?
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Except, Mr. Tapuskovic, I didn't understand what
19 the witness was telling us when he said that both sides had the front line
20 facing downwards. Maybe you would ask him to clarify. It's in the last
21 line, I don't know if you read English. I know that you don't. But in
22 the English version, it came out as the witness was saying that the entire
23 line faced downwards while the entire line of the BH army was on the hills
24 facing downwards towards us. So who was on the top and who was in the
25 bottom? That is unclear according to the transcript.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Harhoff, if
2 that is what the transcript says in English, then it's a
3 misinterpretation. I understood the witness in B/C/S very well.
4 Q. So, witness, can you please explain simply who was on the hills
5 and who was down there in the plain?
6 A. The entire line, to be precise and accurate, the entire defence
7 line of the Rajlovac Brigade, the Muslims' forces were on the hill and we
8 were down. There was not a single metre where our line was up there. We
9 were down there. You can exactly see this by looking at the elevation
10 points along the separation line.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Can you tell us how long was this line in kilometres,
14 approximately speaking? You don't have to draw the line. Can you just
15 tell us the length?
16 A. Over 20 kilometres approximately.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this map be given a number as
19 a Defence Exhibit?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be admitted as D211.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in order to make
23 this even clearer --
24 Q. Witness, can you tell me something more about all this after I've
25 shown you another map? That's 65 ter 2829, if it can be brought up very
1 briefly so that we can talk about this map, in view of what you said
3 Mr. Krsman, first, can you see these red and yellow lines on this
5 A. Yes, I can.
6 Q. Can you show us on this map and mark the area that was under the
7 control of the group to which you belonged at the time?
8 A. This map corresponds in the percentage of 90 per cent to the one
9 that I drew except in this area, when our positions were moved like this
10 on the 12th of June. So this entire red line reflects the actual
11 situation as at 12th of June 1993.
12 Q. I don't understand what you're saying. This blue line was there
14 A. After the 12th of June 1993, when we were pushed a little bit from
15 that area. [Marks]. This is the only change that took place on the 12th
16 of June and this red line did not change throughout the war. And this
17 change occurred on the day when they pushed us back.
18 Q. Can you now draw the entire line in the area under the control of
19 the group of people to which you belonged?
20 A. [Marks]. So it coincides with the red line.
21 Q. How many kilometres is that?
22 A. I said a minute ago about 20. I think about 20.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Go ahead, Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Krsman, to be entirely clear, this little area above the red
2 line and what you encircled now with the blue line, does that mean that
3 the red line, after that date that you mentioned, actually ran along the
4 blue line?
5 A. Yes. The blue and the red lines were completely identical except
6 in this part when we were attacked on the 12th of June and pushed further
7 back into our territory.
8 Q. Can you tell me now something about the people who were issued
9 with the weapons? What happened? What happened next with regard to these
10 things concerning what was being done by the people who were given the
11 weapons on your side? As you mentioned, there were 200 of them. What
12 happened with these men?
13 A. We set up a defence line in our village. Soon after that the army
14 of Republika Srpska was established. We organised ourselves in a
15 battalion or a brigade, and we did not properly fortify our positions
16 initially but as the war progressed we fortified our positions better,
17 preventing the enemy from pushing us further back into our territory. We
18 were guarding our lives and our houses and the land where we lived for
19 over 300 years.
20 Q. Did you return to your house, your home, after the Dayton?
21 A. My house was burned down in 1992. Not only my house. All the
22 other houses that were on the separation line. And I know the exact
23 figures. Of the 8.700 inhabitants of Rajlovac, there are fewer than 50 of
24 them now, and they are all older than 70 years.
25 Q. From the line that you have drawn, and after these positions were
1 taken over as you told us, what could you see viewing or if you look at
2 the area where you used to live?
3 A. From this end point, after the halfway through of the line, is the
4 forested area. Our combatants, myself included, could see from our
5 trenches only the positions of the BH army soldiers and the sky, and
6 nothing else. I'm talking about this forested area because we were down
7 looking upwards towards them. The distance between us was from 30 to 70
8 metres, and in the suburban area approximately from the Rajlovac barracks
9 to the river Miljacka, the trenches ran along the railway tracks and since
10 we were again down and it was not such a steep slope, we were able to see
11 their trenches and only the first or the second lines of their houses
12 behind these trenches. Absolutely nothing else. Not from a single metre
13 of the line.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, you are saying that
15 your house and the houses of your neighbours were burnt down. Can you
16 tell us more specifically in which conditions and context these houses
17 were burnt? Was it because they were on the front line and that therefore
18 they were in a way collateral damage to the warring activities, or were
19 they burnt down in other circumstances? And if so, who burnt them down?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 12th of June, that is to say
21 when they attacked our village and when they repelled us further into the
22 territory, about 500 metres away, all the houses were torched. First they
23 were looted and then they were torched with gasoline, matches and so on.
24 So it's not collateral damage. It's not shells. It's not bullets. Most
25 probably gasoline and matches. Things like that. They were razed to the
1 ground. First they were looted and then they were burned and it became
2 their territory.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much but you haven't
4 told us who burnt them down precisely.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was done by the members of the
6 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because we were at war with them.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Now that we are on the subject, can you tell us, before this war
10 broke out, what was your life like with these people there in that same
11 territory for decades?
12 A. We never had a single problem whatsoever, interethnic or any
13 other. We visited each other for Christmas, for the Bajram holidays, but
14 this only pertained to the indigenous population living there for hundreds
15 of years, although there were less of them than us. When these people
16 from eastern Bosnia, Serbia, Sandzak, came, these Muslims, all of it
17 changed and what happened happened.
18 Q. Can you tell me, after you got armed and took up these positions,
19 where did you live when you weren't at the front line?
20 A. 90 per cent of the population of my village moved out, moved away,
21 to stay with relatives, friends, some to Serbia, some to Pale, some to
22 Croatia, some went abroad, whereas we stayed mostly in the area of
23 Vogosca, Rjecica and people who had nowhere to go stayed in the Rajlovac
25 Q. Could you please mark this with a little circle where this Vogosca
1 is and where it was that you lived approximately?
2 A. [Marks]. Vogosca. The Rajlovac barracks. And this territory
3 behind the line, these villages, Rjecica, Dobrosevici, Reljevo. This is
4 where all the refugees from Zabrdje were, hoping that things would calm
5 down and that we would regain those lines.
6 Q. Can you tell the Judges now, if you look at this blue line that
7 you finished somewhere below Nisici and then there is this red line going
8 to Nisici, what is the view like from that line and from these places that
9 were under the control of the people who comprised the Sarajevo-Romanija
10 Corps, if I can put it that way, and what was the view they had in view of
11 the territories that were within the red line?
12 A. It so happens that I know because I have a lot of relatives. All
13 of us in Sarajevo have lots of relatives in all parts of town. They
14 didn't see anything after this first line here because Zuc, Golo Brdo and
15 Hum are the dominant features there along this line, and this part of
16 town. You cannot see anything in depth in the territory, in town, that
18 Q. Can you extend the blue line all the way to the place where you
19 think that there is a view, as far as the city is concerned?
20 A. [Marks]. I know for sure that you cannot see beyond this. I
21 didn't go further up because I had no opportunity to do so. Other people
22 will probably be in a position to tell you.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this map
24 please be admitted into evidence in this form as a Defence Exhibit?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit it.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As D212, Your Honours.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon.
3 Q. What you marked in this circle, what is that?
4 A. Vogosca, the Rajlovac barracks and the area from which the
5 population moved or rather the population expelled from my village.
6 Q. Could this circle then include the letter V, please?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. The blue line doesn't go to Nisici, further on to the end, where
9 does it go?
10 A. No, the blue line goes to Kobilja Glava and further on to the old
11 city and then further on across to Baric [phoen].
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could this now please be marked
14 once again as yet a new piece of evidence, a new Defence Exhibit, if
16 Not necessarily, Your Honour, it's not indispensable.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Doesn't appear to be necessary, Mr. Tapuskovic.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I agree. Yes. It's a
19 misunderstanding with the accused at one point in time about this. That's
20 why I asked. But then I don't think it really matters. It was a slip of
21 the tongue, really.
22 Q. Do you know when General Dragomir Milosevic was appointed
23 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija core?
24 A. I know approximately that it was somewhere in August or
25 September. To tell you the truth, it's not that we weren't interested in
1 the commanders but they didn't really matter. What mattered was that we
2 carry out our defence tasks, protecting our young and infirm, but I think
3 that it was in August.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you hold a particular position, if view of the
5 people that you were there with?
6 A. Yes, yes. I was squad leader, platoon leader and finally company
8 Q. And who was your superior?
9 A. As for me personally, it was Zoran Terzic, Battalion commander.
10 He was also born in our village of Zabrdje. His house is below mine,
11 about 100 metres away, an active duty officer. Captain First Class was
12 the rank he held.
13 Q. Before he became a commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, I
14 mean General Dragomir Milosevic, at these lines, was anything happening
15 there actually and if so, what was it?
16 A. Well, after this fighting in 1993, early in spring 1994, there was
17 an order to withdraw heavy weaponry at ranges over 20 kilometres from
18 town. This was a separation line. We ourselves did not know what this
19 was supposed to mean. That is to say that all weapons with a calibre
20 exceeding 12.7 millimetres, mortars, cannons, all of them had to be moved
21 out from the positions held by our brigade and the entire
22 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
23 Q. However, what I asked you was what was at these lines? Were there
24 any conflicts at these lines?
25 A. Sporadically.
1 Q. Maybe you're not understanding me. First I asked you up until the
2 appointment of General Milosevic, were there any conflicts there? Until
3 when were there intensive conflicts at these lines?
4 A. There were intensive conflicts throughout 1993, up until the
5 spring of 1994.
6 Q. And when General Dragomir Milosevic assumed his duties, what was
7 the situation like then?
8 A. When the general assumed his duties, there was a cease-fire signed
9 in August-September, I think, those two months, all the way up until
10 November when this offensive started from all the positions of the BH
12 Q. In November? When did the conflict start?
13 A. The conflict started in October but in November the fighting was
14 the fiercest.
