1 Wednesday, 20 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.30 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this
6 courtroom. Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case Number IT-98-29-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Stanislav Galic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Before the Prosecution resumes its cross-examination, I'd like to
11 inform the parties, since it was a matter discussed yesterday in court,
12 that the Chamber has given some guidance to the Prosecution this morning
13 in respect of the questions raised. And since the Defence has expressed
14 its concerns about what the Prosecution asked, the Chamber deems it proper
15 to inform the Defence of the guidance given.
16 The guidance basically comes down to that the -- it's the
17 Prosecution that will decide, but keeping in mind that the Chamber at the
18 end of the trial does not evaluate the evidence in isolated bits and
19 pieces, but as a whole. And that it is, therefore, keeping this in mind
20 for the Prosecution to decide whether thinks that it is useful to spend
21 time allocated for cross-examination on confronting witnesses with
22 evidence that has been previously presented to the Chamber, and the
23 Chamber also calculated that the Prosecution has well over one hour left
24 to cross-examine the present witness.
25 Mr. Ierace, are you ready to resume the cross-examination of the
1 witness? Then, Mr. Usher, would you please escort the witness into the
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. DP14, may I remind you that you are still bound
5 by the solemn declaration that you have given at the beginning of your
7 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, might the witness be shown Exhibit
9 WITNESS: WITNESS DP14 [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Ierace: [Continued]
12 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. I would like to draw your attention to
13 some features of the map in front of you. Do you see on the map various
14 blue lines which are broken? If so, would you please point to one of
15 those lines.
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. IERACE: Witness runs the pointer along the broken blue line
18 that runs diagonally across the map.
19 Q. Does that indicate a creek or creek bed?
20 A. I think it indicates a stream.
21 Q. And do you see on the right-hand side of the map another similar
22 line, if so, please point to it.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Further to the right.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates blue line above the legend.
3 Q. Do you see another line in the top left-hand corner of the map,
4 if so, please point to it.
5 A. [Indicates]
6 MR. IERACE: Witness does so.
7 Q. Now, coming back to the area of the bottom left quarter of the
8 map, in particular, the roads marked in yellow, we see that the creek
9 crosses or the stream crosses those roads. Please point to where the
10 stream crosses the roads in the bottom left-hand corner of the map.
11 A. [Indicates]
12 Q. Yes, and a little higher, I think it crosses some roads again.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. And again.
15 A. [Indicates]
16 Q. Thank you. And do we also see the symbol for a stream on the
17 bottom of the map just to the right of the centre, to the right of the
18 words "Kobilja Glava." Please point to it.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. Thank you. Now, will you please come back to the dot, that is
21 the red dot which is indicated at the number 4. And point to it.
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. Thank you. To the right of the dot we see a yellow line running
24 approximately up the map. Would you please run the indicator along that.
25 MR. IERACE: Witness does so.
1 Q. I suggest to you that that road followed a ridge. Do you agree
2 or disagree?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And would you now please place your pointer on the red dot
5 indicated by a "9."
6 A. [Indicates]
7 Q. And move the pointer to the left and upwards until you come
8 across a road and leave it on the road.
9 A. [Indicates]
10 Q. Further.
11 A. [Indicates]
12 Q. Stop. Did that road also follow a ridge?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So we have the creek or the stream with ridges on either side,
15 that is the stream that crosses the road where you earlier indicated; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, I draw your attention to the horizontal and vertical blue
19 lines. Would you please point to one of those.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. Thank you. Do you see that those lines are divided into 10
22 spaces, 10 equal spaces?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you acquire some familiarity with reading maps in the course
25 of your duties during the war?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you understand that the grid marks on a map are usually 1
3 kilometre apart?
4 A. I don't know about that.
5 Q. Have you ever heard that said, that the grid lines on a map
6 indicate distances of 1 kilometre?
7 A. It depends on the scale of the map, I guess.
8 Q. Looking at red dot marked number "4" and the black dot --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, to the extent
11 that Mr. Ierace is going to continue in this manner, I think that he
12 should specify because we have all noticed it, that the horizontal spaces
13 are not the same as the vertical ones. So could we be precise and could
14 it be said whether we are talking about horizontal spaces which are more,
15 about two times larger than the vertical spaces.
16 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, that would have been appropriately
17 expressed in the absence of the witness. I wish to respond to it. Could
18 I do so in the absence of the witness.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Usher, could you ask the witness to leave
20 the court for a second.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, there has
23 been evidence in the Prosecution case in relation to this map and others
24 that the grid references indeed represent the distance of a kilometre,
25 and that the rectangles, thus created, are not square because of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 obvious factors which apply to any map. None of that evidence has
2 suggested that the indications of a kilometre, whether horizontally
3 recorded or vertically recorded are incorrect, rather one must take care
4 when measuring the distance between two spots on the map, to take that
5 into account. In other words, if one measures a distance between two
6 points on the map which are either vertical or horizontal, then it yields
7 an accurate reading. But if one measures distances which are diagonal,
8 then one must make an allowance for the difference between the horizontal
9 and vertical indications.
10 None of that evidence, as I recollect it, was challenged by the
11 Defence. And, therefore, Mr. President, I take that evidence as having
12 been accepted or at least not challenged, and, therefore, open to
13 acceptance by the Trial Chamber in due course, and for that reason, I
14 propose to continue with this line of cross-examination.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, before -- while giving you an
16 opportunity to respond, you said that the horizontal spaces were about
17 two times larger than the vertical spaces. I noticed that it has been
18 discussed before, that the squares are not really squares but really
19 rectangles and twice the size. That sounds new to me, but please explain
20 it and respond to what Mr. Ierace said.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'd like it if
22 Mr. Ierace could tell us what these obvious elements are that he has
23 spoken of, they are not obvious for us. I would like to say that we have
24 always contested this map with regard to principle, as a matter of
25 principle, we have always said that it is very dangerous to provide a map
1 which is computerised in a certain sense. And we all lose our bearings.
2 I think I was very clear about this, and one can't say that we have
3 accepted this map because one of our requests was to reject it as
4 evidence because it was not sufficiently precise and as a result there
5 were irregularities in it. If I have understood what the Prosecution has
6 told us, we can work with this map, only by taking the vertical and
7 horizontal references and the diagonal wouldn't be a reference we could
8 use. We think that this isn't very logical, but the only thing I would
9 like to know is, what space is the Prosecution talking about? Because
10 the horizontal space is obviously far greater than the vertical space,
11 that's all.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
13 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, if I can give an example, Mr.
14 Hinchliffe gave evidence that the distance between the red dot number 14
15 and the dot in the centre of the red circle was approximately 1100
16 metres, and he calculated that off this map. There was no challenge to
17 that. He also gave evidence that the distance between red dot 4 and the
18 central of the red circle was 940 metres, that being a distance that he
19 recorded, that he established with his laser method. When one compares
20 that to the relevant divisions on the longitude marks, one sees that that
21 reading is entirely consistent, in other words, that there are
22 approximately 9 and a half spaces. Mr. President, again we have the
23 problem of ambush by the Defence in the sense that evidence is led by the
24 Prosecution and not challenged and in the Defence case it is suddenly an
25 issue. In my respectful submission it is entirely appropriate for the
1 Prosecution to challenge the evidence that he has given as to distances
2 by referring him to a map, specifically, Mr. Piletta-Zanin continues to
3 express lack of understanding as to why the longitudinal measurements
4 should be shorter than the latitudinal measurements. We have heard
5 explanations in the Prosecution case as to why that is so, that that is
6 something which emanates from depicting a map on a flat surface, that is
7 the surface of the earth in a flat dimension when of course it is on a
9 In order to -- the evidence has been that in order to calculate a
10 measurement, it doesn't matter whether the map is enlarged or reduced
11 because along with the enlargement and the reduction, one still has the
12 indicators on the latitude and longitude to guide one in determining
13 distance. To put it simply, one of the units which appears
14 longitudinally indicates 100 metres. One of the units indicated
15 latitudinally also equals 100 units. It is accurate if you are measuring
16 spots which are either horizontal or vertical but not diagonal.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ierace.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: The -- Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I think
21 that it is perhaps the time to address the question, not only of this
22 map, to decide on this is question on the issue of all the other maps.
23 Because have I understood the matter correctly --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you objected against the
25 question, Mr. Ierace responded. You have responded, Mr. Ierace then
1 responded again. Now it is time for a decision. If you want to raise a
2 general issue on maps, the Chamber has invited the parties quite some
3 time ago to agree on maps, and to give one stand up map that would serve
4 the Chamber. Up to that moment, the Chamber will have to find its way
5 through different kinds of maps and to make its -- finally will make its
6 own determinations on the basis of what has been presented as evidence to
7 the Chamber.
8 Mr. Ierace is allowed to continue to question the witness about
9 also on the basis of this map which originally was introduced by the
10 Prosecution, then was introduced as far as this witness is concerned, by
11 the Defence, but it should be -- everything should be perfectly clear to
12 this witness. So if there are any problems in reading this map, it
13 should never result in the witness being misled by these problems.
14 Mr. Usher, would you please escort the witness into the
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, quite simply,
17 I would like to say so as not to lead the witness into error because it
18 is rare to find maps with spaces which are the same, but at the same time
19 are not the same, if I have understood the Prosecution. Maybe the
20 Prosecution could clarify this matter, for the witness, in order to
21 prevent him from being confused because it wouldn't be good to provide
22 him with a map on which the spaces appear to be the same, but, in fact,
23 are not the same.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think I invited the Prosecution to take care that
25 no confusion will arise. Please escort the witness into the courtroom.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. DP14, we had to discuss a procedural issue in
3 your absence. Sometimes that is necessary and I know it is not pleasant
4 for you, and I thank you for your patience.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
6 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Witness, I want you to accept from me, hypothetically, that the
8 latitude marks on this map are divided in spaces indicating 1 kilometre,
9 and then further subdivided into 10 spaces indicating 100 metres each.
