1 Friday, 22 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: ANDELKO DRAGAS
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
13 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
16 Thank you.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, can you please tell the Trial
18 Chamber your full name and surname?
19 A. My name is Andelko Dragas.
20 Q. Thank you. You were born on the 20th of November, 1951?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. In the village of Gornji Mrkovici in Sarajevo?
23 A. Yes, correct.
24 Q. You completed your elementary school in Sarajevo. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the technical high school in Sarajevo too?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You worked for the post and telegraph and telephone company in
4 Sarajevo until 1992?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let me show a map right away. This is P194.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the map be enlarged, please,
8 to the east. And if it could be enlarged further still, the eastern side
9 of it.
10 Q. Can you read the place names here?
11 A. Well, I can.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you show us the location of your home in the
13 early days of the conflict and can you tell us since when you had been
14 living there?
15 A. My home was --
16 Q. Can you please take the pencil?
17 A. Yes, please. Here it is. This larger dot.
18 Q. Can you plays the letter K next to it, please.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. Do you know when the conflict broke out in Sarajevo between --
21 A. The warring parties.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. On the 4th of April, 1992.
24 Q. Where were you throughout the conflict?
25 A. Throughout the conflict I was a member of the army of the
1 Republika Srpska in the area of responsibility, and if I may be allowed to
2 mark points on the red line.
3 Q. Yes, please, show us what you have in mind.
4 A. These two dots stand for the area of responsibility of the unit I
5 belonged to throughout the war.
6 Q. And which unit was that, please?
7 A. In the beginning, it was called the 1st Kosevo Brigade. Later on
8 a battalion was formed, which was part of the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade.
9 Q. Where was your position precisely?
10 A. My positions were here I drew a dot which is supposed to be on the
11 red line.
12 Q. I'd like to know where you positions were in relation to a house?
13 A. As you are able to see my house was located from hundred metres
14 behind my positions. This is where my house was and this is where my
15 positions were.
16 Q. Could you please mark that with the letter P?
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Do you know what this red line represents?
19 A. I presume this to be the line along which the units of the army of
20 Republika Srpska were deployed whereas the blue line stands roughly for
21 the units of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you draw this dot accurately? I think it is drawn
23 on the confrontation line?
24 A. I suppose I did. The map should be zoomed in further my eyesight
25 is not that sharp, but I suppose I roughly marked the confrontation line.
1 Q. And what was there precisely where this dot is.
2 A. My trench was there, the trench to which I regularly was
3 deployed. When my unit needed that, I would go all the way to this other
4 red dot here. It depended on the situation.
5 Q. Can you explain for the Bench what the name of this geographical
6 feature is?
7 A. This geographical feature is called Jagomir or the area in general
8 is called Pionirska Dolina.
9 Q. Thank you. This geographical feature is part of which hill?
10 A. This stands at the foot of the Grdonj hill. It stretches over an
11 a gentle slope in the direction of Hum. I don't think there are other
12 hills in the general area.
13 Q. Which elevation point overlooks the area? And I mean the area
14 where your positions were.
15 A. Grdonj and Hum hills. These are the highest grounds overlooking
16 that spot.
17 Q. Thank you. At the time of the start of the conflict, did Spicasta
18 Stijena, a geographical feature, mean anything to you?
19 A. I heard of Spicasta Stijena during the war and after the war. I'm
20 very familiar with the area, as I would cross that particular stretch on
21 my way to Gornji Mrkovici -- on my way to Gornji Mrkovici to my school in
23 Q. Thank you. Can you draw us the line which in peacetime -- can you
24 draw a line standing for the route which you took on your way to school in
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Does this mean that at the time you attended elementary school you
3 did not reside in the house where you resided at the start of the war?
4 A. No. I was born in Gornji Mrkovici and that is where I lived until
5 1967 when my parents moved to the location I marked earlier on. I
6 completed my primary education and the first year of my high school before
7 we moved to that location in Sarajevo.
8 Q. Thank you. You spent the entire war in the trenches there in the
9 vicinity of your home?
10 A. Yes, that's correct, until the Dayton Accords were signed and--
11 actually, sometime after that.
12 Q. Now that you mention it, what happened after the Dayton Accords
13 were signed?
14 A. When the Dayton Accords were signed, we moved to Rudo
15 municipality. We only took a couple of our belongings, the essential ones
16 that could fit in a truck. We spent five years there before we returned
17 to the location called Hres.
18 Q. But you never went back to your house again?
19 A. No, never again. Let me tell you that went to see my house on
20 several occasions and tried to repair it, to repair the damage that was
21 inflicted on my house, but every time I went back to it, I found new,
22 fresh damage there, and eventually I thought it was pointless.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Judges what events unfolded in this
24 particular area during the war?
25 A. Sarajevo was surrounded by predominantly Serb villages toward the
1 east and west. What we were doing, most of the time, was protecting our
2 own properties and families. A better part of our properties had been
3 abandoned for the sake of creating strong positions, defence positions.
4 Q. Behind the trenches where you were, was there anything?
5 A. There was a road in the direction of the east, in the direction of
6 Pale. The army of the Federation had been trying to cut off this
7 particular road because this constituted the only link with the
8 municipalities of Hadzici, Vogosca and Ilidza. For this reason we were
9 intent on defending this particular road with all our might. It had been
10 targeted by all manner of weapons during the war. At one section of this
11 road we placed a cover made of planks and in other places it was only
12 shielded off by a curtain of sorts, merely to shield people from the line
13 of sight of the enemy.
14 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how often the warring parties
15 clashed around this particular road?
16 A. The attacks were very, very frequent and they intensified as the
17 war continued. I'm thinking from the start, you could say towards the
18 end of it. I cannot really tell you now the number of the attacks. The
19 truces didn't really mean that much. It didn't mean that it would be
20 quiet. There were very few times when it was actually a truce. So the
21 attacks on the lines there were very intense throughout.
22 I can tell you that visits from relatives continued, and then when
23 they saw how close the lines of separation were and when they saw the
24 constant shooting, they were surprised. They said in our area, the lines
25 are about 5 kilometres apart, so it's much more quiet in our area than it
1 is here in yours. That's what they used to say.
2 Q. I'm going to show you a photograph later, actually a document from
3 the Prosecution, P361, but as long as we have the map in front of us,
4 you -- you said that as the war was drawing to an end, the fighting became
5 more and more intense?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So can we now focus on 1994. Can you please tell us what the
8 situation was in 1994, in the second half of 1994?
9 A. As I said, the fighting intensified. Sometimes we had to leave
10 some positions because we couldn't defend them, and then later, with the
11 help of units from the left and the right, we would retake them and go
12 back to positions that we previously held.
13 At one point, I recall when I was engaged --
14 Q. Just one moment. Thank you. Can you please tell the Judges where
15 the clashes occurred most frequently, at which positions?
16 A. The road that is closest to the separation line was at Barice.
17 That would be here. Should I put a dot there or something?
18 Q. A circle, small circle.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. You can mark that with a letter B, please.
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. And can you please tell us if there was some kind of building
23 there next to the ground?
24 A. There was a fort there. It was called Mala Tvrdjava, the small
25 fort. It was built in the Austro-Hungarian period. And it was a facility
1 built of stone, very strong. And it was conceived to be as a surveillance
2 facility to be used in the defence of the town, according to the strategy
3 of the Austro-Hungarians. At the time we held that facility.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. None of this is in the transcript. I
5 interrupted him. Nothing of this that he said is in.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: In that case, Witness, would you repeat what you
7 just said?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC:
9 Q. [Interpretation] What you said about the fort, the tower.
10 A. It was a fort or a tower called Mala Kula, Mala Tvrdjava. It was
11 built of strong stone. It wasn't very large and the tower was in our
12 hands at the time it was built during the Austro-Hungarian times as an
13 observation point to be used in the defence of the town.
14 Q. Did it ever go to the hands of the enemy?
15 A. Yes, I think it passed into the hands of the enemy in 1994 during
16 intense fighting. It could not be defended so it was abandoned.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me if you know when General
18 Dragomir Milosevic became the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
19 A. I don't remember the exact date, but I remember that he did come
20 and that he was the commander of the SRK. And I saw him twice from very
22 Q. Thank you very much. You just mentioned that -- I'm going to have
23 to pay attention. You are quite good and you're speaking thoroughly and
24 slowly, but I'm not functioning today, it seems.
25 So please tell me, at one point you said that this tower in the
1 second half of that year passed into the hands of --
2 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Yes. Now I would like the Judges to help me to save the map in
4 this form, like this as an exhibit, because I will later have to go back
5 to the same map.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As D255, Your Honours.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown
9 document D156.
10 This last part of the document in B/C/S.
11 Q. [Interpretation] First, Witness, can you look at the heading of
12 the document and the date, please. And can you please read who the
13 heading of the document refers to? Could you please read the heading of
14 the document?
15 A. Are you talking to me?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, command of the
18 1st Corps and then there is the number 05/4-266.
19 Q. Witness, so far you were speaking slowly and now you need to
20 continue to speak slowly when you're reading this document.
21 A. I can repeat. Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 command of the 1st Corps. OP.Number: 05/4-266, date 19th of September,
23 1994. Daily combat report.
24 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at the next page to see who signed
25 this document. Can you look at the end of the document?
1 A. Yes, I can see that. The stamp states 1st Corps and then
2 commander Brigadier-General Vahid Karavelic and there is a signature.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we now go back to the first page and I would like
4 you to look at the paragraph beginning with: "Our forces."
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please zoom in on this
6 part in B/C/S, which is under paragraph 2.
7 Q. And can you please read the beginning?
8 A. The paragraph under number 2?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. "Our forces. 2.1, at the Sarajevo front our forces on the 18th of
11 September, 1994, have been executing combat actions in order to occupy
12 Spicasta Stijena and Mala Kula. For this task, the following forces have
13 been engaged. The strength of one platoon from the 120th Mountain
14 Brigade, Crni Labudovi, the blacks swans, the PTOD platoon of the MUP, in
15 quotes, Bosna, the reconnaissance and sabotage platoon of the
16 105th Mountain Brigade, the 2nd platoon for intervention of the
17 105th Mountain Brigade, the pioneer platoon, the engineers platoon of the
18 2nd Company Reserve, also from the 105th Motorised Brigade.
19 Q. Thank you. There's no need to read everything but perhaps you can
20 look at the last paragraph and tell us what it states there.
21 A. Yes. "To capture part of the Spicasta Stijena," and that was held
22 until the morning hours. Actually, I apologise. The captured part of
23 Spicasta Stijena has held on up to the evening hours. And then probably
24 the captured part of the fort of Spicasta Stijena held on until the
25 morning hours, probably until 7.00 a.m. And then I can't see what it
1 states here. The second word is: Fierce shelling, a part of Spicasta
2 Stijena was taken with mortar of 82 millimetre, recoilless guns and a PAM.
3 Q. Thank you. What I would like to ask you is the following: You
4 already spoke about the fighting in that area on that day and over the two
5 days in question. Did you take part in this fighting, first of all?
6 A. Yes, I did. In the re-taking of the fort.
7 Q. And how did that conflict proceed and how did it end?
8 A. We started firing from the broader area of the fort. The
9 commander Milosevic was there; he was the corps commander. We set off
10 with a large force. There were dead on both sides. In any case, we
11 re-took the fort.
12 One interesting thing happened. The soldiers of the army of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina were afraid for some reason. They were abandoning
14 their weapons and began to run away. Our units wanted us to move the line
15 downwards, because we were frequently under threat, and then we also had
16 some sort of right to that area, because our houses were down below, the
17 property of my countrymen, so we wanted to move the line down towards the
18 town. But to our disappointment, the corps commander at the time said
19 there is no question of that, only go to the original positions, entrench
20 yourself well and do not let them move you anymore.
21 As for further advances, that was out of the question, because the
22 lines of separation had been written down, and they are under the control
23 of international forces, and if we were to do something like that, we
24 would be creating trouble for ourselves.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. Well, this statement was not gladly received by the regular
2 soldiers, however, but that's how it was.
3 Q. And can you please tell me, if you know, how it came about that
4 the General was there at that location that day?
5 A. Well, I cannot really say, but I know, in general, that there was
6 a sort of title among us soldiers, meaning a drawing room general, meaning
7 a person who would be sitting around drinking coffee and looking at the
8 maps. However, compared to others, this commander was an operational
9 one. He would be touring units to create discipline among the units to
10 prevent anarchy. He would always ask if something was missing, if there
11 was shortages of food, medicine, what the problems of the soldiers were,
12 what could be resolved what could not be resolved. This front was quite a
13 long one so that he would come quite frequently and I remember one
14 occasion, my wife worked as a director of the health centre that belonged
15 to our unit, and the general was touring and he came, and since I came to
16 pick up my wife, I could hear directly. He asked if you had problems in
17 food or medicine, how are you coping, and so on and so forth, and then
18 someone said sejfo, and the general said, Do you have other patients here,
19 non-Serb patients? And there happened to be two Muslims there at the time
20 and one Croat, and he said, And what is -- how are these patients treated,
21 and they said, In the same way, just like everyone else. And he said,
22 Yes, and that's how it should be. There is no need for anybody who had
23 the misfortune to end up here to feel as a second-class citizen.
24 And I have to tell you sincerely that this is something that I was
25 glad to hear. I think that he just spoke out what was my opinion as well.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... I think the
2 narrative has gone on long enough.
3 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: I will note and will object that all of this
6 lengthy testimony that has been given concerning statements and acts by
7 the accused is not on the 65 ter summary of this witness.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 Carry on, Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The summary does indicate that
11 the witness should speak of the events transpiring at this very location.
12 And the witness has just confirmed that the accused in this case was also
13 at his positions and it has to do with the very same fighting that we
14 indicated in the summary.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I could not have known myself
17 whether the general was precisely at that location on that very day.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: You don't have to deal with it. A summary is
19 what it is says. It is a summary. It doesn't have to be comprehensive.
20 The fact that something is not in the summary doesn't mean that it can't
21 be led in court.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You said that this particular road was very important and that
25 there were constant attempts at cutting off that particular thoroughfare.
1 Did General Dragomir Milosevic pass along that particular road and how
3 A. This was the Hadzici-Ilidza-Ilijas-Vogosca road, leading to the
4 headquarters of the corps and it was the only road linking it with this
5 particular location, otherwise the area was a mountainous one, hilly one
6 and not easily traffickable. The road was a necessary evil, to put it
7 that way, since there was no other. How should I put it now properly in
8 military terms. Someone holding a senior officer's rank could perhaps
9 tell you how often they had to travel the road. I suppose in wartime one
10 has to travel -- one had to travel that particular road quite often. If
11 not every day, then every second or third day.
12 Q. Thank you. You described this particular event here which lasted
13 for one day and through the night into the next morning, as it is
14 indicated here. Were there any such similar events in the area toward the
15 end of 1994?
16 A. Yes, there were. My unit assisted the units holding the Nisici
17 plateau. I was assigned to help them out along the section of the road at
18 Jasan. It was sometime in mid-July, I believe.
19 Q. Thank you. My question had to do with that very same location
20 where this event took place on the 19th of September.
21 A. There were similar clashes taking place before that date and after
22 that date. Now, since the entire area ended up in the hands of the army
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina the authorities there in cooperation with their
24 military senior officers, placed various landmarks where they deemed them
25 necessary and even today you can see their special memorial sites.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the last sentence.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, will you please repeat the last
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The territory where my unit was
5 positioned ended up in the hand of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 according to the Dayton Accords. The current authorities there, in
7 cooperation with the military structures, have been putting up memorial
8 sites in memory of their own fighters. You can see these same memorial
9 sites being placed in the vicinity of Serb homes. I can't recall all
10 these titles used there, but I do recall this one, Amidza.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I don't believe this to be very important, but the witness said
13 that these memorial sites were placed on Serb properties, but this was
14 entered in the transcript.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty.
16 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I object on the grounds of relevance
17 to the witness's evidence being lead to events that took place after the
18 end of the war, after the Dayton Accords.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, that by itself, of course, doesn't
20 make it irrelevant. There may be a connecting factor and I wait now to
21 hear from Mr. Tapuskovic.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thought that this
23 would be -- that I would denied the right to lead this evidence, but I
24 believe the witness is saying that Serb soldiers were getting killed in
25 the very spot where today memorial sites stand in the memory of -- of the
1 fighters of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll hear nothing more on this point.
3 Please move on to another question.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is precisely why I did not
5 wish to put any questions in that direction. Although I do believe it
6 personally significant.
7 Q. Can you tell us what sort of weapons you had over there, in view
8 of the lie of the terrain?
9 A. We mostly had light infantry weapons. This was purely for
10 practical reasons. Had we had heavy artillery pieces, ones which require
11 vehicles to tow them. The general terrain was quite unfavourable for
12 that. In the event the road were to be cut off, we would not be able to
13 pull the military hardware out. I suppose that this was the reason why
14 the superior military structures decided that we should not have any. We
15 had semi-automatic rifles, automatic rifles, infantry weapons, in short.
16 Q. Did you have any sort of support from weapons that you yourselves
17 did not have?
18 A. Well, probably this went both ways. I suppose that both on our
19 side people were getting killed, as were people getting killed on the
20 other side from shells and fire weapons. I know that in 1994 Djordje
21 Jesic, Safka Radzenovic, Nedjo Grujic, all of them were killed from
22 shells. And I believe that they were more than five kilometres away from
23 the line of separation.
24 Q. Thank you. Which infantry weapons did you have in the trenches?
25 A. We had rifles, we had light machine-guns, we had M48 rifles, we
1 had M74 automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, M73 light machine-guns.
2 The sort of weapons any unit engaged in active combat would have. We had
3 hand-grenades, rifle-launched grenades.
4 Q. Tell us, did you have snipers in your unit and did you need them
5 at that very location?
