1 Wednesday, 27 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: PREDRAG TRAPARA
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
12 And before you begin, I think I should explain why we're starting
13 at 9.30, or 9.31. The witness who was testifying yesterday and who would
14 normally be testifying today is ill and is unable to testify. That meant
15 that the next witness was called up. That, however, created some
16 difficulties for the Prosecution because the Prosecutor who was to take
17 this witness was not -- was not available at that time. We find that to
18 be quite understandable and therefore we agreed to start at 9.30.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you for that, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please proceed, Mr. Tapuskovic.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
23 Thank you. We will begin the examination-in-chief of the next witness,
24 but before I put any questions --
25 MR. DOCHERTY: I am not getting the translation.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think it has just started.
2 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you.
3 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, before I ask you anything, please pay
5 attention to the monitor before you, and when the text stops moving, only
6 then begin answering my questions, as you see happening now.
7 Can you tell Their Honours your full name.
8 A. My name is Predrag Trapara.
9 Q. Please look at the text on the monitor and wait for it to stop
10 before answering, always.
11 You were born on the 20th of January, 1964.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You were born in Sarajevo, in the municipality called Centar.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You completed primary school at Vrace and secondary building
16 construction school, architecture, in Sarajevo.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you performed your civic duty in the JNA in 1983.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Until the beginning of the conflict, you were employed as a
21 postman in post office number 2 in Sarajevo.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All your life you lived in Lukavica, where you were born, and you
24 still reside there today.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us approximately when you joined the army of
2 Republika Srpska?
3 A. On the 10th of April, 1992.
4 Q. Can you tell Their Honours what brigade you were a member of?
5 A. I was in the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade.
6 Q. Can you tell Their Honours who the commander of the brigade was?
7 A. The commander of the brigade was Colonel Veljko Stojanovic.
8 Q. Who was the battalion commander of your battalion?
9 A. In the 2nd Infantry Battalion, the first battalion commander was
10 Mr. Brane Pakalovic, who was wounded by a shell in Dobrinska Street.
11 Q. And then?
12 A. After him it was the late Mr. Radomir Stojanovic, who was killed
13 by a sniper near the police academy at Vrace.
14 Q. And then?
15 A. And the third commander was Aleksandar Petrovic.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we go very
18 briefly into private session. I have not asked for any protective
19 measures for this witness, but in view of the fact that he does not wish
20 to imperil the security of anybody else or himself, I would like him to
21 mention some names in private session.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Private session.
23 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you -- can you now tell us what happened next?
3 A. When the policemen got out of the car, they only asked, Who is the
4 driver of this truck? The driver reported to them and said, I am.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. They didn't question anybody else. A policeman got on the truck
7 with him and they drove off towards Vrace.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you say what you found out later on? Did you know
9 what the cargo consisted of and what happened to you and to all those who
10 had any connections with this? But don't mention any names now.
11 A. Up to the house where we parked the truck, I didn't know what was
12 in the truck. When the truck stopped, then they told me what was in it.
13 After that, on the following day, my cousin and I continued doing our work
14 in post office number 2 in Sarajevo.
15 Q. Thank you, but you didn't give us the most important piece of
16 information. What was in the truck, and what happened? You say the
17 police stopped that, so what happened next?
18 A. Yes. The police stopped the truck, as I said, and they went off
19 towards Vrace. Later on --
20 Q. Please, Mr. Trapara, I'm asking you what was in the truck, what
21 happened to you and what happened to the other people.
22 A. The truck contained weapons. What kind of weapons and how many, I
23 didn't know. Until the point in time when I was brought in to the
24 military court in the Viktor Bubanj prison in Sarajevo, seven days after
25 that event, and we had been working at our regular jobs for seven days.
1 Q. Please explain to Their Honours. Were there any proceedings?
2 A. Yes, yes. I was brought in and I spent 29 days in the Viktor
3 Bubanj prison, after which I was released. And I continued working at my
4 job until the 10th of April, 1992.
5 Q. So this was --
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed, Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So this was sometime in September.
10 A. Just before the end of October and then until the end of November,
11 that's the time I spent in the Viktor Bubanj prison.
12 Q. That was in 1991. What police was that?
13 A. It was the police of the Socialist Federative Republic of
15 Q. And whose military court were you tried before?
16 A. The military court of the Yugoslav People's Army, JNA.
17 Q. What happened to the weapons?
18 A. They were taken over by the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army.
19 Q. And until the beginning of the conflict, you didn't have any
21 A. No. It never occurred to me to get a weapon before the conflict
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, I'm not quite certain about the
24 reason why the witness was arrested and apparently prosecuted. What were
25 the charges raised against him?
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there were
2 proceedings against a group, as he explained, against a group of persons
3 which gained in an illegal manner weapons. And I'm not going to go into
4 the reasons that the witness talked about. The police of the Socialist
5 Federative Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or, rather, the federal or that
6 state of the former Yugoslavia, took measures and arrested the people who
7 acquired the weapons illegally, after which proceedings were conducted
8 because they possessed illegally acquired weapons. And because of that he
9 spent about a month in prison. The weapons were seized via the police and
10 the proceedings were held before the military tribunal in Sarajevo. This
11 was in the autumn of 1994. No, no, actually 1991. And then after that he
12 continued to work as a postman in the post office until the relevant
14 There is a document about this. I knew about this from before and
15 I believed that the witness needed to say something to you about that
16 before moving to the rest of the testimony that relates to the indictment.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. I just did not hear the witness tell
18 us this. But I think you should move on because this may not be strictly
19 relevant to the case. So let's move up to the time of the indictment.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have a different view, and I
21 will speak one day about why this is relevant. But I do accept your
22 ruling at this point and we will move on to the relevant period.
23 Following the decision regarding the adjudicated facts, I hope that we
24 will no longer be in a situation when we cannot deal with the period of
25 time from 1992 up until the end of the war anymore, and in that respect
1 the Defence has to -- is, to a major degree, damaged. We will deal a
2 little bit with that time period and the time period encompassing these
3 things that the witness talked about that have to do with the things that
4 preceded the conflict, the Green Berets, and all of that. All of that is
5 important. To date, the Defence was not in a position to deal with things
6 related to the adjudicated facts which we can actually dispute each one,
7 except for maybe a single one. However, we will continue.
8 Q. Witness, what was your position in that brigade?
9 A. I was a company commander.
10 Q. I would like to ask you this first: You were born and you lived
11 in Sarajevo. Can you say anything about what Sarajevo is for you?
12 A. Sarajevo comprises ten municipalities: Stari Grad, Centar, Novo
13 Sarajevo, Novi Grad, Ilidza, Vogosca, Hadzici, Ilijas, Pale, and Trnovo.
14 Q. Thank you very much. It's good that you remembered to mention
15 each one.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was conferring with my colleague,
18 Mr. Tapuskovic, because it seems to me that the pertinent question is not
19 what, in the witness's view, is Sarajevo but what is the relevant
20 geographical area for the purposes of this case, for the purposes of the
21 indictment. The two things may not be the same.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I know. I don't
23 think that this deserves -- I wouldn't want to say that. What I wanted to
24 hear from him was -- well, my question was, actually, but I cannot run. I
25 think it's necessary for the witness to first state with Sarajevo is, and
1 now if he can - actually, that was going to be my next question - to say
2 what the characteristics are.