10 I also want you to accept that the same applies to the longitudes.
11 In other words, when you look at the blue squares each side indicates --
12 is equivalent of 1 kilometre, subdivided with the small markings into
13 units of 100 metres. Do you understand?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Look, if you will, at the distance between the red dot indicated
16 number 4 and the black dot in the centre of the red circle, and please
17 count -- thank you -- please count the spaces of 100 metres between those
18 two points.
19 A. Nine. 9.3.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, look, if you will, at point 14, that is red dot
21 14 and the, again, the dot in the centre of the red circle. Do you agree
22 that that is approximately, and I stress approximately, 11 of those
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, look at the red dot 9 and the dot in the centre of the red
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 circle. Would you agree that the distance is less than the distance
2 between the red dot 4 and the dot in the centre of the red circle?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. IERACE: Excuse me, Mr. President.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, that completes cross-examination.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ierace. Is there any need to
8 re-examine the witness?
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a few questions I
11 would like to ask.
12 Re-examined by Mr. Piletta-Zanin:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I didn't ask you this question, and I
14 will put the question to you now because we are interested in the layout.
15 In point 9 that you have on the map, could you point to it, please by
16 using the pointer.
17 A. [Indicates]
18 Q. Thank you. You spoke about a rock a minute ago. Could you point
19 to these rocks again on the map.
20 MR. IERACE: Mr. President --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. IERACE: -- perhaps Mr. Piletta-Zanin could give a transcript
23 reference to the rock.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you please do so, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You spoke about a ridge not long ago. A ridge, perhaps.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you point it out to us, please.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. Thanks. This area that you have pointed to, and since this map
6 doesn't really show -- or doesn't really have the indications you usually
7 find, what was the nature of this area? Was it bare, was it a forested
8 area, what kind of area was this?
9 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, this question does not arise out of
10 cross-examination, that is, the nature of the terrain on the ridge. And
11 whilst I am on my feet, for the benefit of the transcript, the ridge
12 indicated is the yellow line that passes approximately on the right-hand
13 side of the box with the words in it "sniping incident number 4."
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Since specifically attention has been given to
15 the existence of a ridge, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you are allowed to ask
16 questions on that, only in relation to that ridge.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
19 Q. With regard to this ridge, could you please tell me what the
20 nature of the terrain was in relation to this ridge?
21 A. From the asphalt road up until the -- up to the peak of Orahov
22 Brijeg, and this can be seen on the map, but there is a difference in
23 altitude which is quite substantial. And even at the point that I am
24 pointing to now, the highest difference in altitude is at this point with
25 regard to the asphalt road. And then this curve which is fairly straight
1 -- well, what I am trying to say is that the difference in altitude is
2 great between the point I am pointing to now and the road. And this road
3 down here, it is at least 4 metres below this road.
4 Q. Thank you. You have spoken about the layout, the topography, I
5 would like to ask you about the nature of the terrain.
6 MR. IERACE: That should be reflected in the transcript.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon. I didn't hear you.
8 MR. IERACE: It should be reflected in the transcript, the
9 various points indicated by the witness.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The witness indicated that the one point was a 4 --
11 approximately 4 to 5 metres lower, I think he said 4 to 5 metres lower.
12 He pointed at the red dot number 9, compared with the road with number 18
13 on it, which would be the higher road compared to the red dot.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
15 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, he also indicated that the portion of
16 the road that cuts through the box, that is the portion beneath the box
17 was higher than the portion which appears above the box.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, I think that's what the witness said.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Witness, during the
21 cross-examination several questions were put to you about the distance.
22 I want to ask you the following: With regard to each of the incidents
23 that we have pointed out on this map, I can see the number 4, 9, and 14
24 here, what can you tell us about the distance on the ground, that is to
25 say, if one takes into account the difference in altitude? Have you
1 understood my question?
2 MR. IERACE: I object, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And your objection is based on?
4 MR. IERACE: Well to the extent that I understand the question,
5 the witness was asked in examination-in-chief what he thought the
6 distances were. This question simply revisits that. The fact that the
7 witness is being cross-examined about distances does not entitle the
8 Defence to re-ask the same questions it asked in chief.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I ask you, when you told us when examined by Defence
10 counsel of the distances between the red circle and the other red dots,
11 did you take into consideration that there is a difference in height as
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please move to your next point, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you. This,
16 Mr. President, we need to go into closed session, and I will explain why.
17 Mr. President, your Chamber asked questions in respect of a photograph,
18 and these were precise questions with relation to the wood, and we think
19 that perhaps we could do that. The exhibit is P3261.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We will turn into closed session -- yes,
21 Mr. Ierace.
22 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, again I don't see how this comes out
23 of cross-examination. No questions have been asked about that photograph.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, I take it that you used the
25 photographs to ask questions, perhaps with the use of these photographs,
1 but not directly related to the cross-examination?
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] What I'd like to ask are
3 questions in relation to --
4 JUDGE ORIE: One moment, please.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that questions will be related to
7 cross-examination as such, the use of a photograph which was not used
8 during cross-examination is not forbidden in that respect, but we'll
9 first turn into closed session.
10 [Closed session]
12 Pages 15929-15949 –redacted – closed session.
25 [Open session]
1 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. DP14, I've got a few questions for you.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE ORIE: My first question is: When you first were in
6 contact with Ms. Prodanovic, what did you then discuss during these
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 A. We only discussed whether I would agree to come and testify.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you discuss with her the content of your
11 testimony or did you do that only later when you arrived in The Hague?
12 A. I didn't discuss the contents until the first time I saw
13 Ms. Pilipovic, that was in August, I think.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then --
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- if you did not discuss with her at all your
17 testimony, what was there to invite you to be a potential witness?
18 A. We spoke about the areas I was in, the part of the battlefield I
19 was in where I fought all the time, and whether I would agree to be a
20 witness in this case.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So you did discuss the content of your testimony to
22 the extent that you had discussed where you had been, what was the area
23 in which you served?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. You told us that it was surprising that
1 the tank was at Zuc hill at the 850 metre position. Could you tell us
2 why it surprised you or why it was surprising or...
3 A. Up until then, they had used tanks, mostly from what we call a
4 safe distance. On this occasion, the tank was at the frontlines and
5 this surprised me.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you have told us about mortars being
7 fired from different positions by the opposite forces. Did you ever
8 experience mortars being simultaneously fired from different positions?
9 A. In the course of the offensive in December 1993, shells rained
10 down. And in that situation, it is very difficult to have the time to
11 think about where they are coming from. But judging by the intensity and
12 the number of shells that fell over those days, there is no doubt that
13 several mortars were involved, not just one.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then --
15 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I apologise for interrupting. I
16 wonder if that date of December 1993 is what the witness intended, the
18 JUDGE ORIE: When you referred to December 1993, were you actually
19 referring to December 1992? Because that's --
20 A. Yes, I apologise.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then could you tell the Chamber, Blagovac, was that
22 in territory held by the other armed forces or by your armed forces?
23 A. Under our forces all the time.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and is the same true for Krivoglavci -- I am
25 sorry for the pronunciation.
1 A. Krivoglavci. I don't know what that refers to. I'm not familiar
2 with this.
3 JUDGE ORIE: It is in one of the documents. It says Krivoglavci.
5 A. Yes, the same as in the case of Blagovac.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer. May I take you back to
7 the map you have seen several times, the map with the red circle.
8 The area of the red circle, do you have specific knowledge of
9 that specific place, or do you have a general knowledge of that area or
10 no knowledge at all?
11 A. On several occasions, at least 50 times, I was in this area. And
12 when I say "this area" I am referring to the positions and the houses in
13 front of Orahov Brijeg. I think these are the houses: Tica, Jagodici
14 and then Mocevici, Sucur. That is how we called the trenches too.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You said positions in the houses. We see on the map
16 something that could depict a structure within the red circle. Was there
17 any position in that house in the red circle held by your forces?
18 A. I think that the positions I have mentioned were a little below
19 this position. And whether this house, which is in this circle, actually
20 exists, I couldn't say. But I know about the houses next to which there
21 were trenches. They weren't in the houses because the position of Orahov
22 Brijeg is a dominant position in that area, didn't make it possible for
23 the soldiers to be billeted in those houses. The trenches had been dug
24 next to them.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You say that you do not actually know whether this
1 structure in the centre of the red circle is a house existing. Did you
2 ever go to that area? I mean, why are you hesitating on whether this is
3 a house?
4 A. There were houses behind our lines too. I used this road going
5 upwards on several times -- on several occasions. There are houses on
6 both the left and the right-hand side.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Did you go into these houses?
8 A. Not into the houses behind the lines. As far as the houses at the
9 lines are concerned, yes, I went into the trenches.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the houses -- there seems to be two -- one
11 or two houses within the red circle. Have you ever entered in one of
12 these houses?
13 A. I don't think so.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You yesterday answered a question about the
15 line of sight from that position to other positions. What would be the
16 precise source of your knowledge if you would not have been in these
18 A. I was speaking about the field of vision, about what I saw, about
19 where I had been. In the houses, well, I think the line was a little
20 below them and the difference in altitude is perhaps 1 metre or so, and
21 this is from a position that I was present at on several occasions. I
22 observed the same terrain from significantly more elevated positions, and
23 I am convinced that this asphalt road can't be seen, not the entire road
24 can be seen from a single point if you look from the north, not from a
25 single point, regardless of how far north you go, in relation to this red
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then my -- if there was combat activity at night,
3 how would you find your targets? I am asking you because of the dark.