6 A. The lines of separation were such in our general area that the two
7 armies were opposite each other. To my mind, a sniper would make no
8 difference, because no infantry weapons were able to hit their target, in
10 If you look at the map of Poljine where the Kosevo Brigade was
11 deployed all the way through to the junction at Smreka. Every
12 neighbourhood was -- there was so far removed from us that no sniper would
13 be able to have them within their reach. I have given my oath here and
14 I'm fully aware of what I'm saying, but I say, upon full responsibility
15 that for as long as I was there in the capacity of a soldier, I never saw
16 a single sniper, never. And I repeat, I say this with full responsibility,
17 I never saw a single sniper there.
18 Q. Thank you. And what were the combat activities between the two
19 warring parties there like, such as the fighting that took place on the
20 19th of September that we looked at earlier on?
21 A. Observation activities were constant. There were constantly
22 people in the trenches.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
24 Mr. Docherty.
25 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but I rise once again to
1 make submission as to relevance. With few exceptions, the witness's
2 testimony so far has, it seems to me, been dedicated to proving that there
3 was a war on, something that the Prosecution not only does not dispute but
4 because an armed conflict is an element of crimes against humanity,
5 actually affirmatively proved in its own case, so I object to general
6 descriptions of combat activities, general descriptions of army versus
7 army combat. That is not what is alleged in the indictment. General
8 Milosevic is not accused of waging war. He is accused of crimes committed
9 during the waging of war, and for that reason I object to the relevance of
10 the testimony and in particular to the testimony that is called for by the
11 last question.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, the Chamber is not with you on this
14 one. Spicasta Stijena is one of the important sites mentioned in the
15 indictment. There are allegations of sniping from that site and the
16 evidence which we have heard has shown that at one time it was held by one
17 party, at another time by another party.
18 This evidence is relevant.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. During active combat activities between the two sides, what level
22 of ammunition would normally be spent by each of the sides?
23 A. To be quite frank, in the beginning the ammunition was spent on a
24 mass scale more out of the intention to intimidate the enemy.
25 As the time went on, however, one realised, to put in that blunt
1 way, that not every bullet hit its target, and the levels of ammunition
2 used were gradually reduced. The army became disciplined. At the very
3 end of the war, the expenditure of ammunition was perhaps at its lowest
4 compared to the beginning of the war.
5 I have already explained that there was no need for to us advance
6 in any way. The Command Staff did not allow for that. However, the
7 opposite side wanted to get hold of an inhabited area or of the road
8 itself. Perhaps an expert would be required now to indicate the
9 implications of a road being captured, where you cut off the only road in
10 the area, you can easily capture the rest of the area.
11 We were, as I already said, firmly set on defending the area,
12 where the other side was firmly set on capturing the area. There was no
13 calm there.
14 Q. Thank you. From those positions, Witness, were you at all
15 interested in reaching any part of town under the control of the army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina or linking up with the part of town under the control
17 of the VRS?
18 A. I already explained that had we done that, we would have reduced
19 the line of separation, but the superior Command Staff did not allow for
20 this. Since the line of separation was constantly monitored by the SFOR
21 or I don't know what they were called, the international forces at that
22 particular point in time.
23 Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I can repeat. It was not
24 permitted to change the lines, and I personally did not aspire to anything
25 because I kept to the maxim, I should preserve my own area. My house was
1 behind my back.
2 [Trial Chamber confers].
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, are you -- have you concluded?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please proceed.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I was thinking of something else, Witness, the weapons that you
8 had, could it reach the positions of the army of Republika Srpska in
9 Grbavica as well as the positions of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 and reach as far as Zivalj?
11 A. I understood your question. As for the lines of separation, the
12 weapons had the range of hitting other positions from our positions.
13 Q. Well, just one moment. Let the Judges finish.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, I'm still troubled by the objection
16 that you raised, because it appears to us that this is one of the few
17 witness to give evidence that is really relate.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: I think there is a misunderstanding, Your Honour,
19 and obviously, I wouldn't have risen if I didn't hold a contrary position
20 to the Chamber.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MR. DOCHERTY: I think that's understood.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because if you look at the first schedule, the
24 incident on the 22nd of November, Sedrenik Street and the incident on the
25 6th of March, and it is because of the importance of Spicasta Stijena in
1 the indictment that on the on-site visit I think -- I can't remember
2 whether it was the Prosecution or the Defence asked that we visit there,
3 and we did.
4 MR. DOCHERTY: I'm sure it was the Prosecution, Your Honour. I
5 wasn't there but I'm sure it was us. Perhaps this is something I will
6 deal with on cross. I don't understand this witness to be testifying
7 about Spicasta Stijena. I think he is miles out of position. But I think
8 that is not a matter for objection, that's a matter for cross-examination
9 and I intend to take it up there. So that is why I rose. I certainly
10 acknowledge the importance of that geographic feature in our indictment.
11 I don't think he's testifying about that, but that can wait for cross.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, yes.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Dragas, I just asked you about the weapons that you had and
15 what the range was of the weapons, and what did this firing look like, the
16 firing from these infantry weapons?
17 A. Well, let me say that the range from our position to the positions
18 held by the other side was definitely sufficient. However, but if you
19 look at the map, an inhabited area around the cemetery, for example, I
20 don't know what type of infantry weapons would have the range to hit that.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... And where
22 was your position at this time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the position of my
24 unit was from Poljine to the cross roads called Smreka. This is behind
25 Spicasta Stijena, and if you look at Sarajevo from the north to the left
1 and to the right, if I'm facing the town, to the left and to the right is
2 the area of responsibility of my unit that I belonged to. So this area
3 consists of Poljine and the entire line across Poljine. The first
4 populated area is at least two and a half kilometres away, and this area
5 was inhabited by Bosniaks, as they're called now. It's true that there
6 were closer inhabited places, but I'm speaking about a large area that was
7 covered by this unit.
8 The second thing is that certain places --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... I see it's
10 not on the transcript. I asked was this area elevated.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're asking me about our
12 positions, is that right?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'm asking the positions, yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our positions were just below the
15 hills of Hum and Grdonj. The line was in a kind of flat area with a mild
16 slope, if I was clear. I don't know.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do have a
18 photograph here. I don't have the photographs used by the Prosecution,
19 the 360-degree situation, but we do have a photograph P361 which could be
20 more or less useful in order to explain this point that you are now
21 insisting on. And I also wanted to put questions to the witness about
22 that. So we're talking about photograph P361.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not insisting on it. But if you have a
24 photograph that would clarify the matter, let us see it.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, while we are waiting for the
1 photograph, I think we should ask the witness about who held Spicasta
2 Stijena at the time relevant to this indictment.
3 I understand that Spicasta Stijena did fall under the area of
4 responsibility of your unit, and the report, the combat report which we
5 have been looking at seems to suggest that at least on 18th September
6 1994, Spicasta Stijena was held by the SRK, that is to say, by forces
7 belonging to your army and probably within your area of responsibility.
8 Now, then it seems to transpire from this document that on the
9 18th of September, forces of the ABiH tried to occupy Spicasta Stijena and
10 they launched an attack on that day. And by the end of the day they had
11 been able to capture part of Spicasta Stijena and they were able to hold
12 that part until the next morning. Then we don't know what happened except
13 that the report tells us that on the morning, the day after, the SRK
14 started to fiercely shell fire on the captured part of Spicasta Stijena.
15 And then the story ends.
16 But I would like you to give us the ending of the story. What
17 happened? Did Spicasta Stijena then come back, so to say, under your
18 control, or did you lose it? Can you tell us that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I said that we recaptured
20 our original positions in that action. At the beginning it was difficult
21 and later it was easier. When the army of the Federation of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina was withdrawing, they were routed and they were
23 fleeing, leaving behind weapons and ammunition. As soldiers, you need to
24 understand that. Now it's peace. This is a different country. It's far
25 from the front, far from everything. A soldier who is in war on a daily
1 basis aspires to advance all the time, particularly because Serb property
2 was below and we wanted to shorten that line, but we did not receive the
3 permission for that and we were unhappy about it. But we recaptured the
4 positions that we held up to that day, before we lost them. And then we
5 just stayed there.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Previous translation continues] ... The reason
7 why I asked was that when you explained about this the first time, I
8 understood you well, but I wasn't quite sure about whether the area that
9 you talked about in your earlier part of your testimony today was exactly
10 Spicasta Stijena but you have now confirmed this.
11 And can I then just complete my question by asking you about the
12 fort, the old Austro-Hungarian fort. Was that the fort that was just
13 behind, just north of Spicasta Stijena? Because on the site visit when
14 the Chamber visited the area, we did see also the fort, so I was just
15 curious to know whether the fort that you have been talking about was
16 indeed the fort that we saw, which is now ruins, but situated just behind
17 Spicasta Stijena. Can you confirm that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's like this. The fort now at the
19 photograph that I see in front of me is located in this corner here. I
20 will indicate that. This part of a wall or this post is now obscuring the
22 This is covering or obscuring the fort. The fort is there.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Harhoff, can
24 the witness mark that? He didn't understand whether he was supposed to
25 mark it or not.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think he has marked it already.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: Sorry.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Spicasta Stijena --
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, while we're at it, while
5 we are discussing Spicasta Stijena, I do have another question for you.
6 Where your positions were compared with those of the ABiH, which
7 of those two positions would you say was the highest, giving you a
8 dominating view of the city of Sarajevo, the easiest dominating view?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to give an explanation here,
10 which perhaps will make it understandable for those who did not
11 participate in war.
12 You cannot hold an exposed elevation. It doesn't matter if it is
13 a inhabited area or something else. You cannot be an exposed target. If
14 you want to do something, first of all you have to make sure to protect
15 yourself. So a direct -- so as to be able to prevent a direct incursion
16 into your field of vision and you cannot permit any buildings to be nearby
17 that are obstructing this. If you are exposed -- and can I this on my
18 hand. If there is a trench here on the very boundary, then you are
19 potentially exposed to hits from here, from there. I mean there are
20 100.000 rifles. One of them is bound to strike you, so who would dare to
21 expose themselves to such an extent and to fire from there? Perhaps they
22 can carry out a reconnaissance clandestinely, but you cannot be exposed.
23 You cannot afford to do that, and everyone is being afraid of being hit,
24 of being shot.
25 I don't know if I answered your question, but I understood you to
1 be asking who was the dominant side.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you for explaining that.
3 I do understand that it works that way during a war. Still, it
4 was in the interests of each army to be in a dominating position. That
5 would give them a better access to the enemy lines, and that's why I'm
6 asking you. You're telling us that Spicasta Stijena did fall into the
7 hands of the enemy repeatedly.
8 Now, what I want to know is who was initially in the highest
9 position, in the dominating position. I'm happy with your explanation.
10 Still, during an operation like that, you want to be able to profit from
11 your position. I want to know who was in the dominating position. You
12 just told us that the ABiH was trying to retake Spicasta Stijena. That
13 must have been because they thought they could gain something by that.
14 So this brings me back to my first question. Who was in the
15 highest position, who was in the dominating position compared with the
16 other party, a position that they would be able to use and to gain from?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand the question. And I
18 will try to provide a detailed answer.
19 If you look at the photograph in front of us, this is the dominant
20 feature in relation to the town. Our positions lay to the right-hand side
21 of this marked -- of this markation of this marking. It wasn't a
22 dominating feature for us. You know why? Because behind this blue line
23 we have our road that we want to maintain. If the enemy should come and
24 capture our positions, then we can no longer put this road to any use.
25 Capturing any part of our positions meant that the road would be lost to
2 Now, as for this hill to the left and to the right, this hill had
3 a commanding view of our positions. It was dominant in relation to our
4 positions. We were still able to defend our positions very well because
5 of the distance between our positions and this elevation, if I was clear
6 enough. Behind this hill, there is this slope where you Jagomir lies and
7 the lines were placed the way they were. If you look at the elevation
8 points, this particular elevation point is by far higher than our
9 positions were. Still, as a soldier, I knew this. And some experts would
10 say know this even better than I do. One could never launch an attack
11 from a steep slope. This could never be done. Perhaps this defies logic,
12 but it was always from the foot of the hill that one would be able to
13 capture the hill itself. This was confirmed in several locations during
14 this war. One was at Nisici plateau, for instance. If you're on an
15 elevated feature the enemy can observe and follow every move of yours. If
16 you are positioned well, you still are able to go up the hill and conduct
17 a sabotage action.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So what you're trying to tell us is
19 that from the position where you were it would have been difficult to
20 launch an attack, hence, the job of your unit was simply to stay on that
21 hill and not move from there. The whole point of the battle for you was
22 just to stay there. It wasn't to conquer the city of Sarajevo or to fight
23 the other army. That wasn't the point.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, precisely. There's one
25 other point I should like to clarify, if that's of interest to you.
1 This is an excellent photograph, but I can make a drawing of a
2 valley here to the right which -- at the end of which there is a cliff
3 which is the Spicasta Stijena itself. One could approach our positions
4 down this valley. There were two trenches protecting this particular
5 passage between the elevated features. I understand this. No one can
6 claim that there was never such an instance where a person would take a
7 rifle, take a sniper and make his way through to that position and fire.
8 There was no way one could control every single person and their movements
9 and their actions there. But on the basis of my experience, I believe it
10 to be unnatural to expose yourself to show where you are and the moment
11 you fire a weapon from such a vantage point, then you are clearly visible
12 and would be the possible potential victim and one got killed on a daily
13 basis in that war.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Dragas, I called up this photograph precisely for to you
17 explain this. You mentioned Spicasta just now?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Who was this control of that peak?
20 A. Immediately below the elevation point to the right-hand side were
21 our positions. On the other side, toward the city, facing the city I
22 don't believe there was anyone there. I did not make any attempts at
23 finding out who was at the other end of it. We knew that we dared not go
24 there. Let me show you this location where the fort is. Down below
25 there's a ridge that I was referring to earlier.
1 Q. I wanted to ask you this to clarify the point asked by Judge
3 Can you draw for us on this photograph where the trenches or the
4 positions of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were located?
5 A. This is where the ridge is. And this is where Stijena itself is.
6 Our trench was here. Their trench was there. They kept moving it a bit
7 further up, a bit further down.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. May we have markings to indicate which
11 trench was for the ABiH and which trench is for the Serb army.
12 What markings shall we use? SRK and ABiH?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. We can mark the trenches of the army of the Republika Srpska with
15 two letters, S, or should we use different colours? The trenches of the
16 army of the Republika Srpska should be marked in one colour --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. This is the red colour, is it not? As I'm looking at the
19 photograph now.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Very well. And now the trenches of the army of
23 A. This is Kula or the fort, behind which there is a slope. In blue,
24 I will mark them now.
25 On this hillside there was one trench there. This was as much as
1 one could clearly see.
2 Q. Where was the line of trenches of your army?
3 A. Let me take the red colour now.
4 And it goes further down.
5 Q. On the other side?
6 A. Yes, on the other side toward Jagomir.
7 Q. How far from the peak of the ridge or the summit of the ridge?
8 A. Do you mean how far the fort from that point was? Well, our
9 positions were actually near the fort.
10 Q. What is the distance between the fort and the ridge?
11 A. I think some 30 --
12 Q. Can you draw a red line on the other side of the ridge and write
13 30 metres? Can you tell us, is that the distance from the summit of the
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, difficult now. He
17 has drawn the line but he is saying that this line was 30 metres long from
18 the summit of the ridge to the other side.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic --
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Now where is the line --
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: We have understood that the SRK trenches are not
22 directly visible on this photo and that they are positioned 30 metres
23 behind the ridge that can you see. So you don't need to go further into
24 that. Thanks.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any other markings? Because we are at the time
1 when we should have a break. But I would like to finish with this
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you marked line with SRK, the red line, that is.
5 And the line marked with 30 metres, can you place the letters SRK
7 A. [Marks].
8 Q. I should like you to put the letters next to where it says 30
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. Can you mark the blue line with ABH.
12 A. [Marks].
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we save this photograph? I
14 have a couple of more questions related to that, but I would not wish to
15 lose this photograph or the markings.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let the photograph be saved.
17 And we'll take the break now.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, this photograph should be exhibited, given a
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we'll admit this as D256.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness is not here.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is a reason. I had asked for the witness
1 not to be brought in so that I could inform the defence of the response
2 from the registrar to that matter which they raised concerning the use of
3 the office in Sarajevo.
4 I received a reply from the chief of the Victims and Witness
5 Section. I received that on the 21st of June. And I will be making the
6 reply in its entirety available to the Defence. I will just inform the
7 Defence of the -- those paragraphs that appear to me to be most relevant.
8 It says that the VWS provides its support and assistance for the
9 appearance of witnesses before the court in The Hague. Accordingly, for
10 witnesses travelling to The Hague, the operations unit of the VWS would
11 plan and arrange the administrative and logistical requirements of
12 witnesses. Such assistance would be extended to the provision of
13 testimony before the court through videolink.
14 However, with regard to Rule 92 bis witnesses, the VWS does not
15 provide any logistical assistance to the Prosecution or the Defence.
16 Arrangements for the witnesses' transportation for the purpose of
17 certification of their statements are the parties' responsibilities. In
18 fairness to all Defence and Prosecution teams which have not received any
19 logistical assistance from the VWS so far, for the purpose of certifying
20 92 bis statements, and considering it is critical that the highest levels
21 of integrity and impartiality be maintained in the implementation of the
22 section's policies and procedures, the VWS is not in a position to depart
23 from its policy and make exceptions for a particular party as is now
24 requested by the Defence of Dragomir Milosevic.
25 Those are the relevant paragraphs, and I'll ask the court deputy
1 to transmit this response to the Defence, and to the Prosecution as well.
2 Please let the witness be brought in.
3 Ms. Isailovic.
4 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 We have acknowledged the response you have provided, but you
6 didn't say anything about the use of the premises of the ICTY in Sarajevo,
7 the registrar's office. Did you have a response to this, because I would
8 have liked to contact the person in Sarajevo and ask him or her whether
9 our witnesses could use the premises in Sarajevo.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's for the -- see, this is a reply from the
12 Victims and Witness Unit. I think they have concerned themselves with the
13 matters that are within their province. I don't believe they can assist
14 in relation to the use of the ICTY.
15 But we did have an indication from Mr. Waespi, did we not, that
16 the Office of the Prosecutor would be prepared to assist in that regard.
17 I don't know whether Mr. Docherty has any information on that.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: I have some information, Your Honour, but I'm not
19 fully involved in this, so I will tell you what I know.