15 Q. And where was it that conflicts started in October?
16 A. Every morning, we had meetings at the command, and during those
17 months we noticed -- or, rather, we received information through our
18 communication systems that the forces of the BH army were withdrawing from
19 town through the well-known tunnel and that they were regrouping at the
20 positions that were behind our back. This is from the Nisic plateau all
21 the way to Kiseljak. And the situation was highly critical, all the way
22 up until that moment when the offensive started.
23 Q. And where was the heavy weaponry, then?
24 A. I told you a few moments ago, we got everything out, mortars,
25 cannons, everything. We got it all out, 20 kilometres away from us, down
1 the road towards the Nisic plateau, except for a mortar battery that was
2 strictly under the control of UNPROFOR. And one tank, sorry about that.
3 One tank stayed behind. We couldn't get it out because it had been
4 broken. Its hydraulic components were not working. It could not move
5 about at all. So we had lots of trouble getting it out of Rajlovac
6 towards Nisici. We did it together with UNPROFOR and then it stayed up
7 there. I don't know what happened to it afterwards.
8 Q. Now I'm going to show you a document, DD003553. You see this
9 document? Please see whose document it is, who issued it on what date and
10 who signed it.
11 A. This document was issued by the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija
12 Corps and it was signed by General Milosevic. It says that artillery
13 pieces were moved out of the zone 20 kilometres away, and this tank, I
14 guess that was the tank, stayed behind because it was out of order and it
15 was being moved out towards Cevljanovici and that it will be completed by
16 1100 hours. That's what it says.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this please
18 be admitted into evidence as a Defence Exhibit?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As D213, Your Honours.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can you explain to the Judges what the orders looked like, the
23 orders issued to you?
24 A. The orders issued to me throughout the war, as to a superior
25 officer who was supposed to issue these orders to the soldiers on the
1 front line, they were always practically identical, strictly protect your
2 own positions, defend them, strictly defend, defend only, your own
3 positions. Shoot only if attacked. Do not squander ammunition. And if
4 there is an attack, if you are attacked, respond as hard as you can, if
5 your positions are attacked or facilities near those positions.
6 Q. Could you please give me an accurate answer now? In the territory
7 held by the BH army, how far could you see that territory?
8 A. I said a few minutes ago that strictly from the positions where
9 the trenches were, we couldn't see anything quite literally, but we had
10 observers with binoculars in depth and they followed the movement of
11 troops and they were watching their mortars, their cannons from where they
12 operated and then in the evening we discussed this and we tried to see
13 what we should do to neutralise them if they presented a threat to our
14 positions but from our positions themselves we couldn't see anything.
15 Q. So how far could you see even with binoculars?
16 A. Two to three kilometres at a maximum. And all of that is so
17 nearby that it didn't -- how should I put this? -- constitute a threat.
18 Even from there you couldn't fire a rifle. A rifle would not have
19 sufficient range to those positions. I mean small arms, generally
21 Q. Where were these observation posts if were you in the valley?
22 A. These observation posts were two or three kilometres behind this
23 valley on the slopes of a little hill, behind. These were big binoculars
24 that we had and roughly we could see with them and sometimes you could
25 even see something with the naked eye, where things were, what was going
1 on at their actual front line.
2 Q. And how far behind you were those observation posts?
3 A. Two to three kilometres behind us.
4 Q. And how long did these conflicts that you spoke about, that
5 started in October, how long did they last?
6 A. The conflicts lasted throughout October and November, and the BH
7 army forces managed to cut this route at Srednje and they had us in
8 encirclement because they reached as far as the road, and then we managed
9 to consolidate our lines and to -- our forces, and to regain those lines,
10 and my area of responsibility up there at the Nisici plateau was Mosevacko
11 Brdo, Jasin [phoen]. This was my sector. And I had a platoon there
12 defending those positions lest they should be able to approach us from our
14 Q. Since you didn't have any heavy weapons, because they had been
15 moved out, what happened? What positions did the BH army have from which
16 it could threaten you at Rajlovac, Iljas?
17 A. Well, they could -- they posed a threat from any position, any
18 building. They mostly used mortars when they targeted the area of
19 responsibility of my unit and from Sokolje they fired from their tanks and
20 cannons at Ilidza. It was a little bit further away and they could fire
21 at it directly. And as for Grbavica and all the other parts of the city,
22 they could target it at any time from any position within the city.
23 Q. What about from Igman?
24 A. Well, I know that because my brother had been wounded, and I had
25 to take him to the Zica Hospital. There was a Browning gun firing at the
1 Ilidza Zica Hospital route and the Rapid Reaction Force targeted my
2 positions from Igman in 1994, they managed actually to hit the trench
3 where I was positioned but fortunately there were no consequences.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, I observe that one hour and 30
5 minutes were allotted for the total examination of this witness. Of that
6 time, you have used one hour and ten minutes, which only leaves 20 minutes
7 for the Prosecution to cross-examine.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we asked for three
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I correct myself. I understand it's three
11 hours estimated for the total examination. So you have an hour and a half
12 and you have used an hour and ten minutes. Let's move on.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Fine. I will speed things up and
14 see if I can maybe be a bit more efficient.
15 Q. Could you please tell me when did those conflicts cease, the ones
16 that we were talking about, the ones in October and November, and what
17 happened then?
18 A. The conflicts ended in December when a cease-fire was signed, and
19 we received an order that we should not fire a single bullet under any
20 circumstances at all.
21 Q. Thank you. I will now show you another document. That's 65 ter
22 00608. Could you please look at this order? Who issued it? What's the
23 date? And if you can read item 4, and if you can then tell me whether
24 this corresponds to what you just told us about the nature of the orders
25 that you received?
1 A. This is the command of the 1st Iljas Brigade. We at Rajlovac
2 received another one like that. Item 4 reads as follows: Open fire only
3 in case of a surprise attack on units and positions, and in any other
4 situation when it is necessary to open fire, inform the OC of the brigade
6 I received this command and I conveyed it to all the soldiers but
7 we knew that they would not comply with it, the Muslim side.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
9 document as a Defence Exhibit too.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Admitted.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As D214, Your Honours.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Krsman, what happened in the months that followed? How long
14 did this cease-fire last?
15 A. Well, as I said before, I knew that they would not comply with it
16 for long. It lasted until June 1995, when the same scenario that we saw
17 in November 1994 was repeated again. They attacked us from all positions,
18 in particular from the area of the Nisici plateau from the outside and
19 also from the inside. They attacked strictly on our positions, on our
20 trenches. This was the fiercest attack in the war. They fired all the
21 weapons that they had and for the first time since the war started, they
22 were firing throughout the night at 1.00, at 2.00. Shells were raining at
23 Trnovo. Everything was on fire. And my line was under threat. And at
24 Nisici plateau, there was an attack. Fortunately, in all this misfortune,
25 the Croat forces did not launch any attacks from Kiseljak area.
1 Q. Please, now that you told us this, could you please show on this
2 large map just approximately from the blue and red line, what areas were
3 held by the Croat side, by the Croat forces? Could you just look at it
4 and then we will go back.
5 A. The Croat forces held the positions -- they had two brigades, the
6 Ban Jelacic Brigade and the King Kresimir Brigade.
7 Q. Thank you. Were there any exchanges of fire at any time along
8 those lines? Did any side fire on the other at any time?
9 A. Well, since we had indigenous Serb population on one side and the
10 Croat indigenous population on the other, we have lived there for 200 or
11 400 years, no -- fire was never opened from those positions, and this
12 meant a lot to us because we knew that our backs were secure.
13 Q. You told us what happened in June. I would now like to show you a
14 document, if you could tell me whether that corresponds to what you just
15 told us. It's document D107. It's a Defence Exhibit, D107.
16 Could you please read the letterhead and see what it reads below,
17 what kind of a proposal we are talking about and the first paragraph, and
18 then I would like to ask you yet another question. If you can just read
19 that, please, so that we see the date and what this document is all
21 A. This is an order from the 1st Corps command dated the 26th of June
22 1995, so this is when the attacks on our positions were at their
23 fiercest. Then it says here, "In order to tie up the aggressor forces
24 around the city and disperse them offering relief to our forces outside
25 the city, they sent proposals, certain proposals."
1 Q. Could we now look at page 2, and do you remember any specific
2 events that are related to this period and these developments?
3 A. Yes. I do. I remember they hit a trench up there on the hill,
4 from shock lay Brdo, from Lemezi. Three soldiers were wounded, Tambur,
5 Mile Cuk, and Dragan Krnjaic. This was a direct hit of a shell on the
7 Q. Could we look at page 2 of this document where we are talking
8 about 112th Mountain Brigade. Is this what you were just telling us
10 A. It says target number 3. They ordered them that they should hit
11 Boro Lemez's house with a multiple rocket launcher and that's what they
12 did. And they injured three people.
13 Q. And could you tell me, in this whole period and at the time when
14 Dragomir Milosevic was the commander and at the time when the attacks
15 were, the conflicts were really the most intense, how many people were
16 killed in your unit and could you please tell me the approximate number of
17 civilian casualties?
18 A. 41 persons were killed in my village, six women, a total of 41
19 people, and more than 50 people were injured. My aunt was killed, and my
20 brother was seriously injured. As far as Rajlovac is concerned, more than
21 120 people were killed in the barracks and more than 200 people were
22 wounded. They were like stool pigeons there in the barracks.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry. You're saying?
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no questions -- no more
25 questions. Well, this is already in evidence. This is not MFI any more.