4 A. We had what we could call designated targets and it depended upon
5 who was asking for support and it depended on what was being requested.
6 And depending on this, we would act or rather the -- I was the company
7 commander in Zuc and I asked for assistance. I knew what the targets
8 were. I knew the number of targets in front of my lines. I knew the
9 artillery targets on the basis of their numbers, and for certain.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you had the number of the artillery
11 targets. Would that mean that after dark there would be no small arms
12 fire any more?
13 A. No. From -- a soldier himself would very often open fire from
14 small arms in response to a hissing sound or any kind of suspicious sign
15 or sign that he found suspicious.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you very much for your answers to my
17 questions. Yes, Mr. Ierace.
18 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, might I ask one question which goes
19 to the spelling of the house names that the witness referred to.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have not looked at the transcript. I don't
21 know whether there is any unclarity. Please do so.
22 MR. IERACE: Thank you.
23 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ierace:
24 Q. You told the President a few minutes ago that at least 50 times
25 you were in the area of the red circle and you said: "I think these are
1 the houses, Tica, Jagodici, and then Mocevici, Sucur" and so on. Could
2 you please spell the name of the first house.
3 A. I think that they called them Tica houses. T-I-C-A.
4 MR. IERACE: Thank you. Nothing further, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. DP14, this concludes your testimony in this
6 court. I would like to thank you for coming a long way to The Hague and
7 to answer the questions both of the parties and of the Bench and also for
8 your patience. Once again, thank you very much. And I will ask the usher
9 to escort you out of the courtroom. I hope you have a safe trip home
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, the next name that appears on your
15 list, the list asks for pseudonym and face distortion. I have understood
16 that this is a mistake, and that no protective measures are sought for
17 your next witness. Is that correct? I am not mentioning the name --
18 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So but before calling your next witness, we would
20 first have to go through the documents. Madam Registrar, could you
21 please assist us.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1791, under seal, pseudonym sheet;
23 Exhibit D1792, map marked by witness; Exhibit D1792A, map marked by
24 witness; Exhibit D1793, map of sniping incident number 4, marked by
25 witness; Exhibit D1405, letter dated 10/12/1992 from Trifunovic, Miladin;
1 Exhibit D1406, letter dated 08/12/1992 from Trifunovic, Miladin; D1407,
2 letter dated 06/12/1992 from Trifunovic, Miladin; and D1405.1, English
3 translation; D1406.1, English translation; D1407.1, English translation.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with respect to D1405, 1406, and
6 1407, and the respective English translations of those documents,
7 Prosecution is aware that it goes to the issue of weight and not
8 admissibility, but these are among the documents which come from a
9 collection of documents to which the Prosecution has previously raised
10 concerns with respect to authenticity and for the record, we would
11 indicate once again that these three documents fall into the same
12 category, again fully aware that it goes towards weight and not
13 admissibility, however, for the record, we wish to put that matter before
14 the Trial Chamber. And also the Prosecution would object to these
15 documents on the grounds of relevance. They seem to have, in the
16 Prosecution submission, no relevance to the specific charges for which the
17 accused is standing trial. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, could the Defence please respond to
19 it. I think the cautions expressed -- the concerns expressed as to the
20 authenticity --
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You may answer to that as well, but at least that
23 the irrelevant issue is properly addressed.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Ierace -- Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Regarding the first element, I can see that this is about weight. The
2 weight is easy to find because here we are speaking about a tank. And I
3 think that everyone knows the Prosecution presented its case as being
4 that of a party that was under siege, that was under attack, that had no
5 weapons, being attacked by the other party. But the more our case
6 progresses, the more tanks we find and we find them closer and closer to
7 the lines where they shouldn't really be at all. So whatever the author
8 and the nature of this document, it comes to corroborate the witness's
9 testimony saying -- who said that, I knew there were two tanks, one was
10 in this place and the other one was active somewhat at a distance.
11 Now, the second element I believe that I can respond, and that's
12 regarding relevance, and the relevance, as far as we are concerned, that
13 is to establish the reality of facts of heavy weapons of the other side,
14 and Mr. President, particularly, and I want to state this because
15 Prosecution didn't state this, is that some of the testimonies, some of
16 the statements that the Prosecution presented, they do not -- they are
17 not quite conform with reality, and we intend to call these people to
19 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any intention to call the -- to call the
20 authors of the reports? Because this witness knows who it is and this
21 witness, of course, did not --
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Not that we know of,
23 Mr. President. The people that I was talking about, not the authors, I
24 was really talking about the witnesses of the Prosecution, because the
25 Prosecution wanted to re-open some investigations and this is where this
1 could lead us.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: The -- all the documents mentioned are admitted into
4 evidence. The pseudonym sheet, under seal.
5 Is the Defence ready to call its next witness? Yes.
6 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, we are, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please escort the witness into the
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. I take it that you are Vaso Nikolic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before giving evidence in this court, the Rules of
13 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that you
14 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. May I
15 invite you to make that declaration and the text will be handed out to
16 you now by Madam Usher.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Nikolic.
20 Ms. Pilipovic, please proceed. Mr. Nikolic, you will first be
21 examined by counsel for the Defence.
22 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 WITNESS: VASO NIKOLIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Ms. Pilipovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, good afternoon.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you told us your full name and last name. Can you
4 give us some more personal data, where and when were you born?
5 A. I was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a place called Ugljevik 10th
6 of April, 1961.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Can you tell us what is your occupation?
8 A. I have a third grade of a technical school.
9 Q. Can you tell us in 1992, where did you live?
10 A. In Sarajevo in 1992.
11 Q. In 1992, where did you work or were you employed?
12 A. Yes, I was. I worked in Bosna Lijek.
13 Q. When you say that in 1992 you worked in Bosna Lijek is that --
14 was that throughout 1992, your employment in 1992?
15 A. My employment ceased on the 3rd of April 1992.
16 Q. When you say that your employment ceased on the 3rd of April
17 1992, can you tell us the reason why it ceased?
18 A. Well unless I am mistaken on the 3rd of April 1992, it was a
19 Thursday or a Friday, I lived in the apartment of my sister's in Sarajevo
20 in the city centre itself. That was in Kralja Tomislava Street. Because
21 at that time as I worked in Bosna Lijek and I had been living in Sarajevo
22 since 1977, I socialised would people so in some way I felt fear that we
23 can't. And just in case, I stayed with my sister's, I sheltered there.
24 My sister who was married in Mrkovici belonging to the municipality of
25 Centar, that was some 10 kilometre from Sarajevo.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Nikolic, are you telling us that from that time
2 on you lived in the village of Mrkovici as you say, Centar municipality
3 of Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you answer, until when did you live in the
6 village of Mrkovici?
7 A. I lived in the village of Mrkovici until the 20th of February
9 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we are interested in the period from September 1992.
10 Can you tell us, where were you in September 1992?
11 A. Throughout this time I was in Mrkovici, and when the conflict
12 broke out on the 6th of April in Mrkovici, I was on elevation 906, Mala
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I asked you where you were in September 1992, and
15 you told us that from April 1992 you were on elevation Mala Kula?
16 A. Yes. And through all the time, throughout this time until
18 Q. Can you tell us if you were a member of a unit?
19 A. Yes. At that time I was a member of Mrkovici company, that's
20 what it was the company called, until the Republika Srpska Army was
21 established in June. Until then I belonged to this company called
22 Mrkovici company. We were self-organised.
23 Q. When you say that you were Mrkovici company and that you were
24 self-organised, can you tell us, what was the reason for your
1 A. I told you already, that I arrived from Sarajevo. So I knew only
2 a few people in Mrkovici, that is my sister's relatives, that is my
3 sister's husband's relatives.
4 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I ask you to answer my questions briefly. I asked
5 you a question about the reason, and was there a reason why you
6 self-organised yourselves? Is there something that happened in Mrkovici
7 on the 6th of April?
8 A. On the 6th of the April, the first murder took place, a man was
9 killed. We were attacked about 1200 hours -- 12.30 hours we were
10 attacked suddenly, and at that time we had the first victim. He was
11 called Nedjo [phoen] Dragas.
12 Q. Can you tell us who you were attacked by on the 6th of April?
13 A. On the 6th of April we were attacked by the then paramilitary
14 formations, Muslim paramilitary formations, who attacked us suddenly. We
15 didn't think they would. There were no occasions and we were not
16 prepared, and then it turned out that we obviously paid for this by having
17 a casualty.
18 Q. You told us that following the establishment of the Republika
19 Srpska Army, through establishment system, your company, Mrkovici, did
20 it get a different name?
21 A. It was a company. I don't know exactly which one it was, but it
22 belonged to the Hresa Battalion because we changed -- the name of the
23 company changed which was 2nd, 3rd, or 5th. But in any case that happened
25 Q. When you say that you were a member of the 2nd or 3rd or 5th
1 company, that it changed its name, can you tell us the positions of your
2 company at the time -- at the time of the conflict, we are talking about
3 September 1992 to August 1994. What were the positions of your company?
4 A. Our company held on to the positions of the village of Mrkovici,
5 that is from Debelj until Biosko that is a distance from about 3.000 to
6 4.000 metres.
7 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us, as a member of the company that you
8 say was part of the Hresa Battalion, how many people were members of your
10 A. Our company had between 70 and 100 men, that depended on people
11 who were injured or were killed. So this number went from 70 to 100.
12 Q. Can you tell us how were you armed?
13 A. Initially we were not well-armed, and then later on when the army
14 was established of the army of Yugoslavia [as interpreted], we got some
15 weapons. And so it was better for us, it was more secure. We got
16 automatic weapons.
