1 Thursday, 21 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, since we have no technical problems
6 any more, 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. Could one of the
10 technicians assist Judge Nieto-Navia, since his laptop is not working.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I would be the second on the
12 list, please. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Two candidates for -- yes. Mr. Usher, I take it that
14 this will be -- yes.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before the
16 witness comes in, the Defence would like to address the Chamber very
17 briefly, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
20 Mr. President, Your Honours, the reason why we wanted to intervene is the
21 following: We found that we had grave difficulties with the maps, and not
22 only the Defence has but also the witnesses have. Yesterday, Mr. Ierace
23 said that for obvious technical reasons we should not worry about certain
24 distortions, as it were. But there are certain things that we would like
25 to know for sure so that the witnesses are not confused. And if there is
1 a scale on the map, and I am talking about the incident maps, sniping
2 incident maps and the shelling incident maps, in a sense that there is a
3 scale on these maps, say 1, 12, 500. We would like to know very clearly
4 from the Prosecution what is 1 kilometre. We are told that on this map
5 that the scale isn't correct, neither in the diagonal or in the axis. We
6 would like to know precisely, with a lot of precision, with sufficient
7 precision, what they represent, what 1 kilometre is on the map for 1
8 centimetre. For instance. We would like to know that in centimetres so
9 that we don't confuse the witnesses. That is, help them find their
10 bearings because otherwise they will not be able to find what they know on
11 the map.
12 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... that the
13 enlargement of the maps and sometimes the -- that in the reproduction
14 that you couldn't say for all these maps together how, what distance 1
15 centimetre represents, because as far as I can see it, some are enlarged
16 more and others are less. There is no scale on that map. As far as the
17 Chamber understands, that both vertically and horizontally, the grid
18 reflects the small parts, 100 metres. And the fixed lines, the blue
19 fixed lines, 1 kilometer. That's how I understood, until now, how this
20 map works and that there is some distortion in the reproduction. If I am
21 wrong, please --
22 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, that's correct. The only
23 qualification I would make is in relation to the use of the word
24 "distortion." There is no distortion.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps distortion is the wrong word. If you
1 explain it better.
2 MR. IERACE: I think you did, Mr. President. I think you
3 explained it accurately.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the question
6 that we have to ask, and here I have to base myself on my very vague
7 memories from school. That is about diagonal because we have two axis
8 that one of them is not the same as the other. So the other one was
9 enlarged, the other one wasn't. So what happens to the diagonal because
10 very often we have to make measurements diagonally. So how can we work if
11 we have two different scales. And here we would like to ask Mr. Ierace to
12 shed some light on this problem.
13 MR. IERACE: Could I assist with that, Mr. President?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. IERACE: By way of background, this may explain thinks. This
16 is what's called an electronic map and it is produced originally from
17 satellite images. The advantage of the electronic map is that when it is
18 placed on a computer it is possible to measure distances between two
19 points with a very high degree of accuracy. When the map is displayed in
20 hard copy form, that is the entire map of Sarajevo, it is possible to
21 reproduce it so that the intersections of the grids create perfect
22 squares. But this is in fact the most accurate way of portraying the map
23 in a small scale in a way in which measurements can be accurately
24 measured horizontally or vertically.
25 The reason that it appears in that compressed configuration is
1 that one imagines one is positioned at the equator looking, in this case,
2 north. Then the compressed latitudinal lines represent the view that one
3 would have of the surface. If it is of assistance to the Trial Chamber,
4 the Prosecution could at whatever stage is appropriate, call an expert to
5 give that evidence in sworn form.
6 I simply give that explanation now by way of background because
7 they may provide some assistance to the Defence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I only asked
10 one question that is what should I do with my diagonal. That is very nice
11 to talk about the equator, but are my diagonals correct ones? How can I
12 measure properly a diagonal on this map? Is that possible? Yes or no? I
13 would like to know very clearly. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think that as a matter of fact that a consequence
15 of what Mr. Ierace told us that you have to be very careful with
16 diagonals, you cannot just measure them. But at least you can say that
17 these diagonals are within a certain scale, that is not less than the
18 small scale and not more than the large scale.
19 But I think you need some mathematics in order to calculate your
20 distances, if they are diagonally, that's how I understand it, and
21 therefore, perhaps measuring diagonally should rather not done on the
22 basis of these maps, although within certain limits one might understand
23 what the diagonal distance would be, not less than, and not more than.
24 Yes, Mr. Ierace.
25 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, the easiest way to do that is to
1 perhaps take a compass and to place the -- each arm on each of the two
2 points and then with that distance place it on each of the axis and that
3 will indicate the maximum and also indicate the minimum. The distance
4 will be between those two points.
5 JUDGE ORIE: One thing is for sure, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, that
6 distances on these maps, especially if there are diagonals should be
7 approached with great caution.
8 Mr. Usher, is the -- of course, the Chamber has invited the
9 parties to compromise on maps. I think we have still not been offered
10 one map with -- which shows sufficient precision that could assist the
11 Chamber and which the parties would agree. The invitation still stands.
12 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into the courtroom.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, may I remind you that you are still
15 bound by the solemn declaration that you have given at the beginning of
16 your testimony yesterday. Examination-in-chief will now continue.
17 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, please proceed.
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: VASO NIKOLIC [Resumed]
20 Examined by Mr. Piletta-Zanin: [Continued]
21 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like you to have a look at the map
22 that will be put shortly on the ELMO for you, which is the map of
23 incident number 8. And it also bears number 3. That is the map that we
24 saw yesterday.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Usher. Thank
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. Witness, perhaps we could have a view -- no, we can see
3 everything. Witness, do you see the bottom to the right of this map, can
4 you see Bakija, and if you do see it, can you point to it with a pointer,
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Witness, what was in this area that you've just
8 pointed to, as far as you know? And I am just talking about facilities
9 that would have been of military interest.
10 A. Here in the vicinity, but I find this map very hard and not an
11 original. But here in the Bakija in the vicinity, there used to be
12 barracks. I don't know whether it was still there, but certainly there
13 was a facility there. It was a military formations facility.
14 Q. Very well. This facility, was it occupied by forces at the time
15 of the conflict? Were there troops there in the facility?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Could you please put your pointer again on
18 the area that you've just indicated where the barracks used to be.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. Very well.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Now, for the record, the
22 location is more or less where the "K" is below of the name of the proper
23 name Bakija.
24 Q. Witness, what were the weapons that the opposing army had near
25 the barracks?
1 A. Well, they fired with heavy machine-guns, mostly with infantry
2 ones, and then below there was a place called Podhrastovi and in that
3 area they had mobile cannons, so to speak. So what they -- that's how
4 they communicated through Bakija and Podhrastovi.
5 Q. Thank you can you point to this location on the map?
6 A. No, Podhrastovi would be below, there was a hospital there.
7 Q. Below what? Would you please indicate where it would have been,
9 A. Below Bakija. It went like this. This is how this road would
10 go, in this direction.
11 Q. Very well.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness is indicating by
13 moving the pointer from left to right an area between Bakija, below
14 Bakija, and three facilities that are black, which are buildings that are
15 more to the left of the map.
16 Q. Witness, when you tell us that there were cannons and that there
17 were heavy machine-guns, was fire opened against us from these positions?
18 A. Not so often, but, yes, it was.
19 Q. Very well. As much as you can, could you please answer with a
20 yes or no when it is possible. So when the fire was opened, did you
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. More to the right of where it says "Bakija" so going
24 to the lower right corner of the map. Can you tell us what was there,
25 whether opposing position -- the positions of the opposing side?
1 A. I wouldn't know. I didn't see that.
2 Q. Very well. Witness, I would be grateful if you don't look for
3 actual distance on the map, because we will find it then difficult to
4 work according to your memory. But do you -- could you locate on the map
5 with -- can you see it?
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel speak closer to the
7 microphone, please and repeat his question.
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Very well. The interpreter
9 didn't hear the end of the question.
10 Q. Did you manage --
11 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, on the English language channel, the
12 interpreter has asked Mr. Piletta-Zanin to repeat his question and to
13 move closer to the microphone.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think he was repeating his question, but the
15 problem seems the distance to the microphone, Mr. Piletta-Zanin. Please
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'd like not
18 to be interrupted when there are such problems. Thank you.
19 Q. Witness, could you locate it and point to point number 3.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. Thank you. Witness, do you know where on the terrain itself was
22 number 3 located?
23 A. Approximately. I wouldn't know for sure. I wouldn't be able to
24 say precisely.
25 Q. If you can just answer with a yes or no, that would be fine.
1 Thank you.
2 Witness, between the position that you've called "barracks" and
3 number 3 on the terrain itself, what would be the distance between these
4 two points?
5 A. I wouldn't know exactly. It would be very hard for me to
6 approximate, to assess.
7 Q. Could you perhaps give us an approximate answer?
8 A. Possibly between 500 and 1.000 metres.
9 Q. Very well. Witness, now could you go back, look at the map, and
10 can you see vertical blue lines? You see them?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. I have to tell you that this blue line, vertical blue
13 line represents the distance of 1 kilometre, we are told. Don't you
14 think that the distance between point number 3 and the point that you've
15 indicated as being the barracks earlier when you said, could it be less
16 than what you've told us?
17 A. I don't know. I told you that I wasn't sure there.
18 Q. Thank you. I'd like you to point and with the assistance of
19 Madam Usher, could we please see the upper part of the map.
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] And at the same time, the
21 area -- thank you. Could we just go slightly up. Thank you. Thank you.
22 Thank you. Let's not move it any more.
23 Q. Witness, could you please put your pointer on the area of the VRS
24 line which is more to the right of this map.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness indicates the
3 said line.
4 Q. Witness, can you tell us whether from this line, as far as you
5 know, fire was ever opened in the direction of the barracks?
6 A. Only in defence.
7 Q. Very well. But when you were responding with fire in defence,
8 was fire opened on the barracks?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Witness, with your pointer can you please point what
11 was the direction of the fire from this line towards the area of the
12 barracks? Once again so that we can see it.
13 A. I just have to explain that there was a lot of wood here. It was
14 very hard to fire through the wood. So we had to respond to fire without
15 any targeting because the wood was in the middle. We went in these two
16 directions like this.
17 Q. Very well.
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness indicates several
19 directions that go towards the south, south-east and south-west, that is,
20 he indicates an area encompassing or around the forest.
21 Q. Witness, let's go back to the weapons. You spoke to us about
22 heavy weapons. Can you tell us whether BH Army had other heavy weapons
23 in the area that we generally call Sedam Suma, the Seven Woods area?
24 A. They had mortars, mostly. And from there they fired with the
25 Browning gun on Pale-Vogosca road.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what were the calibres that were at
2 the disposal of the BH Army forces? And I am talking about the mortars.
3 A. I think that they used all calibres.
4 Q. Thank you. Witness, now I'd like you to tell us if you were able
5 to see something in the city of Sarajevo, if you know, what other heavy
6 weapons were at the disposal of the Sarajevo forces in the city itself?
7 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, objection. Chronology and source of
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Apart from that, could you please clarify
10 this. Mr. Piletta-Zanin, yesterday I said that you had 10 minutes left.
11 We are now close to 15 minutes. Could you please conclude soon.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes. This will be my last
14 Q. As far as chronology is concerned, first of all, if you know
15 anything, can you tell us which period that relates to and on the basis of
16 what experience? Do you have any personal knowledge of this?