1 It's already exhibited. It's already a Defence exhibit. And I have no
2 further questions.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. But I wanted to ask the witness
4 this: You just told us about the number of persons who were killed. I'd
5 like to ask you, how did this incident start that resulted in the death of
6 all these people? Tell us how it started and how it progressed, how it
7 came to an end.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the 41 people were
9 killed in Zabrdje, in the village where they were born, all -- all of
10 them, all 41. 20 were shot in the head or in the heart with a bullet
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Killed by whom?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were fired on by the
14 people in positions facing us. In other words, BH army troops.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: And how did that fight start? That's what I
16 wanted to find out.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I want to find out how that -- how did that
19 particular fight begin? Who started it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I explained to you that on the
21 5th of May, the first attack was launched. That was the first attack in
22 this territory. And it was started by the Green Berets and later on they
23 became the BH army.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: When precisely was that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly on the 5th of May.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: What year are we talking about now?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992. 5th of May, Boro Bjelice, my
3 next door neighbour, was killed by a shell.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the attack that led to the death of these 41
5 people, that was in 1992, the attack by the ABiH?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's when the first casualty fell,
7 the first person was killed. In the four years of war, my village, which
8 had 600 to 700 people, they were -- 40 people were killed, on their door
9 steps, on various dates, at various times, in those four years of war.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I'd like you to help us by telling us how
11 the incident started that led to these killings of the 40 people over the
12 period of four years, and I'm particularly interested in 1994 and 1995.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, to give you a specific
14 example, Nebojsa Vuletic, he was killed in a trench in 1995. A hand-held
15 rocket launcher was fired at his trench and it was a direct hit during the
16 offensive, and it blew his head off. This is a specific case.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: So who was responsible for that? Who fired that
18 rocket launcher?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A soldier of the BH army fired that
20 hand-held rocket launcher.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: What month of 1995 was this?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in June 1995. That was the
23 last offensive. And three soldiers that I told you about a few minutes
24 ago were wounded in a trench just next to this one. Fortunately they were
25 not killed.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: And any other specific incidents that you can
2 remember in 1994, 1995?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on my line, there were those
4 two incidents in those years. Most people died in 1992 and 1993.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm interested to ascertain whether your people,
6 the Serbs, responded to any of these attacks, because you're telling us
7 that these were attacks launched by the ABiH. Did the Serbs respond to
8 any of these attacks and was any of the ABiH forces killed in your
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We responded to each attack that
11 targeted our trenches. I don't know whether anyone was killed. No one
12 can know that. I only know who was killed on our side and that many times
13 we had to risk our own lives in order to pull out the dead bodies of the
14 wounded under such circumstances.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The 41 civilians who were killed, were they
16 killed in 1992 or throughout the four-year period?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that they were not all
18 civilians. The total number was 41. And of the 41, six were women,
19 civilians. And I can tell you about each individual incident. In 1992,
20 for example, 15 were killed; another 15 in 1993; three persons in 1994, et
21 cetera; but I can tell you the circumstances of each and every killing,
22 how they were killed and where they were killed.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva?
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Krsman. My name is Mr. Sachdeva and I'm going
1 to ask you a few questions. If you need clarification, please let me
2 know. I actually wanted to start by asking you about your role in the SRK
3 in the -- I understand that you're company was within the 3rd Sarajevo
4 Brigade; is that right?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. And actually before I get to that, since we have the document on
7 the screen, the last document that Mr. Tapuskovic showed you, I just want
8 you to go back to the point where it speaks about target 3. Do you see
9 that there, at the bottom? You earlier spoke about that.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I just want to confirm with you that these sleeping quarters,
12 soldiers were sleeping in that house, weren't they?
13 A. No. That was Boro Lemez's house. He lived in it. And they used
14 it as a benchmark and actually they hit the trench, not the house itself.
15 The trench was in front of the house.
16 Q. Very well. They hit the trench and soldiers were killed; is that
18 A. Yes. But they were only wounded. They were not killed.
19 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Okay. So let's go back to your
20 role. You were a company commander. When were you made a company
22 A. I was appointed company commander on the 13th of June 1993.
23 Q. And did you have platoons underneath you and if you did, how many
24 platoons did you have? What did you command?
25 A. I had three platoons in my company.
1 Q. Roughly how many men or military personnel did you command within
2 those three platoons?
3 A. I had exactly 157 able-bodied men but we also had on our list some
4 20 soldiers who were wounded but were receiving medical treatment.
5 Q. And I take it that you were company commander throughout the
6 conflict, that is through to December 1995; is that right?
7 A. Yes. I was the commander of that company but also of a company in
8 Rajlovac after the commander of the Rajlovac company was seriously
9 wounded, so I stood in for him. I also discharged duties of the line
10 commander at the Nisici plateau while the fighting was going on there.
11 Q. Your battalion, that is the next military unit in the hierarchy
12 above your company, you said that the commander was Commander Terzic; is
13 that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And was he commander as well throughout the conflicts up until
16 December 1995?
17 A. No. We asked specifically for him to become our commander. He
18 came in 1993. He was born in the village of Zabrdje and we trusted him.
19 Q. So when he came in 1993 he remained as commander up until 1995; is
20 that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what was the name of the battalion?
23 A. It was the Rajlovac Battalion.
24 Q. And the battalion, as you said earlier, belonged or was part of
25 the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Its commander being Dragan Josipovic; is that correct, from 1993
3 through to 1995?
4 A. I think so. I don't know exactly which period but he was a true
5 officer and a man of integrity.
6 Q. Now, you mentioned --
7 A. Dragan Josipovic.
8 Q. You gave evidence earlier today about the meetings, the regular
9 meetings you would have with your battalion commander. Do you remember
10 giving that evidence?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And I take it that you met with him every day or every other day?
13 How frequently did you meet with him? How frequently did you have these
15 A. The briefings were held twice a week, and I saw the commander
16 every day because he lived in Zabrdje. He came to visit his parents. We
17 would have coffee and so on and so forth.
18 Q. And the other company commanders would also be in these meetings;
19 is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And when you weren't meeting with your commander, I presume that
22 you had regular contact, regular communication, with the battalion
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I see the time. I wondered if --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's that time of the day. We'll adjourn for 20
3 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva?
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Krsman, we were talking about communication before the break
8 and I asked you whether you had regular communication with the battalion
9 commander and you replied yes. How was that communication -- how did it
10 manifest? What kind of communication did you have?
11 A. We had a wire telephone line connecting us with the battalion.
12 Q. So I take it that whenever there was a need for you to communicate
13 with your battalion commander or other officers within the battalion
14 command, you were able to do that, weren't you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And just as you had good communication with your battalion
17 commander, I take it that the battalion commander also had good
18 communication going up the hierarchy, that is to his brigade commander; is
19 that right?
20 A. I don't know exactly but I think he did.
21 Q. And then moving on from there, the brigade commander would have
22 had effective communication with the personnel in the corps command
23 reaching up to General Milosevic; isn't that right?
24 A. I really don't know about that. I know only up to the level of a
25 battalion commander.
1 Q. In fact, given your four years with -- as a company commander,
2 it's correct to say that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was an effective
3 functioning corps, wasn't it?
4 A. Well, in view of the territory that we had to cover, from, for
5 example, Rajko, Rajlovac to Lukavica, I wouldn't put it like that. The
6 territory of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was so huge that we couldn't
7 visit it all by car in one day and you can only imagine how it was to link
8 up all these things. And I'm very sceptical in that regard.
9 Q. But if you were having effective communication with your battalion
10 commander and the battalion commander was most probably having effective
11 communication with his brigade commander, this would have been mirrored
12 throughout the SRK, wouldn't it?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Mr. Tapuskovic?
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness said
15 what he certainly knows about. This is again the area of speculation and
16 assumptions, and I don't think that this would be in order.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I believe there is some merit in that. I
18 think you can ask another question, Mr. Sachdeva.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Krsman, did you ever meet or see Dragan Milosevic, General
21 Dragan Milosevic, while you were a company commander?
22 A. I saw him only once at the Nisic plateau in the course of this
23 offensive but I didn't talk to him on that occasion. We just passed each
24 other and that was the only time that I saw him.
25 Q. And you're aware, though, that the general would take trips to the
1 field and meet with his brigade commanders and battalion commanders on a
2 regular basis?
3 A. Yes. He used to come and visit us but unfortunately, I wasn't
4 present then in Rajlovac. He visited the front line very often. He
5 always told us to be careful, not to shoot at the position without any
6 need, to spare the ammunition and to guard our lives and the territory in
7 which we lived.
8 Q. You said that he visited the front line very often and I take it
9 that that is your front line. How often would he visit the front line?
10 A. I cannot say precisely but he was known as a general who took good
11 care of his troops, who visited his troops and I believe that he spent
12 more time at the front than in the command headquarters.
13 Q. Yes. And it was important for the general to apprise himself of
14 the military situation on the ground, wasn't it, and that's why he made
15 these trips?
16 A. Yes. But in addition to the military aspect he was also
17 interested in how we were living, did we have food, what was the situation
18 with our families, whether our families were safe, although the military
19 aspect took precedence.
20 Q. Yes. So he was concerned about the morale within the ranks?
21 A. Yes, among other things, he boosted our morale.
22 Q. And in your view as a military man, this sort of action by a
23 general rendered him an effective commander, didn't it?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic? I'm not likely to agree
25 with you. He can answer that, if you're going to object.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I only think that an opinion
2 cannot be sought from a witness.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: He can speak about that. He was a man in command
4 of soldiers himself.
5 Yes, what is your answer to the question?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would give the answer but first I
7 would like the Prosecutor to explain to me what he meant by "an effective
9 MR. SACHDEVA:
10 Q. I'd be happy to. What I'm trying to get at is that the general,
11 in conducting these visits, it was important for him to understand the
12 kind of -- the amount of ammunition that a brigade may have, the needs in
13 terms of military arsenal, firstly with respect to weapons?
14 A. A general has his service in charge of that. He receives
15 information from brigade commanders. But a commander wants to look at
16 certain things himself, and I fully understand why he visited the front
17 lines. That applies to every job and equally it applies to a job of a
18 military officer.
19 Q. Very well. Okay. I'm going to move on now to the weaponry that
20 you had in your company. I take it you had mortars within your company?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And how many mortars and what kind of mortars did you have?
23 A. We had 60-millimetre, 82-millimetre mortars, which we handed over
24 in spring 1994, and after that date we didn't have in the company any
1 Q. What about howitzers and anti-aircraft fire, anti-aircraft guns?
2 Did you have them as well?
3 A. No. As a company, we didn't have those. That was at the level of
4 the brigade or even at the level of the corps.