17 Q. Were there professional servicemen in your company?
18 A. There were not.
19 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I think that you said by the -- when the
20 establishment of the army of Yugoslavia --
21 A. It is probably a mistake, of the army of Republika Srpska.
22 Because I can see that in the transcript it says of the army of
23 Yugoslavia. So when the Army of Republika Srpska was established.
24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you told us that the positions of your company went
25 from Debelj to Biosko --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace
2 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, it may well be a mistake but it's
3 appropriate for the witness to be asked rather than counsel to assume it.
4 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked the witness,
5 I suppose I could have asked him, but I perhaps -- perhaps when I was
6 asking the witness, I realised that he had made a mistake. But I could
7 have asked but he had already answered, he said that he had made a
9 JUDGE ORIE: No, but the next question Ms. Pilipovic, I take Mr.
10 Ierace's -- the next question starts with: "You told us that," whereas
11 Mr. Ierace seems to find --
12 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] I will repeat the question. 48
13 line 6.
14 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, in the transcript at page 48 line 24,
15 at least that's the position on my transcript, we have what appears to be
16 an answer, "It is probably a mistake of the Army of Republika Srpska." I
17 think that was in fact said by Ms. Pilipovic, as I understood the
19 JUDGE ORIE: I thought you were talking about the next question.
20 Yes, the question has been answered and I think in 1992, no JNA was
21 established, so I don't really think that this would -- or would you
22 dispute -- would that be in dispute --
23 MR. IERACE: Well I am just not clear what it was the witness
25 JUDGE ORIE: I take it you refer to one of his earlier answers
1 when he was talking about the creation of the Republika Srpska Army. I
2 think it was not necessary. Please proceed.
3 MR. IERACE: As you wish, Mr. President.
4 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us, for the transcript, can you repeat,
6 for the transcript, the positions -- the positions -- the lines of your
8 A. The defence lines of my company were from the place called Debelj
9 until the place called Gornje Biosko.
10 Q. Can you tell us about the length of the frontline of your company?
11 A. There length of the front line was about 3.000 metres.
12 Q. The depth of the area of your company, can you tell us about that?
13 A. I didn't understand. What do you mean by "depth"?
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you said that the line, the length was 3.000 metres,
15 three kilometers?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what was its depth?
18 A. Well its depth, it would be very hard for me to fathom because as
19 far as I know, I only know that part of Mrkovici which is 3 to 4
20 kilometers. I really don't know what was behind us.
21 Q. Mr. Nikolic, at the beginning of your testimony you told us that
22 you were on the positions, I think you said of Mala Kula, did I understand
23 you correctly?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you elaborate a little about the location of Mala Kula in
1 relation to the positions of your company? What is it, to start with?
2 A. The position of Mala Kula on the map is some 120 metres above 906
3 elevation point. It is an Austrian fortress of about two floors, 100
4 square metres, it is of the old Austro-Hungarian origin that was building
5 from that time and it was turned towards the village of Mrkovici, so it
6 was completely unfortified and on all sides it was surrounded by a very
7 tall pine forest so it could not be at risk. So it -- Mrkovici could be
8 seen from there and wider area of Kosevo. So the first few days when we
9 got on to that fort, to that tower, we went in in order not to allow the
10 village to be targeted from that tower.
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us, do you know who was the
12 commander of your company, the commanding officer, the commander of your
14 A. Before the Army of Republika Srpska was established, the
15 commander, the first commander was Veseljko Dragas.
16 Q. Are you telling us that the commanders changed of the company?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In the period from September 1992 until August 1994 what was the
19 situation in your company, speaking of company commanders?
20 A. In 1992 in September until 1994 there was one who was -- who --
21 commander who died and there were another two, another two commanders.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, just from my better understanding,
23 the witness has testified several times about elevation point 906. If
24 you want to show later on a map to the witness which -- on which this
25 elevation point appears, I would highly appreciate if you do it now so
1 that at least I can orient myself better and better understand the
2 testimony of the witness.
3 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour, I
4 am going to show the witness a map, and later that will be an exhibit,
5 Defence exhibit, and my co-counsel will ask some questions in relation to
6 the map and the positions on the map, and that will be Defence Exhibit
7 1794. I think it is the number 4. That is map relating to incidents 8
8 and 3. We can provide it in colour since we will be using it later, if
9 it is easier, for the purposes of identification.
10 JUDGE ORIE: As far as I am concerned, Ms. Pilipovic, there is no
11 need for marking, but just to be sure that I understand the witness
12 correctly in what he says.
13 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, when you tell us and clarify about the area you were
15 present in, when you say that this was the Mala Kula area, with the
16 permission of the Trial Chamber I will now show you some photographs that
17 the Defence has.
18 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] It is document 338. These
19 photographs have been shown to the Prosecution.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, just for my -- 906, has that been
21 clarified now or...
22 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can ask the
23 witness a question.
24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, could you have a look at the map to your right.
25 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. We have colour
1 copies for the Trial Chamber, but I didn't find all of them at the same
2 time. It will be easier and more visible.
3 Q. Could you show us elevation 906 on this map?
4 A. Yes. Yes, that's here.
5 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
6 the witness indicated elevation 906. It is the number which is below the
7 word "Grdonj."
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What we have here above is Mala
9 Kula, that's the fortress.
10 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
12 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] For the transcript, the point
13 above the word "Grdonj" according to the witness is the place called Mala
15 Q. Mr. Nikolic, is the photograph I have provided to the right of
16 you --
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. If possible, could you put the photograph on the map. We won't
19 be using it for the moment. And this is so that we can all have a look
20 at the photograph.
21 Mr. Nikolic, do you recognise this photograph?
22 A. Yes. That's Mala Kula.
23 Q. So this building, the white building that we can see in the
24 photograph is the only building -- is that one building or are there
25 three buildings there, perhaps?
1 A. It is just one building.
2 Q. The building we can see in this photograph, can you confirm that
3 this building is the one which is marked with a black point, a black dot,
4 on the document, and with regard to the incident 338? So on the map that
5 you had a look at before I showed you the photograph?
6 A. I haven't understood you.
7 Q. The black dot that you marked on the map above the word
8 "Grdonj" --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- is that the building which designates the Mala Kula according to
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you explain in relation to the photograph that we
14 have before us, can you tell us the positions of the Republika Srpska Army
15 were, the positions of your company?
16 A. Yes. The first position was in the fortress itself, that's the
17 most prominent point. I don't know how this appears on the monitor. But
18 then it went to the right. It descended and extended as far as Spicasta
19 Stijena, the sharp rock which doesn't appear in the photograph, and then
20 it curves down here towards Debelj. This was our most prominent position,
21 our most prominent point, the Mala Kula.
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the
23 transcript, I think I heard something in the plural with regard to
24 this --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you know exactly how to do it.
1 That is to ask the witness to repeat an answer, not indicate what you
2 heard. Perhaps ask the witness -- Ms. Pilipovic, you may ask the witness
3 again and certainly Mr. Piletta-Zanin will guide you --
4 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in relation to the photograph that we have before
6 us, can you show us where the positions of your company were, to the
7 right, right part of the photograph?
8 A. They can't be seen from here, in this photograph. Because this
9 is a distance of about 50 metres here from the fortress to here. There
10 was just another point here from the fortress, about 50 metres away. And
11 then further on you can't see anything. The sharp rock is there.
12 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
13 the witness looked at the map from the right, from the east, and he
14 indicated a position, the positions of the company which extend to the
15 area which the witness called the sharp rock area.
16 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, the interpretation and transcription
17 refers to it as a map. It is a photograph. And it says "the witness
18 looked at the map from the right, from the east." It is unclear to me
19 where the photograph is pointed and where the camera is pointed. That
20 would be helpful.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, I do agree. In order to better
22 understand the testimony of the witness, could you please ask the witness
23 in what direction the camera is pointing so that we have some feeling
24 about what would be east, north, west, or south. If the witness knows.
25 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in relation to this photograph, can you tell us what
2 direction this building was photographed from, the building you called
3 the Mala Kula? When we look at the photograph, was the lens directed
4 towards the north or to the south? Can you find your bearings in
5 relation to this photograph and explain -- explain the points of the
6 compass, with regard to this photograph? How was this building
8 A. Well it is difficult for me to explain this. All I can say is
9 that this is photographed from the direction of the town of Sarajevo.
10 Q. Would you agree with me that it is photographed from the
11 direction of the north, if it was photographed from the direction of the
12 town of Sarajevo?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Whether there is a translation problem, it might be,
16 but Ms. Pilipovic, what we hear and what we read in the transcript is
17 that you say: "If it was -- the picture was taken from the north," I
18 understand that to be the lens looking south -- to the south --
19 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- it would be taken from the city of Sarajevo.
21 What, as far as I understand the maps we have seen until now, that if you
22 take a picture from the building that you -- that appears where the
23 witness has said was the Mala Kula, then taken from the north, I have
24 some difficulties in understanding that that would be taken from the
25 direction of Sarajevo. I would have less difficulties if it would say
1 that it is in the direction of Sarajevo, of the city.
2 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us what direction, we are talking about
4 the north, west, east, south, from what direction was this photograph
5 taken, according to you, can you tell us?
6 A. It is difficult. I told you that this photograph was taken from
7 Sarajevo towards Mrkovici.
8 Q. So if we look from the direction of the town?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in relation to this photograph can you explain the
11 elevations we can see at the bottom of the photograph? What do these
12 elevations represent?
13 A. These are pine trees that were cut down when the fortress was
15 Q. Mr. Nikolic I apologise. I have to interrupt you there. I am
16 referring to the part of the elevation that can be seen at the bottom of
17 the photograph, the slight mound at the end of the photograph, right at
18 the bottom of the photograph, if you look in the direction of the north.