20 I know that Ms. Isailovic and Mr. Hogan have talked about that. I
21 know that Mr. Hogan has made contact with the people in Sarajevo, and
22 they've indicated it would be no problem for the Defence to have an office
23 and office supplies while they're there. I don't know anything beyond
24 that as far as -- I know there were some dates that were possible and some
25 were not possible, but as I say, I'm not fully involved in it so I'm
1 afraid I can't be 100 per cent responsive.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, on this matter, then, you should
6 be in touch, it seems to us, with the Office of the Prosecutor. That is
7 with the -- as far as the use of the office is concerned.
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one last point
9 concerning this matter.
10 Mr. Waespi told us last time that as far as the office of the
11 registry is concerned, they can be made entirely available to both
12 parties, i.e., to the defence also, but we didn't get a reply from the
13 registry because we put the question directly to the registry and the
14 registry has not answered. But responded to Mr. Waespi and told him that
15 there are some offices which belong to the registry which we can use
16 whenever we please. We just have to give them our dates. But we didn't
17 get this reply and this is what we haven't had yet, which would be just an
18 acknowledgment of the request we have made.
19 We would just like the registry to confirm this and then we will
20 contact the person whom we are told to contact.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I'll ask the court deputy to see to that.
23 The court deputy will see that it is brought to the attention of the
25 Mr. Docherty.
1 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, I want to -- I need to correct
2 something I just said. What -- other people, of course, are watching this
3 on the live feed and I'm informed by Mr. Hogan that by an e-mail based on
4 what I think I just said, that the Prosecutor herself has made the
5 decision that OTP is not in a position to provide logistical assistance to
6 Defence lawyers. I can follow up on this. This is a very sparse,
7 bare-bones e-mail, but I of course have just said something quite contrary
8 and I want to make sure that -- let me check into it over the lunch-hour
9 and get a fuller response but I want to correct myself immediately.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you for that information, yes.
11 Let the witness be brought in.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have two more
16 photographs to show to the witness, and that will clear up the matter
17 entirely. One of the photographs is 65 ter 03165.
18 Q. Witness, looking at this photograph, can you tell the Bench
19 whether the name of Spicasta Stijena ever meant anything to you?
20 A. I passed along this route for nine years on my way to school, and
21 I never ever heard it called Spicasta Stijena.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. Immediately behind this hill that we can see here, there's the--
24 behind the ridge there, there's Andzic Bosko's homestead, and it was
25 during the war that behind the ridges there, the lines were positioned.
1 Q. In order for us to be efficient and fast, tell us this: Where
2 were the lines held by the BH army here?
3 A. Behind the ridge there to the right, in the wooded area.
4 Q. Could you please draw the line.
5 A. Blue, the blue pen?
6 Q. Yes, the blue one will be fine.
7 A. I'm not as precise as I should like to be.
8 Q. Very well. Can you please write ABH next to the line.
9 A. [Marks].
10 Q. Where were your positions?
11 A. You can't see them from here.
12 Q. How far behind the ridge would you say they were?
13 A. Not that far. Depending on the terrain where one could dig
14 trenches. In some places there were rocks and one was unable to dig. But
15 some 15 metres behind the ridge there.
16 I wish to highlight the following. Where you see this peak here,
17 we had our positions behind that one.
18 Q. Could you draw this, please?
19 A. I will. But I will draw an arrow showing the direction.
20 Q. But not on this precise spot. It was behind on the slope there.
21 A. That's precisely what I'm saying. You can't see our positions
22 from here because they were on the other hillside. This is where the ABiH
23 had their trench, and from where they posed a threat to us.
24 Q. Could you please mark the location of their trenches in blue.
25 A. Is this the blue colour now? Can we erase this bit?
1 Q. Can you mark the blue marking with letter R.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. And mark a circle there.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. It seems to be fading out, the colour.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please save this map as a
8 Defence exhibit, as it is now.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be admitted as Exhibit
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the photograph 65 ter
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Earlier the witness had said he
15 would use an arrow to indicate the positions of the -- the Serb army,
16 because it couldn't be seen. Has he done that? An arrow to indicate the
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] He showed the direction. It can
19 be marked with letters SRK. We have the arrow here. He can place the
20 marking SRK, and it will serve to show that the VRS positions were some 15
21 metres behind the summit, as he said.
22 A. If I can repeat this.
23 As far as the ridge is concerned, the slopes were quite steep, and
24 the trenches were positioned where the terrain was more propitious or
25 protective. That's why the lines were some 15 metres behind the summit.
1 So if we had a line going this way, this is where the trenches would say
3 Q. But please mark it with letters SRK.
4 A. Should I draw what was behind there?
5 Q. No, no, thank you. Explain to the Judges how far behind the
6 summit the positions were.
7 A. From the ridge there, there's a gentle slope going down to what
8 seems like a bed or a trough and trenches were some 10 to 15 metres away
9 from the ridge. The objective was to observe the entrance to where we
10 have the letter R in blue, because it was at that point where one could
11 leave the trenches and launch an attack with a view to capturing the
12 entire area.
13 Q. Can you please mark this -- this wedge cutting across the ridge in
14 blue -- in the blue pen.
15 A. That will be it roughly.
16 Q. In line 12, it says the entire area where, as the witness was
17 saying that this was a good vantage point from where the road could be
18 attacked. Is that right, witness?
19 A. Yes, to attack the road or the general area, because around the
20 road you have inhabited areas.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the
22 photograph thus marked, given an exhibit number.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be D258.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 Witness, this hill, could you give us a name of this hill,
2 please? I'm putting the question to you because in the transcript on page
3 36 on line 17 -- line 19, rather, you said that you'd never heard of
4 Spicasta Stijena. Is that right? Did I understand you correctly?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood me correctly.
6 This area is called Smreka. The wedge, which was basically a
7 pedestrian track to the town itself, is called Okuke. You can see it
8 behind the tree on the left-hand side on the photograph. That's where the
9 water reservoir for the town is located now. At the time I went to
10 school, there was no water reservoir there and it was called Krivi Kamen.
11 It was a rock that we would use as a bench to rest as we would be on our
12 way to school.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] In that case, what is Spicasta
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That probably relates to this ridge,
16 the whole length of the ridge. Below the ridge there's a road going to
17 the right, and that's where the roads meet. This is what we call the
18 cross roads, this place. And that's where Bosko's house is nearby.
19 I never heard of that place name, Spicasta Stijena. In our
20 language, "spic" means summit or peak, whereas the whole geographic
21 feature, the higher ground is a ridge, quite a steep one.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] To follow up on Judge Mindua's
25 Q. The ridge, as we see it in this photograph, were there any
1 fighters of yours there or those of the BH army?
2 A. Not on the ridge itself. I have tried to explain.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] We have already admitted this
5 photograph as Defence exhibit. Can we show the photograph 65 ter 03322.
6 Q. Witness, what it that we see here? We can see a car. Can you
7 please explain for us?
8 A. I have to get my bearings first.
9 Q. I can tell you that I received the photograph from the
10 Prosecution. Can you orient yourself?
11 A. What can we see from this vantage point. We can see Zlatiste.
12 Q. Is that the road you were protecting or not?
13 A. No, that's not the one.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us something concerning the events
15 transpiring in the summer of 1995: Did you experience anything in
16 particular at the time and what was that period like, the months of June,
17 July and August.
18 A. Let's keep the photograph here. I might even remember what this
20 At the time the fighting, or rather, the combat activities
21 launched by the BH army grew in intensity. My unit was providing
22 assistance to the units placed at Nisici plateau. I spent my time there
23 from mid-June or perhaps from 10 June onwards. There was fierce terrible
24 fighting. We were astonished to see the extent of ammunition used by
25 them. The positions we held at Mali Jasen were practically razed to the
1 ground. We will no artillery support whatsoever. We mounted as much
2 defence as we could. There were six dead and 12 wounded in my part of the
4 Q. You said that you were astonished to see the amounts of
5 ammunition. Whose ammunition?
6 A. The BH army's, and I'm referring to artillery pieces. They were
7 launching attacks from us from the direction of Korita, which is an
8 inhabited area that can easily be reached from Breza and Vares. They kept
9 mounting attacks against us. Then they even captured two of our trenches.
10 We were able to recapture the trenches the following day and we did not
11 suffer anymore losses. The situation became more stable.
12 Q. Sir, we're running out of time. I have to be quick. How long did
13 this fighting last involving those quantities of ammunition?
14 A. Four to five days.
15 Q. And later on?
16 A. I left the positions later and I went back home, and a shell
17 landed at my house and wounded me. I have the records about that and I
18 can provide you with them.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Docherty:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Dragas.
25 Mr. Dragas my name is John Docherty. I'm one of the prosecuting
1 attorneys on this case. I have some questions for you this morning. And
2 if at any time any of my questions are not clear, please ask me to clear
3 it up before you try and answer, so that you and I keep communicating and
4 don't get into confusion. Is that all right, sir?
5 A. Yes, that's fine.
6 Q. I want to begin, sir, talking about the testimony you've given
7 concerning your positions and concerning the high ground. I'm going to be
8 showing you some maps, I'm going to be showing some photographs and this
9 may take a little while, but I think the geography is important to clear
11 Could we begin, please, by seeing Defence Exhibit 255.
12 Mr. Dragas, on the monitor in front of you is the map that you
13 marked earlier this morning when Mr. Tapuskovic was asking you some
14 questions. And the letter K on there, that marks the position of your
15 house. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. That's the house after 1967. And it is still there to this
18 Q. And then there's a line. And you said that is the line -- the
19 road that you used to take when you were going to school. Is that
21 A. Yes. But until 1967.
22 Q. Okay. And when you marked that, talking about going to school,
23 you said that that walk to and from school every day for nine years was
24 what gave you the familiarity you have got with the geography of this
25 area. Do you remember saying that, or words to that effect?
1 A. Well, I got to know this terrain in detail. I could now give you
2 the names of the streets where I walked Sedrenik, Malta Podruk, Kriva
4 Q. I'm sure you could, but I'm just asking if this is the way that
5 you got your familiarity, living there, walking two and from school.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And was it, or did I mishear, in connection with your walk to and
8 from school, that you first mentioned Sharpstone, or Spicasta Stijena?
9 A. Well, let me tell you the term. Spicasta Stijena is a term that I
10 had not heard before the war or even after the war. This area where we
11 walked by, we called it Smreka, and Raskirsa was even closer to where we
12 were walking. This is where two roads met. We always took the shorter
13 road down at Okuke to Krivi Kamen and then towards Malta and on to school.
14 Q. Mr. Dragas, I apologise for interrupting but let me just -- I need
15 to jump in at this point. What I'm asking is when you first heard the
16 term sharp -- in English Sharpstone or in your language Spicasta Stijena,
17 and I really appreciate that you've got a good memory and that you know
18 the routes that you took very, very well. But the question I'm asking is
19 where you first heard that term, and I believe you have said you did not
20 hear it until at least the war and maybe not even then. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is entirely correct. Because, sir, in our language, the
22 word "spic," it refers -- it may refer to something like the point of a
23 pencil, something that is sharp that has a peak, and this here is not a
24 peak. It's a ridge. So quite naturally, the word Spicasta Stijena was
25 not used. That would be my assumption. I don't know. Somebody called it
1 Spicasta Stijena, probably somebody who doesn't really know what the word
2 "spic" means as opposed to "ridge."
3 All place names here are called -- you use the term strana, slope,
4 if there is a slope or "vrh," summit, if there is a summit. So you always
5 follow the natural phenomenon when you name a place.
6 Q. Mr. Dragas, I'm sorry. I really have to ask to you limit yourself
7 to asking the questions. There is a limited amount of time. There is a
8 fair amount to cover. I appreciate that you often have more to say. I
9 understand that, but I'm really just trying to get out the points that are
10 important and the points that are relevant.
11 On the map in front of you, Exhibit 255 there is a small circle
12 marked with the letter B. Is this the fort? Did you mark the forth with
13 the letter B?
14 A. Well, that would correspond to the site where the fort was.
15 Letter B marks the location of Bosko's house and the fort is this here.
16 The point that we didn't mark. And could you just wait for just a moment,
17 let me concentrate and look at it.
18 Q. And I know you said when Mr. Tapuskovic was asking questions that
19 the map is hard to read, between the fine print on the map and your
20 eyesight. Why don't we do this. Let's look at a photograph of the fort
21 and make sure that you and I are talking about the same fort.
22 MR. DOCHERTY: So could we please see 65 ter 03323.
23 Q. Mr. Dragas, is that the fort that you're talking about?
24 A. Yes, that's the fort.
25 Q. All right. And now if we could go back to Defence Exhibit 255,
2 And while we're waiting for the map, Mr. Dragas, have you ever
3 heard that fort called the name Mala Kula?
4 A. Yes. Before the war, Magra's company had their stores there for
5 the shop before the war. There was a guard there and then the stuff was
6 brought there and taken away. I don't know. I wasn't there but I know
7 that it was used for this purpose.
8 Q. Okay. Now, on this map that's in front of you, do you see the
9 letter -- just yes or no, do you see the dot marked with the letter B?
10 A. Yes, yes, I see it.
11 Q. And isn't Mala Kula, the fort that we've been talking about and
12 the photograph you just looked at, to the right of that letter B quite
13 some distance, about where the confrontation lines start to turn to the
14 south. Is that correct?
15 A. I don't think so. This is where the fort is, and do you know why
16 I'm saying this? I will give you an answer.
17 This line goes right to the big fort and then it goes down to a
18 location called Tenerovica [phoen] and then it goes up slightly and goes
19 on to Donje Pjesajic and so on.
20 Q. Mr. Dragas, are you familiar with a neighbourhood in Sarajevo
21 called Sedrenik?
22 A. Yes. I passed through it on my way to school.
23 Q. Sedrenik is in the north-east area of the city. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And have you had an opportunity, Mr. Dragas, to look at the
1 amended indictment in this case?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So you're not aware that there are several instances of sniping
4 that are alleged in Sedrenik?
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the question is:
7 Did you see the amended indictment? How could the witness say anything
8 about any indictment? And what could the question about an amended
9 indictment mean anything to a witness like this? Amended indictment.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: He answered no. So we move on.
11 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honours, I need to use a document that is not
12 on the list in order to try and clear this up.
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. DOCHERTY: I want to show the witness the cover screen, if you
15 will, to the collection of 360-degree panoramic videos. It's a map of the
16 city of Sarajevo onto which have been superimposed the locations, as the
17 Prosecution alleges, of the various sniping incidents.
18 I want to display that map to him and just point out where these
19 Sedrenik sniping incidents are alleged to have occurred
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're waiting on a map to be --
22 MR. DOCHERTY: Oh, I was waiting on a ruling that it was allowed.
23 So we can stop waiting for each other, and Ms. Bosnjakovic, could we see
24 the map, please. Thank you.
25 Q. Mr. Dragas, I'll direct your attention to the three numbers in the
1 upper right-hand corner of this map. The numbers are, from left to right,
2 15, 7 and 10 and once you have looked at those and once you've got your
3 bearings, the question I've got is are those number in the area of
4 Sarajevo called Sedrenik? And just take the time you need to look at the
5 map and ...
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, since this map contains
8 markings that we have not yet seen at all, we don't know what it is. We
9 have not been in a situation to verify what the markings mean and we
10 haven't been able to investigate it. And since this has been such a major
11 point of late, what time does this map refer to and when was this map
12 made. We don't know anything, and now we have a situation where the
13 witness is supposed to answer a question. This was not on the list at
15 We -- in principle, if this had been put on the list yesterday, we
16 might have been able to do something about it or, rather, today, but it
17 hasn't, so I don't know what this map represents, when this map was made
18 and what does it have to do with what this witness is talking about? What
19 time does it refer to? Who made the markings?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you objecting to the map being shown because
21 it wasn't on the list, or are you merely asking for more background
22 information about it?
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, we're simply asking for
24 some additional information so that we know what this is all about and
25 what time this refers to, who made the markings. What is this?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty.
2 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, this map was given to the Defence
3 months ago. This, when you open up the DVD containing the 360s, this is
4 the first thing you see, and you click on these numbers in order to get to
5 the 360 of the particular shelling or sniping incident. The map was made
6 by the Office of the Prosecutor using the map that has, I think it is the
7 one that is used in evidence quite a bit but zoomed back considerably, and
8 the markings were put there by us.
9 As for the date of the map, I'm not entirely sure why that
10 matters. I don't know that Sedrenik can be said to have moved. And
11 really the question -- the dates -- the relevant dates would be the dates
12 of the incidents in question, and as I say, you click on any -- not on
13 this version because this is a screen capture, but on the DVD version you
14 click on these to see the sniping incidents, so because there is some
15 issue about where this fort is and where Sharpstone was, I thought that we
16 could show this to the witness and have him say yes or no that those three
17 incidents, which ones we allege occurred in Sedrenik, Mrs. Selmanovic,
18 Ms. Dedovic, and Mr. Zunic, that those are indeed in Sedrenik. That's the
19 only purpose behind displaying this to the witness.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, evidently you have been in
21 possession of the map for some time and the background information has
22 been provided.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, it is possible that we had
24 it in our possession. I don't want to deny that at this point, but I have
25 never as a Defence counsel used any of the maps that I marked and I never
1 exhibited it in court. I think that this is not an entirely fair
2 procedure, and I don't think that I can testify and I don't think that I
3 can I make any markings on any maps or anything. This is something that
4 the Prosecution produced in the course of its work, but I could have
5 produced any number of such maps. I could have marked any number of such
6 maps and I could have presented them as the way I see things, and this
7 doesn't mean a thing.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, will you be relying on the markings
9 on the map?
