1 Monday, 9 July 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 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 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 Thank you. This witness enjoys certain protection -- protective measures,
12 in particular this is Witness T-61, pseudonym and image distortion.
13 Could we show this document to the witness, please.
14 I'd like to tender this document as a Defence exhibit under seal.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes D288, under seal.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We should continue in
19 private session, please, in order to go through the witness's particulars.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 7824 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please explain to the Judges something that has to do with the
20 beginning of the conflict. What did you have to do as part of your work
21 in the hospital.
22 A. Basically my current tasks, those of a surgeon, the only thing
23 that changed was the structure of the patients. Before we dealt with
24 different pathology, mainly traffic accidents, but now we had many wounded
25 people. I was the head of a team of 12 to 16 people who worked on the
1 patients coming to the hospital mainly due to war activities.
2 Q. Which type of wound -- of the wounded prevailed at first, let's
3 say early 1992?
4 A. I can start with April 1992, if this is what you have in mind.
5 What prevailed then were wounded people which began around the 6th or the
6 7th of April and lasted until June, some three or four months, I would say
7 late June. It was particularly heavy in early June and many people were
8 wounded at that time. There were both civilians and soldiers. Some of
9 them would come in in full JNA uniform at first, at the beginning of the
10 war; and later we saw many wounded in camouflage uniforms, some in full
11 uniforms, some with only parts of uniforms, some wearing civilian clothes
12 or a mixture. This is what situation was like in terms of the type of
13 clothing, but these were mainly younger people.
14 At the beginning of the war, another interesting thing is that
15 particularly until the 10th or the 12th or the 15th of April there were
16 many wounded who were captured JNA soldiers. These were children, 19 or
17 20 years of age, because that was the time to serve your military term.
18 They were basically abandoned by their officers in the facilities where
19 they were without electricity or water, and then they would try and go out
20 into town. Many got wounded then. Some even caused some self-inflicted
21 wounds in order to be admitted into the hospital. Many of them were
22 awaited by the Patriotic League, who would wait for them in front of the
23 hospital, and I don't know what their fate would be as of that moment
24 onwards. The rumour had it that they would usually be exchanged.
25 Q. What about later, the type of the wounded as time passed by
1 compared to April 1992?
2 A. 50 or 60 per cent of the wounded were usually soldiers. 30 to 40
3 per cent were civilians, out of which 5 to 8 per cent were children.
4 Q. You are now talking about the hospital which was in the area of
5 responsibility which was under the control of the Army of
7 A. At first they were called the Patriotic League, then the Green
8 Berets, and then the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but that is the area,
10 Q. Until early January 1994, you worked in the hospital?
11 A. My last working day, as I said, was the 2nd of January, 1994. I
12 worked regularly on my -- at my duties until that day.
13 Q. As a physician, what do you think of your work at the time? Did
14 you change your modus operandi as opposed to the time before the war?
15 A. Physicians don't change their attitude towards their work; we only
16 adjust to the conditions. We operated on all people equally, among which
17 there was the minister of health, Dr. Izetbegovic's physician who was
18 wounded due to a fall he sustained. I operated on him since I had the
19 most experience, and they wanted to have the most experienced operator.
20 Juka Prazina was operated on as well, who at the time was a powerful
21 figure in Sarajevo.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, where is all this taking us, all
23 this detail? Please lead the witness to evidence that is more relevant.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is a witness
25 who will testify to certain combat actions that had to do with that area,
1 but also he's in a good position as the doctor whom we heard before, Dr.
2 Pejic, to testify about other things. There was a serious discussion on
3 the relevance with that witness, and we had to forward our written
4 submission. This doctor worked in that hospital, which was in the AOR of
5 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
6 Could we please move into private session or closed session to --
7 in order to discuss this?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: To discuss what? You mean evidence from the
9 witness or is it submissions which you wish to make?
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to mention a certain
11 piece of information about this witness, and then we can immediately
12 return into open session. I wanted to state another piece of information
13 that has to do something with his testimony which might potentially
14 identify him.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Private session.
16 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Witness, you also testified in the Galic case. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You also testified in another proceedings conducted in Trebinje
2 back in 1996. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes. I think it was Judge Stevic or Stanic who summoned me to the
4 Trebinje court. I provided a statement and a testimony which lasted for
5 about an hour or an hour and a half.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I received a
7 document from the Prosecutor which is 65 ter document 3388. It has been
8 partially translated. I would kindly ask for the document to be shown to
9 the witness, since I wanted to put the translated part to him. I also
10 wanted to ask him a few things that he testified about before that
11 investigating judge in Trebinje.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I have it in Serbian, please?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us go to page 6, please, in
14 B/C/S, and this is the page that we see in the English.
15 Q. Can you look at paragraph 2, please, and if you can read the
17 A. "I have witnessed shells falling into the Kosevo Hospital area on
18 many occasions."
19 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the witness very well.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a second, please.
21 The interpreter is not able to hear the witness very well.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll start from the beginning.
23 "I have witnessed shells falling onto the Kosevo Hospital area on
24 many occasions. They hit the traumatology clinic twice in my immediate
25 vicinity. However, this always happened after repeated fire by the Muslim
1 army just below the traumatology clinic, where a school of some sort was
2 located and we would always take shelter later on as soon as they started
3 to fire on the Serb positions. This clinic was some 15 metres away from
4 the faculty of civil engineering, where this school was located."
5 And I have to add something. The institute for construction
6 material was at this distance. The faculty was about 10 to 30 -- or 10 to
7 50 metres behind that.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you. And what weapons did the Muslim army fire from the
10 vicinity of the hospital?
11 A. As part of the university --
12 MS. EDGERTON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: I would just like to make the point -- I'm not
15 raising a strong objection at this point, but I would just like to make
16 the point that this testimony was not something that was mentioned in the
17 65 ter summary at all, although of course we were aware this witness had
18 testified in the Galic case and have reviewed that testimony. But this
19 was not -- the nature of weapons that may or may not have been in the
20 vicinity of Kosevo Hospital was not something that was referred to in his
21 65 ter summary; it was something that was brought up in his Galic
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I hear the submission.
24 Continue, Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Q. Can you please explain to the Judges in more details which weapons
2 were fired from the vicinity of the hospital.
3 A. I saw the weapons, these were two small tanks, camouflaged, and
4 they moved in the yard among four buildings that were there in that
5 complex near the faculty, and they mainly fired in the direction of
6 Poljine, which is where the Serbian army was east -- to the east. It was
7 in the area called -- that we called Jezero and farther off. Usually what
8 happened was that after two or three firings from the same weapons, we
9 would take shelter in a different part of the building because this part
10 of the building facing the faculty was usually hit.
11 Q. And here on the same page, a little bit lower down, you mentioned
12 the Patriotic League that was in a building. Can you please read the last
13 paragraph of that same page. Yes, you can read that. There is a
14 translation for us.
15 A. "Immediately at the beginning of the war" --
16 Q. No, no, the last paragraph.
17 A. "There was also a command of the Patriotic League in the basement
18 and on the ground floor of the Faculty of Stomatology and the clinic and
19 in most of the schools and kindergartens that I know of in the vicinity of
20 the Kosevo Hospital. The commander of the staff at the stomatology clinic
21 was Juka Prazina, and I do not know who the staff commanders at the other
22 places that were mentioned were."
23 Q. These schools, these hospitals, what were they turned into, can
24 you please tell us?
25 A. It was in the following way --
1 Q. Witness, can you please wait for my question to be completely
2 transcribed, otherwise we're not going to get anywhere.
3 A. I went to the dentistry clinic to look at the wife of Juka Prazina
4 who was injured. He asked me to do that because I performed surgery on
5 him in February of that year, following injuries in a fight. The basement
6 area of the building was barricaded with timber and sandbags or bags
7 filled with earth, and the entrance for us staff was the side entrance and
8 everything was under guard. The kindergarten just underneath the medical
9 faculty where my friends lived nearby was full of soldiers. I don't know
10 the names. I don't know the names of the command particularly.
11 Q. Thank you. On page 4 --
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 4 on the
13 screen, please. There is no translation.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Before we go further, can we just confirm whether
15 we're talking about the period of 1992, 1993, 19 -- or some point in time
16 in 1994?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: What year is this, Witness?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the question of the
19 soldiers being in these buildings, this went on throughout the whole war.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Well, then, Your Honour, I would submit it's
21 irrelevant because we have no indication as to the basis of the witness's
22 knowledge in that regard.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that doesn't make it irrelevant. It goes
24 to a different issue of whether it is believable and reliable.
25 But let us know, Witness, what is the basis of your knowledge in
1 this matter?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was at the dentistry clinic twice,
3 and the situation both times was the way that I described it just now.
4 One time I was next to the kindergarten that I mentioned and I saw what I
5 described. The same thing was at the Kosevsko hill school --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the last part
7 of what the witness said.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you just repeat the last part of what you
9 said; the interpreter didn't hear it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same situation was in the
11 elementary school of Kosevsko Brdo, Kosevo hill, where the army was. I
12 know that because my younger daughter went to this school, of course
13 before the war. I went to work -- when I went to work, I often passed by
14 this school.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And you mentioned the kindergarten in your testimony. Can you
18 briefly tell us what you know about the kindergarten, which was used as a
19 kindergarten up to a certain point.
20 A. It was a kindergarten until the beginning of the war; after that,
21 no children went to the kindergarten. The kindergarten was located just
22 below the Mosa Pijade Street, that was its name before the war, and that's
23 near the medical faculty. Passing by the kindergarten, I have to mention
24 this once, I saw that there was soldiers inside and that there was a guard
25 posted outside.
1 Q. Now in your testimony, as well as your testimony in the Galic
2 case, you spoke about the suffering of people and some of your friends.
3 Can you briefly tell us what you know about that during the period you
4 were in the hospital and worked there until the beginning of 1994?
5 A. I know about the suffering of Serbs and Muslims --
6 Q. Can you please wait for my whole question to be typed out before
7 you begin your answer.
8 A. I know about the suffering of both Serbs and Muslims. I would
9 like to speak about the late Professor Milutin Najdanovic who went -- who
10 retired just before the war. He lived near the Kosevo Hospital in a
11 neighbourhood of the same name, Kosevo. A group of Muslim police, special
12 police, called Crna, took him out of his apartment one evening in front of
13 his wife, daughter, and granddaughter, and 50 metres away from his
14 apartment they killed him. He was found --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes -- yes, let us hear Ms. Edgerton.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Now I'm rising on the point of relevance, Your
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I would tend to agree with you, unless Mr.
19 Tapuskovic is able to persuade me otherwise.
20 Can you persuade me, Mr. Tapuskovic?
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] These are matters in the area of
22 responsibility at the time of the command of Dragomir Milosevic were not
23 happening. These were events that were in any case of significant
24 influence on the decision of people to maintain their positions so that
25 these things would just -- would not happen just like that, for no reason.
1 That is one of the elements.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not relevant. We have said time and again
3 that evidence of Serb suffering is not in and of itself relevant. You
4 must be able to link it to some issue in the indictment. Move on to
5 another matter.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness just
8 said both Serbs and Muslims. He said that specifically. I'm not
9 insisting on Serbs. He said Serbs and Muslims experienced the same
10 things. This is what --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: It doesn't make any difference. That particular
12 piece of evidence is irrelevant.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I just say one more sentence,
14 Your Honours?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not on this matter. Move on to another area of
16 the witness's evidence that is relevant.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness, do you recall any events relating to gun-fire connected
19 to the area of responsibility under the command of the Army of Bosnia and
21 A. There was shooting in the town throughout the war --
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in French it was
23 translated as "artillery fire." I mentioned infantry, gun-fire, so
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the transcript it is: "Do you recall any
1 events relating to gun-fire ..."
