1 Thursday, 26 July 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: MILORAD KOSARAC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
12 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
14 afternoon. I wish to tell you one matter.
15 Since the other witness had protective measures, can you please
16 accept his position, which at present is that the protective measures be
17 lifted and that he testify without any protective measures, and I'm
18 referring to the next witness in line.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's for the next witness, yes.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Witness T-25. Can you please state your full
23 name to the Judges?
24 A. My name is Milorad Kosarac.
25 Q. I asked you this morning that you wait for the transcript to stop
1 before answering.
2 You were born on the 12th of July, 1950; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Once again, please wait with your answer before the cursor stops.
5 You were born in the municipality of Ilijas in Sarajevo; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do not hurry with your answer because as we broach the relevant
9 topics we won't be able to proceed at a normal pace. Therefore, I repeat:
10 Do not give your answer before you see the cursor stop. Wait for a second
11 or two before giving your answer.
12 You completed your primary school in Vogosca, didn't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You completed the school for teachers in Sarajevo, didn't you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you see the cursor stop after you gave your answer, so please
17 bear that in mind.
18 At the time of the outbreak of the conflict you were the head
19 master or principal of nursery or pre-school education in Vogosca, weren't
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. At that time, you lived in downtown Vogosca in a flat, while your
23 family home was being built at the time and it was also located in
24 Vogosca, wasn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you now answer this first question of mine. Have you ever
2 been working for the police as a person with an educational background as
3 a teacher?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you join the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in any capacity and, if
6 so, when?
7 A. I joined the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in 1992 in May.
8 Q. Can you tell us why?
9 A. I could not believe that there would be a war on. However,
10 clashes broke out, people were killed, the situation was such that a
11 person could not distance oneself from what was going on. There had been
12 persons killed at the very start, civilians who were killed in their
13 places of residence. Some of my relatives were even killed. I simply
14 could not bear that situation any longer and I joined my people in a war.
15 Q. Let us go through this quickly. Can you give us a couple of
16 examples dating from those early days and in relation to the matters
17 you've just raised?
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
20 MS. EDGERTON: I'm rising because I'm wondering why and what
21 bearing it has to the case.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, can you answer?
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
24 For a long time this has not been a problem before this Trial
25 Chamber. I believe it very important to know why an individual decides to
1 take up arms. Let me repeat once more. This is the end of trial. I
2 would not be dealing with all these matters had not the amended indictment
3 from late 1996 state the matters as it does, and--
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, this is marginally relevant.
5 Just move through it quickly. And if the witness has evidence dealing
6 with the later dates, 1994 and 1995, let us get to that.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I asked the witness to go through
8 this as quickly as possible. But let me go to the heart of the matter,
9 because there are some things I cannot deal with unless we go through
10 these matters beforehand.
11 Q. So please answer my question as briefly as possible, Witness.
12 A. I had to join the war because I had no other choice. Fighting had
13 already started, people were getting killed or wounded, and one could not
14 stay aside, keep out of it.
15 Q. Let us not dwell on this.
16 Which brigade were you a member of at the beginning of the
18 A. The Vogosca Brigade.
19 Q. What were you doing for a while within the Vogosca Brigade?
20 A. For a while, I performed the duties of an assistant for moral
21 guidance and political affairs, something like that.
22 Q. And for how long?
23 A. For about a month.
24 Q. And why so short?
25 A. There was such dirty business going on in the area such as the
1 theft of vehicles, and I simply could not deal with these matters. I
2 asked that I do what I can do, that I go to the trenches.
3 Q. And so where did you go to after a month had elapsed?
4 A. I was in an area within the Vogosca municipality to the right of
5 the traffic faculty, to the left, towards Zuc and to the right --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the name of the
7 last locality.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I didn't --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Repeat the name of the last place that you
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last place I mentioned is
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I will be asking you to explain that more closely. However, I
16 asked you what you were doing, what position you held, and I didn't mean
17 the location. I meant what your role was through to the end of the war.
18 A. I was a fighter in a trench.
19 Q. Do you know when Dragomir Milosevic became the commander of the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
21 A. In early August 1994.
22 Q. What was the brigade called at the time and what did it consist
24 A. It was the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade, into which three brigades had
25 been fused, Rajlovac -- the Rajlovac Brigade, Vogosca Brigade and the
1 Kosevo Brigade.
2 Q. Can you now explain to the Judges where the trenches were located,
3 the ones in which you spent the entire war?
4 A. This is an area from Vogosca to the right-hand side all the way to
5 Zuc hill, the area beneath is called Perivoj, all the way to the left
6 flank to the place called Hotonj which is to the east of Vogosca. And the
7 neighbourhood in front of Vogosca is called Fabrika factory.
8 Q. Can you tell the Judges when the lines where your trenches were in
9 which you spent the rest of the war were in fact consolidated?
10 A. The lines were definitely consolidated sometime in 1995. Up until
11 that point there had been constant fighting and going to and fro in the
13 Q. Please, you said in late 1995. My question was when were the
14 lines formed before you went into the trenches there? When were they
15 formed in 1992?
16 A. At the very start of the war, the lines were set up and they moved
17 to and fro but in a negligible way. There was every day fighting going on
18 along the lines. It was only in 1995 that the situation became more
20 Q. In 1995 the war ended..
21 A. Until an attack was launched from all directions, from all sides
22 upon that area, that's what I had in mind when I said 1995. I didn't mean
23 the end of the war.
24 Q. I don't know if you understand me correctly. I am asking you
25 about 1992, and when was it that the separation lines were consolidated in
2 A. As soon as the war started, the lines were set up there, and they
3 changed slightly.
4 Q. And what happened in December of 1995?
5 A. In December of 1995, the positions on the right flank were
6 captured by the BH army, thus moving the positions of the VRS
7 significantly behind what was initially the line from the elevation point
8 850 to Gola Brda, Gola hill.
9 Q. And when were the positions then consolidated?
10 A. In the month of December.
11 Q. And what was going on throughout 1992 until the month of December,
12 and I mean what happened to the positions?
13 MS. EDGERTON: If --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Sorry, Your Honours. If we could just sort of
16 pinpoint maybe some points in time. I understood we were talking about
17 December 1995, which would put the testimony after the end of the conflict
18 in the former Yugoslavia, and we're going back to 1992 but then talking
19 about something that -- positions from 1992 all the way through to 1995,
20 is that correct?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Or is it to December 1992?
22 Mr. Tapuskovic.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Precisely. I believe it is just
24 a slip, a slip of the tongue.
25 Q. Can I ask you once again when was at the start of the conflict in
1 1992 that the lines were set up which then did not change until the end of
2 the conflict? First you said 1995 and then you spoke about 1992. The
3 war ended in 1995. Can you be more specific in that regard?
4 A. I don't think that I really understand you properly. I explained,
5 the lines moved. The lines where I was were set up immediately when the
6 conflict started and from that moment on until 1995, when they
7 consolidated finally, they did not change. There had been movements,
8 maybe 500 metres here or there, maybe a hill would be captured or not, but
9 the lines did not move significantly.
10 Q. I have to ask just one more question. I wasted so much time on
12 In this trench where you were, when did you definitely find
13 yourself in in 1992?
14 A. In May, late May.
15 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me what did those positions look
16 like, the trenches? What did it look like? How far was it from the
17 positions in relation to the positions that you mentioned Zuc, Hum? What
18 did it look like on the spot while you were in the trenches?
19 MS. EDGERTON: Sorry, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, yes.
21 MS. EDGERTON: The witness never once mentioned the name Hum
22 during the course of his testimony so far.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: He mentioned Zuc.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: But not Hum.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] My mistake. I should ask him
4 about Zuc.
5 Q. Okay. Then Zuc.
6 A. We had those trenches that had been dug and we were able to
7 establish visual contact and we could hear the other side. On some
8 stretches the distance between the two -- the two lines was 50 or 100
9 metres but in many places we were in immediate vicinity.
10 Q. So you were able to even communicate. Could you please give me an
11 example. What did it look like at one point in the period while Dragomir
12 Milosevic was the commander?
13 A. I was in a trench near the cargo gate of the TAS factory, and it
14 was during the cease-fire, and at around 9.00 a.m., a group of soldiers
15 came by and I waved at them and I said, Hey, and one of them waved back
16 and he responded. It was cease-fire, cease-fire was on and there was no
18 Q. Please. But who -- whose soldiers? Who did the soldiers belong
19 to? You said just a group of soldiers.
20 A. It was a group of soldier of the BH army and they were in the
21 immediate vicinity in a small alley-way leading from the traffic faculty
22 to the right to Manjak [phoen] and we were able to see each other quite
24 Q. Did anything happen there when you had this encounter with them?
25 A. Not at that time. But at around 12.30, when our food came in, a
1 sniper fired a shot at me, and he hit the man who was with me in the
2 trench, a man by the name of Jozo Ivanic, an ethnic Croat. He hit me,
3 despite the fact that we had communicated earlier. And I would like to
4 note that they were so visible, so exposed that had we fired on them, we
5 would have wiped them out because they were on the road. They had no
6 cover, but we didn't do anything. But then, at half past 12.00, a sniper
7 fired his shot at my back. I was in the trench. I was about to receive
8 my meal, and Joso came out of the trench to get his food and his ration
9 and then he was shot by this sniper.
10 Q. But why are you telling us this? What was in force at that time?
11 A. I said that the cease-fire was in force, and there was no
13 Q. And in those days, could you please tell us what -- when did this
14 incident occur?
15 A. It was in 1994, in the summer.
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you. And in those days or on that day, did
17 anyone come to see you from the command?
18 A. The accused was touring the Republika Srpska army positions and he
19 came to the command where there was a notice board with lists. People
20 would get their medical certificates there, their travel orders and so on,
21 and there was a copy of the excerpt from the Geneva Conventions on the
22 rules of waging the war. And when the accused came in, the notice board
23 was behind the door, and he asked why is it there? Why hasn't it posted
24 in a more visible place to the left where it would be more visible? Why
25 does -- somebody should be looking at it and I now have to apologise,
1 because when he left people said, Well is this guy normal or what? These
2 other guys are violating the cease-fire. One of our guys was just shot,
3 and this commander is asking the battalion where I was to -- to do this,
4 to comply with all this.