10 MR. DOCHERTY: I'm just asking the witness if those markings are
11 in Sedrenik. That's -- when he answers that question yes or no, the map
12 goes away. I'm not introducing the map.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as far as I'm able to see,
14 this is Sedrenik, in my opinion. Because to the right of number 10 here,
15 it should be the road. And then further away to the right there should be
16 this place known as Kamenjara, below the Seven Woods, Sedam Suma. I
17 assume that based on all this, this is Sedrenik. It's not really quite
18 clear but if I really had to tell you whether it is or it isn't, then I
19 tell you that it is.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I absolutely
22 believe that this question to be admissible, had the witness been shown an
23 unmarked map and to indicate where Sedrenik is. And I'm sure that he
24 would have been able to do so. But a map that has certain markings made
25 by a party to the proceeding is, I think, not proper. I'm sure that this
1 witness can tell you where Sedrenik is because he has lived there all his
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question may be put and the witness may
5 answer it. Indeed, I think he has already given an answer.
6 MR. DOCHERTY: And at this time, we can take the map away. Thank
7 you. And could we see -- thank you -- D255 again.
8 Q. And, Mr. Dragas, all I can really do is ask you, having seen that
9 map with the three numbers on it, are you sure that you've got that fort
10 in the right place? And I think you indicated that this letter B and the
11 open circle is actually the home of someone whose name begins with the
12 letter B.
13 Let me ask you this: Would you please, with the blue pen so we
14 know whose markings are whose, put a mark where the fort, Mala Kula in the
15 photograph you saw a little while ago is. And just take your time, and if
16 you need this blown up more, we can do that, because we won't lose the
17 markings since this is already in evidence.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please zoom in.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Witness,
21 just a minute.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
23 concentrated very hard when the Prosecutor asked him about this spot that
24 he marked with B, and in the end he did say what it is. He gave his
25 definitive answer. He did mention a house, but in the end he did explain
1 what it was that he marked with letter B. And he explained that there was
2 a house there too, but, first of all, he marked that location and also
3 indicated there was a house, telling us who the owner of the house was,
4 but he didn't change his mind as to what it was that he actually marked
5 with letter B.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's your point? I don't understand the point.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecution is insinuating
8 that this spot marked with letter B is the house owned by someone whose
9 name is Boskovic -- or rather Bosko. Bosko's house. He mentioned Bosko's
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bosko Andzic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] But I don't want to ask any
13 further questions. Perhaps he can explain what it was that he marked with
14 letter B.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, can you mark where the fort -- fort was?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I'm able to orient myself
18 on this map, which is quite unclear to me and I can't really see very
19 clearly the markings here, it says Kosevo and then I can't see anything, I
20 can't see anything. It is not really very clear. So I am unable to
21 orient myself. But if I really had to tell you, that would be the fort.
22 Perhaps if we could just move -- move it to the right -- just -- okay.
23 That would be, I think, more accurate than it was just a moment ago.
24 MR. DOCHERTY:
25 Q. Mr. Dragas, you said that the map is difficult to read and also
1 indicated that you're having some trouble seeing it. Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then I tell you what. Let's look at some photographs instead.
4 And let's look at -- we'll first look at D256 and then in a few
5 minutes we'll look at D258.
6 MR. DOCHERTY: Oh, and before we do that, for the sake of
7 completeness, I'll tender this, for what it's worth.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Admit it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As P781, Your Honours.
10 MR. DOCHERTY:
11 Q. Mr. Dragas, do you see the photograph on the monitor now?
12 A. Yes, I can see it.
13 Q. And don't worry, I'm not going to ask for any markings on this
15 But, you indicated in your direct testimony - correct me if I'm
16 wrong - that your position would be about a kilometre further to the left
17 of this picture, is that correct, your position, that is, in Pionirska
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that would be one kilometre from the left margin of this
21 photograph. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, is the fort known as Mala Kula behind the hill at any point
24 on the photograph that's in front of us now?
25 A. I'm not sure that I understand what you're asking me about.
1 Q. Well, then let me clear it up before we go on.
2 You did the best you could with the map, Defence Exhibit 255, but
3 it was difficult, the map was hard to read. So I thought it might be
4 helpful to figure out where the fort was, in your mind, to use some
5 photographs instead. I understand the fort not to be visible itself in
6 any of these straight-on photographs, because it's a little bit over the
7 hill, on the other side, if you will. And so I'm going to start with this
8 photograph and then we'll go to a photograph that is farther to the right,
9 and I'm just going ask you, over the ridge at what point you would find
10 the fort of Mala Kula. Is on this photograph at all, and if it is, can
11 you just tell us where?
12 A. If you followed what I was saying well --
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue.
17 MR. DOCHERTY:
18 Q. Please continue, Mr. Dragas. I think you got out the words: "If
19 you followed what I was saying well," and then I stopped you.
20 A. In this blue rectangle, in the part of the photograph where we see
21 this curtain, that's what the position of Mala Kula would be. That's
22 where it would stand on the hill if our view was not obstructed.
23 Q. All right. And now, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I'm
24 going ask for D255 one last time.
25 Now on your direct testimony, Mr. Dragas, you indicated that your
1 position in the trench was about 100 metres in front of your house.
2 That's the --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Your house is marked with a K?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And there's ten times 100 metres in a kilometre, correct, a
7 thousand metres?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And so isn't that fort farther to the right than you originally
10 indicated? Because on this map, I put it to you, that fort is not a
11 kilometre or more from your positions, since you said that your positions
12 were a kilometre from the left-hand margin of the photograph we were just
13 looking at. And I'm just asking you -- this isn't a test. I'm just
14 asking you isn't it probable that that fort is quite farther off to the
15 right, based on the photograph you just looked at?
16 A. Let me look at it so that I can focus on that.
17 Q. Take the time you need.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Those who have this interest, the break will be
19 from 12.30 until 1.30 for lunch.
20 MR. DOCHERTY:
21 Q. Do you need more time, Mr. Dragas?
22 A. Is it possible that the fort, as we can see it on this scale of
23 the map, some ten millimetres further to the right but not more than
24 that. It's roughly the right position of the fort, if I'm able to read
25 correctly the map. And this road toward Gornji Mrkovici and Cavljak,
1 Kukrike, Donji Mrkovici, and Nahorevo further on. I suppose that I marked
2 its position well. Perhaps it also should be positioned several -- a
3 centimetre to the right. And if you allow this correction, my house may
4 well have been 130 metres away from the trenches. I never measured the
5 distance. The fort may have been some 850 metres away. I'm not a
6 surveyor. I'm speaking as far as I'm able to estimate the distances. I
7 know for a fact that from Bascarsija to my native home in Mrkovici, the
8 distance was --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat the distance, how many
11 MR. DOCHERTY:
12 Q. How far was it from Bascarsija to your home in Mrkovici one more
13 time? The interpreter did not hear that.
14 A. The distance between Bascarsija and my home in Mrkovici was 11
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. It is possible to measure it now, if you wish.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. And thank you, Mr. Dragas. I appreciate -- we
19 spent a lot of time on that. I appreciate your patience. I'm going to
20 move to a different topic now, and I'm going to go back to -- with Defence
21 Exhibit 258, talk about the position of the front lines on the hill that
22 we can see in Defence Exhibit 258, which is another photograph.
23 And while we wait for that, Mr. Dragas -- there it is. While you
24 were in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, did you know an operations officer
25 with the rank of major called Veljevic?
1 A. I didn't. The family name seems to ring a bell, but, hmm, as an
2 officer, hmm, I don't know.
3 Q. All right. Now on this Defence Exhibit 258 we see the army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina's trench lines in blue. Correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And your testimony is that if we walk up and over the hill and
7 down the other side, in about 15 metres we would come to the trenches of
8 the army of the Republika Srpska. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And as a soldier with experience in this area, would you agree
11 with me that it would be a fairly simple matter for a soldier or a sniper
12 in the Republika Srpska trenches to walk that 15 metres and take a shot
13 into the area of the houses that we see at the, say the bottom third of
14 the screen?
15 A. I wouldn't agree with you. I'm speaking from personal knowledge.
16 I would not expose myself to such danger, because if you look at the blue
17 line and if you show up there, you're a potential target to anyone from
18 the general area. You wouldn't be protected there. I myself would not
19 dare do that, which doesn't mean that I'm claiming that there weren't such
20 isolated cases of people going into such forays. But can I tell that you
21 I have children and I'm a religious person, and can I swear that I saw at
22 least ten civilians, Muslims in front of my lines felling trees. And I
23 wouldn't ever wish to harm any single of them and I did not even warn them
24 to move away, because I know how difficult it would have been for me if I
25 had to get some fuel wood for me and my children, and I spoke about this
1 with my father, who said to me, Son, you should never do to others what
2 you do not wish to be done to yourself.
3 I can, however, tell you that such escapades would indeed have
4 been very dangerous.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
6 A. And I mean to walk up the ridge and become a possible target.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Witness.
8 Mr. Docherty.
9 MR. DOCHERTY:
10 Q. While we're talking about exposing one's self, take a look at the
11 blue line, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina trenches. They're quite a bit
12 lower -- they're low down on the hill, is that correct? Is that a fair
13 way of characterising their location?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And to get to a higher position, whoever is in those trenches
16 would themselves have to walk out and expose themselves, isn't that
17 correct, to fire from you and your colleagues, your comrades. In other
18 words, to move up that hill?
19 A. Yes, yes. But in the left-hand corner of the map you have the
20 positions of the BH army trenches or did I say on the right-hand side?
21 No. I'm correcting myself. On the left-hand hand. These two blue lines
22 represent the trenches of the BH army. They were the potential danger for
23 the trenches of the army of the Republika Srpska there. For this reason,
24 a curtain was put up and barricades were erected to obstruct the line of
25 sight. We were waging the war within our possibilities and tried to
1 survive as best we could.
2 Q. All right. Now, I want to get back again to Mr. Veljevic, who I
3 mentioned a couple of moments ago, because he when he testified was asked
4 also to mark these trenches and the different lines, and I'd like to show
5 you now the results of that work.
6 MR. DOCHERTY: If we could please see Prosecution Exhibit 743.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to say that
9 some important matters said by the witness were not entered into the
10 transcript in the English language. Or were entered with a different
11 meaning and whatever was of capital importance was not entered into the
13 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] We haven't got a lot of time.
14 Perhaps if we could adjust the English translation from lines 4 to 13,
15 going back to what the witness said in B/C/S. It is my impression that
16 entire sentences are left out. So it seems to me that he is talking
17 slowly enough and clearly enough, so surely, a better translation could
18 have been given, and that way, have a transcript of everything that he
19 said, because to be honest, half of the sentences are missing. There's
20 entire passages left out.
21 For example, the explanation of those trenches is very interesting
22 and there's a whole sentence left out there and explanation. If you read
23 the English it is -- it doesn't make any sense. It is illogical, whereas
24 in B/C/S it made perfect sense and it was very well explained the way
25 those trenches worked.
1 So, if you don't mind, I think that perhaps after the hearing we
2 could adjust the transcript.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, do you remember the answer that you
5 gave? Because if you do, I would ask to you repeat it so that we can have
6 it in the transcript.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what was unclear.
8 Perhaps I should be told.
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps we could ask
10 him to repeat precisely what he said about corners. It seems there was
11 another picture. He said something about a left-hand corner and he was
12 explaining what was going on in the left-hand corner versus what was going
13 on in the trenches held by the army of the ABiH.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was the question that you asked?
15 MR. DOCHERTY: I don't remember, Your Honour. I'll need to look
16 at the transcript.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let me help you out.
18 The question put to the witness on page 59, line 2, read as
19 follows: "And to get to a higher position, whoever is in those trenches
20 would themselves have to walk out and expose themselves, isn't that
21 correct, to fire from you on your -- to fire from you on your colleagues,
22 your comrades, in other words, to move up that hill. Such reads the
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: So that's the question and it is the answer to
25 that that Ms. Isailovic says has not been fully reflected in the
1 transcript. But I see Mr. Tapuskovic has a suggestion.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] What the witness said was a very
3 direct explanation of how the trenches were positioned to the left-hand
4 side and all the other sides and what one could see from the trenches that
5 the BH army held in the left-hand corner. What he said about that
6 problem, what -- from those trenches up there toward the ridge was that
7 one could see what he said one could see and we don't have that in the
8 transcript at all.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, this is a technical matter and also
11 a question of -- of fairness, and the Chamber's been trying to arrive at
12 the best position to resolve this issue.
13 Ms. Isailovic, you had suggested that we might have the -- have a
14 record of actually what the witness said and have that translated and
15 presented to us.
16 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That would seem
17 the most reasonable thing to do. It would avoid wasting time and, anyway,
18 he wouldn't probably be able to repeat exactly what he said. He would be
19 using different words, anyway, so that is not something that we could
20 fairly ask a human being to do.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is apparently a procedure to -- to have a
23 transcript verified if a party requests verification a procedure has been
24 elaborated and I'll just ask the court deputy to be in touch with Ms.
25 Isailovic. You have to identify the particular passage. CLSS will
1 provide the translation.
2 So let us proceed.
3 MR. DOCHERTY: Hello again, Mr. Dragas. On the screen in front of
4 you there is a photograph. This is it the markings that were made by
5 witness Veljevic when he was asked about the trench lines, the very same
6 photograph you were shown and I take it you don't agree with him and the
7 ABH there could mean that the ABH trenches were also over the ridge. But
8 that's not your testimony, is it.
9 A. No. This was arbitrarily drawn. This photograph provides a much
10 better view than the other one. The trenches go exactly here. This is
11 where Okuke is and that's where the road is up there. And now the
12 trenches run below this and that's where the entranceway to Bosko's house
13 is, and behind there is the large fort and the road through the seven
14 woods and that's where the crossroads is. So they are positioned
15 logically because trenches cannot be placed in a way which is not
16 logical. Otherwise, they are not sustainable and they cannot prevent the
17 enemy from advancing. That's according to the tactics of warfare.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic. Mr. Tapuskovic.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
20 continues] ... Not intervene. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty.
22 MR. DOCHERTY:
23 Q. That was a very long answer, Mr. Dragas, but to boil it down, no,
24 you don't agree with this photograph, do you? And please, yes or no.
25 A. Not fully, I don't agree fully.
1 Q. The photograph you drew was quite -- the markings you made on the
2 photograph were quite different, weren't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I want to talk with you just of two topics left, I think. This
5 probably unfortunately will carry over until after the break but not very
7 We were talking -- you were talking with Mr. Tapuskovic about the
8 ABiH army's attack on the 18th or 19th of September 1994. Do you remember
9 that testimony?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You talked there?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. But you talked there about
14 a fort. Was the fort that you were talking about there Mala Kula?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now I'd like to take a look at the exhibited -- excuse me.
17 MR. DOCHERTY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I just need one moment,
18 I've gotten lost in my notes. But I'm looking for the combat report from
19 the ABiH that was displayed to the witness, the one that was signed by
20 Mr. -- General Karavelic. And I think it is DD00 -- it's Defence Exhibit
21 156. Sorry.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: D156.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, on the left-hand side, Mr. Dragas, you see the English
25 translation. Is that correct?
1 A. Probably. I don't understand English.
2 Q. And you see that, for example, at one point there are three lines
3 on the page rather than text. Do you see the place that I'm referring
4 to? Where things have not --
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Where things have not been translated.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now if we could scroll down the English, please. There's this
9 area "our forces," and that has been translated. And now if we could
10 please go to page 2 in both English and B/C/S. And we see once again
11 there is a portion of this document that has not been translated into
12 English. I'm going, because I think it important, to put it into evidence
13 in English, I'm going to ask you to read a part of this, so if the upper
14 third of the B/C/S document could be expanded, please.
15 And I'm going to give you two benchmarks here, Mr. Dragas. I'm
16 going to ask to you start reading right at the beginning and then look at
17 the bottom of the first chunk of text, and do you see the name Cosovic
18 Adnan, 15th MTBR, which I presume means mountain brigade. Do you see that
20 A. I do.
21 Q. I'm going to ask you to read, sir, in your language, and slowly so
22 that the interpreters can interpret it, what is said between the beginning
23 of this page and the name Cosovic Adnan, 15 MTBR, the portion that was not
24 translated into English. And before we do that, I will point out that
25 the -- the translation here indicates it was done in Belgrade and not by
1 CLSS, not, in other words, by the OTP.
2 Mr. Dragas, would you begin reading, please?
3 A. "During the night, the captured part could not be fortified
4 because of open space, open or exposed space and because it was impossible
5 to do any works. Due to losses suffered, the units retreated to the
6 initial LO," probably initial positions. "In the course of the attack, the
7 following losses were suffered due to artillery -- intensive artillery
8 fire. There were three dead, two from 120th Mountain Brigade, one from
9 MUP, there were 26 wounded, 15 from 120th Mountain Brigade, six from the
10 MUP and five from 105th Motorised Brigade," I take it.
11 "Fighter Nusret Kalabusic was seriously wounded from a sniper who
12 is a member of the second 'V,' ATBR Brijesce. In the area of Curine
13 Njive, Trebevic, fighter Adnan Cosovic from the 15th Motorised Brigade was
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. DOCHERTY:
17 Q. What this says, then, Mr. Dragas, is that the ABiH was driven back
18 to their starting lines because of intense SRK artillery fire. Is that
19 what the document says?
20 A. That's what it says. But let me draw your attention to one
21 illogical matter as a person and as a soldier.
22 Q. Excuse me. And the ABiH went back to their initial positions,
23 according to the document; correct?
24 A. Yes. But the report indicates --
25 Q. Mr. Dragas --
1 A. -- wounded from a sniper in Trebevic. That's impossible. No
2 weapon can have that range.
3 Q. Okay. But what I wanted to talk to you about is that the
4 reference here is to artillery weapons. You testified that your unit had
5 automatic and semi-automatic rifles. We have here a number of wounded
6 soldiers, 15 from one brigade alone, and the reference is to artillery,
7 isn't it?
8 A. It says here that it was due to artillery fire. However --
9 Q. Did you --
10 A. -- I don't think that this was the ratio of -- or the balance of
12 Q. Did you at your positions -- you've testified that you had
13 automatic and semi-automatic rifles. Did you not also have mortars,
14 82-millimetre mortars, at least?
15 A. There weren't any in my unit. Probably the commanding officers of
16 higher ranks knew this. There were such weapons in the army of the
17 Republika Srpska. However, I state that from the beginning of the war
18 until the 17th of January, 1996, I was never absent from the territory of
19 my municipality and I managed to save my skin on the 15th of January, 1996
20 by finding refuge in Ruda. You have to know that I did not investigate or
21 make inquiries about other matters. My area of movement was between my
22 home and my trenches.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. At this stage we have to break.