17 A. Well, I personally experienced certain things, but we also
18 obtained information from people who were leaving the town.
19 Q. Very well. So what can you tell us about this, please? What can
20 you tell us about other weapons that were allegedly in the town of
22 A. As far as I know, they had a Chinese mortars, at least that's
23 what I heard. They were more dangerous than the local one. They had
24 Chinese hand grenades. You could approach at a distance of 2 metres and
25 launch this grenade and the forest wouldn't be in the way or anything
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, they were hand-held
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Any other weapons?
6 A. Well we had mobile Howitzers
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
8 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President. I maintain my objection
9 in terms of the source of the information, although he says admissible,
10 this is from unspecified people and one doesn't know what their sources
11 of information were in turn. It is in other words, nebulous to a point
12 that it is not of assistance.
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I apologise. Thank you. I
17 will put this question to the witness again, but I would like him to be
18 more specific because I was speaking about the weapons that the enemy
19 forces had. And in the transcript we can see that it was translated as
20 "we had."
21 Q. Witness, can you tell us where you obtained this knowledge of
22 yours from, and when you mentioned Howitzers a minute ago, were you
23 referring to their weapons or to your weapons?
24 A. To their weapons. I understood your question correctly. I
25 understood that you asked me about their weapons.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you. But how do you know this? This will be
2 my very last question.
3 A. Well, we know about this because many people remained in Sarajevo
4 and there were exchanges. They would remain down there. They were
5 digging trenches. They were used by the BH Army down there until they
6 ran away, they fled from the town, so we received information in the
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No other questions,
9 Mr. President. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, is the Prosecution ready to
11 cross-examine the witness?
12 MR. IERACE: Yes, Mr. President.
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Ierace:
14 Q. Sir, a few moments ago you told us about there being some
15 barracks at Bakija. What were those buildings, how many and how many
16 floors, and built of what material?
17 A. The building that I saw from above, it was about 100 metres long
18 and perhaps 50 metres wide. It had two or three floors, and I couldn't
19 tell you what it was built of.
20 Q. And did the SRK forces at some stage during the war manage to hit
21 that building with artillery?
22 A. I didn't see that.
23 Q. Well, did the buildings survive the war?
24 A. I don't think so.
25 Q. Well, I'll ask you again: Was the building shelled by SRK forces,
1 if the building didn't survive the war?
2 A. It wasn't shelled. Perhaps it was hit, but I am not aware of it
3 having been shelled. I observed it all the time.
4 Q. I take it then that the building did survive the war; is that
6 A. I wasn't there from the end of the war.
7 Q. I am sorry. I thought you told us that you were in the area of
8 sharpstone throughout the war; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And from sharpstone did you have a view of these barracks?
11 A. If I went out into the open at the sharpstone feature, yes, but
12 not from the trenches.
13 Q. Well, do you mean from the observation point that you told us
14 about yesterday?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. And based on your observations from that point
17 towards the end of 1995, was the barracks still there?
18 A. I can't remember. In 1995 -- I spent 1995 and the Dayton
19 Agreement period at Mala Kula.
20 Q. Mala Kula being what you described as the Austrian fortress is
21 that correct
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. A matter of what 50 metres from the trenches of sharpstone?
24 A. 50 to 100 metres.
25 Q. Yes. So did you tell us that when you were at the German
1 fortress for that period of time, you didn't go to the observation point;
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were you in the same company --
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
7 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there is a
8 problem as far as the comprehension is concerned. I don't remember ever
9 having spoken about a German fortress. I don't remember this being
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace talked about an Austrian.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace, German appears in the transcript.
14 MR. IERACE: Yes, I must have said German.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If you said German, then I apologise, because I
16 didn't look at the transcript. Please proceed.
17 MR. IERACE:
18 Q. Sir, are you telling us that when you were at the Austrian
19 fortress, Mala Kula, for those periods of time you didn't go to the
20 observation point; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that was a guard post. When I was at Mala Kula, I was on
22 guard there. That means that I could have been either at the sharpstone
23 feature or in Mala Kula. I couldn't have been in both places at the same
25 Q. How many companies in 1993 were stationed at sharpstone?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. There were ten men.
2 Q. Ten men I take it from the one company; is that correct?
3 A. We had one company.
4 Q. How many men in 1993 were stationed at Mala Kula?
5 A. There were never more than five men at Mala Kula.
6 Q. Does that mean there were 15 men at Mala Kula and sharpstone at
7 any one time in 1993?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, was there always at least one person on duty in the
10 observation point in 1993?
11 A. One or two. It depended. At night there would be two men and
12 during the day, one man.
13 Q. And was the company commander typically at the observation point?
14 A. He would sometimes appear.
15 Q. You told us there were some land lines connecting the observation
16 point to the trenches; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that is the trenches where there were ten of your company
19 positioned above the ridge, correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Sometimes would orders be given from the observation point to
22 fire mortars?
23 A. We were -- all the trenches were connected. We had the
24 communication lines via an field telephone. So we all listened to
25 the orders at the same time. So all the trenches in the area of the
1 Mrkovici company used one line to communicate. So from soldiers, from
2 security, there would be orders issued to the commander of the company for
3 assistance and to be on the alert.
4 Q. Was Mala Kula also on that same land line?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you please take your pointer and circle on the map the area
7 of your company.
8 A. [Marks]
9 MR. IERACE: The witness indicates, indicating from the left side
10 of the map, the beginning of the line placed by him in a black marking
11 yesterday, across the top of the map, that is, following the black line,
12 then the broken dark green line, all the way to the compass point on the
13 right-hand side of the map.
14 Q. How many people were there in your company, let's say in 1993?
15 A. Between 70 and 100 men.
16 Q. Now, let me come back to the question you still haven't answered.
17 Did you sometimes hear orders being given from the observation point for
18 the deployment of mortar fire?
19 A. There were requests from the observation position in the course
20 of combat. If we felt that the enemy side was dominating the situation,
21 then we asked for assistance.
22 Q. Sir, did you or did you not ever hear orders requesting mortar
23 fire coming from the observation point?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Thank you. Where were the mortars?
1 A. The battalion had -- our Hresa Battalion had a battery or platoon
2 at the rear, but it was in the depth which is where I never went.
3 Q. Do you see that area on this map?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you mean it is further north?
6 A. Higher up, higher up.
7 Q. All right. You say that the Hresa Battalion had a battery or
8 platoon at the rear. Do you mean a mortar battery?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did they have an artillery battery, that is artillery other than
11 mortars, as well?
12 A. No, I didn't see that.
13 Q. I am not asking whether you saw it; I am asking whether you knew
15 A. No.
16 Q. And I take it from an earlier answer, you tell us that you never
17 saw the mortar battery either; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And you told us yesterday you didn't see any artillery at
20 Mrkovici; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You went three years in the war at the frontline at sharpstone,
23 sleeping at Mrkovici, did you ever see a mortar?
24 A. We had a 60-millimetre one.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, objection.
2 Because if this question relates to Mrkovici, I think that the witness
3 has already answered the question clearly, and I don't think that in this
4 case the question would be acceptable, not in this form.
5 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, the question goes well beyond whether
6 he saw mortars at Mrkovici.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The question has been answered. I don't
8 think -- I take it that it is not necessary to repeat the question again.
9 No. Please proceed.
10 MR. IERACE: All right.
11 Q. Sir, you saw within 60-millimetre mortar during the course of the
12 war on the SRK side; is that your evidence?
13 A. In our company, yes.
14 Q. What else did you have in your company by way of mortars and
16 A. We didn't have anything else in our company, apart from that
17 mortar. That was the only piece of artillery that we had.
18 Q. As I look again at the extent of the frontline you told us that
19 your company was responsible for, do you tell us for that entire section
20 of the frontline your company had one mortar being 60-millimetres; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You told us that you came under attack from the ABiH and they
24 used a recoilless cannon which they set up right in front of Mala Kula
25 and they succeeded in taking that spot and holding it for 30 hours; do
1 you recollect that? Telling us that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You explained yesterday, you were asked I think three times about
4 it, that you regarded their artillery as being superior to yours; do you
5 recollect saying that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you say that you were also outnumbered by the ABiH?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Tell me, how then did you manage to retake Mala Kula, since you
10 were out-gunned and outnumbered?
11 A. We took it, but five men were killed while we were taking back
12 Mala Kula.
13 Q. Only five; is that correct?
14 A. I wouldn't say only five. It was a large number.
15 Q. And what artillery, including mortars, were used in that battle?
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have an
17 objection that concerns the tone. I think that to use an adverb such as
18 "only" when people were in combat and experienced combat is not
19 appropriate. It is neither the time nor the place. I would be grateful
20 if one could show more restraint. This is not the right term.
21 MR. IERACE: It was entirely appropriate, Mr. President. We are
22 talking about comparative casualties and the credibility of the witness in
23 terms of the evidence he has given as to the superiority of numbers and
24 weaponry of the ABiH.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, perhaps the accused could keep his
2 voice down. I can hear it clearly from here.
3 JUDGE ORIE: General Galic, I know that when you speak, and when
4 you have your headphones on, that you very often use your voice in a
5 louder way than you would do without. So if you approach someone else,
6 perhaps take your earphones off just for a while so that you have better
7 control over your own voice.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you. I didn't
9 realise that I would be heard. I wouldn't have done this otherwise.
10 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... earphones on, so
11 please take care.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied. Mr. Ierace, if you could
14 avoid words that certainly have a meaning for you while questioning the
15 witness, but that could be understood also in a different way, and even
16 some people might even say that you could hear some slight sarcasm in it.
17 MR. IERACE: Never, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. IERACE:
20 Q. How many SRK soldiers were involved in that assault to retake Mala
22 A. A small number of men came to assist us with regard to the
23 company, perhaps a platoon of about 30 men.
24 Q. There were artillery, SRK artillery, at Poljine throughout 1993,
25 weren't there?
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] -- I don't think that we ever
4 mentioned Poljine in the course of the examination-in-chief, and I don't
5 see what the purpose of this question is.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all, it is not necessary that the
7 questions in chief have covered the area. Mr. Ierace, are you putting
8 this question to the witness on 90(H) or are you putting the question to
9 the witness in order to test the credibility
10 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, both. Although I would think there
11 was no dispute in Poljine. It certainly hasn't been suggested to any
12 Prosecution witness that there wasn't.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. IERACE: Perhaps that might be clarified. Is that the Defence
15 case, there was no artillery at Poljine?
16 JUDGE ORIE: I saw some nodding, but nodding does not appear in
17 the transcript.
18 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, is it in dispute that there was artillery in
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, we don't know anything
21 about this.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You do not know anything about it.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
24 MR. IERACE:
25 Q. Would you please repeat your, the answer you gave to that
2 A. Poljine was far enough -- was far from me, the distance between
3 me and Poljine was such that I didn't even know under whose forces it
5 Q. There were tanks and Howitzers, were there not, in the SRK that
6 could come to your assistance, if required?
7 A. A tank couldn't have come to our territory, and there was no
8 where from where it could have fired.
9 Q. Do you see on the map a road that goes towards Grdonj, at the
10 other end of that road is Mrkovici; isn't that the case?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Why could a tank physically could not have gone down that road?
13 A. A tank could have gone down that road, but there was no position
14 from which it could have fired. If you have a look at the layout of our
15 positions from the sharpstone feature to Mala Kula and the fortress there
16 was no way the tank would have gone out without it being observed and
17 destroyed by the enemy. The entire line -- the entire line is rocky or it
18 is a forested area.
