1 Thursday, 16 February 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
8 Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
10 Your Honour. Good morning to everyone.
11 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
15 A. Good morning, Mr. Karadzic.
16 Q. Very briefly, I'd like to go back over what we had agreed on with
17 regard to the interview, and then I would like to move on to the key
18 event. You said that from the 20th of May until the 19th of November,
19 1992, you were outside of Bratunac, and you can't talk about that, or
20 those events, because you have no direct information about such events;
21 is that correct?
22 A. What you have said is correct, yes.
23 Q. Thank you. You said that 56 to 58 soldiers from your brigade
24 were killed after Srebrenica had been declared to be a demilitarised
25 zone; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. About -- well, not about, but I had a list with the exact
2 number from the time that Srebrenica was declared a demilitarised zone
3 and up to the time of the fall of Srebrenica, between 56 and 58 soldiers
4 were killed, and I have already told you about the exact list of those
5 killed. I said that Mr. Ivanisevic has that precise list, in fact,
6 because he took charge of it.
7 Q. Thank you. In that institution for investigations -- or you
8 provided that institute for investigations a lot of information about
9 villages that had been torched and about the wartime events; isn't that
11 A. Concerning all the information I obtained while I was in
12 Bratunac, with the exception of the period that you have just mentioned,
13 I provided all the information I had which was in written form. I
14 provided all that information either to that institute or to a different
15 department. I don't know the exact name. They worked in Bijeljina.
16 There were three or four individuals who worked on the documentation of
17 war crimes. Amongst other things, they gathered information on villages
18 that had been torched, about buildings that had been destroyed and so on
19 and so forth. I provided them with such information. I think they
20 worked within the framework of the MUP, but I don't know the exact name.
21 Q. Thank you. You also told us that you never considered the
22 DutchBat to be your -- or, rather, our enemy, and you did not believe
23 that at one point in time they would join the Muslims in the course of
24 some conflict; is that correct?
25 A. I'm not quite sure that those were my exact words. I did say --
1 in fact, I assume -- or, rather, I don't assume. I know that we spoke
2 about the Dutch Battalion and my attitude to DutchBat. Naturally I
3 didn't consider them to be enemies, but I also said the following, I
4 would like to add this, I said the following: DutchBat members, in my
5 assessment -- well, I analysed them in the following manner: If there
6 were to be a conflict according to my intelligence and
7 counter-intelligence assessments, I had several options. The first one
8 was that DutchBat would remain neutral if there were a Muslim-Serb clash.
9 The second option was that DutchBat - and this is the worst case
10 scenario - the second option would be that DutchBat would join up with
11 the Muslim forces and would confront the Serbian forces. And the third
12 option which I always considered to be possible was that at one point in
13 time DutchBat might not accept to be engaged together with the Muslims
14 and given the strength and so on and so forth, the Muslims might quite
15 simply try to force them to act with the Muslims against the Serb side,
16 or they would try and seize their equipment and weapons and use that
17 against the Serbs.
18 So those were the options I had in my intelligence and
19 counter-intelligence assessments. These are the options that I assumed
20 to be possible, but I do apologise, Mr. Karadzic, it is true that I never
21 considered them to be enemies, and I didn't think they had such an
22 attitude towards us. That was never my opinion. I apologise for
23 interrupting you.
24 Q. Thank you. That's fine but were any one -- was anyone held as a
25 hostage for a few days? Given the options that you mentioned, were there
1 any indications that they could be threatened by the 28th Division. In
2 the Bandera Triangle, for instance. In the Bandera Triangle were there
3 any such indications?
4 A. I'm familiar with the incident that you have mentioned. DutchBat
5 officers confirmed this to me. I heard what happened in the Suceska
6 sector where Zulfo Tursunovic was the brigade commander. Officers
7 confirmed that Zulfo Tursunovic, together with his forces attacked them,
8 disarmed them, and held them as hostages for a certain period of time.
9 Q. Is it correct that at the beginning of the event in July 1995, on
10 the 10th or 11th, they shot at and killed a Dutch soldier at the
11 Echo Observation Post in the direction of Zeleni Jadar?
12 A. I obtained that information from DutchBat members. The soldier
13 who was killed was evacuated via the Yellow Bridge, so I do know about
14 the event.
15 Q. Thank you. Since we are discussing this, it is not from the
16 interview, but nevertheless is it correct that some of them moved over to
17 our side and you -- or, rather, our troops provide them with
18 accommodation in the Fontana Hotel in Bratunac -- or, rather, where did
19 you find accommodation for them?
20 A. Yes. About 30 soldiers and officers, together with APCs and
21 equipment, moved over to the Serbian side, and at the beginning, they
22 were in Hotel Fontana, and then they had accommodation in the Djuro Pucar
23 secondary school building, the new building that was open at the time.
24 Q. Thank you. You confirmed that you never said, you never
25 testified, that I knew about the events in July 1995; is that correct?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd ask Mr. Karadzic to think about that question
2 and perhaps rephrase it.
3 JUDGE KWON: It is not clear. Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will have a look to see how it
5 was interpreted.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Robinson asked whether he knew that I knew or did not know
8 about the events in July 1995, and Mr. Nikolic said that he had never
9 made such a claim.
10 What is your position about that?
11 A. When Mr. Robinson asked me the question, I know exactly what he
12 asked me given the way it was interpreted. He asked me whether I had any
13 information according to which Mr. Karadzic knew that the prisoners from
14 Bratunac would be killed that evening on the 13th -- or, rather, on the
15 evening between the 12th and 13th. I said that I did not know what
16 Mr. Karadzic knew about that, because I quite simply didn't have any link
17 with Mr. Karadzic. I said that I had never testified about what you knew
18 at that time, on that day, that evening.
19 All I said is that I testified that Miroslav Deronjic, in
20 relation to the fate of the prisoners, referred to instructions that he
21 had received from the president of the republic, from Mr. Karadzic,
22 instructions that he had received in relation to the fact that the
23 prisoners had to go from Bratunac, and Miroslav Deronjic said that he did
24 not want those prisoners to be killed in Bratunac. He said that he had
25 enough problems as it was and that they had to leave the territory of the
1 municipality of Bratunac. That is what I told Mr. Robinson.
2 So I want to be quite clear. I don't know what you knew on the
3 12th or the 13th because I never had any contact with you. I had no
4 information about the information that you had at your disposal. I only
5 referred to what Mr. Miroslav Deronjic himself said.
6 Q. Thank you. And on that occasion you mentioned the possibility, I
7 didn't even ask you about this, that perhaps my name had been taken
8 advantage of by him or others. Perhaps they would say that they had
9 spoken to Karadzic about some things and so on and so forth. Sometimes
10 people would invoke my name, but perhaps that wasn't the case. It was an
11 abuse, perhaps, of my name. Did he abuse my name, or did someone else do
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, just for the record, I am going to
14 put on the record that that question -- that Mr. Nikolic did not say that
15 in the interview, that the name had been taken in vain many times,
16 according to my notes and --
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Instead of referring that interview, why don't
18 you put the question directly to the witness now, Mr. Karadzic?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Was there the possibility that people might abuse my name and say
22 that they were close to me or that they had contact with me or that I
23 told them something?
24 A. I can't be very explicit in my answer and tell you whether
25 someone used your name for purposes of manipulation. I can't say
1 anything about that, but what I can confirm is that very frequently
2 Miroslav Deronjic, Ljubisa Simic, members of the civilian authorities,
3 and Miroslav Deronjic in particular, often invoked your name. As to
4 whether that was a case of abuse, as to whether you really said all these
5 things to him, suggested all these things to him, the things that he
6 referred to, well, I don't know. But he often invoked your name, said
7 something to the effect of you having made such and such an order, taken
8 such and such a decision, but whether that was a case of abuse or whether
9 that was the truth, whether he really had contact with you or not, I
10 really can't say because I wasn't that close to Miroslav Deronjic, and
11 I'd never met you. I'd never seen you personally.
12 Q. Thank you. In the interview you also said when we asked you how
13 it was that the people were killed, you said -- or you mentioned as the
14 main reason that there was a lot of hatred, pathological hatred, in fact
15 long-lasting hatred, and you said that that was the main reason; is that
16 correct? Not a justification, but it was an explanation of the way in
17 which these things occurred?
18 A. You mentioned some of the things that I said. I was a little
19 more precise. I said that with regard to all the events that unfolded
20 down there, there was absolutely no justification. There are no reasons,
21 or, in fact, there's nothing that could be justified.
22 I apologise. There are no reasons that can justify that crime.
23 I quite clearly said, and I'm only expressing my own opinion, I said that
24 there was a historical context, historical background to those conflicts
25 in Podrinje and the area where I live. I said -- well, I think I
1 mentioned the Second World War and various crimes and killings that
2 occurred in the area, and both sides committed murder on a mass scale in
3 the previous wars. I also said this these events, these crimes, these
4 cases of murders hadn't been forgotten in spite of the fact that 50 years
5 had passed. They had not been forgotten.
6 I further said that the very course of the war, the conflict from
7 1992 to 1995, well, it was a very bloody affair on both sides, and then I
8 also said that from 1992 up until 1995 in that area, in the area of
9 Srebrenica, Bratunac, and Konjevic Polje, Vlasenica, and in Zepa, I said
10 that they destroyed -- both sides destroyed everything they could. They
11 looted property, torched property. And this would pass from one person
12 to another. The Serbs would loot the areas -- the Muslim areas, and then
13 the Muslims would take this back and loot the Serbian people. They'd
14 take everything they could find. And in the course of those operations,
15 in the course of those fights, a lot of terrible crimes were committed.
16 There were a lot of victims. And I spoke about the pathological hatred
17 that prevailed in that area right up until 1995.
18 So that was my explanation with regard to the reasons, the
19 possible motives, for the conflict and for the crimes.
20 Q. Thank you. And as for these various actions and this mutual
21 destruction, no order was needed from anyone. This happened according to
22 some centuries-long automatic reflex. Am I right when I say that, on the
23 basis of terrible experience from the previous wars?
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I would like you to be precise in
25 putting questions. What do you mean by this, "this happened according to
1 some centuries long automatic reflex," no orders necessary, what is this?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, did I say that actually? Was
3 it interpreted correctly? I said automatism. I didn't say "reflex."
4 But anyway, I'm asking whether it was indispensable for this to be
5 planned, to have planned actions, or were they simply killing each other?
6 One village was killing another given any opportunity during the course
7 of the war. So the Serbs from your area of responsibility, did they wait
8 for some order from you to fight, or the Muslims on the other side, or
9 was it, as you explained it, according to a dictat of hate?
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes Mr. Nicholls.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, it's a compound question, and it's
12 confusing fighting and killing.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: So the answer may not be clear unless it's broken
15 down. Because he started talking about killings, and it wasn't clear
16 what exact period we were talking about, and now he's talking about
17 fighting without an order, if it was translated correctly. So I think it
18 needs to be made simpler.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do apologise. I'll
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Can it be put this way: That things happened -- actually, that
24 in this war, one did not have to issue orders to the effect of "fire."
25 Rather, the order that had to be issued was stop this willingness to have
1 a conflict, to take revenge, to kill. It was not always guided but was
2 born of chaos. That's my question. Did some village from your area of
3 responsibility wait for an order to fight, or if it is attacked, did they
4 fight and would they go after each other?
5 What I'm trying to say is: Was this a controlled process or did
6 it evolve according to the laws of chaos?
7 A. I understood your first question, too, and it was absolutely
8 clear to me what it was that you were asking, so I can answer you and I
9 will. You put part of that question to me during the interview as well,
10 and in that context I am going to answer this question as well.
11 In order to carry out an operation, I absolutely rule out what
12 you said. I mean, I rule out planning, organisation, and particularly
13 what you referred to, that there was no command and control.
14 Q. Sorry, I'm not talking about 1995. I'm talking about the history
15 of conflict, about attacks of one village against another and so on. For
16 example, was that always planned or were these sudden attacks, sudden
17 conflicts? I'm not talking about July 1995. I'm talking about the many
18 torchings of villages and looting and killings.
19 A. Whatever period you speak about, any period, when speaking about
20 military operations, I mean, I am just talking about military operations.
21 So when talking about military operations, in my view as a soldier, as an
22 officer, I have to say that the element of command and control cannot be
23 excluded, meaning to say that if you want to attack someone, if you are
24 to attack a village or anything that you believe is a target for a
25 military attack, you have to plan that. At least that's the way I
1 operated. So in my unit, always, wherever I was, if you plan something
2 as a military operation, you have to plan it beforehand. Then you have
3 to organise, prepare that action, and you have to carry it out. In order
4 to carry it out, you have to command. So all of these are elements that
5 are indispensable in order to start an operation.
6 In the operation itself, in that part, that is so say, after you
7 had planned it, organised it, prepared it, ordered what was supposed to
8 be done, so now during that part of the operation, as the operation is
9 underway, there are some things that you cannot keep under your control.
10 I explained that to you during the interview as well. And that
11 is the moment that you asked me about, and that is revenge, killings,
12 murders based on revenge. I told you then and I'm telling you now that
13 these were individual acts, individual crimes. They did happen, and they
14 are part of an armed conflict. They are part of any struggle.
15 I spoke about that to you when we had the interview, and that was
16 my understanding of your question as well.
17 Q. Thank you. You have explained that now fully, and that also has
18 to do with the part when you said that the Serbs fled from Srebrenica to
19 Bratunac and the Muslims from Bratunac to Srebrenica, that all the
20 villages where the fighting was taking place had been torched and that
21 everything had been destroyed.
22 So as for this nonmilitary part, you say that that had not been
23 ordered. Rather, it was the way that you had put it. So this
24 nonmilitary or unsoldierly behaviour was part of that revenge or that
25 wish to take revenge.
1 A. I do apologise. Obviously the transcript's not done yet.
2 I spoke about revenge as part of a military operation. So within
3 a military operation, a military operation, an attack. You also have an
4 individual act of revenge. These are individual crimes that are
5 committed, but they are committed within the attack. They do not take
6 place separately.