19 A. I haven't understood you correctly.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, if this photograph is taken from the
21 city, I take it that it, it is taken from the south of the building. And
22 if you then say that the north is on the bottom of the photograph, I
23 again have difficulties in understanding --
24 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] At the top of the photograph,
25 Your Honour. I don't know maybe there was a mistranslation. But I was
1 referring to the top of the photograph.
2 Q. Mr. Nikolic, at the top of the photograph, the elevations that
3 you can see there?
4 A. Yes, that's clear to me. That is the village of Mrkovici.
5 Q. Can you show us in this upper part whether there are houses that
6 can be seen?
7 A. Yes. These are villages here, it extends in this area. That is
8 the village of Mrkovici.
9 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
10 the witness pointed to the upper part of the photograph in the direction
11 of the building which he marked as Mala Kula; in the central part of the
12 photograph he pointed to the village of Mrkovici. Mrkovici.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what he said that the village was. He
14 was pointing to the area above and on the right-hand side of the building
15 that appears in the photograph where it seems that it's less wood and
16 some meadows up to the top of that hill.
17 Please proceed.
18 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us, in your opinion, what is the
20 distance from this fortress to Mrkovici?
21 A. From Kula to the furthest house in Mrkovici, that is about a
22 kilometre and a half, as the crow flies. But it is about two and a half
23 kilometers if you go by path. That would be the house which is furthest
24 away in Mrkovici.
25 Q. In relation to...?
1 A. Mala Kula.
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Nikolic, with regard to -- in relation to Mala
3 Kula, you said that there is a sharp rock to the right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us how far it is, how far the sharp rock is?
6 A. It's about 100 metres to the right of Mala Kula.
7 Q. So if I have understood you correctly, your company positions
8 were in the area of the Debelj Biosko place and this building was on the
9 line of your company, the Mala Kula building, and there was the sharp
10 stone too, have I understood you correctly?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Nikolic, during the conflict from 1992 to 1994, during that
13 period, can you tell me whether you were present in this fortress all the
15 A. Mostly. Mostly all the time.
16 Q. In relation to the area of the town of Sarajevo, can you tell us
17 which positions you can see from this fortress, if you can see any?
18 A. From Mala Kula, and it was not possible to see much in the
19 direction of the town of Sarajevo because of the forest. You could see
20 part of Kosevo, Grovo Bala [phoen] and up as far as Zetra. So that is the
21 part of Sarajevo that could be seen.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the cemetery Bare.
23 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us what weapons your company possessed?
25 A. Our company had infantry weapons.
1 Q. Were there any snipers in your company?
2 A. No, there weren't.
3 Q. Were there any trenches along the line of your company?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. With relation -- in relation to the defence line of your company,
6 can you tell us how far the BH Army frontlines were?
7 A. Well, it depended on the place. It varied from place to place.
8 Between 30 to 100, 150 metres. It depended on the situation and the
9 layout of the terrain. But on average, between 50 and 100 metres.
10 Q. In the area of the frontline of your company, can you tell us
11 whether you personally knew how BH Army soldiers were armed, what sort of
12 weapons they had?
13 A. Well, I don't think I received any information, but as I
14 participated in the fighting and mounted resistance, I think that for a
15 long period of time during the conflict they possessed weapons which were
16 better than ours. They were armed better than we were.
17 Q. When you say that when you participated in the fighting and when
18 you mounted resistance for back attacks, can you tell us how often there
19 was fighting in the area where your company was deployed?
20 A. Well, in Mrkovici I think that it was difficult to find a -- to
21 think of a day which passed without any incidents when it was fairly calm
22 during the four-year war period.
23 Q. When you say that it was difficult to single out a day when it
24 was calm, can you tell us what the intensity of the fighting was?
25 A. Well, it mostly involved daily provocations, fire would be
1 opened. So one would never know when there was an attack or when they
2 had prepared an attack and when they hadn't. It was simply impossible
3 for us to assess. We were provoked regularly from infantry weapons and
4 sometimes from artillery weapons, too.
5 Q. When you say "artillery weapons" can you tell us whether you
6 personally know what sort of artillery weapons were used, what sort of
7 artillery weapons did the BH Army used against the positions of your
9 A. Well, from mid-1992 and up until the end of the war they
10 constantly used a tank which was below Zetra, below the sports hall in
11 the tunnel which connected the railway station and the Ciglana settlement
12 and it fired from the tunnel very rapidly and then it would enter the
13 tunnel. That's where they fired from the tank because with regard to the
14 picture the left side of the village, it was a visible for them. They had
15 a good field of vision. They used Howitzers which they position said on
16 the Bare cemetery -- in the Bare cemetery, and they also fired from the
17 Sedrenik area. They fired from mortars and from a Browning.
18 MR. IERACE: Mr. President --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
20 MR. IERACE: I am just concerned to the extent which the
21 evidence relates or doesn't relate to the indictment period. Perhaps
22 that could be qualified. The last answer started off with a reference
23 from mid-1992 in relation to a tank. It is not clear whether that
24 applies to the Howitzer. The use of Howitzers as well. It would be
25 appropriate in my respectful submission for the Defence to, where
1 required, clarify whether we are talking about the indictment period or
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please ask for some clarification as
4 far as the time period is concerned.
5 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think that
6 the witness was referring to the entire period, but I will repeat the
8 Q. Mr. Nikolic, --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we could shortcut it. You said something
10 about -- that there was a tank from mid-1992 until the end of the war.
11 The other weaponry that you mentioned, would that cover the same period
12 or would that be limited in time that you know of their existence and
13 their use?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that refers to the tank. That
15 entire part --
16 JUDGE ORIE: And as far as the other weaponry is concerned? You
17 mentioned Howitzers --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostly in 1993, the most intense
19 fire came from the Bare cemetery and below Harasno that is to say
20 Sedrenik, they were active throughout the war time period.
21 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you said that from the Sedrenik area, which was under
23 Hratovo, you said that there were mortars there and a Browning?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us what is Browning is?
1 A. It is a heavy infantry weapon. I think its calibre is 12
2 millimetres. It is used to fire on armoured vehicles and on other
3 vehicles, cars and lorries.
4 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you told us that in 1993 there was constant firing
5 from the Bare cemetery and from Sedrenik below Hrastovo. And when you
6 say "constantly" with regard to 1993, can you tell us what nonstop means
7 in your opinion?
8 A. That means that there was never a lull. We spent a lot more time
9 on duty at the line than we spent time resting. We were provoked all the
10 time and we were always prepared for being attacked.
11 Q. In 1993, were there any days which passed, as far as you know,
12 during which there was fighting which was very intense?
13 A. In mid-1993 attacks were mostly launched against the area of that
14 municipality, the municipality of Centar and Stari Grad and especially
15 against our positions. There were so-called manoeuvre attacks that were
16 carried out in order to take away as many forces as possible and to attack
17 somewhere on the other side.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, when you have a look to the left, the area of the
19 Mala Kula, so on the left-hand side of the photograph, we can see that a
20 lot of the forest has been destroyed here. And for the period 1992, 1993,
21 and 1994, can you tell us what this area was like? Did it look like this,
23 A. Up until June, May or June 1993, I think, this area was exactly
24 the same. It was forested. All you have here are the remainders of pine
25 trees which were destroyed by light artillery and recoilless cannons.
1 This is when the BH Army attacked us and when we withdrew from Mala Kula.
2 Q. You spoke about mid-1993. Could you be a little more precise.
3 A. Well, I can be precise. I can be more precise. They took Mala
4 Kula on the 14th of June, 1993.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, when you say that on the 14th of June 1993 the BH
6 Army took Kula, you also mentioned a recoilless cannon?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you tell us from which positions -- which positions did they
9 fire from with the recoilless cannon?
10 A. Well the Mala Kula is not accessible. That is where -- where
11 there is a car now, the recoilless cannon was taken there at night, 1 or
12 2, I don't know what time any more exactly. Because I was on duty in the
13 small fortress on that evening. And this place here, where the car is,
14 that was the only entrance. There weren't any other entrances to that
15 building. So we were then attacked from the front of this building, and
16 we managed to withdraw behind the building. We had one casualty, and we
17 abandoned the fortress.
18 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you mentioned fighting in the Mala Kula area. Can
19 you tell us how often there was fighting if we are talking about attacking
20 the Mala Kula and taking it?
21 A. We were constantly provoked at Mala Kula. But it is very well --
22 it is very firm, so we didn't respond to provocations from infantry
23 weapons because the walls are very thick, 70 or 80 centimetres thick, so
24 in certain sense we were safe and we didn't respond to provocations.
25 Q. When you said that on the 14th of June BH Army took the fortress,
1 are you saying it was under BH Army control from the 14th of June?
2 A. For 24 hours I think.
3 Q. So, you're telling us that there was fighting on the 15th of June
4 as well?
5 A. Yes, that's when we were talking it back, on the 15th or the 16th.
6 It is possible that they stayed there for 24 or 30 hours, something like
8 Q. Can you tell us whether in the period of 1993 there were other
9 such instances of fighting in respect of your explanation of the attack
10 and the taking of the area around Mala Kula?
11 A. There was in 1993, in April, we lost the Sharpstone feature,
12 two -- that is three, that is two trenches and the observation point were
13 taken in the night.
14 Q. When you say in April 1993, can you tell us at which time in April
15 of 1993, when did this fighting take place?
16 A. It was middle of the month, that means from the 10th until the end
17 of the month, end of April. There were daily fighting in order to get the
18 Sharpstone feature back.
19 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you are telling us about the fighting in the area of
20 Sharpstone feature. Are you telling us that you, as a member of your
21 company, you also took part in the battle?