5 So this was the comment made by the people who were in the command
6 at that time.
7 Q. This was the comment when he left?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And did he come there on any other occasions in your presence,
10 and, in particular, while you were manning the positions?
11 A. Yes. I saw the accused several times. At least five or six times
12 I saw the accused when he toured the lines, particularly that area where I
13 was, and I remember that we tried to improve our positions. We had this
14 earth moving equipment --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, not in the 65 ter summary -- and I'm
17 reluctant to go down this road again, Your Honours, bit this is extreme
18 because there was not one single mention in the 65 ter summary for this
19 witness about any contact with the accused. In fact, we had received
20 additional information about this man's function during the course of the
21 war, because I had made a request for additional information earlier on
22 this morning, and in that information there was no mention whatsoever of
23 any contact with the accused at any time.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I completed my
1 proofing session with the witness a little while before 1.00 p.m. That
2 was my first interview with this witness, because at the time when we got
3 his details we didn't have an opportunity to do so. I talked to him for
4 several hours this morning, and I completed this interview just before
5 coming here, and now I don't know, was I supposed to write down everything
6 that I would be examining this witness about, including about the events
7 in the trench when the visit from the commanding officers occurred. It
8 would have taken me one day just to inform the Prosecutor about all the
9 things that I intend to examine this witness on. This has really gone
10 beyond any bounds.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... I don't
12 consider that you're severely prejudiced by this information, even if you
13 are not informed about the contact of this witness with the accused. I
14 believe you should be in a position to cross-examine on it. You have very
15 good resources. I see two to my right.
16 MS. EDGERTON: I understand, Your Honours.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness, how many times did you meet the commander of the
19 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and what was discussed when he would come to the
21 A. I would encounter the accused on the lines and before the war I
22 didn't know him. But this is really characteristic, because in order to
23 improve the position, there were some -- there was some rubber tires put
24 on this earth-moving equipment. Some metal sheath and some sandbags and
25 then this man said, Well, this is really stupid on your part. The engine
1 will be overburdened and it would just break down. Had anyone -- if this
2 had been possible to do, they would have done that earlier. The engineers
3 would have come up with that. It often happened at the trenches --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, witness, please speak a little slower.
6 Speak more slowly. The interpreter is having difficulty keeping up with
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness, was he ever in a trench during the fighting?
10 A. Yes, during the fighting, yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
12 MS. EDGERTON: I was going to ask for a reformulation of the
13 question because, as phrased, it calls for speculation, Your Honours, in
14 my submission.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, how do you know that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, because I saw him. I was
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 Move on. And I should say, I'm going to apply the time-limits
20 very strictly. You have one hour and 15 minutes each. We're going to
21 take the first break at 3.20.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will be finished earlier than
23 that, Your Honour, I'm sure.
24 Q. What would he tell you during the fighting, as you explained to
25 us? What would he tell you while he was there in the trenches?
1 A. Unlike many others, I remember quite clearly, and I can state with
2 absolute certainty that his suggestions would always be, first of all, to
3 take care. He would always say that the cover should be improved and that
4 nobody should be responsible enough to get out in the open. When we asked
5 him when this all would end, because we have had -- we had had our fill of
6 everything, he'd say that the politicians would have to solve this and
7 that this would have to end soon. And of course he had to field some
8 unpleasant questions, such as, for instance, that we have bad quality
9 boots, that the food is not good, and that there are deserters,
10 profiteers. He had to deal with issues of that sort but he would always
11 be say, Be patient, take care, and we should try and stay alive.
12 Q. And could you -- do you recall his response? Did you personally
13 hear his response when he learned about a bad incident, an unpleasant
14 incident, that occurred in Vogosca during his tenure as the commander? If
15 you remember that, could you please tell the Judges?
16 A. A crime was committed in Vogosca against Himza Ljubovic and his
17 wife, two civilians. His wife's name was Fatima. They were honest
18 people. Himza was the school principal and Fatima was a shopkeeper.
19 These people were really good people. When we learned about this incident
20 all those who lived in Vogosca and who knew the family had to be shocked,
21 outraged and we, the fighters, demanded that the perpetrator be identified
22 as soon as possible. I remember during the tour that we made this demand
23 and he said, Oh my God, who did that? And why hasn't this been solved
24 already? Is it impossible to identify the perpetrator? This should have
25 been done already.
1 And I have to say that to the end of my life, I will insist on it,
2 and I am ready to testify in this case to make sure that whoever did this
3 receives proper punishment.
4 Q. But can you tell me, during the period while Dragomir Milosevic
5 was the commander, this terrible crime happened, this is undoubtedly an
6 outrageous crime. During the time while Dragomir Milosevic was
7 responsible, were there any such incidents in the area of responsibility
8 of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps with the exception of these two horrible
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a second.
11 MS. EDGERTON: In fact, Your Honours, I would suggest that's a
12 leading question because nowhere in the testimony has the witness said
13 that there were murders at issue.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, you -- maybe it's end of session
15 blues. And I haven't heard the witness say that there was a murder. Did
16 you? No.
17 We heard testimony of a crime, a horrible crime being committed,
18 somewhat so that my colleague to my left asking what happened, asking me
19 informally what happened.
20 Well, what happened, Witness?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Himza Ljubovic and his wife Fatima
22 were killed, murdered. They were civilians who lived in Vogosca during
23 the war.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, continue.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Since I heard this in my native tongue, I understood that murders
2 were involved. He said that there was a terrible crime, that everybody
3 was outraged. Whether he also used the term murder or not, I'm not sure.
4 But let me ask you, now, were there other such incidents in the
5 area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps at any point in time
6 during Dragomir Milosevic's tenure there?
7 A. I know about this particular case for sure, whereas I do not wish
8 to testify or speculate about matters I'm not certain of.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us something about the fighting that
10 would take place in -- at the positions where you were. What were they
11 like, these clashes?
12 A. At the beginning of the war --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: And, Your Honours, perhaps for all of us the
15 witness could, in his answer be asked to specify exactly where he is
16 talking about when he talks about the positions he was at.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. But maybe you're anticipating too much.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Perhaps.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, yes.
20 Mr. Tapuskovic will, no doubt, be dealing with that.
21 Go ahead.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, sir, the trenches where you were at, were you there all
24 the time or did you go elsewhere, to some other positions, other trenches?
25 A. In my evidence, I stated the perimeter of the trenches where I
1 was. I could have been in this one over there or in this once over there
2 but always in that area, in that general area of the battlefield. I could
3 have been in any of the trenches in that area.
4 Q. Can you tell us what sort of weapons were there in the area of
5 responsibility of your brigade? And let me not make this a leading
6 question, but at the time when the conflict broke out, up until a certain
7 point in time, perhaps you should yourself specify the time, if you can.
8 But can you tell us what it looked like at the outset?
9 A. At the start we had infantry weapons, whatever infantry sorties
10 would have. We had mortars. There was heavy weaponry there, such as
11 tanks and Howitzers. We had these weapons until the pullout of heavy
12 weaponry was stipulated and signed.
13 Q. You told us that General Dragomir Milosevic took up his duties in
14 August. What was the situation at that point in time? What sort of
15 weapons did you have at your positions?
16 A. I know that the mass media reported that there was an exclusion
17 zone of 20 kilometres and there was no heavy weaponry there at the time.
18 Q. Did you have any sort of support in combat in the early days? And
19 I'm referring to the period of time as you yourself specified it into
20 different segments.
21 A. If you're referring to artillery support, then, yes, we had that
22 sort of support.
23 Q. When Dragomir Milosevic took up his commanding duties, did you
24 have that sort of support as well?
25 A. We were not able to have that sort of support since the weapons
1 had been taken away.
2 Q. Do you know what happened in 1995 at some point, or can you tell
3 us what the year 1995 was like at the very start?
4 A. At the beginning of 1995, there was a cease-fire. I remember the
5 year 1995 by the offensive. At the time I was at the positions near Golo
6 Brdo, and I was a participant in that offensive. I was defending myself.
7 Q. And did you have any artillery support in that offensive?
8 A. Yes, we did, but I don't know --
9 Q. We have to use up our time efficiently. Prosecutor will have to
10 ask their questions.
11 You told us that there was this part of the year of 1995 when
12 there was a cease-fire on. Do you recall the events related to a feature
13 in the centre of Vogosca at that point in time?
14 A. I lived right next to the sports hall in Vogosca. That sports
15 hall or gym was shelled as was the football stadium. The building where I
16 lived was between these two buildings. Some individuals were wounded and
17 extensive damage was inflicted on the buildings. My wife survived the
18 attack by pure chance, because our balcony was hit and there was a bar
19 which almost hit her. There was a boy who was wounded and my son had been
20 grazed by a piece of shrapnel. It was all by pure chance that he was
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear where.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So he wasn't killed. There was
24 other shelling of Vogosca, random and discriminate -- deliberate and
25 indiscriminate. There was a person by the name of Djuric that was
1 killed. There was a Vito from the post office who was also killed and
2 this was all the result of indiscriminate shelling.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And this was in time of a -- rather, this was while a cease-fire
5 was on?
6 A. Yes, during cease-fire too.
7 Q. You mentioned an offensive. Can you tell us who mounted the
8 offensive, which side? And I'm referring to the offensive that occurred
9 in the summer of 1995.
10 A. This was an offensive against all the positions of VRS from the
11 positions where I was, all the way the entire length of Sarajevo.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who mounted the offensive? That's what you were
13 asked. Who started the offensive?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The forces of the BH army.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I have to ask you something else before I forget.
18 You mentioned the events concerning the gym, the sports hall. Was
19 there something else that involved UNPROFOR in that same time-period?
