1 Monday, 24 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Our start was delayed due to some logistical problems. And we
8 are sitting today pursuant to Rule 15 bis probably for the first session
9 with Judge Morrison being away who is now flying from London this
11 Yes, Ms. Edgerton, please continue.
12 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: PETAR SALAPURA [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpretation]
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Colonel. Colonel, I want to start today by talking
17 about the 10th Sabotage Detachment to go over a couple of things you've
18 said in your statement and previously. Just, first of all, you were the
19 superior officer in charge of this detachment in the professional chain;
21 A. Yes, yes, professional control and command.
22 Q. And as I understand your statement in paragraph 18, you -- what
23 that means is that you propose their use somewhere, and then it's up to
24 General Mladic to say yes or no; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And then if General Mladic orders the unit can take action, it's
2 your job as their professional superior to make sure his orders are
3 carried out; right?
4 A. Yes, so that they're implemented.
5 Q. And the unit's operations are monitored, not necessarily by you
6 directly but by intelligence officers in the subordinate units and they
7 would be providing you with reports on the operation; right?
8 A. Yes. You could see that here also, I would issue directives and
9 also a briefing so that I could assure myself of the level of competence
10 and to make sure that the assignment could be carried out without losses
11 or with minimal casualties and so on and so forth. Then I would issue
12 the permission to start with the implementation of the assignment.
13 Q. All right. And after an operation, it would be normal for the
14 detachment to brief you; right?
15 A. Yes, the detachment commander would submit a report and the
16 intelligence officer from the corps, for example, who was there directly
17 with him would monitor the organisation of that assignment.
18 Q. And that report isn't necessarily a written report. You could
19 have a conversation, an oral briefing; right?
20 A. Yes, yes. Yes, for the most part.
21 Q. All right. Just to go on to another topic. And it's from the
22 evidence you gave in the Mladic case last week. Can you confirm last
23 week you said your service was aware of the situation in Srebrenica up to
24 90 per cent, and that was at transcript page 13089. That's correct,
1 A. That it was aware of the situation in Srebrenica, that it was
2 aware of the situation, this is a term that I did not use. That is not
3 my term. This is a term used by the interpreter. Therefore, my service
4 was aware of the situation in Srebrenica almost to the degree of 90
5 per cent.
6 Q. And --
7 A. We continuously monitored the situation in Srebrenica throughout
8 the whole war.
9 Q. And you did that in a number of ways. You did that through
10 electronic reconnaissance, you had direct information, you told the
11 Mladic Judges that you actually had a man inside, and you would receive
12 information from subordinate units; right?
13 A. Yes, and reconnaissance.
14 Q. All right. I want to talk about directives now for a minute, and
15 you talked about them when you testified here before, in the Tolimir
16 case. And you told my colleague Mr. McCloskey that you might have
17 participated in the planning of two or three of those directives, and
18 that was in the Tolimir case at transcript page 13494. So I'd like to
19 know which ones?
20 A. You mean throughout the war, throughout the whole period of the
21 war, yes.
22 Q. Well, you told Mr. McCloskey you might have participated in the
23 planning of two or three directives. So which ones were those?
24 Did you -- I don't want to interrupt your train of thought.
25 A. Now, now -- yes, there was one directive for activities in the
1 Sarajevo sector.
2 Q. Well, Colonel, every directive carried instructions for
3 activities in the Sarajevo area, so maybe what I could do is show you a
4 couple of them to see if that jogs your memory.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at P976.
6 Q. And that's a directive for further operations number 4 dated 19
7 November 1992. Now, this first paragraph of this document, General,
8 looks very much like it has a large intelligence component to it. Did
9 you participate in the drafting of this directive, do you remember? And
10 I can tell you that --
11 A. Usually I would do the first item, but it wasn't a rule in each
12 directive. Some directives were drafted at the level of the corps, and
13 then the corps intelligence organ would participate in the drafting, not
14 me. For example, directly it could refer to Sarajevo. For example, the
15 directive for Srebrenica is one I never did participate in. It was
16 drafted at the level of the corps, therefore -- well, specifically I
17 would now need to ...