2 Is that what you said?
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague was listening to the
4 transcript in French, and there they said "artillery fire," but if in
5 English -- in English it's okay.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Very well. Proceed.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Yes, yes, can you please answer if you personally noticed or
9 experienced anything like that.
10 A. I said that there was firing in town the whole time. Of course we
11 heard gun-fire more because it was closer. On one occasion I was with my
12 wife at the Adra benevolence society, and it's close to the railway
13 station. There were about 80 to 120 people in a column there waiting for
14 assistance that was being delivered by name, but aid was delivered also to
15 those who did not put their names down for that from the same humanitarian
16 organisation. There was some gun-fire then in my opinion and according to
17 the sound it came from the Energoinvest building. The people fled. Some
18 threw themselves on the ground. I hid behind a wall, and I saw that from
19 the one-floor-but-last of the Energoinvest building there was a white
20 smoke. And judging by the direction of the sound, we understood that
21 that's where the fire came from.
22 I was lucky at another time, also in the summer of 1993, I think
23 that that's when it was, maybe in the middle of summer. I was walking on
24 the square in front of the railway station, and in front of me some 2 or 3
25 metres a bullet hit the asphalt. And I walked fast and then another one
1 fell behind me. Then I jumped behind a building and I could see two or
2 three shots. It all came from the area of Marin Dvor and earlier we heard
3 that there was certain activity, firing activity, from a high-rise
4 building near the technical school. And from the place where I was, the
5 building was maybe some 3 to 350 metres away as the crow flies.
6 Q. That location at Marin Dvor and the building you mentioned --
7 A. Energoinvest.
8 Q. Were in whose territory?
9 A. Of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina throughout the war.
10 Q. Can you tell us what happened in early January. Until then you
11 worked as a physician. What followed in the beginning of January 1994?
12 A. Between the 3rd and 4th of January, during the night, around 2.00
13 in the morning, the police knocked on my door, at least that's how they
14 introduced themselves. I opened the door. I was alone. Five policemen
15 entered. One held a torch-light turned towards my face, and another
16 couple of policemen were holding me at gun point. The other two or
17 searching the apartment. The whole thing may have lasted some 30 seconds.
18 I was taken downstairs to the vehicle they had and was taken to the
19 apartment of Dr. Ivan Sabljak. Then both of us were taken to
20 Dr. Nemanja Veljkov's apartment. Since he wasn't home, we were then taken
21 to the hospital and then to the police station. From that moment on we
22 were detained.
23 Three days after that, Ivan Sabljak's father hanged himself; he
24 was also a doctor.
25 Q. Can you explain the Judges what the reason was for your arrest.
1 Did they tell you anything about it? Were there any proceedings?
2 A. We don't know what the real reason was. It wasn't explained to us
3 at the moment of our arrest. While we were in the jail and when we
4 received an indictment, it read that we were accused of committing
5 genocide, of evading to serve the military service, and to do our work
6 obligation. We were also accused with collaborating with the enemy, which
7 means with the Serbian side.
8 Q. What sort of genocide, did they explain it to you?
9 A. Not the prosecutor, but Fahija Karkanj an attorney, explained it
10 to me, he shared my prison cell with me. He said what they thought
11 genocide was, when any assembly took place which had more than three
12 people in one place, they accused us of preparing an escape through the
13 sewage shaft, which by the way does not exist. We were simply collected
14 at our homes and there was something reported in the media cut out by my
15 brother who showed it to me.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Stop, please.
17 Ms. Edgerton.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, I would submit that this testimony is
19 not relevant to the charges against Dragomir Milosevic.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just explain the relevance, Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the terror
22 aimed at the civilians in Sarajevo, permanent terror, because people were
23 detained for no reason. That was the terror in its true meaning: Such
24 murders and arrests without justification. I believe in the overall
25 context it is of great significance, since we are discussing here the
1 situation in which Dragomir Milosevic is charged with terrorising under
2 the circumstances when he merely had to respond to enemy activity during
3 heavy offensives. The true terror in the literal meaning of the word, as
4 interpreted by the entire world, happened in Sarajevo itself. People were
5 arrested like this, held in prisons, and killed, like his -- this
6 witness's friend, Dr. Najdanovic. There was never any terror in the sense
7 the indictment describes it, rather it existed in Sarajevo, literally
8 speaking, and it was of the nature described by this witness. This is
9 nothing other but terrorist behaviour. Of course it is up to you to
10 determine the relevance of this, but the disappearing of people, detaining
11 people, and keeping them in camps in the AOR of the Army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina in that area is a textbook example of terror, as is
13 interpreted by the entire world.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but even if that is so, how does it become
15 relevant to the charges of terror against the accused? Because even if we
16 agree that it is terror, that would not mean that the Prosecution's
17 allegation of terror against the accused is not substantiated. They may
18 very well have been terrorised, the doctor and his friends, but what I am
19 not seeing from your submission is an explanation as to how that helps
20 you, assists the Defence, in relation to the Prosecution's charge of
21 terror against the accused. That's what you need to explain to me.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] As I have explained on several
23 occasions, upon your request, was that the intensity of combat activity on
24 the part of Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was something that needed response.
25 What the Army of Republika Srpska did was not a campaign directed at
1 civilians. What we were able to hear from witnesses, who like this
2 witness were able to cross to the other side, as we will hear during the
3 material time he managed to cross over, that means that what we managed to
4 hear from those people about the things happening in the territory of
5 Republika Srpska was something that strengthened their determination to
6 preserve the positions they had, not to respond in the same way and they
7 never did, we submit. But rather, this strengthened their decision and
8 wish to hold on to their own, particularly during the time of command of
9 Dragomir Milosevic. They wanted to keep their positions so as not to
10 suffer the same fate as the people who were on the other side. Such
11 things particularly did not happen in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps AOR
12 during the time of command of Dragomir Milosevic.
13 We've already explained this, and it is a very important reason
14 that kept them at their positions. It only strengthened their
15 determination, and they only undertook the activities that were necessary
16 to do so. However, that did not amount to any sort of campaign on the
17 part of the Army of Republika Srpska, particularly during the material
18 time, that was directed against civilians. This encompasses June, July,
19 and the following months. There was no such a campaign in place in
20 particular between August 1994 and until 1995.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
22 MS. EDGERTON: I'll maintain my objection, underlining that we're
23 here talking about a pre-indictment period. There might be some marginal
24 issue of relevance if this was something that had occurred during the
25 period of the indictment, but we're talking about a period sometime a year
1 more ahead of the indictment period.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, it's not an easy matter to
4 determine the relevance of this evidence. It is not abundantly clear that
5 it is -- that it is relevant. For one, it deals with the pre-indictment
6 period, as Ms. Edgerton says. Are you going to be bringing evidence from
7 this witness about the indictment period? Please don't make a speech.
8 Just answer yes or no.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was about to
10 move to that period.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: And then some of my -- one of my colleagues is
12 particularly concerned about the absence of any evidence relating to the
13 specific incidents in the indictment, and has urged me to inquire whether
14 you have any evidence in relation to those incidents, the incidents of
15 sniping and shelling that are set out in the indictment. Or is that not
16 part of the case that you are presenting to us?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, through this
18 witness -- I have to go back yet again to the indictment. It is quite
19 certain, and I have to repeat on this occasion as well, that the
20 indictment probably would not have dealt itself with the time until August
21 1994, and had it not been so we would have had a much easier task. Sorry,
22 I have to correct myself. Not the indictment, the Defence would like --
23 would have liked not to have to refer to the time preceding the time of
24 command of Dragomir Milosevic, which is August 1994 until the 21st of
25 November, 1995. In that case, Defence could have dealt with the situation
1 on a far more easier way. However, I feel obliged to state yet again that
2 a mere month before the beginning of the trial we received an amended
3 indictment. There was no possibility to submit any procedural submission
4 or objection to it. However, the changes were capital. It states that
5 Dragomir Milosevic as of the day when he assumed command inherited the
6 command and the campaign and pursued it further, as it existed until that
8 Therefore, Defence was found in a situation in which it could not
9 forego of a single day before the time in the indictment, concluding all
10 the general matters that preceded it. Therefore, we felt obliged to
11 tackle the events of 1992, 1993, and to introduce such witnesses as this
12 one. This witness, this doctor, will also testify about certain things
13 that Dr. Pejic had mentioned, which is the victims, the wounded, and
14 casualties that he was able to observe while working in one hospital and
15 then in another one. You approved of such testimony at that time after a
16 written submission by the Prosecutor on the lack of relevance, and after
17 our written submission and the discussion that followed, you decided still
18 that it had relevance, since the victims on the other side did not exist
19 in a vacuum. They speak to the intensity of activities of the Army
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, particularly in the summer of 1995, whereas during
21 an entire lengthy period of time preceding that one there were no such
22 combat activities.
23 This witness should complete his part of testimony in the next ten
24 minutes concerning the initial phase, and then we wanted to move on to the
25 other phase of his testimony, which is when he worked in the other
1 hospital and he can tell us whom he treated there.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what period does that relate to?
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The period of the summer of 1994
4 until the end of the war. Summer 1994 until the end of the war.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, I think we'd be more interested in
6 hearing that.
7 Judge Mindua has a question.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Tapuskovic, it's not really a
9 question, but this is an observation I'd like to make. As our Presiding
10 Judge has said, the work we do is a very delicate job. There is equality
11 of arms between the Prosecution and the Defence, and both parties need to
12 submit their arguments. As far as I'm concerned, I understand full well
13 the position of the Prosecutor and I understand -- or at least I tried to
14 understand because the Prosecution has presented us with an indictment.
15 And you wish to challenge this indictment. And this is why I'm making an
16 effort and trying to understand what it is you're doing. I want to make
17 sure that I understand what you are doing correctly.
18 So we have the pre-indictment period and we have -- so we have the
19 period which precedes the time when Dragomir Milosevic commanded the unit,
20 and then we have the period which covers the time when Dragomir Milosevic
21 was the commander. And you are right in saying that according to the
22 indictment he inherited the campaign from General Galic. And this is --
23 your argument goes to the terror charge when you say this.
24 And what I would like to know is whether the terror existed
25 because it was due to Dragomir Milosevic or that it was a pervasive terror
1 that was there anyway because of the various sides that were combatting
2 each other. Now, for the period which starts at the time when Dragomir
3 Milosevic was commanding the SRK, what I would like to know is this: Are
4 you saying that terror did not exist or existed for all and everyone
5 without any distinction, and whether you are going to dwell on the
6 incidents which the Prosecution mentions in its indictment? You don't
7 have to, of course, you have your own strategy, but this is just a
8 question I want to put to you because I'd like to know.
9 Once Dragomir Milosevic was a commander of the SRK, are you going
10 to once again dwell on the issue of terror or are you going to rebut the
11 arguments of the Prosecution relating more specifically to all the
12 incidents contained in the indictment? This is my question.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, had we stayed with
14 the original indictment that was in force until a month before the trial
15 began, I would have dealt exclusively with that time-period and I would
16 have tried to demonstrate what the period from December to -- from August
17 to December 1994 was like, and from December to May 1995 and onwards.