5 Q. You did not have artillery support? Is that what you're saying?
6 A. I didn't say that we had no support. I said that we didn't have
7 these weapons in the company, and that was your question.
8 Q. So are you saying that you had artillery support?
9 A. In case of the attacks that I mentioned, it was impossible for us
10 to defend ourselves with infantry weapons only, and on a few occasions we
11 asked for mortar and artillery support and we regularly received it.
12 Q. And that artillery support that you asked for and regularly
13 received was in the form of tanks and howitzers, wasn't it?
14 A. As I said, after the spring of 1994, we didn't have absolutely
15 anything at our disposal. Prior to that period, we had a broken tank
16 which served as a gun, and I think we had a battery of B-1 guns.
17 Howitzers were used only as a last resort in the event of an all-out
19 Q. When you refer to the spring of 1994, I take it you're referring
20 to the Total Exclusion Zone agreement; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Krsman, do you know why the Total Exclusion Zone agreement was
23 forthcoming, why it was signed?
24 A. Believe me, we were not very much involved in politics, although
25 we were badly affected by this agreement, because the balance of the BH
1 infantry and our infantry was ten to one, so we literally only had
2 infantry weapons for our defence.
3 Q. But you were in Sarajevo for the full time in the conflict,
4 weren't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is there a point which you wish to make?
7 [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are not having any interpretation from the
9 French into English. Would you start again, please?
10 MS. ISAILOVIC: Just an intervention -- I would just like to say
11 something about the interpretation, or rather, what is written in the
12 transcript. The witness, line 20, where his answer begins on page 36 of
13 the transcript, the witness said at the end of the sentence, "We were left
14 only with infantry weapons but we honoured this agreement." That's what
15 he said at the end of his sentence. And I suppose we can check that by
16 listening to the audio recording.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I don't intend to do that. I think we
18 should move on, noting the point that you have made, Ms. Isailovic. Thank
19 you very much.
20 MR. SACHDEVA:
21 Q. Mr. Krsman, I was asking for the reason for the Total Exclusion
22 Zone agreement. You -- as a military person in Sarajevo during the war,
23 you knew about the incident at Markale market on the 5th of February 1994,
24 didn't you?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the question said
2 that as a person in Sarajevo. What part of Sarajevo are we talking
3 about? He wasn't in Sarajevo. Yes, he was in Sarajevo, but the question
4 is not precise. I think it should be said specifically and the Prosecutor
5 should be more specific when asking about his presence in Sarajevo.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not sure I understand the point.
7 Where were you stationed, Witness?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was living in Rajlovac, in the
9 territory controlled by the army of Republika Srpska. I wasn't living in
10 the city of Sarajevo throughout the war, we were outside the city.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, taking that into account, Mr. Sachdeva, you
12 may ask your question again.
13 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Krsman, I persist in the question: Did you hear about the
15 incident at Markale market on the 5th of February 1994?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And you heard that in that incident, some 66 civilians were killed
18 and 120 were wounded. Did you hear that too?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you know that on the 9th of February 1994, the Total Exclusion
21 Zone agreement came into force, didn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that agreement ordered the -- inter alia, in part, ordered the
24 Bosnian Serb army to remove all heavy weapons beyond 20 kilometres from
25 the city. You're aware of that, aren't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you gave evidence today that at least with respect to your
3 responsibility in Rajlovac, you honoured that agreement and removed all
4 your heavy weapons beyond 20 kilometres; is that right?
5 A. Yes. Completely.
6 Q. And just as you did that, the other company commanders and the
7 battalion and brigade commanders also complied with that agreement and
8 removed their weapons, didn't they?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it was important for you to honour this agreement precisely
11 because there was an UNPROFOR -- there was UNPROFOR presence in Rajlovac,
12 wasn't there, from 1993 onwards?
13 A. UNPROFOR was present in Rajlovac throughout the war, particularly
14 for the reason of the central storehouse for food was located there, and
15 it was in our interests not to fire at UNPROFOR.
16 Q. And one of the main tasks of UNPROFOR --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry, Ms. Isailovic is on her feet.
18 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. -- could there be -- I want to
19 say something about the transcript. I'm trying to use that facility
20 particularly for the reason of my being able to understand all three
21 languages. On page 39, line 9, the witness's answer is not recorded
22 properly. And I wouldn't like to give an answer instead of him but it
23 reads here: "It was in our interests not to fire at UNPROFOR," and this
24 is not at all what the witness said.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask the witness, what did you say,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that throughout the war
3 activities, UNPROFOR forces were stationed in Rajlovac, primarily for the
4 reason of the humanitarian aid going from airport to Rajlovac and then
5 distributed into the city from Rajlovac, and this is what they checked,
6 among other things, and they also checked heavy weaponry in that period
7 prior to its withdrawal beyond the 20 kilometre zone. And we never had
8 any problems with UNPROFOR.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: So, Witness, in your earlier answer did you say
11 that it was in our interests not to fire at UNPROFOR?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: What did you say in relation to that issue?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that it was in our interest
15 for UNPROFOR to be there to see who was the one who was shooting first,
16 that we were never the first to shoot.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Thank you.
18 MR. SACHDEVA:
19 Q. Mr. Krsman, I just want to follow up from your previous answer
20 about UNPROFOR and the heavy weaponry. Is it your evidence that while you
21 were company commander, you never received any complaints from UNPROFOR or
22 protests from UNPROFOR about deviation from the Total Exclusion Zone
23 agreement or any violation of that agreement? Is that what you're telling
24 the Court?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'd like to bring up 65 ter 00066.
2 Q. Mr. Krsman, I'm just going to show you a document in a moment.
3 Mr. Krsman, while that document is being brought up, you know that
4 20-millimetre guns that were mounted on vehicles were also excluded in
5 this-- in the TEZ agreement; isn't that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'm just waiting for the English version. Mr. Krsman, I
8 apologise, sometimes we have some technical problems.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that the document, Mr. Sachdeva?
10 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, it is, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Krsman, you can see on the front, in the B/C/S version, the
12 language -- in your language, that this is a document from the United
13 Nations, from UNPROFOR. It says, "Headquarters BH command forward
14 Sarajevo." Do you see that there at the top?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And do you see that it's dated -- if you look at the bottom of the
17 table, it says subject, and the date is the 10th of December 1994. Do you
18 see that there?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. If I could ask the Court usher to move to the second page,
21 please -- actually, I apologise, I think it's the third page in the B/C/S
22 version that I'm interested in. Great. Thank you.
23 Mr. Krsman, you see at point 2 there, do you see where it says the
24 subject is titled, "Heavy weapons exclusion zone violations"? Do you see
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I'm just going to read to you what it says there, entitled,
3 "Sarajevo TEZ," which we know to be the Total Exclusion Zone, "At 1011 on
4 the 10th of December 1994, one twin-barrelled 20-millimetre AAA gun
5 mounted on a truck was observed at GRBP 843617. A protest was sent to
6 Rajlovac Battalion, BSA," and BSA is the Bosnian Serb army.
7 Now, upon seeing that report, is it still your evidence that you
8 did not violate the Total Exclusion Zone agreement?
9 A. I don't know what the gentleman who sent this saw, but it says
10 here that what was observed was a gun that was mounted on a trailer
11 truck. So it's not that it was firing, and the protest was not lodged on
12 account of that. Had we wanted to hide it, we wouldn't have displayed it
13 in public this way. This is probably something that looked like a gun or
14 that was being transported in a different direction, not in broad daylight
15 at 11.00, would you place a gun on a truck and it was not operating and
16 you see that here too.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, you should let us know about the
18 source of the document, its provenance.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I understood that I asked a question
20 of the witness whether it was a UN UNPROFOR document and he replied yes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
22 MR. SACHDEVA:
23 Q. Mr. Krsman, I see your answer but it's correct, is it not, that
24 the agreement did not say these weapons should be -- should not be fired.
25 The agreement said these weapons should be removed to beyond 20 kilometres
1 from the city. Isn't that right?
2 A. I understand that, but I'm saying that if this gun is on a trailer
3 truck, you know how big a trailer truck is, 20 tonnes, and I know with 100
4 per cent certainty that a 20-millimetre gun was never on that kind of a
5 trailer truck. If they saw it, they probably had withdrawn all the
6 equipment that was decommissioned. They were taking it to the iron works
7 or wherever you're supposed to.
8 Q. On what basis are you saying it's a trailer truck? In the
9 original document it talks about a gun mounted on a truck.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in B/C/S, the
12 translation concerning this truck, it says trailer truck. So the
13 translation in B/C/S says trailer truck. Now, is the translation good?
14 Because that is a vehicle that only transports things that are supposed to
15 be removed, taken away. It's something for transporting things. It is
16 not a vehicle that can be used in another way. So it is not a truck. It
17 is a trailer truck. It's the biggest possible truck that exists.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] You said that it is a UN document.
20 Which one is the authoritative one, the UN one or the B/C/S version? So
21 basically, I'm saying where does this document come from? We have two
22 documents here. We have a document in English and a document in B/C/S.
23 Is it that both are not matching, that the translations do not match?
24 Which is the original, the authoritative version. That's my question.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, Judge Mindua, the original is the
1 United Nations document, which is written in English. That would be the
2 authoritative version, in my submission.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Precisely. Well, let us examine
4 this document.
5 MR. SACHDEVA:
6 Q. Mr. Krsman, the United Nations document records that the truck --
7 the gun was mounted on a truck, and you earlier told the Court that such
8 weapons, if mounted on a vehicle, on a moving vehicle, were prohibited
9 within the TEZ agreement, you said that, didn't you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the Rajlovac Battalion is your battalion, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you receive a protest from the UN at that time? Do you
14 remember now?
15 A. I do not. Maybe the battalion commander had received it, but I,
16 as company commander, no.
17 Q. And did you hear of your battalion commander receiving such a
19 A. I did not hear of it because we observed the cease-fire then in
20 December all the way up to June 1995, practically not a single bullet was
22 Q. So in spite of this document, your evidence remains the same, that
23 you did not violate the TEZ agreement or that your battalion did not
24 violate the TEZ agreement?