24 We'll break for one hour.
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.34 p.m.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take the next break at 3.35 and will
3 endeavour to finish at about 4.25 or 4.30., if that's possible, yes.
4 Mr. Docherty, yes.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, as the first item of business, before
6 lunch, I had shown the witness 65 ter number 03323. It was a photograph
7 of the fort. I didn't tender it at the time. I've changed my mind, and
8 at this time I would tender that into evidence.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As P782, Your Honours.
11 MR. DOCHERTY:
12 Q. Mr. Dragas, I just have a few more questions for you. One
13 question before I start my next topic. You mentioned the weapons that you
14 an your comrades had at your positions. You described them as infantry
15 weapons, rifles and so forth. Did you have in your unit M84 machine-guns?
16 A. I really cannot be sure. We did have the M53s, and I didn't see
17 it, but I think that there were one or two.
18 Q. Okay. And the M84 is a more recent version of the M53. Is that
20 A. Probably. I -- it's a lighter machine-gun than the other one.
21 Probably has the same characteristics as the M53, though.
22 Q. Now, the last topic I want to cover with you, Mr. Dragas, and then
23 I will be done, would you tell the Chamber what you mean by the
24 term "drawing room general"?
25 A. I didn't understand the question.
1 Q. In your direct testimony when Mr. Tapuskovic was asking --
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. I did remember saying that sentence, "drawing room general." Yes.
5 This was kind of jargon among the soldiers. A general that we would never
6 see, who was formally a general and you know that he exists. It's
7 somebody who is probably sitting somewhere in the warm, dry, with
8 furniture, but this does not refer to the general on whose behalf I'm
9 testifying now. He was very disciplined. He toured the positions of the
10 soldiers. He had empathy for their problems. He convinced them that what
11 we were doing was very right, There was no need to abuse the command or
12 senior officers, that there would should be respect and discipline.
13 Q. So --
14 A. He had -- I'm sorry, I just wanted to finish.
15 He had a realistic approach or attitudes towards people, towards
16 civilians. Anything that was before him, he didn't spare himself. He
17 would go out in the rain, in the dark. He had an old vehicle with a bumpy
18 road just like the rest of us. He never complained and I believe, you
19 know, that I have no objections or anything to say against him and the way
20 he waged war, based on his training.
21 At any point in time, he was communicating with people and you
22 could see his character and his ethics in the communication with these
24 Q. You were a private soldier on the front line. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And how often, how frequently, did you see General Milosevic?
2 A. I cannot say that now, was I really wasn't keeping a record. But
3 something that did stick to my mind when I did see him was at the
4 hospital, then also at the small fort, and at one time we met on the road
5 above Poljine. That is exactly where the municipality of Vogosca and
6 Centar border on each other. I don't know. Perhaps there were other
7 occasions sometime during 1994 and 1995.
8 Q. And in those meetings, when General Milosevic would come to the
9 lines, he was learning things. He was learning what the soldiers'
10 problems were, he was learning what the ammunition and the food situation
11 were. Is that correct, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. General Milosevic was a man who take care, in your view, to be
14 well-informed and to understand what was happening with the troops under
15 his command. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. While you were serving with the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, did you
18 hear allegations, either face to face or through the media, of crimes
19 being committed by the Bosnian Serb army or by the Sarajevo-Romanija
21 A. We, the regular soldiers, didn't have an opportunity to get
22 reports like that. It's true that we had company meetings, not that
23 often, but these meetings were held in order to say that ammunition should
24 not be spent just like that, that we should save or resources and not to
25 violate discipline. That we shouldn't do anything that is outside of the
1 bounds of what is permissible. If there was a truce, then there should be
2 a truce. Nobody could do anything on their own initiative. A couple of
3 times, I was a witness when one of ours perhaps by accident fired a
4 bullet. The police would come and get him and they would have to say why
5 they did it, so if you're not under threat you cannot fire, and truce
6 must -- a truce must be respected. That's the gist of it.
7 What I'm saying is that we didn't have the kind of information so
8 that we could judge whether something was proper and correct, so I really
9 don't have the right perhaps training or information in order to be able
10 to judge whether something was done properly or not.
11 Q. If there were allegations that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was
12 committing atrocities, would you expect a well-informed commanding
13 officer, like Dragomir Milosevic to be aware that these allegations were
14 being made in the press, for example, on the television?
15 A. Could you please repeat your question? I understood everything
16 except I wasn't sure how it goes on from well-informed general.
17 Q. You have testified that Dragomir Milosevic, in your opinion, was a
18 general who took care to keep himself well-informed about what was going
19 on in his command, and from that, the question that I have is: If there
20 were allegations, for example, on the television news, in the
21 international press, by human rights organisations, by any source that the
22 Bosnian Serb army was committing atrocities or war crimes, would you not
23 except a commanding general who was as well-informed as Dragomir Milosevic
24 to be aware that these allegations were being made about his troops?
25 A. Well, all of this needs to be explained.
1 I said that the general tried to be well-informed at firsthand. I
2 don't know if he did that -- I mean, you would need to ask that of him,
3 whether he did that because he didn't believe those who reported back to
4 him and he felt like he needed to check back, which is logical to me.
5 Perhaps he wanted to know everything that was going on. All kinds of
6 misinformation is disseminated an untruths during the war, so he wanted to
7 make sure if something was true. If it wasn't true, I assume, or if it
8 was true, I assume the general would have reacted because, as I said, when
9 we asked -- when we retook the small fort, our way was open towards the
10 town, towards the State Hospital of Kosevo. And if we did that, we would
11 have shortened our lines. We would have destroyed the sniper nests which
12 destroyed Radomir Gajic, Nedzo Grujic, Novo Neskovic, Janju Dzokic, Saju
13 Simeonovic. These are the names that I remember right now, but I could
14 give you more names.
15 All the territories where they were passing were protected but a
16 wind could move the blanket. Somebody would appear and then they would
17 end up being the victim, and he said, No, we will live the way we have
18 been living so far, you can fortify where you are and take your military
19 assignments seriously. There will be no further advance, the war will
20 end, and then we will see what is ours and what is not and higher powers
21 will decide that.
22 Now what I want to say is this. The general, as far as I know
23 him, I would believe that he would react and intervene.
24 Another thing: I believe that if the general were to feel guilty,
25 he would not have come to The Hague so easily. You can see that many
1 people are in hiding.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Dragas, as you said in
3 your answer, which was quite long, and with respect, I don't think
4 responded to my question. You said that there is always sorts of
5 misinformation in war. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Commanding officer checks
8 those things out, doesn't he?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Nothing further.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
12 Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will be very brief. Just a few
15 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] You talked about this event over the two days,
17 19th of September, 1994, before the events occurred in the summer of 1995,
18 can you please tell us how many similar actions of this kind took place,
19 such as the one described in the Defence document D156?
20 A. Similar events of higher or lower intensity were numerous.
21 Perhaps there were 38 active, very active attacks on our lines throughout
22 the war. If you calculate that, it turns out to be about ten or 11 per
24 Q. With the main objective as what?
25 A. The objective was to break through the lines to capture the road.
1 Well, so that you can understand me, there was Juka Prazina, his uncle,
2 the so-called Amidza.
3 Q. No, no, there is no need to go into that. Just tell me, what
4 would have happened had the road at that place where you were in front of
5 your house, what would have happened then with the positions where you
6 were, you soldiers?
7 A. We would have been completely captured.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Witness. That concludes
10 your evidence. Thank you for giving it, and you may now leave.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You recall that I had asked the court deputy to
14 be in touch with the registry about the matter raised by the Defence. I
15 will ask him to provide the information that he has received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 During lunch break I spoke with the acting chief of CMSS, who
18 confirmed that the Sarajevo and Belgrade field offices are indeed the
19 property of the OTP, and therefore the facilities would say not be able to
20 be made available to the Defence for the taking of witness statements.
21 However, there may be a possibility of using the facilities for certifying
22 those statements.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
24 The next witness.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not getting any translation.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise. Could the counsel
3 repeat what he said? Thank you.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It's document DD00-3985, and it
6 contains the basic information for the next witness, T-48, which has
7 protective measures in the form of a pseudonym and face distortion.
8 And can we please show this ...
9 [The witness entered court]
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: WITNESS T-48
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please be seated.
17 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
18 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This document identifying the
20 witness should be admitted under seal. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let it be admitted.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become D259, under seal.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And now can we please move into
24 private session so that I could inform the Chamber about this witness's
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
2 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Witness T-48, can you please, in the briefest way, tell us
4 something about what was happening at the beginning of the events in 1992,
5 in the briefest possible way?
6 A. In 1992, the war was going on in Croatia. Already there was some
7 changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the beginning, these were minor
8 incidents, provocations at work and traffic, and things like that and then
9 after the killing at the wedding in Sarajevo, things escalated. After
10 that, people self-organised in the local communes and in the
11 neighbourhoods where they lived. In the beginning, these were joint guard
12 duties of people in the areas where they lived. This was the case in the
13 Nedzarici settlement in Novi Grad municipality in Sarajevo.
14 Q. Can you please stand up and point out on this map for the Judges
15 why Nedzarici is?
16 A. Yes, very well.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Just to ensure that the -- that his image will not
20 be broadcast. I understand he has image distortion.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Is that being attended to?
22 Yes, it is being attended to.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. You can go back to your seat.
25 And what happened, if you could go quickly over what happened in
1 relation to the following events, if you can do it quickly and just point
2 to the most important events.
3 A. At the beginning, the people didn't expect that the conflicts
4 would escalate. There were even some agreements among local communes
5 where the majority populations were of different ethnic backgrounds or
6 mixed. But in the settlement where I lived on the 14th of May, in the
7 morning, at dawn, well-armed well-equipped forces wearing black overalls,
8 people who were not from those areas, they were not locals and they were
9 not part to those agreements about the maintenance of peace and good
10 neighbourly relations. And escorted, to be quite specific, in front of
11 the place where I lived, escorted by an armoured personnel carrier ...
12 Q. Well, you don't have to go that slow. You can talk a little bit
14 A. They tried to take this neighbourhood. The neighbourhood that I'm
15 talking about, Nedzarici, covers an area of about one square kilometres.
16 There are about 700 families living there, maybe 2, 3.000 people living
17 there, and the ethnic background of those people, most of them are Serbs.
18 After this attack, we managed to defend ourselves, and from that
19 time on, the war in the proper sense of the word started.
20 Q. Now can you tell me what does the position of Nedzarici look like?
21 A. The entire neighbourhood is in a very unenviable position, because
22 on the one hand, you have Dobrinja 5, these are high-rise buildings,
23 apartment buildings, and then there is the Mojmilo neighbourhood, then the
24 Mojmilo hill, then Alipasino Polje where the buildings, some buildings are
25 up to 18 storeys high. And then further down to Stup, there's the
1 refrigerator facility, the fire-fighting facility.
2 Q. Just a moment. Could you please explain Stup, Hladnica
3 refrigerator facility, and a fire-fighting column -- Gazni Stup, what are
4 those buildings?
5 A. Well, these are high-rise buildings, buildings that dominate this
6 wider area and they used this higher ground to fire on the population, on
7 the positions, on the troops, on the moving vehicles and so on.
8 Nedzarici, you mostly have family house one to two storeys high.
9 Q. Thank you. And what other geographical points can you perhaps
10 point to up in the north?
11 A. Well, as far as the encirclement goes, here you have Zuc, Sokolje,
12 Hum and then to the other side, Hrasnica, Mount Igman that dominates the
13 whole area. It is a high mountain.
14 Q. Please, could you please approach the map, and mark the highest
15 summits on Mount Igman at Hrasnica and point them out to the Judges and
16 tell us quite clearly what the elevations are. You can -- you can just
17 get up with the earphones and then I will put the microphone closer to
19 Could you remember and then you could tell us later?
20 A. Crni Vrh elevation.
21 Q. How high is it?
22 A. 1.504 metres. That is the highest summit on Mount Igman that
23 dominates Igman, and the broader area Ilidza, Nedzarici, Blazuj.
24 Q. Could you please indicate at least two other summits there?
25 A. Obesenjak, 1.240 metres. It is even closer to this area.
1 Q. Thank you. And is there in this red circle an elevation that is
2 marked somewhere on this boundary, the confrontation line? Further up to
3 the north.
4 A. Yes. There's Radzin Vrat, 1.400 -- 1.480 metres.
5 Q. Is that at Hrasnica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. And could you now tell the Judges as you told us, it
8 started, if I heard it correctly, what month did you join the Republika
9 Srpska army?
10 A. It was in April. That was the beginning of the organisation of
11 the army. At first as civilian protection and then some units were formed
12 of men of military age. I already told you how many people lived there.
13 At the beginning there were maybe about 900 people, but because of the
14 terrible positions and large casualties, this number went down, and at the
15 end of the war there were less than 100 soldiers there of those who were
16 there at the beginning of the war as the local residents.
17 Q. What happened to the rest?
18 A. Well, many were killed. I can now --
19 Q. No, no, it is not so important. It doesn't matter.
20 Could you tell me, what happened?
21 A. The attacks on the neighbourhood were frequent. Many people were
22 killed or wounded. I can tell you for myself my -- my family, we had four
23 members in our house. My mother was killed in a shell explosion in 1993
24 and my father was killed in 1995. My sister left for security reasons,
25 and I was the only one that was left in the house, and that's happened in
1 other families too. Civilians left because of their safety especially on
2 the front line, because most of the buildings there were torn down or
3 burnt down. It was so unsafe to move about. It was impossible to move
5 Q. Thank you. But could you please tell me there and then at the
6 beginning in April and May, what was there in terms of weapons? What did
7 you -- when you took up a rifle, what did you -- what kind of weapons did
8 you have?
9 A. Well, we had some infantry weapons and some mortars. We had two
10 armoured personnel carriers. Because we were encircled, they were not
11 really able to function. They were used to neutralise sniper nests in the
12 buildings around us. Often they targeted the 18th floor of the blue
13 building at Alipasino Polje. They would often put a machine-gun there and
14 then they would fire on the entire neighbourhood. We asked for help then
15 to neutralise this firing position, at the beginning, until all the
16 weapons were taken away, and then we found ourselves in a very unenviable
18 Q. And when were the weapons pulled out?
19 A. Well, I can't tell you with any certainty. There were some
20 agreements. That's what I do remember. That was in late 1993. I can't
21 really remember with any certainty. Maybe early 1994.
22 Q. Thank you. And if you can recall perhaps what did the year 1994
23 look like?
24 A. Well, 1994 was much calmer in this area, unlike on other front
25 lines which were very, very active. Even though we had so few people, we
1 gave our support at Trnovo and Ilijas, because military offensives at that
2 time took place outside of Sarajevo, the Sarajevo theatre was relatively
4 Q. Could you please tell me, when you talk about Nedzarici, you
5 showed us where Nedzarici is. Could you please tell us what is Nedzarici,
6 what part of this area?
7 A. Well, it is it part of the Novi Grad municipality in the city of
8 Sarajevo which is located between Alipasino Polje and the Sarajevo
9 airport. It's just a neighbourhood in Sarajevo.
10 Q. And in the time of war, could you get out --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic and the witness, please pause
12 between question and answer. You're overlapping.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You said that there were 900 soldiers there and then what you
15 said, lest we should repeat it, and there were 4.000 people, 700
16 families. So from that area, was it possible at all to go anywhere in any
17 direction and if yes, how?
18 A. At the beginning, we used the route that led across the airport in
19 Sarajevo. After the agreement and the handing over of the airport to the
20 international forces, we had very -- it was very difficult for us to
21 communicate with the rest of our territory. We had just one very narrow
22 passage leading through Kasindolska street, and then through Ilidza,
23 Vogosca, Poljine, and then a path that led through the woods, which was
24 really not very adequate. So to go a distance that is maybe four to five
25 kilometres, that used to be four to five kilometres, we had to travel
1 about 100 kilometres. This was particularly a problem when somebody would
2 get seriously injured. But people would mostly not survive this trip
3 to -- to the hospital because -- at the Zica hospital, it was not possible
4 to carry out major surgeries.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. If I may --
7 Q. No, no, no. Please just follow what I ask you.
8 When was it possible to pass through Kasindolska street, at what
9 time of day?
10 A. During day-time it was very difficult. One did it at one's own
11 risk. Any travel took place mostly at night, although you had to drive
12 with your headlights out with maximum precautions.
13 Q. Please, you spoke about 1994 and those events that -- the fighting
14 that happened in other areas. What part of those conflicts, what part of
15 the areas did you go in relation to those conflicts?
16 A. You mean in 1994?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. In late 1994, I went to the Trnovo theatre where there was major
19 offensive --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
21 A. -- of our forces.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I have hesitated up until now, but
23 this evidence, in my submission, is irrelevant to the charges against the
24 accused and the Prosecution has on umpteen occasions conceded that there
25 was a conflict ongoing, and so the evidence that a soldier went to Trnovo
1 to participate in combat operations, I submit, is irrelevant to the
2 matters at hand and especially because Trnovo is beyond the geographical
3 scope of the indictment.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: How do you respond, Mr. Tapuskovic?
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I will put things very
6 simply today, because you know that -- and I have to say that now, the
7 indictment has been amended one month before the beginning of the trial,
8 and it would be the simplest thing for the Defence to call the witnesses
9 of the type that we -- that our previous witness was. I could have called
10 any number of them. I had to take into account the amended indictment
11 where it -- which is based on the allegation that General Dragomir
12 Milosevic inherited all those things that had been done in the previous
13 period and continued with all that in one sense.
14 I started paying a lot of attention to that, so I no longer dealt
15 with that time-period, and I still don't know what the Defence is to deal
16 with it, what the scope of it is. So I have been following and complying
17 with the suggestions that I received, and I tried to get-- I'm trying to
18 get from the witness how he started being involved in war, and what
19 happened until that period when General Milosevic took on his duty.