7 In specific situations -- or, rather, we had situations when
8 individual crimes were committed out of revenge and there weren't any
9 operations underway. There weren't any combat operations underway, but
10 I'm talking about crimes that were committed during the course of attacks
11 or active military operations on both sides. So I'm not making any
12 distinction there and there wasn't a distinction.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us conclude on that topic. Can we say that we
14 had the misfortune of all of these wars with the participation of a
15 foreign factor also included a component of a civil war? That is to say
16 that neighbours of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds fought during
17 those wars with foreign powers, the First World War victims on that
18 account, the Second World War, and so on. Do you agree?
19 A. Of course I agree. That is the historical context in which all
20 wars were waged, all wars that I know of, in the territory of the former
21 Yugoslavia and beforehand, before Yugoslavia as such was established. So
22 that is the historical context that went on, especially the
23 Second World War. The war that took place after that, in essence, there
24 was a conflict based on inter-ethnic hatred and differences.
25 Q. Thank you. Now I would like us to shed some light on the very
1 beginning of the operation and the operation itself. Is it correct that
2 the operation started as a legitimate operation of separating the
3 enclaves and reducing the Srebrenica enclave to its agreed borders even
4 if there was disagreement concerning those boundaries? So I'm referring
5 to the operation itself, when you felt that it would be carried out.
6 A. If we are talking about the intention of the Army of
7 Republika Srpska in view of the attack against the Srebrenica enclave,
8 I've explained that before, and of course I'm going to explain it now as
9 well. The first intention of the Army of Republika Srpska was to
10 separate, physically separate, the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa and to
11 free the road that led to Milici and the road that led to Skelani.
12 Since this is viva voce testimony, I said last time I testified,
13 and I would like to repeat that fact once again, in my view -- it is my
14 conviction, rather, that the attack against Srebrenica started
15 approximately on the day when the observation point at Zeleni Jadar was
16 taken by the Serb forces. For me, roughly that would be the date when
17 the preparatory part started for bringing in equipment and forces from
18 the area of Zeleni Jadar, from the southern part, that is.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you remember whether that was the 9th, 10th, or
20 11th? Can you remember the date? It was the 10th, wasn't it? The
21 10th of July?
22 A. The attack against the observation point in Zeleni Jadar occurred
23 on the 31st of May, and roughly until this check-point was taken until
24 units were organised in that area, this went on, say, until the 30th,
25 31st of May. Actually, the 5th of June. So it was almost a month before
1 the attack against Srebrenica, so the attack from that area,
2 Zeleni Jadar.
3 Q. I see. Thank you. But what happened when this Dutch soldier was
4 killed, when the Dutch left Echo, what date was that? Do you remember?
5 That was the 9th, 10th or 11th. No, it wasn't the 11th. 9th or
6 10th of July; right?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour -- sorry to interrupt. We're talking
8 about day when Private Renssen was killed. I think it's well
9 established. It's not, I think, in dispute, and I think Mr. Karadzic
10 should be able to put the correct date.
11 JUDGE KWON: And to be clear, where was it? I don't think you
12 would dispute that Private Renssen was killed by Muslim forces.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE KWON: When was it, to be clear?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: It as 8 July, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE KWON: 8 July. Where was it?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I have to check which OP it was near, Your Honour.
18 I don't want to say -- I know but I need to -- I want to make sure I get
19 it right.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. But with all due
22 respect for the learned Mr. Nicholls, I'm interested in what this witness
23 knows, not in hearing what I know or what Mr. Nicholls knows.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: No, I know that. And I'm sorry, but I need to
25 respond to that. It's okay to cross-examine and of course it's okay to
1 test the witness's knowledge and recollection, but it's not okay to put
2 forward dates or incidents which are known to be incorrect.
3 JUDGE KWON: Now, do you follow, Mr. Karadzic? You said, 9th,
4 10th, 11th. That's why Mr. Nicholls intervened.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do apologise for that. I wanted
6 to be of assistance. I wanted to help the witness to remember as soon as
7 he could.
8 1D5080, could we have a look at that.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Did you know of this order of the 2nd Corps ordering the
11 28th Division to prepare for offensive operations aimed at liberating the
12 territory of BiH, inflicting losses upon the aggressor forces, I think,
13 and so on. The 17th of June, 1995.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We do have a translation, but I
15 don't think it has been uploaded yet, so can we place the translation on
16 the ELMO, and can we keep the Serbian version in e-court and then we'll
17 upload the translation later.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please zoom in so that I
19 can see the order.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, just while that's coming up, it was
21 OP Foxtrot.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes. What is your question,
23 Mr. Karadzic?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to ask the witness whether
25 as an intelligence officer he was aware of this order that had to do with
1 preparations, and did he notice the preparations carried out by the
2 28th Division for offensive operations that would be in line with this
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think I can find my
5 bearings here. When can I start?
6 Mr. Karadzic, this is the first time I've seen this document.
7 Preparations to launch an attack, an order to the command of the
8 28th Division, this is the first time I've seen it.
9 Yesterday, I told you that my intelligence assessments and also
10 what I reported to my superior command contained the following
11 information: I believed -- or, rather, I had information according to
12 which an attack by the 28th Division forces was being prepared jointly
13 with units of the ABiH 2nd Corps, which would set out from the Tuzla
14 sector, and units of the 28th Division and a brigade from Zepa would set
15 out from Srebrenica. They would join up somewhere in the
16 Sekovici-Crni Vrh sector. Those were my assessments, but I had no
17 information according to which there was a written order or any other
18 kind of order that related to an attack of the 28th Division.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could this document
20 please be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be the next Defence Exhibit.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2079, Your Honours.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please now see 22818,
24 which is a 65 ter document.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. This is an extraordinary combat report from the Drina Corps
2 command, the forward command post Pribicevac, dated the 9th of July.
3 Please have a look at it. We can also have a look at the translation.
4 It is sending this from Pribicevac to the Main Staff and command
5 of the Drina Corps. Do you agree? And it says -- or, rather, it
6 describes what the enemy defended. Further down it says that the
7 enclaves were separated on the 9th of July. They carried out a task and
8 created the conditions to continue with the attack in the direction of
9 Srebrenica. And then in the third part it says attack in the direction
10 of Srebrenica. So you still can't see that there's a decision to enter
11 Srebrenica itself, but --
12 JUDGE KWON: I think we should have a translation for this.
13 Where is it?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's been uploaded. There should
15 be a translation.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we have it. Yes. Please continue.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Attack towards Srebrenica. It's been correctly translated. So
19 on the 9th there was no order to enter Srebrenica, but to continue in the
20 direction of Srebrenica. Isn't that correct?
21 A. In this interim report, I can't fail to notice item 2. This
22 interim report is one I haven't previously seen, but very rapidly, on the
23 9th of July, 1995, our units carried out a fierce attack along the axis
24 of Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica-Pribojevici village, Podravanje village and
25 Kvarac -- I apologise, Kvarac, Srebrenica, and reached the
1 Divljakinje-Olovine trig point 684, Zivkovo Brdo and so on.
2 In your question you said that an immediate task had been carried
3 out on the basis of this document. Is that what it says?
4 Q. Is that what it says?
5 A. In this part here, I'm reading through item 2.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
7 the margin, because you can't see that part. Below Alibegovac.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And thus they separated the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves and
11 carried out this immediate task.
12 A. That's what I wanted to talk about. Yes. The factual situation
13 that is mentioned in this interim report of the 9th of July, well, I'm a
14 hundred per cent sure about this. The separation of the Zepa and
15 Srebrenica enclaves were carried out on that day that the Zeleni Jadar
16 check-point was taken in the southern part of the enclave, the
17 Echo check-point. And those two enclaves were physically separated when
18 this route was liberated, when the Zeleni Jadar-Milici route was
19 liberated and the Zeleni Jadar-Skelani route was liberated, then those
20 two enclaves were also physically separated. Taking the positions in the
21 Zeleni Jadar sector and controlling that part, those roads, resulted in
22 such a separation.
23 I'm saying this so that we could be able to go into the details
24 in an appropriate manner later.
25 In my opinion, that was when the immediate task was implemented.
1 The two enclaves, if we had sufficient forces, could be physically
2 separated. We could take those parts, those positions that were
3 physically separated. So we did have the possibility of doing that at
4 the time. That was the factual situation, and this was before the
5 9th of July, 1995.
6 As for the forces continuing to enter the enclave and going to
7 those positions, well, that constituted an entrance into the enclave. It
8 was no longer a matter of separating the enclave -- enclaves, it was
9 matter of entering the depth of the enclaves. So these were attacks
10 carried out by the VRS army along that axis Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica, and
11 they reached the lines of these features we have mentioned. I don't want
12 to read through them. This is just to provide you with a clarification
13 as to when this immediate task was carried out. It was far earlier than
14 what was is stated in this combat report.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked not to speak so
16 close to the microphone.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could this please be
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be Exhibit D2080.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you. Have you seen a telegram in which General Tolimir
22 informed the forward command post that he had informed me that this was
23 successful and he asked for approval to enter Srebrenica? He said that I
24 had told him that I had approved of this and assigned tasks to him. Have
25 you seen this? Have you been shown that telegram dated the 9th of July?
1 If not, it doesn't matter.
2 A. I've seen a lot of documents. If you have that document, if you
3 could remind me, fine, but I've seen a lot of documents, so I can't speak
4 about any documents off the top of my head.
5 Q. Thank you. If we can find it, we'll have a look at -- it's been
6 admitted into evidence. Let me ask you something else. As an officer,
7 is it correct that in such situations it is essential to maintain combat
8 contact with the enemy and you have to be at the enemy's heels? You
9 mustn't let the enemy move back without following the enemy. You have to
10 maintain combat contact with the enemy. Is that correct?
11 A. Mr. Karadzic, whenever it is possible in military terms, the
12 unit, the army unit that is attacking always strives to have combat
13 contact with the enemy for very simple military reasons. When you have
14 such contact, you can then engage your forces, direct the attack of your
15 forces in an appropriate manner, and whenever an attack is launched - and
16 I'm speaking from the point of view of the intelligence organ - whenever
17 you do launch an attack, you engage units that can gather information on
18 their preparations, on their movements, on their withdrawals, on them
19 fleeing, and so on and so forth. So immediate combat contact with units
20 is desirable if possible.
21 Q. Thank you. Would you agree that such continuous contact is
22 possible to prevent the enemy from consolidating its forces and from
23 launching a counter-attack?
24 A. I've provided you with a number of reasons. One of the reasons
25 is the one you have just mentioned, but there are far more reasons.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Just -- Your Honours, I think the document
3 Mr. Karadzic was referring to that he said he might try to find, if I
4 have it right, it's P02276 I think is the one he was thinking of, if that
5 helps him.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could the witness
8 please be shown that document. Well, there's the document. Could it
9 please be enlarged. The Serbian version, could it please be enlarged.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This telegram corresponds to the interim report, doesn't it? On
12 the 9th of July, General Tolimir says that he informed me of the
13 events -- please read through it.
14 JUDGE KWON: Should we show the witness first the bottom of the
15 page so that he knows who signed the document. Then we scroll up.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Karadzic, when you show me
17 documents, could you please tell me what is important so that I don't
18 read through the entire document on each occasion. Please tell me what
19 is important so that I can have a look at that. I don't like commenting
20 on a document if I don't have the time to read through the entire
21 document. And we're wasting a lot of time.
22 I've seen this document. Roughly speaking, I know what it's
23 about. I can see what it says, but if there is a paragraph that is
24 important, a paragraph that I should pay particular attention to, please
25 tell me.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Yes. We could expedite this. When you see this -- when you saw
3 the interim combat report and now that you see this telegram from
4 General Tolimir which says that it was on the 9th that the army
5 considered that there were conditions to advance and the idea was, in
6 fact, to move on, and that idea arose because there wasn't fierce
7 resistance mounted, and there was considerable success in making our
8 advance, and the resistance mounted was feeble and that was unexpected.
9 A. On the basis of the date, well, I would say that the reporting
10 date is the same. The date of the information from Pribicevac and the
11 date of this information forwarded to you by Mr. Deputy Commander --
12 could you scroll up so that I can see? Mr. Zdravko Tolimir, assistant
13 commander in the Main Staff for -- assistant commander for security.
14 The conditions for continuing with the advance had been created.
15 That was the conclusion, but I will tell you something that you probably
16 don't know. Up until the 8th or 9th, during those first few days on the
17 axis of engagement of our forces in the Zeleni Jadar area, there were
18 perhaps problems with the advance, it didn't go that smoothly. There was
19 fierce resistance at the beginning, and this is why we didn't advance or
20 why the advance did not proceed more rapidly. From the 6th to the 8th,
21 there were problems amongst our ranks, because the forces could not
22 advance and they did not want to move on.
23 So there are a number of reasons for which this date is referred
25 Q. Thank you. Were there any victims amongst our soldiers up until
1 the 9th?
2 A. I don't know exactly. According to the information that I had, I
3 think that during initial period of time, but I don't know the exact
4 dates, I can no longer remember them, but during that initial period of
5 time we had one or two soldiers who were killed and maybe two soldiers
6 who were seriously wounded, something like that, and that's why the
7 attack was halted. We had a break, consolidated our forces, and then
8 continued with the attack. But as far as I can see, they are informing
9 you of the 9th, of that date, when the advance was considerable.
10 Q. Thank you. That was when this initial resistance had been
11 broken; is that correct? They reported to me once this resistance had
12 been broken; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, to the best of my recollection, roughly speaking that would
14 be the period in question.
15 Q. Thank you. And in your testimony, on page 24608, lines 10 to
16 13 --
17 JUDGE KWON: If you are leaving this document, could we collapse
18 the English translation and zoom in in B/C/S part. Could we show the top
19 of the page. Could we zoom into that stamp, yes.