19 Q. Sir I suggest to you that tanks regularly fired on Sarajevo from
20 positions where they could be seen when firing from Sarajevo. What do
21 you say to that?
22 A. I know that they weren't there. I never saw a tank in Mrkovici.
23 Q. I am suggesting to you that the reason you give as to why a tank
24 would not fire from there is unacceptable [Realtime transcript read in
25 error "acceptable"], is incorrect.
1 A. A tank couldn't have fired from any part of Mrkovici.
2 Q. Sir, from sharpstone --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Just for the sake of the transcript, it reads from
4 there is acceptable.
5 MR. IERACE: It should be unacceptable.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
7 MR. IERACE:
8 Q. From sharpstone from the observation point, could you see the
9 flanks of Mount Trebevic to the south?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did you not see firing from those flanks regularly into the
12 city, tanks, and Howitzers?
13 A. There was firing in Sarajevo on a daily basis. So it was
14 difficult to decide where it was coming from, especially if it was at the
15 end of another town. There was an exchange of fire, there was a crossfire
16 every day in Sarajevo and in the surroundings of Sarajevo.
17 Q. Sir, I am suggesting to you that tanks could be seen firing into
18 Sarajevo from the flanks of Mount Trebevic. What do you say to that?
19 A. Perhaps that's possible. I never saw that. I am testifying
20 about what I know. And this is my testimony.
21 Q. Did you ever see an SRK tank during the war?
22 A. I saw a tank, but I don't know whose it was.
23 Q. Well, was it close to the frontline? Is that what confused you
24 as to whose it was?
25 A. No, but I often went to Pale, Sokolac and the road towards
1 Serbia. On the road towards Serbia I could see a tank or several tanks
2 on the asphalt road.
3 Q. That was the only one you saw in the whole war, was it?
4 A. No, it's not the only one. I saw a tank in Sarajevo.
5 Q. No, that was -- all right. That was the only possible SRK tank
6 that you saw in the war; is that correct?
7 A. One or two. I can't remember now. I came across three tanks in
8 the course of the war on the road in all of Republika Srpska and this
9 wasn't covered by the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
10 Q. How many SRK APCs did you see during the war?
11 A. What do you mean, armoured personnel vehicle?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Armoured personnel carrier. I haven't understood you. What do
14 you mean by "APC"?
15 Q. How many armoured personnel carriers belonging to the Sarajevo
16 Romanija Corps did you see during the war?
17 A. I couldn't say how many I saw.
18 Q. More than ten?
19 A. Sorry?
20 Q. More than ten?
21 A. Well, let's say 10 or 15.
22 Q. One of those would have been very helpful to you and your fellow
23 troops when you were retaking Mala Kula; is that correct?
24 A. I can't remember. When Mala Kula was being taken the infantry
25 participated in the action. I personally participated in 1993, that was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the second time that Mala Kula fell.
2 Q. When you say "the infantry participated" do you mean that there
3 were troops other than your company who participated in the retaking of
4 Mala Kula when you were involved?
5 A. I said that we were assisted by about 30 soldiers.
6 Q. Sorry. I missed that. I didn't hear you say that before. Where
7 did they come from, the same battalion?
8 A. No. They didn't come from the same battalion. It was an
9 intervention platoon.
10 Q. Within which brigade were they from?
11 A. They were probably from our brigade.
12 Q. See, sir, I suggest to you that your evidence to the effect that
13 you were out-gunned is incorrect, that in fact the Sarajevo Romanija
14 Corps overwhelmingly had the advantage with the numbers of artillery
15 pieces and the types of artillery pieces. What do you say to that?
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Objection. Could the witness
19 leave the courtroom so that I can explain.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, may I ask you to escort the witness for
21 a moment out of the courtroom.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President,
25 the basis of my objection is the following: This witness is not --
1 doesn't have a rank. He is not a high-ranking military person, and this
2 concerns the SRK Corps the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and not the company
3 itself. So, first of all, Mr. Ierace should establish what this
4 witness -- what kind of knowledge this witness could have about the entire
5 corps at the level of his -- its artillery, and afterwards, if the witness
6 has any knowledge, then the question can be put to him. Otherwise, the
7 question should be restricted to the line that the -- this witness held,
8 that is to say to the 15 or 13 men that was referred to a minute ago.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is important that we know what the basis
10 of knowledge of the witness. If we are talking about the SRK in total,
11 and it is not quite clear to me whether when you say that the advantage,
12 the overwhelming advantage, whether you were pointing at the whole
13 Sarajevo Romanija Corps or just to the Sarajevo Romanija Corps in the area
14 where the witness was on duty.
15 MR. IERACE: Well, Mr. President, given the nature of the
16 objection, perhaps we should check the transcript. Yesterday for those
17 two occasions, two separate occasions that the witness gave evidence to
18 this effect, on the second occasion, he did so as a result of questioning
19 by Mr. Piletta-Zanin, specifically on that topic, I should add.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, would you have a word to search for so that we
21 can easily find it?
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I may, my
23 memory was that the questions that I've asked, perhaps there is a problem
24 in the transcript, but they were always in relation to the situation that
25 the witness knew, not with south, south-west. So the questions were
1 always in relation to the line as traced on this map.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, since you are referring to the
3 questioning of yesterday, it is not clear in my recollection. Could you
4 please assist the Chamber in order to --
5 MR. IERACE: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- in order to find the -- if you have words then we
7 could search for --
8 MR. IERACE: The second reference, unfortunately I only have the
9 page references to yesterday's transcript. I'll read the question. "A
10 minute ago in the course of you are testimony you said that the enemy army
11 had better weapons. What could you tell us about this matter? Could you
12 be more precise? How did you know this" et cetera. So if I have one
13 searches "testimony" or "better" that would bring up that reference --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down a bit.
15 MR. IERACE: Yes, I will slow down.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I am first trying to find the --
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I think that what I used in
19 French, was the enemy, the enemy forces, or the opposing forces. That
20 was always in relation to what the witness knew himself in -- about the
21 fighting. And I didn't ask him about the structure of the corps or the
22 weaponry that the corps had or I do not recall asking him about anything
23 to do with the weaponry of the corps or the structure of the corps of the
24 one or the other side and this is where the difference is.
25 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, perhaps I could be given a minute to
1 find the relevant passages?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, I find a place where the answer -- where
3 the question was: "In the area of the frontline of your company, can you
4 tell us whether you personally knew how BH Army soldiers were armed, what
5 sort of weapons they had?"
6 "Well I don't think I received any information but as I
7 participated in the fighting and mounted resistance --"
8 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. President, can you slow down, please.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, when I am reading I forget my own speed. I'll
10 start again with the answer. "Well I don't think I received any
11 information, but as I participated in the fighting and mounted resistance,
12 I think that for a long period of time during the conflict, they possessed
13 weapons which were better than ours. They were armed better than we
15 What I see is that the question is about the frontline of the
16 company and the answer does not specify. So perhaps it could be clarified
17 when the witness is in again. But you said you had a second reference as
18 well, Mr. Ierace?
19 MR. IERACE: Yes, I read out the second reference earlier. It
20 came after that one.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. IERACE: And on that occasion he was asked this: "A minute
23 ago in the course of your testimony, you said that the enemy army had
24 better weapons. What could you tell us about this matter? Could you be
25 more precise. How did you know this et cetera."
1 Answer: "Well, this is something that I felt in combat because
2 we were always attacked by forces that were stronger than our forces and
3 that is perhaps the result of fear too, but we were shelled by the
4 artillery for the most part, so they provided support."
5 And then "is it your testimony that enemy artillery, the BH
6 artillery was its presence was felt more strongly than the presence of
7 your artillery?"
8 Answer: "Yes, that's what I felt."
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is still from all these questions and from
10 all these answers it is perfectly possible that the witness was testifying
11 about his own combat experience, and that his answer was limited to the
12 area where he was on duty. So, therefore, it should be clarified, if put
13 to the witness.
14 MR. IERACE: As you please, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness
16 into the courtroom.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for your patience, Mr. Nikolic.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
20 MR. IERACE:
21 Q. Sir, you told us yesterday that the ABiH took Mala Kula on the
22 14th of June 1993, and today you told us there were two occasions they
23 took Mala Kula. What was the date of the other occasion?
24 A. On the 14th of June 1993, that was the second time.
25 Q. When was the first time?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I think that was in 1992.
2 Q. Which month?
3 A. It was in the summer, one of the summer months. It may have been
4 June or July or August.
5 Q. And which was the time that you helped in its recapture? Was
6 that in 1992 or in June of 1993?
7 A. I took part in the retaking in June 1993.
8 Q. Did you have any artillery support when you did that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What type of artillery support?
11 A. Well, I was on the forward position. I think we had mortars.
12 Q. Yes, and apart from mortars did you have anything else?
13 A. Not there. There wasn't anything there.
14 Q. Was there anything in the area by the way of artillery support,
15 other than mortars?
16 A. I don't remember. At least, I didn't see.
17 Q. Were there any armoured personnel carriers of the Sarajevo
18 Romanija Corps involved in that retaking?
19 A. 1993, in June, I do not recall seeing any.
20 Q. Would you please describe to us in detail the observation point.
21 How big was it?
22 A. You mean on the sharprock features?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Well, that was dug in in the ground of the premises of some 7 to
25 10 square metres. So this was dug into the rock, into the stone, and the
1 only thing that you could see, there was just a hole 40 by 20, that was
2 the hole towards the city, an opening.
3 Q. Incidently, for a moment, returning to the topic of Mala Kula,
4 you told us that it was held for, I think you said, 30 hours, or a day or
5 two; is that correct? No more than two days?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I take it it was recaptured, therefore, on the 16th or 17th of
8 June 1993; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And to be clear on this, you say that there were five dead in
11 terms of SRK forces, SRK soldiers; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell us what infantry weaponry your
14 soldiers had, that is, the 15 soldiers who controlled the frontline as you
15 have indicated on the map, and also occupied Mala Kula? Did you have
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What models did you have?
19 A. We had three machine-guns of a new production. These were 84
21 Q. What rifles did you have? What designations? What models?
22 A. Automatic rifles.
23 Q. Yes, what were their designations? What were their model
25 A. Kalashnikov, domestic, Kalashnikovs.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Transcript, it seems that it
3 is sorted out now, but there was a problem in questions and answers. And
4 it is now sorted out. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
6 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, there was a rule a number of times
7 earlier on that these matters could wait until the end of evidence. Does
8 that still apply?
9 JUDGE ORIE: It still applies unless it could create confusion.
10 Since Mr. Piletta-Zanin didn't explain to us what it exactly was, I
11 cannot at this moment see whether there would be any confusion. But
12 let's not spend more time on it. The rule is now clear again, and no
13 intervention when there is no risk of confusion.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. IERACE:
16 Q. Kalashnikovs, what else, by way of rifles? Which models?
17 A. Automatic rifles, semi-automatic, and automatic rifles.
18 Q. Did you have any M-76s?
19 A. I never heard of such a rifle.
20 Q. Well, apart from Kalashnikovs, what else did you have in the way
21 of rifles, along that length of frontline?
22 A. Semi-automatic rifles, M-48 rifles. These were old manufacture
23 rifles, apart from Kalashnikov and said rifles and machine-guns and of
24 course hand grenades.
25 Q. Now, the position of the trenches was such that they were beneath
1 the ridge line; is that correct? So you couldn't see the trenches from
3 A. Yes. The first lines of the trenches could not be seen.
4 Q. Yes. In other words, they were on the other side of the ridge
5 line from Sedrenik to offer protection from enemy forces?