20 Now he started talking about a lull, where there were no major
21 military activities or casualties in the area where he lived, but then he
22 moved to another theatre, and I'm trying to prove, the Defence is trying
23 to prove that at the time while Dragomir Milosevic was in command, there
24 was no strategy of campaign for the eight months of that period until May
25 and there was no campaign there, either, but then there was this major
1 offensive launched by the BH army and now the Defence is trying to
2 strictly comply with this framework and to indicate just to certain
3 elements that preceded that, and I don't know whether, until the end, it
4 will turn out that the time that preceded the times relevant for the
5 indictment is also important because if the indictment continues to allege
6 that Dragomir Milosevic inherited everything that happened in the previous
7 period, in the terms of the campaign and the events, then I simply cannot
8 see why I'm not allowed to mention 1992, 1993, and even 1994 until
9 sometime, I don't know what time, August 1994.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, the point Mr. Tapuskovic is making
12 or one of the points is that there's an allegation in the indictment that
13 General Milosevic inherited the campaign of General Galic and therefore he
14 should be entitled to deal with the pre-indictment period, starting from
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, that's correct and, for the record
17 and although I submit the indictment is clear, that our case is that the
18 accused inherited a campaign of sniping and shelling that was perpetrated
19 by General Galic and not only did he inherit it, but he continued to order
20 for it -- he ordered for it to continue during his time as a
21 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander. And so, of course, the time-period
22 before the actual indictment period where General Milosevic was the
23 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander is relevant in that respect. And we
24 also submit that the -- that pre-indictment period is relative to the
25 notice of General Milosevic.
1 But I didn't object on that ground. I objected on the grounds of
2 a witness coming here who actually is from Nedzarici, which is an area
3 that is critical to the Prosecution or to the case at hand, talking about
4 Trnovo, which is actually beyond the geographic scope of the indictment
5 and beyond the geographical scope of the indictment against General
6 Galic. And from what I can gather, the witness was about to speak to
7 combat activity in Trnovo, which the Prosecution has never -- never, you
8 know, objected against that. There was a war going on.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How far is Trnovo from the confrontation lines?
10 Can the witness assist us?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Line of confrontation or from this
13 part, this area where I was?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, tell us from both.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Trnovo is about 15 kilometres from
16 Sarajevo. It's a Sarajevo municipality, as far as I know. I mean, I
17 lived there, I mean in Sarajevo, so I don't know what the problem is. The
18 line -- so Trnovo is some 15 kilometres from where we were. The line
19 changed in relation to the Trnovo front. At the beginning, Trnovo -- of
20 the war, Trnovo was first under the -- under the control of the B and H
21 forces when awful massacres were committed against the Serb population.
22 Then after the liberation, proof was found, bodies and so on and so forth.
23 So Trnovo itself was the site of fighting and then the line kept
24 getting closer and closer to Trnovo as the war went on.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, how is Trnovo relevant to the
3 indictment? Just explain quickly. Don't have a long introduction. Just
4 tell us summarily how it is relative, considering the distance that we
5 have just heard that it is from Sarajevo.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will answer very briefly, Your
7 Honours. Sarajevo is not the only town in the world that is spread over
8 an area of 15 to 20 square kilometres. There a many towns that spread to
9 a length of 15 to 20 kilometres. Sarajevo has a tram that went to Ilidza
10 or Vogosca, so all of that is the town of Sarajevo, and unless we
11 understand that, and until we understand that, I will really have to
12 explain that every day.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... I said I'm
14 going allow to you deal with it, but deal with it briefly and move on.
15 Do you understand?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That is the essence, Your
17 Honours. The area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and
18 the area of responsibility of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
19 sectors that constitute the territory of Sarajevo and where the Sarajevo
20 citizens live. This is all mixed together and you couldn't separate
21 anything to -- in terms of saying this is Sarajevo and this is not.
22 Nedzarici is the heart of Sarajevo. Grbavica is the heart of Sarajevo.
23 It was all mixed together and it is our thesis, well, of course, Your
24 Honour, Judge Harhoff you don't like to hear this, of course.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation ...] That you are going to
1 lead to adduce is simply evidence of Serb suffering. You know that that
2 is not enough. It has to have some additional element that links to the
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: And, Mr. Tapuskovic, please excuse me. There is
5 no question of me not wanting to hear evidence in this case, provided it
6 is relevant.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: So, as I said, deal with it, but deal with it
8 briefly and move on.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we submitted a
10 motion about this and if I have to provide explanations like this every
11 day in relation to positions that we have already stated, I'm going to
12 strictly stick to things that are directly linked to all of the events,
13 primarily the events that have to do with the incidents, but the incidents
14 and I repeat that again, are something that the Defence will -- in
15 relation to these incidents, the Defence would prefer best if we could
16 only stick to the incidents and nothing more because in that case it would
17 be the easiest thing for the Defence. The questions.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Didn't you understand? I said you -- I
19 allowed you to question the witness about this matter but briefly.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
21 understood that I needed to provide another brief explanation, but I'm
22 actually not able to provide any explanations about anything anymore,
24 Q. Witness, when did these offensives end in 1994?
25 A. The offensives around Sarajevo in 1994 were constant and then they
1 moved in mid-1995 to the Sarajevo --
2 Q. Please, please. I asked you a simple question, when all of this
3 finished in 1994.
4 A. In 1994 specifically, about the situation that I talked about,
5 they finished, we actually stopped their forces at the Trnovo front.
6 Q. Thank you. And what does the time now look like in 1995? Can you
7 establish a time-period until when things were quieter.
8 A. In the beginning of 1995 things were more quiet but we did have
9 some indications of an offensive towards our sector.
10 Q. Thank you. And what did you in Nedzarici -- and what did you do
11 in Nedzarici in the situation when you were finding out that an offensive
12 was being prepared?
13 A. Due to the lack of heavy weaponry, we were forced --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
15 Just a minute.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I rose because I wasn't sure whether
17 the witness in his previous answer was speaking to Trnovo or Nedzarici,
18 but I understand that he was speaking with respect to Nedzarici.
19 No objection.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And can you please go on and tell us what did you do in Nedzarici
23 in that quiet period?
24 A. We were trying to fortify as best we could. We were carrying out
25 engineering work like any regular army. We were fortifying, making
1 screens for visual protection. On one occasion my father --
2 Q. Just one moment. And what happened in the month of May?
3 A. In May, during this engineering work, my father was killed by a
4 sniper shot near the faculty of theology because that road was directly
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
7 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, as -- again, and this is meant in no
8 way disrespect to the witness, but the evidence regarding the suffering of
9 Bosnian Serbs in Nedzarici, in my submission, is not relative to the
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I imagine that is it just an incidental
12 matter, and you're going to move on to the area of his evidence that is
13 very relevant to the charges, Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said "incidental" --
15 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry. Just a minute. When I say "incidental,"
17 I don't mean to say that it was not an important event for the witness
18 whose father who was killed and he has my full sympathy.
19 But let's move on.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What I wanted to hear from you, you were talking about engineering
22 works in order to protect yourself from the attack.
23 A. For purposes of defence.
24 Q. Yes, for purposes of defence, but what was happening? I don't
25 want to ask anything about the suffering of your father. What happened in
1 the month of May? Were there any events that had something to do with
3 A. Combat actions started in late May against our positions and then
4 they escalated in June and early July. There was a lot of strong
5 artillery fire, sniper fire continuously.
6 Q. I would like to speed things up so we can finish early today. I
7 would like to show you a document since what you already said that. It's
8 a Defence exhibit, D159.
9 Witness, sir, can you please read loudly the heading of this
10 document, what this document is, first of all, and who signed this
11 document, but read it.
12 A. Command of the 12th division, strictly confidential, number
13 02/2-2-182. Sarajevo the 4th of July, 1995. I think that's the year.
14 You cannot really see it clearly. I don't see the signature here. The
15 commander of the 1st Corps is what it says at the top. I cannot see the
16 entire page, so I cannot see the bottom -- oh, all right. Commander
17 Brigadier Fikret Prevljak.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Can you please read now --
19 A. Just one moment.
20 Q. Just a moment. Just a moment. Can you please now read item 1,
21 paragraph 1?
22 A. During the period from the 15th of June to the 3rd of July, 1995,
23 we fired from all types of weapons we had at our disposal over 300 VT of
24 the enemy.
25 Q. And the last paragraph?
1 A. We believe that the number of destroyed and damaged VT combat and
2 non-combat materiel is larger because we acted during conditions of
3 limited visibility at night, so we did not have the opportunity to observe
4 everything entirely.
5 Q. Before you read this, can you please tell us what you started to
6 say earlier and that is to tell us about what you experienced throughout
7 these 15 days?
8 A. First of all, it wasn't just 15 days. In early June, I happened
9 to just stay alive. Fortunately, there is a kind of hole there --
10 Q. All right, all right, very well. Thank you.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at --
12 Q. I would like to show you another document. It's Defence exhibit
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] There is no English version.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I recall that the English version is
19 the next page.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. So may we have the English version which
21 you say is on the next page.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: I understand it to be, yes, Mr. President. And--
23 I'm sorry, I'm sorry to my learned friend. But for the benefit of the
24 Court, you will see that the point 1, there is no translation, and I have
25 a translation of that portion, which in my submission, is important for
1 understanding this document. So I have copies for -- for Your Honours and
2 for Defence counsel, too.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Did you hear that, Mr. Tapuskovic?
4 Point 1 is blank, but Mr. Sachdeva has a translation of it, English
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I am very glad, because
7 given the circumstances that I was in when I got the document, I had to
8 translate only the parts that were relevant for me, but of course we need
9 a complete translation, so this is great.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Let's have
11 the English translation of paragraph 1 and then we can proceed to
12 paragraph 2.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Sir, could you please do the same thing that you did just a little
15 while ago. Read the heading and what it says underneath it and the first
16 paragraph in item 2, that's where it says "our forces."
17 A. Second -- 12th division command, strictly confidential, number
18 02/2-2/166, Sarajevo, the 1st of July, 1995, operational time, 1600 hours.
19 Now, who signed the document, I can't see it.
20 Q. Could we perhaps scroll down a little bit.
21 A. Commander Brigadier Fikret Prevljak.
22 Q. Now --
23 A. Our forces --
24 Q. Our forces and the first and the second passage in this
25 paragraph. Out loud.
1 A. The unit is in full combat readiness. The most salient artillery
2 fire was opened on the sector of Nedzarici barracks with 80-millimetre
3 mortars and 100-millimetre mortars where we structured a fire to disrupt
4 the enemy engineering works, and with the same target we opened fire from
5 105-millimetre Howitzers and the T55 tank twice on Gucica hill. All the
6 fire was carried out with great accuracy.
7 Q. This is it precisely what you have just told us that you were at
8 Gucica Hala. You said that you were next to it.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you please tell me what you've just read here. Is this what
11 happened that day and how -- what did it look like?
12 A. It more or less correspond to what happened. In the actual fact
13 one of our soldiers was killed and two were very seriously wounded. They
14 had to have their limbs amputated. And this was an everyday occurrence in
15 that period of 1995.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. That preceded the offensive that was attempted against us, against
18 our positions.
19 Q. Thank you. And could you tell me something about those
20 demarcation lines, something about blind people's home, did a blind
21 people's home exist, and what kind of a building it was in the moment that
22 we're talking about?
23 A. The blind people's home was a building, a two-storey building at
24 the top of Nedzarici, it was in our territory on the ground floor -- well,
25 it is a building that is very close to those apartment buildings that I
1 mentioned at the beginning, Vojnicko Polje, Alipasino Polje, and then also
2 Oslobodjenja, and the nursing home to the right. That's a new building
3 that had never -- nobody had lived there at all. It was in -- under their
4 control and this building was -- was constantly under fire, under terrible
5 fire throughout the war and people mostly stayed in the basements.
6 Q. At the very start you said that Nedzarici was a settlement with
7 low buildings. You've already explained that.
8 What did the other buildings nearby look like?
9 A. Well, these were high-rise apartment buildings up to 18 storeys
10 high and then in relation to those family homes, that would have the
11 ground floor and the first floor or even just a ground floor. There were
12 just a couple of buildings that had three storeys. So the sites held by
13 the army facing us were much higher so they were in an extremely better
14 position than we were. They had more places from which they could
15 observe, target us. They had a line of sight from those high-rise
16 buildings over the whole area.
17 Q. Thank you. I have just two more questions.
18 The first is: What do you know by the faculty of theology? What
19 kind of a building is that and is there anything that is important from
20 the beginning and at the end of the war that you took part in?
21 A. That building was closer to the lower-lying end of Nedzarici,
22 close to the airport, in relation to Vojnicko Polje, it was about a
23 kilometre and a half away. It was a three-storey building, maybe one wing
24 had four storeys. And at the beginning it was used to shelter, first we
25 had our armoured personnel carriers there and we had an ambulance
1 vehicle. The armoured personnel carriers, APCs, were mostly used to
2 evacuate the wounded because it was very dangerous to use an ordinary
3 vehicle. It -- the same went for the APCs. There were also some mortars
4 there at the beginning of the war, but then they were moved away because
5 of some agreement or other.
6 Q. In this relation, in 1994 were those weapons that you mentioned
7 now, were those weapon there?
8 A. No. The weapons were moved away.
9 Q. Could you please tell me one more thing. Mojmilo -- was any fire
10 opened from Mojmilo on your positions?
11 A. You mean Mojmilo hill?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Fire -- artillery fire was open from Mojmilo hill, and also
14 anti-aircraft weapons were fired from Mojmilo hill. That was the highest
15 elevation in this area and it dominated Nedzarici, Lukavica and the entire
16 area, in particular the roads.
17 Q. Thank you. And my last question. You mentioned the Hladnica at
18 Stup. In what direction did Hladnica fire, according to what you know?
19 A. According to what I know, Hladnica the refrigerating plant, had --
20 would open fire on the wider region of Kasindol, Nedzarici, Ilidza and
22 Q. Thank you, witness. I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
25 MR. SACHDEVA:
1 Q. Good afternoon, witness, my name is Manoj Sachdeva and I'm a
2 lawyer for the Prosecution and I'm going to ask you a few questions this
3 afternoon. Witness, let me just ask you first, I take it that you were
4 based in Nedzarici from 1992 through to 1995. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you were -- were you an infantry man, a private, what rank did
7 you have?
8 A. We were infantry troops. I did not have any rank during the war.
9 They tried to appoint me the commander of something or other, but I
10 refused the appointment because it entailed a lot of responsibility.
11 Q. And as an infantry man, you -- you had rifles and other small arms
12 weapons. Isn't that right?
13 A. We didn't have pistols. We did have infantry weapons.
14 Q. Including -- I take it that's rifles. Is that right?
15 A. I had a light machine-gun. I had been issued that light
16 machine-gun as my personal weapon.
17 Q. And did you ever -- during the time in Nedzarici did you ever
18 operate a mortar?
19 A. No.
20 Q. But I take it that you have some basic knowledge of the purpose or
21 the use of mortars in -- in military operations. Is that right?
22 A. I did have some knowledge of what it is used for but not how to
23 operate it.
24 Q. And therefore you know that a mortar generally is used to cause
25 maximum human damage, human casualties. Isn't that correct?
1 A. Well, in my previous answer, I -- I noted that my mother had been
2 killed by a mortar shell. So I'm quite aware of the consequences.
3 Q. So you're well aware that when a mortar shell explodes, whether it
4 be an 82-millimetre mortar or a 120-millimetre mortar, the shrapnel, the
5 thousands of pieces of shrapnel can prove to be very deadly to people
6 around that area. Isn't that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, you earlier testified this afternoon about how the military
9 formations in Nedzarici would fire mortars into Alipasino Polje, into the
10 18-storey apartment blocks. Do you remember giving that evidence?
11 A. No. That's not what I said.
12 Q. Well, I'll just read what you said. How about that? And then you
13 can tell me if you agree with it.
14 When counsel for the accused asked you what sort of weapons you
15 had, your response was: "Well, we had some infantry weapons and some
16 mortars. We also had two armoured personnel carriers. Because we were
17 encircled and -- we were encircled, they were not really able to
18 function. They were used to neutralise sniper nests in the buildings
19 around us. Often they targeted the 18th floor of the blue building at
20 Alipasino Polje."
21 So what I'm asking you is that you have testified or you agree
22 that you have testified that on occasion you would use the mortars to fire
23 at these apartment buildings in Alipasino Polje. Is that right?
24 A. No. The transcript is not correct of what I said or the
25 translation. I said that we had mortars but I didn't say what they fired
1 on. Those people who manned them, the crews knew that. And as for
2 neutralising these sniper nests, I was referring to the use of the
3 armoured personnel carriers because the spotters would ask for the target
4 that they had observed to be neutralised by armoured personnel carriers
5 which would then fire on it with their machine-guns or whatever they had.
6 So if a person got wounded, in order to evacuate that person, the spot
7 from which fire had been opened was -- the brigade, the command was
8 notified about it and the request was made to neutralise that spot so that
9 the people, the medical corps personnel trying to evacuate that person,
10 treat that person would not be endangered, because often more casualties
11 would occur as a consequence of an evacuation effort in an effort to save
12 the initial victim who may already be dead and despite the fact that they
13 a Red Cross insignia, they would be fired on. Please allow me.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. But even in our medical corps --
16 Q. Sorry. I'm really sorry. We don't have much time. But I just
17 want to back to something you said. So I take it then in the Nedzarici
18 battalion, you did employ the use of observers or spotters in the field.
19 Is that right?
20 A. Observers or spotters were all the people who were in the
21 trenches. Everybody monitored what was going on in front of their
22 respective position or trench.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 A. And these were the soldiers manning the defence lines. They
25 observed the line and they defended this area against any raids or efforts
1 to penetrate the line, and they would report on everything that they
2 observed, movements of troops, engineering works, stuff like that.
3 Q. So if they observed a particular target, they would be able to
4 radio back or to communicate back to -- to the headquarters or for some
5 artillery support to engage that target. Is that right?
6 A. Yes, if that was strictly necessary. If lives were at risk, lives
7 of our troops, civilians and so on.
8 Q. And I just want to go back to the issue of mortars. Are you
9 saying, is that your evidence that not on one occasion were mortars fired
10 on to places like Alipasino Polje or Dobrinja. Is that what you're
11 telling the Court?