20 A. I was a sportsman in Vogosca. I was involved in sports activities
21 and this was in addition to other charity work I did. I led a football
22 club. Dela Prela, he was a captain, I don't recall his first name.
23 The -- he was the commander of the French battalion that was there at
24 Vogosca and he invited us to organise a football match and we provided the
25 French battalion with the necessary equipment and we played a match. He
1 was the one who interceded in order to make sure that there was no
2 fighting during the football match. However during the football match, a
3 sniper fired upon the stadium. There was a part of the field that was
4 reserved for athletics and that was where he hid himself, and I mean the
5 sniper, and this was one instance when the BH army violated a cease-fire.
6 Q. Thank you. You were mentioning the offensive. Were you in your
7 trenches at the time or were you perhaps deployed to a different position
8 for the duration of the offensive? Did you take part in any combat
9 activities in that context?
10 A. No, I wasn't anywhere else. I was in the trenches throughout the
11 war and when the offensive was launched I was in the area of Golo Brdo. I
12 will never forget that.
13 Q. Let me just ask you this, I'm referring primarily to this period
14 of time although I'm referring to the entire period generally. How many
15 civilian victims were there in the area where you were present?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
17 MS. EDGERTON: As formulated, Your Honour, I'd suggest this calls
18 for pure speculation on the part of the witness.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why? This is an area where he was present. He
20 can say it. I don't agree with you, Ms. Edgerton.
21 You may cross-examine him as to his knowledge, the basis of his
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: How many civilians were there, in the area where
25 you lived?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around 20.000 civilians.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And how many civilian victims were there during these clashes?
5 A. Out of around 2.200 fighters of the Sarajevo Brigade, 800 were
6 killed. I don't know the exact number of civilians and I don't want to
7 speculate about that. I do know, however, that some 50 persons were
8 killed by sniper fire in the area from Gornji Hotonj to the neighbourhood
9 of Vogosca. It was from this positions at Hotonj there were civilian
10 victims and soldiers killed.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
16 Q. Sir, you said in your testimony immediately prior to this that you
17 were aware of mass media reports, that there was an exclusion zone of 20
18 kilometres that had been declared and that there was no heavy weaponry in
19 that zone at the time.
20 Now, perhaps we could probe that a little further. I'd like it
21 know whether by this you're saying that following the declaration of the
22 20-kilometre exclusion zone there was no heavy weaponry within the area of
23 responsibility of your brigade. Is that what you're saying?
24 A. I know that the weapons concerned were taken away, were driven
25 away, and I never saw them again.
1 Q. Now, if I'm not mistaken the area of responsibility of your
2 brigade included Vogosca, included areas like Mrkovici and Poljine. Isn't
3 that correct?
4 A. In my testimony, I specified quite accurately where I was. What
5 you're referring to was indeed within the area of the 3rd Brigade, but I
6 wasn't there. I was in the area from Zuc all the way to Hotonj. The
7 places you're asking me about, that wasn't in my area. I was a soldier in
8 the trenches and I wasn't able to know about that since I was in the
9 trenches all the time and I didn't have any contacts with the people over
11 Q. So you were in the trenches all the time, sir, but I would suggest
12 you were actually very quick to say that all the heavy weapons were
13 removed from the area of responsibility of your brigade and you never saw
14 them again. How, then, did you know that they were removed?
15 A. I know because I saw the weapons being transported away, and I
16 believe they were transported in the direction of Nisici or somewhere
17 there. At any rate, to the south, toward the way out of Vogosca. Nisici
18 is not within the 20-kilometre range.
19 Q. But Poljine, sir, is within the 20-kilometre range, sir, isn't it?
20 A. Poljine is indeed. But I don't know what was to be found at
21 Poljine. I told you that I was not there and I cannot testify about
22 that. I have no information.
23 MS. EDGERTON: I would like to ask a map be brought up, please,
24 that might help the witness. It bears the ter number 02786 and if my
25 colleague Madam Registrar would be able to zoom in on the location of
2 Q. Sir, what you are about to see will be a map generated by the
3 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps setting out the 20-kilometre exclusion zone and
4 the placement of heavy weapons at weapons collection points within and
5 around that exclusion zone. And once the map comes on the screen, I'm
6 going to direct your attention to Poljine.
7 And I'm sorry, Your Honour, I did communicate the number ahead of
8 time, but, you know, these things do take some time.
9 Longer than I thought, since we'd already had the map up on the
10 screen previously.
11 I'm going to move on to another area and, please, if I could ask
12 the registry if they could indicate to me when the map is visible. I
13 would appreciate that -- oh. Please let me know and I will move on to
14 another area.
15 Q. Sir, do you know, since you know what happened in Vogosca and in
16 the sports hall and at different locations around that area where the
17 weapons collection points were in Vogosca municipality?
18 A. I don't know where those weapon collection points were located,
19 but the weapons, as far as I know, were not at a single point. They -- it
20 was not -- the weapons were not issued from a single point. They would be
21 obtained in various ways.
22 Q. So, you wouldn't know, then, sir, that there was a weapons
23 collection point in Poljine which housed a 105-millimetre Howitzer, 124
24 122-millimetre Howitzers, and anti-aircraft guns of all sorts of ranges.
25 You wouldn't know that, then, is that what you're saying, sir?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness noted
3 twice what was happening in the area where he was and that he didn't know
4 what was happening at Poljine because he hadn't been there, and now this
5 point about Poljine is insisted on and as he already indicated, he doesn't
6 know about Poljine.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: But this is a very classical way of
8 cross-examining, Mr. Tapuskovic, I can assure you. There's nothing wrong
9 with it at all.
10 Answer the question, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't really understand your
12 question. If you're asking me if at Poljine I knew anything about that
13 and so on, then my answer is no, and as for the artillery having been at
14 Poljine earlier on, I know about that, I know that I heard that
15 artillery -- artillery had been positioned at Poljine, and was firing from
16 there until the withdrawal and I know about the artillery being positioned
17 at Poljine.
18 Now, as to if I know anything about how the artillery got to
19 Poljine or what you were saying about the distribution, I don't know
20 whether I understood you properly or not. I don't know anything about
22 MS. EDGERTON: I think, with that answer, we can actually leave
23 the question of the map, which doesn't seem to have been able to appear on
24 e-court and I can move on to another map.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do I understand you, Witness, to be saying that
1 do you know about the artillery being located at Poljine?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, all right. Thanks. Yes.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, well, but he said
5 that it had been deployed at Poljine before the removal. That's what he
6 said. Before the order came to remove the artillery, the heavy weapons.
7 I don't know whether the transcript reflects that.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is consistent with the question that I asked
9 and the answer that he gave.
10 MS. EDGERTON:
11 Q. Now, sir, are you aware of what kind of weaponry was located at
13 A. I don't have any military education, military training, and on the
14 basis of the detonation that I heard I can't now give evidence saying it
15 was this or it was that.
16 Q. Sir, do you know the difference between a mortar and a Howitzer?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were there mortars located at Poljine?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Were there Howitzers located at Poljine?
21 A. I think that they were until the withdrawal of the heavy weapons.
22 I think they were there -- they were there until the withdrawal.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Could we -- could I ask for document number 3402 to
24 come up on the screen. And I hope that with the effort of the map earlier
25 on I haven't paralysed the system.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: Why don't you use ELMO for your map?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 MS. EDGERTON: If I had the map with me, as big as it is, Your
4 Honours, and it's almost as tall as me, I would have posted it on the
5 screen. But I think we've sufficiently explored that area with the
6 witness. I may look into it during the break time, however. But I'd like
7 to make the most efficient use of the Court time, as I can.
8 Q. Sir, on the screen in front of you you see a document dated 21
9 February 1994. It's a Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command document from
10 Colonel --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I have an opportunity to
13 object that had is a document from the 21st of February, 1994 which is the
14 time when Dragomir Milosevic was not the commander of the
15 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's the implication of that?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, what does it have to do
18 with the period relevant for the indictment of General Milosevic. This is
19 something that I get so many objections on, that I raise issues that do
20 not pertain to the period relevant for the indictment, which is from
21 August 1994 until November 1995. This document dates from the February --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Now explain
23 the relevance of this.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honours. The witness has spoken about
25 weapons that were at Poljine and indicated that to the best of his
1 recollection they were only there up until the total exclusion zone was
2 put into force and my intention was -- or proclaimed, I should say. My
3 intention was to put this document -- may I finish my sentence?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not getting any
5 interpretation. I'm not getting any interpretation.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: No interpretation.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. I'm sorry.
8 Should I repeat?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please.
10 MS. EDGERTON: The witness has repeatedly stated that he is aware
11 of heavy weapons having been positioned at Poljine up until the time the
12 total exclusion zone was put into effect, proclaimed into force, and this
13 document, dated 21 February 1994, is a document which lists technical and
14 materiel equipment not pulled out after the date the total exclusion zone
15 was put into force, and I would like to put this document to the witness,
16 given his previous answers, to see whether this might assist with his
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes, you may.
19 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. If I may just have a moment to go back
20 to my transcript. Thank you.
21 Q. Now, sir, to begin again, the document you see in front of you is
22 an SRK command document from a Colonel Ljuban Kosovac listing the
23 technical and materiel equipment that was not pulled out for a number of
24 different brigades of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
25 Now, under the heading 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade and that is
1 the second heading on the document, you see it lists a T55 tank remains at
2 Poljine, a 76-millimetre self-propelled gun remains at Poljine and I'm
3 wondering, Witness, if you can say whether that corresponds with your
4 recollection of the situation at that time.
5 A. I don't know how I could have had access to this kind of
6 information. From the beginning of my evidence, I have been telling you
7 that I was in the trench and I had absolutely nothing to do with any of
8 this, and I don't know anything about this.
9 I know that artillery was active from Poljine during the
10 fighting. That's what I know. And I know that after this declaration
11 that the artillery was withdrawn, that it drove past, and I don't have any
12 knowledge as to what may have remained there and this what you just put to
13 me, it simply means nothing to me. I don't know anything about that.