3 Q. I'm not even going to ask you in a different way, other than what
4 is characteristic about those areas that you spoke about for you, as
5 someone who was born there. In the geographical sense, what is
7 A. Compared to other towns, what is characteristic of Sarajevo is a
8 large number of hills and elevations which I -- where I played as a child
9 and I toured most of them as a child all around. As a child, I was a
10 member of the Scouts organisation and I know most of those elevations very
12 Q. Thank you. And now can you mention the elevations that are so
13 characteristic for the town of Sarajevo that had the municipalities that
14 you mentioned?
15 A. First, I would start with the Mojmilo hill, which is just above my
16 house where I was born, where I have land and had been living there, or
17 our family had been living there for centuries. Stup hill, Sokolje, Zuc,
18 Hum, Grdonj. And then looking from the southwest side, and I spent a lot
19 of time on the mountain of Trebevic, then Vidakovic, Bistrik, Kula, Colina
20 Kapa, Golo Brdo, and Zlatiste.
21 Q. And was there anything all the way to the east, if you recall?
22 A. Yes. There was Hresa. Perhaps I forgot that.
23 Q. You were a member of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. I'm going to
24 ask you directly if you know when General Dragomir Milosevic became the
25 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
1 A. General Dragomir Milosevic became commander of the
2 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in August 1994.
3 Q. And now, since you've already said that in April 1992 you joined
4 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps as a soldier and up until the time that
5 Dragomir Milosevic became commander, how much time passed before he
6 actually came?
7 A. Two years and four months, approximately.
8 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you: When he assumed the post of
9 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander, can you please tell me, these
10 elevations that you mentioned, who had control over them? Was it the army
11 of Republika Srpska or the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. Well, let me go in the same order that I mentioned them. First,
13 Mojmilo. Along its entire length was under the control of the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Its dominant elevation was at some 680 metres. Stup
15 hill was also under the control of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Sokolje hill was also under the control of the army of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. Zuc hill was also under the control of the army of Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina. Hum also was under the control of the army of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina. Grdonj was also under the control of the army of Bosnia and
21 Hresa was under the control of the army of Republika Srpska. And
22 then in the southwestern area, Mount Trebevic, where Vidikovac was, was
23 under the control of the army of Republika Srpska.
24 Colina Kapa was under the control of the army of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina. Bistrik, Kula, was under the control of the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Debelo Brdo was under the control of the army of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zlatiste was under the control of the army of
3 Republika Srpska, partially.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask you, Witness, when you say that a
5 particular hill was under the control of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 does that mean that the army of Republika Srpska was not present at all on
7 that hill, did not occupy any part of that hill, or do you mean that the
8 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina occupied a dominant portion of the hill and the
9 army of Republika Srpska did not? In other words, just explain what you
10 mean by "under the control of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say "under the control," what
12 I mean was what you said second. The dominant elevations at those hills
13 were under the control of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, specifically
14 Mojmilo hill. All dominant elevations at Mojmilo hill were held by the
15 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the slope - the terrain is at a slope - in
16 the middle of that slope were the forces of the army of Republika Srpska.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. And now that we're talking about this, perhaps you can just show
20 the Judges, and we can go as quickly as possible through that, since you
21 said that the army of Republika Srpska was on the slopes of Mojmilo, you
22 can indicate where you were with your company, where your positions were.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please show the witness
24 map 65 ter number 2872.
25 Can we show this southern section of the map. Can we zoom in on
1 that section, please. Yes, thank you.
2 Q. Witness, can you please indicate first where your house was? Are
3 you able to see it here?
4 A. Just one moment, please. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please mark that spot with the letter K.
6 A. [Marks].
7 Q. And now can you please draw the line of separation, precisely the
8 place where you were, you and your company.
9 A. This is the area of responsibility of my company, approximately.
10 Q. And where did this line emerge?
11 A. It went all along Mojmilo, below Mojmilo, to Vrace, where it
12 reached the hill. At the other end it went beneath Mojmilo and then this
13 way, where the line of separation went through Dobrinja IV. This here was
14 the area of responsibility of my company.
15 Q. Can you please indicate with a blue line the area of
16 responsibility of your company. Just one moment, please.
17 A. With a blue line.
18 Q. Well, now you have a different colour, so now show where your
19 company was.
20 A. [Marks].
21 Q. Can you please mark where the Mojmilo ridge was? Can you mark
23 A. Bogusevica was here and the ridge, Greben was right here.
24 Q. Just one moment.
25 A. This is the peak.
1 Q. Can you please mark that with the letter M.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. So these were the lines, more or less; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please save the map, and I
6 would like to tender it in this form as a Defence exhibit.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D276, Your Honours.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. When Dragomir Milosevic became the SRK commander, as you said, in
11 August, what was the situation at that point in time in terms of combat
12 and weaponry?
13 A. At that time when General Milosevic came, there was a truce at the
14 lines and heavy weapons were withdrawn to 20 kilometres away from the town
15 in the direction of Trnovo and Nisicka Visoravan.
16 Q. When it comes to your positions, can you describe those for us?
17 Where did you spend your time?
18 A. You mean the troops?
19 Q. While on military assignments.
20 A. In trenches.
21 Q. What did you have in terms of weapons?
22 A. In terms of weapons, each soldier had his own personal arm, be it
23 an automatic or a semi-automatic rifle, as well as some heavier pieces
24 which belonged to us according to the military establishment. We had
25 anti-aircraft machine-guns and two Brownings.
1 Q. Were you in possession of those throughout the war?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Which of those did you not have when Dragomir Milosevic was
5 A. I apologise, I thought you were asking me something else. We also
6 had a PAT of 20-millimetre calibre that we had to take away before General
7 Milosevic assumed command of the corps.
8 Q. Did you have any heavy artillery throughout the conflict at those
10 A. My unit, my company, did not have a single heavy piece. It was an
11 infantry company and the troops had only their own personal weapons, as
12 well as those proscribed by the establishment, those I've already
14 Q. You mentioned a piece, you mentioned its calibre, 12 point
16 A. It's a Browning 12.7-millimetre which was allowed to stay once the
17 heavy pieces had been pulled out. It did not fall in the category of
18 weapons that were supposed to be extracted and taken out by some 20
20 Q. Since you were on those positions, as you described them, on the
21 slopes of Mojmilo, what did those clashes look like during the more active
22 periods, since you mentioned that there was a lull as well? What about
23 1992 and 1993 when military activities were more intensive?
24 A. There was an exchange of fire from both sides. If you look at the
25 place where the stadium is on the map, there were some 40-millimetre
1 pieces from 1992 until 1994. These were Bofors pieces and a Praga. But
2 once orders were issued, these were withdrawn.
3 Q. When you say that there was an exchange of infantry weapons fire,
4 what did that look like?