18 Q. So is this one of the directives you participated in the drafting
19 of, from 11 November -- pardon me, from 18 November 1992?
20 A. It's possible. I really don't remember.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. It's been -- I'm not ruling it out.
23 Q. How about we go and look at another one quickly, P977. Let's
24 just jump over a year to 25 June 1993. And this is directive for further
25 operations number 5, and we can stay on the first page but I'll tell you,
1 Colonel, that paragraph 5(A) of this document, and it's in English page 3
2 and B/C/S page 5, tasks the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, among other things,
3 to take control of Trnovo and the Sarajevo-Trnovo road and the wider area
4 between Treskavica and Jahorina and Igman and Bjelasnica, and to take the
5 dominant feature on Igman and Bjelasnica to create conditions for the
6 take-over of Sarajevo and the linking of Herzegovina with RS territory.
7 So this has a pretty significant component related to Sarajevo. Did you
8 participate in the drafting of this directive?
9 A. I did, I did. The first item, the one that contains information
10 about the enemy.
11 Q. All right. Let's go on to another one and we're going to jump
12 over to the end of 1993. It's P4925. And that's an amendment to
13 directive number 6 dated -- I think we'll probably have to make it a
14 little bit bigger if we can on the B/C/S side for the Colonel. Dated
15 December 1993, and it's issued as a result of or immediately following
16 and as a result of the meeting you attended on 12 December with
17 Dr. Karadzic that I showed you on Friday of last week in General Mladic's
18 diary. And this first paragraph that says basic characteristics of the
19 international political and military situation, that comes from the
20 intelligence administration; right? That reflects your input --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Now, I just want to go on to directive number 7. You
23 alluded to that a couple of minutes ago in your testimony, and that's
24 P838. Now, you've seen this directive before during your different
25 testimonies here and you were shown it in the Tolimir case. Now, in your
1 statement, Colonel, at paragraph 19 you said you only heard about this
2 directive much later than March 1995 when Colonel Lazic, a Drina Corps
3 operative, told you.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But in the Tolimir case you were actually more expansive in your
6 answer, and what you said was you learned of this directive in 1997, when
7 Lazic told you. He was one of the ones who participated in its drafting,
8 and I'm going to quote your answer to you so please listen carefully.
9 You said:
10 "I suppose" --
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. "I suppose that it was done by the commanders in a circle of his
13 assistants. I believe that a lot of intel information went into this
14 directive and that it could have been obtained from the Drina Corps, and
15 in the ops room there was a detailed intelligence map which was updated
16 every day by intel officers. And if you consulted the computer, you
17 could have the updated information on Srebrenica and Zepa in five
18 minutes, and that could have been provided to either Tolimir or Miletic.
19 That was our obligation. We as intelligence officers were obliged to do
20 that without even knowing what the purpose of the exercise was."
21 And that was at the Tolimir transcript, page 13497. So my
22 question, Colonel, is: From that answer it sounds like the document,
23 this directive, reflects input from both the Main Staff intelligence
24 administration and the Drina Corps level; right?
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand whether the
2 witness said yes or no.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. When you testified about this document in the state court of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Kos case, on 13 May 2011, you were even
7 more detailed. And just one question about the -- your testimony in the
8 Kos case. You swore an oath there to tell the truth, right, just like
9 you did here?
10 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
11 Q. All right. Maybe we could have a look at a page of the
12 transcript of your testimony from that trial. It's 65 ter number 25267,
13 pages 21 and 22. And --
14 MS. EDGERTON: And your indulgence for a moment.
15 Mr. Registrar, could you go down to the bottom of the page. I
16 might have written the actual page number -- right down to the bottom so
17 I can see the page number. Thank you. And if we can stay there at the
18 bottom of the page.