20 Mr. Nikolic, if you could help us reading that stamp. Does it
21 refer to this report being received by somebody or sent out to some -- to
22 some organ?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we start at the
24 beginning, at the top, because I can't see this very clearly. I can't
25 read it. "ECV," "Name of organ." That's what I can decipher, "Name of
1 organ." And then -- could you move that? I don't know what it says
2 here. "ROV," as far as I can see. "ROV," I don't know what sort of an
3 abbreviation that is.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Or REV?
6 A. REV, I don't know what that means either. It might be evidence,
7 wartime evidence -- I'm just guessing now. I don't know what it is, but
8 I'm trying to help you now. I don't know. War evidence, that's what it
9 makes me think of. That's the first thing that comes to mind.
10 And below that it says "Delivered." Does it say "Delivered"
11 here? "Recorded," and then it says "Number." The second word is
12 illegible. I don't understand it. Number 365CA. On the 9th of July,
13 1995, 2350, which is probably the time. The last line, I believe it says
14 "Certified by," and then in brackets, "Signature." Then we have "TOP,
15 TGR." I really have no idea what that stands for. That's as far as I
16 can go in deciphering this.
17 JUDGE KWON: Does this 365 number, 36525, refer to military post?
18 So can you tell us what organ that would be?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My association when I look at that
20 is that it might be the number of a document or a report that is being
21 sent. I think that military post numbers had at least four digits, as
22 far as I recall. This reminds me, rather, of the number of a document
23 that was registered or logged in a book or a ledger. That's the only
24 thing that comes to mind.
25 JUDGE KWON: Can you read the signature part, as far as you can
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a moment ago that it seemed
3 to say "certified," but now I see that the word is "processed" or
4 "registered." And the signature is the signature of a person who
5 processed the document, but I am unfamiliar with the signature itself. I
6 have no idea who it could be. I don't know the signature.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. This tells that this was received at
8 11.50 at night.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If we look at the part
10 "Delivered," and then in the next line we have the date, which is the
11 9th of July, the year 1995, at 2350, which would mean that the report was
12 delivered at 11.50 p.m. that day, the 9th of July.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Can you upload the previous document,
14 Exhibit D2080, which we saw earlier on.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I can assist with
16 two things. Could the words you can't read be "Order number 365"? It
17 seems to me that way?
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you can take up after my question is
20 Shall we see D2080. Yes. Why don't we zoom in to the stamp.
21 Could you help us read this part again.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The first word is "Received."
23 Then in the same line we have day and month, which is the 9th of July.
24 Next we have hour and minutes, which is 2320. So 11.20 p.m. And then
25 signature. Of the person who received it.
1 In the next line, "Code-name," none. So it was not a coded -- a
2 secret document. Telegram number, 26. I don't know what the next words
3 mean, "Br.grupa."
4 JUDGE KWON: The English translation says "Group number." Does
5 it ring a bell with you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Group number." Yes, that seems
7 logical. Then is this a 3? And the rest is unclear. Is it a 3 or a 9?
8 I can't read the rest. I don't want to make a mistake.
9 Then next we have "Urgency," zero -- or O. Then the next word is
10 "way" or "means," and then I can't see the other word. And then last
11 item is page number or number of pages, and then the last word is covered
12 by a signature.
13 In the next line we have "processed," then date and month, the
14 month of July, hour and minute 2320, and signature, the signature the
15 person processing it. "Delivered" is the last line, date and month,
16 none. Hour and minute none, and signature.
17 So it was received, processed, but not delivered. That's what I
18 can read from the stamp.
19 JUDGE KWON: Very well. But received at 11.20. The first line.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE KWON: Once again, this so-called group number, 300, and
22 365 that we saw in the earlier telegram, do they ring a bell to you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then it's the same telegram number.
24 If we have 365 on both, then it's the same telegram. That's the only
25 link I can make.
1 JUDGE KWON: And if we are to say the telegram, General Tolimir's
2 telegram is written in response to this telegram written by
3 General Krstic, we now know that it was responded in half an hour. Do
4 you agree with that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the only logic I see.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
7 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have a look at
9 the top of the first page. I wanted to ask Mr. Nikolic this:
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you agree that this telegram from the forward command post was
12 sent to the Main Staff and the Drina Corps command but not to the
13 president, and do you agree that the president did not receive documents
14 directly from the corps but from the Main Staff, which was the way things
15 were usually done?
16 A. I can only say the following: It was customary, it was customary
17 that subordinated and lower-ranking commands communicate amongst each
18 other, and I can't address that level because I really don't know how you
19 communicated with the Main Staff, and I don't want to speculate.
20 In terms of technical procedure, it was possible from the forward
21 command post to send something directly to you. Or not only you, but one
22 can simply put "Drina Corps command, VRS Main Staff, President of the
23 Republic," and if this is what we could see on the document, I would say
24 you were in receipt of this, but I can't make that conclusion because we
25 have the addressees. And when it is addressed as it was, the operator
1 doesn't do anything otherwise. He sends it to the addressees. Based on
2 this telegram, I cannot conclude that it was sent directly to you. Of
3 course, I don't want to speculate.
4 In all likelihood, in my view this telegram was sent to the
5 Main Staff, as is stated here, and then you were informed by the
6 Main Staff -- or my conclusion is that another telegram was drafted that
7 was sent from the Main Staff to you. That's as far as I can guess. I
8 would do it that way if I wanted to forward this information.
9 Q. Thank you. The previous document was admitted, and this one was
10 admitted as well.
11 At page 24608, you confirmed that in Srebrenica there were many
12 legitimate military targets such as unit commands, warehouses, et cetera.
13 I wanted to show you a document which makes reference to those legitimate
14 military targets that were abundant in Srebrenica itself.
15 Please bare with us.
16 JUDGE KWON: You may proceed to answer, Mr. Nikolic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please repeat your
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I quoted you -- or, rather, interpreted your words at page 24608.
21 You said:
22 "Let us be clear again. There were legitimate military targets
23 in Srebrenica such as commands, warehouses where war supplies were kept,
24 equipment, and weapons. They were legitimate targets irrespective of the
25 fact that they were inside the town."
1 That is your position, and we agree on that, don't we?
2 A. Yes. I know that. Any command, any military depot, anything
3 that in any way is made use of by the army or its commands or members of
4 such armed forces, they are all legitimate targets no matter where they
6 Q. Thank you. We'll find the document shortly. It is their
7 document, which is an overview of their own infrastructure in the town.
8 While we are waiting for it, I just wanted to say that you
9 mentioned a column on the same page of the transcript. Do you remember
10 having established that the local authorities sent out couriers to the
11 population in general, stating that all inhabitants should go towards the
12 UN base and that the able-bodied men should go to Jaglici and Susnjari,
13 where they would assemble?
14 A. I don't know anything about their decisions, especially at the
15 moment when Srebrenica had already fallen, basically. I only know what I
16 observed myself, what we could see, and which is that, indeed, the
17 civilians went to Potocari. All information we received on the
18 11th in the evening or at around midnight or early on the 12th, all that
19 information we received from our neighbouring units, especially the
20 Milici Brigade, as well as from our own units, that is to say, the
21 1st Infantry Battalion and the Zvornik Battalion, all that information
22 indicated that there were many armed people assembling in the area of
23 Jaglici and the area you mentioned.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5103. Can we have a look at
25 that, please. Thank you. 1D5103.
1 JUDGE KWON: While we are waiting for the document, Mr. Nikolic,
2 did you yourself participate in that operation?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the operation that had to do
4 with taking Srebrenica, you mean?
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I took part in that. I
7 was a member of the Bratunac Brigade, a unit that took part in combat
8 operations related to Srebrenica. And within my own remit, I took part
9 in that operation.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Could you please take a look at this. This is their report from
12 the 22nd of February, 1995, to the Secretariat of Defence of Tuzla that
13 they belonged to, and now they are saying that Lovac was the commander of
14 the 8th Operations Group in Srebrenica. Was that your information as
15 well? And then all these other locations. As an intelligence man, did
16 you have access to all of this and did you establish things more or less
17 along these lines?
18 A. Please give me a moment to take a look at this, because this
19 document is one that I see for the first time again, I think.
20 All right. Basically, I can tell you that I did know roughly --
21 no, not roughly, exactly. For a number of these locations I did know
22 about that. Lovac, the staff of the Territorial Defence in Srebrenica,
23 and so on. So all of these are locations that I was aware of before the
24 war as well. I mean, well, it's not only before the war. I know to this
25 day where they are, of course, especially the premises of the Territorial
1 Defence Staff that were there when I worked and when I came to visit
2 Srebrenica. So that was it.
3 I also have to say for the Trial Chamber that I had a working map
4 of the intelligence organ where I had marked the positions, the buildings
5 where these commands were. Of course, I no longer remember all of them,
6 but I did have this work map that remained in the safe of my office when
7 I was demobilised. I left that as documents that could be used later as
9 So my answer is in the affirmative, that many of the buildings
10 mentioned here are buildings that I was aware of as an intelligence man.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
12 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we show the second page as well.
13 Do you also know this professor?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He is a colleague of mine,
15 Suljo Hasanovic. I know him personally. I knew him before the war, and
16 I know exactly who he is.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellency, have you finished with
18 this page?
19 JUDGE KWON: This will be admitted on -- do you have any
21 MR. NICHOLLS: No, but Mr. Reid tells me it's already in evidence
22 as D01994. It apparently came in during Mr. Kingori's testimony.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Could you give the number again,
24 Mr. Nicholls.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: D01994.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Please, Mr. Nikolic, take a look at this. Does this also include
4 private houses, privately owned restaurants, as well as headquarters,
5 warehouses, well, villages are referred to as well, but this is a rather
6 dense network of military infrastructure in Srebrenica itself.
7 A. I wanted to be clear for the Trial Chamber. Srebrenica is a
8 tiny, tiny town that is in this valley. Whatever you wanted to have in
9 Srebrenica, I mean, all of these commands and units that were mentioned
10 beforehand, there were quite a few of them in a very restricted area, in
11 a very small area. The town has a single street, this main street, and
12 then some tiny little alleys in addition to that. And then it's about
13 half a kilometre, 800 metres.
14 Srebrenica itself is such that the number of these military
15 targets, commands, is such that they only have, say, 50 metres between
16 two of them. Lovac is the farthest away, and that's 800 metres. So it's
17 a narrow street. Just as you said, a great many buildings in a very
18 small area. That is how I can explain it to you as picturesquely as
20 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that you gave an interview to the
21 commission of Republika Srpska for Srebrenica in 2004, on the 27th of
22 September, and in that interview you said that the Bratunac Brigade never
23 received a detailed plan for this operation concerning Srebrenica?
24 A. I did speak to the commissioner of Republika Srpska and, among
25 other things, we discussed that matter too. I don't know to what extent
1 you actually quoted what I had said, but I said that the Bratunac Brigade
2 never had a detailed plan and this is what I meant by that. Every
3 brigade, every unit, including my brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, when
4 such large-scale operations are involved or military operations in
5 general, elaborates a plan of its involvement and within that plan the
6 Bratunac Brigade wrote up all necessary combat documents. When I said
7 that the Bratunac Brigade did not have a detailed plan, I met -- meant
8 this detailed elaboration.
9 So this is the procedure involved: The corps command sends you
10 their plan of attack against Srebrenica and then on the basis of that
11 plan you as a unit have a certain task. The Bratunac Brigade within the
12 attack against Srebrenica had a task. So my brigade had a task. We were
13 supposed to get together and apply regular procedure in working out all
14 the documents that would have to do with our task within the task of the
15 corps command. When I said that the Bratunac Brigade never had a
16 detailed plan of attack and in the Bratunac Brigade we never worked on
17 combat documents that had to do with the portion of our unit. All of
18 that was done at the level of the command of the Drina Corps. My
19 commander went there. Within the command of the Drina Corps they
20 elaborated these combat documents and my unit was given this task.
21 Such a procedure is soldierly and it is in accordance with the
22 law. This kind of procedure is referred to as an abbreviated procedure,
23 but what I was talking about was all necessary combat documents in my
24 brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, did not elaborate all the necessary combat
25 documents for that operation. So that is my explanation.
1 Q. Thank you. Perhaps this is a bit of speculation, but do you
2 believe that this might have been the case because the plan was a rather
3 fluid one at corps level itself. We see that there was a request to
4 continue to the action or operation. If you don't know anything about
5 this, you can say so. Things were fluid on their level, too, except for
6 the immediate task of separating the enclaves.
7 A. Mr. Karadzic, I really don't want to -- I mean, I'm a captain.
8 I'm a reserve captain. I don't want to take it upon myself to assess the
9 plans that were elaborated by my command of the Drina Corps. These plans
10 were drafted by generals who are above me as far as their knowledge is
11 concerned, so I do not give myself the right to assess what they did.
12 Q. Fair enough, as they say.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, if it is convenient, we'll take a
14 break now, after which you have one hour and 20 minutes, so you should
15 wrap up your cross-examination during the next session.
16 We will resume at five past 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I will try to put questions that can be answered
23 with a yes or no only.
24 Is it correct that you had some knowledge then and other things
25 you learned later, for example, concerning the participation of the
1 army -- or, rather, the police, the MUP? You found out about that from
2 what the OTP showed to you, and you spoke about that in the information
3 report of the 4th of July, 2003, on page 1; right? You learned some
4 things during these preparations and subsequently, if you will?
5 A. But of course. In the structure of my knowledge, there are
6 certain things that I participated in myself, then there is knowledge
7 that I have that is based on my investigations as a security organ, and
8 there is also knowledge that I acquired later from documentation.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like us to make a distinction
10 between what you knew then and what you learned later and became
11 convinced of later.
12 In the Blagojevic transcript, you said that you had never seen an
13 order about this operation and the participation of your brigade and your
14 personal tasks. This had to do with this operation regarding Srebrenica.
15 Blagojevic transcript, page 1989.
16 A. Yes. That's what I said when I testified then.
17 Q. Thank you. You said that on the 11th there was a column towards
18 Potocari, and then you said that in addition to indirect fire, the Serb
19 forces around Srebrenica had opportunities to open fire directly, for
20 example, using the B1 gun, and that the column had been targeted.