18 However, what we were able to do in relation to certain incidents from the
19 indictment, we did and we managed to gather the number of exhibits that
20 were available relating to those incidents. During the time of the
21 events, no officer of the Army of Republika Srpska was able to go across
22 to the side under the control of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to
23 check for possible evidence relating to the period of command of Dragomir
24 Milosevic. So what we are trying to show is that it was not possible to
25 conduct any kind of research or investigation because it was absolutely
1 out of the question to cross over to the other side and to establish
2 certain things. What we can do in the context of the evidence presented
3 by the Prosecutor is to deal with each of the incidents, but in order to
4 analyse each of those incidents we need to wait till the end of the trial.
5 And we will most definitely try to present our arguments to you, whereby
6 we consider that the incidents were not proved as an act of direct fire by
7 the accused, Dragomir Milosevic.
8 And, Your Honour, Judge Mindua, that will be our most difficult
9 and most important task. It will be our most important task, and we
10 believe that based on the evidence already presented by the Prosecutor, we
11 can point to certain things and show that the incidents that the
12 indictment is based on are not the way the Prosecutor is presenting them.
13 In some cases, such as in the case of a witness heard by you a few days
14 ago here or there was a witness here who spoke about events relating to
15 Grdonja we can discuss those documents but it is not possible for us to
16 find witnesses from the actual place where things happened. But based on
17 the evidence presented by the Prosecutor we can demonstrate that many of
18 them were victims of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And the Defence
19 understands this to be as its most difficult task to deal with the
20 incidents. However, in these circumstances all we can do now is to talk
21 about the things that we can prove.
22 First of all, that there was no such campaign. Absolutely there
23 was no such campaign as something that dominated. This is the most
24 serious part of the indictment. That there was no terrorising the
25 population. But, as I explained several times before, I don't want to
1 repeat it, what we are trying to show is that the campaign, that's the
2 gist of the indictment, and then we intend to deal with the incidents. So
3 we are obliged when the time comes to present to you all of our reasons in
4 relation to each specific incident.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi.
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes, good morning, Mr. President. Just one really
8 important point to make of a general nature because Mr. Tapuskovic keeps
9 repeating that the Prosecution changed kind of the rules of the game by
10 issuing its new indictment, amended indictment, a month before trial. The
11 indictment word by word almost verbatim followed the old indictment, and
12 it just spelled it out more clearly. Because already in the old
13 indictment in paragraph 4 it says: "For 44 months the Sarajevo-Romanija
14 Corps implemented a military strategy which used shelling and sniping to
15 kill, maim, wound, and terrorise the civilian inhabitants of Sarajevo.
16 The shelling and sniping killed and wounded thousands of civilians of both
17 sexes and all ages, including civilian children and the elderly."
18 It goes on already in the original indictment to talk about the
19 role of the accused as the Chief of Staff under General Galic. The
20 word "inherited" is a new word which just spells out that the Chief of
21 Staff during the Galic period took over this campaign outlined in the
22 Galic indictment. It was more clear. It talks more about the, perhaps,
23 the previous roles the accused had as a commander of the 1st Sarajevo
24 Brigade in 1992, but the characteristics of the campaign did not change at
25 all. So it's really important for me to tell you, Mr. President, Your
1 Honours, that the case was exactly the same under the old indictment and
2 under the new indictment. Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: But to the extent that you say that the accused
4 inherited the campaign of General Galic, it would assist the Defence to
5 show that there was no such campaign during General Galic's time for the
6 accused to inherit. Isn't that so?
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes, and they are totally free to do that.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed, Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you.
11 Before I continue my examination-in-chief, and I don't have too
12 much left, I'm going to finish before the break, I would like to tender
13 the 65 ter document 3388 as a Defence exhibit.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Under seal.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Under seal.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be admitted as D289, under
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Witness T-61, perhaps we can cover things were quickly now. Let's
21 not go back to the prison. How long were you there?
22 A. I was exchanged and crossed over to the Serb side on the 16th of
23 June, 1994. I was imprisoned for five and a half months.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we move into
25 private session for a moment, please.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Private session.
2 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC:
16 Q. [No interpretation]
17 A. The hospital was east of Sarajevo, some 3 kilometres to the east
18 the airport on the slopes of Trebevic, close to Mojmilo hill. And
19 soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska were mostly treated there as well
20 as civilians from the Grbavica, Vrace, and the Ilidza area around
21 Nedzarici and Trnovo and Kalinovik, and partially Trebevic, from all those
22 settlements, Dobrinja and so on, Lukavica, as well as the other closer
24 Q. [Interpretation] You said you got there in June?
25 A. Late June.
1 Q. Okay, late June. Did you ever meet General Dragomir Milosevic?
2 A. The first time I saw him was here. I heard of his name, of
3 course, but I don't know when he took over his position from the previous
5 Q. What was your job. What were you doing?
6 A. Mostly I was working in the hospital. I was sleeping there as
7 well. I spent four months under the Treskavica in the place of Kalinovik
8 where we had mobile medical units.
9 Q. How long did you stay in that hospital?
10 A. I stayed in the hospital until after the war, until March or April
12 Q. And now, if you can just answer a few more questions. You got
13 there in late June. Can you please describe the situation there until the
14 end of 1994 in terms of the wounded. You said that you treated civilians
15 and soldiers. Can you, please, describe that time until the end of 1994.
16 A. It seems to me that --
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm no longer in private session,
18 Your Honour?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recall that period from the time
20 that I arrived at the Kasindol Hospital until the end as a relatively
21 peaceful period. There weren't many military actions. The number of
22 soldiers was not that large. More wounded tended to come from Grbavica,
23 because that was densely populated and it was close to a place we called
24 Debelo Brdo or Debeli Brijeg which was behind the neighbourhood and there
25 was fire from war weapons from that area. I believe one afternoon I
1 treated four women who were seriously wounded. I guess there was more
2 activity in terms of fire that day.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And, Witness T-61, how long did this quiet period last?
5 A. This was until sometime in October. Already in October we had to
6 move the mobile surgical unit to Kalinovik and we had to take a detour of
7 some 300 kilometres because the Kalinovik-Sarajevo or the
8 Kalinovik-Kasindol road was cut for the wounded and we had to relocate the
9 mobile surgical unit, numbering three surgeons and other staff to an
10 institution in Kalinovik. We had to take a detour of some 300 kilometres
11 in order to reach Kalinovik, even though it's 50 kilometres away if you
12 took the usual route there. Activities intensified then but this was more
13 in Treskavica in those areas of the -- not so much in the civilian
14 neighbourhoods, and that's when we started to treat more soldiers and more
15 civilian from Trnovo.
16 Q. Thank you. And how long did this last?
17 A. It's difficult to determine the exact period, but we stayed up
18 there throughout the winter.
19 Q. And did a different period follow that one?
20 A. In the summer, if you're thinking of 1995 --
21 Q. I'm thinking of early 1995.
22 A. I think in early 1995, it could have been March. Well let's say
23 it was late March/early spring, there was activities on Igman and
24 Treskavica and I was on Kasindol at the time while my other colleagues
25 were in Kalinovik.
1 Q. And what was the period that you remember? What do you remember
2 that was characteristic for that period, that is, out of the ordinary?
3 A. I think in June or July 1995 and November 1995, I remembered in
4 June I was in Kasindol and in November I was in Kalinovik. Kalinovik was
5 intensely shelled. There was a pupil killed in front of her school at the
6 time, and the facility we were in also was hit but there was no major
7 damage. And I was hit by shrapnel, but it only got my trousers.
8 Q. Thank you. I'm interested in June and July.
9 A. Are you thinking of 1995?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. It was a very difficult period. I think that that was when
12 Lukavica was bombed and the buildings around Kalinovik also. The bridges
13 in Foca were bombed and the communications were cut.
14 Q. Please, I'm interested in the Sarajevo municipalities.
15 A. The Sarajevo municipalities are Lukavica, which was intensely
16 bombarded, it lost several buildings, a few civilians were hit, including
17 some soldiers; and Trnovo also suffered a lot of damage. Since our team
18 could not get through to Trnovo, we called a team from the Foca Hospital,
19 which then went to Trnovo.
20 Q. How many wounded were there at the time and what was the type of
22 A. Most injuries were caused by shelling because the sides were
23 farther apart and plain gun fire was useless. If you mean in terms of
24 structure, I can tell you that there were many more civilians who were
25 wounded in Trnovo than soldiers.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honours. I note the time, and in light
6 of the fact that the greater part of this witness's testimony this morning
7 dealt with events around Kosevo Hospital, the use of weapons, none of
8 which we had received any notice of in the 65 ter summary, I wonder if I
9 might make this unusual request, that we take the break now and resume at
10 the normal time, which would give me a chance to review his earlier
11 testimony in detail and finalise my cross-examination. I think it might
12 work to expedite things later on.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, you have characterised it as an unusual
14 request, Ms. Edgerton, but you have made it before. But it's still -- Mr.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, it is
17 stated clearly: [In French]" -- The beginning of the armed conflict in
18 Sarajevo and the activities from the Kosevo Hospital."
19 [In B/C/S] It is very clearly stated -- it is clearly stated in
20 the summary that we were to deal with the activities from the hospital.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, in all the circumstances we will grant the
23 request. We'll resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
4 Q. Witness 61, and that's how I'll refer to you, I'd like to ask you
5 some questions today based on some of the testimony you've given and some
6 of the things you've said previously to this Tribunal and to other
7 authorities. Now, if you can't understand anything that I say, if it's
8 not clear or if you don't hear it, you'll please tell me, wouldn't you?
9 A. Yes, certainly.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, just to clear up a couple of things. From what I
11 understand from you, from January to June 1994, you were detained. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. Between the 2nd of January and the 16th of June that year.
14 Q. And from your exchange, if I can call it that, until the end of
15 the conflict you were not within Bosnian-held territory in any regard. Is
16 that correct?
17 A. That is correct, I was not.
18 Q. So you have no information then based on personal experience as to
19 the situation within Sarajevo from January 1994. That's when your
20 personal experience ended?
21 A. It is correct that there was no personal experience, but I watched
22 television and listened to the radio on -- from both sides.
23 Q. When you say "from both sides," by that I take to mean you
24 listened to Serb radio and TV as well as Bosnian radio and TV. Is that
1 A. Yes, you put it correctly.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, am I also correct when I say that I understand
3 that during the conflict there were actually at least three hospitals in
4 Bosnian-held Sarajevo that received patients, the Kosevo Hospital, the
5 state hospital, and the hospital in Dobrinja. Is that right?
6 A. Yes, it is. The Dobrinja Hospital was a small facility of some 20
7 beds in total. It was headed by Hadzi Jusuf who used to be my work mate.
8 I used to be his boss.
9 Q. Now, people then came to these hospitals for help actually
10 depending on the area in which they were or maybe their ability to access
11 the hospital safely. Isn't that correct?
12 A. At the beginning of the war, it was a bit different, but later it
13 was as you put it. The first five or six months of the war there was a
14 distribution centre of sorts in place. It was housed in the clinic where
15 I worked, and the distribution was done by the team that I headed. We
16 were but one of the surgical clinics. We also sent people to the state
17 hospital, which used to be the military hospital. We did not send people
18 to the Dobrinja facility, though, because access to it was difficult. It
19 was risky to go there and it was also small.
20 Q. Now, moving on to another area. You, I understand then,
21 personally didn't see whether from August 1994 to November 1995 there were
22 armed soldiers in or around Kosevo Hospital; it was simply impossible, you
23 weren't there. Is that correct?