5 A. In most cases when there was exchange of fire of that type, they
6 tried to reach Lukavica in depth, as far as possible, in order to disrupt
7 communication that existed on the Lukavica-Pale road. We had nothing else
8 to do but to open fire upon their trenches, since they had a commanding
9 view of our positions.
10 Q. As for Mojmilo hill, you said that they were at a higher
11 altitude. Concerning those dominating features of Mojmilo, what did that
12 look like from the other side?
13 A. From the other side, or on the other side, the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina could control all of Lukavica, all the way up to Toplik
15 from their positions, as well as Dobrinja IV, the Stari Celovac [phoen]
16 settlement, and all the way up to Nedzarici.
17 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, for approximately the last five
18 questions and answers or so, I've been struggling to understand the
19 relevancy of military versus military activities in the southern part of
20 the city. This does not have to do with any allegations of firing on
21 civilians or injury to civilians or terrorising of civilians. We're
22 getting an interesting and detailed account of army-versus-army actions,
23 but I submit that it's not relevant.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm trying to work
1 on our case, Defence case, which is uniquely our own. We are not asked to
2 deal with some matters that the Prosecutor tried to prove. We are trying
3 to prove the various aspects of our case. Therefore, I don't think the
4 Prosecutor can keep going to their assertions and the things they tried to
5 prove when it comes to these dominating features.
6 We hope that we will be able to prove that those dominating
7 elevations were in the hands of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I believe
8 that at this moment we are in possession of evidence that at least 80 per
9 cent of those dominating elevations were in the hands of the army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that they had control from those positions on both
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Take it a step further now. You must take it a
13 step further. Yes, you're trying to show that the elevated positions were
14 in the hands of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and therefore what?
15 It's your case, that's conceded, but it still has to be relevant.
16 It still has to be relevant. That's an overriding, overarching
17 requirement for admissibility. So you must take it a little further. I
18 could take further in terms of the case that I that seen you trying to
19 build, but let me hear how you establish the relevance, having said that
20 the dominant positions were in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. How does
21 that relate to the indictment? Because you can't get away from that.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, we cannot get away
23 from the indictment, but we dispute much of it, particularly pertaining to
24 the time Dragomir Milosevic was accused of. I wanted to mention the only
25 adjudicated fact from a previous case and wanted to share with you
1 something we deem very important. It is very important to deal with the
2 intensity of combat activities, particularly those undertaken by the army
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is Defence case that the SRK activities were
4 merely a response to their activities, particularly in that period, and
5 that it was not a campaign with the aim to attack civilians. The victims
6 in the territory controlled by the SRK are a good indicator of the
7 intensity of combat activities undertaken by the army of
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right.
10 So you see, Mr. Docherty, this is how he establishes the
11 relevance; that your case is that the SRK targeted civilians. His case,
12 his response, is that that's not so. Two armies were fighting each other,
13 in particular the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina occupied the dominant
14 positions of the hills and there was no intent on the part of the army of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina to target civilians. They were merely fighting another
17 No intent on the part of the Republika Srpska, rather, I correct
18 myself, to target civilians. They were merely fighting another army, and
19 that's the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 And in my view, that does establish the relevance of the
21 evidence. What the Chamber makes of it is another matter. But I would
22 say that it is -- it's relevant.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I would
24 like to offer a couple of other things so as not to have to go back to
25 this issue over and over again. It is very important, when it comes to
1 adjudicated facts, I would like you to have a look at number 53, that is
2 the adjudicated fact we accepted.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Number 53, what is that one? I don't have the
4 facts here.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is what it
7 "In 1993, some 75.000 troops of the 1st Corps of the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina were deployed along the separation lines around
9 Sarajevo. Some half of them were in the city itself, while the other half
10 was on the separation lines outside the city."
11 This fact had been made part of the case and we did not try to
12 dispute that. It is a very good illustration of the circumstances and the
13 nature of the situation, and it keeps pointing to the facts that we've
14 tried to focus on during our case. We will dispute some other -- many
15 other adjudicated facts and we will certainly be allowed to do so in view
16 of the Appeals Chamber's decision, but the situation was one of a mix-up.
17 We don't know who encircled whom, particularly since half of those 75.000
18 troops were inside Sarajevo, whereas the other half was around it.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe you're speaking about the Appeals
21 Chamber's decision in the adjudicated facts motion. We haven't actually
22 read it yet. It was shown to me this morning, but I haven't actually read
23 it. So you have an advantage over us, Mr. Tapuskovic.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We've read it,
25 but I was trying to point to the one that is already in existence. This
1 was the one fact that we consented to, the adjudicated fact number 53. It
2 is no longer in dispute. And it illustrates very well what the importance
3 is of the matters we are trying to deal with in our case. What was
4 important was the intensity of combat activities, particularly on the part
5 of ABiH and particularly during the time of Dragomir Milosevic's command.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you need to go further, don't you, than just
7 to show the intensity of the combat activities? I mean, bearing in mind
8 that there's no burden on you to do anything at all, but to the extent
9 that you're trying to rebut the Prosecution's case.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand that. In my view,
11 one of the most important things is to rebut a thesis of the Prosecutor
12 dealt with in paragraph 7. The entire first instance judgement in the
13 Galic case is based on that argument in paragraph 7 as to when the
14 hostilities broke out and who held the hills under their control.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you. Please proceed.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Witness, I will try to move at a greater pace now, but first can
18 you tell me this.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we'll take the break now.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should have said that in the absence of Judge
24 Mindua, today's sitting takes place pursuant to the provisions of Rule 15
1 Let the witness be brought in.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Tapuskovic.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Witness, can you tell me, in this time period preceding the
6 arrival of the person who became head of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, what
7 happened to soldiers and civilians? Were there any consequences?
8 A. Yes. They -- the BH army, after the end of 1994 and in early
9 1995 --
10 Q. I'm asking you about the time before August 1994. In the course
11 of those combat activities, were there any bad consequences for civilians
12 and soldiers?
13 A. Yes. Yes, there were. In February 1994, my mother was wounded in
14 front of our house. She was wounded from a rifle and both her bones
15 beneath her knees were broken, and she's using crutches to this very day.
16 There were many wounded civilians, especially on the Lukavica-Vrace road.
17 Q. Thank you. And now the time came when General Dragomir Milosevic
18 became the head of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and what did it look like
20 A. As I said before, when General Milosevic became commander of the
21 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, there was a truce, but one could sense that the
22 BH army was preparing for combat operations, especially after the
23 beginning of 1995.
24 Q. Thank you. Until when was it quiet? Did anything happen in late
1 A. Yes, there was some fighting. There was some combat activity by
2 the BH army.
3 Q. Where?
4 A. Well, at the separation line between my company and ...
5 Q. And outside the lines where you were, did you know of any
7 A. Well, specifically at the lines held by my company and the
8 neighbouring companies, there was sporadic firing but the large-scale
9 combat took place towards Trnovo and the plateau there.
10 Q. At your lines there was sporadic firing. And how long did this go
11 on, where you were?
12 A. Well, it went on like this until May 1995. In May the BH army
13 became more active. They started firing more intensively at our lines and
14 this culminated on the 16th of June.