21 However, do you agree or do you know that there weren't many casualties?
22 There were some persons who were wounded, but there weren't many
23 fatalities in Srebrenica during the take-over the Srebrenica.
24 A. I don't know what the exact number of casualties was. I said
25 that according to my information, there were casualties in the town of
1 Srebrenica itself during the artillery fire that came from the positions
2 of the Bratunac Brigade. And also I said that according to my
3 information, there were civilian casualties among the people who were
4 moving towards Bratunac, because they were directly fired at by the
5 B1 gun that belonged to the 2nd Infantry Battalion. So these were the
6 cases that I had information about and that I spoke about.
7 Q. Thank you. Testimony was heard here that another unit that had
8 T-84. Is that correct that it was one of the best tanks at the time and
9 that it had very good equipment and very good sights, and it could target
10 very precisely? Are you familiar with this equipment?
11 A. Of course. I know what T-84 tanks are. Well, of course I don't
12 know -- I mean, I'm not from that particular speciality. I am an
13 infantryman myself, but I know basically that this is a modern tank with
14 sights that can be used in any situation.
15 Q. Thank you. Investigator Ruez testified here, stating that they
16 were surprised by the small number of casualties there. Is it correct
17 that 20 or 22 persons were seriously wounded and that you took care of
18 them, that they had been taken care of at the health centre where there
19 was a clinic for that particular occasion?
20 A. I do not wish to link that up, what you put as a question and the
21 wounded who were at the clinic in Bratunac.
22 For the Trial Chamber, there were several wounded persons who
23 were put up at this clinic in Bratunac, more than 20-something, or the
24 20-something that you referred to. So on the basis of everything that I
25 know, these two things cannot be linked up. It is possible that among
1 those wounded who were brought to Bratunac, there were also wounded
2 persons who had been wounded in the town of Srebrenica, even civilians
3 who were moving, who were on the move, but I don't know the structure of
4 the wounded. I don't know where they were wounded, how they were
5 wounded. For me, they were only wounded persons and nothing more than
6 that, and I don't know anything more than that, and I do not wish to
7 speculate in this regard.
8 Q. Thank you. In your interview --
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection. I am going to request cites. There
11 was a cite to what Mr. Ruez testified to. I'm not objecting, but I would
12 like a cite just so that I can easily find what is being referred to.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would have done that if we had
14 time. I think Mr. Nicholls is more familiar with the case than I am.
15 But I don't have time, so I won't refer to things that I don't have in
16 front of me.
17 JUDGE KWON: In order not to waste time, be precise when you
18 refer to specify testimony. Do not paraphrase in a general term.
19 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Again, Your Honour, I would just suggest that it
21 wastes more time when I have to stand up and ask for cites than if he
22 just reads them out, and I don't know why he doesn't have those available
23 when he's referring to prior testimony.
24 JUDGE KWON: But this time Mr. Nikolic clarified, but let's move
25 on. In the future, be precise when you'd like to refer to specific part
1 of other witness's testimony in putting your question.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I accept that.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. In your interview of the 28th of May, 2003, this is a report on
5 the conversation and it's also on the Blagojevic transcript, page 1639,
6 and it is an investigative report on the conversation with Momir Nikolic,
7 dated the 16th of September, 2003, page 1. And there you also said --
8 or, in fact, you made a correction. You said that these weren't the
9 civilians who were -- who were targeted. You said that legitimate
10 military features were targeted. Isn't that correct? Or that they were
11 legitimate military targets.
12 A. A lot of details are missing in order for me to answer your
13 question in concrete terms. I don't understand the question very well
14 and I don't really know whom you are referring to when you say that they
15 are legitimate military targets. Could you please clarify your question
16 so that I could answer it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So could we call up the interview
18 dated -- or from the year 2003. And could we see page 1 from that
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I just want to be precise and see what
23 Mr. Karadzic's referring to. On page 1639 of the Blagojevic transcript,
24 when asked about targeting, the question was:
25 "Aside from the shelling of Srebrenica town, were you aware of
1 any other targeting of civilians or civilian objects?"
2 The question was:
3 "You said that these weren't civilians who were targeted."
4 That's at previous page 37, around line 11. The answer given by
5 Mr. Nikolic in part was:
6 "I know for a fact that civilians were being targeted, civilians
7 who were on the move, and those were certainly no military units
8 travelling down the road."
9 Now, is that the section Mr. Karadzic is referring to when he put
10 it to Mr. Nikolic that he had said on this page that civilians weren't
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. There was that interview and that page was added, but in that
15 interview you said that legitimate military targets were concerned, and
16 that is my question. Were these targets legitimate military targets?
17 And the second question will be whether this is your conclusion or did
18 you see an order according to which there were these targets?
19 A. My answer to your first question is yes, but your question is
20 very general, so I'll answer the question such as it is. Yes, legitimate
21 military targets were targeted as part of the operation and attack on
22 Srebrenica. And secondly, yes, legitimate targets were targeted in the
23 town of Srebrenica during the operation to take Srebrenica until it was
24 taken. I'm only speaking about my brigade's artillery battery now
25 because I have information about that unit and I know that that unit
1 fired on Srebrenica and fired on military targets located within
2 Srebrenica. So that is one part of my answer.
3 And now for the second part. You asked me about civilians and
4 whether civilians were targeted, and I specifically said that, yes,
5 during that period of time that was the case on the 11th in the evening
6 when civilians were moving in the direction of Bratunac -- or, rather, in
7 the direction of Potocari - I do apologise - I know for certain that from
8 the position of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, civilians who were on the
9 move were targeted. I -- I verified this, and I did have information. I
10 was in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Infantry Battalion at that
11 period of time. And when you asked who was targeted and why, when we saw
12 that there were large masses of civilians who were arriving, well, they
13 told me that they thought that these were military targets, which is why
14 they fired on them with a B1 gun, that subsequently there was
15 confirmation from the DutchBat representative and he told me that
16 civilians in that area were targeted. So that concerns the targets along
17 the axis of movement.
18 As for the civilian victims in Srebrenica, I spoke about them
19 yesterday. Yes, military targets were fired on, but, yesterday -- but a
20 while ago I told you about what Srebrenica looked like. Quite
21 frequently, and during that period of time, there were victims of
22 artillery fire in Srebrenica who were civilians, and I have made that
23 claim and I think that I have testified to that effect in all the cases
24 and I'm confirming that today.
25 Q. Thank you. And do you have any information about civilian
1 targets in that operation --
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry to object and I'm not trying to break
4 this up, but it just took me a moment to find it. I have one other
5 clarification for the record. On page 34 at line 4, Mr. Karadzic asked
6 the witness, Mr. Nikolic:
7 "Is it correct that you had some knowledge then and other things
8 you learned later, for example, concerning the participation of the
9 army -- or, rather, the police, the MUP? You found out about that from
10 what the OTP showed to you," and then he referred to the 4th of July
11 information report on page 1.
12 The only reference I find there to the MUP and finding out is
13 bullet point 3:
14 "Nikolic only found out about the letter from Minister Kovac,
15 which refers to the Serbian police in Republika Srpska, RS, when the
16 letter was disclosed by the OTP as part of the case against
17 Blagojevic et al."
18 Is that what Mr. Karadzic was referring to when he said that the
19 witness only found out about the participation of the MUP, this letter
20 about Serbian MUP?
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
22 Mr. Robinson, I do not understand why Mr. Karadzic should rely on
23 previous statements when he puts a question to the witness.
24 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Your Honour. I've explained that to him
25 several times, to just put the question without reference to the
1 statement. If the answer is inconsistent, to then put the statement, but
2 he's having trouble doing that, but that's been my advice to him.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: And I'm not objecting. I'm asking for some
5 precision, because what's put to the witness is not always what is
6 reflected in the statement.
7 MR. ROBINSON: For Dr. Karadzic's benefit, if you don't reference
8 a prior statement or testimony, then you don't have to make that kind of
9 precision, which makes it much easier for everyone.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm talking about instances where it is referenced
11 and it's not accurate.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise. I only
13 wanted to have the witness assist us with regard to what he knew at the
14 time and what he subsequently found out about, but I'll withdraw that. I
15 won't go back to previous material.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Is it correct that -- or in fact, what was your hierarchical
18 relationship to Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic and Kosoric? I don't know
19 what his rank was. Were you their subordinate or were you only
20 Colonel Blagojevic's subordinate?
21 A. I explained that when I was examined by the gentleman from the
22 Prosecution. As the intelligence and security organ, in command terms I
23 was subordinated to my commander, the commander of the brigade,
24 Colonel Blagojevic. But in professional terms, I was also the
25 subordinate of Vujadin Popovic, the Department for Intelligence and
1 Security in the Drina Corps command.
2 Q. Thank you. So your orders arrived from Colonel Blagojevic; is
3 that correct?
4 A. You have my tasks in mind, not orders. My tasks on the whole
5 were issued by my commander who exercised his command over me.
6 Q. Thank you. And could you issue orders or assign tasks to a
7 formation of some kind or to a unit? Did you exercise your authority in
8 this command capacity?
9 A. Well, that is a very general question yet again. I and no one
10 from the intelligence or security field had a command function to
11 exercise. We couldn't issue orders in our unit, nor could we issue
12 orders to other units present in the area of responsibility.
13 Q. Thank you. Now I have to go back to the meetings that were held.
14 You spoke about a meeting held on the 11th of July, and you said that at
15 that meeting you didn't hear anyone state clearly or explicitly that
16 these people would be killed, but you had the feeling that that would
17 happen. Isn't that correct?
18 A. I didn't say what you have just quoted. I wasn't at that meeting
19 on the 12th. The meeting on the 12th took place at 10.00. I wasn't at
20 that meeting, so I couldn't have said anything of that kind.
21 Q. In the transcript from the Popovic case, 33329 is the
22 page reference, you said that you didn't hear such vocabulary being used
23 on the 12th at that meeting.
24 Now, could you now help us and tell us which meeting you did, in
25 fact, attend?
1 A. I attended two meetings that were held in the Fontana Hotel. If
2 we have the same meetings in mind, then we're talking about two meetings.
3 One was held on the 11th in the evening. About 2000 hours was the first
4 meeting, and the next one was held at 2200 hours, and at those
5 two meetings I was present. This was in the Fontana Hotel. That's where
6 the two meetings were held. And yesterday and over the course of the
7 previous days, I said that I didn't participate in the meetings and I
8 wasn't a representative of the Serbian side at those meetings.
9 Q. Thank you. Did General Mladic use the same words at that meeting
10 as the words that were recorded by the camera which are in the
11 transcript? Can we take that to be correct?
12 A. I can't confirm that. All I can say is what was recorded there.
13 I can't remember all the details. In general terms I know what happened
14 at both meetings. I heard what was discussed, but I'm not a computer. I
15 can't scan those things and reproduce them, but if you refresh my
16 memory -- in any event, my answer is that what happened there, well, most
17 of that conversation was recorded.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you personally ever have certain thoughts or
19 intentions? Did you have the intention of driving away the Muslims from
20 Podrinje or having them killed? Did any such thoughts ever occur to you?
21 A. That's a speculative question, and I personally wouldn't want to
22 answer in a manipulative way. In the course of my life and work in the
23 town of Bratunac, which is where I lived, such an idea never crossed my
24 mind, because I was on exceptionally good terms with those people. I'm
25 talking about my personal approach. I had friends among those people
1 whom I would see. We would visit each other. So I personally never had
2 any -- had any ill intentions towards those people, and I didn't make any
3 distinctions between whether these people were Muslims or Serbs. I
4 didn't have such a problem.
5 And there is one other thing I would like to say. During that
6 period before the war and in the course of the war itself, but before the
7 war I wasn't a member of any political party, so I observed the political
8 engagement of others from the side. So I had no reason to object to them
9 for that reason too. In the part of town where I was born, I was trusted
10 by Muslims and Serbs alike, and my position and the position of my family
11 was sufficiently good. I had a sufficient amount of authority too. So I
12 had absolutely no need to act in this way, and there's not a single
13 Muslim who will tell you that Momir Nikolic was someone who bothered them
14 or attacked them or insulted them, humiliated them, and so on and so
15 forth, and this is a claim that I can categorically make.
16 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you the following: You were
17 informed about this meeting on the 12th of July. That was the next day
18 after those two meetings had been held. And with regard to that, you
19 said that there was a visit to the bricks factory, and in the Popovic
20 case, page 32904, you said that killing wasn't a subject that was
21 explicitly mentioned at the meeting. Were you at that meeting with the
22 director of the bricks factory?
23 JUDGE KWON: What is your question, Mr. Karadzic? Just ask one
24 question at a time.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. First of all, is it correct that Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic and
2 Kosoric told you about the meetings concerning the captured Muslims and
3 locations in Bratunac, and were the Sase mine and the brickworks
4 mentioned? And is it also correct that, as you claim, there were no
5 killings discussed at that meeting?
6 A. Mr. Karadzic, you put a series of assertions that are incorrect.
7 I have to say that. The first assertion you put was that as regards the
8 meeting, I received some information or something to that effect.
9 After the third -- sorry, the second meeting in the evening on
10 the 11th, I knew. So no one told me anything or conveyed an order to me
11 or issued a task to me for the next day.
12 After the second meeting was over, General Mladic said that a
13 meeting should be called at 10.00 the next day in the same place, the
14 Fontana Hotel. So I heard it directly from General Mladic about the time
15 and venue. Then he ordered me to escort DutchBat representatives and the
16 Muslim representatives to Potocari. That was the first thing I wanted to
17 say precisely.
18 The next thing you said which was not correct was that there was
19 a meeting at the brickworks, and you asked me whether I attended it. I
20 have never thus far mentioned any meeting at the brickworks. I discussed
21 a meeting, an encounter before the third meeting of Popovic, Kosoric, and
22 myself, before the meeting on the 12th of July at 10.00 began at the
23 Fontana Hotel.
24 The next assertion which was incorrect was when you said that I
25 attended that meeting. On the -- at the meeting on the 12th at 10.00, as
1 I said during examination-in-chief, I was not present. I was not in the
2 conference room. I did not hear what was discussed, and since I wasn't
3 present, I didn't know what they decided.