12 A. I'm not claiming that no fire was opened, but I can't tell you
13 where fire was opened at what.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we at least define the
16 time? The Prosecution can, of course, ask all those questions, but every
17 time such items are discussed could they specify the time, the time when
18 this happened.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: What time are we speaking about, Witness?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the question was general. No
21 time-frame was specified. In my introductory remarks I said that the
22 artillery had been pulled out, all of it, in late 1994 or early 1995. You
23 have to understand that I can't remember all that, but we didn't have any
24 artillery from at that time on.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Your last question, what was the time-frame?
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, it was the time that the witness was
2 in Nedzarici, from 1992 to 1995.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 MR. SACHDEVA:
5 Q. Witness, you -- you said that I'm not claiming that no fire was
6 opened, so I take it therefore you agree that fire was indeed opened from
7 Nedzarici on to the area within the confrontation lines during the time
8 were at Nedzarici. Do you agree with that?
9 A. If it was necessary, fire was opened. At least that's what I
10 think. Fire was opened, but not in the period from 1992 until 1995, but
11 in the period while we have -- while we had those weapons. If you want me
12 to talk to -- about the entire period of the war, I have to say that we
13 only used those weapons while we had it. We couldn't have used it later
14 on when we didn't have it.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yet another very
17 important issue, apart from the one that I raised a moment ago, since
18 Mr. Sachdeva, my learned colleague from the Prosecution, keeps talking
19 about an area inside the lines. What lines is the Prosecution referring
20 to? Well, at least now when we're talking about Nedzarici. When we're
21 talking about Nedzarici, what lines are we talking about, inside what
22 lines, because in Nedzarici, it is in the heart of the city.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, the indictment, in my submission, is
24 very clear. I'm talking about the lines within the ABiH confrontation
25 lines in Sarajevo. I wouldn't be asking questions regarding any other
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us proceed.
3 MR. SACHDEVA:
4 Q. Witness, of course I agree that -- I'm not suggesting that you did
5 not fire when did you not -- of course, when you did not have weapons.
6 That's not what I'm suggesting. But you agree fire was -- let's say
7 mortars and the weapons that you had, that your battalion had were used
8 inside and fired onto the -- inside the confrontation lines as long as
9 they had them. You agree with that?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness is not familiar with
12 the indictment. And the witness should be explained what lines are meant
13 when the Prosecution is putting this to him. There are a lot of lines.
14 When the Prosecutor says inside the lines, when we're talking about those
15 things that are happening here in Nedzarici, what lines, inside what
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva had earlier explained that he was
18 talking about the lines within the ABiH confrontation lines in Sarajevo.
19 Is that so, Mr. Sachdeva?
20 MR. SACHDEVA: That's correct, Mr. President. I'll move on.
21 Q. Witness, let me just get some -- some facts clear about your
22 company and the battalion. I understand that you were in the 2nd Company
23 to the 2nd Battalion and positioned in Nedzarici. Is that right?
24 A. At the beginning of the war, we were the Nedzarici Battalion, an
25 independent battalion for all intents and purposes. And then later on
1 because of the lack of personnel and the fact that so many of our people
2 got killed and wounded, we were established as the 1st Battalion in the
3 brigade, and the Aerodrom, the airport settlement and part of the
4 Kasindolska street people were attached to us to form this battalion,
5 because there were so few men of military age in our area. So things
6 changed. At the beginning it was the Nedzarici battalion comprising two
7 companies, and then it was the second battalion, with less personnel, but
8 it covered the whole -- the same area.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're going to take the break.
10 [Trial Chamber confers].
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, it's 3.05. If I said 3.30, it's -- I
12 misspoke. We take the break at 3.05 for 20 minutes, resume at 3.25.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.06 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 3.27 p.m.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, please continue.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Witness, before the break, you were just talking about the merging
18 of the two battalions into one battalion in Nedzarici. And I take it that
19 that was in early 1993. Is that right?
20 A. I'm not sure. I think it was in late 1993 or thereabouts.
21 Q. And once that battalion was established, I understand that the
22 commander was a person called Svetozar Guzina. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And he remained commander up until the end of the conflict. Is
25 that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it's right that the Nedzarici battalion, your battalion, was
3 part of the Ilidza Brigade?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you know that the commander of the Ilidza Brigade was called
6 somebody called Vladimir Ododzic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you ever meet the brigade commander?
9 A. I did encounter him, but we were not introduced to each other.
10 Q. But I take it that he came to Nedzarici on a regular basis?
11 A. Unfortunately not.
12 Q. Did you ever meet General Milosevic?
13 A. Not during the war.
14 Q. And during your time in Nedzarici, were you aware of the General
15 Milosevic visiting Nedzarici, or is that something you just don't know
17 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I really didn't know that the general
18 had ever visited Nedzarici. It was quite difficult to get into
19 Nedzarici. It was not safe and it -- generally speaking I don't know if
20 the general ever visited it.
21 Q. That's fine. If you don't know, that's fine. And in Nedzarici
22 there was a former JNA barracks. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And your command or the command of the battalion, was it located
25 at those barracks?
1 A. What period are you talking about? From the moment when the
2 battalions merged or ...
3 Q. Yes. My apologies. From 1993 through to 1995.
4 A. After the 1st Battalion was established, after the merging, the
5 command was in Kasindolska street to facilitate communication with Ilidza.
6 Q. And the command at Kasindolska street, is that different to the
7 location of the barracks, the former JNA barracks?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And so the JNA barracks were - how shall I put it? - were they
10 further in, into Nedzarici, further in to the centre of Nedzarici?
11 A. Kasindolska street is not in Nedzarici at all. It's a street that
12 links Ilidza with Nedzarici and the barracks, the JNA barracks, is in
14 Q. And --
15 A. And it is adjacent to Stup.
16 Q. And also Nedzarici was the school of theology. Is that right?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And also the school or the institute for the blind, for blind
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And from 1992 through to 1995 -- or let's say 1994 and 1995, the
22 school of theology and the school for the blind were under SRK/VRS
23 control. Do you agree with that?
24 A. Yes, under the control of the Republika Srpska army. The local
25 population or whichever way you want to put it.
1 Q. And I just want to confirm your evidence that at some time in the
2 period of the war there were mortars in front of the school of theology.
3 Didn't you say that earlier on today?
4 A. Yes, in the first period. That means not in this time that you
5 specified later, but at the beginning of the war.
6 Q. And it's correct, is it not, that the -- that there were SRK
7 soldiers in the institute for the blind in the period 1994/1995?
8 A. Yes, during the entire war.
9 Q. Now, I'm just going to ask you to mark a few positions for me on a
11 MR. SACHDEVA: If I could ask for the Sarajevo street map, which
12 is 65 ter 2872, to be brought up on the screen.
13 And if the -- the left-hand -- if the left-hand, the bottom
14 left-hand corner could be enlarged, please. In fact, maybe the actual
15 area of Nedzarici could be enlarged just one more time. And if you could
16 scroll it to the right a little bit. Excellent. Thank you.
17 Q. Now, T-48, you see Nedzarici there, don't you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I'd like you to, with a blue pen, I think it's a blue pen,
20 could you just draw for the Court the confrontation lines in Nedzarici,
21 your lines.
22 A. Could we zoom in a little bit more, this portion here, so that we
23 can see the streets better?
24 Q. Is that better for you? Perhaps maybe you can start from just
25 beneath the school of theology and draw the confrontation line upwards
1 towards the school for the blind. If you can start with that portion,
2 that would be --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please turn the witness's microphone on.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you please repeat the answer, Witness.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there are some streets here
8 that didn't exist at the time or maybe they're drawn in here by mistake.
9 For instance, this one here.
10 MR. SACHDEVA:
11 Q. That's fine. And can you just put the letters VRS by the blue
12 line, please.
13 A. [Marks].
14 Q. And can you circle the school of theology and put a letter T in
15 the middle of the circle.
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. And similarly, for the school for the blind. That's --
18 A. [Marks].
19 Q. Maybe you can put a B there, please.
20 A. [Marks].
21 Q. And I'd like you to mark on the map the location of the
22 Kasindolska headquarters or the command headquarters, please.
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. If you can place HQ, the letters HQ by the circle, that would be
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. And if you can, can you also mark the location of the former JNA
3 barracks in Nedzarici.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. And maybe you can put the letters -- actually, we have a B, so
6 maybe you could put the letter K for Kasona, the Bosnian -- there you go.
7 A. [Marks].
8 Q. Thank you. Now it's also right that there was United Nations
9 presence in or in the vicinity of Nedzarici, is that right, from 1993 to
11 A. Yes. I think they were in the nursing home in Nedzarici.
12 Q. And can you place the letters UN where they were, if you know.
13 Let me suggest this to you. I understand that there was a United
14 Nations check-point just very close to the command headquarters. Is that
16 A. This is not what I said. That's at the cross roads of the main
17 road and the Branko Bujic Alaja street, as it was called at this time.
18 It's this spot here.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters remark, could the other microphone
20 for the witness be switched on, too?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please turn on the other microphone for the
22 witness. I see it is on but it is not turned in his direction. Well,
23 self-help, yes, that works.
24 MR. SACHDEVA:
25 Q. Witness for that last location that you have drawn, can you place
1 the letters UN by that circle.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. And is it also right, and maybe you can help me on this, was there
4 UN presence in the old people's home, just outside Nedzarici on the top?
5 A. Not next to Nedzarici but in Nedzarici. I think those were the
6 Dutch troops. They were observers or monitors. I don't know in what
7 period, whether in the entire period. I really can't tell you with any
9 Q. And those troops, were they -- I take it they were in ABiH
10 territory and not SRK territory?
11 A. No, you're not right.
12 Q. So they were in SRK territory?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you mark on the map where they were, please?
15 A. I think that's the building here.
16 Q. And if you could place a letter D in that circle.
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. And so it's your evidence that there were no UN personnel or UNMO,
19 United Nations Military Observers, in the old people's home on ABiH
20 territory. Is that what you understand?
21 A. I say that the old people's home that I'm talking about was in the
22 territory held by the Republika Srpska army, and it was open throughout
23 the war. It never closed. It -- it housed people of various ethnic
24 backgrounds and the UN monitors there were. At least we could see the
25 flag on the building from afar.
1 Q. Now, let's talk about the -- well, perhaps -- no, I'm going to
2 come back to the mop.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Let's -- is it possible to save this map just in
4 case we lose the markings?
5 Thank you.
6 Q. Now, you said in evidence today with respect to the school for the
7 blind that the building had two floors, two storeys. Do you remember
8 telling the Court that?
9 A. As far as I can remember, it had two storeys.
10 Q. Well, it actually had three, did it not? It had three storeys at
12 A. Well, I'm not quite sure, but I think there were two storeys.
13 It's simple to check that, but I -- I'm not going to be claiming that it
14 had two or more or less, but it was a low building, at any rate.
15 Q. Well, let's -- well, perhaps I'll tender the map now and if I need
16 to I'll --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P783, Your Honours.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: If I could now ask for Prosecution Exhibit 100 to
20 be brought up on the screen.
21 Q. Now, Witness, you see a photograph on the screen?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you see a circle with the S inside the circle?
24 A. Yes, I can.
25 Q. And can you see a building at the right hand -- on the right-hand
1 side of the circle just at the edge of the circle? Do you see that
2 building there?
3 A. I can see it.
4 Q. That's the school for the blind, is it not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you can see there that it has at least three storeys, does it
8 A. Yes, you're right.
9 Q. And the line -- you see the line going straight across the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You would agree at least that represents the confrontation line
13 between the VRS and the ABiH. Do you agree with that?
14 A. Approximately, yes.
15 Q. Now, if you look beyond that line and you'll see two -- they're
16 actually the letters Gs. There are two red circles but they're Gs. Do
17 you see those two Gs?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And those Gs refer to -- they represent the word "garage,"
20 garages. And you would agree with me, would you not, that the school for
21 the blind, the three storeys for the school for the blind, is higher than
22 the two garages that you see the two Gs. Do you agree with that?
23 A. Yes, I will agree with you, if we disregard all the other
24 buildings that are in this area.
25 Q. I'm just simply referring to the school for the blind and the two
1 garages. You agree?
2 A. Yes, I agree. And the street is also lower.
3 Q. You also see -- you see at the end, you see a set of red circles.
4 Do you see those circles at the very back of the picture by the apartment
6 A. No, I can't see the red circles.
7 Q. If you -- you see the apartment blocks?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not very distinct. I think you better find
9 another way of having him identify it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see it.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Point again with the cursor.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: Perhaps if the cursor could move to the red
13 circles. There you go.
14 Q. You see where the cursor is, Witness?
15 A. Yes, I can see it, and there is one red circle there.
16 Q. But you see that circle, nevertheless. Is that right?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And you would agree with me that from the school for the blind,
19 from that building there is a direct line of sight to the location that
20 the circle depicts?
21 A. In this situation, yes, but in the situation back then, I'm not
22 sure if there was a line of sight to that area. This is a different
23 situation. I already stated in a previous answer that we were encircled
24 and the enemy side, in fact, we had set up the screens to make it possible
25 for the people to move, and that was identical on both sides. Both sides
1 did that. So in such a situation, we can only guess what we can see now,
2 and as to what could be seen during the war, that's highly questionable.
3 So these are ambiguous questions. In the situation perhaps can you see,
4 perhaps you can't see, because there are buildings here between --
5 Q. Witness --
6 A. -- these two areas. Yes.
7 Q. I'm sorry. If I wanted to ask you whether you could see that
8 during the war. I would have asked that question. So I'm simply
9 referring to this photograph and you can confirm that from the school for
10 the blind to where the red circle is, there is a line of sight with
11 respect to this photograph?
12 A. From this perspective, yes, but I can't tell you -- I cannot
13 either confirm or deny that you can actually see it from the building.
14 But it is impossible actually to estimate that from this perspective.
15 Q. And --
16 A. I don't know what to base my estimate on, and how can I tell you
17 anything when from this angle you can't really tell how high the buildings
18 are. There is a slight slope here, an upward slope from the institute.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, the witness should be asked
21 what -- from what position on this building would he be able to say that
22 there is light of sight, from the ground floor, from the first floor, from
23 the second floor, from the roof. The witness should be asked where could
24 this line of sight be, and if the witness can tell us that at all, if he
25 weren't in the position where it is.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You can ask that in re-examination.
2 MR. SACHDEVA:
3 Q. Witness, before we continue with this line of questioning, I just
4 want to go back to your answer. You spoke about -- you spoke about the
5 setting up of screens on both sides. Do you remember saying that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And so on the ABiH side or within the ABiH confrontation lines,
8 the screens and barricades were set up, weren't they?
9 A. Yes, on both sides.
10 Q. Let's just stick to the -- to the ABiH side, inside the
11 confrontation lines.
12 And it's right, is it not, that these barricades and screens were
13 typically established at cross roads at certain crossing points like
14 Marindvor. Do you agree with that?
15 A. I don't know about Marindvor and what went on there. In our part
16 of town it was placed at cross roads along the length of roads, wherever
17 there were populated areas and throughout the area of -- throughout the
18 area that was exposed to combat activities. Don't ask me about Marindvor
19 or other such specific cases that I don't know anything about.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Let's stick to your answer
21 about the cross roads in populated areas within the confrontation lines.
22 And it's correct that the barricades were established so that civilians
23 would not be hit by sniper fire emanating from the SRK side. Isn't that
24 the reason?
25 A. The reason for placing the barricades was to secure the first line
1 as far as possible. The first line was normally free of any population on
2 both sides. It was used for the passage of vehicles and movement of
3 people, whereas the first line was also there to provide protection for
4 soldiers who were there. They were the largest presence there. If you
5 look at these buildings on our side, the buildings were terribly
6 devastated and abandoned in that particular area. The building we were
7 referring to, the institute for the blind, there were people on duty
8 there. I didn't go there. It wasn't safe, but there was a rotation of
9 duty troops. They were on duty in the basement, also in the building
10 across that one -- across from that one.
11 Q. Witness --
12 A. It was the soldiers who were mostly present in the area along the
13 confrontation line.
14 As for the civilians, they were withdrawn further back for their
15 own safety. People did not live here next to the confrontation line.
16 This photograph we see here does not reflect the situation. On our side
17 the buildings were burnt down. This isn't what the situation was back
18 then. It was soldiers who were mostly present in these areas at the time.
19 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. I just want to follow up on your
20 answer where you said that the -- in our part of town, the barricades were
21 placed along the length of roads wherever there were populated areas. So
22 I'm putting to you that on both sides, but on the ABiH side, barricades
23 and screens were erected to protect the civilians from fire coming from
24 the SRK side. Do you agree with that or you don't?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my colleague has
2 noticed that on page 116, lines 10 to 15, do not correspond at all to
3 what -- or, rather, many things don't correspond to what the witness said,
4 and we will ask for the transcript to be corrected in writing.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I note that we have been alerted to this
6 procedure. The Defence or any other party may avail themselves of it.
7 MR. SACHDEVA:
8 Q. Witness --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yeah. Judge Mindua has a question.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. Sachdeva, but while
11 we are still on the subject and while we still have this photograph in
12 front of us, we have this house for the blind. I have a question to put
13 to the witness.
14 Witness, did you yourself go to this house for the blind?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. You said that there
17 were people on duty and that there -- they took it in turns to stand guard
18 there. When they were standing guard in front of the house, do you know
19 what kind of weapons they had?
20 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And do you know what kind of
22 weapons they had?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had infantry weapons. All
24 those units had automatic and semi-automatic rifles, hand-grenades. We
25 did not go up there, because this picture clearly slows that the line of
1 buildings on the first line that was held by the BH army dominated that
2 area, and it amounted to suicide to move along that neighbourhood. You
3 can see these few houses here in relation to the vast area covered by
4 high-rise buildings that seemed to be dominating the area.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. I don't wish to bother
6 Mr. Sachdeva too much, but could you tell us what the firing distance of
7 these automatic or semi-automatic weapons were which you just mentioned?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that for precise targeting,
9 you can have over 1.000 metres in range, but for these automatic rifles I
10 believe it is 300 metres that they can reach, if one wants to have precise
12 Besides, optical visibility did not allow for a greater range to
13 be achieved from these weapons.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, witness.