15 Q. Thank you. And how come you remember this date, the 16th of June,
16 as the culmination?
17 A. Well, I can't forget that date because my father was wounded by an
18 enemy shell near Djukic Potok, below Mojmilo, and he lost a leg, he lost
19 his liver, and then he died of his wounds.
20 Q. Did anything else happen on that day?
21 A. On that same day, at position number 2 where the UN check-point
22 was between the two sides, at 4.15 in the morning, the forces of the BH
23 army took some UNPROFOR soldiers prisoner and they made an incursion
24 behind our lines and killed eight soldiers.
25 Q. On the days that followed, do you remember any other events which
1 stick in your memory?
2 A. Well, hardly had that fighting died down on the 16th of June, when
3 towards the end of the month, from the area of Comagina's Kuca or
4 Comagina's house, they fired from a sniper at the road and they threw hand
5 grenades on our trenches.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Or rather, interpreter's correction: From
7 hand-held launchers on our trenches.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You mentioned --
10 A. Comagina's Kuca or Comagina's house.
11 Q. I'll show you a document and please tell me does it have anything
12 to do with what you just said.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It's D107, a Defence exhibit.
14 Can it please be shown to the witness.
15 Q. Mr. Trapara, please read the heading slowly and what it says
16 underneath the heading and the first paragraph.
17 A. "Command of the 12th Division, strictly confidential number
18 02/2-7-10, Sarajevo, the 26th of June, 1995. Proposal of targets chosen
19 to be destroyed, to tie up the aggressor forces, by unit. To the command
20 of the 1st Corps."
21 Q. And now the first paragraph? Read it, please.
22 A. The first or the second?
23 "Pursuant to the order of the Chief of Staff of the 1st Corps,
24 strictly confidential number 01/3-151 of the 25th of June, 1995. To carry
25 out active combat operations in the area of responsibility of all brigades
1 in the area of responsibility of the 12th Army Division in order to tie up
2 the aggressor forces around the city and stretching them out, thus
3 relieving our forces outside the city in the area of responsibility of the
4 14th and 16th Army Division, we send you proposals brigade by brigade."
5 Q. Thank you. And now, just underneath this passage, you mentioned a
6 place called Comagina's house. Read where it says "2 bb" and "3 bb".
7 A. "2 bb in its zone of responsibility, a bunker in the house east of
8 K, elevation point 648, 150 metres from the north, a group of six soldiers
9 or fighters, a rifle, an M-53 light machine-gun, a sniper rifle, an
10 automatic rifle. A dug-out south of Comagina Kuca, a group, an explosive
11 device, four automatic rifles and a sniper rifle."
12 Q. Now, tell me, you mentioned Comagina Kuca, so please tell us what
13 it says here. Does it correspond to what you have just been saying? And
14 did you participate in this? And can you describe to Their Honours what
15 this looked like.
16 A. Yes. That's the position I just mentioned. I personally
17 participated in this event. They attacked our bunker, our dug-out, below
18 Comagina Kuca, firing from snipers and an explosive device.
19 Q. And what happened?
20 A. We returned fire and very soon we pushed back that group to their
21 starting position.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, look where it says "3 bb" right below that.
23 A. "3 bb," or mountain battalion, "the sleeping quarters Cavarkapa
24 Kuca, the Kaparuni RB RPG squad, a sniper rifle, a light machine-gun, an
25 M-72, and AP with an attachment for a rifle launcher. The bunker near
1 Comagina kuca, RO2/3bb a group of five fighters, a hand-held launcher, a
2 sniper, an automatic rifle, an automatic rifle with an attachment for a
3 rifle launcher."
4 Q. Did you have anything to do with this event?
5 A. Yes. I participated in this event also. This was some four or
6 five hours after the first event.
7 Q. Can you tell us whether you remember anything about these events?
8 Were there any casualties?
9 A. There were no casualties on our side. Later on I learnt that this
10 had been a kind of simultaneous attack to get as many of our men as
11 possible up on the lines in order, probably, to allow the other side to
12 get most of their forces through the tunnel and into the Trnovo area.
13 Q. It says in the record that this was a simultaneous attack. Maybe
14 you wanted to use another word. Do you know what the word "simultaneous"
16 A. Well, maybe I didn't express myself well. It was a real attack,
17 but most probably it was meant to distract our attention.
18 Q. I don't want to lead. Well, you've explained what you meant. Do
19 you remember anything else? Do you remember something being written on a
21 A. I forgot to mention this just a while ago, but I do remember
22 this: It was on the 16th of June when we got back our line at 2030 hours
23 in the evening. It said on Rajko Lalovic's house, "Greetings from
25 Q. And how did you interpret this message?
1 A. Well, we interpreted it to mean that there had been a special unit
2 from Zenica there which attacked that part of our unit.
3 Q. Can you tell Their Honours how long the offensive lasted and
4 whether there were any casualties among the soldiers and the civilians?
5 A. Yes. The offensive lasted, and on that day there were
6 casualties. That day over 150 shells dropped. There were casualties
7 among the soldiers; about ten civilians were killed and there were some
8 children who had their legs blown off in Lukavica, in the depth. They
9 probably fired into the depth at Lukavica in order to prevent
10 reinforcements to reach the front lines.
11 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions. Witness, thank
12 you very much.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Docherty:
16 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is John Docherty. I'm one of the
17 Prosecutors on this side of the courtroom and I'll be asking you a few
18 questions this morning. If you have any difficulty understanding my
19 questions, please ask me to clear it up and I'll be happy to do that
20 before we move on. Is that all right?
21 A. Yes, that's all right.
22 Q. To begin with, were you a company commander throughout the war or
23 is that a position that you were promoted to during the war?
24 A. I was a company commander throughout the war.
25 Q. And while Mr. Tapuskovic was asking you questions, you testified
1 about who your battalion commander was and who your brigade commander
2 was. If I use the term "chain of command," do you have an understanding
3 of what I mean?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. A chain of command means that more senior officers give orders to
6 less senior officers give orders to junior officers, and so on, and it is
7 a way, one way, by which a senior commander can stay truly in command of a
8 military formation. Would you agree with what I've just said?
9 A. Yes, it is one of the ways, but it doesn't always have to be that
11 Q. Of course. And that leads, actually, to my next question. During
12 the time that you were an office -- that you were serving with the
13 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, that corps had a functioning chain of command,
14 did it not? The brigade commander gave orders to the battalion commander
15 gave orders to you, and so on; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it was your understanding that this chain of command went
18 right to the very top and that it was first General Galic and then General
19 Milosevic who was in control of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
20 A. That's probably how it is.
21 Q. Was there any doubt in your mind that during the time that he was
22 in command, August of 1994 onwards, that General Milosevic was truly the
23 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and could give orders to the
24 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps with the expectation that they would be obeyed?
25 A. I personally had no doubt.
1 Q. One other thing that you testified about was the sorts of weapons
2 that your company had, and before I move on, just one other background
3 question. As a company commander, what rank did you hold in the
4 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
5 A. I was a captain.
6 Q. And as a captain, you were a commissioned officer.
7 A. I was a reserve officer.
8 Q. And how many men were in your company? I understand that probably
9 fluctuated, but on average how -- I just want to get a sense how big a
10 unit this was that you commanded.