4 Throughout the meeting on the 12th at 10.00 at the Fontana Hotel,
5 I was at the reception desk, which is a few rooms away. So there was no
6 physical contact with the conference hall. I also spent some time
7 outside in front of the Fontana Hotel where I kept an eye on the security
8 measures in place in order to provide security for the participants of
9 the meeting.
10 Those are the facts in an attempt to tell the truth about what
11 happened, where, and when.
12 You asked about the brickworks --
13 Q. We'll get to that. It was on the 14th. So I rushed ahead a bit.
14 A. Then I apologise. I'll wait for your question.
15 Q. So at around 9.00 --
16 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: One, I don't like the witness being interrupted
18 when what he's explaining are the incorrect assertions made. Second,
19 just for the record, again at page 44, line 19, I won't go into it, but
20 the reference to page 32904 is completely off base to what's reflected in
21 the Popovic case. That concerns whether he had a discussion with
22 Dusko Jevic.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Have a serious consultation with Mr. Robinson
24 after this. I am really concerned about your ability to represent
25 yourself in the interest of a fair trial for you, Mr. Karadzic.
1 Please continue.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I respect any
3 opinion of the Chamber, but I am under a lot of stress because of the
4 time pressure. I prepared to examine for nine hours, and I don't know
5 what to discard now and still have -- receive a testimony.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In any case, is it correct that your encounter with Kosoric and
8 Popovic around 9.00 before the meeting, was not a meeting per se but a
9 street encounter? So it wasn't a meeting; correct?
10 A. The first part of your assertion is correct. It was not an
11 official meeting. The second part of your assertion is incorrect. It
12 was an encounter in front of the Fontana Hotel, and it wasn't at around
13 9.00 but at around 10.00, just immediately before the third meeting on
14 the 12th began.
15 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that you said that during the
16 encounter, there was no mention of any killings?
17 A. In my testimony yesterday, I said precisely how the encounter
18 developed. Mr. Popovic's statement that all Balijas should be killed is
19 something I interpreted in my own way, and I've explained it already.
20 Q. Thank you. What is the extent of your knowledge or any documents
21 you may have about those separated at Potocari? Did you refer to a
22 specific number of the able-bodied men separated in Potocari?
23 A. As regards those separated in Potocari and the number of men, I
24 referred to two figures. The first was my assessment of how many people
25 there were there. They were based on my own assessment and the
1 assessment of my subordinate intelligence organs. The figure in question
2 was between 1- and 2.000. And in my testimony, I have also referred to
3 an approximate number of those who were separated on both days, the
4 12th and the 13th, during the evacuation. That figure is between 600 and
5 700 in the two days. So between 300 and 350 or 400 on the first day and
6 on the second day.
7 The number I mentioned, which I believe is highly likely, is
8 between 600 and 700 of the people separated in Bratunac and the
9 Vuk Karadzic school.
10 Q. Thank you. You attended a meeting -- before that, on the 13th,
11 you were in an APC with a policeman from which the Muslims were -- were
12 called out to surrender by loudspeaker.
13 A. Yes. On the 13th. Well, for the benefit of the Chamber, I need
14 to say that I was there twice, once in a passenger car, and on the next
15 day, on the 13th, in the afternoon, I was together with Mirko Jankovic
16 and Mile Petkovic, so the MP commander and his deputy, along the route
17 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Sandici in an APC belonging to DutchBat.
18 JUDGE KWON: Just a second Mr. Karadzic. I want to clarify your
19 previous answer. I'll read out two sentences.
20 First is this:
21 "The first was my assessment of how many people there were there.
22 They were based on my own assessment and the assessment of my subordinate
23 intelligence organs. The figure in question was between 1- and 2.000."
24 And later you said:
25 "That figure is between 6 and 700 in the two days," meaning 12th
1 and 13th. "So between 300 and 350 or 400 on the second day. The number
2 I mentioned, which I believe is highly likely, is between 600 and 700 of
3 the people separated in Bratunac and the Vuk Karadzic school."
4 Do you remember having said that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: So first question is: 1- and 2.000, what do you
7 refer to when you say there were 1- and 2.000 -- between 1- and
8 2.000 people?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I had in mind was
10 my assessment about the number of men fit for military service who could
11 be found in Potocari or would be found in Potocari after the arrival of
12 civilians. I had in mind the men fit for military service as part of the
13 large group of 30.000 people in Potocari.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Now I understand. With respect to the
15 second sentence I read to you, you said 6- and 700 people separated in
16 Bratunac and the Vuk Karadzic school. Do you mean they were separated in
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I was slightly confused.
19 The people separated in Potocari, and they were less than our assessment.
20 The figure is the amount of people who were separated in Potocari and
21 then transported from Potocari to the detention facilities in Bratunac.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. This
24 was useful.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. When you moved along that road, inviting the people to surrender,
2 you didn't know what was in store for them, did you?
3 A. On the 13th when I moved along that road, if you want to know
4 about my feelings and beliefs at the time, then, of course, I didn't know
5 and I wasn't 100 per cent sure, but I could sense something. It was my
6 assessment that something bad would happen to those people.
7 Q. So your feel of the situation was one thing, but if you knew for
8 certain what would happen, you wouldn't have called them out, would you?
9 A. I wasn't the person calling them out. It was Mile Petrovic.
10 Now, as for whether I would call them to surrender, well, I think that if
11 I knew a person would be killed, I wouldn't call anyone out. I think
12 that question is something I have no answer to, but, yeah, I can
13 definitely say that, personally, I wouldn't call out anyone if I were
14 certain that they would be killed or liquidated.
15 Q. Thank you. Was that the reason why you were surprised when one
16 of your colleagues told you that he had avenged his brother? You were
17 told that by someone after you called out the Muslims and when some
18 six Muslims were put in your APC. You heard some gunfire, and then you
19 encountered a man who told you he avenged his brother; correct?
20 A. I was surprised by his act. I really didn't know then, and I
21 still don't, whether his brother had been killed or not. In any case,
22 individual acts of vengeance is something that happened there. 1994 and
23 1995 were the years of war, and nothing much surprised me then. I knew
24 of many such actions on both sides.
25 In any case, I was taken aback by what Mile Petrovic did, because
1 I had believed he was a good policeman.
2 Q. Do you know that Petrovic stated he didn't kill anyone and that
3 it was some sort of rhetoric of his. Well, that's my interpretation, but
4 do you know that he denied having killed anyone?
5 A. Yes. I know that Mile Petrovic denied it, denied the act of
6 killing, but as for the rest, the entire event I put to you here is
7 something he didn't dispute. To tell you the truth, I didn't even expect
8 Mile Petrovic, or anyone else for that matter, who took part in the
9 commission of any crime as part of revenge to confess, to come here and
10 say, "Yes, I killed the six people because I wanted to get revenge for my
11 brother." I never expected him to confirm that.
12 Q. Thank you. But you saw neither the killings or -- that killing
13 or any other killing with your own pair of eyes.
14 A. In all my testimonies so far, I said I did not see Mile Petrovic
15 killing them. I didn't check the accuracy or truthfulness of his
16 statement, and I also stated I have never attended or been present at any
17 killing. I never saw anyone in person killing someone else.
18 Q. Thank you. On your way back in the area of Sandici, on Sandici
19 meadow you saw a group of prisoners. In your view, how many were there,
20 and was it at around 2.00 or 3.00 p.m.?
21 A. I went through Sandici twice, both times in the afternoon. The
22 first time I went by there were a few prisoners, not many. I don't want
23 to guess, but not many.
24 The next time it was later in the afternoon, between 4.00 and
25 5.00 or so, and by that time, they were people all along the road between
1 Bratunac and Konjevic Polje, and at Sandici there were many prisoners. I
2 saw columns along the road of 2- to 300 people each. These are all my
3 assessments, but there were many prisoners along the route. Some were
4 moving towards Konjevic Polje, others towards Sandici and Kravica from
5 Pervani, Lolici and Sandici. It is all something I saw myself on both
7 The second time around, later in the afternoon, it was en masse.
8 Q. And this figure you mention is between 200 and 300 if we take
9 away the number of people en route to Konjevic Polje. So at Sandici how
10 many were left, 150, 200? On the meadow itself.
11 A. Again you have misquoted me. You are not presenting what I said
12 correctly. I gave you an example. I saw one column at one spot that
13 consisted of 250 to 300 persons, and I saw countless number of such
14 columns. Well, not that big. That was a very big column. But I saw a
15 countless number of other groups that were moving towards Konjevic Polje,
16 in that direction, or towards Sandici and Kravica, the other way.
17 I'm not talking about a single group. I'm talking about several
18 groups. I'm talking about several people who had surrendered along the
19 road that is about 10 kilometres long. From Kravica -- or, rather,
20 Sandici to Konjevic Polje is about 10 kilometres. Along that road,
21 people who had surrendered were moving along. There were groups that
22 were moving on their own, without anyone escorting them or anyone having
23 taken them prisoner. They were moving on their own, and I encountered
25 There were columns where, for example, there was this big group
1 that had been taken prisoner by the police who were there, and I saw that
2 with my very own eyes. They were frisking them, probably for security
3 reasons, reasons of their own, because there was also gunfire as they
4 were surrendering. They would -- I mean, the man who would surrender
5 would take out his pistol and shoot the policeman who was there. So then
6 they were frisking people because that's what they should do, and I'm
7 talking about these bigger groups of people.
8 And I'm also saying that later on, when I came to Sandici, on the
9 left-hand side, on a meadow, there was already a large number of people
10 who were prisoners. I cannot tell you how many there were, but it was a
11 large number. That's what I saw.
12 Q. Thank you. This large column was moving in which direction,
13 Konjevic Polje or Bratunac?
14 A. When I passed by that column, they were standing on the
15 right-hand side of the road towards Kravica, facing the middle of the
16 road, and they were being checked by the members of the unit that had
17 taken them prisoner. They were frisking them there. That is the biggest
18 group that I saw. I don't know -- I mean, I passed by them in this APC.
19 I don't know whether they went to Konjevic Polje or Kravica. That I do
20 not know. I do not know where that specific group went.
21 Q. Thank you. Further on you say that during the day of the 13th,
22 prisoners were coming in, people who had been taken prisoner in
23 neighbouring municipalities, right, Milici and so on, and that large
24 number of prisoners were flowing in. And you say that this was a major
25 burden for Bratunac in terms of the security and safety of the city, or
2 A. Just one fact. Let us be very specific. I never said that
3 people came from Milici. I said the prisoners were brought in from
4 Nova Kasaba. Just to be very specific on that, Nova Kasaba,
5 Konjevic Polje, and it was from that direction that for the most part
6 they were arriving nonstop, buses with persons who had been taken
7 prisoner. Muslims who had been captured along that route or had
9 Q. Is Nova Kasaba part of Milici?
10 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Previously I've been standing up asking for cites
12 and not objecting. I am now objecting to Mr. Karadzic misstating to the
13 witness what he allegedly said before. I object to putting to the
14 witness that he has said things without any proper cites and which the
15 witness says he has not said.
16 JUDGE KWON: Absolutely, Mr. Nicholls. Thank you.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: And I'm sorry, it's pretty clear what's going on.
18 He's making misstatements and just hoping one will get adopted.
19 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do apologise for this
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Am I mistaken in saying that Nova Kasaba is part of the
24 municipality of Milici, or is it also part of the municipality of
1 A. No, you did not make a mistake. Nova Kasaba is a local commune
2 in the municipality Milici. However, I just wanted to be precise
3 because, according to my information, there were prisoners in Milici and
4 in other places in the Milici municipality. I just wanted to state
5 precisely what it was that I knew, and that is that from Nova Kasaba,
6 prisoners were arriving in the territory of the municipality of Bratunac
7 and they were being put up at facilities that were intended for
9 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that this was a major burden for you,
10 especially as a security officer, and for the town itself?
11 A. Yes. That was a major problem for all of us who were there,
12 regardless of whether we were soldiers or policemen or the civilian
14 Q. Thank you. On the 13th, in the evening, was a meeting held that
15 you attended as well? Can you tell us about that briefly, and can you
16 tell us who attended this meeting?
17 A. Yesterday, I spoke about that meeting. That is to say, sometime
18 after I returned from Zvornik, around 2400 hours, that is to say, around
19 midnight, a meeting was held on the SDS premises, and I told you that the
20 direct participants of the meeting were Miroslav Deronjic, president of
21 the SDS; Colonel Dragomir Vasic, chief of the public security centre of
22 Zvornik; and Colonel Beara, chief of the security administration of the
23 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
24 Q. Thank you. Were in the room itself, were you a participant in
25 this meeting, or did you overhear it from an adjacent room?
1 A. No, I was not a participant in the meeting. I was sitting there
2 in this reception area in the SDS offices.
3 Q. Thank you. For a while they were shouting. Did you hear any
4 conversations that did not involve shouting? Did you miss anything?
5 A. Well, what I missed I could not have spoken about or testified
6 about. I only testified about what I heard. I don't know. I think that
7 I heard the essence of their conversation. Of course, again I would like
8 to be very specific. I did not quote anyone. I explained in my own
9 words how I understood their conversation.
10 Q. Thank you. And there was this quarrel there when Beara and
11 Deronjic referred to their bosses, mentioned their bosses; right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Thank you. Were any of them under the influence even before they
14 got out the drinks and glasses? Were they under the influence when the
15 meeting started?
16 A. Well, I didn't analyse them then, but I said in one of my
17 testimonies that one of them, that is to say, Colonel Beara, when he
18 arrived to attend the meeting he was tipsy. That was my assessment. I
19 may have been wrong, but I don't think I was wrong.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the following now: Actually, you
21 told us what your understanding was. Can you tell us now what words the
22 two of them used as you remember them, or do we have to rely on that
23 interpretation after these 17 years?