24 A. It is correct, and I wasn't able to see that.
25 Q. All right. Similarly --
1 A. However, I have to add something. One could see the civil
2 engineering faculty close to the hospital on television. One could see
3 the exercises conducted there by different troops. Therefore, we did have
4 some indirect information.
5 Q. I'll get to the subject of the media towards the end, actually, of
6 our time together. But just to go on along this line, similarly, you
7 personally did not see whether between August 1994 and November 1995
8 Bosnian forces fired anything from the hospital ground or the facilities?
9 You weren't there, you didn't see it. Anything you learned from the media
10 was second-hand?
11 A. I was 10 kilometres away. I wasn't able to see that -- or maybe
12 12 or 15 kilometres away.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. In line
15 -- that is, page 34, line 9, there was a mention of artillery exercises,
16 whereas it says here "troops." It doesn't reflect accurately what the
17 witness had said.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: What do you say the witness actually said?
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague followed the
20 transcript. There was a mention of an artillery school that trained
21 there. Perhaps the witness can confirm or correct us.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. --
23 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honour, that wasn't the question I
24 had asked initially, and I don't quite follow the issue with respect to
25 the transcript any longer.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but let us just have the witness tell us.
2 What is it that you said, Witness, about seeing either troops or
3 exercises conducted there by different troops?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While I was in Sarajevo until the
5 3rd of January, 1994, that is, there was an artillery school there which
6 was founded in the first couple of months of the war. I believe it
7 remained there until the end of the war, but I cannot know that.
8 MS. EDGERTON: I understood -- my question went to whether or not
9 the witness had seen Bosnian forces firing anything from the hospital
10 ground between August 1994 and November 1995, and I'll leave it, Your
11 Honour. I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. But I'm interested to find out from the
14 The artillery school of which you speak was established by whom?
15 And exactly where was it located?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The school was in the building of
17 the faculty of civil engineering and of architecture. It is one building
18 with two wings. My older daughter used to study architecture in that
19 building. I went there once in the summer of 1992 to pick up her
20 documents. They wouldn't let me in, however. There was a guard posted
21 there and the artillery school had already been established. The lady who
22 was in charge of the student office was escorted into the building. She
23 was allowed to go, but I was not. When going to work and passing by the
24 building every day, I could see both troops and guards there, of course
25 while I was in Sarajevo, in the part of it that was under Muslim control.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. So exactly where was it located in relation
2 to the hospital? Was it actually in the hospital or beside it?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't in the hospital. It
4 was 50 or 70 metres below the building I worked in. There were four
5 buildings in total. One was the faculty, one was the traffic institute,
6 one was the institute for testing construction material, and this last
7 building was some 20 metres away from the building where I worked. And
8 the rest was within the perimeter.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: And this was established by the ABiH, the Bosnian
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Army of BiH, there was no other
12 army there.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: And for the record, Your Honour, the Prosecution is
15 prepared to concede that sometime in June or July 1992 there were two
16 tanks initially stored at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
17 grounds, which are about a hundred metres from the Kosevo Hospital
18 complex. That's the concession we're prepared to make. However, very
19 quickly one was rendered inoperable and the other was moved to Ciglane
20 tunnel. This is one of the points we raised in the adjudicated facts that
21 was ruled upon.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: But do you concede that an artillery school was
23 established there?
24 MS. EDGERTON: No.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Robinson, my
2 learned friend said that they are ready to concede. It is a type of
3 testimony. I would expect the Prosecutor to ask the witness: How many
4 pieces were there. The learned friend said: We concede, we are ready to
5 accept, and we haven't heard anything concerning that from the witness. I
6 believe I have to object to that. The witness did not provide any answers
7 to my learned friend's question about tanks, whereas she said: We are
8 ready to accept that there were two tanks. I think it is an open-ended
9 question and out of place.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, maybe I'm not understanding Ms. Edgerton.
11 Ms. Edgerton, as I understand it, has not put any questions to the
13 Have you put questions to the witness about the existence of
15 MS. EDGERTON: My question was specifically limited to 1994/1995
16 period, Your Honour --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MS. EDGERTON: -- but in light of the discussion that was going on
19 between Your Honour and my friend, I was prepared to make this concession
20 on behalf of the Prosecutor which might clarify matters and expedite
21 matters somewhat, especially since we're dealing with a pre-indictment
22 period by two years.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the concession is in relation to 1992. And
24 being a concession, I mean, she doesn't have to put questions to the
25 witness about that.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, well, I mean, it's a matter for you to
3 decide how you react to it, Mr. Tapuskovic, how you react to the
5 MS. EDGERTON: May I move on, Your Honours?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. I --
8 Q. Witness 61, just to get back on track, you personally -- and this
9 is going to involve a bit of repetition. You personally didn't see
10 whether, between August 1994 and November 1995, there were armed soldiers
11 in or around Kosevo Hospital. Is that correct? You personally didn't see
13 A. For the third time, I was unable to see that. I was 12 kilometres
14 away at the time.
15 Q. Thank you. And that -- the same goes for whether Bosnian forces
16 fired anything from hospital grounds or facilities. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. And the same goes for whether there were any tanks or other heavy
19 weapons located in the area of the hospital compound. Is that also
21 A. It was all close to the hospital grounds. Let us not mix two
22 different things. The tanks were very close to the perimeter of the
23 hospital, as I've been saying. But as to what was happening from January
24 1994 until 1995 and on to the end of the war, I don't know, I wasn't
1 Q. And the same goes for whether or not there were actually any
2 operational military facilities in or around the hospital. And maybe for
3 the sake of clarity we could talk about the Kosevo Hospital compound.
4 A. If you're referring to the period from 1994 onwards, I don't know
5 that. But the school I mentioned which was in the immediate vicinity of
6 the hospital remained there until the end of the war, because the faculty
7 of architecture was located in the medical school and another faculty in
8 the School of Mechanical Engineering throughout the war.
9 Q. But is my understanding -- your assertion to that effect is based
10 entirely on second-hand knowledge, what you might have seen through the
11 media. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct, because I watched both television programmes,
13 the Serbian and the Bosnian, and also I received some newspapers from
14 UNPROFOR soldiers. I'm referring to newspapers from the Muslim territory.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, because you simply weren't there, you can't say
16 anything about the frequency of admissions of patients to Kosevo Hospital
17 with shelling or sniping injuries during this August 1994 to November 1995
18 period, can you?
19 A. I have no answer to that question. I wasn't there.
20 Q. Going back to the period of time that you were there, sir, you
21 mentioned in your evidence in chief about the proportion of civilian
22 wounded to the proportion of wounded people who might have been engaged in
23 military activity. Am I correct if I say that that proportion could
24 actually vary from hospital to hospital because of the very different
25 areas of the town they were located?
1 Did you not hear what I said, sir?
2 A. As far as I know from the information I had, I'm talking about the
3 hospital in Nedzarici and Dobrinja, I wasn't there but it was mostly
4 soldiers who were admitted there because the separation line was close.
5 As for Kosevo Hospital, about 70 to 80 per cent were soldiers and the
6 remainder was civilians. That is, of course, an average. There were days
7 when the situation was different.
8 Q. Actually, sir, in your testimony earlier today you said 50 -- with
9 regard to your hospital, you said 50 to 60 per cent of the wounded were
10 soldiers and 30 to 40 per cent civilians. Are you now saying that the
11 proportion that you had earlier set out is incorrect?
12 A. Well, 15 years have elapsed and it's difficult to be precise about
13 percentages. This is just an impression. Nobody kept track of this and
14 wrote reports about it, so it's hard to answer such a question. Was it 3
15 or 5 per cent more or less? Well, it's impossible to say.
16 Q. In fact, though, would you -- all right. Would you be able to say
17 this: Were shelling and sniping incidents, although the numbers varied,
18 constant until the time you were arrested? Were the -- let me rephrase it
19 to be clearer.
20 Were -- did you see injuries caused as a result of shelling or
21 sniping throughout the time you were there until you were arrested?
22 A. I saw that, although it's hard to tell what a sniper wound is
23 actually, because you can always tell whether somebody was wounded by
24 artillery or by shrapnel, but whether it was a sniper or not, you can't
25 say. And a person can actually have a chance of surviving and getting to
1 the surgeon if the sniper has made a mistake and not hit the target.
2 Snipers mostly aim at the head and the chest.
3 Q. What proportion --
4 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment.
5 Q. Of the [Realtime transcript read in error "other than"] civilians,
6 were the greater proportion injured by sniping? Of the civilians. The
7 transcript reads "other than civilians".
8 Of the civilians, were the greater proportion injured by sniping,
9 as opposed to military -- as opposed to any other injury?
10 A. Explain to you, Madam, that a surgeon can never distinguish
11 between a sniper wound and other wounds. They can distinguish between
12 wounds caused by an explosive device and wounds caused by artillery
13 weapons. So we had explosive wounds and entry wounds. That was what we
14 saw as surgeons.
15 Q. Would you include -- when you say an "entry wound," are you using
16 that to describe a gun-shot wound?
17 A. Both. An explosive device can also have an entry wound or an
18 entry/exit wound, but they look different.
19 Q. They must look vastly different, don't they, sir?
20 A. Yes, that's correct. That's correct.
21 Q. What proportion of the civilian patients you treated were injured
22 by explosive wounds?
23 A. It's hard for me to be precise as to the percentages after a lapse
24 of 15 to 17 years, but perhaps after a half were gun-shot wounds and about
25 a half were explosive wounds. However, one has to understand that it was
1 different on different days. When there was fighting, many people arrived
2 in civilian clothes and said they were civilians, but some of them were
3 actually soldiers in civilian clothing. So it was very hard to
4 distinguish and no precise statistics were ever kept, let alone published.
5 Q. Sir, with respect, in Sarajevo during the conflict there were
6 really two types of injuries, weren't there, those caused by explosives
7 and those caused by shooting. Isn't that the case?
8 A. Yes, yes, I've already said that twice today.
9 Q. And all of the civilians that you treated with rare exception came
10 to your clinic victims of those kinds of injuries. Isn't that correct?
11 A. They had both kinds of wounds if you're talking about the kinds of
12 weapons that were used.
13 Q. Thank you. You actually -- you've treated civilians for injuries
14 as a result of shelling and sniping from as early as April 1992, haven't
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the third time
18 there is reference to sniping. The witness explained more than once that
19 there were gun-shot wounds and explosive wounds, and those could be
20 distinguished. My learned friend keeps referring to sniping, but the
21 witness said quite decidedly that he could only establish whether the
22 wound was a gun-shot or an explosive wound. For the third time my learned
23 friend is referring to sniping, although the witness explained that he
24 could not tell the difference between sniping and other kinds of gun-shot
25 wounds. He could only distinguish between gun-shot wounds and explosive
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's true, Ms. Edgerton. The witness has said
3 time and again that he can't distinguish sniping from shelling wound. So
4 it's not fair to put to him a question that he has treated civilians for
5 injuries as a result of shelling and sniping.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Perhaps --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: He doesn't accept -- he has not been able to make
8 that distinction.
9 MS. EDGERTON: He did say, Your Honour, with respect that gun-shot
10 wounds and explosive wounds were vastly different. I think the
11 distinction is between sniping as opposed to any other kind of small-arms
12 fire. So perhaps I could use the word small-arms fire, injuries from
13 small-arms fire. Quite so.
14 Q. If I could go back to the question, my original question, sir,
15 you've treated injuries as a result of small-arms fire and shelling from
16 as early as April 1992, haven't you?