6 A. It was under the sharpstone features, that's where they were.
7 Q. In order to -- I withdraw that.
8 Was the observation point on the slope that faced Sedrenik?
9 A. Not on the slope, but on the actual sharpstone feature itself.
10 Q. Where were the machine-guns set up in relation to the trenches?
11 A. In relation to the trenches, they were set up in the trenches.
12 The trenches were dug so that they connected all the trenches and in the
13 event of fighting, there would be fire opened from inside the trenches.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace --
15 MR. IERACE: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- the Chamber would like to have some clarifications
17 as to the observation posts concerned. Could perhaps the map marked by
18 the witness be put -- is still on the ELMO, I take it. During your
19 testimony, Mr. Nikolic, you said that there was an observation post
20 just below the word "Brdo" near to the north-east, south-west. If you
21 are talking about the sharpstone feature, could you please tell us
22 exactly where you situate that on the map? So, sharpstone is the red
23 circle -- yes, at least the line that goes through that red circle --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- and other observation posts, you mentioned before
1 an observation post that was taken as well, which is close to the
2 north-east part of the map. That observation post is not sharpstone?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was not an observation post.
4 It was a large fort. It was also a former barracks, what I indicated
5 there, below the Brdo, the hill.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That was not an observation post but a larger -- and
7 when you are talking about sharpstone, you are talking about the area
8 just left and just right and through the red circle; is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
11 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, for the benefit of the transcript,
12 when the witness indicated a fort under "Brdo" he was indicating the top
13 right-hand corner of the map alongside the compass points.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I should have mentioned it. Please proceed.
15 MR. IERACE:
16 Q. You told us yesterday that you received orders to not target
17 civilians. Who did you regard as civilians in terms of people that you
18 could observe from sharpstone?
19 A. Civilians were women and children. Until 1992 -- until the end
20 of 1992, anyone who didn't have weapons was a civilian, because neither
21 side had uniforms. So any armed person represented danger, a risk. And
22 then from the end of 1992, civilians were all those who didn't have
23 weapons and uniforms.
24 Q. Does that mean that anyone wearing a uniform you regarded as
25 someone who could be shot?
1 A. With weapons and going in our direction in the attack.
2 Q. What about someone in a uniform not carrying a weapon?
3 A. No.
4 Q. By "no" do you mean no, you would not shoot such a person?
5 A. I wouldn't.
6 Q. What type of uniforms in terms of people carrying arms made them
7 appropriate -- made them targets? Are we talking about camouflage
8 uniforms? Dress uniforms? What sort of the uniforms?
9 A. That would be just fighting at close quarters in fighting. But
10 it would be very hard to see anyone in uniform. They were very well
11 camouflaged. So we didn't have the opportunity to open fire without an
12 attack. We always opened fire only when we were close to each other, in
13 close combat.
14 Q. So, if from the observation post you saw someone in Sedrenik
15 wearing a uniform, but not just carrying arms, as you understood your
16 orders, you were not to shoot that person in 1993; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did that apply to police officers as well?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. If you, in 1993, saw a police officer carrying a weapon, as you
21 understood your orders, would he have been a target?
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, objection.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I object. I would just say
25 the setup, in order not to say too much.
1 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I strongly object to that
2 intervention, the words used by the Defence. It may be appropriate to
3 deal with this matter in the absence of the witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Since we will have a break anyhow in a couple of
5 minutes, Mr. Nikolic, we have to deal with a procedural issue, but we
6 will then adjourn for half an hour. So Madam Usher, could you please
7 escort the witness out of the courtroom.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I wish to speak without interruption.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from that, I would first like to hear more in
11 detail what the objection was about, where Mr. Piletta-Zanin said "setup."
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
13 It may be perhaps because I was not interpreted well. What I meant by the
14 setup was the following: This witness said in relation to the soldiers
15 that he -- their orders was to respond with fire and then to target people
16 in uniforms when they were advancing towards them with weapons in a
17 situation. When I said "setup" what I meant without the witness
18 understanding me, is that the question asked by Mr. Ierace was a kind of a
19 trap question because it was impossible to answer that because it would be
20 impossible for the witness to find himself in a situation either it would
21 be a policeman who was turning his back to him and running away or going
22 towards him. So it was really -- I was objecting on the grounds that we
23 believe this to be a trick question.
24 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I think the first point is whether
25 there was a translation problem. I don't know what the French word was
1 that my learned colleague used that was translated into English as
2 "setup." But if there was no confusion in terms of the language, it was
3 highly inappropriate for my learned colleague to say that in front of the
5 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand what you mean that the word
6 "setup" -- first of all, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, spoke in French so perhaps he
7 could tell us what word he used. I was as a matter of fact listening to
8 the English channel at this very moment.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, my colleagues have informed me that the
11 used in French was "en situation" which has not the same meaning, I would
12 say, as "setup" in English --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. President, may the English booth intervene?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, used the word "mise en
16 situation" he probably meant "context," however "setup" may be also
17 interpreted as being "context." So it could be either. It is impossible
18 for the booth to know what he meant.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, you heard the explanation of the
20 English booth, I take it. The French words --
21 MR. IERACE: I don't take it any further because there is, it
22 seems, some ambiguity as to how that word may be interpreted. The effect
23 of it was most unfortunate.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I do not know how these words were translated in
25 B/C/S. Of course, that is what the witness heard. I don't know whether
1 the B/C/S booth could tell us how the words that were in French "mise en
2 situation," context, and in English, "setup," how it was translated into
3 B/C/S for the witness, so that we at least know how the witness might have
4 understood what was said. But now I have some difficulties because now I
5 have to move to the B/C/S channel in order to hear the explanation of the
6 B/C/S interpreters, and that would be on three or two? Six.
7 Yes, I now can hear you in English on channel six.
8 I take it that everyone now has heard the explanation. And I
9 think it is not a matter to pursue at this moment.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I thank the
11 booths. I would like to thank the booths. And could we please be very
12 careful with the interpretation details in the future. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all, we are always grateful to all
14 the booths, and we are always very careful about the language.
15 We will adjourn until 20 minutes past 4.00
16 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue I'd like to make a few
19 observations first. If possible, and I urge the parties to cooperate as
20 good as they can, the Chamber would like to finish today's hearing, if
21 possible, at 6.00. It is now -- we would then have not another break and
22 continue for approximately a little bit over one hour and a half. I urge
23 the parties to make that possible. There are important reasons to finish
24 a bit earlier than usual.
25 Then, I have to inform the parties that there was no -- there
1 were no court hearings scheduled for I think the 12th, the 13th and the
2 14th of December because of the Plenary. There are some initiatives
3 taken to change the date of the Plenary. It is still highly uncertain
4 whether the Plenary will not take place on the 12th, the 13th or the
5 14th, but if the Plenary would take place in the beginning of December,
6 that would then be the 2nd and the 3rd, perhaps. Well, the second we are
7 not sitting anyhow, but the 3rd of December we are sitting. Then it
8 would not be a good idea not to sit on the 12th, the 13th and the 14th.
9 And I do understand that this is highly inconvenient for the parties. It
10 might be. But I will inform you as soon as I know more about the date of
11 the Plenary. But the parties should prepare if this would be the case,
12 that if the Plenary would not take place on the 12th, the 13th and 14th,
13 that we would sit on these days. I mean, three days lost is just too
14 much. It is with regard that I have to confront the parties with a
15 possible change. Yes.
16 Then, a filing -- Mr. Piletta-Zanin -- Ms. Pilipovic a filing was
17 made today which should have been confidentially -- I again draw your
18 attention to the importance of being very precise as far as protective
19 measures are concerned. That's what I had --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as far as the -- yes, I will give you an
22 opportunity Ms. Pilipovic -- as far as the maps are concerned, if these
23 are electronic maps, and if you can look at them electronically, the
24 Chamber -- of course, if they would be available, that's fine. But apart
25 from that, the Chamber of course, will use all maps available, all maps in
1 evidence in order to make whatever determination as to distances, et
2 cetera, et cetera. We are not dependent on one kind of map. But that's,
3 I think, clear for the parties.
4 Yes, Mr. Ierace.
5 MR. IERACE: Listening to you, Mr. President, I am wondering
6 whether you would be assisted by a map which more conventionally has
7 square grids with the sniping positions on the individual maps transposed
8 to the square grid map.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We will consider that, whether that would assist us.
10 And but you also said that in general the map could be produced with real
11 squares on it, not perhaps in detail, but --
12 MR. IERACE: That's what I mean. If you wanted it, we could look
13 at tendering a map with the squares -- with the grids --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Grids as real squares --
15 MR. IERACE: If that is of assistance to allow you to take
17 JUDGE ORIE: We will consider whether we will ask you to produce
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
22 Mr. President, Defence counsel doesn't doubt the capacity of your
23 Trial Chamber to find all of this in all the maps, but what Defence
24 counsel pointed out is that in the case of each witness who has appeared
25 here, this situation was very confused because it was not possible to
1 find on the maps the points that they could remember, themselves. So
2 this is the problem when witnesses are giving testimony. We saw it in
3 the case of this testimony of the witness who spoke about 1 kilometre,
4 whereas the distance was longer on the map. This has to be examined very
5 carefully because this isn't a problem that they are responsible for.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that if mistakes are caused by the
7 difficulties in understanding, reading these maps, that both parties will
8 take care that no confusion will arise and the Chamber, of course, will
9 keep a close eye on that as well.
10 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, as translated, that comment by
11 Mr. Piletta-Zanin may well disclose what I would regard as a
12 misunderstanding of the maps. I am happy to meet with Mr. Piletta-Zanin
13 after we finish at 6.00 to explain to him firsthand what the scale is,
14 and if there is a problem after that, then that could be raised in the
15 court tomorrow.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I appreciate
17 the fact that Mr. Ierace wants to clarify matters for me, but I think
18 that I have expressed myself perhaps badly. I don't think that I have
19 understood something incorrectly. I think that the witnesses might
20 understand something incorrectly.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand. I don't think that there is
22 any misunderstanding on the side of Mr. Piletta-Zanin, but if the
23 witnesses are confronted with maps which show these differences on the
24 grid and the distances on the grid lines, then that could create some
25 confusion and we are all there to avoid that such confusion will be
1 created. May I -- yes, Mr. Ierace.
2 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, what concerns me is that if the
3 reference by Mr. Piletta-Zanin in that observation was to the witness
4 stating that he thought the distance between the barracks and point
5 number 3 was 500 to 1.000 metres, whereas in fact according to
6 Mr. Piletta-Zanin's statement it was more, then he doesn't understand the
7 way the scale works.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I am afraid, as a matter of fact, that Mr. -- I
9 think that as a matter of fact that Mr. Piletta-Zanin perfectly
10 understands that every grid section is 100 metres, but the grid sections
11 horizontally are, at least on these maps, are a bit longer than the
12 vertical ones, and that whether the witness was misled by the map or that
13 for other reasons he gave the assessment of the distance as he did, I
14 leave that alone for the time being. But I do understand
15 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, that if you say that it was a wrong assessment, it was
16 not more than 1.000 metres, I take it.
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... perfectly well.