24 A. I've already answered that question for you in part. I never
25 said that I quoted them directly. I told you a moment ago that I told
1 this Trial Chamber and every other time when I testified, I said what it
2 was that I remembered or how I understood their conversation, and that is
3 the conversation and content and those words that I testified about
5 Q. Thank you. On the 13th, after you returned from Zvornik, you
6 also found out that there had been killings in Kravica. Is it correct
7 that you were informed that this happened after the incident when a
8 policeman was killed when a rifle was grabbed? Is that the information
9 that you received as well?
10 A. Yes. I heard about an incident in Kravica. I had that
11 information that there were mass killings that were committed in Kravica,
12 but that evening I was not aware of any details. A day or perhaps
13 two days later, I knew a bit more about that, what it was that had really
14 happened. And after I received an order from the command of the
15 Drina Corps to investigate basically two questions, first, what was the
16 structure that took part in the killings in Kravica, and -- actually,
17 they knew roughly who it was, and I was supposed to investigate whether
18 there were members of the military involved too. So I investigated that
19 and I roughly confirmed what it was that I had known all along, that it
20 was the police that had taken part, that a rifle was grabbed, that a
21 policeman was killed, and after that these people were killed,
22 liquidated, at Kravica.
23 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the Drina Corps command knew less
24 than you did and that they sought information from you?
25 A. I don't think that it was a question of who knew more and who
1 knew less. Probably - again this is my assessment - they wanted to have
2 an official confirmation of the information that they probably had
3 available. They wanted to know who committed the killing, and they
4 wanted a bit more detail. That's probably the only reason.
5 For the command of the Drina Corps not to know, not to have
6 information that a mass killing had been committed in their area, I mean,
7 that kind of assertion -- well, you're not asserting that, but that kind
8 of assertion I would find hard to believe now.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, afterwards, someone decided that these victims
10 should be buried in Kravica; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know where they were buried and whether they were buried
13 in the same place or near to the location where the victims from May 1992
14 were buried, the operation of disarming Glogova?
15 A. I know exactly where they were buried, those who got killed in
16 1992, and I know exactly where those who were killed in 1995 were buried.
17 Q. Oh. Is that nearby?
18 A. No.
19 Q. What about the rest, who lost their lives elsewhere in Potocari,
20 the school, or were killed at the school? They were also buried in
21 Glogova, within this compound where those from Kravica had been buried as
22 well; right?
23 A. If you will tell me who you're referring to from Potocari and
24 which period you're referring to, I can give you an answer, because now I
25 don't know who it is that you're talking about.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you know that there were five or six dead, that
2 there was one suicide, and that a few persons were killed in different
3 places, one, two, three in Srebrenica itself, and in Potocari itself
4 there happened to be five to seven corpses that were buried in Glogova.
5 It was the civilian protection that buried them in Glogova.
6 A. I don't have any information -- actually, I never did have any
7 information of a single killing in Potocari or of a group of people
8 consisting of five or six or seven persons. The first and only time I
9 heard of such information was when I read it in one of the statements
10 given by one of the Dutch soldiers, but I was not aware of any killings
11 in Potocari when all of those people were there during those critical
13 Q. Thank you. Perhaps I misspoke. That is the number of corpses
14 that was gathered there from different places, but, all right, if you're
15 not familiar with this topic, we'll leave that.
16 At the school there were what, 30, 50 dead? Do you know that
17 they were also buried in Kravica -- actually, Glogova?
18 A. I spoke about my subsequent knowledge in relation to the killings
19 that were committed in the hangar. That is in the immediate vicinity of
20 the school that you referred to. However, what I know, that is to say,
21 the information conveyed to me by Dragan Mirkovic who took part in
22 cleaning up the area and in the burials, according to his statement these
23 people were not buried in the same grave. Rather, they were transported
24 to the village of Halilovici in the area of Glogova. I'm just conveying
25 what I heard from him. And he said that they were buried there -- or,
1 rather, that they were left there and, later on, that they were covered
2 with earth.
3 That is the information that I received from Dragan Mirkovic, who
4 was commander of that unit for burials and for clearing the terrain.
5 Q. Thank you. Was any conclusion reached at the meeting of the
6 13th? Was any decision taken at this meeting held on the 13th that you
7 managed to hear from the adjacent room in the SDS premises, Beara,
8 Deronjic, and others? Was any decision made?
9 A. At that meeting, a series of conclusions were adopted, and they
10 were binding for the civilian police, the military police, the members of
11 the military, and so on, and they had to do with securing those captives
12 who had come from Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba and who were on buses.
13 Also, there were conclusions and obligations that pertained to those who
14 had been there from the 12th of July, that is to say, the 12th and the
15 13th. And finally, I spoke about this information and this quarrel, and
16 finally they agreed that all the prisoners on the next day, 13th -- no,
17 sorry, the 14th in the morning, should be transferred to the area of
18 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade.
19 Q. Thank you. However, on the 14th in the morning, there was an
20 attempt, was there not, to put them up in the brickworks? Did you visit
21 the director of the brickworks together with Beara and these people?
22 A. I never went to the brickworks during that period. After the
23 13th in the evening, I never saw Colonel Beara again, nor did I contact
24 him. On the 13th I saw him, on one day, the first time he issued an
25 order to me, and the next time I saw him was when I took him to the SDS
1 premises. And after that I didn't see Colonel Beara, and I didn't visit
2 together with Colonel Beara or with anyone else the brickworks, the
3 social brickworks company in Bratunac.
4 Q. Do you know that Beara went to see the director, and did you know
5 what his intentions were when he went to visit the director of the
7 A. I've testified about that here. There was information according
8 to which certain officers that -- I never said that it was Colonel Beara.
9 I don't know about that. But I did testify here, and I'm repeating this,
10 that I subsequently obtained information -- after all the events that
11 unfolded there, I obtained information according to which a group of
12 officers, I don't know who, really went to the brickworks, and they had
13 contact with the director of the brickworks. They spoke to him about the
14 killing of the captives who were in Bratunac.
15 So that is the information that I subsequently obtained with
16 regard to the visit made by some of the officers to the brickworks. But
17 I don't know. What I heard was that they were there before the 13th,
18 maybe even on the 12th, that would be the earliest date, but that is what
19 I heard, and I wouldn't want to speculate.
20 Q. Thank you. At the time you did not know that they were looking
21 for an execution site. That is something that in a certain sense was
22 unveiled later, after the events. So now I want to find out what you
23 knew at the time, what you found out at the time and what you found out
24 at a subsequent date.
25 A. Since I didn't know that they went there, then naturally I
1 couldn't know about their plans or about what they did. But I have to
2 tell you this, and this is something I told you when we had our
3 interview: The first time that it was discussed openly, it was no longer
4 a secret, codes were no longer used, the first time that the fate of the
5 soldiers was discussed, the first time that they openly discussed the
6 killing of these people on the 13th in the evening, Miroslav Deronjic
7 said this, roughly speaking, he said that he wouldn't want those people
8 to be killed in Bratunac. He wouldn't allow it. He had enough problems.
9 He insisted on them leaving the territory of Bratunac municipality. So
10 that quite clearly showed that the fate of those captives was clear. It
11 was clear that they would be killed. The question was whether they would
12 be killed in Bratunac or whether they would be killed somewhere else, in
13 this case in Zvornik. So that is what was quite clear at the time.
14 There was no more dilemma as to whether they would be killed or not.
15 Q. Thank you. We have two statements here from the director,
16 Nedjo Nikolic, the brickworks director. He gave one to the
17 Blagojevic Defence, and he gave the other one -- he sent it to us
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 1D1508, please.
20 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me. The Chamber needs to rise for the
21 moment. We will take a break now. We will take a break for an hour and
22 resume at 1.20.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.24 p.m.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I won't waste any more time on these statements made by
4 Mr. Nedjo Nikolic, but briefly assist us and tell us what sort of
5 infrastructure the brickworks has in Bratunac. In addition to the
6 administrative building, is there some sort of a room for drying bricks
7 or for producing them?
8 A. I'm not familiar with the infrastructure of the brickworks. I
9 know that they were involved in producing these blocks and bricks. I
10 know where the administrative building is, I know where they're located,
11 where the factory is, but I really don't know much or anything about the
12 infrastructure itself. They produced bricks and blocks of brick. That
13 was their main activity.
14 Q. Thank you. When you say "factory," does that mean that they had
15 some sort of covered facilities, halls, rooms?
16 A. Yes, they did have premises where they worked, and as far as I
17 can remember, there was a place where they would work, and afterwards
18 they'd take these things outside. They had a huge place where they could
19 keep these bricks and blocks, where they could store them.
20 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to ask you the following: What made you
21 take it upon yourself to admit certain things, to assume a significant
22 amount of responsibility for certain things that you obviously did not do
23 when you were trying to reach an agreement with the Prosecution?
24 A. I'll answer your question in two parts. As for the first part,
25 well, I have explained that in the course of my testimony. If you need
1 additional explanations, I will provide them. As far as my admission of
2 guilt is concerned and the written statement I gave, I will provide you
3 with the explanations, but why did I admit I was guilty --
4 Q. No, no, there is no statement, just your testimony. I'm not
5 asking why you admitted that you were guilty. Why did you admit that you
6 had done certain things that you hadn't done? For example, at one point
7 in time you were ready to assume responsibility. You said that you
8 accepted that you were in Kravica in that company warehouse, and you said
9 that you had ordered certain things. That was corrected later, but why
10 would you admit that you had done something that you hadn't, in fact,
12 A. I have already explained the situation I was in to you at the
13 time. I've also told you about the time when this arrived, and I
14 explained something about the reasons for which I acted in this way. I
15 don't have a particular explanation for why that is what I said. I
16 naturally shouldn't have said anything of that kind. I quite simply
17 wasn't there and didn't do that. I provided all the explanations for the
18 reasons, but an additional reason would be that it was the end of the
19 negotiations. I said everything I had to say. My lawyers had shown all
20 the evidence I had to the Prosecution. They had handed all this evidence
21 over to the OTP. So quite simply, to be frank, I was in a situation in
22 which we had this agreement we'd been working on for a long time, and I
23 didn't want it to fall through. I wanted this agreement to be reached.
24 So I thought that if I entered the process, well, I should say everything
25 that I had seen, everything I participated in. So apart from the reasons
1 I've mentioned, that was an additional reason.
2 Naturally, I understood that I had made a mistake. I accepted
3 that kind of responsibility for -- because that's what I said. I admit
4 that I made a mistake. It's easy to be a general after the fight, but
5 the overall situation was such that this is something that happened. I'm
6 just a simple man of flesh and blood. I accepted that. I made a
7 mistake, I didn't tell the truth, I apologised, and then we continued
8 with our work.
9 That is my explanation. I have no other explanation to provide,
10 and that is what I thought at the time and what I think now. I am being
11 quite frank.
12 Q. Thank you. Is it true that you also accepted -- well, in fact,
13 you falsely identified yourself. You said that man looked like you, but
14 at some point you said you were quite desperate. You didn't want that
15 agreement to fall through. You were ready to sacrifice yourself and to
16 assume responsibility for something that you, in fact, had not done.
17 Isn't that the case? And is there anything else that you accepted
18 responsibility for?
19 A. As far as the photograph is concerned, I also provided
20 explanations for the photograph in the course of my testimony. If you
21 like, I can tell you the reasons for the photograph now and at the
22 time -- well, right now I didn't have the intention of placing myself
23 somewhere where I wasn't present, but at the very beginning, the
24 photograph that was shown to me and even a video, well, I analysed them
25 countless times. The video -- in that video, the individual who
1 appeared - and I think a photograph was made of that man - that
2 individual really looked like me, so I thought that it was myself. When
3 I was told it was in Sandici, that's the position was in Sandici, then I
4 was in an even greater dilemma. I know that I was never in Sandici. I
5 never got out of a vehicle or an APC in Sandici, but the photograph is
6 from Sandici and then I told my Defence team that the photograph looks
7 like me, the person in the photograph looks like me, the soldier in the
8 uniform looks like me, or, rather, I look like him. However, given the
9 place where the photograph was taken, as far as I know I never got out of
10 the vehicle or an APC at that location. And then my Defence team carried
11 out an investigation, looked into the entire matter and they established
12 that it was Mile Savic in the photograph, also known as Cuko, from a MUP
13 special brigade from Kozluk, and he worked on the border police. They
14 took a statement from him, and then I was quite sure about the situation
15 when he admitted that it was him. Then I was certain that I hadn't been
17 I didn't want to be exclusive when speaking to the OTP. I didn't
18 want to tell the Prosecution, "No, that's not me." How could I know?
19 Perhaps I had forgotten something. Perhaps I couldn't remember
20 something. So I didn't want to exclude the possibility. I said
21 everything I have just told you. So that concerns the photograph.
22 I really didn't have the intention now to make my situation even
23 more difficult, but I just didn't want to exclude certain possibilities
24 and deny something that had perhaps happened. That is my explanation and
25 that is the only reason for which I made that admission.
1 You also asked me whether there was anything else. In the
2 statement that in some sense increased my responsibility, yes, there were
3 certain phrases that didn't tally with each other, and initially I didn't
4 pay much attention to these inconsistencies in the terms used. With
5 time, I became convinced -- this just has to do with command and control
6 elements, though. But with time, I became convinced of certain things.
7 And I told my Defence team at an early stage, "Gentlemen, I don't think
8 this can be attributed to me," and then they tried to persuade me of
9 certain things. They told me how this didn't relate to certain matters.
10 The concepts involved were concepts such as co-ordination. There were
11 certain other concepts that I have listed and then corrected, but,
12 really, when you read through it, this to a certain degree increases my
14 I wanted to be clear, and then in some later statement I tried to
15 explain things as best I could. Without my Defence team, I tried to
16 explain what I did there. I didn't change anything that concerned my
17 participation, but I changed the phrases used. I eliminated certain
18 terms that weren't appropriate to me but should be used in relation to
19 the command. And in this manner, for the benefit of the Chamber and for
20 everyone else, I tried to present a correct picture of the situation that
21 I participated in.
22 So when you take my factual basis, my conversation with the OTP,
23 the statement given to them and the further statement provided, when you
24 take all those elements into consideration and analyse them as a whole,
25 then I'm convinced that to a great extent this reflects my participation,
1 my responsibility, and my guilt in that operation, the operation that I
2 participated in.