22 A. Earlier I said that this fort was some 100 metres away from the
23 Sharpstone. When there was a need or if need be, there would be a --
24 that would lessen the number of people in the Mala Kula. If we needed to
25 deploy them elsewhere in order to return the lost positions.
1 Q. Mr. Nikolic, since you are telling us that you participated in
2 the fighting in the area of Sharpstone feature, can you clarify for us,
3 or rather explain about the frontline, what was it like in the area of
4 Sharpstone feature?
5 A. The frontline, the Sharpstone -- of the Sharpstone feature, it
6 extended some 200, 250 to 300 metres up to the actual sharp stone. Which
7 just like around the Mala Kula, there was a wooded area there and because
8 of the war, because of the fighting, it was all felled. All the trees
9 were felled. And it was bare. We held on to two trenches in Sharpstone,
10 feature with one observation point.
11 Q. When you say that you held on to two trenches with one observation
12 point on the Sharpstone feature, can you tell us whether you personally
13 were the position of the observation point and if you had been, what were
14 you able to see from that position in respect of the area of the city?
15 A. I went to the observation points and in the trenches. From the
16 observation point it is possible to see from the Sharpstone feature the
17 left-hand side -- the left half of Sedrenik up to the cemetery of Bakija.
18 And the second half of Sarajevo across Miljacka which is already Trebevic
19 and Bistrik.
20 Q. Can you tell us what kind of view is it, what were you able to
21 see specifically, for instance, if you are on that observation point?
22 A. The observation point is made in such a way because it is located
23 on the Sharpstone feature itself. So it is slightly sloping because of
24 the possibility of bullets. It is on the edge itself in order to observe
25 from the observation point it is possible what I told you. That part of
1 Sedrenik is visible, houses, some 50 houses, all kinds of buildings,
2 facilities, and then to the left you can see Borije, and the neighbouring
3 village, or rather of the neighbouring company, the area of the
4 neighbouring company where it bordered, that is what you can see from the
5 observation point.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Nikolic, can you tell us, did you go to trenches
7 in the Sharpstone feature?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell us what is it possible to see from the trenches?
10 A. You cannot see anything from the trenches because the trenches
11 are connected with the observation point through a connecting trench. So
12 they were connected by cable phone and we would receive instructions from
13 the observation points, from the observers. In relation to the
14 observation point, we were about 1 or two metres inside in our territory.
15 Q. In respect the trenches and your positions on the Sharpstone
16 feature, can you tell us in that area, what was the length of that part
17 where the trenches were?
18 A. About 300 metres.
19 Q. In relation to where the trenches of your company were, how far
20 were the frontlines of the BH Army in relation to that part?
21 A. Their first line in respect of us on the Sharpstone feature was
22 about as high as Sharpstone was, about 50, 60 metres. They were just
23 below the rock, below the Sharpstone. That's where their first
24 frontlines were.
25 Q. When you say their first frontlines, are you telling us that there
1 were other lines in that area?
2 A. There were three lines in that area of the BH Army.
3 Q. In relation to?
4 A. In relation to the Sharpstone feature.
5 Q. When you say that there were three lines, can you tell us where
6 about the second line, how far was it in relation to your positions?
7 A. It would be hard to clarify this and give precise details. For
8 the second line it could be some 200 metres to our lines. They were
9 connected with the connecting trench to the third line, and they were --
10 the third line was in the houses in Sedrenik.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
12 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe this is
13 time for a break.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is. But I would like to try before having a
15 break to get a better impression of this photograph because I am still a
16 bit confused. Could you please look at the photograph again. You said
17 that you could see, as far as I understand, from this structure in the
18 direction of Kosevo. What direction could you please point with the
19 pointer where you would look if you were looking in the direction of
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's where Kosevo is.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's where Kosevo is.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The road on which the car is situated, where does
25 that road go to? Where does it lead you?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This road was made after the war.
2 This was the end of the road where the car is. It used to be an old
3 Austro-Hungarian road. It was very narrow and it couldn't be used.
4 Nothing could go there. Where the car is that's where the end is.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand. That's where the end is. And
6 if you go the opposite way, where do you end up? I mean, where does this
7 road bring you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nowhere on the road. You can just
9 go down the rocks, down the ridge to the village of Grdonj some 200, 300
10 metres below. After this car, there is a big slope, a steep slope that
11 goes some hundred metres below.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so where the car is the road ends?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Is that -- does the road end where the building is?
15 I don't know whether that is the front of the car or the back of the car.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It passes by and it -- this is
17 where the road goes which collects it to the village of Mrkovici and this
18 is how you can get by car. It goes here below the pine trees.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you say if you would follow that road
20 passing by the building, then the road would lead you to the village of
21 Mrkovici; is that a correct understanding?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And now the elevation point 906, where would that be
24 situated? Could you point in what direction, you said it was quite close
25 to the building, where is elevation point 906, in what direction?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 906 elevation point should be about
2 this part here.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So we are looking more or less down from
4 elevation point 906 to that fortress; is that correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Approximately.
6 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, before we adjourn, for the
7 transcript, could we record where the witness indicated elevation point
8 906 was.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the elevation point 906 is situated by pointing
10 to it at a spot which is on the right-hand side of the road, seen from
11 the camera position, at a short distance from the car. If the parties
12 would not agree, if I say that it seems to be some 15 metres, then I
13 would like to hear from you.
14 MR. IERACE: Could I just add, Mr. President, that the relevant
15 spot appears white or whitish in amongst the grass.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, there seems to be a bigger stone in the grass
17 just to the right edge of the road. We will then adjourn until five
18 minutes past 6.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.09 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, please proceed.
22 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my co-counsel will
23 proceed, with your leave.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Examined by Mr. Piletta-Zanin:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] To start with, yes, the
6 witness's microphone is not on. Yes.
7 Q. Witness to start with, I'd like you to, if you still have it, and
8 I don't think you do.
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be
10 shown the map, this map, yes. Thank you. The map that you had earlier.
11 Thank you. Thank you.
12 Q. Witness, perhaps --
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, could we please
14 focus on the Grdonj area. Could you focus on the Grdonj area. Thank you.
15 Q. Witness -- thank you, that's right. Can you see two green lines
16 here, one dark, the other light green. They are going around the upper
17 part of the screen, of the map?
18 A. Yes, I can.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, let us assume that on this map, that this map
20 would have had marked positions to the north, VRS positions, and to the
21 south BH Army lines. Would you be able to, if these lines are not
22 correctly marked in, would you be able to mark them in correctly?
23 A. I didn't understand you well. Which lines did you mean?
24 Q. For the moment, I am speaking of the Serb lines, that is, the
25 dark lines. If these lines are not properly positioned, would you be
1 able to trace them properly; yes or no?
2 A. The lines of the Army of Republika Srpska, I would be able to put
3 them in, to trace them, but I am not sure about theirs.
4 Q. Very well. Could you please take a black pen. You will be given
5 one. Is it black? I think it is. And could you please draw, Witness,
6 Witness, as far as you can recall, draw the position of the lines the way
7 you think that they were for the Serb side.
8 A. It would be this part that I am certain about, that's what it was
9 like. That goes from the small fort to the end of the sharp stone. These
10 would be the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please make it a little stronger, the line,
12 a little thicker.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you. Witness, now as far as the area located between the
15 line that you just added on this map, and the lines, light green lines,
16 that is the lines that are supposed to show the BH Army lines are
17 concerned, to whom did the area in between belong, if it belonged to
19 A. This part in between, between this line I drew, that is the
20 defence lines, our defence lines and the BH Army lines were about 50
21 metres. So about here --
22 Q. No, Witness. I am -- what I am asking you, can you please focus
23 on the question. What I am asking you is not the distance, but the area
24 between the two lines, the line that you just drew and the light green
25 area which is located on the word "Suma." This area here, who was there,
1 if anyone was there, of course?
2 A. That was the area in between. That was no-man's land.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, earlier you spoke of a cannon, and
4 I believe that you called it a Browning cannon, that was positioned just
5 opposite the small fort. I believe that was 12.5 calibre cannon, do you
6 remember that?
7 A. I was talking about a Browning, but it is the recoilless cannon
8 that was taken up there. It was a lot stronger and it had a much stronger
10 Q. Very well. This recoilless cannon, was it positioned opposite the
11 small fort to a location which would have been in front of -- by the car
12 that we saw on the photograph?
13 A. It would be taken out in the night and it would start firing in
14 the morning. We couldn't see what the distance was, but that was the
15 only area where it could have fired.
16 Q. Yes. Very well. Witness, could you please answer briefly. Now,
17 the area that you have indicated as being 906 elevation, is that where
18 the cannon was, is that what your testimony is?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Witness, you spoke about the recoilless cannon. Is
21 that a weapon which is of a certain weight, technically speaking, what
22 can you tell us about it?
23 A. I don't know much about this, but I know it has to be towed by 5
24 to 10 people. It has to be towed, manually.
25 Q. Thank you. Witness, therefore, how did Muslim forces, how were
1 they able to get access to the peak of Grdonj?
2 A. I don't know the answer to that.
3 Q. But you confirm that they had access to it?
4 A. They had access to Grdonj. Initially I said there was a small
5 old narrow road, Austrian road, old Austrian road.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. Witness, now, if you can, can you please
7 indicate with a pointer, I believe that it is in front of you, not with a
8 pen, thank you. With the pointer, can you indicate, you spoke of the
9 second and the third line, and for the third line you said that houses
10 were included in the third line. Could you please tell us, on this map
11 to which houses did you refer to?