19 Q. So this is in English, Colonel, so I'm going to read to you the
20 question you were asked and the answer you gave, and it was about
21 Directive 7 and the operation of the Bosnian Serb army being prepared to
22 be launched against Srebrenica. You said -- or the question was:
23 "Were you aware of the operation of the Vojska Republika Srpska
24 to be launched ... being prepared to be launched against Srebrenica?"
25 And you said:
1 "No. I was informed of it in the ICTY when I was there in 2004.
2 They told me about the alleged plan and the directive of the
3 Supreme Command, I didn't know about it back then. I didn't know of it
4 and I didn't participate," if we could go over to the next page, please,
5 "I didn't participate in its devising or planning or anything else in
6 this regard. And when I returned from the ICTY, I asked Lazic, the
7 Operations Officer in the Corps, and he said that there was such a thing,
8 that the President had visited them and that they were preparing this
9 directive of some sort, that it was prepared at the level of the
10 Main Staff and being distributed further to the level of the Corps."
11 So that's what you said. Can you confirm that's true?
12 A. That it was prepared, no, no, no, no. Something is not quite
13 right here. It was prepared at the corps command. It's correct that the
14 president also came and it was prepared there, the assignments were
15 given. As for the Main Staff, the duty operations officer from the
16 Main Staff can always get information from my administration. He doesn't
17 have to say what it's about. All needs to do is to say that he's
18 interested in the disposition of forces and the intention of the enemy in
19 the sector of Srebrenica and that's it. So he could always have that or
20 in any other part of Republika Srpska. So something is not quite ...
21 Q. What's not right about this answer? Is it true what I just read
22 back to you you said, or not?
23 A. I do not recall that directive being planned at the Main Staff at
24 all, so I don't know how I could have said that it was planned at the
25 Main Staff and passed to the Drina Corps command. This is why I asked
1 Lazic: "Is it true that there was a directive?" He said that it was and
2 that they drafted it, that the president of republika came to them and
3 that it was drafted there at the corps command. As for how others
4 understood that and wrote it down, I don't know.
5 Q. I'll leave it at that, thanks.
6 JUDGE KWON: If you're leaving Ms. Edgerton.
7 Mr. Salapura, I'm going to read out what you just said.
8 It's at transcript page 8 and from lines 9:
9 "It was prepared at the corps command. It's correct that the
10 president also came and it was prepared there. The assignments were
12 What did you mean by "it"? What was prepared at the corps
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The directive.
15 JUDGE KWON: What did you mean by "directive"?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A directive is a directive. A
17 directive is issued from the level of the Supreme Command or from the
18 level of the Main Staff. And then beyond that, there would be an order
19 for combat. That's the name of the document, that's what the document is
21 JUDGE KWON: So when you said it was prepared at the corps
22 command, did you mean that directive of the Supreme Command or the
23 order -- [overlapping speakers] -- just order for combat?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says "directive." It clearly
25 states "directive," or rather, it is a directive.
1 JUDGE KWON: Have you ever heard of Krivaja 95?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard of Krivaja 95.
3 JUDGE KWON: When you said the president came to the Drina Corps
4 and prepared something, did you mean Krivaja 95?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Krivaja 95 is the coded name of
6 that. I'm not saying it was just the president who was there. Probably
7 somebody was there from the Main Staff, the duty operations officer, the
8 Chief of Staff, the commander. I don't know who took part in the
9 preparation of that directive.
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well. You -- just to be clear, Mr. Salapura,
11 you said:
12 "Krivaja 95 is the coded name of that."
13 What is "that" again?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that is -- that is the name
15 of that operation, the coded name, the encrypted name.
16 JUDGE KWON: So let me be clear. So "Krivaja 95" is the name of
17 the directive or the order for combat?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name of the directive. A
19 directive is written for the execution of those actions, and the
20 operation would be called by the coded name of Krivaja 95. Operations
21 are executed and a directive is a directive. An operation would be
22 carried out and it would be bearing that name.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I'll leave it at that.