11 A. It ranged from 180 to 130 men. The average was 150.
12 Q. And how many platoons were in this company?
13 A. Four.
14 Q. You testified earlier about the types of weapons that you had in
15 this company and you said that there were no heavy weapons possessed by
16 your company. I want to broaden that a little bit. As a company
17 commander, could you call on heavy weapons for support of operations that
18 your company was engaged in?
19 A. I could call, I personally, as a commander, just the mortars that
20 were actually under the authority of the battalion.
21 Q. What was the size of the mortars that were under the command of
22 the battalion? Were these 82s, were these 120s, a mix of those sorts?
23 Can you tell us that?
24 A. 82 millimetres.
25 Q. How many 82-millimetre mortars did the battalion have? And to the
1 best of your recollection, whereabouts were they located?
2 A. It had three 82-millimetre mortars.
3 Q. And whereabouts were they in relation to your company's area of
5 A. If we looked from the -- if you looked from my company towards the
6 internal part, then it was sort of to the south, southwest. I can
7 actually give you the name of the place where we were.
8 Q. Can you give us the place of -- sorry, the name of the place where
9 the mortars were?
10 A. The name was Prljavo Brdo.
11 Q. I don't, I'm sorry to say, speak your language, but "brdo"
12 typically means hill. Was this an elevated position where the mortars
14 A. It wasn't that much of an elevation. It was in the depth of the
15 territory away from the front lines at an elevation. That's where the
16 mortars were. It's not a big elevation. It's a sort of low-lying area.
17 The name was Prljavo Brdo, but it wasn't really a proper hill.
18 Q. All right. We'll come back to the hills in a couple of minutes,
19 but I have a few more questions about weaponry before we do that.
20 You testified on direct examination that heavy weapons were to be
21 taken 20 kilometres away. Do you remember this conversation with
22 Mr. Tapuskovic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you remember saying that, for example, the Browning that
25 was in your company was allowed to be kept because its 12.7-millimetre
1 calibre meant that it was not a heavy weapon and did not need to be moved
2 out. Do you remember saying that.
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 MR. DOCHERTY: If we could please see Prosecution Exhibit 667 on
5 the screen.
6 Q. Mr. Trapara, what I'm -- what is going to come up on the screen,
7 I'll just tell you while we're waiting for it to load, is an order from
8 Dragomir Milosevic and it deals with the subject of heavy weapons and the
9 exclusion zone for heavy weapons. I'm going to ask -- my first question,
10 when it comes up, will be whether you have seen this document, whether you
11 are familiar with it.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. -- Please go ahead.
13 MR. DOCHERTY:
14 Q. Do you see, Witness, that this is dated the 21st of August, 1994?
15 It's in the upper left. Is that the date of the document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And do you remember testifying, when Mr. Tapuskovic was examining
18 you, that shortly after Dragomir Milosevic took command, the heavy weapons
19 had to be taken away? Do you remember relating those two events:
20 Dragomir Milosevic takes command; shortly afterwards, the heavy weapons
21 are taken 20 kilometres away. Do you remember that testimony, sir?
22 A. I said that the weapons were pulled back upon the arrival of
23 General Milosevic.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. And General Milosevic took command around the
25 middle of August of 1994. I believe the exact date was the 12th, but the
1 middle of August. Is that something you and I can agree on?
2 A. I really don't know the exact date.
3 Q. Can we agree that it was approximately the middle of August of
5 A. It's hard to answer this question. I don't know the precise date,
6 so it would be difficult for me to respond to this question. I know that
7 it was in August, but ...
8 Q. That's close enough.
9 MR. DOCHERTY: And could we please scroll down on the B/C/S side
10 so that the witness can see the signature on this document, and it might
11 mean going to page 2.
12 Q. Now, there is a name at the bottom there; correct? And the name
13 is Dragomir Milosevic; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And it's not signed, but this is a telex and most military telexes
16 are not signed; is that also correct? Just a printed name.
17 A. Yes, I see that.
18 Q. All right. Now, I want to direct your attention to paragraph
19 number 3 because you testified that these heavy weapons were withdrawn.
20 Do you see paragraph number 3 down towards the bottom of the page?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Does that paragraph say that heavy weapons within the
23 20-kilometre zone are to be camouflaged?
24 A. That's what it says in this paper.
25 Q. Does it say they are to be hidden?
1 A. That's what it says.
2 Q. Does it say they are to be moved only at night?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And does it say that all police and other security measures are to
5 be taken so that any movements of these weapons will be concealed from
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is this the 20-kilometre pull-back of heavy weapons that you were
9 testifying about in your direct examination, Mr. Trapara?
10 A. During the examination-in-chief, I talked about what I know and
11 what I heard. As for the heavy weapons, as far as my unit is concerned.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not quite sure what the
13 witness said.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, will you please repeat what you just
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't seen this document or
17 heard about it before, but I did respect the order, I myself, as the
18 company commander. What I said during the examination-in-chief, I abide
19 by, that the weapons were pulled back 20 kilometres from the town.
20 MR. DOCHERTY:
21 Q. And you have also testified, not once now but several times, that
22 you were in a unit that did not itself have heavy weapons; isn't that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now I want to move on to the subject we touched on just a
1 moment -- a couple of minutes ago and that has to do with the hills.
2 You mentioned several hills in your direct testimony, and after
3 you mentioned these hills you said that the dominating positions on these
4 hills were occupied by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Zuc and Hum,
5 Debelo Brdo, some others as well.
6 Were you aware before you came here to testify that the fact that
7 Zuc and Hum and Debelo Brdo were occupied by the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina was evidence put in during the Prosecution's case
9 months ago? Did you know that before you testified?
10 A. I knew that Zuc hill was captured and Hum always was under the
11 control of the B and H army. When I testified about that, I talked about
12 the period when General Milosevic became the corps commander, about the
13 situation that was in force then at the time regarding the hills and the
14 elevations. But I know that Zuc was captured earlier by the B and H army.
15 Q. Are you also aware that each of these hills that you testified
16 about can be looked down upon from the heights of other hills, and even
17 mountains in some cases, that were under the control of the army of
18 Republika Srpska?
19 A. I'm not aware that you could overlook them. It all depends on the
20 situation, where you are looking from. Perhaps they can be overlooked but
21 you cannot fire, you cannot fire beyond those hills if the objective was
22 to fire at civilians.