14 Q. All right. So then, with respect to Poljine what -- I take from
15 what you're saying is that you actually don't know whether or not heavy
16 weapons were pulled out of there at all, do you?
17 A. Not -- I don't know whether any remained at Poljine or, indeed at
18 any other sites.
19 Q. Now, if you just go a little bit further down the list under the
20 same heading, 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade, you see at item number 6
21 there is a 76-millimetre self-propelled gun listed at Perivoj. Now
22 Perivoj is the general area of the trench in which you were stationed,
23 isn't it?
24 A. Yes, yes, I was at Perivoj.
25 Q. Now does this document which listed a 76-millimetre self-
1 propelled gun at Perivoj by late February 1992 correspond -- 1994
2 correspond with your recollection?
3 A. I was at Perivoj in February 1994, and this thing that you're
4 asking me about, this cannon, this cannon was not at Perivoj and it
5 couldn't have been at Perivoj because Perivoj, the lines where we were,
6 they were all in the low ground. We were there at -- near Tomica Kuca at
7 Perivoj and BH army forces were positioned on the hills. And this cannon
8 would have had no -- would be of no use. It is a cannon that is used for
9 indirect fire. I don't know whether there are any experts who know what
10 this means but this cannon could not have fired and we prayed to God to
11 get some heavy artillery there because we were in a difficult situation
12 and now you're telling me that this cannon existed there. Is this the
13 gist of your questions, whether this cannon existed or was there?
14 Q. I'm asking you whether, based on your recollection of the
15 situation at the time, you having been there, this document corresponds
16 with your recollection.
17 A. No, I don't remember that.
18 Q. Now, sir, could we put it this way: Is it the case that your
19 knowledge is so limited to that narrow portion of trench that you fought
20 from that you're not in a position to comment on the document, or are you
21 saying that the document is inaccurate?
22 A. My knowledge was not limited to just this trench. I would have
23 known about this cannon being there in the period that you're talking
24 about had it been there and had it been operating.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, we'll take the break now. You have
1 used so far 21 minutes.
2 Witness, you may leave, because there is another matter that I'd
3 like to deal with. You will leave and then you will return after the
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: In carrying out its work the Chamber has
7 discovered that there are parts of the public transcript that should be
8 redacted in order to protect the identity and whereabouts of a protected
10 May we move into private session.
11 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll now take the break.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.19 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 3.40 p.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Thanks to my registry colleagues for their ingenuity, you see on
2 the screen before you the map we were trying to recreate earlier.
3 So if I may step back I would like to put a couple of questions to
4 the witness in regard to the map.
5 Q. Sir, what you see before you is a map generated by and taken from
6 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps denoting or setting out the diameter or the
7 radius of the total exclusion zone and the heavy weapons collection points
8 within Sarajevo and their contents. And if could I ask, then, please,
9 Madam Registrar, to zoom in to the points in the area of Poljine. Thank
11 Now, just having a look at this map, sir, and what you see there
12 in front of you, are you prepared to agree that when you say heavy weapons
13 were removed, your knowledge is only limited to your specific of the
14 trenches and that in fact a number of heavy weapons were not removed from
15 the city perimeter but remained concentrated around there?
16 A. Either the figures on the amount of weapons or types of weapons or
17 the deployment are not known to me, because I was not a member of
18 artillery. I was in the trench. Now as for how many weapons there were
19 and how many there remained, I only know that some weapons were active
20 before that, and then I observed some weapons being transported out of the
21 area. Whether some of it remained there or not, I don't know.
22 As for the breakdown of weapons in terms of their amounts or type,
23 that sort of information was something I did not have access to.
24 Q. Even though, sir, and you testified you are from Vogosca, there
25 were weapons collection points at Krivoglavci, Metalka and Zuc? Your
1 assertion is that you are unaware of the collection of heavy weapons at
2 those locations. Is that correct?
3 A. It's not true what you are saying, that I knew about the weapons
4 being collected at Zuc and Metalka. I didn't say that. I don't even know
5 where Metalka is located. I don't know what is called by that name, and I
6 don't know that anything was being collected either there. I know that
7 the artillery pieces were not placed along the lines. They were somewhere
8 behind the lines. I'm not sure where exactly. This is the first time I
9 hear of Metalka, of that location. Perhaps if you explain to me what it
10 was, I could tell you something.
11 As for Zuc --
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Let me try one more time. Is
13 your assertion that you were unaware of heavy weapons in weapons
14 collection points within the area of responsibility of your brigade?
15 A. I'm not aware of the weapons you're asking me about, what remained
16 after the signing of the agreement and what was transported away.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this map,
19 actually. It goes to the witness's credibility.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P917, Your Honours.
22 MS. EDGERTON: And if we can revert back to the document that we
23 had, please, on the screen immediately before the break which had the 65
24 ter number 03402, please.
25 If there's a problem with that, I won't ask any further questions
1 about that document, but simply ask that that document with the ter number
2 03402 also be tendered as a Prosecution Exhibit which I omitted to do
3 before the break, and I certainly hope that I haven't broken the system of
4 e-court today.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we will admit that document, too.
6 Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't have any objections to
8 the admission, but I would really like to see the document once more, so I
9 hope the system won't fail us.
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm assured the document is in the system. It's
12 simply that they're experiencing some difficulties with publishing it.
13 THE REGISTRAR: And 65 ter 03402 will become Exhibit P918, Your
15 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, and --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps this will be the only
18 document I'll be interested in for the purposes of my re-examination.
19 That is why I would like the document to be brought up if possible, for
20 the witness to look at it later.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Its efforts
22 to ensure publication so that Mr. Tapuskovic will be able to
23 cross-examine -- or to re-examine effectively on it.
24 Now ...
25 MS. EDGERTON: If I may, Your Honours?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
3 Q. To go on to another area which probably gives the e-court system a
4 rest, sir, I'd like to ask you about your meetings with General Milosevic
5 which you said took place during the period of 1994/1995.
6 Now, can we just establish that you only met with him during that
7 period. Is that correct?
8 A. I hadn't known General Milosevic before that period.
9 Q. Now, you talked about first seeing the General during a visit to
10 the command; is that correct?
11 A. No. I would see him before that, but I didn't know him before the
12 war. I didn't know who the man was.
13 Q. All right. Well, let's -- do you remember testifying that you saw
14 the General when he came to the command?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When exactly was that?
17 A. I can't recall the date. These are at any rate events that are
18 quite unfortunate and that I should like to forget. But, at any rate, it
19 was 1994 and after he assumed his duty.
20 Q. So can we say it was between August and December 1994 then?
21 A. Yes, at the battlefield.
22 Q. What month was it?
23 A. Sometime in September, I believe.
24 Q. What command was it? Where did you see him?
25 A. I saw him both at the command of the Blagovac Battalion and at the
1 positions held by the members of the VRS.
2 Q. Now I'm asking about the specific occasion when you say you saw
3 him in the command and he made a comment about a copy of the Geneva
4 Conventions being placed at a more visible location. When was that?
5 A. I would have to find out when it was that Jozo Ivanic was wounded,
6 because the event you're interested in happened several days later. It
7 was in late summer. It must have been again, September of 1994.
8 Q. And was this at the command of the Blagovac Battalion?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Where was the command of the Blagovac Battalion located?
11 A. It was a private home across from that house. It was Mitar
12 Cvjetic's [phoen] house, who wasn't there during the war. It was some 200
13 or 300 metres to the right of the factory.
14 Q. Would you -- what factory, sir?
15 A. The Pretis factory, the TAS factory. It is actually a whole
16 complex of factories there at Vogosca.
17 Q. So if Blagovac actually, according to the map, lies to the north
18 of Vogosca, you're saying the Blagovac battalion command is somewhere to
19 the south of the town. Is that right?
20 A. No. The command was in the village of Blagovac, to the south of
21 Vogosca, or, rather, to the south of Vogosca is where Semizovac is. In
22 Blagovac, in the very village, that's where the command was. The
23 factories are to the east and not to the south of Vogosca. And Blagovac
24 also lies to the east.
25 Q. Perhaps I could ask for a map to be brought up on the screen and
1 if the e-court system still doesn't work, I have a hard copy available
2 with me. It bears the ter number 02617I, and if it makes things go any
3 faster, I'm quite happy to provide my copy.
4 And while we wait for that to come up on the screen, sir, what
5 were you doing at the command if you were a trench soldier, as you
7 A. We would come to the command in order to get papers in --
8 permitting to us travel and I believe that was the reason why I went to
9 the command, to obtain travel permits.
10 Q. Who was with the General?
11 A. A driver was with him. I don't know his name.
12 Q. Who was with you?
13 A. There was nobody with me, save for the people who worked there in
14 the command. There was a lady there and a man. The lady was in charge of
15 these personnel affairs, as it were.
16 Q. So if I asked to you give us the names of who else would have
17 heard the General make this commend about the Geneva Conventions, you
18 wouldn't be able to give us any names, would you?
19 A. I don't understand. The names of the people working there?
20 Q. The names of the people who would have heard the General make that
21 same comment that you testified about today.
22 A. Ranko Blagovcanin.
23 Q. Where is he today?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. General, what did those Geneva Conventions look like? What colour
1 was the paper?
2 A. This was an excerpt from the Geneva Convention --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't see how the witness would
5 be able to answer what colour the paper was 15 years later.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] You know that?
8 I'm sorry.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: If he can't, then he will say so.
10 Yes, what's your answer?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was typed up and copied, since
12 all the commands were ordered to have these papers. It was either photo
13 copied or duplicated in some other way, and it was an excerpt of -- from
14 the Geneva Convention about the war that was copied on a piece of paper.
15 It was appended in all the commands, including the one in Blagovac.
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. Now, sir, you see a map on the screen in front of you. This is a
18 map generated in August 1995 by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Do you see
19 the Blagovac command headquarters on that map? And if I can guide you a
20 little bit you should see Semizovac at the top left-hand corner of the
22 A. You're mentioning Semizovac, whereas Semizovac is to the south,
23 Blagovac is not in that direction. Blagovac lies ...
24 MS. EDGERTON: Mr. Usher, would be able to perhaps assist this
25 gentleman in marking the location if he is able to find it?