12 A. These black dots, if they are houses. So this line went this
13 way. It is hard for me to find my bearings, but this line should go this
15 Q. Very well. But you are unable to tell us precisely for certain?
16 A. With difficulty, because on the map I don't have as good as view
17 as I had on the spot itself.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace.
19 MR. IERACE: Yes, Mr. President, the transcript for the recording
20 of where the witness indicated the third line of trenches was.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could you please clarify this issue,
22 Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 Q. Witness, you made a gesture earlier, you indicated, but I
25 understand that you are not certain --
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I believe that the witness
2 indicated some houses that were under an undulating wavy green line by the
3 inscription which says "Sedam Suma."
4 Q. Witness, you spoke about --
5 MR. IERACE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. IERACE: The easiest way would be for the witness to mark it,
8 otherwise --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, marking would avoid any misunderstanding.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. We do not
11 wish to do that because before Mr. Ierace gets up again and interrupts
12 me --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, no. You said you didn't want to -- were you
16 about to put your next question to the witness or --
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, I wanted to ask other
18 questions and I thought it was useless for him to mark them,
19 Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... entirely free to
21 not to ask the witness to mark what he said, but then it should be clear
22 for the transcript. So then --
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- if Mr. Ierace would agree with the description,
25 but as far as I remember, the houses pointed at by the witness were two
1 black structures just south to the lower green line and one up and one to
2 the left as well, approximately in the centre of the map. But not only
3 in the centre where Sedam Suma is written, but also more to the right and
4 also a bit lower. Also as far as I remember, in the area which seems to
5 be in the -- which is yellowish coloured with a few black dots in there
6 as well.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Thank you.
10 Q. Witness -- I withdraw that. You spoke to us about the taking of
11 the small fort. Were there other observation posts, other lines that
12 were taken by the enemy, for you, that was the enemy at the time, and I
13 am talking about the area that you knew; yes or no?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Could you show us on this map approximately the areas
16 where lines or positions were taken and if so taken, then returned, taken
17 back by you.
18 A. On this map I find it very hard to find my bearings. If you look
19 to the right of the map where there is this empty space and above you see
20 that it says Streliste, and this in fact is the Streliste and this here is
21 Sedam Suma. So this map isn't logical to me. And that's why I find it
22 hard to find my bearings because we also have Veliko Kula a large fort
23 and it was above the Sedam Suma because this empty space should have been
24 where the Streliste is. So this map is difficult. And around here there
25 should be our large fort. And it went -- the line went on from there.
1 Q. Thank you. When you were telling us, we will record it for the
2 transcript, but you said that the observation post that was taken, could
3 you tell us where on the map that was?
4 A. According to this map, that should be about here somewhere.
5 Q. Thank you. In respect of the question asked and following the
6 witness saying that this map was difficult for him, the witness pointed
7 on the "B" of Brdo, I believe. It is a "B" which is half eaten by the
8 top of the map, but it is between the "B" and the "R" of the word Brdo.
9 We see in the top right corner.
10 Q. Now, thank you, Witness.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Could we focus more to the
12 centre. Could the map be repositioned more to the left so that we can see
14 MR. IERACE: Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
16 MR. IERACE: I am not sure whether Mr. Piletta-Zanin intended
17 to record for the transcript the position of the observation post. That's
18 not clear from his statement.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I think he was describing where the witness said the
20 observation post was located, that it was taken, that is on the dark
21 green line just below the -- between the "B" and the "R."
22 MR. IERACE: As long as that is clear. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would have
24 to be taught to be -- express myself more clearly because I find it very
25 difficult to express myself more clearly than this.
1 Q. Now, Witness, could you please focus on the lines that you have
2 in front of you on the map, please. With a pointer, can you please
3 indicate the location from the line held by the VRS, what was the
4 direction of the fire as you have known it? That is, what was the
5 direction that the shots were going to? Can you indicate by gestures on
6 the map.
7 A. This direction was surrounded by the wood up to the Mala Kula.
8 It went on to the beginning of the Sharpstone feature.
9 Q. No, Witness, I am going to stop you. From the trenches, when you
10 opened fire could you please draw, with the pointer -- indicate with the
11 pointer the direction of the fire direction of firing. Where were you
12 firing at?
13 A. The view of this area in front of us went like this towards
14 Bakija up to the cemetery of Bakija, that's where it looked at.
15 Q. Witness, can you please follow my question very closely. I
16 understand what you are indicating, but my question is very simple.
17 Indicate with your pointer on the line that you drew, in the middle of the
18 line that you drew -- no, middle of the line that you drew, that you
19 yourself drew --
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. Middle. Thank you. There it is. Stay with your pointer in the
22 middle of the line that you drew.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Thank you. Don't move your pointer. I am going to ask you this
25 question: Do you know from this location, was fire opened?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You don't know if the fire was opened?
3 A. This is where the Mala Kula is. This is what I happened holding
4 the pointer at. The fire was opened there during fighting.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, from there, if you are opening fire
6 in the direction, I think, of the enemy lines, can you please show us the
7 direction of fire with your pointer, when there was fighting?
8 A. From this post, from this location there was no direction of
9 combat. It was only possible when we were attacked that we would then be
10 opening fire.
11 Q. Now, Witness, can you please put it on another part of the line
12 from which fire was opened, where you want on that line?
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. Very well. From there, towards what were you firing, please?
15 MR. IERACE: I object, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
17 MR. IERACE: Firstly, my learned colleague asked the witness
18 whether fire was directed from the Mala Kula, he says no. The next
19 question is effectively when you fired from that area where was it
20 directed. He now invites the witness to indicate where fire was directed
21 from another point on that line without asking first whether fire was
22 directed from that point of line, whether it was surrounded by trees and
23 so on.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you tell us from where usually in
25 that area fire was opened? I am not talking whether it was response fire
1 or not, but from where you would fire to the opposite army. Could you
2 please point at this point.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness points at a line which starts just
5 left from the red circle on the map, through the red circle and then to
6 the right of that red circle just next to it.
7 Could you indicate what the direction of fire was if you fired
8 from the positions you just indicated? In what direction would you fire?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were regularly attacked from
10 that direction, and that was the only direction of fire because this part
11 was not visible for us because there is a very large piece in front of
12 Grdonj. So we couldn't see it. This was -- the firing line, firing
13 direction was towards Bakija. This direction and part of the cemetery on
14 Bakija was visible.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness indicates that the -- they could
16 not fire at the position just south and south-west from the red circle
17 where the, I think on the original map it is greenish, because there were
18 woods, and then the witness pointed to the area south of the red circle,
19 especially where the yellowish features do appear. And he then indicated
20 a line going from the red circle down in the direction of Bakija.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, with all due
23 respect, we do not agree with your description. Since the witness didn't
24 say that he could not fire at this position. What he said is that he
25 couldn't see a position. But as far as the possibility of firing is
1 concerned, the witness clearly said that shots went in that direction, in
2 the direction where you have the word "Sedrenik" because it is from this
3 area that they were the subject of attacks. So I think that the
4 direction of fire is north, north-east in the direction of Bakija, as
5 well. I think this is what the witness said. Thank you.
6 Q. Witness, I would now like to carry on. What type of weapons did
7 you yourself have, in your unit?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, I have great difficulties in
9 accepting that the fire went in the north-east direction. I think that,
10 but I will just consult my colleagues.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please take --
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: I have consulted my fellow Judges and they have
15 confirmed that my description was the right one. But in order to avoid
16 whatever misunderstanding, could the witness be given a red -- I think we
17 are using red -- or is it -- red, yes. A red marker. Would you perhaps
18 first indicate the positions you just indicated on the map from the
19 positions from where you would fire.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could you do that with a red felt pen. No, you
22 earlier indicated from the point you just indicated through the red circle
23 to the other side of the circle. Is that --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's what you indicated before.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was our line which went
2 through the red circle.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, from where you fired, you said. This was the
4 position from where you could fire?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Would you then please indicate that part of your
7 line from where you could fire, as you pointed at it before with the red
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you now indicate the direction in which
11 you would fire as you did before. I am just asking you to put down on
12 paper -- yes, you can use the red marker and it is --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A felt tip.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I am just asking you to do exactly the same as you
15 did before with the pointer, but now with the red pen. So indicate the
16 directions in which...
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I have to turn it
18 around because it is easier for me to mark it then.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates] And perhaps it went like
21 this, too.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You earlier indicated also areas more to the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. You couldn't see all of
25 Sedrenik. Part of Sedrenik could be seen from these positions.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
2 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, a few questions ago, some questions
3 ago, Mr. Piletta-Zanin in his question said that the witness had earlier
4 stated that the observation point had been taken, that is taken by the
5 enemy. I don't recollect that and I have been checking the transcript
6 and I can't find it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it has been said by the witness. I think it
8 was -- I will find it for you.
9 MR. IERACE: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you for your precious
12 assistance, Mr. President.
13 Q. Witness, I asked you, before being interrupted, whether you knew
14 anything about the type of weapons that you yourself had, you as an
15 officer had?
16 A. I had an automatic rifle.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the range, the maximum range of this
18 weapon is? I am not talking about how efficient it is but about the
19 maximum range. What can you tell us as an infantryman?
20 A. Well, I am not sure. It has been a long time since I was in the
21 army. But we learned about this when I was young.
22 Q. You are not certain, but on the basis of your memory, give or
23 take 10 metres, what was the range, please?
24 A. Well, the maximum range was between 3 and a half and 4.000 metres
25 for that automatic rifle.
1 Q. Thanks a lot. Witness, have a look at the map to your right,
2 first of all. Can you see two red points, the first one is more to the
3 north; the second more to the south, next to the numbers 8 and 3. Can you
4 see these red dots?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Witness, on the basis of your experience of these places, what is
7 the distance separating point 8 from the red line that you have just
8 traced which is further to the north, which is to the north-west?