24 Back to you, Ms. Edgerton.
25 MS. EDGERTON:
1 Q. Colonel, in your statement you talked about this preventive or
2 pre-emptive action by the 10th Sabotage Detachment in Srebrenica in 1995,
3 but you didn't give us any details about it. So I want to get you to
4 confirm your evidence about that action that you gave in the Tolimir
5 case. What you said there was that General Krstic had requested approval
6 for the operation from General Mladic and General Mladic personally asked
7 you to review the operation or the situation and see whether it was
8 feasible; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And so you went to the Drina Corps command, and there you met
11 Milorad Pelemis, the detachment commander, and the Drina Corps security
12 chief --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- and the Drina Corps security chief Vujadin Popovic --
15 A. Yes, that's right. Yes.
16 Q. And that's the same Vujadin Popovic who was also convicted of
17 genocide, extermination, murder, and persecutions for his role in the
18 Srebrenica killings?
19 A. Yes, okay.
20 Q. And Pavle Golic was also at this meeting?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you heard their plan and you gave your recommendations to
23 Mladic, and the operation was approved by General Krstic and
24 General Mladic; right?
25 A. Yes, yes, right.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at 65 ter number
3 Q. Colonel, you've seen this document before dated 21 June 1995 when
4 you've testified here previously. That's your order for this operation;
6 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Now, paragraph 1 of this document says that the command of the
8 10th Sabotage Unit Detachment and the chief of the Drina Corps
9 intelligence department, that's Kosuric; right?
10 A. Yes. Yes, but at that time he wasn't there so his assistant
11 Golic attended instead of him.
12 Q. It says -- this document says that Pelemis and Kosuric are going
13 to be responsible for collecting information, planning, and carrying out
14 the task, but you said Golic replaced Kosuric in that regard; is that
16 A. No. Golic was present at that particular meeting that I held,
17 but at this meeting Golic was not present. I'm referring to this
18 conversation and deliberation and the drafting of this document.
19 Q. Let's look at paragraph 3. It says:
20 "Co-ordination between the units in contact will be done by the
21 Chief of the Drina Corps Intelligence Department and he will take charge
22 of the whole action."
23 Paragraph 4 says:
24 "Inform the Drina Corps Chief of Staff..."
25 And that was General Krstic at the time, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
2 Q. Inform General Krstic about the task, and General Krstic is
3 serving 35 years in prison for aiding and abetting genocide; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- in your statement you didn't give the date of this operation,
8 but it happened overnight on 23 to 24 June 1995, about two weeks before
9 the attack on the enclave of Srebrenica began; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment plus a unit of the
12 Bratunac Brigade passed through an old mining tunnel into the town centre
13 in the dead of night between 2.00 and 4.00 in the morning in what you
14 described in your Tolimir evidence as low visibility because of fog and
15 armed with infantry weapons fired into the town?
16 A. Yes, yes, yes.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Before I go further, could I have this as a
18 Prosecution exhibit, please, Your Honour.
19 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document 25096 receives number P6408, Your
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. So after firing into the town, the units pulled back into VRS
25 territory through the tunnel. Now, what you called a restrictive action
1 in your statement you described as muscle flexing during your testimony
2 in the Tolimir case. Do you remember that?
3 A. I wasn't speaking about any muscles. I said that that was a
4 diversionary action and the assignment of very precise tasks in order to
5 determine and identify the targets. There was the brigade and the police
6 station and at 4.00 in the morning we identified the targets and the
7 timing and we took care that there was only a person on duty there
8 without any other personnel present in order to avoid casualties. And we
9 knew that at that particular time of day there was fog often present that
10 would decrease visibility and that we would opt for diversionary actions
11 only that would last for a few minutes. And it was emphasised that we
12 should try to avoid any casualties among UNPROFOR or civilian population,
13 i.e., women, children, and the others. This action was to be understood
14 as a warning so that the opposing side in Srebrenica be made to stop
15 their continuous sabotage and ambush actions and attacks coming from that
16 area against the positions of the VRS territory because we were
17 constantly incurring casualties as a result. That was a warning for them
18 to give up on that; however, two days after this operation they carried
19 out a counter-action against the territory of the VRS.