25 A. We certainly did not fire. I am telling you that this is probably
1 a gun that was out of order, and that was put on this trailer truck and
2 that was being taken away for decommissioning.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I ask that this document be tendered
4 into evidence.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit it.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As P760, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't know why the B/C/S would translate
8 "truck" as "trailer truck."
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Perhaps the Prosecution can arrange for another
10 translation, although the exhibit is in its original form. That is in
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, I wouldn't ask for that. I don't consider it
14 MR. SACHDEVA:
15 Q. Mr. Krsman, I moved on to the Total Exclusion Zone because you
16 started talking about your mortars so I want to move back to talk more
17 about weapons, not necessarily within your company but also within your
18 battalion and brigade.
19 In the period 1994 through to 1995, you must have known about
20 modified air bombs; is that right?
21 A. Never in our company or battalion and even in brigade, I believe,
22 did I see any such thing or did I hear of any such thing.
23 Q. But you know what a modified air bomb is, don't you?
24 A. I know what an air bomb is, and I know that from television. I
25 actually never saw it in real life. As for a modified air bomb, I don't
1 know. I really do not know. Because we had all sorts of weapons, but
2 that I had never seen, ever.
3 Q. Yes. If you just listen to my question carefully, I'm not asking
4 you whether you saw one. You know what an air bomb is and those bombs are
5 dropped from air planes, aren't they? They are designed to be dropped
6 from airplanes?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, he's already
10 responded, and now, "Do you know?" If he said that he had never seen it
11 and doesn't know what it is, how can he be asked yet again? He's already
12 given an answer.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: But counsel is probing. He's going a little
14 further. He says you know what an air bomb is and those bombs are dropped
15 from airplanes, aren't they? So he's moving on. Proceed.
16 MR. SACHDEVA:
17 Q. Sir, you've just told the Court that you know that these bombs are
18 originally designed to be dropped from airplanes; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you are aware, I suggest, that during the period 1994, 1995,
21 the Bosnian Serb army, and in particular your brigade, modified these air
22 bombs and fired them from within its area of responsibility. You're aware
23 of that, aren't you?
24 A. That is absolutely not correct. I certainly would have known
25 about that.
1 Q. So you're telling the Court that if indeed your brigade, that is
2 the 3rd Infantry Brigade, had these air bombs, these modified air bombs,
3 you as a company commander would have known about it?
4 A. At least I would have heard of it having been fired but I
5 absolutely never saw any such thing, especially not in the area of
6 responsibility of my battalion or do we need it or do I know what it's
7 used for or what kind of objectives it can target.
8 Q. You know that these modified air bombs are inaccurate weapons;
9 don't you know that?
10 A. I've already said that I didn't even know what they looked like,
11 but if they are modified, then most probably they are inaccurate. But I
12 really don't even know what they look like and how they are fired or
13 launched or thrown, whatever. I don't know anything about that.
14 Q. You never heard that they were modified by the attachment of
15 rockets to the bomb and then fired from a truck? You didn't hear that in
16 your time as a company commander in Rajlovac?
17 A. Never. This is the first time I hear of it in my life. Not that
18 I've seen it ever.
19 Q. Presumably --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is the first time you're hearing of a
21 modified air bomb? Is that your testimony, that you're hearing for the
22 first time in this courtroom of the use of a modified air bomb? That's an
23 air bomb with rockets attached to it, fired from a truck. Are you saying
24 that this is the first time you're hearing of that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that this is the first
1 time I hear of rockets being placed on them and this is the first time I
2 hear that they have been used in Rajlovac in the area of responsibility of
3 my battalion. That is what I hear for the first time. I have heard of
4 the expression modified air bomb. I've heard the expression. But I never
5 saw this and we never used this in the war in my battalion.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
7 MR. SACHDEVA:
8 Q. But they were used by your brigade, weren't they?
9 A. I don't know about that. My battalion certainly didn't.
10 Q. In fact, these modified air bombs were fired from Butile which is
11 within the area of responsibility of the VRS, isn't it?
12 A. It is that area of responsibility but I'm not aware of that case.
13 Q. You know that the TV tower in Sarajevo was hit by a modified air
14 bomb, don't you? You must have heard about that.
15 A. I saw that on television when the TV tower was hit but I don't
16 know with what weapon. It is quite impossible to determine with what
17 weapon it was hit.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'd like to call up 65 ter 03191.
19 Q. Mr. Krsman, you see a document there on the right-hand side of the
20 screen. You see at the top it says, "Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command."
21 Do you see that?
22 A. I see that.
23 Q. And you would agree with me that it is an authentic document from
24 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, would you not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And if we just scroll down to the end or actually in the B/C/S
2 version, you can see that it was signed by the Chief of Staff, Cedomir
3 Sladoje? You see that there?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'm just giving you a few minutes to read the text but in the
6 interest of time, it's clear that this document is ordering the supply of
7 five pieces, five modified air bombs, three 105-kilograms and two
8 250-kilograms to the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade, which is your brigade,
9 isn't it?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I beg your pardon.
12 May I? Since I absolutely perfectly know my own language, I can say it
13 says "very urgent," it just says "very urgent, submit to." There is no
14 order, no order whatsoever. And the witness heard it being said, "Order"
15 that this is some kind of order.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, we take that into account, but
17 Mr. Sachdeva, I don't myself see any reference to the term modified air
18 bomb in the document.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, there has been evidence in this
20 trial that the -- what the Prosecution has alleged, that is modified air
21 bombs being used on Sarajevo were termed, were given this term, FAB,
22 aerial bomb. In our submission, this refers to modified air bombs. This
23 is what we have seen in other documents that have been admitted in this
24 trial. I don't -- I'm not sure if this is in dispute.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. But how can you put that to the witness in
1 that way? Because the witness would not know what the evidence has been.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm suggesting to the witness that the -- what's
3 indicated here, the FAB 105 KG and the FAB 250 KG are in fact modified air
4 bombs to be delivered to his brigade.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What do you say to that, Mr. Tapuskovic?
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first of all, I
7 stand by what I said, and secondly, FAB 250 kilograms and 105 kilograms is
8 first of all an air bomb. It doesn't say modified air bomb anywhere in
9 this text. It is an air bomb. What is mentioned here, that is, that is
10 an air bomb. And it would have to say, if it's modified, that it is a
11 modified air bomb. It would have to say so in the text but there is no
12 reference whatsoever to a modified air bomb, so that is in dispute.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, I won't allow the question to be
15 put in the way that you formulated it because it misrepresents the
16 document because there is no reference in the document to modified air
17 bomb, so you might wish to reformulate the question.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: And could I add to the President's question that
20 it appears to be somewhat unclear who these bombs, modified or not, are to
21 be delivered to. My reading of the text in front of us is that these
22 bombs are to be delivered to the 1st Brigade and not to the 3rd. And so
23 that the commander of the 3rd Brigade is to be informed of the delivery of
24 these bombs to the 1st Brigade and if I have understood it correctly, the
25 witness is or was the commander of a company under the 3rd Brigade.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, Judge Harhoff, my understanding is,
2 with respect, different. In other words, the order is to be -- or excuse
3 me, I won't characterise it as an order but the document.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: It does say it's an order to be -- at least in the
5 English version, it says, "To be delivered to the 1st Brigade" and then in
6 parentheses, "as an order."
7 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, in my submission, the part that says
8 "to be delivered to" is in respect of the document, and the document is
9 therefore for information to the commander of the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry
10 Brigade, because underneath that initial line it says, "Pursuant to the
11 decision of the SRK commander, you are to hand over immediately the
12 following materials to the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade" and then, in my
13 submission, it lists the materials.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I apologise. I didn't see that. Sorry.
15 MR. SACHDEVA:
16 Q. Mr. Krsman, I'll persist with the question but I will reformulate
17 it. You can see here that this is a document requesting that three pieces
18 of FAB 105 KG air bomb and two pieces of FAB 250 KG air bomb are to be
19 delivered immediately to the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade. You see that
20 there, don't you?
21 A. I can see here under item 1, FAB 105 kilograms, three pieces and
22 item number 2 is FAB 250 kilograms, two pieces. If you hadn't told me
23 now, I wouldn't have known that this actually refers to bombs, to air
24 bombs. I would not have known that if you had not told me that. This is
25 what it says here.
1 Q. Well, let me ask you this, then: It's correct that you know,
2 then, that the 3rd Infantry Brigade had these FAB bombs in its arsenal?
3 That's correct, isn't it?
4 A. That is not correct, and I categorically claim that --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I did not
7 intervene a moment ago, but my learned colleague from the Prosecution uses
8 terms, "you have to," "it is demanded." But it doesn't say in this
9 document here, and this is again a hypothetical question.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think he's just reflecting the English,
11 that "you are to hand over immediately the following materials, material
12 supplies." It doesn't say that in B/C/S?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, this would be
14 a debatable linguistic nature. I don't want to raise those issues. It is
15 very strict in our language. But I don't want to go into any debate on
16 that but I don't think that we should really replace words with other
17 words. If they say immediately, then it means one thing. But -- and I'm
18 fine with that. But please, we should not have other words added which
19 are not there, such as, "You must" or "I order," because they are not
20 there in the original.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I'm not sure I follow the point but "you
22 are to hand over immediately" looks to me very much like an order.
23 Proceed, Mr. Sachdeva.
24 MR. SACHDEVA:
25 Q. Mr. Krsman, in your brigade or in your battalion or in your
1 company even, how many air bombers did you have? How many bomber planes
2 did you have?
3 A. I don't know if the translation is correct but we had one bomber
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apologies. We didn't hear --
6 THE WITNESS: What I heard in interpretation is "bomb, bomber
7 aircraft." We did not have any aircraft.
8 MR. SACHDEVA:
9 Q. Can I just -- let me just confirm that your evidence is that you
10 did not have any bomber aircraft; is that right?
11 A. Well, how can a company have a bomber aircraft?
12 Q. But also your brigade did not have them either, did they?
13 A. That's absolutely true, what you said.
14 Q. And so, if these FAB bombs are air bombs, there was no plan to use
15 them from planes, was there? There was no plan to drop them from planes?