23 Q. Let's take an example to illustrate the point.
24 MR. DOCHERTY: Could we please see 65 ter number 03211.
25 Q. And this, Mr. Trapara, while we're waiting for it to load, is
1 going to be a map. I'm going to ask the registrar to zoom in on an area
2 on the southern central part of the map which is the elevation called
3 Debelo Brdo. As a former infantry officer, I take it that you can read a
4 relief map quite easily; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And I'm also going to ask the usher to assist you, and what I want
7 you to do is, on this map, locate Debelo Brdo and then just draw a circle
8 around that feature. And when you draw the circle, please don't obscure
9 any information about the height in metres of the hill because I'm going
10 to ask you about that, okay? So draw the circle without going through the
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. Okay. And just above the point -- the red circle that you made,
14 do you see the height 745 in metres?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, you testified that since you were in the Scouts, you've been
17 tramping through the hills around Sarajevo; in fact, you've lived in
18 Lukavica all your life. Would you agree, even if you don't know it to the
19 metre, Debelo Brdo is about 745 metres high?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, a little bit to the south of Debelo Brdo we see a hill called
22 Grad. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the height listed for Grad is 823 metres; isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And if we go to the lower right-hand portion of the screen, we see
2 a height, and the name is not entirely on the screen, but do you see the
3 height 1.080 metres?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And so this is what I mean by the point that Debelo Brdo was
6 overlooked by other hills from which you could look down on it. Would you
7 agree with me that these higher elevations are under the control -- during
8 the armed conflict, were under the control of the army of Republika
10 A. Yes, they were under the control -- well, the territory was held
11 by he army Republika Srpska. But this very peak of 1.080 metres was
12 impossible to use for direct fire. If you look at this ridge that goes
13 from the peak, that is, 1.080, to the town, it's flat so there's no
14 theoretical chance of any firing from that spot at the town. I know that
15 area; I know what it looks like. It's impossible to fire from this
16 elevation 1.080 at the town.
17 Q. The point I'm making is a more general point, Mr. Trapara.
18 Sarajevo sits in the valley of the Miljacka River; is that correct?
19 A. A part of Sarajevo.
20 Q. And it is ringed by high hills; isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And yes, some of the inner hills, the ones closer to the city,
23 were held by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but as you go back further
24 away from town, you get to hills that were held by the army of Republika
25 Srpska; isn't that correct?
1 A. To the depth of the territory, yes.
2 Q. And those hills under the control of the army of Republika Srpska
3 were higher than the ones controlled by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 generally speaking?
5 A. They are higher if you look at the actual elevation, but they were
6 not positioned in such a way, like the ones that I referred to.
7 Q. Excuse me. You also indicated in your direct testimony, and there
8 was quite a bit of --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, he should explain what he means
10 when he says that they are concededly higher "but not positioned in such a
11 way, like the ones that I referred to."
12 What do you mean by that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I meant was, I was
14 thinking of elevation 1.080. It is higher than the Debelo Brdo elevation,
15 but from this elevation there is a flat area going towards the town, so
16 it's impossible to fire at the town from that elevation, the 1.080 metres
18 MR. DOCHERTY:
19 Q. Well, let's turn from the 1.080 metres elevation to the hill of
20 Grad. If you walk off the top of Debelo Brdo going south, you can see on
21 this map that first you go down and then you start coming back up towards
22 Grad. Am I right so far?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And when you're up on top of Grad, you are looking down on the top
25 of Debelo Brdo, aren't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And as an experienced infantry officer, how enthusiastic would you
3 be about occupying the top of Debelo Brdo if the enemy was 80 metres above
4 you on a hill a short distance away? Is that something you would lead
5 your men into?
6 A. It all depends on the view from one hill and the other hill. It
7 depended on what would the view be from Debelo Brdo and from the other
8 hill. But I'm not quite sure what it says here. I'm not sure whether
9 this was in the area of responsibility of the army of Republika Srpska
10 because the lines were right below the road. This place, Grad, has no
11 purpose here. This red line is the main road going towards the -- towards
12 Pale. There is a bend in the road from Miljevici. These were old
13 trenches; they were lined with sacks of sand. So I don't really see the
14 point of Grad here at all.
15 Q. I'd like to move on, but let me -- two things: Number one, you
16 may not know this, but there has been evidence in this case from a Defence
17 witness who was shown photographs of this area, and we can rely upon that
18 if you, yourself, are not entirely familiar with where things are. And
19 secondly, when you were asked by Mr. Tapuskovic to talk about hills that
20 were under the control of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you did not
21 yourself mention Grad at that time, did you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. The next topic that I want to turn to is the question of the
24 intensity --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, speaking of the
2 Grad elevation, the witness said that he doesn't know under whose control
3 it was. He already said that he didn't know in which area of
4 responsibility it was. The one -- the 893 elevation, he said that he
5 didn't know whether there was the army of Republika Srpska there, or
6 anyone, for that matter. He expressed his doubt as to whether that
7 particular elevation was under the control of the army of Republika
9 MR. DOCHERTY: That is a correct recapitulation of what the
10 witness testified to, Your Honour, and that's why I moved on. And, for
11 the record, the reference I made to another witness was to the evidence of
12 Mr. Milorad Katic, who, in cross-examination, was shown a photograph taken
13 from Grad down towards Debelo Brdo, and stated that the photograph had
14 been taken from positions of the army of Republika Srpska. So I thought
15 that since this witness said he wasn't sure, the better thing was to move
16 on and let the evidence show --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you didn't actually put that to the witness.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: I simply gave it to the witness as an explanation
19 of why I was moving on. It wasn't in the form of a question. You are
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: Am I free to move on?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. DOCHERTY: Okay, thank you. I'll tender this map, Your
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
3 Mr. Docherty, what was concerning me was the -- was how proper it
4 was for you not to have put to the witness what the previous witness said,
5 but yet you narrated it to us, so that it would influence -- it could
6 influence the subsequent evidence of a witness without you having put it
7 to him. In my view, it would have been more proper for you to have put it
8 to the witness, if you intend to rely on it.
9 MR. DOCHERTY: I assure you I meant nothing improper. I was
10 simply trying to let -- not keep the witness in the dark as to where he
11 was being led. But once the map is finished with being put in, I can
12 certainly put the question to the witness.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 MR. DOCHERTY: And will.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P791, Your Honours.
16 MR. DOCHERTY:
17 Q. Mr. Trapara, I put it to you that Grad hill was under the control
18 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you agree or do you disagree with
19 that? I'm sorry, the army -- the ABiH, if I didn't say that. I'm sorry,
20 I've completely -- I'm sorry, no, that's entirely my mistake. I
21 apologise. I withdraw that question. I meant to ask this question:
22 Mr. Trapara, I put it to you that Grad hill was under the control
23 of the army of Republika Srpska. Do you agree with me, do you disagree
24 with me, or do you not know?
25 A. I do not know. I'm uncertain. I'm more inclined to disagree with
1 you, but I am not certain. As for the Grad 893 elevation, I'm confused by
2 this road just below, because that's where the ABiH lines were.
3 Q. I want to talk with you for a couple of minutes about intensity of
4 fighting. When you were in your examination-in-chief, you testified about
5 the intensity of fighting. And are you aware, and again I'm going to make
6 reference to other evidence in this case, that the Prosecution has
7 introduced a report from a statistician and that report indicates that
8 civilians died at a rate, at a frequency, that had nothing whatever to do
9 with the intensity of combat operations?
10 So my first question is: Are you aware of this evidence?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And my second --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Since we are discussing the
15 intensity, could we have a temporal reference? If we have the indictment
16 here pertaining to one period of time, then perhaps the Prosecutor should
17 tell us which period exactly he has in mind when discussing intensity.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty.