3 So that is what I think I should say here in relation to all
4 those circumstances.
5 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that the OTP did not explicitly ask you
6 to provide them with more information but it was your impression that the
7 Prosecution wanted more information from you so that you could be sure
8 that you would reach an agreement? You spoke about this in Blagojevic,
9 page 2145. Did they ask for more information or were you guided by your
10 impression of what it was necessary to do?
11 A. It's neither one nor the other. I spoke to the OTP on countless
12 occasions, and on countless occasions we addressed various issues,
13 various subject matters. We spoke about everything that took place
14 immediately before the operation, in the course of the operation, and
15 after the operation in Srebrenica.
16 I am from a field that fully understands the manner which an
17 investigation is carried out. I know how you try to determine the truth.
18 So the acts of the Prosecution were to a large extent correct. They
19 insisted on establishing the truth. They wanted to determine what the
20 truth was. Naturally, I could understand what their approach was. The
21 OTP's task to establish the truth, and they have doubts about everything.
22 So I had to be prepared for such a relationship and I was prepared.
23 Of course, it's very difficult to go through all those things.
24 It's very difficult and painful for everyone, including myself. It's
25 difficult and painful to admit to facts that are not at all pleasant,
1 that are extremely painful, extremely ugly, and it's stressful for
2 everyone and for me, myself, to admit that you participated in something
3 and to admit that you are responsible for something that can't be
4 disputed, for a terrible crime. So in that sense, I fully understood the
5 request that the Prosecution made. We spoke to each other on numerous
6 occasions. We returned to certain issues.
7 My only objection is now to my Defence team. It has to do with
8 legal matters, and I as a layman didn't pay attention to that. I know
9 about military things but not about legal matters. So as far as that
10 that legal part is concerned from the agreement, the statement, my
11 lawyers certainly knew what I participated in and what I did not
12 participate in. So I was a hundred per cent frank with them. So here I
13 have certain objections to make. When they were speaking to the
14 Prosecution, why didn't the lawyers do everything that the lawyers should
15 have done? So I have a serious objection to the way they proceeded. And
16 because of their attitude, there were these problems that arose with
17 regard to the definition of certain terms and the use of terms, and so on
18 and so forth.
19 So that would be my objection.
20 But as for everything else, well, let me tell you, the
21 negotiations were always difficult and stressful. Many things were
22 repeated. The Prosecution insisted on addressing certain issues about
23 which they had reliable information showing that they had happened and I
24 participated in them or didn't participate in them, and this is how the
25 overall negotiations were conducted. It was within that context.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see this agreement now.
3 65 ter 19459. If it shouldn't be broadcast -- well, could Mr. Nicholls
4 please decide.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't see any reason it can't be broadcast.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: We're coming up the agreement filed -- I see no
8 reason that can't be broadcast.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm always in favour of having
10 things out in the public domain. I believe this is a translation and the
11 original should be English.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is this your agreement, this agreement on the acceptance of
15 A. I beg your pardon. This is a statement of facts and acceptance
16 of responsibility, so it is a statement of facts and acceptance of
17 responsibility. When I say "agreement," I mean something else. I mean
18 another document.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We have the agreement too. If this
20 is authentic, can we please have the agreement admitted as well. We
21 don't need to upload it. I mean, we don't have to display it if there is
22 no dispute.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me just answer. As for the
24 statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility, I made certain
25 corrections in my secret statement and all the others are of a legal
1 nature. My lawyers worked on that. I don't want to comment on that. I
2 don't know how to comment on that, because the agreement basically refers
3 to legal regulations. As for this statement, in addition to it, I
4 submitted to the Trial Chamber certain matters that I tried to define
5 more specifically, more clearly the role that I played and the roles that
6 others played in the operation.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is this part of the associated --
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I just wanted to say that - I think it may be
11 helpful - 65 ter 21586 is a supplemental statement which was prepared at
12 the request of the Popovic Trial Chamber, which I believe is what
13 Mr. Nikolic has been referring to.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. While we're trying to find our way through these
16 documents, I would like to ask you something. You left the army without
17 a rank; right?
18 A. I left the army with the rank of sergeant.
19 Q. Ah-ha. When were you given this rank of captain?
20 A. I got the rank of captain when I went to work in the
21 Territorial Defence Staff, and then when according to establishment I met
22 the requirements, I held a position that was that of an officer.
23 Q. Thank you. You have a degree in political science and you taught
24 theory, so you were never prepared for a command role yourself or did you
25 teach your pupils how to do that; right?
1 A. Command and control, that does not exist in secondary school.
2 There is the subject called defence and protection, and it has a
3 curriculum of its own. However, at the Faculty of Defence and
4 Protection, I did have a subject called control and command.
5 Q. Thank you. But you did not have a unit that you could command;
6 right? You did not have a unit that was under you? Is it correct that
7 in your description you said that you prepared decisions related -- or,
8 rather, recommendations related to the use of the military police?
9 A. All units including the military police in the Bratunac Brigade
10 were directly commanded by the commander of the unit. I did not command
11 it. I did not have a unit of my own, and that is not envisaged by
12 establishment, not a single organ of this kind has his own unit.
13 Q. Thank you. I'm even more surprised therefore --
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, your time's up, so I would like you to
15 conclude in five minutes' time.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I'm even more surprised, then, because of this confession,
19 because you did not have a unit under you. So tell us, who would be in
20 charge of promoting you? If you were to be promoted, if you were
21 supposed to be given a rank -- I mean, did you get a rank during the war?
22 A. No. No. During the war, I was a captain, and after the war I
23 was promoted to the rank of major.
24 Q. Thank you. Who was in charge of your promotion? Was it the
25 chain or was it the Bratunac Brigade, the commander of the brigade, or
1 did it involve the professional chain, if you will?
2 A. All proposals for promotions to higher ranks and for citations
3 and decorations are initiated by the commander of the basic unit that
4 you're in.
5 Q. And who made this proposal that you should be promoted to the
6 rank of major? Who was commander then, or was it somebody else?
7 A. There was no proposal as far as my promotion to the rank of major
8 was concerned. A law was passed then according to which all officers who
9 held the rank of captain -- I mean, the next rank up the chain,
10 captain first class was annulled. So if you held a particular position
11 according to establishment and if you spent a certain amount of time in
12 that position, three or four years, automatically you would be promoted
13 to the next rank up. So in my case I was a captain, and I was promoted
14 to the rank of major because the rank of captain first class no longer
16 Assistant commander for personnel affairs, Major Eskic, asked me
17 to give him my booklet, and on the basis of the law, he wrote that in my
18 booklet. He said rank of major. I don't remember the date but it was
19 within my brigade.
20 Q. Okay. Could you tell us when that happened? Could you help us
21 with that?
22 A. I think it was just before my demobilisation, roughly. I don't
23 know exactly. But at any rate, after the operation, after everything,
24 and I think that it was all over, and I even think that the new commander
25 had arrived. I don't know exactly. It is all in my military booklet and
1 in my other documents.
2 Q. But that was before the middle of 1996 or after that. When were
3 you demobilised?
4 A. I think that the exact date of my demobilisation is around the
5 20th of April, the 20th of April, 1996.
6 Q. Thank you. So when this proposal was made and when you were
7 promoted, those who did that did not know anything bad about you; right?
8 A. I've explained to you the way in which I was promoted to the rank
9 of major. No one had anything bad to say, and I didn't have any
10 recommendations either, and there were no evaluations made, good or bad.
11 Major, Lieutenant-colonel, these were the further ranks. I held the rank
12 of captain. I held a certain amount of time in that position according
13 to establishment, so there was no need for anyone to make a proposal
14 regarding myself. No disciplinary proceedings were ever instituted
15 against me, so that was that.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at 1D5095?
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. So even in May UNPROFOR was treating you as a major, so obviously
20 Serbs and foreigners thought that you should have more responsibility or,
21 rather, that you held a position that was higher than what you actually
22 held. It even says --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Actually can we have this document?
24 Your Excellencies, actually this statement and the plea
25 agreement, can that be admitted?
1 JUDGE KWON: Has it not been admitted, Mr. Nicholls?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: No. The plea agreement was admitted, and --
3 JUDGE KWON: What was -- what was that number?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: 21584 was the 65 ter number, Your Honour. I'm
5 sorry, I don't remember the -- 4386, Your Honour. And I have no
6 objection to the statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility
7 being admitted provided that the direction or the additional statement is
8 also admitted because it's clear that this one needed some correction.
9 JUDGE KWON: Given the statement of the witness, we will admit
10 both the statement of facts, this one, as well as supplemental statement,
11 which was 65 ter number 21586.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: We'll give the number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibits 2081 and 2082 respectively,
15 Your Honours.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please take a brief look now
17 at 1D5095.
18 JUDGE KWON: Is this your last question, Mr. Karadzic?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If that is what it has to be.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Oh, I see. I don't think that there's a Serbian translation.
22 The 5th of May, 1995, a UNMO met with you and says that within
23 the Army of Republika Srpska you are the liaison officer and more
24 powerful than your rank suggests, and he considers you to be a major.
25 And then he refers to Vukovic, that there was some protest that he had
1 lodged. And then paragraph three -- [In English] I read it in English,
2 sorry, to be translated better.
3 [As read] "1. UNMO met Major Nikolic who is the BSA LO and
4 rather more powerful than his rank suggests.
5 "Given a letter of protest from Colonel Vukovic, commander of
6 Skelani Brigade, and called liaison officer of Drina Corps for all
7 matters concerning enclave. The letter was ref WF activities in the
8 area. UNMO intend to reply on Monday.
9 "BSA still awaiting a meeting with ABiH local joint commission,
10 LJ, local joint commission will need discuss with the 2nd Corps at your
11 level, will try to get copy of BSA proposal.
12 "Comment: I believe BSA warned the LJC in order to withdraw
13 troops from other areas. ABH aware of this and will keep stalling."
14 [Interpretation] Further on, it says down there there's a
16 [In English] "Comment from team: Major Nikolic clearly trying to
17 demonstrate BSA willingness to talk and discuss any violation within his
18 own area of responsibility. BSA have even stated willingness to go
19 anywhere in enclave for meeting with BiH, but so far, 28th Division have
21 [Interpretation] So the UN considers you to be a powerful officer
22 and rather more powerful than your rank of major suggests. But then
23 further down there are words of praise that you clearly demonstrated the
24 readiness of the Army of Republika Srpska to discuss any violations. Was
25 that the way it was? Did that happen in May 1995?
1 A. On the 5th of May, 1995, and on any other date, whenever members
2 of UNPROFOR asked to see me, I would go to see them, unless I was
3 forbidden to do so. So there were periods when there was this ban on my
4 meetings with him -- with them. The Dutch can confirm that I even
5 entered Muslim-controlled territory in the area of Vresinje, in the area
6 of responsibility of the 1st Infantry Battalion. I also entered Potocari
7 several times and negotiated with them. Every time they asked for this I
8 was there at their disposal, and I conveyed their requests to the
9 superior command depending on the type of request involved. Sometimes to
10 the Main Staff and always to the command of the Drina Corps.
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Nikolic, do you accept that all reports with your
12 signature are your own and that I could submit them as bar table motions,
13 because we don't have time to go through each and every one of them? Do
14 you stand by all your reports? I don't know if the Trial Chamber will
15 accept this, but in principle --
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, how can he answer the question without
17 seeing them?
18 Come to your last question.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this please be admitted.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, this will be admitted as next Defence exhibit.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 2083, Your Honours.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. My last question for Mr. Nikolic. I'll try to put it in a
24 summarised form and I'll ask you to try and answer in one go.
25 Were you close with Popovic, Beara, Blagojevic, Kosoric and
1 others? What was your relationship with them, whether they were your
2 military colleagues or in the sphere of politics?
3 A. You know I was not involved in politics, especially if you have
4 in mind the highest political level. I was never a member of the SDS,
5 and in that regard, I was not close to any -- with any politicians. I
6 did have a good working relationship with the politicians in my
7 municipality, and we never encountered any particular problems, but I did
8 not socialise with them. We did not have that kind of relationship. We
9 held each other in high professional regard, and we assisted each other
10 as people do, but I had no friends in political circles.
11 As for the officers you mentioned, I was not friends with any of
12 them. I did not complete the military academy, and I had not worked in
13 the JNA units they had. I heard for the first time of those people once
14 they became part of the Drina Corps and Main Staff. I met with them
15 officially on their request or on their orders or the orders of the
16 superior command. My relationship with the officers you mentioned,
17 starting with Mladic, Beara, Popovic, Kosoric and others, was a
18 professional one and fair throughout the time. I never came into any
19 conflict with any of them privately or professionally, and I always
20 strove to carry out my duties as prescribed by the Law on the Military.
21 Q. Would you oppose today the events of 1995? Would you refuse to
22 do what was asked of you back then if such actions were not part of the
24 A. Well, I'm 17 years older now. I'm not that much smarter, but at
25 least I am more experienced. Mr. Karadzic, you learn from your life's
1 problems, and you keep learning. Experience works miracles. If I were
2 to be in -- in a similar situation knowing what I know now, trust me, I
3 wouldn't be fooled by anyone. I wouldn't carry out anyone's order. I
4 would simply flee if in the same situation.
5 But then, things were completely different. The situation was
6 different, and I carried out my superiors' orders, and by having done so
7 I made mistakes. As a human being I accepted that, and I believe anyone
8 in such a situation should. When things are fine and going well, one
9 needs to accept the praise. In case of mistakes, one needs to take the
10 blame, and I do to the extent of my guilt and the mistakes I made. I did
11 that, and I feel no regret for having done that. I felt much relieved
12 once I accepted my responsibility and said that I was sorry for what I
13 had done. In a way, I feel better.