16 A. I guess not.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, may I ask that this document be
18 admitted into evidence.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As P761, Your Honours.
21 MR. SACHDEVA:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Krsman, you in your evidence-in-chief, you talked about
23 observers. Do you remember talking about that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And I think you said that your company or let's say your battalion
1 had observers that could -- well, that you had observers in the field; is
2 that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you know with respect to mortars, the use of observers is
5 typical in picking out targets, that's correct, isn't it?
6 A. Well, we didn't really use those observers for any purpose. I
7 can't see the point of your question.
8 Q. But you had observers in the field that would radio back to those
9 personnel manning the weapons, didn't you?
10 A. Nobody notified any of our crews about anything, of the
11 observers. Do you mean the UN observers?
12 Q. No. I'm talking about the evidence you gave earlier about -- you
13 said that you had observers in the field that would provide information
14 about the whereabouts of the enemy. Do you remember saying that? I'm
15 paraphrasing what you said but I think that's along the lines of your
17 A. Yes. But the term that we use in B/C/S means that they merely
18 observe things. Yes, we did have observers in that sense of the word.
19 Q. And when they observed things and they received or they --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry, Mr. Sachdeva, but Ms. Isailovic has a
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, there is a
23 difference in B/C/S and I was trying to find the word in French and in
24 fact it's reconnaissance mainly rather than observer and I'm not sure what
25 they said in English, but I'm not sure of the word in English. I don't
1 really know. I don't speak English, really.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Isailovic.
3 Mr. Sachdeva?
4 MR. SACHDEVA:
5 Q. Mr. Krsman, when they perform their duty in observing the
6 locations of the enemy, they would -- that information would be relayed to
7 the command, wouldn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And just as your company or your battalion had these observers,
10 you would agree with me that other brigades and other battalions within
11 the SRK employed this use of observers to locate targets?
12 A. I know for my battalion I often personally went to observe the
13 line. As for the other battalions, I don't know. They may have those or
14 not. I can't tell you something that I don't know.
15 Q. Now, you also talked -- well, I asked you in the beginning about
16 the platoons and you said you had three platoons within your company that
17 you commanded. You remember telling me that, or telling the Court that,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And each platoon would comprise how many men?
21 A. Each platoon had between 50 and 60 people. It would depend on the
22 casualties. If somebody got wounded, then they would leave the platoon,
23 but in general, 50 to 60 men.
24 Q. And within the platoon, you had -- you had persons that were
25 snipers or sharp shooters, didn't you?
1 A. In my company, and in fact in no company that was in the Rajlovac
2 Brigade, did we have a single sniper, because we couldn't even use those.
3 Q. But within your brigade there were snipers, weren't there?
4 A. I don't know of any snipers. As far as I know, snipers have to
5 undergo special training. They have their very strict tasks. And in our
6 brigade, I can say that with certainty, in our battalion, we didn't have a
7 single sniper. I don't know about the brigade but I do have my doubts.
8 But you have to ask somebody else.
9 Q. Well, I'm going to talk to you about that, the training in a
10 moment but let's move away from the term snipers. You had within the
11 company and within the Battalion, you had infantry men with rifles and
12 machine-guns, didn't you?
13 A. Members of our battalion had light weapons, rifles, and the
14 machine-guns were located at certain points and they were not carried here
15 and there on the line. They were not moved along the line.
16 Q. And is it your evidence that your company and other companies
17 never employed the use of snipers or persons that were trained within the
19 A. There was no need for us to do so and we didn't have snipers
20 because I already explained in my examination-in-chief, our positions were
21 in the valley and we definitely could not use snipers at all.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'd like to call up 65 ter 02197.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Krsman, you see that this is a document, a report on
24 order from the command of the 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade, do you see
25 that, dated 15th January 1995?
1 A. I can see that.
2 Q. And you already told the Court that the commander was -- at least
3 at this stage was Dragan Josipovic. Do you remember telling that to the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if I could ask the Court usher to move to the last page on
7 both versions, please. You see at the bottom there, the stamp and the
8 name Dragan Josipovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Dragan Josipovic. You see that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This is a valid authentic document, isn't it?
12 A. I guess so.
13 Q. And if I could ask to move to the penultimate page, that's the one
14 just before this one, do you see just above a list, you see where it
15 says, "We would recommend the following for training as snipers" and it
16 lists some names, Miroslavka Ivetic, Slavko Peric, Aleksandar Jokic, Zoran
17 Sucur? You see that there?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So you agree with me that this is a document signed by the
20 commander of the 3rd Infantry Brigade recommending persons within his
21 command for sniper training? You agree with that, don't you?
22 A. This document lists a number of tasks that have to be carried out
23 by the instructors, and one of these tasks is to train the snipers,
24 although I don't know any of those four people. There is even a female
25 name, Miroslavka Ivetic. That's a female name.
1 Q. So you would agree that the third infantry brigade had snipers,
2 trained people for -- well, you would agree that they trained people to
3 perform sniping duties, amongst other things?
4 A. It says here that there are plans for them to undergo training. I
5 don't know if they really underwent training or not because you cannot see
6 this from this document. That's one thing. And most probably there are
7 snipers in the military, in accordance with the establishment, the
8 structure. All I know that we didn't have any in our units.
9 Q. So I'm just trying to understand your answer. Are you still
10 maintaining your evidence that there were no snipers within the 3rd
11 Infantry Brigade? Is that what you're saying?
12 A. What I said, and what I still maintain, is that there were no
13 snipers in my battalion and there were no people who fired from sniper
14 rifles. As for the brigade, I don't know. I can see now this information
15 but I don't know whether they actually underwent this training because a
16 number of orders would be issued and then they were not complied with or
17 they were not carried out because fighting would break out so I don't know
18 in this particular case whether this was actually effected.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I ask that this document be admitted
20 into evidence.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P762, Your Honours.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I want to move on to another
24 document and I see the time and I'm wondering whether it's an appropriate
25 time for the break.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe the break is at -- I believe it's at 25
2 minutes to.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Oh, excuse me.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, if I may I have a point of
5 clarification for the record. The previous document 65 ter number 02197
6 that we admitted as P762 was already in evidence as P682.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: The court deputy will attend to that.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I want to bring up a document that I
10 have informed the Defence of which was not on my initial list. I have
11 informed the Defence and I understand they have no objections, and so I'm
12 seeking your leave to proceed.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may.
14 MR. SACHDEVA: If I could ask for -- thank you, Mr. President. If
15 I could ask for 65 ter 03208 to be brought up, please?
16 Q. Witness, you see a document there on your screen? You see that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you see it's to the Sarajevo -- it's from the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command and it's also noted there that the Main
21 Staff of the VRS is informed. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And it appears to have been drafted by Colonel Bosko Pasic, the
24 assistant commander for logistics, as of 25th of June 1992. You see that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you can see that the text states that, "Based on a
3 conversation with General Mladic, the commander of the army of the SR BiH,
4 we hereby ask to you provide the following equipment for the needs of the
5 Rajlovac Brigade." And it lists 50 camouflage uniforms, eight snipers,
6 and 20 pistols. You see that there?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And at that time, the Rajlovac Brigade was your brigade, wasn't
9 it? You were a member of that brigade?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So I suggest to you, Mr. Krsman, that you did indeed have
12 snipers. Do you agree with that?
13 A. We absolutely didn't have any snipers. I can state that with full
14 responsibility, moral, whatever you want. My battalion and in particular
15 my company never had any snipers on the line, and I don't know this
16 Colonel Bosko Pasic. I know General Mladic, although I have never seen
17 him. This is at the beginning of the war and they are asking for
18 something to be provided. Now, as to whether this really was provided and
19 to whom, I don't know. As for pistols, I did not see -- I may have seen
20 two pistols during the entire war and they were in the property of
22 Q. So in spite of this document and the previous document, that is
23 your evidence: There were no snipers in your brigade?
24 A. Let me state again: In my battalion I'm sure there weren't any.
25 I don't know about the brigade because I didn't control the brigade. I
1 knew what the situation was in my battalion and in particular in my
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I ask that this document be admitted
4 into evidence.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As P763, Your Honours.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I only ask you to keep an eye on
10 the time allotted to the Prosecutor, because we have to respect those time
11 limits. I know how it was when the -- during the Prosecution case. It's
12 not just us who are bound by those deadlines. It's the Prosecution too.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of course I intend to do exactly that.
14 Mr. Sachdeva had an hour and 30 minutes, and so far he has used about an
15 hour and 20 minutes.
16 MR. SACHDEVA:
17 Q. Mr. Krsman, I just want to ask you about the AOR of your brigade,
18 the 3rd Infantry Brigade. It's correct, isn't it, that -- it ranges from
19 the Rajlovac area towards in the west -- from the west northwest, towards
20 Mirkovici and included the Kosver [phoen] Brigade in Mirkovici; isn't that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And it also included a feature known as Spicasta Stijena, didn't
25 A. I heard about it but I never actually went to those positions.
1 Q. But you know that Spicasta Stijena is a ridge and below it is a
2 place called Gordonja [phoen], you know that, don't you?
3 A. I really don't know. I have never been there in my life.
4 Q. Well, you answered that you heard about it so you heard that the
5 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps controlled Spicasta Stijena; you heard that,
6 didn't you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And although you haven't been there, you know that the location of
9 Spicasta Stijena permitted commanding views over the city, and in
10 particular, the village of Sedrenik; that's correct, isn't it?
11 A. I really don't know. If I knew, I would tell you.
12 Q. And you heard -- you also heard that the SRK soldiers on Spicasta
13 Stijena would snipe or fire shots into the village of Sedrenik and hit
14 civilians, you heard that, didn't you?
15 A. I heard that on the news. That was Muslim propaganda. I never
16 heard any such reports from our officers or from our soldiers. I really
17 don't know where that is.
18 Q. You used to watch the news on a regular basis; is that right?
19 A. Whenever I had free time, I did watch the news. And also whenever
20 there was electricity.