19 Madam Usher, could you then, please -- Ms. Pilipovic, Yes, I promised you
20 to give you an opportunity to --
21 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
22 Your Honour, bearing in mind the fact that you have told us that the
23 schedule might be modified. In the name of General Galic, I would just
24 like to ask you whether we could not have a hearing on the 13th [Realtime
25 transcript read in error "30th"] of December since General Galic has
1 already scheduled a visit with his family -- from the 13th of December.
2 So if we -- if there would be a hearing could that be on the 11th and 12
3 of December, that would be on Thursday and Friday -- the 13th of December
4 is a Friday.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you are talking about the 13th and
6 not on the 30th --
7 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Of December. Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... as you know,
9 Ms. Pilipovic, the Chamber is always very much concerned about using the
10 time as efficiently as possible, especially if family visit is there. I
11 don't know for how much time during the day the family is allowed to
12 visit. Could you please give us, not necessarily at this very moment, a
13 small precise information on how many visiting hours are available, how
14 they are scheduled, so that we can try to take as much as we can into
15 consideration --
16 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] I will inform you. Thank you,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. Then, Madam Usher, I try now
19 for the third time, could you please escort the witness into the
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, please proceed. And may I remind the
23 parties that setup and upset are words that look very similar. Perhaps
24 it was not perfectly necessary. Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
25 MR. IERACE:
1 Q. In 1993, if you saw a police officer carrying a weapon, as you
2 understood your orders, would he have been a target?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, yesterday you told us that there was a lot of activity on
5 your part of the frontline in the latter half, the second half of 1993.
6 On the 17th of April there was a ceasefire throughout Sarajevo, was there
8 A. There were very few ceasefires over those days.
9 Q. On the 17th of April there was, however, a ceasefire, was there
11 A. I can't remember a single day in the second half of April when
12 there was a ceasefire. Perhaps there was something on paper, but it
13 wasn't respected by the Muslim forces.
14 Q. I suggest to you that there was a ceasefire on the 17th of April
15 and that that ceasefire was generally holding on that day. What do you
16 say to that?
17 A. Well, I am saying that there was no such ceasefire because on the
18 20th of April 1993, I was to go and visit my mother in hospital. And I
19 stayed on until the end of April because it wasn't possible because of
20 the number of people, there was constant fighting.
21 Q. Well, in you are answer you refer to the 20th of April, not the
22 17th of April. Do you remember whether there was a ceasefire on the 17th
23 of April? Do you remember; yes or no?
24 A. I don't remember, no.
25 Q. Now, yesterday you were asked a number of questions about the
1 building where you were on guard duty, Mala Kula. You said, I think,
2 that from the building you could not see the area of Sedrenik; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you see any part of the city from Mala Kula?
6 A. From the terrace of Mala Kula it was possible to see part of
7 Zetra and of the town cemetery.
8 Q. By "the terrace," do you mean the roof?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I think you also said yesterday, correct me if I am wrong, that a
11 number of the trees in that area, that is Spicasta Stijena and around
12 Mala Kula, were destroyed; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I take it they were destroyed as a result of the fighting; is
15 that the case?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is that because they were hit by shells?
18 A. Probably.
19 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, might the witness be shown photograph
20 P3756. Normally at this stage we would give a copy to the Defence. We
21 provided a copy for the Defence shortly before the hearing commenced and
22 we have enough copies, I think, for everyone else.
23 Q. In the photograph before you do you see Spicasta Stijena?
24 A. It should be here. It is this part here.
25 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates the mountain slightly to the left
1 of centre on the skyline which appears whitish.
2 Q. Sir, do you see the area of Mrkovici in this photograph?
3 A. It is difficult to make it out. It should be this part here in
4 these slopes over here.
5 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates the same mountain as before, and
6 also the darker ridge-top to the right on the skyline.
7 Q. Do you recognise the dwellings in the bottom right hand half of
8 the photograph as being Sedrenik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you see in the photograph Grdonj?
11 A. No. Grdonj should be over here, in this part here.
12 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates the area of the left of the
13 photograph between the tower, which is towards the bottom of the
14 indicated area, and the skyline at the top.
15 Q. Sir, could I suggest to you that this is a photograph taken from
16 Trebevic looking north and in it is Grdonj, Spicasta Stijena, and Sedrenik
17 and Mrkovici. In particular, do you agree that what you see in this
18 photograph is consistent with it being -- having been taken from
19 Trebevic? In other words, from the south of the city looking north.
20 A. I didn't look from the other side, but it was probably
21 photographed like that.
22 Q. Do you see to the left of the photograph in the centre area a
23 large uncovered hill? Could you please point to it with your pointer. A
24 bare hill?
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. No, further to the left.
2 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates the hill and I think on top of it
3 is a tower.
4 Q. Would you please point to the tower. It appears to be a metal
5 tower, perhaps steel.
6 A. [Indicates]
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. A pole.
9 Q. Was that pole there during the war?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Now, do you see immediately behind the pole and slightly to the
12 right on the treeline you can just make out a white area, perhaps a
13 building. Could you please point to it.
14 A. [Indicates]
15 MR. IERACE: Witness does so.
16 Q. I suggest to you that is Mala Kula.
17 A. It is possible.
18 Q. The -- if that's Mala Kula, the bare hill is Grdonj, correct?
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. No, not the ridge to the right, but the bare hill that you
21 indicated earlier.
22 MR. IERACE: The witness now does so again.
23 Q. If the building indicated is Mala Kula, than that Bare hill that
24 you just indicated would be Grdonj; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was Grdonj in that same state of bareness during the war?
2 A. Yes, it was.
3 Q. Now, if that's Grdonj, do you agree with me that Spicasta Stijena
4 is the ridge to the right. Please indicate the ridge to the right.
5 A. [Indicates]
6 MR. IERACE: Witness does so.
7 Q. Do you agree that is Spicasta Stijena?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. Now that you have your bearings, could you show us
10 again the area of Mrkovici, if you can identify it.
11 A. [Indicates]
12 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates a large area of the photograph now
13 below the whitish mountain on the skyline between it and the top of Grdonj
14 in the centre left.
15 Q. Now, Mrkovici, is it not so much a village as a large area with
16 sparse houses?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. So from Trebevic during the war one would have had a
19 clear view of the southern flank of Grdonj; do you agree?
20 A. Well, it's difficult. You can see how the photograph has been
21 taken. I wasn't able to find my bearings between Spicasta Stijena, the
22 sharpstone feature. The distance is quite significant so it is difficult
23 to determine then. Especially since the visual aspect has been
24 considerably changed.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, could you please ask the witness again
1 to point with the pointer Mala Kula.
2 MR. IERACE: Yes.
3 Q. Sir, would you please once again point to the building Mala Kula.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates the area of the tower on Grdonj.
6 Q. Now, do you see to the right there are what appear to be at least
7 two other constructions in amongst the trees, white-coloured. Please
8 point to them.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were they there during the war.
11 A. Yes. There are two private houses there.
12 Q. And were they used by the forces of the SRK during the war?
13 A. They used it for soldiers who were on leave.
14 Q. So in 1993, are you telling us that that was a place for soldiers
15 to go on leave, those buildings?
16 A. Yes, for soldiers who would rest there for two or three hours.
17 Q. I see. Were there -- were those buildings ever used by soldiers
18 not for rest, but for shooting from?
19 A. No. Households were present in these buildings. There were two
20 families living in these buildings.
21 Q. Civilians?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Do you know why they weren't evacuated being so close to the
25 A. Their family was in the depth of the village, up there. So when
1 there was fighting, they would go and stay with relatives.
2 Q. If I understood your evidence yesterday, you tell us there was
3 fighting on a daily basis at this part of the frontline?
4 A. Yes. Fighting or rather provocations. There was shooting on a
5 daily basis.
6 Q. Sir, those houses could be seen from Sedrenik, couldn't they?
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness has answered that
10 question, but we have an objection.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The angle of vision.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. IERACE: I will come to that, Mr. President. That is not a
15 reason to object to the question, in my respectful submission.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, it is a rather comment to the answer. Please
18 MR. IERACE:
19 Q. Now, apart from Mala Kula -- I withdraw that.
20 Is it two buildings or more than two buildings that we can see
21 white-coloured in amongst the trees that were there during the war?
22 A. These two houses can be seen and there were other auxiliary or
23 ancillary facilities, smaller buildings, two smaller buildings.
24 Q. I think you said there were two families. Were there two houses
25 and then out buildings?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were there children amongst the families, the family members?
3 A. There were children and the children were evacuated.
4 Q. How many civilians were there, say in 1993, of the two families?
5 Are we talking four adults or more?
6 A. Five persons.
7 Q. And each one of them a civilian, not fighting; is that correct?
8 A. No, two owners of these houses were members of the Army of
9 Republika Srpska.
10 Q. Were they members of your company?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were there any other buildings in the area of Grdonj and Spicasta
13 Stijena, apart from Mala Kula and that collection of two houses and out
15 A. There was one holiday cottage.
16 Q. Can we see that in the photograph?
17 A. No. It is located between Mala Kula and these two houses, about
19 Q. Was it -- please point to it again.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 MR. IERACE: Witness indicates a point approximately halfway
22 between the white buildings and the position earlier indicated as Mala
24 Q. Was that holiday cottage used by the SRK during the war?
25 A. Yes, for rest.
1 Q. Did anyone live in it?
2 A. No. The owner wasn't there.
3 Q. Now, in this photograph can you see the actual trenches of the
4 SRK as they were, let's say in 1993 at Spicasta Stijena?
5 A. I can't see it. I could locate it only.
6 Q. Now, in terms of locating it, would you place the pointer again
7 on Spicasta Stijena.
8 A. [Indicates]
9 Q. And we see an exposed ridge or escarpment. Were the trenches
10 immediately behind the top of the ridge?
11 A. The trenches were some 3 or 4 metres behind the top of the ridge,
12 while the observation point was on the ridge itself.
13 Q. Would you please point to the position of the observation post.
14 A. [Indicates]
15 Q. Would you take a blue marker and place a cross indicating as
16 precisely as you can the position of the observation post. And whilst
17 you're waiting to be handed the blue pen, can you tell us, before you
18 place the mark, did that post stay in the same position between September
19 1992 and August 1994?
20 A. I am not sure. During fighting, the observation post would be
21 destroyed. So it was changed. So I think that it was in 1997 that it
22 was moved slightly to the left.
23 Q. It may be a communication problem. Could you repeat the year in
24 which the position was changed.
25 A. Well, when the sharpstone feature fell in 1993, the disposition
1 was changed, so the trenches were moved. They were dug again because the
2 old ones were destroyed.
3 Q. Are you saying that the trenches on Spicasta Stijena were overrun
4 by ABiH forces in 1993?
5 A. Not overrun, but they were blown up.
6 Q. All right. How far was the observation post moved? Was it moved
7 a metre? 10 metres? 20 metres? 50 metres?
8 A. Five to 10 metres, left to right.
9 Q. Would you please now place a cross indicating the position of the
10 observation post as it was in April 1993, mid-April 1993.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Now, is that the same position or a different position to where
13 it was in July 1993?
14 A. There is just a small difference here. So it was possible it was
15 moved over there. So there were two trenches that covered the observation
17 Q. Now, would you please point to where you have placed the cross.
18 Don't mark the photograph again, just point to it.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. That's where you have placed the cross; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you indicate earlier a position slightly to the right of
23 the cross when I asked you where it was in July 1993?
24 A. Yes. There are two locations where they were.
25 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, might I have access to the photograph?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please give the photograph to
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 [Prosecution counsel confer]
5 MR. IERACE:
6 Q. Sir, so far you have placed one cross on the photograph; is that
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And did you place the cross where you remembered the observation
10 post was in mid-April 1993?