17 A. Correct, Madam, but I have to explain that a hand-grenade is also
18 a fire weapon, but there are only two kinds of war wounds. I am a
19 specialist in war wounds, that's my specialty. A surgeon can distinguish
20 only between a wound caused by a bullet and a wound caused by an
21 explosion, a shell, a hand-grenade, and so on. No other distinctions can
22 be made by a surgeon. Any other distinction made by a surgeon would be
23 medically untenable.
24 Q. Perhaps --
25 A. Excuse me. Hand-grenades are also weapons carried by infantry
1 soldiers. Each one has several hand-grenades with him.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Perhaps we could have a document brought up on the
3 screen for the witness, please, 03381. I'm sorry, the B/C/S version of
4 the document maybe could be made a tiny bit smaller.
5 Q. Sir, can you see the document on the right-hand side of the screen
6 in front of you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Am I correct when I say this is a medical report on a --
9 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, I knew this doctor. He was
11 killed, unfortunately.
12 MS. EDGERTON:
13 Q. This is a medical report on a woman hit by a shell, isn't it?
14 A. Correct. It was a piece of shrapnel.
15 Q. On April 5th of 1992. Doesn't, sir, the presence or the notation
16 that shrapnel is recovered from the injury denote an injury caused by a
18 A. An explosive device, we don't know whether it was a mortar, a
19 bomb, a rocket, or something else, but it was certainly an explosive
21 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment. We seem to be
22 missing a second page of this document.
23 [Microphone not activated]
24 Maybe I should turn my microphone on. Thank you. Could we not
25 broadcast this second page.
1 Q. Sir, under -- on this page 2 that appears in front of you under
2 the heading "Case History," which says -- do you not see where it says
3 that this woman was hit --
4 A. Yes, I see it.
5 Q. Do you not see where it says that this woman was hit by a shell?
6 A. Yes, it does. I said that even before I saw this.
7 Q. Does that document appear to you to be authentic?
8 A. Yes, certainly.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. EDGERTON: If I could have that entered as a Prosecution
11 exhibit, please, and it should probably be under seal.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why should that be so? Why, Ms. Edgerton?
13 MS. EDGERTON: In my confusion over what I thought was a missing
14 second page of the document, I forgot to ask the witness a question with
15 respect to the second page. Let me try again, Your Honours.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, we'll need a redaction and I'll
23 withdraw the document. Mystery solved.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let that be redacted.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have 03383, please.
1 Does this document have a second page? This document should also
2 not be broadcast.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This document is also signed, but
5 there is no indication it was signed by this doctor.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MS. EDGERTON: We need another redaction, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Another redaction.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 MS. EDGERTON: And I'll withdraw the document and move on.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: I'd like to move on, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on, yes.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
17 Q. Sir, in your testimony in the Galic case and today and in your
18 statement that you gave to RS authorities some years ago, you said that
19 you had seen shells falling on the Kosevo Hospital on many occasions in
20 the period 1992 to 1994. Is that correct?
21 A. I saw three shells landing. I was at the clinic when two of them
22 landed, and the third landed in the upper right-hand corner of the clinic
23 while I was away, but I saw the hole it made.
24 Q. So you were actually in the hospital when three shells landed. Is
25 that correct?
1 A. I was there when two shells landed. The third fell while I was
2 absent, but I saw the place where it landed.
3 Q. Sir, are you saying that between the whole period of 1992 and
4 1994, the Kosevo Hospital was shelled on only three occasions?
5 A. I'm speaking of the traumatology ward, where I was working. The
6 Kosevo Hospital is a large complex of buildings, but we heard shells
7 landing nearby. And I'm certain that about ten shells landed on the
8 Kosevo Hospital. I know one fell on the eye clinic which is outside the
9 compound; one on the orthopaedic clinic; and two or three --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear which clinic.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you just repeat what you said, Doctor. And
12 two or three, the interpreter didn't get the last part of that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was present at the traumatology
14 ward when two shells landed there. Fortunately one of them did not go
15 off, it didn't explode. And a third fell on the traumatological ward
16 while I was absent, but I saw the place where it landed. Another one
17 landed on the orthopaedic clinic which I saw for myself, not the shell
18 falling but the place where it fell. And I heard that one landed in the
19 corridor of the eye clinic but that was outside the Kosevo compound, and
20 on that occasion a friend of mine, Dr. Vladimir Deljanik was killed.
21 MS. EDGERTON:
22 Q. How big is the Kosevo compound, sir, how many hectares of
23 territory does it cover?
24 A. Let me just list the buildings. It's a complex of 12 to 14
25 buildings, and it covers quite a large area but I can't tell you how many
1 square metres it covers.
2 Q. 12 to 14 different clinics?
3 A. There was also an administrative building, there was a special
4 building for the boiler room in the technical services, and the remainder
5 were clinics.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, he said 12 to 14 buildings.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not 12 to 14 clinics.
10 MS. EDGERTON: I see, Your Honour.
11 Q. Now, you've talked about Kosevo Hospital being hit. Would you
12 agree with me that you're of the understanding that it was Serb forces, in
13 particular the SRK, firing at Kosevo Hospital?
14 A. It's correct that the Serb forces were firing on the Kosevo
15 Hospital, but I know because my office at the clinic faced the faculty of
16 building construction, which I mentioned, and there were always two,
17 three, or four firings in the direction of Poljine where the Serb forces
18 were and then there was a response. I cannot say that the shell which
19 landed on the orthopaedic clinic was from that area because it was not
20 accessible from Poljine. So the shell must have come from some other
22 Q. So --
23 A. We -- when shelling started from the technical faculty or the
24 building construction faculty, we always took shelter in the upper part of
25 the building, which was a bit further away and which was safer. And we
1 would take the patients further away from that side facing the technical
3 Q. Sir, I understand your testimony that you found -- you feel that
4 shelling of your clinic on at least two occasions may have been a response
5 to fire from the Bosnian forces. But are you asserting that all the
6 shelling on the Kosevo Hospital compound was responsive to fire from the
7 Bosnian forces?
8 A. I can't assert that about the time when I wasn't there, when I was
9 at home. But it was like that when I was there.
10 Q. What about the shell that fell on the orthopaedic --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry, I just want to have that clarified.
12 So, Doctor, you're saying that when you were at the hospital all
13 the firing from the RSK forces was responsive, responsive, that is, to
14 firing from the ABiH?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say about every firing
16 because I wasn't at the hospital all the time, but the two shells that
17 landed while I was at the clinic were responsive.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. And you indicated that those were responsive to fire from what you
21 described as small tanks. Isn't that right?
22 A. First there was fire from small tanks, they were smaller in size;
23 and then about ten minutes, after two or three firings were made, there
24 would be a response towards the Muslim forces.
25 Q. And that response was with mortars as well as artillery, wasn't
2 A. Madam, mortars are also artillery. Everything that fires
3 explosive devices is artillery. We don't know what was used. We only
4 know that there were shells.
5 Q. Would you agree that the shells were designed -- the shells used
6 against the hospital were designed not to eliminate tanks but to inflict
7 as much damage as possible?
8 A. Well, I don't know what use it would be for them to inflict damage
9 on patients who were not able to fight. They were firing at the tanks
10 that were close to the hospital, but because the hospital compound was
11 close by and in view of the distance involved, very small error would
12 result in a projectile landing on the hospital. Well, patients are
13 irrelevant as targets for an army since they are not able to fight. And
14 it's not worth wasting weapons, wasting ammunition, for any army on people
15 like that, on patients.
16 Q. So you would disagree when I would put to you that the fire that
17 was returned on the hospital was actually designed to inflict -- to kill,
18 actually, and injure as many people as possible? It was, sir, in fact, a
19 completely inappropriate weapon to return fire on a tank with.
20 A. You're not right. The fire was to silence the tank weapons around
21 the hospital, but since the place from where it was fired was quite away,
22 then a small mistake in targeting made the shells drop around the
23 hospital. If you are talking about shelling in general, the hospital
24 would not be very difficult to hit.
25 Q. But, sir, you've just said two times now: A small mistake in
1 targeting resulted in the hospital being hit. Doesn't that speak volumes
2 to you about the inappropriateness of that kind of -- the use of that kind
3 of weapon against a hospital facility?
4 A. Perhaps the intention was not for that to be used against the
5 hospital facilities. It was intended to destroy the tanks that were below
6 the hospital. It would have been very easy to hit the hospital, and any
7 weapon could be able to hit the buildings in the hospital complex.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me, Witness. Do you recall whether the
9 tanks were still present by the time the two shells were fired back? In
10 other words, had the two tanks that had fired the shots against Poljine,
11 were they still in the vicinity when the fire was returned or had they
12 already left?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The tanks were there throughout the
14 time that I was at the hospital until the 1st of January, 1994. They were
15 always around the faculty buildings. They moved around, they fired
16 shells, and then would move out of the way quickly. But for as long as I
17 was there, they were constantly in that area.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: So you are saying that the tanks who fired the
19 shots which triggered the response from the RSK remained in the same
20 position by the time the fire was returned. They did not move around or
21 away; that's what you're saying?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, perhaps we didn't understand
23 each other or it was misinterpreted. The tanks were camouflaged. They
24 moved around in that area and they were always in that area. They would
25 just move around a little bit, as much as they could. It's quite a large
1 compound. There are large trees. It was like a large park where the
2 faculty buildings were, and the tanks stayed there throughout that whole
3 time. Of course they would move back 50, 100, 150 metres back or forward.
4 They would shield themselves behind buildings or behind the institute
5 for the -- for construction materials.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 MS. EDGERTON:
8 Q. So, sir, if they move out of the way quickly after they fired 50,
9 100, or 150 metres, why then launch return fire with something like a
10 mortar, which is designed to injure as many people as possible?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness did not
13 say "mortars." Once he said that he was not able to establish what
14 weapons were used for firing. He never mentioned mortars. He was very
15 certain when he said that he could not know which weapons were involved,
16 but the Prosecutor is insisting on something that the witness did not
17 actually mention.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Also I doubt very much whether he can say why
19 fire was returned with something like a mortar.
20 MS. EDGERTON:
21 Q. Witness, do you find, having been there at the time, did you find
22 the type of weapon that you saw used against the hospital to have been an
23 appropriate weapon in those circumstances?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, on the witness's behalf, you would have to
25 explain what you mean by "appropriate," Ms. Edgerton.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. Would a weapon of the type you saw used against the hospital, with
3 the damage it must have caused, in your mind have been an appropriate
4 weapon to use against a medical complex?
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't answer the question yet.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness does not have to answer this
8 question. He's not in a position to give that kind of evidence.
9 MS. EDGERTON:
10 Q. Witness, you actually have no way of knowing what the intention of
11 the SRK gunners were, do you?
12 A. [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: The witness's microphone is switched off.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness's microphone needs to be switched on.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the intentions, but
16 the fact is that shells did drop only around the edges of the hospitals or
17 at the buildings that were facing the faculty of engineering. And I think
18 the ear, nose, and throat clinic was hit once, that building. The other
19 buildings were not hit. So it was our impression that the hospital was
20 not deliberately targeted, and the shells that did hit the hospital in our
21 view were due to imprecision in targeting.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, could you tell us roughly the
23 distance between Poljine and the Kosevo Hospital?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never went to Poljine, but I
25 estimate that it's 3 to 4 kilometres as the crow flies. But I was never
1 at Poljine.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MS. EDGERTON:
4 Q. Sir, just going back to your answer for His Honour Judge Robinson,
5 you said: "So it was our impression that the hospital was not
6 deliberately targeted."