15 MR. SACHDEVA:
16 Q. Witness, before we -- before His Honour Judge Mindua asked you a
17 question, I was waiting for an answer to my last question, and I will
18 repeat the question for you.
19 And the question was: "I just want to follow up on your answer
20 where you had said that in our part of town the barricades were placed
21 along the length of roads wherever there were populated areas. So I am
22 putting to you, sir, that on both sides, but on the ABiH side in
23 particular, the barricades and screens were erected to protect the
24 civilians from sniper fire emanating from the SRK side.
25 Do you agree with that or not?
1 A. In this concrete case, yes and no. There was a particular
2 situation in Nedzarici. The civilian population that only remained in the
3 lower part of Nedzarici was compelled to use, to take the Kasindol street
4 in order to reach Ilidza. They had to use this high-risk road in order to
5 reach Ilidza.
6 In the areas we are specifically looking at, they had more
7 possibilities to reach the town behind screens, but if they used such a
8 road, then the answer is yes. In short, it depended on a case-to-case
9 basis. Concretely, the first row of houses, if the civilians were not
10 there, this means that soldiers were there, not civilians. However,
11 further back at some of the cross roads there, it is quite possible that
12 there were civilians walking along.
13 Q. And so just to understand your answer, at those cross roads within
14 the confrontation lines, that is, in ABiH territory, you agree that the
15 barricades were erected to protect the civilians from SRK fire. That's
16 how I understand your answer.
17 A. In order to ensure the safe movement of the army and civilians,
18 just as on our [Realtime transcript read in error "other"] side, yes.
19 Q. Now, you told my friend Mr. Tapuskovic that you --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This time this particular point
22 is very important. The witness said "on our side," and here it is written
23 "on the other side." This is quite clear in our language. It was done
24 on our side so that the civilians would not be at risk on our side, not on
25 the other side.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that she said "our."
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness literally said "on
3 our side," and this is vast difference.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. The interpreter points out that she herself
5 did say "our." So that's understood.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: May I just seek a clarification. I understand -- I
7 understood the witness to have said on -- yes to the question that -- that
8 the barriers were erected on the ABiH territory to the question that they
9 were -- to protect them from SRK fire just as we did on our side. That's
10 how I understood the question -- the answer, sorry.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just as we did -- yes, yes. That is so.
12 MR. SACHDEVA:
13 Q. Witness, you testified earlier when being asked questions by
14 Mr. Tapuskovic and also by His Honour Judge Mindua that you did not visit
15 the school for the blind. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And so in your time in Nedzarici you never went there?
18 A. No. I repeated that several times and I also stated the reasons
19 why I did not.
20 Q. I'm not interested in the reasons at the moment.
21 You testified in the Galic case, did you not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I take it that when you testified in the Galic case, you-- you
24 took the declaration to be as truthful and as accurate as possible. Do
25 you remember taking that declaration?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you testified in the Galic case in October 2002. You remember
4 A. I remember giving the statement, yes.
5 Q. And you remember being asked questions by Mr. Pileta-Zanin and
6 Madam Pilipovic for the Defence and for the Prosecution by Mr. Ierace.
7 Does that -- do you remember that?
8 A. Yes. I do recall them asking me questions.
9 Q. And, witness, so you remember that when you were cross-examined by
10 the Prosecution lawyer, Mr. Ierace, when he asked you if you had visited
11 the school for the blind, your answer was, and I quote: "Only once,
12 escorted by the commander of the company during the war."
13 Next question: "When was that?"
14 "It was sometime -- somewhere early in 1995. I'm not quite
16 Does that evidence that you gave under oath in the Galic case,
17 does that cause you to reflect on your answer today?
18 A. I don't recall ever saying that.
19 Q. Well, witness, you know that when you gave evidence in the Galic
20 case, the setup in the courtroom was as it is now. In other words, there
21 was simultaneous translation by official translators, there was an
22 official court reporter, and it is clear that your evidence would have
23 been correctly recorded. You agree with that?
24 A. A transcript was made, but I did not follow that, just as I'm not
25 following that today. I'm not following how it is being interpreted or
1 how it is it being noted down.
2 Q. So what is actually true. Are you not telling the truth here or
3 were you not telling the truth in the Galic case?
4 A. I'm telling the truth.
5 Q. In which case?
6 A. And I've explained that it was not possible to get there. There
7 may have been a misunderstanding. This may have been misinterpreted or
8 there have been a mistake concerning the location, but I said repeatedly
9 today that the whole area was at a terrible risk and no army movements
10 were there, even if somebody was wounded there, nobody would move around
11 the area.
12 Q. So you didn't go there?
13 A. No.
14 Q. But you have already told the Court today that there were SRK
15 soldiers in that building, weren't there?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you also know that on the third floor there were SRK soldiers
18 with rifles?
19 A. I don't know on which floor they were. I have my doubts about
20 them possibly being -- daring to be on the third floor.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I need to go into private session,
22 with your leave.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 7175 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 MR. SACHDEVA:
8 Q. We were talking about your evidence in the Galic case. You
9 remember my questions about that?
10 A. Concretely.
11 Q. And do you remember telling the Court that -- well, I'll read the
12 answer you gave and this was in respect of orders you received from your
13 company commander. And your answer was -- and there was in respect of
14 orders about targeting civilians, and your answer was: "On many occasions
15 we were given orders, because we were always told that we were being
16 watched by the international community like under a magnifying glass and
17 that we were always -- we were always accused of doing things and this is
18 why we will to protect our military pride."
19 Do you remember saying that?
20 MR. SACHDEVA: And for the benefit of the Defence, this is
21 transcript reference 14210 on the 22nd of October, 2002.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honours.
24 Your Honours, could the Prosecutor please present the entire part
25 of the testimony relating to civilians, rather than giving it in this
1 shortened version? He should present everything that was said on this
2 topic. He should present the question and the answer in full.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, why not just put -- put the question as
5 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I represented to the Court that the
6 answer that the witness gave in Galic was a response to a question about
7 whether he was given orders not to fire at civilians, and I read out his
8 answer and this was all in open session, and so the Defence must have the
9 transcript. But I will -- with your leave, I will ask him -- I will ask
10 the witness a follow-on question.
11 Q. Witness, it's correct, though, is it not, that there were
12 accusations levelled against the SRK and in particular your colleagues in
13 Nedzarici of doing things, as you said. Is that right?
14 A. There were constant accusations, but these amounted to attempts at
15 showing us in a negative light. You have only taken a small detail out of
16 my answer. We were under constant orders not to open fire unnecessarily,
17 not to target civilians. General Milosevic is known to be a responsible
18 person and civilian.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Person and soldier, interpreter's correction.
20 A. [Interpretation] We received written and verbal orders to respect
21 the conventions governing warfare throughout the war. Not only for the
22 sake of the international community, as is indicated in this section of my
23 answer -- if that indeed was my answer. It's been quite a while ...
24 Q. Witness, okay. Thank you. Let me try and ask you a few more
25 questions about your answer.
1 Firstly, I understand that you testified here today that you never
2 met General Milosevic. Is that right?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. And, well, let's concentrate first on the accusations. I take it
5 that these accusations were that the SRK were firing and targeting
6 civilians on the ABiH side. Those would the subject matter of the
7 acquisitions. Is that right?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Prosecutor is
10 quite rightly dealing with the witness's testimony in the Galic case.
11 However, we analysed this witness's testimony in that case thoroughly and
12 we know its contents. There were accusations that were levelled at them
13 but that was publisized by the media and this is the part that my learned
14 friend Mr. Sachdeva left out. That's the part of the answer he did not
15 quote. And that's what this is all about.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: That could be a matter that you could raise in
18 re-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic.
19 Mr. Sachdeva, let us move on.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Mr. President.
21 Q. Witness, I just want you to answer my question. I was asking you
22 about the subject matter of the accusations, and I'm putting to you that
23 the subject matter of these accusations was that the SRK were targeting
24 and firing at civilians on the ABiH side. Those were the accusations,
25 were they not?
1 A. They were accusations, yes.
2 Q. And you also said that you were given -- you were regularly
3 told -- you were regularly given orders not to fire at civilians. Is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Why was there a need to regularly tell you and your colleagues not
7 to fire on civilians?
8 A. Well, I suppose it's only natural that the army should be
9 instructed in the rules of conduct. It is probably the duty of the
10 superiors to instruct their subordinates on how to behave. I think it is
11 only normal. These are orders just as any others.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
13 A. That's my opinion.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Moreover, Mr. Sachdeva, the witness did not
15 acknowledge that there was a need to be told regularly. So the question
16 itself was a little improper.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm guided, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, can I suggest to you that the reason why you were
19 given these orders was because the United Nations and the international
20 community made regular protests to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command
21 about the targeting of civilians inside the confrontation lines. Do you
22 agree with that?
23 A. Well, I cannot deny or confirm. That would be speculation about
24 what could have been, would have been.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Please ask another question.
1 MR. SACHDEVA:
2 Q. Witness 48, you said that -- well, let me just confirm your
3 evidence. Is it your evidence that you received written and verbal orders
4 not to target civilians? Is that what you're telling the Court today?
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, this question
7 has been answered, and several times. I fail to see why the same question
8 is asked a third time.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I have some sympathy with that.
10 Mr. Sachdeva.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, Mr. President, in my respectful submission,
12 there is a reason why I asked the witness to confirm this evidence and --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Proceed. Let us see how you develop it.
14 MR. SACHDEVA:
15 Q. So, witness, can I -- you confirm that you were given written and
16 verbal orders not to target civilians?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, he never mentioned
19 that he ever received a single written order. He spoke only about verbal,
20 oral orders. He never mentioned any written orders.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, he just confirmed it.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: And --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Were you given written orders as well, Witness?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, from our command, the battalion
25 command. The commander would usually come to us with a piece of paper
1 that would say that, especially during a truce, no fire should be opened,
2 only when lives were at extreme risk, because a lot of things were
3 fabricated by the Republika Srpska army and many things were staged in
4 order to paint us in the media in a bad light.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that is why we had to be doubly
8 MR. SACHDEVA: And, Mr. President, for the record the reason why I
9 asked the witness to confirm his answer was because he did indeed state
10 that on page 9 to 19 -- on line 9 to 19 on page 125.
11 Q. So, again, Witness, I'm going to ask you the same series of
12 questions. You testified in the Galic case, didn't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you testified and you made the declaration. You testified
15 under oath, did you not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And when you gave evidence in the Galic case when Mr. Ierace
18 cross-examined you, he also asked you the same question about the orders
19 that you received?
20 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I really can't remember.
21 Q. Let me try and refresh your memory and then you can provide an
23 The question was: "Now, you have told us that those orders were
24 given during that period." And you said, "On many occasions."
25 And the question was: "How frequently, was it once a week, once a
1 fortnight, once a month." And your answer was: "At least once a week."
2 The next question was: Did you ever receive any orders in writing
3 during the period, that is, orders on anything between September 1992 and
4 August 1994.
5 And your answer was: "No position of the line wherever there was
6 soldiers at that post, nobody ever received a written order. It was
7 always orally made."
8 So my question to you is: What is correct? Did you receive
9 written and verbal orders or did you receive only verbal orders or did you
10 receive orders at all? What is your answer?
11 A. We received orders about the proper conduct, discipline, about not
12 firing, and other -- either by phone --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Sorry. I
14 have to stop you, because Mr. Tapuskovic is on his feet.
15 To say what?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please, this
17 transcript relates to the General Galic case at the General Galic trial,
18 and this is what his answers were about, and he has already drawn a
19 difference here when talking about the time period for -- where -- the
20 time period that is relevant for the indictment against Dragomir Milosevic
21 and he made quite specific answers. Galic's indictment ends with August
22 1994. And now we're insisting on some things where the Defence, okay, now
23 it's up to the assessment that the Defence does not find at least at all
24 controversial. But he explained how things looked at the time relevant
25 for this indictment. And now stress is placed on the Galic case now, and
1 we find ourselves in a situation where the question is what time should we
2 insist on.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, the procedure that counsel is
4 following is quite -- quite ordinary in criminal proceedings. There's
5 nothing unusual about it, and I wish we could just move ahead quickly. We
6 must conclude this witness's evidence today. I had hoped we would have
7 done it by half past 4.00.
9 MR. SACHDEVA:
10 Q. Witness --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you have an explanation, Witness, for the
12 difference in your testimony? Maybe there is a simple explanation.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply can't understand the period
14 that we're talking about, so we didn't make any difference here, and also
15 I don't understand what a written order entails. If a commander arrives
16 carrying a piece of paper in his hand, where something is written he is
17 not giving us a written order. He tells us, the battalion commander says
18 that you should not open fire unless the situation is such-and-such, you
19 have to make sure that you don't fire at civilians at lines where it is
20 possible to do so. To be quite specific, my position faced an unfinished
21 building with business premises, so this order came --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
23 We have the witness's answer. The difference is explained, he
24 says, by how one interprets what is a written order.
25 Let us move on.
1 MR. SACHDEVA:
2 Q. Mr. -- Witness, excuse me.
3 Can I ask for -- actually, Mr. President, excuse me, can I ask for
4 65 ter 03100 to be brought up on the screen, and that is the second -- I'm
5 interested in the second photograph.
6 Now, witness, you remember I was asking you earlier on today about
7 whether there was a line of sight from the school for the blind to the
8 area where the red circle was. You remember those questions?
9 A. Yes, I remember.
10 Q. And if you see the photograph on your screen, the area where the
11 red circle -- the area the red circle depicted is this passageway. That's
12 the area, and I want to ask you, you can see, can you not -- in the
13 background you can see a building through that passageway and I suggest to
14 you that building is the school for the blind. Would you agree with that?
15 A. I can see a building here, but to tell you the truth, I really
16 can't say with any certainty what building it is, but, yes, you can see a
17 building there. Yes, can you see the building, but I can't really tell
18 you whether there were any barriers here or obstacles. I don't think you
19 have any photograph dating from that period or something like that.
20 Now can you see the building, yes.
21 Q. So that building is indeed the school for the blind, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And so from this photograph there is a line of sight from the
24 school for the blind into this passageway?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you know that in this passageway a 15-year-old boy was shot
2 dead by soldiers in that building. Did you hear of that in October 1994?
3 A. Well, how am I supposed to know that?
4 Q. I'm not saying that you're supposed to. I'm just asking if you
5 know that or if you've heard of that. Either you did or you didn't.
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. Witness, you remember you were telling the Court --
8 MR. SACHDEVA: Before I move on, may I have this exhibit admitted,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, there series of photographs the
12 school for the blind were admitted as a Court Exhibit C10 on the 20th of
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's already exhibited.
15 MR. SACHDEVA: I just want to -- presumably it would be referred
16 to the evidence. In other words, I understand that it is exhibited.
17 However, I'm not sure, for the record whether it is exhibited as a court
18 exhibit it would be able to be referred to the evidence that is being
19 elicited. I don't know.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Like any
21 other, yes.
22 MR. SACHDEVA:
23 Q. Witness, you remember we were talking about the accusations, the
24 accusations about sniping at civilians. You remember that?
25 A. Well, you did ask something about that.
1 Q. And you recall that I asked you or I suggested to you that the
2 United Nations would regularly protest with the SRK command about such
3 activity. In other words, the targetings of civilians within the
4 confrontation lines. You remember I suggested that to you?
5 A. Yes, you did put something like that to me.
6 Q. And I just want to confirm that the Ilidza Brigade, within the
7 Ilidza Brigade the Nedzarici -- Nedzarici area and indeed the school for
8 the blind was part of the Ilidza Brigade area of responsibility. That's
9 right, is it not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Pages 7187-7191 redacted.
3 Q. Witness, this is another United Nations document and it is from
4 the 11th of July 1994. And you don't have a B/C/S version here, so I'm
5 going to read out a paragraph to you. And this is where it talks about
6 the warring -- the activities of the warring parties. And it says: "The
7 United Nations military observers confirm from the spot as well as a
8 hospital visit that one Bosnian civilian male, age 17, was injured by
9 sniping at grid reference BP 863578 near the house for the blind people at
10 Alipasino Polje. From BP 859578, BSA side," that is, Bosnian Serb army
11 side. It goes on to say: "It may be highlighted that this is the third
12 casualty (all civilians) in the same spot in the last few days."
13 So the United Nations is reporting that there been a series of
14 civilian casualties in that same spot and it appears that the sniping has
15 emanated from the school for the blind. And so I put the same suggestion
16 to you that indeed there was sniping by SRK soldiers in the school for the
17 blind at civilians within the confrontation lines, the ABiH confrontation
18 lines. What's your answer to that?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, no, or I don't know. What's your answer?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, if I have to be brief.
21 But, Your Honours, can I say something? Not only with regard to this
22 case, but in general, it is quite interesting to see how many United
23 Nations texts there are concerning victims on the other side. I'm not
24 denying that, but it is interesting.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm not
1 going to allow that. Just answer the question and I suggest that you can
2 answer yes or you can answer no, or I don't know. We don't want the
3 comments on the United Nations.
4 What is your answer?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was not my intention.
6 My answer is I don't know.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let's proceed.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, may I ask that this document be
9 enter into evidence.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As P785, Your Honours.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: And that concludes my cross-examination.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
14 Mr. Tapuskovic, any re-examination?
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have quite a few
16 questions. And our time is up.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: How long will you be? Because it would seem that
19 we should try not to have this witness brought back on Monday.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do indeed have
21 quite a few questions. First of all, in relation to document 5783 and
22 also in relation to a number of other documents.
23 I was quite concise in putting my questions. Mr. Sachdeva, I
24 believe, although I do not wish to go into that, spent twice as much time
25 as I did with the witness. I am now asked and I can't set a time.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Witness, you
2 will have to return on Monday. I regret that very much. But The Hague
3 has a lot to offer. You can do some window shopping or indeed some other
4 kinds of activity.
5 The charms of The Hague are many.
6 We are adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.58 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 25th day of June, 2007,
9 at 9.00 a.m.