21 Q. And presumably your colleagues and other persons in the military
22 would also watch the news?
23 A. Depends. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't.
24 Q. So it's fair to say that you and your colleagues must have known
25 about what was happening in Sarajevo and that civilians were being killed
1 in Sarajevo.
2 A. Since it was war, and everyone was exposed to fire, both their
3 population and our population, their fighters and our fighters, people get
4 killed in a war, and I really don't know who was killed, how many people
5 were killed. All I know is about our side. According to the reports on
6 the Muslim television, if you would add up all the figures that they
7 stated about those who were killed in their news bulletins, the whole
8 population of Bosnia-Herzegovina wouldn't be sufficient according to how
9 many they claim were killed.
10 Q. I'm not asking you about figures. I'm simply asking you to tell
11 the Court that you heard or you saw on the news that civilians were being
12 killed and wounded inside the city of Sarajevo. Isn't that right?
13 A. We followed both news bulletins, just as they showed their
14 civilians being killed, we also saw our children being killed in Grbavica,
15 in Mirkovici, in Ilidza, in Rajlovac, and I suppose that was also the case
16 in Sarajevo. I don't know. I wasn't there.
17 Q. It was the case in Sarajevo because the SRK, your colleagues in
18 the military, were firing their weapons into the city. They were shelling
19 the city, weren't they?
20 A. My company, my platoon, my battalion, never fired at civilians.
21 We exclusively fired at military positions of members of the army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the positions from which different weapons were
23 fired from, regardless of where they were positioned.
24 Q. So whenever you were -- I take it from your answer that if the
25 enemy was firing at you, you would return fire, irrespective of where that
1 position was; is that right? Is that what you're saying?
2 A. If a gun fired, for instance, for a position identified by our
3 observer, we would target this location from which the gun had fired. I'm
4 telling you very precisely. In the area of responsibility of my
5 battalion, there were no civilians at -- where we could see not at two or
6 three kilometres. What we could see were only the -- see their trenches,
7 so it was absolutely impossible for to us target civilians because they
8 weren't there at all.
9 Q. Wasn't there a mosque in your area? At least there was a mosque
10 that you could see, wasn't there?
11 A. Of course. It's still there, at Sokolj on the hill above us.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, how much more time will you be
14 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I think ten more minutes. I know
15 I've said that before, but I do believe ten more minutes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We'll take the break now.
17 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Krsman, just a final issue. When I asked you before the
22 break -- my question was: "So wherever you were, I take it from your
23 answer, if the enemy was firing at you, you would return fire,
24 irrespective of where that position was; is that right? Is that what
25 you're saying?"
1 And your answer was: "If a gun fired, for instance, for a
2 position" -- but I suspect -- "for a position identified by our observer,
3 we would target this location from which the gun had fired."
4 Do you remember giving that evidence?
5 A. Yes, precisely so.
6 Q. And this course of action was employed throughout the war, and in
7 1994 and 1995; is that correct?
8 A. In 1994 and 1995, we didn't have heavy weapons to target these
10 Q. How would you respond? What weapons would you use?
11 A. We would call the battalion command, the battalion command would
12 call the brigade command, and then the weapons under the brigade command
13 would target -- or engage this target.
14 Q. What kind of weapons?
15 A. Depending on what weapons were used at their position. If it was
16 a gun, we would respond with a gun. If it was a mortar, we would try to
17 locate it and we would respond with either a gun or a mortar.
18 Q. What kind of mortars would you respond with?
19 A. Since at their positions they had a mortar mounted on a vehicle,
20 and it frequently changed place, we would identify its location and wait
21 for it to appear to fire shells. Then we would fire at it from a B-1 gun.
22 Q. You said you also used mortars, you would fire at these positions
23 with -- you said in your company you had 82-millimetre mortars and
24 60-millimetre mortars; is that right?
25 A. Yes. Up until 1984 [as interpreted], until the order of
1 withdrawal came.
2 Q. You mean 1994; is that right?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, no further questions.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Sachdeva. Any re-examination,
6 Mr. Tapuskovic?
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
8 no additional questions.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: I have a small question to the witness relating to
11 your testimony about Spicasta Stijena and I understood you to say that
12 this was held by the SRK; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you know if the SRK had trenches on Spicasta
16 A. I know that we were holding these positions and the line but I
17 don't know precisely because I personally never went there.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Krsman, that concludes your evidence. We
20 thank you for coming to the Tribunal to testify. You may now leave.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: And your next witness is?
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is
25 Mr. Vaso Elez. T17.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: VASO ELEZ
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit, and you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. And by
9 means of introductory questions, I'm going to directly examine the witness
10 in order to save time.
11 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
12 Q. Witness, can you tell the Judges your full name?
13 A. My name is Vaso Elez.
14 Q. I would like to tell you in advance, and I already explained this
15 to you, but just please be careful not to answer before the cursor in
16 front of you on the screen has stopped, and I on my part will also pay
17 attention to that. Through this examination, then, I will finalise it
18 more easily.
19 You were born on the 30th of June 1959?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You were born in Poljice, Foca municipality, in Bosnia and
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You have been living in Sarajevo since 1969?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You finished elementary school in the school which was situated in
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The secondary school for wood processing, you completed in
5 Pofalici in Sarajevo in 1979?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In your profession, for which you were educated, you were employed
8 in Sipat from 1980 until 1982?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Like any other citizen of the then state, you fulfilled your civil
11 duty and served one year in the Yugoslav People's Army in 1982?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Upon your return from the Yugoslav People's Army in 1983, you
14 found a job again in Sipat Company and you remained in Sipat until 1992 in
15 Sarajevo; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. I would like now to show you a map, a city map, because I think
18 that would be the best way for you to explain certain things to us. It's
19 document D22.
20 Something has already been marked on this map, whereas I required
21 a blank map.
22 That's 65 ter 2872. My mistake. I apologise.
23 Can the southern part be zoomed in or can we scroll the map a
24 bit? To the right a little bit more, please, and if it can be enlarged?
25 Now it's all right. Can we please enlarge a little? I think this is
1 going to be all right.
2 Mr. Vaso, can you show us on the map where your family house was
3 and where you used to live? Can you do that on this map?
4 It has to be moved to the right a little bit more.
5 Is it all right now?
6 A. This map is rather small for me.
7 Q. Shall we try and enlarge it as it is now?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it better now?
10 A. This will be good enough for me to find my way around.
11 Q. Can you tell us where your family house is?
12 A. My family house is here. [Marks]
13 Q. Thank you. Can you please put a letter K next to it, next to this
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. You lived there with whom?
17 A. I lived in my family house with my mother, my brother and his
18 family, until 1983, when I moved to Grbavica to a flat on 107 Lenjinova
19 Street. I moved there with my wife and her mother.
20 Q. Can you show us where that was, the street and the building that
21 you mentioned?
22 A. Yes, I can. [Marks]
23 Q. Could you please put a letter L?
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. At the time when conflicts broke out, what happened with those
1 people who were living in your family house?
2 A. When the conflicts broke out, in Grbavica, my brother and his
3 family left. My mother remained alone. I continued living in the flat at
4 Grbavica, and I was observing the events or following the developments in
5 Bosnia on TV.
6 Q. Could you please say what it was that happened to your brother?
7 Where did he go?
8 A. My brother went to Austria.
9 Q. Did he ever return again after those events? Just give me a brief
11 A. He did not return.
12 Q. Who was there from your family at the moment when the conflict
13 broke out?
14 A. My wife, my seven-year-old daughter, my mother-in-law, and my own
15 mother, in our family home.
16 Q. Throughout the conflict, as for this building where you lived with
17 them, did they go anywhere from there?
18 A. During the conflicts that went on for four years, my family did
19 not go anywhere. They were there with me at Grbavica and Kovacici.
20 Q. Can you explain to the Judges what happened during those days and
21 months in the beginning of 1992?
22 A. As for the very beginning of 1992, I was not a participant. I was
23 an observer, by way of the media. That is to say that when the unrest
24 started, when the shooting started, it was impossible to go to work, the
25 streets became empty. Fear prevailed, which was my case, too. I was
1 afraid. I was wondering what to do. After what happened happened in the
2 barracks in Sarajevo, after the attack on the troops in Dobrovoljacka
3 Street in May, in Pofalici, the people who went over to Grbavica were
4 saying that there were a lot of killings, many people were captured, many
5 people went missing.
6 Q. How and when did you take a weapon or receive a weapon, and how
7 did you decide to do that? Can you tell us that?
8 A. Many people were already armed, neighbours, friends. It was not
9 safe to live there when you're afraid for your family and for yourself.
10 That is why I reported and was issued with a so-called Thompson rifle.
11 Others had semi-automatic rifles, automatic rifles. Later on I got an
12 automatic rifle because this Thompson was not safe and there wasn't any
13 ammunition for it either.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Judges what it meant in
15 peacetime when somebody would say somewhere in a town, "Territorial
17 A. Territorial Defence; every local commune where people were
18 supposed to prevent -- defend themselves from attacks against the
20 Q. In order for the Judges to understand this better, when you
21 say, "Attacks against the country," attacks from who?
22 A. The external enemy.
23 Q. How did you live there with your neighbours over all those years
24 where your family home was and where you lived with your family in
25 Sarajevo and Grbavica? What kind of relations did you have?
1 A. Relations with the Muslims were friendly, as among friends,
2 neighbours, best friends, relatives. I never believed that what happened
3 during those following four years would happen, namely that they would
4 shoot at each other.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, when you received these weapons, what happened
6 then? Where was it that you got these weapons exactly? Can you first
7 tell me that? Where and when? At what point in time did this occur?
8 A. I was issued with a weapon in mid-May, at the Territorial Defence
9 Staff at Grbavica, in the Grbavica local commune.
10 Q. Thank you. And what happened then? You got these weapons and
11 what happened then?
12 A. I was deployed in a unit which was a company, along the Miljacka
13 river from the Vrbanja bridge to the Bratstva-Jedinstvo Bridge. The area
14 of responsibility of this company was, as I said just now, between the two
15 bridges down the Miljacka river.