7 Are you saying, sir, that the hospital -- are you describing your
8 impression throughout the period up until the date of your arrest or only
9 with respect to those two occasions you've given evidence about?
10 A. It refers to the whole period, because as I said before in answer
11 to a previous question, the hospital complex is large. It has 13 or 14
12 buildings. So if anybody was deliberately targeting the hospital, they
13 could not fail to hit something. The hits, as I mentioned, were on the
14 parts of the building that were facing the faculty complex.
15 Q. Well, first of all, sir, I thought that you had said earlier on in
16 your testimony that you couldn't give evidence with respect to -- no,
17 sorry, let me withdraw that. So your assertion is that from 1992 to 1994
18 Kosevo Hospital was not deliberately targeted?
19 A. That is my assertion and that is how I understood it.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us -- you must tell us why. Tell us why you
21 have come to that conclusion, that it wasn't deliberately targeted.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's easy to get to a conclusion.
23 The hospital is a large complex of 12 to 14 buildings. Whoever wanted to
24 fire at the hospital would hit any of the buildings. All the hits during
25 the time that I was there were on buildings that were facing the civil
1 engineering faculty, and that is why we understood that to be missed
2 targeting or a mistake and not a deliberate targeting of the hospital. No
3 shell hit the clinic for infectious diseases, for skin diseases, or
4 internal medicines or the surgery clinic, all the clinics that were inside
5 of the complex.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, if I've understood you
7 correctly, the shells did not hit the hospital which, according to you,
8 was fairly easy to hit. Do you know whether shells might have hit the
9 tanks that were around the hospital?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that they did, but if they
11 didn't actually fire at them at least they could have prevented them from
12 moving around in the compound and from firing there. Of course they are
13 much more difficult to hit than a building.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 MS. EDGERTON:
16 Q. Would you be prepared to agree, Witness, that there was a
17 substantial risk in trying to return fire to eliminate those tanks, given
18 their location as you've testified, a risk of civilian casualties?
19 A. Fortunately, when I was there there were no civilian casualties at
20 the hospital, but that there was a certain risk, yes, that is true. I
21 cannot estimate the level of the risk because that would depend on the
22 persons who were firing and the extent of their experience.
23 Q. What buildings faced the civil engineering faculty?
24 A. I'm going to repeat that for the third time. It was the
25 traumatology clinic, that was the first and the closest; then it was the
1 building of the ear, nose, and throat clinic.
2 Q. And these were all buildings that faced in the direction north,
3 towards Poljine?
4 A. No, they were facing the civil engineering building, but they were
5 turned towards Poljine on their -- the side of the building, the facing --
6 the face -- the front of the building faced the civil engineering faculty.
7 Q. What about those portions of the compound, those buildings within
8 the compound, that faced the area of Trebevic, the opposite area? Were
9 they not targeted and hit between 1992 and 1994?
10 A. Trebevic is quite far, and as far as I know the side facing
11 Trebevic was hit only by one shell which hit the orthopaedic clinic.
12 There were no other shells that could have come from that direction
13 towards Kosevo, not when I was there at least.
14 Q. Now, during the period of time you were at Kosevo Hospital, did
15 you have electricity throughout?
16 A. No, no. There was electricity intermittently. Sometimes we used
17 the generators and sometime we didn't have either.
18 Q. Did you have running water?
19 A. At times the water was cut.
20 Q. Did you have sufficient medical supplies to meet your needs?
21 A. You can never have enough medical equipment in wartime, especially
22 surgical equipment. We had certain stocks made before the war, and then
23 the humanitarian started to arrive. So we did have enough, but it was
24 barely enough. We made some of it ourselves. I myself made a device to
25 immobilise bones from the outside.
1 Q. Did any staff member, any of your colleagues from 1992, 1994 -- to
2 1994 manifest any emotional effects of living and working under shelling
3 and gun-fire?
4 A. I don't know what the personal effects were because of those
5 factors, but I know that the Serb staff that worked there was abused.
6 They were called Chetniks --
7 Q. That wasn't my question --
8 A. -- But it was mostly done by the citizens and the soldiers, not by
9 the medical staff. Can you please repeat your question.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Just a minute. She mentioned his
14 MS. EDGERTON: I did.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, yes. A redaction, please.
16 MS. EDGERTON: I think I've set a record today. Thank you.
17 Q. Now, if I could repeat my question, Witness. Did any staff member
18 manifest, over the course of the two years you remained on duty, any
19 emotional effects of living and working under shelling and gun-fire? My
20 question is specific to the conditions at the time caused by shelling and
22 A. I had contacts with the staff at the traumatology clinic as well
23 as with my team of 12 to 16 surgeons and some 30 other medical staff.
24 There were no such effects amongst them. As for the other part of the
25 medical centre that employed between 15 to 1600 staff, I really would not
1 know the answer to that question.
2 Q. So you heard no one complain of being tired?
3 A. Everyone was tired.
4 Q. You heard no one complain of being cold?
5 A. Yes, in the winter I was cold as well as the others. That is
7 Q. You heard no one complain of being hungry?
8 A. There wasn't that much food, but there was always something.
9 There wasn't that much of a choice, but there was always something to eat
10 and it was distributed to the staff that worked at the clinic. Sometimes
11 I spent ten days there without going home, and I must say that each day I
12 received two meals and they were not very big and they were quite modest,
13 but they were meals.
14 Q. You heard no one complain of being depressed from having to come
15 to work, for example, tired, cold, or hungry?
16 A. I don't know if they were depressed, but I know that most people
17 were scared.
18 Q. When you say "most people," who are you referring to?
19 A. I'm referring to the medical staff and the wounded and the
20 patients who came to the hospital. These were the people that I had
21 contacts with.
22 Q. Did you hear anybody complain of difficulties they had making
23 their way to and from work in the day because of shelling or gun-fire?
24 A. There were such cases. I cannot tell you the frequency of that,
25 and I don't know about all the people who worked at the Kosevo clinic.
1 But I know that there were such cases amongst the people that I worked
2 with, the people in my team.
3 Q. Did you hear people complain because they had lost a friend or a
4 member of their family or a neighbour over the course of the recent past
5 to shelling or gun-fire?
6 A. There were such people, yes.
7 Q. So then what do you think they were scared of?
8 A. They lived in a town that was in war. There is no person in war
9 who does not believe that they could be wounded, killed. There is no war,
10 especially in the hilly terrain where Sarajevo was, where there were no
11 difficulties with heating and food. Of course I lived through two wars
12 and I have personal experience how that is.
13 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. EDGERTON: Those are my questions, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
17 Mr. Tapuskovic, any re-examination?
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
19 just a few questions along the same vein as the questions put by my
20 learned colleague.
21 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] While -- when you moved to work at the hospital,
23 Witness T-61, on the other side- how shall I put it? - and now you spent
24 time there from the summer of 1994 until the end of the conflict. Now, I
25 would ask you, these hospitals, and then when you were out in the field as
1 well, did they always have sufficient electricity, water, medical
3 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was electricity --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MS. EDGERTON: -- With respect, that doesn't arise from my
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic, does it arise?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] But that is precisely what we are
10 doing here the entire time. In response to my learned friend's questions,
11 the witness explained. He spoke about the emotional stress, lack of food,
12 and I'm just continuing and asking the same thing. And that is when he
13 worked in this other hospital weren't the same problems prevalent there
14 relating to food, fear of the war, psychological problems, and
15 difficulties to actually reach your place of work, to get to work. And
16 this does arise from questions put by my learned friend. I didn't ask
17 these questions in my examination-in-chief. My colleague put the
18 questions, and this arises directly from her questions. And I'm trying to
19 see if it's possible that only one side suffered in the sense that my
20 learned friend put the questions and got the answers to that or if the
21 same situation in the experience of the witness was valid on the other
22 side. And I'm just asking him whether the same conditions prevailed on
23 the other side. Perhaps he can say that this wasn't so, that there was no
24 fear, no suffering, there was always electricity, cake.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, Mr. Tapuskovic, but do it quickly.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I have no further questions. You have heard what this is all
4 about. So I'm asking you: Is everything you said, that people suffered
5 because there was a war on, if you can just say very briefly what this
6 looked like. Because you were a person treating people on both sides at
7 approximately the same time. So if you can say very briefly, I have no
8 other questions.
9 A. As far as I know, on the Serb side there were better food
10 supplies, somewhat better. As for energy, it was the same. As for
11 heating oil, it was a bit harder on the Serb side. As for medical
12 equipment, it was much worse on the Serb side because that hospital was
13 established at the beginning of the war and it had no stocks of supplies
14 and humanitarian aid was distributed very unevenly, to the detriment of
15 the Serb side.
16 Q. And what you said about emotional stress and fear?
17 A. Well, there was no difference. There was a separation line.
18 There were troops on both sides, people were killed on both sides equally.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, that concludes your evidence. We are
22 grateful to you for coming to the Tribunal to testify. You may now leave.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness?
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can call him
2 straight away, but is it time for a break?
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have five, six minutes, so we'll start.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The next witness is Witness T-27,
6 Borislav Kovacevic, who has no protective measures.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
12 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 WITNESS: BORISLAV KOVACEVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, as you know, I am the Defence counsel
18 appearing for Dragomir Milosevic. We've already met and spoken. But
19 first I would like you to tell us your full name.
20 A. My name is Borislav Kovacevic.
21 Q. Thank you. You were born on the 11th of May, 1963?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In Ilijas, in Sarajevo?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You completed primary school in Ilijas?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Secondary school of electrical engineering in Sarajevo?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Up to the beginning of the conflict, you were employed in a
5 company called Zrak and the plant you worked at was in Cevljanovici in
6 Srednje; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The headquarters of that company was in Sarajevo in Buca Potok.
9 Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Can you tell Their Honours something about the plant in
12 Cevljanovici Srednje that belonged to the Zrak enterprise, what did it
13 produce up to the beginning of the conflict?
14 A. It was a plant belonging to the Sarajevo Zrak company, and we
15 worked on cutting glass for various companies.
16 Q. When the conflict began, did this plant continue operating?
17 A. No. Every day we received material from the headquarters, from
18 Zrak in Sarajevo. When the conflict broke out, the material stopped
19 arriving so we were unable to work.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, should I continue
21 or are we going to have a break now?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: At 20 past.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.
24 Q. Can you tell me, Witness, in order to save time, were you a member
25 of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
1 A. Yes. I was a member of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps starting from
2 the first day of the conflict.
3 Q. And what was your role in that conflict?
4 A. Throughout the time, I was a fighter at the front line in the
6 Q. What brigade of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps did you belong to at
7 the beginning of the conflict?
8 A. At the beginning of the conflict, I was a member of the Ilijas
9 Brigade until November 1994.
10 Q. Who was the commander of the Ilijas Brigade up to that time you
11 mentioned, November 1994?
12 A. His name was Josipovic.
13 Q. And the battalion commander?
14 A. The battalion commander was first Luka Vukovic, who was killed;
15 and then there was Zeljko Micic, and he was also killed; and afterwards it
16 was Acim Vukovic, Luka's brother, until the end.
17 Q. You told us up to what time you were a member of the Ilijas
18 Brigade. Can you tell us again, and then what brigade did you become a
19 member of after that?
20 A. Well, as I said, I was in the Ilijas Brigade until November 1994,
21 and then as of November 1994 I was part of the 1st Romanija Brigade.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take the break now.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you said that you were in the 2nd Brigade. You
3 told us which one it was, and who was the commander, what did you say?