11 A. Well, you know what the problem is, the problem was taken from
12 a far away and it is, for me, opposite from the positions when I was
13 coming to the trench. So this is the opposite side. This is the picture
14 or the view that the slopes of Mount Trebevic had towards us, not even
15 Sedrenik had such a view. Because this was taken from the same altitude
16 as that of Mrkovici.
17 Q. All right. Sir, are you saying that you have having difficulty
18 in recognising the appropriate part of the ridge because of the view in
19 the photograph?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, please point to where you placed the cross, where the cross
22 appears in the photograph.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Thank you. And is that on the ridgeline immediately in front of
25 some buildings, one of which has what appears to be a reddish roof; is
1 that correct? Is that the way it appears in the photograph?
2 A. No, that's not a building. That was after the war that was built.
3 During the war, there was nothing there.
4 Q. Now, would you place a large circle -- I withdraw that.
5 Are you now saying that the position indicated by the cross may
6 well be incorrect?
7 A. I am not sure. Because I was coming from the opposite direction.
8 Q. Now, will you take the pointer, put down the pen and take the
9 pointer and indicate the frontline trenches of the ABiH, and please do
10 so slowly so we can follow it. In other words, the closest trenches to
11 the SRK trenches in the area of Spicasta Stijena.
12 A. From Mala Kula towards the sharpstone feature, at about 50 metres
13 was one trench.
14 Q. Well, just stop there for a moment. You say from Mala Kula.
15 Yesterday you told us that you were in Mala Kula; isn't that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So how far were the ABiH trenches from Mala Kula?
18 A. No. What I understood that you were asking me to show the line
19 of the trenches of the Army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. I am sorry. Would you please show us the trenches of the enemy,
21 the ABiH, that is the trenches closest to your positions.
22 A. These trenches from here cannot be seen. You can only see the
23 third line of the trenches. These are just sides of the houses. But
24 these trenches we only knew that they were under the rock, under the
25 sharpstone feature. But you couldn't see any of the trenches. There
1 were so many rocks and they controlled it. And there was an elevation
2 here, there was -- you couldn't see that Mala Kula -- you could not see
3 this part here. This photograph was taken from a hill, and on it you
4 cannot show the exact situation.
5 Q. In the area of Spicasta Stijena are you able to show us where the
6 trenches were? Not Grdonj, Spicasta Stijena.
7 A. Which or whose trenches do you mean?
8 Q. ABiH.
9 A. The first trenches were just at the foot of the sharpstone
11 Q. Could you actually see those trenches during the war?
12 A. No.
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I object.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Answer of the witness, no.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness has already
16 answered this question earlier.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I think the testimony gave answers to this last
18 question before. Mr. Ierace, please proceed.
19 MR. IERACE:
20 Q. Could you see any of the trenches in the vicinity of Spicasta
21 Stijena, that is, ABiH trenches?
22 A. No.
23 Q. So you don't know where the trenches were, do you?
24 A. We couldn't see them. We could only know by the shooting. There
25 are some hundred metres away from us, so we would know by the sound of
1 the bullets fired, that that was there in the vicinity.
2 Q. Now, the main reason -- I withdraw that.
3 You told us that 10 of your company troops were stationed along
4 the whole length of the frontline. How many were in the ridge that we
5 can see in this photograph defending that ridge? One? Two?
6 A. I didn't say 10 along the entire line, our line, but I said 10
7 on the Spicasta Stijena.
8 Q. I am sorry. I stand corrected. You are quite right.
9 Was the reason -- one of the reasons that 10 were able to defend
10 that position, only 10, the topography? In other words, you were at the
11 top of the escarpment and they were at the bottom.
12 A. The lack of soldiers and that was the advantage.
13 Q. Now, you've told us about the civilians who lived immediately
14 behind your trenches, a matter of what, 50 metres behind your trenches
15 there were families living; is that correct?
16 A. No, not 50. There were some 200 to 300 metres, these houses,
17 that's how far they were.
18 Q. So those white houses that we can see in the photograph you tell
19 us are 300 metres from the ridge that we see; is that what you say?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. What about civilians on the other side living close to the ABiH
22 line, what did you know about them, at the bottom of the escarpment?
23 A. I don't know anything. I left Sarajevo there so I didn't know
24 the people because I was not local. That's where I spent the war. So I
25 really don't know much about it.
1 Q. Well, did you see the civilians moving about in Sedrenik?
2 A. Very rarely.
3 Q. Did you see children?
4 A. No.
5 Q. How can you be sure?
6 A. Well, I am sure of things I didn't see.
7 Q. Did you have binoculars?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Even in the observation post you did not have binoculars?
10 A. It wasn't used.
11 Q. Why not?
12 A. Well, it depended. I didn't use it. I thought I would be able
13 to see without binoculars.
14 Q. So you didn't need binoculars to see people in Sedrenik, did you?
15 A. In order not to see them.
16 Q. Sir, you've told us there were binoculars there, but you didn't
17 need them to see people; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. Because these houses were far away and you can see that
19 there is an empty space. Without the binoculars you would notice if they
20 were approaching and attacking and we had the advantage that they had to
21 go up the rocks in order to attack. So that was more of an observation
23 Q. My question was in relation to children. You told us that you
24 didn't see any children and I asked you how you could be so sure. So
25 when you saw people moving in Sedrenik, are you telling us that with your
1 unaided eyesight, you could distinguish between adults and children?
2 A. No. This part here was empty. In Sedrenik there were perhaps
3 only about 10 per cent of civilians. The rest was all emptied. And it
4 was used by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sedrenik was practically
5 empty. You wouldn't even see a silhouette of anyone.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. IERACE: Now for the benefit of the transcript the witness
8 indicates the band of housing which appears across the photograph in the
9 lower half in the central area.
10 Q. Were you ever told that there were no civilians living in that
11 part of Sedrenik that you just indicated?
12 A. Yes. And here, at the foot, there were several Serb houses and
13 they left in 1992, 1993. So we knew that for the most part that troops
14 were stationed there.
15 Q. When about in 1993 did those Serb residents leave?
16 A. I didn't understand the question.
17 Q. You told us they left in 1992 and 1993. Can you be more precise
18 as to when they left?
19 A. Well, they came also in 1994, and even in 1995. We had the
20 opportunity for someone to flee and to come.
21 Q. Are you talking about Bosnian Serb civilians who lived in that
22 part of Sedrenik that we see in the photograph?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So even in 1994 there were Bosnian Serb civilians leaving that
25 part of Sedrenik and crossing the line and speaking to you and your
1 troops; is that the case?
2 A. No. You misunderstood me. They didn't live there. They were
3 evacuated. They were in Trebevic or in Igman. They dug the trenches.
4 They lived mostly in the Viktor Bubanj Barracks, and when they had the
5 opportunity to escape, those who survived, that's what they told us.
6 Q. Let me come back to the point. Were you told by your superiors
7 that there were no people living in that part of Sedrenik?
8 A. No.
9 Q. So are you telling us that you concluded, you thought there were
10 no civilians living there from your observations?
11 A. No. I thought I was clear where we got the information. In an
12 earlier question I answered and explained that information that we
13 received, that was from the people that throughout the war were leaving
14 the city of Sarajevo.
15 Q. Whereabouts were the barracks where those Bosnian Serbs were
16 living, Viktor Bubanj?
17 A. Barracks was located in the area of the municipality of Novo
19 Q. Sir, you told us earlier that these Serbs, Bosnian Serbs were in
20 Trebevic, in Igman, in Viktor Bubanj Barracks. Did any Serbs who were
21 living in this area that you have indicated ever tell you that there were
22 no civilians living there?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In what year or years?
25 A. Well, such information was received until the end of 1993. They
1 were evacuated because their houses were used by the Bosnian Muslims from
2 Sedrenik in order to draw fire, to provoke fire. From all possible
3 buildings and facilities, fire was opened on Mrkovici.
4 Q. And did they tell you that personally or was that conveyed to you
5 by someone else?
6 A. That was not. They said that there were no civilians, that there
7 was firing, and we noticed that houses were being fired from, and the
8 fact itself that there was firing from houses, that spoke for itself.
9 That should have pointed at the fact that these houses were empty or
10 troops were stationed in those houses.
11 Q. My question was, did they tell you that personally or did you
12 learn that from someone else?
13 A. That was because of the talking among ourselves in the company,
14 in the unit. Because we didn't all individually in question whoever left
16 Q. So you were told by fellow members of your company, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. IERACE: Might the witness now be shown photographs P3758 and
20 THE REGISTRAR: Again, Mr. Ierace, does Defence already have a
21 copy of these photographs?
22 MR. IERACE: Yes, they copies of all of these.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
24 MR. IERACE:
25 Q. Would you please place these photographs side by side or look at
1 them side by side and you will notice that essentially they join up, they
2 overlap to an extent.
3 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. We
4 have several photographs, but we don't know what the numbers are. They
5 haven't been marked so we don't know which photograph the witness is
6 looking at and we can't follow.
7 MR. IERACE: If I can assist the Defence, I hold up the two
8 photographs. They show trees in the foreground, pine trees. In the
9 centre, residential built-up area and in the background, mountains. Could
10 the photographs please be placed on the ELMO so that we can see as much
11 as possible. And could they be overlapped appropriately. If they could
12 be placed side by side, rather than one above the other. And the
13 photograph on the right of the witness could overlap the photograph on
14 the left. If you look at the roofs in the foreground -- thank you very
16 Q. Now, do you recognise the view shown by these photographs to be
17 what one could see from the ridge of Spicasta Stijena in the vicinity of
18 the SRK trenches?
19 A. I didn't have such a view. I never did. Perhaps it is a
20 photograph taken from Spicasta Stijena, but throughout the entire war I
21 didn't have this in my field of vision. If I had had this in my vision,
22 it would have meant that I was exposed to fire. I would have had to
23 stand on the ridge, on the rock, in order to have this view.
24 Q. What part of this view, if any, did you have from the observation
1 A. It is difficult to say now. This is a photograph that I am not
2 familiar with. I don't know when it was taken. I can make out a little,
3 but I am not sure that I could comment on this photograph.
4 Q. All right. First of all, assume please that the photograph was
5 taken after the war, at some stage in the last few years. I will ask you
6 the question again: What could you see, if anything, of this view from
7 the observation post?
8 A. Seven years have passed since then so it is difficult to remember
9 the trenches and the roofs of houses. It is very difficult now. As you
10 can see, it is all built-up so that --
11 Q. The point of the observation post was to afford a safe view of
12 what lay below and beyond the escarpment; isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes. But do you think that the observation post could have seen
14 this much?
15 Q. It was the point of the observation post was surely to allow you
16 to safely view enemy positions and enemy activity; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Therefore, what you needed in an observation post was the ability
19 to see as much of this view as appears in the two photographs as possible,
21 A. Well, no. You couldn't see this part at all, not from the
22 observation post. You couldn't see this part of Sarajevo because we were
23 2 and a half metres lower down in relation to the person who took this
24 photograph. So we were in the rock.
25 MR. IERACE: The witness indicates during the last answer the
1 central area of the second photograph.
2 Q. The opening that you had was sufficient to use binoculars, if you
3 wished to use them, I take it, from the observation post?
4 A. Generally it was large enough for someone to be shot, to be hit.
5 Q. And large enough to place a rifle and a rifle scope through, I
6 presume, is that correct?