9 A. This line here.
10 Q. Yes, exactly.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness pointed to the
13 Q. That's right.
14 A. Well, this map has been enlarged, but in relation to Bakija it is
15 between 600 and 800 metres, as the crow flies.
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... page 65, line
19 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President. And again I am not sure
20 which part of the red line to the dot the witness has in mind. Perhaps
21 that could be clarified.
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, the President showed the entire line that he has just
24 traced, but we can ask him this question again.
25 Witness, can you indicate the red line, the line that you
1 mentioned very clearly a minute ago, could you slow us a red line, Mr.
2 Witness, again?
3 A. [Indicates]
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] There it is. The witness yet
5 again outlined the red line that he indicated a minute ago.
6 Q. Witness, when there were exchanges of fire, as far as you know
7 was it possible for there to be stray bullets?
8 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I apologise for interrupting. There
9 are a number of red lines on the map. For the benefit of the transcript,
10 perhaps we could indicate that the red line is the one that passes
11 through the red circle to point number 8.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is the red line the witness pointed at.
13 And, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, I think the question you just put to the witness,
14 we have heard that question before. Isn't that question similar like,
15 "is it possible that it rains"?
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No --
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... or perhaps the
18 Prosecution. Is the Prosecution, is it the case of the Prosecution that
19 stray bullets are impossible?
20 MR. IERACE: No. That is the case of the Prosecution, that stray
21 bullets are possible.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, it is of no use to establish again
23 and again and again a fact which is not in dispute.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Q. Witness, can you tell us what the colour of the uniforms used by
2 the police was at the time, in general?
3 A. Blue.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, do you know whether during the
5 war --
6 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I apologise if I have missed
7 something, but which police? The police on the Serb side on the Bosnian
8 Serb side, on the ABiH side?
9 JUDGE ORIE: When you were answering that question, how did you
10 understand the question to be, police on your side, police on the other
11 side of the confrontation line?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the police forces wore blue
13 uniforms in the area of the former Yugoslavia, almost right up until the
14 end of the war.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. To clarify things, both the Serb police and the Muslim police and
18 the Croat police wore blue uniforms, that's correct, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Witness, as you were an infantryman, could you tell us with the
21 human eye, as a general rule, can distinguish in relation to human person
22 at a distance of about 800 metres, or in other words, what can one see
23 when one observes a person who is at a distance of 800 metres?
24 A. Well, that distance is too great. You'd see the silhouette of a
25 person. It is difficult to make things out at such a distance.
1 Q. Witness, at such a distance and I mean in general, would it be
2 possible to distinguish, for example, a man from a woman with the naked
3 eye, naturally?
4 A. It would be difficult. It is impossible.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, have you ever heard -- and I have
6 to lead here, I think I may -- have you ever heard the name Dragonov?
7 A. Could you please repeat that.
8 Q. Have you ever heard the name Dragonov or Dragunov?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you. Witness, I would now like to go back to the issue --
11 to the question of orders that you may have ordered -- that you may have
12 received when you were at your posts. So while you were militarily
13 engaged during the war, while you were engaged in the military, did you
14 and your comrades in arm receive orders regarding the manner of opening
15 fire and regarding respect for the civilian population? First of all,
16 could you reply by saying yes or no and then if you received any orders,
17 could you tell us what the nature of these orders was.
18 A. Yes, we received orders.
19 Q. Thank you. Before moving on, when you said that you received
20 orders can you tell us from whom you received these orders?
21 A. Well, usually it was from company commanders or sometimes from
22 the battalion commander.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us anything about how often these orders
24 would be issued to you?
25 A. It depended on the situation, on the new men who arrived. As new
1 men arrived, we would receive orders, mostly because there were new men
2 arriving in the units. This was an order to inform them.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you briefly outline the nature of the orders
4 that you received?
5 A. We were ordered not to open fire at civilian targets; not to open
6 fire if there were no provocations; only to open fire for defence
7 purposes; and we were also told to save ammunition.
8 Q. Thank you. A minute ago in the course of your testimony you said
9 that the enemy army had better weapons. What could you tell us about
10 this matter? Could you be more precise? How did you know this, et
12 A. Well, this is something that I felt in combat because we were
13 always attacked by forces that were stronger than our forces. And that's
14 perhaps the result of fear, too, but we were shelled by the artillery for
15 the most part. So they provided support.
16 Q. Is it your testimony that the enemy artillery, the BH artillery
17 was -- its presence was felt more strongly than the presence of your
19 A. Yes, that's what I felt.
20 Q. Witness, you have mentioned artillery, and as you mentioned this
21 a minute ago in relation to the photograph did you ever go to the
22 Mrkovici village?
23 A. I slept in the Mrkovici village. When I was free, when I was on
24 leave, then I slept in the upper part of Mrkovici.
25 Q. Witness, since you slept in the village of Mrkovici when you were
1 on leave, did you ever observe when you were in the area of the village of
2 Mrkovici, any kind of artillery unit?
3 A. In the area of Mrkovici the entire village, no.
4 Q. Thank you. Witness, could you remind us of the period during
5 which you regularly went to the village of Mrkovici?
6 A. Well, mostly as we were on guard, this depended on the intensity
7 of the attack. It depended on whether we would be there for 24 hours or
8 12. But on the whole, we would go home twice a week.
9 Q. Witness, thank you. But my question is as follows: You said
10 that you went to Mrkovici, that you would go to Mrkovici, and I want to
11 ask you how much time did you spend at these lines during this period,
12 how much time did you spend at the lines that we have in front of us on
13 the screen during this period?
14 A. You mean -- you are referring to the entire period of the war?
15 Q. Yes, exactly. From which date up until when did you remain, did
16 you stay at those positions?
17 A. I was at those positions from the beginning to the end, right up
18 until the Dayton Agreement.
19 Q. Thank you. And during that entire period you would visit the
20 village of Mrkovici; is this your testimony?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Witness, I would like to move on to the combat in
23 April 1993. You have spoken -- you have spoken about this combat. I
24 would like you to be a little more precise with regard to this fighting.
25 When this unfolded in the second half of April 1993, when there was such
1 fighting during this period, where were the men? Did they remain in the
2 fortress? Were they positioned in the trenches, et cetera? What can you
3 tell us about this?
4 A. In April 1993, there were men in the fortress. In the morning
5 hours we were attacked again and the Sharpstone feature was taken. Two
6 men died and the others withdrew. So on that occasion we lost the
7 Sharpstone feature.
8 Q. Thank you. Witness, could you indicate on the map that you have
9 in front of you where you withdrew from during this state of the combat?
10 Could you point this out on the map?
11 A. That's here. It is this part which leads to the Mala Kula, the
12 small fortress, there is a curve here. This is where we positioned
13 ourselves between the path and the house here.
14 Q. Thank you. You spoke about 24 or 30 hours, but you said during
15 the second half of April fighting continued; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Witness, to the extent that you know about this, how
18 many cartridges would you use in one day of fighting, the second part of
19 April 1993, to be specific?
20 A. It is difficult to say how many cartridge cases we used. There
21 were sometimes five, sometimes two, sometimes ten. It was difficult to
22 say how many loaders we used.
23 Q. Can you tell me what ten loaders for an automatic weapon
24 represents in terms of the projectiles used?
25 A. Times 30.
1 Q. So you multiply the cartridge clip by 30; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. How many weapons did you have at these positions?
4 How many men did you have at these positions in the course of the second
5 part of April 1993?
6 A. In the part that was taken from us, we had ten men.
7 Q. Very well. So if I am calculating correctly, that would amount
8 to about 3.000 shots per day exchanged by these ten men; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that would be in the course of the fighting when we were
10 defending ourselves or when we were responding -- returning fire. That
11 would be the maximum. That would mean there was fighting that was going
12 on all the time.
13 Q. Exactly. I am just going to confer for a couple of minutes,
14 Mr. President.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Could we place the last
16 photograph that we saw which bears the number 906. Can we have a look at
17 that. That will be my last question, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That would be your last question is what I would
19 like to know.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Are you referring to Exhibit D338?
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, I think we will have -- I
22 need another ten minutes, Mr. President, but yes, that is the photograph.
23 I apologise. We will take another 10 minutes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's D338. If it would be possible to
25 finish, that would of course be preferable, but if you would need another
1 ten minutes, but then it would strictly be limited to ten minutes
2 tomorrow. Please proceed. I mean ten minutes from now on.
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 Q. Witness, a minute ago when we spoke about elevation 906, you
5 mentioned a point that was about 15 metres from the vehicle. Could you
6 point this out. Could you use your pointer to indicate this spot and
7 leave it there.
8 A. [Indicates]
9 Q. Witness, is it correct to say that elevation 906 is the highest
10 point of the elevation in question; yes or no?
11 A. I wouldn't know.
12 Q. Very well. But could you leave your pointer there, please.
14 Witness, if you move your pointer to the left, move it to the
15 left, a little higher up.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 Q. Thank you, stop. Can one see -- can't one see that the terrain
18 here is a little more elevated than the point you indicated a minute ago;
19 is that the case?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
23 think that we can stop there for the moment and we will carry on tomorrow
24 with your permission. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but only for a couple of minutes,
1 Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, exactly. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We will then adjourn until tomorrow quarter past
4 2.00 in this same courtroom. Madam Registrar, if I am well informed,
5 same courtroom. May I ask you not -- you are supposed not to speak with
6 anyone about the testimony you give in this court. So, therefore, no
7 one, not to the Prosecution, not to the Defence, not to anyone else, and
8 we'd like to see you back tomorrow morning, quarter past 2.00 in this
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
12 the 21st day of November, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.