20 Q. Let's stay on this operation. I'm going to take you back to
21 exactly what you said in the Tolimir case. You said, after giving the
22 explanation you've just given, you said --
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. -- "we wanted to flex muscle and show them that we were capable
25 of launching similar operations."
1 So, Colonel, in circumstances -- let me just finish, Colonel,
2 I'll give you every opportunity to answer.
3 In circumstances which were such that you shouldn't have carried
4 out an attack, in a town crowded with civilians, in a UN protected area,
5 in darkness, fog, with no visibility, your only objective was to scare
6 the people inside the area, like you said, to flex muscle?
7 A. Once again, please. The phrase "flexing a muscle" is something
8 that I never used. It may have been just an arbitrary interpretation by
9 the interpreters, and that was not the meaning of this operation. The
10 meaning of this operation was to warn the opposing side to stop their
11 operations and to make it known to them that we are also capable of
12 carrying out similar operations, and for that reason you can see that
13 it's written there that all measures ought to be taken in order to avoid
14 civilian casualties among women and children, UNPROFOR members, and so on
15 and so forth. So the purpose of that action was not the one as you are
17 Q. Well, if we accept your version of the -- or your explanation of
18 the objective behind the operation, it didn't even matter whether or not
19 there were civilian casualties, Colonel. Your objective was to scare the
20 people in Srebrenica, to intimidate them, and make sure they understood
21 they weren't even safe inside their homes because they never knew when
22 you were going to come out and shoot at them?
23 A. Madam Prosecutor, the action was not aimed at the civilian
24 population and intimidating them. You know that the command of the
25 28th Division was in Srebrenica and that there were about 8.000 members
1 in Srebrenica, and you also know that this zone had never been
2 demilitarised. You know that our population and our troops were
3 constantly being killed and they were seeking shelter from UNPROFOR;
4 however, this position was abused. Nobody would ever have had attacked
5 Srebrenica had it been demilitarised and had the agreement been observed,
6 and I particularly refer to this operation which was strictly restricted
7 in its purpose and we had a very specific aim that we set and that's what
8 it was.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript, please.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On page 15, from line 22 through
12 24, it is not clear who sought protection from UNPROFOR. The witness
13 said that our people were killed and that the Muslims, after these
14 killings, sought protection from UNPROFOR, that they returned to the
15 enclave seeking protection from UNPROFOR. And as the transcript
16 indicates, it seems that it was the Serbs who were asking UNPROFOR to
17 provide protection.
18 JUDGE KWON: I think we can understand correctly. Let's
19 continue -- but, Ms. Edgerton, when was this attack?
20 MS. EDGERTON: I don't have the line reference for you, but 23/24
21 June, overnight between -- from 23 to 24 June 1995, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE KWON: Is this action or an attack part of the criminal
23 activities in the indictment?
24 MS. EDGERTON: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please continue.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. And talking about the objectives where you just responded to my
3 question, Colonel, I'd like us to go back to Directive 7 for a second,
4 that's P838 again. And once we see it, to go over to English transcript
5 page -- English page 8 and B/C/S page 15.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment. Your indulgence, I
7 just need to check the page reference because I don't see the right page
8 reference here and that's my mistake. But I can go without referring to
9 the document because I'm sure --
10 JUDGE KWON: Page 10 in the English.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. And it would be under --
12 JUDGE KWON: Drina Corps you mean?
13 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, of course.