1 Q. Do you see, sir, the Cyrillic writing in the middle of the page
2 with the numbers X-122/6, I think you'll find the village of Blagovac
3 immediately below that writing. Isn't that correct?
4 A. 122.
5 Q. /6 in very dark black letters at the top of the map on the screen
6 in front of you. Do you see --
7 A. Yes, if this is Blagovac indeed. I'm sorry, I am -- I have
8 impaired vision, so I'm not sure. It says -- yes, X-122, Blagovac, but
9 this isn't the direction of Semizovac, because you see the way the road to
10 Semizovac goes. The main road. The Vogosca-Semizovac road goes in a
11 different direction. It is more to the north than to the west. Yes. If
12 this is Blagovac, the print is so poor, although I do believe, yes, that's
13 what it says.
14 Q. Is that where the Blagovac Battalion command was located, sir?
15 A. Yes, yes. And in Blagovac.
16 Q. All right. Could I ask you with the little electronic tool you
17 have to circle the location where the Blagovac Battalion command was and
18 mark it with a number 1.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. That's fine. Thank you, sir.
21 Now, that's where you say you saw the accused in this case?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Sir, why did you need a travel permit? Because that's why, as I
24 recall you said, you had gone up to the battalion command?
25 A. It's been a long time. But the reasons for my travel were that my
1 family was located in a weekend cottage I had. They would be sometimes
2 located in the weekend cottage, sometimes in Vogosca, and perhaps I had to
3 be -- I had to visit them. That was why I needed a travel permit. At any
4 rate, if I had to travel somewhere, it would have been to my native
5 village where they were located.
6 Q. Now, sir, you said you saw the General, the accused in this case,
7 five or six times, including this one time. When was the next time after
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ask him first, of the five or six times, where
10 does this one fall.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Quite so.
12 Q. Sir, did you understand His Honour's question? Of the five or six
13 times you said you saw the General, where does this one instance fall, the
14 beginning, the middle, the end?
15 A. The beginning.
16 Q. Where, then, did you see him the next time, and when?
17 A. I saw the area of Zuc up at Golo Brdo, in the area of Ugorsko or
18 Jezevi in the barracks down there. It was called the 14, the 17, down
19 there at the 14th or the 17th row, at Hotonj. And I would see him on the
20 right flank, in the middle and on the left flank. So he would be touring
21 the areas very often.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, I saw him in the area
23 of Zuc and up at Golo Brdo.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam --
25 MS. EDGERTON: Pardon me, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I have a question. Sir, the point
2 that you just put down, that's the Blagovac Battalion command, right?
3 Where were your trenches exactly?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My trenches extended from Perivoj on
5 the right flank, across Ugorsko, the area held by the VRS, around the
6 factories all the way to Hotonj or all the way to the other side of Hotonj
7 where one goes out of Hotonj to Kosevo. So from the right flank of Zuc
8 and Perivoj, all the way along the line through to the end of Hotonj.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. So you had to go to the
10 command of the battalion, you had to go there in order to get your permit,
11 your travel permit. That's the reason why you went there; is that right?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The travel permit was not required
13 if one was moving in the area of Vogosca, where one was assigned
14 militarily. However, the place where my weekend cottage was was outside
15 of the area I was assigned to. Every time you had to go out of the area
16 of your deployment, you had to apply for a travel permit.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 Ms. Edgerton.
19 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. And, sir, that's as one would expect from a disciplined army. It
21 had tight control over the movement of its soldiers. Isn't that correct?
22 A. At the time of the tenure of the accused, yes. Which doesn't mean
23 that this was the case in the early days, but at the time he was there,
24 there was military discipline.
25 Q. And one more question relating to your -- the times you saw the
1 accused. What I'm taking, sir, from your answers is that other than
2 perhaps this one occasion at the command, you didn't have personal
3 face-to-face meetings where you spoke with the accused or shook hands. It
4 was merely sightings of him touring the lines with the troops. Isn't that
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] To be quite honest, I didn't
8 understand the question. That's why I wanted to intervene. Although it
9 might not be important, the fact that I didn't understand the question.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: And, Witness, do you understand the question?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood that you were asking me
12 whether I associated with the accused, and the answer is no. We were at
13 different levels.
14 MS. EDGERTON:
15 Q. So the sightings of him were in fact that sightings of him touring
16 the lines where his soldiers may have been operational.
17 A. On several occasions, four, five, six times, I think it was five
18 times at the lines, yes.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask that this map, please, be tendered as
21 an exhibit.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P919, Your Honours.
24 MS. EDGERTON:
25 Q. Moving on to another area and coming close to the conclusion, I
1 wanted to go back to something that you mentioned to Mr. Tapuskovic
2 earlier, and it was about -- it was during the time of the offensive of
3 1995 where you, as you've said, were acting on the defensive and you
4 mentioned that you had artillery support at that time. And I wonder if
5 you could say what kind of artillery support you had?
6 A. I don't know how the artillery was brought back. I think that the
7 artillery had gone since we now have a map here towards the Semizovac and
8 then from Semizovac further on to the Nisici plateau, which is outside of
9 the 20-kilometre zone. Because from what I was able to observe, it didn't
10 go in this other direction where we had another exit point. It was going
11 in that direction.
12 Now as to your question how the artillery had been brought back, I
13 don't know, but what I do know is that we had artillery support on this
14 position where we were. In the previous tab you were talking to me about
15 the artillery being at Zuc, that I was able to see it. The artillery is
16 never positioned where the trenches are. It is it always placed in the
17 depth of the territory.
18 Now as to where it was, at what points, some of the locations, the
19 names of the locations are unknown to me, I couldn't tell you where it
20 was, what hamlet. It was confusion. It was difficult to bring it back to
21 Poljine and there must be a military regulation prohibiting the artillery
22 from operating from a certain position. The artillery did operate -- did
23 fire from this area in 1995.
24 Q. Thank you for that.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for just a moment, Your Honours.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MS. EDGERTON:
3 Q. So based on what you've said just now, and I appreciate that
4 explanation, you -- I understand you're saying you don't know what kind of
5 artillery support you had. Is that correct, or do you actually now the
6 calibre of the artillery support you had?
7 A. Well, my military training is too meagre for me to be able to tell
8 you. But this is a larger artillery, larger calibre artillery. I don't
9 know what calibre of cannon. I can't tell you. But it was heavy. If we
10 talk about artillery, that's a cannon, mortars. I can't tell you the
11 calibre on the basis of the sound, the detonation. I don't have the
12 knowledge to do so.
13 Q. Thank you, sir. I don't have any other questions from you.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
15 Re-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 P118. That's a Prosecution Exhibit, P118. That's 65 ter 3400.
18 No, I don't know, I'm looking for a document. I have it written
19 down as P118 dated the 21st of February. That's 3402. That's the 65 ter
21 MS. EDGERTON: That's the one we just dealt with; that's 918.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Now I would like to pay
23 some attention to it.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, could you please look at what it stays
1 here. What does it read in this document? We saw the date and what does
2 it say underneath the date?
3 A. List of TMS per unit that was not pulled out.
4 Q. Well, now if we look at item 6, that's Perivoj, is that correct,
5 that's where it's listed? That's what my colleague asked you. So you
6 have item 6, Perivoj, could be please read what it says at the side?
7 A. Well, it says 1 SO 76-millimetre. To the right it says
8 unfavourable weather conditions.
9 Q. So it says that on the 21st of February, 1994, in this geographic
10 area in those areas, what was the weather like in all the Sarajevo
11 municipalities that existed, what was the weather like?
12 A. I was in Perivoj in February. It was terrible. We were snowed
13 in. It was terribly cold and a lot of snow.
14 But let me go back to what I said earlier, Mr. Tapuskovic. I
15 never saw this cannon at Perivoj. And I don't know whether it is possible
16 that the cannon cannot be positioned in the trenches. I can't see how,
17 why is the Prosecution and the Defence asking me if I saw this cannon
18 there at the trenches. I didn't see it.
19 Q. That's not what I asked you. On the 21st of February we had the
20 situation as we had.
21 A. Yes, the situation was terrible.
22 Q. I'm asking you about this period from the 10th of August until the
23 end of the war when the weather improved to a certain extent. Is it
24 possible that everything that UNPROFOR demanded be complied with?
25 A. I think that it would have been science fiction for the vehicles
1 to get to Perivoj. First of all, because the exit from Perivoj towards
2 Tomica Kuca to Reljevo is a road that does not meet any standards. It is
3 a village path leading up there to Perivoj. So I don't really think that
4 any vehicle could have approached Perivoj at all.
5 Q. Thank you. Thank you. You answered me that in February, you told
6 me what the weather was like in February and this document reads as it
7 reads. It was signed by who it was signed by. I'm asking you about the
8 Territorial Defence period from the 10th of August until the end of the
9 war, do you know at all what the situation was like regarding the weapons
10 that should have been withdrawn and couldn't have been withdrawn as it's
11 indicated here in February?
12 A. No, I don't know.
13 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
14 MS. EDGERTON: The answer came before I had risen to submit that
15 it doesn't arise from my cross-examination. In any case, the witness said
16 he had no knowledge.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: You didn't hear what she said? Are you hearing?
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, no. I didn't get the B/C/S
19 interpretation but I don't think it really matters.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Nothing turns on it, Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 Witness, that concludes your evidence. We thank you for giving it
22 and you may leave now.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next witness.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Our next witness was under
1 protective measures but he no longer seeks those measures, and I hope that
2 I will be finished with him in even less time than I was allotted, which
3 is half an hour. That's Witness T-57.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
5 MS. EDGERTON: And if I may, Your Honours, I'll take my leave now
6 and see you again at the end of August.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, have a very good pleasant holiday,
8 Ms. Edgerton.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please make the declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: NEDELJKO UCUR
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may be seated.