19 MR. DOCHERTY: 1992 through and including 1995, both the Galic and
20 the Milosevic time periods.
21 Q. And you've indicated, am I correct, Witness, you're not aware of
22 this evidence?
23 A. No.
24 Q. During the time that you were a company commander with the
25 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, were you aware of allegations, whether made by
1 human rights organisations, reported in the international press, or from
2 any other source, that the army of Republika Srpska was committing
3 atrocities and war crimes against civilians? Were you aware of those
5 A. I only listened to the federal news or the Sarajevo television
6 news and I'm not aware of such allegations.
7 Q. Are you aware of any investigations, inquiries, administrative
8 proceedings, within the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps into allegations that
9 troops of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps have committed such crimes?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
11 Don't answer. Mr. Tapuskovic has a point.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would understand
13 if the witness were asked whether he committed an atrocity or a crime or
14 if he has any knowledge of such incidents. But to ask him whether he
15 heard of any NGO reports or any other reports which are second- or
16 third-hand, that is inappropriate, in my view. In my view, he should be
17 asked about the things he knows as to whether such things, indeed,
18 happened and what is his direct knowledge of them. Also, he could be
19 asked whether he ever received any such orders to commit atrocities. But
20 to ask him things he was supposed to learn from other people, well, I
21 don't think that is proper.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: But if you were in my jurisdiction, my domestic
23 jurisdiction, yes. But it's well known that here we receive hearsay
24 evidence. Well, let him say whether he knows or not.
25 MR. DOCHERTY:
1 Q. Do you remember the question?
2 A. I do, and I answered already. I followed the media, the Sarajevo
3 or the federation television, but I had no occasion to hear of such
5 Q. And then the follow-up question to that one was whether you are
6 aware from any source of any military prosecutions, administrative
7 discipline, inquiries, investigations into allegations that troops of the
8 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps had committed war crimes and atrocities. Are you
9 aware of any such proceedings?
10 A. In what time? Could you please explain.
11 Q. August 12th of 1994 until the Dayton Agreements.
12 A. I am not aware of that.
13 Q. The last topic that I want to cover with you, Mr. Trapara,
14 concerns the incident on October the 15th of 1991 that Mr. Tapuskovic
15 began his direct examination with. On October the 15th of 1991, at about
16 2.00 in the morning, you were in a truck; isn't that right?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: At this point could we please see ter number 3342,
19 but could it not be broadcast, as it contains information that was
20 withheld by going into private session.
21 Q. And, Mr. Trapara, the document that is coming up, I am going to be
22 careful not to mention any of the names in the document and I would ask
23 you to do the same when you're asking the questions. Is that agreeable?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. And this, you will see, is a report prepared by the MUP.
1 MR. DOCHERTY: And I'll ask if we could please look at page 2 of
2 both the English and the B/C/S.
3 Q. And it was your testimony on direct that you knew nothing of the
4 contents of that truck that you were in at 2.00 in the morning on the 15th
5 of October, 1991. Is that your evidence, sir?
6 A. Until we arrived at our destination in the village of Ivanovici.
7 Q. And you see that this is a report concerning the police stop of
8 that truck, don't you?
9 A. I do see that.
10 Q. And you see that the police indicate that they stopped the
11 trucks -- they stopped the truck, excuse me, "managed in a repeated
12 attempt to stop a truck (the truck did not stop at the first warning of
13 the militia patrol)." Do you see the part that I've just read?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. The truck driver tried to get away. Isn't that what's being said
17 A. That's what it reads.
18 Q. All right. Well, it also reads that once the truck was stopped,
19 you and another individual ran away; isn't that right?
20 A. That's what it reads.
21 Q. And when you told Mr. Tapuskovic in direct examination that you
22 went back to your work at the post office the next day, that's because you
23 had run away from the police the night before, not because the police had
24 decided not to take you into custody; isn't that right?
25 A. On the spot when the truck stopped, within ten minutes two police
1 vehicles arrived. The policemen came out of their vehicles asking who the
2 driver of the truck was. The driver said, "I am." Then he was asked to
3 climb into the truck and start the engine. And another policeman entered
4 the passenger cabin with him. They went towards Vrace.
5 Q. I have to stop you. The question I asked was that you ran away
6 and that's why you were not taken into custody at 2.00 in the morning.
7 And can you tell us if that's correct or not correct? You ran away and
8 the police didn't catch you that night.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. They caught you later that night?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You did run away; correct?
13 A. No.
14 Q. This is what it says in the report, isn't it?
15 A. This is an incorrect report. As I said, they only asked about the
16 driver. They made him climb into the truck and left for Vrace. Out of
17 the rest, the seven of us, no one was taken away.
18 Q. All right. And --
19 A. And I state this in full responsibility.
20 Q. And this report was prepared by the MUP of, as you testified in
21 your own direct examination, the MUP of the Federal Socialist Republic of
22 Yugoslavia; correct? Because it's an October 15th, 1991 document;
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Not by any Bosnian organisation but by a federal Yugoslavian
1 organisation; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. DOCHERTY: Now, if we could scroll down in the English a
4 little more, I want to take a look at what was in this truck.
5 Q. And I'm just going to read: "The following items were found in
6 the truck." I'll ask you to find it in the B/C/S version and make sure
7 that I read it properly.
8 "Two hand-held launchers; two optical sights in original boxes;
9 two stands for hand-held launchers; two cleaning devices for hand-held
10 launchers; four wooden cases containing 40 semi-automatic rifles with
11 accompanying technical specifications; ammunition pouches and cleaning
12 devices; seven semi-automatic rifles; four wooden cases containing 3.600
13 7.9-millimetre bullets; eight wooden cases containing 8.960
14 7.62-millimetre bullets; one case containing two heavy machine-guns, M-53,
15 with accompanying equipment, technical specifications and cleaning
17 Is that what I have read, sir? Have I read that correctly?
18 A. You have.
19 Q. And it is your testimony that you got into this truck, making this
20 trip at 2.00 in the morning, containing quite a little collection of
21 armaments, but had no idea yourself of what was in the truck.
22 A. I had no knowledge of what was on the truck until the place it was
23 stopped. Until it stopped, I had no knowledge of its contents.
24 Q. You were simply asked to get in this truck at 2.00 in the morning
25 and in you went. Is that your testimony?
1 A. The driver asked me to.
2 Q. Isn't it actually correct, sir, that even as far back as October
3 15th of 1991, you were involved in Bosnian Serb nationalist activities of
4 the most extreme sort, and that's why you were in that truck that night,
5 delivering this load of fire-power?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Are you aware of the speech that Dr. Radovan Karadzic gave to the
8 Bosnian Serb Assembly on the night this truck was stopped in which he said
9 that the Muslim people of Bosnia and Herzegovina faced, his
10 word, "disappearance"? Have you heard that speech? Have you heard of
11 that speech?
12 A. I didn't follow the speech, but I have heard of it.
13 Q. And that speech was given either the day that -- well, it was 2.00
14 in the morning, so the day before the truck was stopped; is that correct?