7 A. I don't know whether the dimension was appropriate, whether the
8 dimension of the loophole of the embrasure was appropriate.
9 Q. You told us the dimensions earlier. What were they?
10 A. 40 by 20.
11 Q. I take it you are referring to centimetres?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Why do you have any difficulty in telling us whether a rifle with
14 a scope could fit through such a cavity?
15 A. We didn't have an optical sight in the unit. That's why it is
16 difficult. So I don't know how much space it takes up on a rifle.
17 Q. Sir, do you seriously tell us, you being a soldier for three
18 years during the war, that you don't know whether a rifle with a
19 telescopic sight could fit through an opening 40 centimetres by 20
20 centimetres? Do you seriously tell us that?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Now, why was it not possible -- I withdraw that.
23 I take it the opening was 40 centimetres long and 20 centimetres
24 high; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Why was it not possible from that post to have this view?
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, I apologise. I withdraw
5 that. I apologise.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
7 MR. IERACE:
8 Q. Please answer the question.
9 A. Well, if you can remember in the course of my testimony yesterday
10 I told you how the observation post had been set up. I said there was
11 something in front of it to protect us from bullets so we weren't able to
12 look in the direction in front of us, but only in front of Spicasta
14 Q. I want to understand how you and your fellow soldiers fired your
15 weapons from this escarpment. You've told us about the trenches which
16 were just behind the ridge. You told us about the observation post with
17 the 20 by 40 centimetre opening. Where did you and your fellow troops
18 fire your automatic rifles, your semi-automatic rifles and your
20 A. Yesterday I told you that there were trenches, trenches that
21 connected the other trenches and then observation post. So when an
22 observer noticed that the enemy was approaching he would report this to
23 us, and then we would go into the trenches which were in the immediate
24 vicinity in front of our trenches.
25 Q. No. I suggest to you that you are not answering the question.
1 Did you and your fellow soldiers then rise up from the trenches, crawl up
2 on to the ridge and then fire your rifles over the top of the ridge; is
3 that what happened?
4 A. No. Are you familiar with the word "trench"? It is one metre
5 deep and 60 centimetres wide. And it protects soldiers.
6 Q. I've seen the trenches, I've seen the ridge. Would you please
7 explain to me from what position you and your fellow soldiers obtained a
8 direct line of sight in order to fire your rifles down at troops in
9 Sedrenik? Was it from the ridge itself above the trenches?
10 A. Yes. But the length was between 50 and 60 metres. The length of
11 that trench, of that interconnecting trench, so the position would
13 Q. So to make sure that I clearly understand, you and your troops
14 would move along the trench beneath the ridge, one or two metres beneath
15 the ridge you would then crawl up from the top of the trench to the top
16 of the ridge and fire your weapons; is that correct?
17 A. No, the trenches were connected. It wasn't necessary to crawl.
18 They were connected with these interconnecting trenches. So it was --
19 you were protected up to the waist because we were dug in behind.
20 Q. Putting it very simply, you and your fellow soldiers would fire
21 from the top of the ridge, wouldn't you?
22 A. From the interconnecting trenches which were -- wasn't on the top
23 of the ridge, and it was in relation to the observation post 1 metre
24 behind the rock.
25 Q. When you --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, when you fired your weapons, could you
2 look down from Spicasta Stijena?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Down in what direction? You
4 could -- when we would fire, it was possible to fire at an area that I can
5 point to in the photograph now.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that is below Spicasta Stijena.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please indicate more precisely on
9 the photographs what you saw when you fired your weapons?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This photograph isn't familiar to
11 me. Maybe it is because seven years have passed since then. But I can't
12 find my bearings in relation to these houses.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the area, if you just forget about the
14 houses. I take it that's at least what Mr. Ierace tells us, that this
15 picture was taken from Spicasta Stijena. Could you confirm that this is
16 what you would see if you had a view from Spicasta Stijena? I am not
17 talking about the war, but in general.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible to see this now in
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so this view is from Spicasta Stijena. Now,
21 tell us approximately what you saw during the war, not whether there were
22 any new houses, but what area could you approximately see?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You would only look at the combat
24 area. At the time there was a lot of fear, so I am really not in a
25 position to tell you what I saw, what I could see at the time.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, you told us before that, for example,
2 there was a 100 by 50 metres barracks down near Bakija. You pointed to it
3 on the map. Could you tell us where we would find this on this
4 photograph, approximately?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You told us yesterday that you fired --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever see from a distance from above a
9 cemetery, if you looked down? I am not asking now to look at the
10 photograph, but first to see -- do you remember that if you -- yes,
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The cemetery could be seen. It was
13 possible to see it well, part of the cemetery.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you indicate the cemetery on the picture.
15 The cemetery you could see.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it is this part here.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could you indicate where Bakija is,
18 approximately, on this photograph? Madam Usher, could you please connect
19 them again so that the small part of the white roof is -- yes, that's more
20 or less the connection. Could you tell us approximately where Bakija is?
21 Point at it with the pointer.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It should be this part here. That
23 should be Bakija, but I really am not sure. I am only familiar with
24 Bakija on the basis of a map. I have only been through this part of town
25 on one occasion so I don't really know what territory Bakija covers, apart
1 from the cemetery.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You've told us that there were barracks approximately
3 in Bakija where you told us that there was military presence there. Yes?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In the immediate vicinity of
5 the cemetery.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You have seen that from your positions?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the feature.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So I take it that at least part of what you
9 see in these photographs, you could see from your positions. Could you
10 perhaps more precisely indicate what parts you could see from your
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This part here. And I think this
13 feature here too, but I don't know whether it is identical, whether the
14 barracks is in that area.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The witness points at P3758 an area almost in the
16 centre, a little bit less from the centre which appears to be a cemetery.
17 Up until what place your view would reach to the left and to the
18 right to begin with? You've pointed at the cemetery. Could you tell us,
19 could you see the houses at the left of the cemetery?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Up to here, roughly speaking.
21 JUDGE ORIE: What was obstructing your view?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a forest there.
23 JUDGE ORIE: A forest. And on the right-hand side, how far would
24 you be able -- so from the cemetery -- would you please not move -- yes,
25 please. Yes, please, tell us to the right-hand side of the cemetery
1 until where your view went.
2 MR. IERACE: [Microphone not activated]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could you please point at it again. We
4 couldn't properly see it.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates]
6 JUDGE ORIE: And yes, and from there to the cemetery or just that
7 part you just indicated or up until there?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are probably things here that
9 couldn't be seen. I can't remember exactly how far you could see into
10 the depth, but field of vision would come to an end somewhere about here.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could you point at that again, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness now points at an area from the
14 cemetery indicated before up to two-thirds taken from the left of
15 photograph P3760, where some whitish roofs appear close to trees on the
16 hill at the right-hand side. Please proceed, Mr. Ierace.
17 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. If you crouch down in the observation post, then you could see
19 higher than that line, couldn't you? You could see the city?
20 A. If we were standing, we would see even more.
21 Q. And if you were lying on top of the ridge, you could see more as
22 well, couldn't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, as you look at the photograph on the right, do you see some
25 high-rise buildings in the city? Perhaps you could point to them.
1 A. [Indicates]
2 Q. Thank you. Please hold your pointer there. Don't move it. Now,
3 immediately in front of those buildings is where Markale market is
4 positioned, do you agree?
5 A. No, I wouldn't say that it's there. This should be the building
6 of the Executive Council of BH.
7 MR. IERACE: I ask the witness be shown photograph P3762.
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] -- we are running out of
11 time. We think that the Prosecution has taken a certain amount of time
12 for its cross-examination and we have certain questions that we have to
13 ask again.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. IERACE: I will finish in five minutes, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You will finish in five minutes. Then finally you
17 have not taken more time than the Defence did. Please proceed.
18 MR. IERACE:
19 Q. These are the same two high-rises. Please point to them.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. Please lower your pointer and keep it on the photograph. Bring
22 it lower.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Bring your pointer lower, please.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Lower again. Lower. Lower. Lower. Lower. And move it to the
2 right. Slightly.
3 A. [Indicates]
4 Q. Thank you. Do you see at that point of the photograph a greyish
5 building with a number of storeys immediately above the pointer?
6 A. [Indicates]
7 Q. Yes. That building is the -- one of the perimeter buildings of
8 Markale market, isn't it?
9 A. I don't know. This is the first time that I've looked at it from
11 Q. Do you see to the left there appears to be a dome, to the left of
12 that building? To the left.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. No, not so far left. Slightly to the left. Thank you. Do you
15 recognise that building?
16 A. That should be the Bascarsija and the mosque.
17 Q. And further to the left and a little higher --
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. Yes. What is that building? No, back to the right. You can
20 see some towers. Yes. Do you recognise that building?
21 A. Serbian Orthodox church or the cathedral.
22 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, for the benefit of the transcript,
23 the brown building the witness's attention was drawn to is beneath in
24 terms of line of sight, the right of the pair of high-rise buildings.
25 Might the witness now be shown Exhibit P3763. And to save time, I will
1 shortly be showing the witness P3757.
2 Q. Sir, the photograph in front of you shows the view from the
3 terrace, as you called it, of the Austrian fortress, doesn't it, where
4 you were stationed, looking south-west?
5 A. [Indicates]
6 Q. In the foreground you can see a little bit of the roof if you
7 point to the bottom right-hand corner.
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 MR. IERACE: Might the witness now be shown P3757.
10 Q. I suggest to you this is a view of Spicasta Stijena taken from
11 Sedrenik looking up, do you agree?
12 A. Probably. I never looked from below towards Spicasta Stijena.
13 Q. Now, if we can zoom in on the skyline slightly to the left of
14 centre on the ELMO. If we could centre the skyline further down the
15 image. Zoom in further. Further. Further. Further. All right. Stop
16 there, please.
17 Now, to the left of centre on the skyline do you see a roof?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the --
19 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could the
20 Prosecution be more precise because I don't have my glasses today. I
21 apologise, but I can hardly see a roof there.
22 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I would be grateful if the witness's
23 answer could be translated.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. IERACE: I am told they couldn't hear it. Perhaps the witness
1 could repeat the answer.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could you repeat your answer, Mr. Nikolic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which roof did you mean, this one?
4 Up there? I don't know about any roofs. I can't see it.
5 MR. IERACE: Given the time constraints I won't take this further.
6 Might the photograph be removed.
7 Q. Sir, I now have some final questions for you. You tell us that
8 you were positioned on that ridge and in that building with 14 fellow
9 soldiers of your company and your company alone from September 1992 to
10 August 1994, at least; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. And until the Dayton Agreement with occasional --
12 Q. I suggest to you that you, that is either you or your fellow
13 soldiers or all of you --
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Transcript. Part of what the
15 witness said doesn't show in the transcript when Mr. Ierace suddenly
16 interrupted him.
17 MR. IERACE: That is not a transcript issue, Mr. President. I
18 interrupted because the witness moved off the topic.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. IERACE:
21 Q. Sir, I suggest to you, I am putting to you that either you or
22 some of your fellow soldiers --
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Transcript interpretation,
24 Mr. President, because it was translated into French. We'll have two
25 different interpretations. In the French we have what was said in
1 Serbian. It doesn't appear in English.
2 MR. IERACE: Mr. President --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could the French booth tell me what was translated
4 into French which seems not to appear in the English transcript?
5 This --
6 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] It was, Mr. President, after
7 the place when we are talking about the Dayton Agreement, just after that.