16 You may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Witness T-57, you know that I am here to defend
19 General Milosevic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We talked this morning. We have to be as efficient as possible
22 and we have to complete your examination in the time allotted to us.
23 That's the first warning.
24 Secondly, I explained to you this morning that you should speak
25 slowly, so could we please also bear that in mind. Thank you, Your
2 This brings us to the witness, the last witness in this part of
3 the proceedings.
4 Witness, could you please state your name to the Judges?
5 A. My name is Nedeljko Ucur.
6 Q. But please keep an eye on the screen in front of you so that you
7 can be -- you can know where to start talking.
8 You were born on the 21st of January, 1953?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In Sipovo in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes.
12 Please go slow and don't answer until you see that the cursor has
13 stopped, no matter how short the question.
14 The elementary and the high school, commercial high school you
15 completed in Sarajevo?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Well, you were not supposed to answer before now. In fact, could
18 you please wait?
19 A. Yes.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's remark, the witness also completed
21 administration college in Sarajevo.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And you lived in Sarajevo from 1963 until the start of the
24 conflict? You can answer now.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were employed in the PTT System in the centre of Sarajevo when
2 it all started?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You lived in Sedrenik until the 12th of July, 1992, and this
5 apartment that was your property, you never came back to him after the
6 outbreak of the hostilities?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you now tell us what happened on the 11th of March, 1995?
9 A. On the 11th of March, 1995, a thing happened that I would not wish
10 on anyone. It's a tragedy. I lost my only child, my daughter, who was
11 less than 11 years old.
12 Q. Could you please tell us about the circumstances in which it
14 A. It was the cease-fire. I had some time off. I was not on the
15 lines, and in the afternoon because it was one of the best cease-fires.
16 Several had been signed before, so in the afternoon, at around 4.00 p.m.,
17 1600 hours, we were in front of the building. There were three of us in
18 military uniforms and there were three or four women there. The children
19 were playing outside in front of the building and until maybe 4.30, we
20 wanted to go back into the building and they said could we play for maybe
21 two or three minutes more and then we will go back.
22 We went into the building and we didn't really climb to the first
23 floor at all when we heard a shot, and we heard the screams. We went
24 out. Two girls had been shot in the head. One of them was my daughter.
25 They were showing signs of life. We took them to hospital, first to the
1 health care centre and to the Kasindol hospital but it was too late. They
2 couldn't be saved.
3 Q. Could you please tell us -- I know how difficult it is for you to
4 talk about this and I don't want to take you back to it. This is not
5 something that we should be discussing at length, but I do have to ask you
6 when you left the positions on that day, was there any decision --
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Sachdeva chose this moment to
9 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm very sorry to interrupt, but I just would like
10 to know the location because there is -- which building, where in Sarajevo
11 it this occur.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The building at Grbavica, Rave
15 Jankovic Street. The house number was 59.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 Q. And now could you please answer the question that I asked you:
18 Was there a decision related to conditions for leaving the line, the
19 positions with the weapons?
20 A. Well, there must have been a written decision but we heard it
21 orally. When we went back to visit our families, to take a bath, we were
22 told not to take our weapons with us home. All the weapons had to be left
23 at the line.
24 Q. Please, bear in mind that you should not start answering before my
25 entire question has been entered in the transcript.
1 I wish to ask you the following: Did the child ask you for
2 permission to go out and play?
3 A. Yes. I said yes, because I was there with my colleagues. There
4 was a cease-fire. There was no fire on either sides and cease-fire had
5 been adhered to until the 11th.
6 Q. There were three soldiers, right, you were there, three soldiers?
7 A. Yes, three soldiers and four women who were sitting down there as
8 they were playing. There were the three of us in uniform.
9 Q. I don't want to draw any inferences. Please tell me, you were a
10 fighter of the SRK?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After this event from the positions where you were -- please wait
13 for my entire question to be entered the transcript before you answer.
14 Out of the positions where you were, were you able to see children on the
15 other side aged 10?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: No.
17 A. It is true --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I still don't know where his
20 positions were. That hasn't been elicited. I understand that this
21 incident happened when he went on leave but I don't know where his
22 positions are.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where was your position, Witness?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My position was at Dobrinja IV,
25 which is three to five kilometres away from my home. I don't know the
1 exact distance.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now that you've answered this, tell me, since you were in
4 Dobrinja, which is the nucleus of Sarajevo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were you able to see over all these years, that is to say from
7 1992 to 1995, children or civilians on the other side?
8 A. It is true that I had occasion to see them both before this
9 incident and after. There was some ten children playing at a distance of
10 150 to 200 metres from the separation line I would see them and I never --
11 Q. Pause there. Did you ever, having experienced a loss of your
12 child, shoot at a child on the other side?
13 A. Never. Only madmen could do such a thing. The children are never
14 to blame. In any part of the world in any war the children are always
15 innocent .
16 Q. And before that incident, did you ever fire upon a child, a
17 civilian, an elderly person?
18 A. Never. I would have occasion to see children playing and it never
19 occurred to me to do that. I know that children are children. They are
20 not to blame for anything.
21 Q. Were any of you ever issued with an order either written or oral,
22 to fire upon civilians?
23 A. No. There were no such orders either oral or written.
24 Q. Please tell me this. Following this event, among the people who
25 lived in the same area where you lived, were there any reactions to the
1 event, in any sense?
2 A. I was unable to follow any sort of reactions like that. But later
3 on I heard stories, since the bridge was open, then the civilians would go
4 both ways. I heard that when this happened on that same day, at 1500
5 hours, I don't know in what capacity, Yasushi Akashi landed in -- on the
6 Sarajevo airport. And in order to show Yasushi Akashi that Serbs were
7 firing upon Sarajevo, they tried to provoke the Serb side into firing.
8 However, they resisted and remained consistent in what they were doing.
9 Not a single bullet was fired.
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me, I have to ask you now the following
11 question: Did you experience anything at the outset of the conflict which
12 you think had anything to do with your participation in combat? Let me
13 not suggest anything further.
14 A. Yes. It is true that I experienced this and I also have
15 eye-witnesses. On the 10th of June, 1992, around eight persons, eight of
16 us gathered on the 10th in the evening. We were rounded up and we were
17 taken to the central prison in Sarajevo. It was there that we were beaten
19 But pure chance, by happenstance I had connections with the former
20 minister Jerko Doko and I managed to get out of that hell of the central
21 prison nine days later. People were taken out into the corridor at
22 night. In one corner you would just have a candle burning, the lights
23 were out, and with the rifle-butt and military boots they would be kicking
24 them for hours after which they would only throw them back into the cells
25 and there was no helping these persons. They could not stand the pain.
1 There were pensioners among us. There were 12 of us in one room, and out
2 of the 12 of us, four were pensioners. Drago Vukovic, the former manager
3 of the Zoil institute who been retired for many years, he was to be used
4 in exchange for some Muslims, since his wife's relative was the chief
5 of -- or, rather was Blagoje Adzic, the chief in Belgrade. But he
6 couldn't do anything about it since it was a different state. He lost his
7 leg. I don't know if he is alive.
8 Q. Did you see anyone lose their life there?
9 A. No, not personally but I saw that there was this one lad who was
10 24 years old who was taken to the Kosevo Hospital but I don't think there
11 was any way his life could be saved.
12 Q. Tell me, did this have anything to do with your decision to take
13 up arms?
14 A. Of course it did. As I was released from prison, it was through
15 the interceding of Caritas that I managed to be released at Ilidza on the
16 12th of July. Of course I feared for my life, for the lives of my family.
17 Q. Were you afraid of going through all that ordeal again?
18 A. Yes, precisely. I was afraid of going back to the prison. That's
19 why I asked to be allowed to leave the area.
20 Q. When the fighting started, did you have any reserves? Because
21 there was the decision that you should be engaged in combat but was there
22 some sort of a -- were there some reservations that said that you were not
23 supposed to fire at will?
24 A. Of course there were such reservations, especially with regard to
25 civilians. The order was that one or two respond to fire.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take the break now.
2 --- Recess taken at 4.39 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.01 p.m.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was told that I
6 have 14 minutes left and I will try to complete within that allotted
7 time. Thank you.
8 Q. Witness, I asked you a moment ago a question which you may not
9 have understood. Did you know who lived in the part of Sarajevo
10 controlled by the BH army?
11 A. In Sarajevo, between 50 to 60.000 Serbs remained.
12 Q. Very well. Did this have any significance in the situations when
13 open fighting broke out?
14 A. Yes. It is true that it had some significance. There were quite
15 a few Serbs and it was known that they were pushed into the front lines to
16 dig trenches and for those reasons.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you -- rather, you were an eye-witness to the
18 unfortunate death of your child. Did you witness any other killing of
20 A. Yes, at Dobrinja and at Dobrinja IV. And more than 600 Serbs were
21 killed at Grbavica.
22 Q. Civilians?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How many times were you yourself able to witness the death of a
1 A. Three times. I saw civilians get killed on three occasions, as I
2 was passing by. A civilian was either wounded or killed on these
4 Q. Do you know roughly how many of your brothers in arms were killed?
5 A. Well, there are stories about 600 persons having been killed at
6 Grbavica. Some of them civilians some of them soldiers.
7 Q. Can you tell me was it difficult to get food and water supplies?
8 A. Yes, particularly with water supplies and electricity supplies,
9 but water was the problem number one. We had some sort of fountains that
10 we used to obtain water.
11 Q. Thank you. Let me show you some photographs.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] DD00-4247 to start with.
13 Q. Is this consistent with the situation as you experienced it with
14 regard to water?
15 A. Yes, as regards water, yes. There was a lack of water and it had
16 to be obtained outdoors.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, counsel cannot commence this way, in
19 my submission. Firstly it has to be established where was this -- what is
20 depicted in this photograph, where was this photograph taken, what
21 location, does the witness know, has he seen this photograph before, but
22 to simply show photographs of -- show this photograph and ask questions
23 off the bat, in my submission, is not right.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that is a lesson for you, Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I accept this lesson but I was
1 about to ask about that. I showed him the photograph.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I will finish quite soon.