15 A. I wouldn't know when he gave the speech. I cannot remember.
16 Q. And haven't your political sympathies, which I characterised a
17 couple of questions ago as extremist, continued right down to this day?
18 Are those still the views that you held -- that you hold, I mean?
19 A. Please explain. It is unclear to me. What political sympathies?
20 Q. What I'm putting to you, sir, is the following: That this stop of
21 the truck full of guns was an out-growth of your involvement in extremist
22 and violent politics. And I put it to you that those political
23 sympathies, those viewpoints, are colouring and shaping the testimony that
24 you give to this Court. In other words, I'm saying that you have an
25 interest in the outcome of this case.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, you have asked several questions and I
2 think they should be separated.
3 The first question being put to you, Witness, is that the truck in
4 which you were and which was full of guns was an out-growth of your
5 involvement in extremist and violent politics. Do you agree with that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is also being put to you that those political
8 sympathies, those viewpoints, influence the testimony that you're giving
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time I did not belong to any
11 political party, neither at that time nor during the war.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 MR. DOCHERTY: I have no more questions.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic?
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Since we are on this topic, with which we
18 actually began with this witness, first of all, Witness, tell me --
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, could we
20 please move into private session for a minute or two.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
22 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty.
15 MR. DOCHERTY: I apologise for this, Your Honour. I neglected to
16 tender this document during my cross-examination. Could I do that now?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, will be admitted.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: Under seal, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Under seal, yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P792, under seal, Your Honours.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. At the time when all of this was happening, you've already
23 referred to it, but now I would kindly ask you to explain in more detail
24 what it was that was happening in your environs, the place where you
25 lived, at that time.
1 A. As I said during the examination-in-chief, the Red Berets and the
2 Patriotic League and especially the paramilitary forces of Juka Prazina
3 whom I could see myself from the house of Zarko Pajic. There were Juka
4 and several other people with rifles as early as September and they caused
5 disquiet with the Serbian population. Those are the things that I could
6 see, although I didn't mention them before.
7 Q. Much was said here about you allegedly fleeing the scene. Can you
8 explain to me what ensued in the next following days? It says here that
9 you fled. Please explain what was going on.
10 A. I did not flee, as I said. The next day I was in my post office
11 working, as well as for the next seven days. I went to work and went back
12 home. I did not move anywhere else. On the eighth day there was a
13 military vehicle with two military policemen which arrived at around
14 8.00. They came to arrest me and a cousin of mine with a court order.
15 They were told to bring us down to the prison in the Viktor Bubanj
17 Q. When did they learn of your first and last name?
18 A. In the barracks, in the Viktor Bubanj facility.
19 Q. What was the proceedings that followed?
20 A. Well, first I spent 29 days in custody there, after which I was
21 released and I continued working in the post office as of the 20th of
22 April, 1992.
23 Q. Based on what the police did -- sorry. Based on what the military
24 court did, what happened with this action?
25 A. It fell through. All of the arms were taken by the military from
1 the police. Nothing else was done. The entire proceedings which followed
2 were dealt with by the JNA.
3 Q. You were in that prison how long?
4 A. Twenty-nine days.
5 Q. And that was the sanction imposed on you?
6 A. There was also a fine.
7 Q. And after October until April, did you have any weapons in your
9 A. No, not until April. I didn't even come close to a weapon, let
10 alone hold one in my hands.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. As the Prosecutor insisted on this, can you explain your military
15 training. How did it come about that you were awarded this rank? First
16 of all, do you have any military training?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And where did you acquire this training?
19 A. While I was serving in the army.
20 Q. Yes, but this is what you should explain. This was when you were
21 a young conscript.
22 A. Yes. I was 19 years old when I went to serve in the army.
23 Q. This was in 1983, as you said. After that, you had nothing to do
24 with the military.
25 A. No.
1 Q. How long did you serve in the army in 1983?
2 A. For 15 months.
3 Q. Can you tell Their Honours, with reference to the hills, we dealt
4 with Debelo Brdo and an area we could talk about. But please tell me,
5 does the hill of Mojmilo overlook anything in that area?
6 A. Not in that area. The hill of Mojmilo controls on all three sides
7 both parts under BH army control and parts under the control of the army
8 of Republika Srpska. Mojmilo controls three municipalities.
9 Q. What about Zuc, Hum, and Grdonj? What do they overlook?
10 A. On the northern side there is no other hill overlooking those
11 three hills.
12 Q. Do you know where Mount Igman is and what it overlooks?
13 A. Mount Igman is to the southwest of Sarajevo and it overlooks all
14 the other hills. It's the highest mountain near Sarajevo, and from
15 positions on that mountain, one can control Hadzici, Ilidza. It had the
16 most dominant elevations.
17 Q. You mentioned another hill in connection with mortars. You said
18 it was in the rear. How high was it?
19 A. Oh, Prljavo Brdo, you mean?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. I don't know the exact elevation. It was about the same height as
22 Lukavica. Maybe some 30 metres higher than Lukavica.
23 Q. And when Dragomir Milosevic was the commander, were there any
24 mortars there?
25 A. No.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And can we take a look at this
2 document. It's Prosecution Exhibit P667.
3 Q. The document is unsigned. You allowed for the possibility that
4 it's a telegramme. You said you knew nothing about this document
5 personally. But it says here, "I order." And then look at subparagraph 2
6 of paragraph 1 and read it out, please.
7 A. "These weapons are to be used only to rebuff Muslim attacks. They
8 should be used against targets in the area only on orders from the corps
10 Q. So the decisions that reached you, what form were they in? When I
11 say that, I mean were they in writing, like this, or did you receive them
12 in some other way?
13 A. The battalion commander conveyed those decisions to me.
14 Q. And were they always in the same spirit, that weapons were to be
15 used only to rebuff a Muslim attack?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
18 Thank you.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, can you just explain to me a little more
21 what your role precisely was on that truck.
22 A. Well, in the end I understood that I was supposed to go with the
23 driver and unload something.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who said that to you?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know what the witness
3 will say, but he might mention a name.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll go into private session, then.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: That was my point, too.
6 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: That concludes your evidence. We thank you for
25 coming to the Tribunal to give it. You may now leave.
1 We will adjourn for a break.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the next witness is?
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the next witness is
7 T52. He arrived yesterday and I only had time to shake hands with him and
8 say hello, but I did not have any time to talk to him. I was planning to
9 do that today. The health complication has arisen in the meantime, but it
10 was not possible to call the next witness here today. We were counting on
11 having two witnesses which would have filled all of today and part of
12 tomorrow. But the witness who was supposed to testify today had a health
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: So this arises from the illness of yesterday's
16 witness. You have no backup witness, Mr. Tapuskovic?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the next witnesses
18 are arriving today. We have not been late with witnesses so far. But the
19 next witnesses will be testifying after the weekend. We were planning to
20 complete both witnesses tomorrow, so each second would have been filled.
21 The health problems of this witness have disrupted all our plans. It was
22 an act of God, it was not up to us.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: In those circumstances, it seems unavoidable. We
25 adjourn until tomorrow.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.53 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day of
3 June, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.