14 Q. Can you tell us whether you have any expectations on the part of
15 the Prosecution to agree to you being released after having served
16 two-thirds of your sentence, and do they have any expectations of you in
17 the next case, the Mladic case, to testify again? I'd like to conclude
18 with that.
19 A. I have no idea what the intentions of the Prosecution are. As
20 any detainee, any inmate, I will always try to have my early release
21 requests granted. I don't know what the decision would be, whether the
22 President of the Tribunal would grant that or not, but I will make use of
23 any rule under the Finnish law. The President of this Tribunal and its
24 Judges will render their decision, and I will honour it no matter what it
25 may be.
1 As for the opinion of the Prosecution, I don't know what it will
2 be. Within the existing procedure, they need to provide their opinion on
3 my behaviour and possibility of my return to the society as someone who
4 had participated in it all. It is up to them, not up to me. But in any
5 case, I will always invoke my right to submit my request for release to
6 the President of this Tribunal.
7 I believe that I am under an obligation to appear. Whether I was
8 asked to do that by the Bench, the Prosecution, or a Defence, I have to
9 come to testify as I did in the past proceedings and in the future
10 proceeding of Mr. Mladic, if it should come to that.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I conclude my
12 cross-examination earlier, because as I have said already, I had planned
13 to use nine hours.
14 JUDGE KWON: That's unacceptable, Mr. Karadzic, for you to say so
15 after having spent eight hours and 25 minutes.
16 In any event, yes, Mr. Nicholls.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: No questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE KWON: Then unless my colleagues have questions for you,
19 Mr. Nikolic, that concludes your evidence.
20 Just before that, Mr. Nicholls, I need your guidance. Line 4
21 does not need a redaction.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe there is no need, Your Honour.
23 Could I have a moment?
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me. Yes. It's no problem, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Well, that concludes your evidence,
2 Mr. Nikolic. On behalf of this Bench and the Tribunal as a whole, I
3 would like to thank you sincerely for your coming to The Hague again. I
4 wish you all the best.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I am
6 always at your disposal when needed to come and testify to the extent
8 JUDGE KWON: We do appreciate it.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE KWON: I'd also like to thank you, Ms. Lindsay. Please
12 have a safe journey back home.
13 MS. LINDSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: We just need a couple minutes, Your Honours, to
15 change positions.
16 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
17 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, while they're changing positions,
18 I --
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
20 MR. ROBINSON: With respect to this next witness, there is going
21 to come a point when his 92 ter statement is offered that we're going to
22 object to a certain portion of that, and we could wait to -- that time,
23 or we could deal with that issue before he comes in, whatever you prefer.
24 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we deal with it now, Mr. Robinson.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Very well. I will wait until they get settled and
1 then I'll start.
2 JUDGE KWON: I take it would be better to be dealt with in his
4 MR. ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. MITCHELL: Yes, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Yes, Mr. Robinson.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. This is a request
8 that the Trial Chamber not admit the last sentence of paragraph 25 and
9 paragraph 26 of the amalgamated statement of the next witness, journalist
10 Robert Block, and that deals with the issue of his claim that
11 Dr. Karadzic was very angry and demanded that the tape of Srebrenica
12 footage be recovered. And it's our position that the information that
13 Mr. Block has about that is insufficiently reliable to be admitted, so I
14 would like to just briefly give you the facts of what we're dealing with
15 and then explain a little about some jurisprudence that we're relying on.
16 First of all, in the amalgamated statement, Mr. Block indicates
17 that he got that information from two sources. His first source is his
18 driver and interpreter who he refuses to identify. It's not identified
19 in the amalgamated statement, and when we had our interview with him
20 yesterday afternoon, he told us that he didn't want to identify that
22 He also indicated and I believe he would also testify that that
23 person had no access to Dr. Karadzic and was "doing the rounds in Pale,"
24 and that the person was essentially hearing rumours and that that was the
25 source of his information about Dr. Karadzic's reaction.
1 The second source for Mr. Block is a conversation he said that he
2 had with the film-maker Goran Petrovic-Pirocanac in the presence of his,
3 Mr. Block's friend and colleague Dragan Cicic, and according to
4 Mr. Block, he said that Mr. Petrovic gave no indication as to where he
5 had gotten the information about Dr. Karadzic's reaction, and as far as
6 Mr. Block knows, Petrovic had not spoken with Dr. Karadzic directly. He
7 told us he had the impression that perhaps one of Mr. Petrovic's friends
8 had said to Mr. Petrovic that, Even Dr. Karadzic is upset with you.
9 So the information that Mr. Block purports to give to the
10 Trial Chamber is at least at a minimum triple hearsay. We start with
11 Mr. Block. The first level of hearsay is what he's told either by his
12 driver, who is anonymous, or Mr. Petrovic. The second level of
13 information is someone who we don't know who told Mr. Petrovic or the
14 driver. And the minimum third level of hearsay would be if Dr. Karadzic
15 had told that person, and we don't even know if there are other
16 intermediaries involved.
17 So we believe that, for one, the circumstances show that this is
18 not the kind of evidence that is reliable enough to be admitted in this
19 Tribunal, even a Tribunal that admits hearsay evidence. And there are
20 other circumstances that militate against the reliability of this hearsay
22 Mr. Block wrote an article on the 21st of July, 1995, in which he
23 wrote that the footage of the Srebrenica taken by Republika Srpska TV was
24 confiscated under the orders of the Bosnian Serb Army, and that's
25 65 ter 21961. It's an associated exhibit. The person who accompanied
1 him when he met Petrovic, Dragan Cicic, also wrote an article that same
2 day, and he wrote that the footage was confiscated by military
3 authorities and in the hands of the army of the Bosnian Serbs. So the
4 contemporaneous reporting about what happened to this tape -- these tapes
5 make no mention of Mr. Karadzic and indicate that it was the army who had
7 And Mr. Block has indicated to us that this was not --
8 Dr. Karadzic's reaction was not something that he tried to corroborate,
9 that it was not relevant for his article, and he was simply reporting,
10 and as long as the army had confiscated the tapes, that was all that
11 mattered to him at the time.
12 I note also that in an interview given by Mr. Cicic to the
13 Prosecutor in 2009, he makes no mention whatsoever of any comment that
14 Petrovic made referring to Dr. Karadzic, and, in fact, he indicates that
15 Petrovic referred to the army when discussion the confiscation of the
17 And finally, Mr. Petrovic himself has been interviewed by the
18 Prosecution, has testified in two trials, including the Popovic testimony
19 which has been admitted under Rule 92 bis in this trial, and as far as I
20 can tell, he's made no mention of having information that Dr. Karadzic
21 had ordered the confiscation of the tape or had been angry about it.
22 So that's the factual background. The legal aspect is this:
23 That hearsay evidence is only admissible when the Trial Chamber is
24 satisfied that the evidence is reliable, and the appeal -- that's from
25 the Appeals Chamber, and that the reliability of a hearsay statement is
1 relevant to its admissibility and not just its weight. Also Appeals
2 Chamber decision in Kordic and Cerkez. And that since hearsay evidence
3 once admitted constitutes substantive evidence, it's important that its
4 reliability be established, and whether the hearsay is first-hand or
5 removed is relevant to determine the probative value of the evidence.
6 There's two decisions in the Milutinovic case where the Trial Chamber,
7 led by Judge Bonomy, excluded evidence on hearsay grounds with principles
8 that I think should be applicable here.
9 In the first decision, which is decision on evidence tendered
10 through Sandra Mitchell and Frederick Abrahams of the 1st of September,
11 2006, the Trial Chamber denied the admission of OSCE and Human Rights
12 Watch reports which contained information gathered in the field by their
13 personnel. And the Trial Chamber said essentially that this material
14 which contained information based upon investigations conducted by these
15 organisations were not sufficiently reliable to be admitted without the
16 opportunity to have those statements tested through cross-examination of
17 the declarants, and that the reports "As Seen, As Told" and another
18 report about Kosovo events would not be admitted because the Chamber did
19 not have before it sufficient material to satisfy it of the reliability
20 of the underlying information upon which those reports were based.
21 And in a subsequent decision, decision denying the Prosecution's
22 motion for admission of evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis of the
23 13th of September, 2006, the Milutinovic Trial Chamber refused to admit a
24 collection of what was called Kosovo Emergency Updates prepared by
25 international humanitarian organisation which contained accounts of
1 displaced persons, including the reasons why they were displaced. And
2 the Trial Chamber said that, again, it didn't have a basis for assessing
3 the reliability of the underlying statements, and the fact that the
4 statements constituted second-hand or even more removed hearsay,
5 seriously weakened whatever probative value they might otherwise possess.
6 And finally, the Chamber went on to say that even if the documents were
7 admissible, they would decline to admit the statements because fairness
8 would require that those who made the accusations or who claim to have
9 heard the accusations being made appear for cross-examination.
10 So for all of those reasons, we believe that the information
11 relayed by -- proposed to be relayed by Mr. Block is insufficiently
12 reliable to be admitted. Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
14 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President. The issue here
15 essentially boils down to one thing and that is whether the evidence of
16 Mr. Block has sufficient probative value and sufficient reliability to be
17 admitted, and I'd submit that there are two reasons why this is
18 sufficiently reliable and probative for admission in this case. The
19 first is, and I would cite to the Aleksovski appeal decision of
20 16th of February, 1999, where the Appeals Chamber said that the admission
21 of hearsay evidence or the reliability of hearsay evidence depends very
22 much on the circumstances under which the evidence arose. And I'd submit
23 that the circumstances under which Mr. Block heard this information
24 clearly makes it probative and reliable for admission.
25 He went on the 17th of July, 1995, to Studio B to find that this
1 footage had disappeared. The next day, he went to Zoran Petrovic's house
2 to find out what had happened to this footage and heard directly from
3 Zoran Petrovic that Dr. Karadzic had been very upset about it. That's a
4 direct, reliable, probative statement of why this footage went missing.
5 The second point I'd like to make is Mr. Block's evidence is at
6 least consistent with or corroborated by two other pieces of information
7 which are already in evidence in this case. The first is Dr. Karadzic's
8 appointment diary for 1995 has at least two entries where
9 Zoran Petrovic-Pirocanac has direct contact with the President. So we
10 know that there is an existing relationship there.
11 The second piece of consistent or corroborating evidence comes
12 from a speech by Dr. Karadzic himself, which is in evidence as
13 Exhibit P1412. It's a speech given by Dr. Karadzic at the
14 52nd Assembly Session on the 6th of August, 1995.
15 And perhaps we could bring that up. It's page 75 in the English
16 and page 64 in the B/C/S.
17 And just to be clear, we're not saying that the footage that
18 Dr. Karadzic is talking about in this speech is necessarily the exact
19 same footage of Zoran Petrovic-Pirocanac, but it's directly corroborative
20 of Dr. Karadzic's state of mind about or what he felt about this footage
21 being in the public domain.
22 It's page 75 in English.
23 Dr. Karadzic says:
24 "The cameras record everything that must not be recorded, after
25 which they broadcast it and give it to foreign agencies.
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Milutinovic has given information to foreign agencies.
2 There is information that he has sold information. I do not care if he
3 took 25.000 German marks or not, but he has given disastrous pictures to
4 foreign agencies, pictures that could cost Mladic his life if they were
5 presented in The Hague. They broadcast whatever they want, and they have
6 recorded corpses of women in the streets of Srebrenica, after which they
7 broadcast that on foreign media."
8 So to sum up my position, the specific circumstances under which
9 Mr. Block acquired this information is sufficiently -- gives it
10 sufficient relevance and probative value to be admitted as well as the
11 corroborating evidence that I've just referred you to.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 THE ACCUSED: May I respond to this, please?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Briefly.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This discussion involves the
17 recalcitrance of a number of officers whom I do not hold as my officers.
18 They were listed there, and it had nothing to do with Pirocanac. It had
19 to do with Radio Krajina, who, in the middle of the war, functioned as an
20 opposition to the government. So in other words, it amounted to the work
21 carried out by a part of the military against the state. It involved the
22 work of the press centre at Pale. It has nothing to do with Pirocanac.
23 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, just very briefly. I'm not sure
24 what the reference to Radio Krajina was, but Dr. Karadzic specifically
25 referred to Srebrenica in that speech.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may add something briefly.
3 The main objection is to the selection of foreign press agencies rather
4 than objectivity. They published and broadcast what they wanted to.
5 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will consider the issue when and -- and
6 issue the ruling next week.
7 Unless there are any matters to deal with today. Yes,
8 Mr. Mitchell?
9 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, the witness is here and ready to
10 start if we're sitting till 3.00 today.
11 JUDGE KWON: Then could you cover the issues that's not related
12 to paragraph 25 and 26.
13 MR. MITCHELL: Certainly.
14 JUDGE KWON: And do you have any objection to that step,
15 Mr. Robinson?
16 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for your suggestion. Please bring in the
19 Mr. Mitchell -- yes, Mr. Nicholls --
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honours. It just occurs to me while
21 we're talking, that it might be better, with half an hour left, I think,
22 to get the ruling. Then it would be completely clear where we could go,
23 where we couldn't. It won't trigger something that gets another
24 objection or a statement. But the witness doesn't know yet what the
25 ruling is, and it may make it smoother, and are we --
1 JUDGE KWON: That sounds simpler, Mr. Nicholls.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. And is it viva voce or -- I wasn't
3 sure what the ruling is on the -- or is it --
4 JUDGE KWON: No, we'll -- whatever the ruling may be, we were
5 minded to order the Prosecution to lead live what is contained in
6 paragraphs 25 and 26. That said, the witness will be admitted as
7 Rule 92 ter.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: Then do you suggest adjourning for today?
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Who will explain to the witness? I will
12 leave it to the Registrar.
13 Then let him in then -- okay. Thank you.
14 Then we will resume next week, Tuesday at 9.00.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.31 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day
17 of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.