16 Q. I'm going to ask you to indicate that later. I just wanted to ask
17 you what it was that you joined and how all of this developed. Who was it
18 that you joined?
19 A. I joined the army of Republika Srpska in order to defend my life,
20 the life of my family, the property I had at Grbavica, and Kovacici.
21 Q. Thank you. Were you given some particular duty then at the very
23 A. Until the end of 1992, I was an ordinary soldier.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you now indicate what it was like while were you
25 there as a soldier? Can you indicate the separation line between you and
1 if there was someone on the other side? Well, actually, could you say
2 that first? Was there a separation line there between some armies?
3 A. The separation line was by the left bank of the Miljacka. On our
4 side was the army of Republika Srpska. [Marks]
5 Q. Just a moment, please.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Please look at this carefully. Where are you drawing this? I
8 don't want to lead you. I mean, have you made a mistake or are you doing
9 this right?
10 A. Obviously I've made a mistake, a big mistake. I went to the road
11 on the other side. [Marks]. So from the Vrbanja bridge down the Miljacka
12 to the Bratstva-Jedinstvo Bridge. On the other side was the army of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We were fortified here.
14 Q. Please, could you stop there for a moment? Could you just draw
15 the entire separation line, as you had put it, between you and the army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the area of Grbavica?
17 A. Then from the Vrbanja bridge, part of Beogradska, Ljubljanska,
18 Miska Jovanovica, towards the Jewish cemetery, up to the foot of Debelo
19 Brdo. On Debelo Brdo, there were troops of the BH army.
20 Q. Please, Mr. Elez, please draw the separation line first and then
21 we are going to discuss other matters. I haven't asked you about any of
22 that yet.
23 A. [Marks]. Then along the Miljacka to Streljevac [phoen] towards
24 the Zeljeznicar stadium. And then Sanac, Zagorska, Milinklatska,
25 Ozrenska, those are the streets, towards Djukica Potok and Lukavica.
1 Q. Thank you. And this other side, how far did that go?
2 A. You mean what I haven't finished yet, towards Debelo Brdo? It
3 went to Debelo Brdo. If I can find my way on this map, it's roughly
4 around here.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you mark Debelo Brdo now?
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. And on this side, the other side, the left side, was there a hill
8 over there?
9 A. Mojmilo was on the left side. [Marks]
10 Q. Can you describe what things were like during those first days of
11 the conflict, what life was like in Grbavica, in view of what it was that
12 had started happening, as you had put it?
13 A. Life at Grbavica was very hard, both for soldiers and the rest of
14 the population. We were in a low area that could be seen from all sides.
15 On the right-hand was Debelo Brdo which was a lot higher up, and that's
16 where enemy fire was coming from. And also, from the Mojmilo hill, from
17 Samac too, Hrasno. Also from the other side of the Miljacka from taller
18 residential buildings, Grbavica was under gunfire.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you first mark this area that you circled just now
20 and you said it was Mojmilo, so could you mark that with the letter M?
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. On the right side, could you place the letter D where you said
23 that Debelo Brdo was?
24 A. [Marks]
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
1 save this map as it is marked now, as a -- and to have it tendered as a
2 Defence Exhibit.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As D215, Your Honours.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in order to go
6 through this introductory part, I have to show the witness a photograph,
7 that's 65 ter photograph 02906. The Prosecutor agreed that I may use this
8 photograph although it was not on our list, but I seek leave from you to
9 do so.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Go ahead.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have it enlarged a little
13 Q. Mr. Elez, could you please show the house where you lived together
14 with your wife and child?
15 A. You cannot see the house here. You have to move the photograph to
16 the left.
17 Q. No, I'm sorry, the apartment where you lived with your wife and
18 child. What building was this apartment in?
19 A. Now I understand. It is this first pavilion type building here.
20 [Marks]. I will mark it here. That is the entrance.
21 Q. And what floor were you on?
22 A. On the second floor.
23 Q. Could you please mark that with a K?
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. And now I would like to ask you to draw in the separation line
1 between the two warring factions on this photograph.
2 A. The separation line went along the Miljacka. [Marks]. Only the
3 left and the right-hand side are missing here.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see Mr. Docherty.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, the witness said the separation line
6 was the Miljacka river but he hasn't marked the Miljacka river and -- I
7 mean, I don't think this is even a controversial point in this trial
8 anymore. I think that the Prosecution would be perfectly willing to
9 stipulate that the line of separation was the Miljacka river.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: We can actually see some -- is that water behind
11 it, behind the line? But this is not an exercise in cartography. So
12 there you have it. We know what we are talking about.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I would like the witness, now that he's drawn in this line, to
15 mark with a different colour pen the position where he was on the
16 separation line during the conflict.
17 A. [Marks]. I am now showing you the positions where I was with my
19 Q. That's precisely what I'm asking you. And could you please
21 A. This line that I marked in blue, this is where -- actually it is
22 said that the separation line was the Miljacka river but our positions
23 were at the Pionirski Dom which was abandoned, and also another building,
24 which was a little bit closer to Miljacka, and the school. In 1993, I
25 became a platoon commander, and what I just showed you, that would be the
1 area of responsibility of that platoon.
2 Q. How far was this line from the building where your wife and child
3 lived? How many metres?
4 A. From the building where my family lived to the first positions
5 along the line, it was about 150 metres.
6 Q. Was it like that throughout the war, that your wife and child were
7 actually behind your back?
8 A. My family lived throughout the war in this building, as did the
9 other families, the families that had lived there before.
10 Q. And could you now draw in approximately where the
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina army forces were stationed?
12 A. The Bosnia-Herzegovina army troops were behind the line of trees,
13 in buildings. In fact, the school of economics, the wood processing
14 school, the faculty of mechanical engineering, Unioninvest company
15 building, the museum. And I don't know what buildings are there further
16 down there. [Marks]. They were fortified, as were we on this side.
17 Q. And what was it like when clashes broke out?
18 A. Well, there would be exchanges of fire, both sides were firing.
19 We would fire on their military targets, their positions, and they would
20 open fire on us. We couldn't really see them because of the trees and
21 other structures there. But on the other side, there were no -- these are
22 not apartment buildings. These were schools, faculty buildings,
23 companies, then in the depths, there is the Marshal Tito barracks where
24 they were actually stationed. Then there is also the railway station.
25 Q. Could you please -- just a moment.
1 Could you please mark the Marshal Tito barracks?
2 A. The Marshal Tito barracks has been torn down. [Marks]. And this
3 was it, what I just marked.
4 Q. Those two buildings to the left, to the left of your positions,
5 the two tall buildings, did they have any names?
6 A. Do I have to mark them?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. [Marks]. This building was called sibicara, matchbox, because it
9 looked like a matchbox. This is the Energoinvest building. And this here
10 is the faculty of natural sciences and mathematics.
11 Q. Just a moment. I'm going to ask you to mark some things but I
12 wanted to ask you something while I have time. Until what time were you
13 the platoon commander?
14 A. I was the platoon commander until 1993, until the end of --
15 Q. Thank you. Could you explain to the Chamber what happened? Why
16 did you cease being a platoon commander?
17 A. I no longer wanted to be the platoon commander because I could no
18 longer pick and choose the soldiers who would go to Ozrenska to assist
19 their fellow fighters, because every second soldier would get killed and
20 they never came back. I couldn't bear that any longer, and it was easier
21 for me to be just an ordinary soldier.
22 Q. Where was the Ozrenska street in relation to Grbavica?
23 A. Ozrenska Street is to the left of Grbavica. It's underneath
24 Mojmilo Brdo. There were some private homes there and the positions were
25 established in those homes, in the houses. Sometimes the distance would
1 be five, six, ten metres, and the BH army soldiers would often break
2 through our lines there, killing people and then they would retreat. This
3 is also what happened on the other flank, the Zagrebacka, Beogradska,
4 Vrbanja bridge, Miska Jovanovica street, Ljubljanska street, where there
5 were those constant raids.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me how many soldiers got killed by the
7 time when you decided to forgo this position?
8 A. One out of two soldiers were killed, just to give you an example,
9 in this battalion, 150 -- 190 soldiers were killed and out of this number,
10 120 were killed at Ozrenska street.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please mark this large area where you've
12 just told us what it actually was, could you mark it with the letter T?
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. The school of mechanical engineering that you marked with M?
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. The faculty of natural sciences and maths. And could you mark the
17 sibicara building, the matchbox building, with a letter S?
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And the last building there, could you mark it with letter C?
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. In the few remaining minutes, could you explain to the Judges --
22 well, you said that you went back and that you were just an ordinary
23 soldier. That's what you told us. How much time did you spend in the
25 A. At the part of the front line where my platoon was, at the bank of
1 the River Miljacka, we didn't spend all the time there because we had to
2 go and assist in Sanac, Moravska street, Ozrenska street, and also to the
3 right we had to assist in the area of Vrbanja, Miska Jovanovica street.
4 We couldn't move all that much because the BH army would attack a flank,
5 the -- all of Grbavica would be fire-swept area for rifle fire, for mortar
6 fire, and it was impossible to move at those times.
7 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me what kind of weapons did the
8 people in your battalion have?
9 A. The soldiers in my platoon had infantry weapons, semi-automatic
10 rifles, automatic rifles. There was an old M-53 machine-gun that didn't
11 really work all the time. It would jam after firing a couple of bullets.
12 It was old Yugoslav weapons.
13 Q. Thank you. And what other weapons were there at Grbavica? Could
14 you please tell the Judges?
15 A. There were just infantry weapons at Grbavica. We didn't have
16 other weapons. And we couldn't defend ourselves using any other weapons.
17 The only thing that existed, there was an armoured personnel carrier that
18 was stationed in front of the police building. It was there, ready to
19 evacuate the wounded or the -- those who had been killed. This happened
20 most often at the approach to Belgradeska street which was an area without
21 cover. And it was used to evacuate the dead and the wounded and the same
22 thing went for the other flank. I didn't see any other weapons there.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my time is now up
24 for today.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's time to adjourn. We'll adjourn until
1 tomorrow afternoon in Courtroom I.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of June
4 2007, at 2.15 p.m.