8 MR. IERACE: We dealt with, Mr. President, and Mr. Piletta-Zanin
9 knows that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ierace, please proceed. It's -- I think
11 it's not an issue we should deal with at this very moment.
12 MR. IERACE:
13 Q. Sir, I am suggesting to you that soldiers in your company,
14 perhaps including you, deliberately fired at civilians, including
15 children. What do you say to that?
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I object, Mr. President. I
17 object. This -- if this question was asked, then at least such a witness
18 should be read the minimum of rights just like it was done with the
19 Prosecution witnesses.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You can answer this question. If you would be
21 hesitant to answer this question because it might, if you would affirm
22 that, that you might be afraid that you would disclose information that
23 might make you a suspect as well. Then just have the Rules.
24 If you would be hesitant because if you would give an answer that
25 your answer might tend to incriminate yourself, you can tell us. We will
1 then decide whether you have to answer the question and what could be the
2 consequences or could not be the consequences. So if you have any
3 objection to answer that question in view of your fear to incriminate
4 yourself, please tell us so that we will explain you exactly what your
5 position is. Please proceed -- please answer the question or tell us
6 what keeps you from answering that question.
7 The question was, that the Prosecution was suggesting that you
8 deliberately fired at civilians, including children. That was the
9 question. So either you answer that question or you explain to us why
10 you objected to answer that question
11 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, perhaps it would be appropriate to
12 read the specific wording of the question.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The question was literally it was Mr. Ierace who put
14 the question to you who was suggesting that "soldiers in your company,
15 perhaps including you, deliberately fired at civilians, including
16 children. What do you say to that?" That was the question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said before, this is the
18 provocation that is addressed to me, not the question. Considering that
19 this is a provocation, then I --
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Nikolic. It is a question. Whether you
21 think of it is a provocative question is different, but I would like you
22 to answer that question or to tell us if you have difficulties in
23 answering, why.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The answer is, no. No, we never
25 fired at civilians.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. IERACE:
3 Q. I further suggest to you that your company received orders from
4 your superiors the effect of which was to deliberately or
5 indiscriminately shoot at civilians. What do you say to that?
6 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I object.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Same reason, Mr. Piletta-Zanin or a different
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No. No, no. Because the
10 witness clearly answered. This is an objection with respect to the lack
11 of precision in the question, considering there were many different
13 JUDGE ORIE: The question is that the Prosecution suggests that
14 your company received orders from your superiors to the effect -- the
15 effect of which was to deliberately or indiscriminately shoot at
16 civilians. So it is now about the orders you received. Would you please
17 answer that question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a soldier, I received orders
19 from the company commander. What kind of orders the company commander
20 received I don't know. But myself as a soldier and other soldiers, we
21 never received such an order from the company commander.
22 MR. IERACE: Nothing further, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. I am looking at the clock at the
24 same time, we have to keep in mind a few things. First, that we would
25 like to stop early, but if impossible -- I know that this witness has
1 specific reasons why he has to return tomorrow, otherwise we might even
2 consider to stop and continue tomorrow. But that is not possible in
3 respect of this witness as far as I was informed.
4 Mr. Piletta-Zanin -- and the other thing we have to keep in
5 mind --
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: I was informed that there are some specific reasons
8 and perhaps good reasons for you to return to your home country. Is the
9 information correct that you have a specific reason why? You don't have
10 to explain it, but it's not that you just want to go home but that there
11 are very good reasons to go home.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We also have to keep in mind that sooner or later
14 the technicians will inform us that the tape will be at an end.
15 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, if you have got questions, please, if they are related
16 to cross-examination, please proceed.
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have
18 questions. I can ask them very quickly, if there are no interruptions in
19 particular. I can start very quickly.
20 Re-examined by Mr. Piletta-Zanin:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you spoke about the tank in Sarajevo
22 that you saw. Could you just answer with a yes or no, then we will again
23 save time. Did you see it in action?
24 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, you may recall that the witness was
25 asked what Sarajevo Romanija Corps tanks he saw. He mentioned that tank.
1 It was clear it wasn't a Sarajevo Romanija Corps tank so we moved on. So
2 it was given in a non-responsive answer and doesn't properly arise out of
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, the objection is that it was not
5 an issue --
6 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, what I am
7 asking is if that tank was in action, if it was firing. And I don't
8 see --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace's objection is that he did not
10 specifically ask for an answer including this tank, that it just came up.
11 But let's just not lose time. You may put this question to the witness
12 and I will ask the witness to answer.
13 Did you see that tank you spoke about, in action?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 Q. Witness, you spoke to us about the colour of police uniforms, the
17 army. Did it also have uniforms that were blue?
18 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, that is incorrect. My learned
19 colleague knows that. No questions were asked about the colour of police
20 uniforms. That was asked in chief.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, is my recollection correct that
22 you asked about the --
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Indeed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then it is not an issue that came up in
25 cross-examination. Please proceed.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Indeed. Indeed.
2 Q. You were asked in cross-examination about how the soldiers who
3 were attacking were dressed, what kind of uniforms they were wearing, and
4 you said that this was camouflage, that it was hard to see, but what could
5 have been the colours or colour used during these attacks, as far as
6 uniforms are concerned?
7 A. Whose uniforms do you mean?
8 Q. Of the opposing side, whatever the units that were attacking
10 A. Mostly these were camouflaged uniforms that were worn.
11 Q. Very well. But what colours?
12 A. Well, dominating colours would be yellow, green and brown.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, you spoke --
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] And in the meantime, could we
15 please have the photographs that we received under number -- we don't
16 have the numbers. So I don't know how we are going to find them. But I
17 think this is 3758, and the second photograph would be 3757. So these
18 two photographs, please.
19 Q. Witness, you spoke --
20 THE REGISTRAR: May I please see the photographs so I am sure of
21 which ones they are?
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I apologise. These -- very
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is it the two -- are these the two photographs that
25 stick together, that's 3758, 3760.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Q. You spoke to us about houses, Witness, and houses that were part
3 of the third -- you spoke to us about houses that were part of the
4 defence line. Could you tell us on this photograph if you can, could you
5 indicate where these defence lines were that also consisted of houses?
6 A. It is hard to show, it is hard to indicate now. But I think that
7 every house was a shelter.
8 Q. Very well. Witness, could you show the area, the area where
9 these houses were located, from where fire was opened?
10 A. Throughout this area of Sedrenik, practically. This part here.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] For the record, the witness
13 is indicating all of the houses that are located in the lower third of
14 the two photographs that were shown to him.
15 Q. Witness, speaking of the photograph that we have here, that is
16 more to the left of the screen, do you see houses in the foreground of
17 the photograph?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. These houses, what can you tell us about them? Did
20 they exist at the time? Are they new?
21 A. It is hard to say. This was not so visible from the sharpstone
22 feature or from Mala Kula. There was not such a view from these places.
23 Q. Thank you, Witness. When the fire was opened from these houses,
24 were there locations that were more specific from which fire was opened
25 more frequently or were there all kinds of different houses used to open
1 fire from?
2 A. Well, more frequently there was fire opened from some certain
3 specific houses, which I couldn't point to now, but they were made of
4 some harder material, some stronger material.
5 Q. Thank you. Witness, were there, as far as you know, and
6 considering that we are speaking about what you see regarding the
7 cross-examination, were there screens in Sedrenik, what we called screens?
8 MR. IERACE: I object, Mr. President. It doesn't arise out of
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I withdraw the question,
11 Mr. President.
12 Q. Witness, can you have a look very carefully at this photograph,
13 on the two photographs. Could you please look into the distance if you
14 see some minarets?
15 A. Yes, yes, I can.
16 Q. With the pointer, could you indicate so that we can see them
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. Very well.
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The witness showed about a
21 dozen minarets on the photograph.
22 Q. Now, Witness, in respect of these targets, did you ever receive
23 orders to destroy cultural facilities or religious facilities?
24 MR. IERACE: This question is blatantly disrespectful of your
25 ruling, Mr. President, that re-examination be confined to
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I may
5 respond, please? Thank you very much.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We have no time left. We have to have a break
8 anyhow for one or two minutes for technical reasons.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Since the Chamber really wants to -- since we really
11 would like to stop as early as possible, the Chamber prefer, and this is
12 quite extraordinary to stay in the courtroom and wait until the new tape
13 is there. And of course, when the tape is not running, not discuss any
14 issue in relation to the examination of this witness.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: We can resume. The next tape is running.
17 Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you. Very quickly,
19 Mr. President, the Prosecution --
20 MR. IERACE: Yes --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think we -- no, no. We stopped at a moment
22 where Mr. Ierace objected against your question. Let me give you the
23 following guidance. No question whatsoever was asked about minarets.
24 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, it is not that everything that we could eventually
25 find on the photograph is a subject for questioning in re-examination,
1 only those aspects that were specifically dealt with while the witness
2 being questioned by Mr. Ierace.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, no. These --
5 this photograph was tendered and as it happened the witness was accused
6 of being guilty of war crimes by shooting at children, and that he
7 received orders from his superiors and no doubt from General Galic.
8 Now -- on this photograph where there are minarets we can see all very
9 well then and no questions and I make an observation that I cannot ask
10 this question --
11 JUDGE ORIE: First of all you asked that question. If that would
12 be your last question, the Chamber could consider to allow it. But let
13 it be quite clear that there was no question about that in
14 cross-examination. So to that extent, it is as I told you not
15 everything that appears in the photographs is a subject -- I think my
16 ruling was quite clear. Would you have more questions then we would see
17 how much time we have and then you could perhaps reserve this question to
18 be the last one.
19 Any other questions?
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I only had one regarding the
21 minarets, but if this question is not possible, then I will not ask it.
22 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think I was quite clear I asked you whether
23 you had any other questions. Now I do understand that you had no other
25 The question was whether you ever received orders to fire at the
1 minarets, those you indicated, or perhaps other minarets?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The question has been answered. Just I have perhaps
4 one question. Could the witness be shown again the map where he
5 indicated the direction of fire.
6 THE REGISTRAR: D1794.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I hope that is a good one. May I just see it. Yes.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you marked this map. You have drawn some
11 lines from the positions your forces held down to Sedrenik and Bakija.
12 Is my understanding correct that from the starting point that that would
13 cover the area where the other lines end, that is, that you would also
14 directly fire, for example, from near the red circle up to where the
15 words "Bakija" appears? It is a bit confusing since the line is one line
16 and then splitting up in more lines. But I take it that you intended to
17 say that the area indicated below was directly targeted from near to the
18 red circle. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That then gives sufficient clarification.
21 Mr. Nikolic, this ends your testimony in this court. I thank you very
22 much that you've come the far way to The Hague, that you've answered
23 questions of both parties and only one question and not a few more from
24 the Bench. So I thank you. I hope that you have a safe trip home again
25 and I hope that --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you. And I also
2 wish to wish everyone a happy New Year.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Mr. Nikolic, you are excused. Madam
4 Usher, could you please escort the witness out of the courtroom. Since
5 we intended to stop a bit earlier, we will deal with the documents
6 tomorrow. We will adjourn until tomorrow quarter past 2.00 in the same
7 courtroom. You are on your feet, Mr. Stamp, or you just wanted to leave
8 the courtroom as soon as possible.
9 MR. STAMP: A preemptive rise.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, a preemptive rise. We will adjourn until a
11 quarter past 2.00 tomorrow in the same courtroom.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 6.18 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
14 the 22nd day of November, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.