4 Q. I want to ask the witness whether he can recognise where this is.
5 A. Yes, I can. This is at Grbavica between Rave Jankovic Street and
6 I don't know what the other street was called. That is where water was
7 supplied. There was water pump.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this photograph be admitted
10 into evidence as a Defence exhibit, please.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is will be exhibit number D354.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have another photograph,
14 because the witness spoke of sniper fire and of victims as a result of
15 sniper fire. I wish to show him another photograph therefor, which is the
16 only one I still want to show, which is DD00-4251.
17 Q. Can you read what the sign-post on the tree says?
18 A. Attention, sniper fire or something like that, I can't really make
19 it out.
20 Attention, sniper fire active on the cross-roads.
21 Q. How many such blocks were to be found at Grbavica?
22 A. Quite a few, because on the other side opposite the faculty --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, it has now been stated by counsel but the
25 witness never said that this was in Grbavica or at least it was never
1 asked of him first, but it's been done now.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's the next question?
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, can you explain in detail where this is?
5 A. This is somewhere between the community centre of Vaso Pelagic and
6 Rave Jankovic Street toward Zagrebacka Street.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted into
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number D355.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
12 Q. Witness, I have several questions left and quite short ones.
13 On the day your child went out into the street, did she ask
14 something of you?
15 A. She asked to go out and play. Since there was a cease-fire, she
16 asked to be allowed to play with some of her girlfriends. Since I was on
17 leave, we all went down there out of the building in order that she may
19 Q. And they did not shoot at you?
20 A. No. The three of us were in uniform. They didn't shoot at us.
21 We entered the building.
22 Q. This was your only child. Can you tell me did you have any more
23 children later on?
24 A. No. I have no children now.
25 Q. The last question. Where do you live now? Did you ever go back
1 to Grbavica?
2 A. No, never. I never went there nor will I. I live in Bijeljina
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
7 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
9 Q. Good afternoon, witness. My name is Manoj Sachdeva and I'm a --
10 A. Afternoon.
11 Q. -- lawyer and I'm going to ask you a few questions today.
12 Firstly can I ask that during the conflict you were posted at
13 Dobrinja, Dobrinja IV for the full period. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you were --
16 A. On position, my position was there and I lived at Grbavica.
17 Q. And you were an infantry soldier or did you have any other rank?
18 A. I was a rank and file soldier, an infantry soldier.
19 Q. And during the conflict what sort of weapons did you have?
20 A. A semi-automatic rifle.
21 Q. And you served in a company; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in Dobrinja IV, where exactly were your positions? Were they
24 in a trench, were they in a house?
25 A. The position was in a house. Two sides were separated by just a
1 street. Dobrinja IV opposite the church.
2 Q. The church, I take it you mean the orthodox church; is that right?
3 A. The orthodox church. The name of the street was Indira Gandhi.
4 That's the street that divided us from the other side.
5 Q. And so you know that church quite well; is that right?
6 A. I do know.
7 MR. SACHDEVA: If I could ask for 65 ter -- I'm just going show
8 you a photograph, Mr. Ucur. 65 ter 03291 to be brought up, please.
9 Q. Sir, you see a photograph on the screen there?
10 A. I can see it.
11 Q. It is actually a little bit of assistance, but you can see the
12 arrow and you would agree that the arrow is marking --
13 A. I can see it.
14 Q. The arrow is marking or pointing towards -- pointing at the
15 orthodox church; is that right?
16 A. That's not the orthodox church. And I can't see where it points
17 to the orthodox church.
18 Q. Sir, you see underneath the arrow you see a -- a slim white
19 figure. Isn't that the church, sir?
20 A. I can't see it. The church was not completed. The building
21 started before the war, but I can't see any of it here.
22 Q. Yes, the church was not in use, was it, during the war?
23 A. No, it was not in use.
24 Q. Perhaps can I show you another photograph to assist you?
25 MR. SACHDEVA: If we could ask for --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And it's impossible, the church was
2 not next to the canal. I don't know how far from the canal the church
3 is. But it was not that close to the canal. That's for sure.
4 MR. SACHDEVA:
5 Q. Sir, on this photograph the church is, I suggest to you, not -- it
6 doesn't appear to be close to the canal but you would agree, if you think
7 about it carefully, that that is the church, isn't it?
8 A. I can't see it at all.
9 Q. Very well. I will show you another photograph.
10 MR. SACHDEVA: If I could ask for 65 ter 03292 to be brought up,
12 Q. And, sir, while that is being brought up, you went to your
13 positions which were near the church pretty much every day during the
14 conflict; is that right?
15 A. Well, not every day. I'd go when I had some time off, I would
16 rest for two or three days and then I would go back.
17 Q. Now, you see a photograph there, sir?
18 A. Yes, I can see it now.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And, sir, you told the Court that during the conflict it was not
22 in use for the purpose that it was built for. That's right, isn't it?
23 A. I did say it was not in use, but I don't know, perhaps the priests
24 would go there from time to time, but I don't know about that.
25 Q. But as a member of the 1st Sarajevo Brigade in Dobrinja, you know
1 or at least you are aware that during the conflict the Sarajevo-Romanija
2 Corps positioned soldiers in that church, didn't they?
3 A. I don't know about that. They were not stationed in the church.
4 We were stationed in a house on the separation line. And the church is
5 further down from the building.
6 Q. Well, maybe the use of the word "stationed" is not correct. But
7 you are aware that, on occasion, Sarajevo-Romanija Corps soldiers would go
8 to the church because the church afforded a commanding view of the enemy
9 territory; is that right?
10 A. They were not in the church. I can guarantee you that. Well, as
11 for a commanding view, it would be better -- you had a better commanding
12 view from the top floors of the building than from the church.
13 Q. Well, you just said that you don't know about it when I asked you
14 first of all. So now you're saying you do know and that they weren't
15 there. What is it that you know and don't know, sir?
16 A. I know in my case that they were not there, because the church is
17 behind the positions and we had our positions in such a way that it was
18 easier to observe from these high-rise buildings than from the church.
19 Q. So you were in a high-rise building? Is that what you're saying?
20 Or were there soldiers in the high-rise buildings?
21 A. Yes, in the buildings. The high-rise buildings, because the
22 separation line was such that there were high-rise buildings to both sides
23 of the separation line. Only the street divided us.
24 Q. And so where you were positioned, which I take it now is not a
25 house, and your fellow soldiers, you did as you said a commanding view or
1 a better view of enemy territory; is that right?
2 A. A better view. A better view.
3 Q. And from that position where you were, you and your fellow
4 soldiers, you had your semi-automatic rifles; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And I take it that at least if you spotted or if you came across
7 an ABiH soldier in uniform, you would take that soldier out or at least
8 you would attempt to take the soldier out; is that right?
9 A. We didn't try. We didn't shoot. It was cease-fire. There was no
10 shooting from either side. Just this one street divided us. We were in
11 one building on one side of the street, they were in the building on the
12 opposite side of the street. There was no shooting during the cease-fire,
13 but we could see each other but the orders were that there would be no
14 shooting during the cease-fire. Neither side was to fire a single bullet.
15 Q. So I take it that you're not suggesting that there was a
16 cease-fire from 1992 through to 1995 throughout that full period. So I'm
17 asking you about the period where there was not a cease-fire.
18 A. No, no, no.
19 Q. So in the periods where there was not a cease-fire if you or your
20 fellow soldiers saw or spotted a ABiH soldier, an enemy soldier, you would
21 attempt or you would take that soldier out; is that right?
22 A. I wouldn't have tried to take him out. There were several
23 cease-fires. And --
24 Q. Sir --
25 A. But I was talking.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure whether she heard
2 the answer correctly.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just repeat the last part of your answer.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was -- I became a member of the
5 Republika Srpska army on the 9th of November, 1994.
6 MR. SACHDEVA:
7 Q. So I take it -- well, you have already told the Court that were
8 positioned in Dobrinja from the onset of the conflict, that is, 1992. So
9 are you saying now that you were not a member of the Sarajevo-Romanija
10 Corps up until November 1994; is that right?
11 A. Not from the beginning. Not from the beginning. Not from the
12 beginning of the conflict but from the 9th of November, 1994.
13 Q. What were you doing before that, sir?
14 A. I was undergoing treatment. After I left the federal Sarajevo, I
15 underwent treatment, medical treatment.
16 Q. So from the period of June or -- well, when you left Sedrenik in
17 July 1992 through to November 1994, your evidence is that you were never
18 stationed at Dobrinja with a semi-automatic rifle with the
19 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Is that what you're saying?
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. So your earlier answers to counsel were not right or at least they
22 were mistaken; is that right?
23 A. Well, in what sense were they mistaken? I was talking about the
24 period from which I was a part of a unit of Republika Srpska army.
25 Q. Very well then. From the 9th of November, 1994, through to the
1 end of the conflict, November 1995, December 1995, in the periods where
2 there was not a cease-fire, did you or did your fellow colleagues attempt
3 or take out an ABiH soldier with your weapons if you saw them?
4 A. Well, only if there would be an attack or combat. On other
5 occasions we didn't try anything of the sort.
6 Q. So if you saw a soldier with a uniform with a weapon and there was
7 no combat activity and you happened to come across a soldier with the
8 commanding view that you had from your positions, you would not shoot at
9 that soldier. Is that what you're saying?
10 A. I wouldn't, I wouldn't.
11 Q. How many times did you use your weapon, sir, in the period
12 November 1994 through to December 1995? How many times did you shoot into
13 enemy area?
14 A. Well, I don't know how many times. I couldn't really tell you.
15 Q. Is --
16 A. Very few times, but I don't know how many times.
17 Q. If it's very few times then surely you should be able to remember,
19 A. Well, I can't really say whether it was five, ten or fifteen
20 times. How could I remember such a thing in light of the tragedy that I
22 Q. Is it perhaps because you shot many more times than that that you
23 can't remember? Is that the reason, sir?