4 A. The commander of that brigade was Vlado Lizdek.
5 Q. And the battalion commander?
6 A. The battalion commander was Dragan Pajic [as interpreted].
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, just a small clarification and I can
9 do this in cross-examination, but I understand that the brigade had more
10 than one battalion. So is the witness answering with respect to the
11 battalion he was part of or which battalion in particular, if that could
12 be clarified.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what particular battalion are you speaking
14 of, Witness?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 1st Battalion of the 1st
16 Romanija Brigade.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for not putting the
18 question myself.
19 Q. At the time Dragan Tupajic, the commander of that 1st Battalion,
20 how old was he?
21 A. I don't know exactly, but I think he was about 50.
22 Q. Was he an officer?
23 A. No. He worked on civilian protection. We didn't have any real
25 Q. When you say you didn't have any real officers, what exactly do
1 you mean?
2 A. I mean we didn't have trained officers who had been officers in
3 the JNA. It was simply up to us to be both soldiers, privates, and
5 Q. And that 1st Battalion of yours, what kind of people were in it,
6 where they were from?
7 A. They were local people, the inhabitants of the area.
8 Q. Can you explain to Their Honours as you said that from the
9 beginning of the conflict you were a fighter of the Sarajevo-Romanija
10 Corps. Do you remember initially what weapons were there -- first of all,
11 tell us what kind of weapons you, yourself, had because you said you were
12 constantly in the trenches.
13 A. We privates had only personal weapons, semi-automatic and
14 automatic rifles. We also had some artillery, a few mortars and
15 howitzers, and I used to see one tank.
16 Q. Do you remember when the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
17 when, or rather, when Dragomir Milosevic was appointed commander of the
18 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'm sorry again, but the witness has
21 given evidence that he was part of two brigades. And when my friend has
22 asked him about the weapons he had is he referring to, because this was in
23 response to a question of being a fighter of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
24 is he speaking of weapons in the Ilijas Brigade or in the 1st Romanija
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: What are you speaking of, Witness, the Ilijas
2 Brigade or the 1st Romanija Brigade?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The gentleman asked me about the
4 beginning of the war, what kind of weapons we had then. At the beginning
5 of the war until 1994, I was in the Ilijas Brigade. So now I'm referring
6 to the Ilijas Brigade.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, I'm asking you now to explain this. I think my learned
9 friend was a little bit hasty in his intervention. I'm asking you when
10 General Dragomir Milosevic became the commander, regardless of which
11 brigade of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. I'm asking you when he became the
12 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Do you know that?
13 A. Yes. In the area where I was, in the trench, my combat area,
14 there was quite a lot of activity. I think it was early August.
15 Q. Well, first tell me when this was.
16 A. I think it was in early August 1994.
17 Q. At that point in time, what brigade of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
18 were you in at the time of his arrival?
19 A. I was in the Ilijas Brigade.
20 Q. And you were transferred to the 1st Romanija Brigade, when did you
22 A. In November 1994.
23 Q. And what happened immediately before General Dragomir Milosevic
24 took over command -- but before that, let me ask you the following. I
25 think I should ask you this first. You told us what the situation was
1 with heavy weapons at the beginning of the conflict. What happened with
2 reference to those weapons in 1994, do you know anything about that?
3 A. Well, in the first half of 1994, we were strengthened, we were
4 reinforced, replenished with heavy weapons --
5 Q. No, no, no. I'm asking you -- oh, all right. I won't interrupt
7 A. In the first half of 1994, we received more heavy weapons which
8 arrived from Sarajevo in the -- from the part under our control.
9 Q. Well, then explain what happened to those heavy weapons in 1994.
10 A. In 1994, starting in March I think, heavy weapons began to be
11 withdrawn from the part of Sarajevo under our control. So in the Nisic
12 plateau a lot of these weapons arrived. I saw about five tanks, quite a
13 lot of artillery, and I heard from my comrades that a part of those
14 weapons were sent off to Trnovo.
15 Q. Thank you. Now tell me, just before General Dragomir Milosevic
16 took over command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, did something happen in
17 late August/early September but before his arrival?
18 A. Yes. Well, it was actually at the end of July. Throughout July
19 there were attacks on our positions on the Nisici plateau and there was an
20 offensive on the villages of the Vares municipality which gravitated
21 towards Ilijas. In that offensive every day one of our villages fell. We
22 didn't have enough fighters. My brother-in-law was killed, my sister was
23 left a widow with two small children, he was buried there. But on the 2nd
24 of August all the other villages fell, his grave was there, and with the
25 help of this strengthened artillery and because we were motivated, we
1 stopped the attacks on the Nisici plateau, and that was about that time
2 that the general was appointed corps commander. During that fighting my
3 town, Ilijas, was shelled night and day. There were many casualties. I
4 have to mention two victims, I don't want to miss that. The first was a
5 6-year-old boy, his father was called Boban and his mother Andjelina the
6 last name was Antunovic and a 14-year-old girl, the daughter of friends
7 of mine Zdravko and Miloj Kabudrov [phoen]. There were other casualties
8 but I feel I have to mention those two.
9 Q. After General Milosevic's arrival, did the situation stabilise?
10 A. Yes, in mid-August, the situation stabilised. We strengthened our
11 positions, and the fighters whose villages had previously fallen, they
12 stayed with us at Vares with a certain amount of artillery. We managed to
13 stop those attacks, and for a while things were quiet.
14 Q. Were there any refugees who came to your area?
15 A. Yes, we took them in and directed them towards Vogosca and Ilijas.
16 There were many wounded who were then forwarded to Pale and Sokolac.
17 Q. In the months that followed, what was the situation like after
19 A. In the second half of August and in September and October, things
20 were quite calm. There were no significant operations underway. However,
21 in end October and early November, there was a new attack on our
22 positions. It was terrible. There were many soldiers of theirs there and
23 artillery, many casualties on our side. Pedjo Arsic was killed then, also
24 Vladimir Sepur [phoen], Slavisa Kosarac was seriously injured. There were
25 many wounded and killed, but we managed to stop those attacks although
1 they attacked non-stop for 10 to 15 days.
2 Q. Did you get any information about any movements of the 1st Corps
3 of the ABiH? Did you have any information on that in October and November
5 A. Yes. Our observers informed us that they were regrouping and that
6 there were many, and such attacks were actually expected.
7 Q. Did you know where they were coming from?
8 A. We were told by the people from Ilidza and Sarajevo that many
9 fighters left Sarajevo through the tunnel, and it was expected that they
10 would be included in the very attacks on my positions.
11 Q. Do you know whether there was an agreement reached at a certain
12 point between the belligerent parties and when?
13 A. Yes. We had the media at our disposal and our command informed us
14 about it in December 1994, they said there was an agreement in place, a
16 Q. Can you tell Their Honours how long was the agreement in place, at
17 least at your positions?
18 A. Yes. The whole winter of 1994 and 1995, until spring. All the
19 way until early June actually, things were quiet.
20 Q. What happened in June?
21 A. In early June 1995, again we were informed by our superior command
22 that strong enemy forces were regrouping and that a number of them left
23 Sarajevo. An attack was expected. We sort of relaxed for the past five
24 months or so, and we were also hoping for a lasting cease-fire. However,
25 on the 15th of June, 1995, early in the morning, a lightning struck us.
1 ABiH forces with strengthened artillery attacked against all positions at
2 the Nisici plateau. We were a bit taken aback and suffered great losses.
3 They managed to take over control of the Semizovac-Srednje road which was
4 the only road to communicate with Ilijas and no ambulance could pass
5 through to Sokolac. People were dying in the field. However, our morale
6 was high and with a lot of artillery support we managed to regain that
7 territory the very same day in the afternoon. We returned to the trenches
8 and regained control of the road.
9 Q. You said that you were struck as if by a lightning and that there
10 were severe actions and operations. What did you have in mind in
11 particular? What did they use?
12 A. First of all, they had a lot of personnel. The war has been
13 ongoing for four years by that time, but all of a sudden there were ten to
14 one. There was a lot of shelling as well. Many shells landed on the
15 front lines but also overshot, landing in the rear on civilians. On the
16 16th they attacked again, even stronger since I guess they became
17 frustrated because they lost the road which they managed to gain control
18 of at a certain point. Many people died like the Djurovic family, Goran
19 Rajic, someone named Ladanac [phoen] was severely injured as well as Luka
20 Rajnic [phoen], many, many people, many names.
21 Q. Thank you. Concerning the directions they attacked on the 15th
22 and the 16th, and you mentioned the Semizovac-Srednje road, besides
23 military losses were there any other casualties, particularly civilian?
24 A. I just wanted to mention that. On the 16th the attacks were
25 stronger and the shells cut off our telephone communication lines. There
1 was no briefing that day, and we couldn't move anywhere from our trenches.
2 Behind our backs there were our parents and our children. We simply
3 could not leave. We had to defend them. On the 17th we were told that in
4 Srednje, in my village, three people were killed between the 16th and the
5 17th. They were buried there. One of them was an ambulance driver, then
6 Sejanovic Caca [phoen] and Nedeljko Rasovic, both elderly. Many, many
7 victims, civilians.
8 Q. There's no reason for me to ask many more questions. I just
9 wanted to show you two documents. One was shown by another witness who
10 came from the same area, it is DD002840. It is D282.
11 Witness, have a look at the document. The things you said about
12 the Srednje-Semizovac line and the events you mentioned, does that tally
13 to what is mentioned in the document? Does it correspond to the events
14 of those days? I had already shown this document to another witness.
15 Please look at the heading, the date, and the second paragraph. Please
16 read it out aloud.
17 A. "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, BH Army, 1st Corps command,
18 forward command post - Igman.
19 "Military secret strictly confidential 01/1-222, Igman, 15 June,
20 1995, time: 1400 hours.
21 "Report: To the command" --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "To," interpreter's correction, "The
24 3rd Corps forces with their 126th Brigade and the 134th Mountain Brigades,
25 the 16th Battalion liberated on their axis of attack, the whole feature of
1 Ravni Nabozic and Lipa, that is elevation 701, placing the
2 Srednje-Semizovac communication and the Semizovac intersection under their
3 full control."
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Which corps joined the 1st corps, the 16th Division,
6 as stated?
7 A. It says here it was the 3rd Corps.
8 Q. Does it have anything to do with the fact you mentioned, which was
9 that there were many more pieces they used in their attacks and that you
10 were outnumbered ten to one? Is that -- was the situation like the one
11 described in the document?
12 A. Yes, that is exactly the thing.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted to show
14 the witness another document which has to do with certain events in the
15 fall of 1994. I omitted that a few minutes ago, and I will thus conclude
16 my examination. The document is DD --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead. I saw Mr. Sachdeva rise.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, it's fine for the moment. Thank
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay.
21 I think you were about to do something in relation to a document.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] There was an intervention from
23 the accused, but however this document already has been admitted as D282.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The second document DD002466, Witness, a few moments ago you
2 described the activities in 1994. I wanted to show you this document.
3 Can you tell me whether it corresponds to the things happening in the
4 field in the fall of 1994. As you can see here, what is the date of the
6 A. "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Supreme Command staff of the
7 armed forces, command post Kakanj, strictly confidential "--
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please read slowly.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "02-1/1381-1, Kakanj, 7 November
10 1994." That's it.