24 A. No, that is not the case.
25 Q. Did you ever see or did your fellow soldiers or in fact did you
1 ever shoot at civilians?
2 A. It would never occur to me. I never shot at them nor would I have
3 shot at them. If I had wanted to kill children and civilians I could have
4 done that to my heart's content after the death of my child, but it never
5 ever occurred to me. Only a madman could do something like that.
6 Q. How about the -- how about before the death of -- the unfortunate
7 death of your child, did you shoot at civilians?
8 A. Never, ever. And I had opportunity. I could see children playing
9 and I never fired at them and it never occurred to me to do so.
10 Q. Sir, are you a -- at least for one and a half years you were a
11 military person and I take it that you would agree with me that if one
12 enemy was to engage or take out an enemy soldier, that would be an
13 advantage to that person's army. Would you agree with that?
14 A. Well, it depends on how you see things and I was not in the army
15 for a year and a half. I was released on the 10th of August, 1995.
16 Q. Well, let me put it this way. You agree, and I think it's common
17 knowledge that the ABiH -- the ABiH 1st Corps in Sarajevo had more men
18 than the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. You agree with that, don't you?
19 A. I don't know their strategy. I don't know what they had at their
20 disposal, because I was just a rank and file soldier. So I really don't
21 know about their strength.
22 Q. Well, in any event, if you -- if you were to -- or if your fellow
23 soldiers saw an enemy soldier, then you would agree that taking out that
24 soldier, killing that soldier would be advantageous to you and your
25 soldiers and to your army. Do you agree with that?
1 A. Well, I wouldn't agree. You repeat the same question a second
2 time. It would -- it would not have been a hit. We would not have hit
3 him. You're asking me the same question again.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I would like to tender this
5 photograph into evidence.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And you have 12 minutes left.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit number P920.
8 MR. SACHDEVA:
9 Q. Witness, since you were positioned in Dobrinja IV over a year or
10 actually less than a year now, it seems, and you spoke earlier about
11 the -- the collection of water and water pumps during the war, are you
12 aware that at -- well, firstly are you aware of the school called the
13 Simon Bolivar school in Dobrinja?
14 A. I don't know about the school, and the same situation with water
15 was in 1994 and 1995 and in 1992 and 1993, so the situation was the same
16 throughout the period.
17 Q. Simon Bolivar school which is in Dobrinja which is your -- which
18 was where you were positioned. Are you aware that at that school there
19 was a water collection point for civilians living within the Sarajevo
20 confrontation lines? Are you aware of that, sir?
21 A. I don't know about that, sir.
22 Q. Did you ever hear --
23 A. I know about Grbavica. I don't know about Dobrinja.
24 Q. Sir, I'm asking you about Dobrinja because as you said to the
25 Court earlier, you were positioned in Dobrinja for almost ten months, so
1 are you now saying that you don't know anything about --
2 A. I don't know about water at Dobrinja. I do know but I don't know
3 about the stationing of water at Dobrinja.
4 Q. Did you hear that seven civilians students were killed on the 18th
5 of June 1995 by a mortar at this water collection point in Simon Bolivar
6 school in Dobrinja? Did you hear about that?
7 A. I don't know about that.
8 Q. Now --
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. The
12 transcript says students. Students, university students, what are we
13 talking about? We were always talking about children, women, and elderly,
14 so where do we now have university students?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't understand your point.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, Mr. President,
17 we're talking about students. I don't know what this claim is based on,
18 because it is contrary to what is in the indictment.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, is this based on the evidence that
20 we have heard or an allegation in the document?
21 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'll -- it was most possibly my
22 mistake to use the word students, but in any case, seven civilians.
23 Q. So, witness, you never heard about the killing of civilians at
24 this water collection point. That's your evidence?
25 A. I never heard of it.
1 Q. Now --
2 A. That's because I was in hospital, different hospitals. I would go
3 there just from time to time and I didn't hear about that.
4 Q. When were you in hospital, sir?
5 A. Well, immediately after the tragedy.
6 Q. And I want to, if you don't mind, just to ask you a few questions
7 about that unfortunate incident. And I won't dwell on it too long. But I
8 just want to confirm with you that you said that you were with three
9 soldiers, is that correct, three soldiers with uniform at the time it
10 happened? Is that right, sir?
11 A. Two soldiers. I was the third one.
12 Q. And are you aware, sir, that the person responsible for this
13 incident was found and prosecuted and punished? Are you aware of that,
14 sir, by the Federation authorities?
15 A. That's not correct. He was detained in custody for 24 hours.
16 Then he was released and given a weapon again. He was not convicted, and
17 I learned from my colleagues that he was killed in 1998 or 1999 lest he
18 should testify to who had issued him the order. I'm not sure whether this
19 is true or not, but this is the rumour that I heard from the -- from the
20 counsel in Sarajevo who was hired to deal with this issue. He first went
21 to the company commander, then was trying to identify the battalion
22 commander and so on, but apparently this will not work. He was told that
23 this guy was killed in 1998 or 1999. That's the -- that's the information
24 that I received from this attorney who filed a complaint, a legal suit,
25 and I think it was a Dzevad Piskic, a waiter.
1 Q. Well, whatever you heard and whatever rumours you heard, you would
2 agree with me that at least there was -- an investigation was initiated.
3 You agree with that, don't you, sir?
4 A. Well, the investigation was initiated but then it stalled. No
5 news -- there have been no news since 1999 when the file -- the suit was
6 filed. He went there with some pictures of the children in 2001. I asked
7 him what was happening. He explained to me that this guy was killed and
8 he asked for the responsible person and then allegedly his company
9 commander had been killed too and then up the chain of command. It was
10 probably --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... All of this
12 is I have to say I don't see the relevance either of what was done in
13 chief or of the cross-examination.
14 MR. SACHDEVA:
15 Q. Sir, I understand that -- that that was a difficult incident for
16 you, but you also must be aware or you also know that similar such
17 incidents took place inside the city of Sarajevo, in that children,
18 elderly persons, women were also killed in Sarajevo by Sarajevo-Romanija
19 Corps gun-fire and shells. You know about that, don't you, sir?
20 A. I know that they would be killed. People were killed on both
21 sides, Dobrinja and Grbavica were on fire. There was shooting from both
22 sides. You can't say that there was no fire from the federal Sarajevo
23 into the parts of Sarajevo controlled by the Serbs. There was gun-fire
24 coming from both sides and it is true that there were victims, casualties,
25 civilians on both sides. This is something that is indisputable.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak closer to the
2 microphone, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, please move closer to the microphone.
4 You have just two minutes, three minutes left, Mr. Sachdeva.
5 MR. SACHDEVA:
6 Q. I'm not disputing that, sir. I'm just putting to you that the
7 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps soldiers would also fire at civilians, children,
8 women, elderly persons inside the city of Sarajevo. That also took place,
9 did it not?
10 A. Well, let me repeat the same answer. Both sides opened fire.
11 Q. And, witness, my last question. You spoke about the -- the plane
12 that was carrying Akashi that landed on the 12th of March in 1995. Do you
13 remember that evidence, sir?
14 A. Yasushi Akashi.
15 Q. Yes. You remember giving evidence about that, don't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And are you aware, sir, that in fact that plane was shot at by the
18 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps forces at the time it was landing? Is that
19 something you're aware about, sir?
20 A. That is not true and what you said about February is not true
21 either. It happened on the 11th of March on the same day. It was around
22 1500 hours, and what you say about the Serb forces opening fire, that's
23 not true.
24 Q. In fact I did say March 1995 perhaps there was a
1 Well, I'm going to put it to you, sir, that the commander of the
2 United Nations forces at the time, General Rupert Smith has given evidence
3 here saying that the plane was shot at beyond a reasonable doubt by the
4 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Do you still maintain your evidence?
5 A. I don't know about that. But I really doubt it, because if they
6 had fired then --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... What is the
8 objection, Mr. Tapuskovic.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] My objection is that we should
10 find that page of the transcript where Rupert Smith stated this in order
11 for the testimony to be put to the witness properly. Because we -- or to
12 do it the way Mr. Sachdeva sought that it be done.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Don't you
14 remember, Mr. Rupert Smith giving that evidence? I remember that. I
15 don't consider that to be necessary.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: I can provide it.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is important is for the witness to say
18 whether, having heard that, whether he maintains his position.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I really doubt that
20 the Serb forces would have been shooting, because had they intended to
21 shoot, then they would have responded to the provocations from the other
22 side. However, after the tragedy not a single bullet was fired. I really
23 doubt that they did fire upon the plane.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, that's the half an hour allotted to
1 Any re-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic?
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since you said that
3 the examination-in-chief wasn't relevant either, then I do not have any
4 questions in re-examination either.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Only marginally relevant.
6 I don't know why you insist on bringing these witnesses here who
7 have personal and emotional and distressing evidence to give when it
8 doesn't have any direct bearing on the criminal liability of the accused.
9 Witness, that concludes your evidence. We thank you for coming to
10 the Tribunal and we sympathize with you for the tragedy that you have
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may leave now.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we are at the -- Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I did not rise to make my closing
18 statement. We will have time for that.
19 But since we filed an application for the certification to appeal
20 the decision of the court of the 26th of July 2007 whereby we were denied
21 the admission of a video-clip, 65 ter number 377D and the transcript, can
22 we just appeal to you to pass down your decision concerning the
23 certification to appeal as soon as possible?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that will be dealt with, Mr. Tapuskovic, in
25 the -- in the normal way, in the usual way.
1 Mr. Waespi, did you have something to say?
2 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President. We will respond I think in 14
3 days to this request. We will certainly object.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
5 We are at the end of the session. I'd thank you everyone for
6 working and for the contribution that they have made. And I wish you all
7 a happy and perhaps even prosperous summer holiday.
8 We resume on Tuesday, the 21st of August, at 9.00
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.44 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of
11 August, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.