11 "Request and suggestion for organising" --
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. Let us cut things short. Look at item 1, please. There are some
14 locations mentioned. Please read those to yourself and tell us whether
15 the activities you mentioned a little while ago when asked about the
16 events of the fall of 1994, do these locations have anything to do with
17 such combat activities?
18 A. Yes. These are the very locations at the Nisici plateau, the
19 hills of Jasen and Polom, that's where the operations were and this is
20 where the people I mentioned were killed.
21 Q. Please read the document to the end, starting
22 with: "Analysing ..." To the end.
23 A. "Analysing your success and the enemy's current situation, I
24 propose that you carry out a regrouping of forces and equipment in order
25 to carry out the final attacks for the liberation of the Nisici plateau on
1 the following axes:
2 "Donji Potok - Gornji Ivancici; Stomorine - Donji Ivancici -
3 Gradina (trig point 1121) Ninici - Borak; Konjsko (trig point 1022, trig
4 point 1032) Dusevine.
5 "I congratulate all participants on successes in operations up to
6 now and wish you much success in further work."
7 Below we have command. I can't see who signed it.
8 Q. Have a look. I believe one can see it.
9 A. Yes, Brigadier-General Enver Hadzihasanovic, yes.
10 Q. The things you read out from the document, does it correspond to
11 the events at the time, this being October, November, and the end of that
13 A. Yes, this is exactly what I was talking about.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead. Go ahead.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since the witness
17 just confirmed that it is as stated in the document, that there was
18 fighting at those positions and he also mentioned certain further actions
19 mentioned in the document as well as the congratulations for the previous
20 successes mentioned, I would like to tender this document as evidence
21 concerning the activities of the fall in 1994 which were offensive actions
22 on the part of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as clearly visible from the
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As D290, Your Honours.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, to conclude I wanted to ask you this. You were educated
3 in Sarajevo. You lived in Sarajevo. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Concerning the geographical layout, which are the dominant
6 features or elevations concerning Ilidza, Vogosca, the centre of Sarajevo,
7 Novo Sarajevo, Nedzarici, Rajlovac? Can you tell us about those, since I
8 believe you were able to notice that while living in Sarajevo.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: I had hesitated, but since my learned friend has
12 now said that: "Since you were able to notice that while living in
13 Sarajevo," I understand that the witness lived in Ilijas throughout his
14 life and also during the war. And Ilijas, I understand, is some 20
15 kilometres from Sarajevo. So it may be that he visited Sarajevo and saw
16 one, but to suggest that because he lived there he should know about these
17 specific locations --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, where did you live, Witness? Did you live
19 in Sarajevo or in Ilijas or in both places?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I lived in the municipality of
21 Ilijas and I went to school in Sarajevo. It's my town. I'm
22 well-acquainted with Sarajevo.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Continue.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. First of all, Witness, can you please tell us to which town does
1 Ilijas belong?
2 A. Ilijas is part of Sarajevo.
3 Q. And you never lived anywhere else, other than in Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. And finally, can you answer this question, in view of where you
6 lived, this question relating to the dominant features in reference to all
7 of these places that I mentioned so that I don't have to mention them
9 A. Yes. Mojmilo, Zuc, Hum, Igman, Trebevic, that would be that.
10 Q. Can you now please tell us which forces at that time were at those
11 positions in terms of the features, if you know, or if you know the
12 positions of the -- or if this is something that you know from being in
13 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
14 A. From what I know, everything except Trebevic was held by the
15 forces of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kovacevic. My name is Manoj Sachdeva, and I'm
22 a lawyer for the Prosecution. I'm going to ask you a few questions today.
23 Can I just get an understanding from you. You -- while you were with
24 the Ilijas Brigade, you served at Nisici plateau. Is that right?
25 A. Yes. The whole road from Nisici to Semizovac, all of that
1 constitutes the Nisici plateau, and that's where I was.
2 Q. And roughly speaking, from the area of, let's say, Skenderija, in
3 the centre of Sarajevo, the place where you served was roughly 20, 20
4 kilometres towards the north-west. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And which -- well, let me ask you this. How many battalions did
7 the Ilijas Brigade consist of?
8 A. I don't know exactly, three or four I think but I'm not sure.
9 Q. And the battalion that you mentioned earlier, I think it was the
10 1st, the 1st Battalion, was that the battalion you were part of?
11 A. Yes, the Srednje Battalion, I was a member of that.
12 Q. And that battalion, how many companies did it have?
13 A. Three companies.
14 Q. And I take it that each company had roughly 100 men. Is that a
15 correct statement?
16 A. 80 men in my company and I think approximately the -- that number
17 in the other two companies, but I'm not quite sure.
18 Q. And in the company that you were part of, were you -- you told the
19 Court that you were a soldier, an infantry person on the -- in the
20 trenches. I take it you didn't have any role within the company or were
21 you -- for example, you weren't the company commander, were you?
22 A. No, I was a fighter in the trenches throughout the whole time.
23 Q. And you said that you were -- you talked about the weapons. I
24 think you were speaking with respect to the brigade, but when you were
25 talking about the semi-automatic and automatic rifles and a few mortars, I
1 think you also mentioned a howitzer and a tank. Were those weapons part
2 of your company and your battalion, or were you speaking with respect to
3 the brigade?
4 A. It belonged to the Nisici plateau. Perhaps several battalions
5 used it at the time, but that's about how many there were at the time.
6 Q. And in your company -- well, you were issued with semi-automatic
7 and automatic rifles. Is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I take it that that would be the same for your colleagues
10 within your company?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. In your company did you also have mortars?
13 A. Not in the company. Like I said, it didn't just belong to my
14 company. The artillery section covered that whole area.
15 Q. So I take it that if your company, if it was required -- if the
16 use of mortars and artillery were required, they would have been able to
17 draw upon artillery support. Is that right?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And the mortars, just to ask you about the mortars. I take it you
20 had 120-millimetre mortars, 82-millimetre mortars, and 60-millimetre
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. And you said that the commander of the brigade was Dragan
24 Josipovic. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you left the brigade in November 1994?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was there not somebody called Milos Delic, who was also the
4 brigade commander at some point in time?
5 A. Yes, they would change as time went by. Josipovic moved to the
6 Sarajevo 3rd, I think, and I don't know about Milos Delic -- well, it
7 wasn't really that important to me.
8 Q. But I just want to establish that the time -- that during the time
9 you were within the Ilijas Brigade, Dragan Josipovic was your -- was the
10 brigade commander. Is that right?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Did you ever meet with Dragan Josipovic?
13 A. I would see him. Sometimes he would tour the trenches where we
15 Q. Now, you earlier gave evidence about the -- and I'm sorry that I'm
16 jumping a bit, but I just want to ask you this question. You were talking
17 about the 15th of June, 1995. Do you remember that? And I know I'm
18 moving on to your time in the 1st Romanija Brigade and I'm going to ask
19 you some questions about that later, but I just wanted to ask you this
20 question. You remember giving evidence about the 15th of June, 1995. You
21 talked about lightning being struck against you. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I think you said that -- that you were -- at least in military
24 terms, you were outnumbered by ten to one.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And do I understand it correctly that the next day or pretty soon
2 after the attack by the ABiH you -- the SRK, you managed to regain control
3 of that -- of the Srednje road. Is that right?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. And you said that the morale was high and with a lot of artillery
6 support, this is how you said you managed to regain the territory. I just
7 wanted to ask you what kind of artillery support were you able to draw
8 upon in regaining control?
9 A. The artillery was the howitzers, tanks, and mortars. I didn't say
10 that the morale was high. We motivated. There was nowhere for us to go.
11 We had our children behind us, and as far as we were concerned we just had
12 to survive.
13 Q. Well, in respect to the morale I'm just reading what you -- what
14 you have said, but never mind. You talked about howitzers, mortars,
15 tanks. How many mortars are we speaking about and what types of mortars?
16 A. I said that I was in the trenches the whole time. I wasn't where
17 the artillery was. The mortars were 120-millimetres and 80-millimetres.
18 The tanks were old. I don't know what their markings were, but there were
19 plenty of artillery weapons. I don't know exactly which ones.
20 Q. Yes. So I take it that with the plenty of artillery weapons that
21 you had, in spite of the fact that you were outnumbered by ten to one, the
22 SRK still managed to gain the military upper hand. Isn't that right?
23 A. We simply had to defend ourselves. I don't know if we were in the
24 position of having the upper hand. We were carrying defensive actions,
25 not offensive actions.
1 Q. Well, in that combat activity on the 15th of June when you were
2 outnumbered by ten to one, it's right, is it not, that the SRK managed to
3 regain control of that strategic road. That's right, isn't it?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Now, while you were with the Ilijas Brigade -- well, let me ask
6 you this. Do you know of a place called Breza?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And at the time that you were with the Ilijas Brigade, I take it
9 that Breza was controlled -- well, it was within the territory of the Army
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can I put it this way, that Breza was, let us say, part of
13 your military -- I won't say your military area of responsibility because
14 I'm obviously speaking about an area that is not in SRK control. But it
15 was important for your brigade to -- to understand what military movements
16 there might have been in Breza and the other surrounding municipalities.
17 Is that right?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. And, in fact, during these combat activities, the forces within
20 the Ilijas Brigade would -- would trade shots or would fire on to Breza.
21 Isn't that right?
22 A. No. The positions of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
23 precisely these ones, on the boundary between Breza and Ilijas, and it's
24 possible that there was -- yes, there was firing along the line of
25 separation, but there were more combat actions --
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the last part
2 of what the witness said.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to ask you to repeat the last part of
4 what you said because the interpreter didn't understand it.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The line of separation between
6 Ilijas and Breza was more towards the Ilijas municipality territory. So
7 there was no need to hit the Breza municipality area except for what was
8 on the line of separation.
9 MR. SACHDEVA:
10 Q. There may have been no need in your -- that's your evidence, but
11 can I suggest to you that on occasion the town of Breza was fired upon --
12 was fired upon by soldiers within the Ilijas Brigade. Do you accept that
14 A. If there was a military target involved, I do accept that, but
15 there was no deliberate firing, that's for sure.
16 Q. So when you say if there was a military target involved, so in
17 other words there could have been, for example, a tank -- hypothetically
18 there could have been a tank in the town of Breza, and that would -- that
19 would then result in fire from the SRK into the town of Breza. Is that
20 what you're saying?
21 A. If artillery weapons are pin-pointed, you would not need the whole
22 of the SRK to shell Breza. If somebody fired from that area, though, it
23 was logical to respond to such fire.
24 Q. Yes. I didn't mean the whole of the SRK, and I'm sorry for my
25 imprecise question. Of course I refer to the forces in the Ilijas
2 Let me ask you this: It was the case that the battalion
3 commanders, and indeed the brigade commanders, would hand down certain
4 targets -- target lists to their soldiers, their subordinates. Is that
5 right? In other words, targets -- targets to be engaged would be
6 communicated to those persons who were to engage targets from the command?
7 A. Artillery perhaps, yes, but I was a fighter and my target was
8 clear: An enemy in front of you within the range of my rifle.
9 Q. Yes, I understand that. So with respect to artillery, if there
10 were targets to be engaged by tanks or by howitzers and also by mortars,
11 those targets would be communicated from -- from the brigade commander
12 down to his subordinates. Do I have a correct understanding?
13 A. Yes. If a target was noted, then that would then come from the
14 command. I mean, I wasn't an artillery man, but I assume that that's how
15 it was.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, may we move into private session,
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Page 7907 redacted. Private session.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day of
25 July, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.