14 JUDGE KWON: But ...
15 MS. EDGERTON:
16 Q. Sorry, Colonel, just out of courtesy I want to find you the
17 corresponding page in B/C/S, and it's completely my fault that we can't
18 find it right now. Paragraph 6. It might be page 15 in B/C/S. E-court
19 page 15.
20 So my apologies, Colonel. Under the tasks for the Drina Corps
21 that we see in this document, and you're familiar with this because
22 you've studied this document before, you see that the specific tasks for
23 the Drina Corps include "by planned and well-thought-out combat actions
24 to create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of
25 further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
1 So, Colonel, if we were to accept your explanation of the
2 objectives of this tunnel operation, that operation is completely
3 consistent with the language of this directive, isn't it? It was one
4 more step for making life for civilians in the pocket unbearable.
5 JUDGE KWON: Could you check whether we are on the correct page
6 in the B/C/S?
7 MS. EDGERTON: I'm going to ask my colleague behind me.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MS. EDGERTON: My colleague behind me advises we're on the
10 correct B/C/S page but we don't -- and he says it's in the middle of the
11 page, that's the heading that we see halfway through the B/C/S,
12 Drinski Korpusa.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MS. EDGERTON: And it's -- the box I just read out, Your Honour,
15 is the first whole paragraph --
16 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
17 MS. EDGERTON: -- by the heading "Drinski Korpusa."
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue.
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. Would you like me to repeat my question, Colonel?
21 A. Yes, I would like that. Thank you.
22 Q. If we were to accept your explanation of the objectives of this
23 tunnel operation, that would make it completely consistent with the
24 language of this directive. It was one more step, that operation, in
25 making life for civilians in the pocket unbearable?
1 A. Please, earlier we spoke about this sabotage action and it has
2 nothing to do with this directive. I was not either the creator or the
3 author of this directive. Let us be clear on that.
4 Q. That wasn't my question. My question is: Isn't the objective of
5 this operation consistent with the language of this directive. This
6 directive commands that Drina Corps forces make life -- create an
7 unbearable situation of total insecurity for the inhabitants of
8 Srebrenica and Zepa, and that's exactly what the tunnel operation was
9 aimed at; right?
10 A. You cannot establish a connection with -- between the tunnel
11 operation and this operation. There is no connection whatsoever between
12 the two no matter how hard you try to do that. I never wrote this
13 directive. I may have received some information about the enemy from my
14 operatives. I was not a commander and I didn't make any such -- after
15 all, this operation, you have my testimony in the Tolimir case, when I
16 said, if you remember, that when I set off on 25th to undergo medical
17 treatment, and he asked me on that occasion what I thought about the
18 enclaves of Zepa, Srebrenica, Gorazde, and so on and so forth. I
19 responded by saying - and you can find this - that I did not think that
20 we should touch any of the enclaves at all. And he agreed that the
21 enclaves were like ripe pears and that he shared my opinion, and later on
22 a decision was taken.
23 Q. What kind of --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript, please.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 11, Colonel said 25th of June.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. So General Tolimir agreed that the enclaves were like ripe pears
6 and that he shared your opinion, and later on a decision was taken. A
7 decision was taken to do what? What did you mean, Colonel, when you said
8 a decision was taken? What are you talking about?
9 A. A decision to attack. I'm talking about a decision to attack
10 Srebrenica which was taken later, but it has nothing to do with this
11 diversionary activity that was aimed at Srebrenica. I'm not a commander.
12 I'm not a decision-maker or someone who issues orders. I did not propose
13 the engagement of our own forces nor did I propose any engagement and
14 tasks. You see what's written here, so please do not add anything to it
15 and do not make any presumptions. It is very accurately written as to
16 what the 10th Sabotage Detachment was supposed to do in terms of its
17 tasks by going through the tunnel.
18 Q. Colonel, where did you -- where exactly did you monitor this
19 operation from?
20 A. You mean this one? I never followed this operation.
21 Q. But, Colonel, you saw Pelemis the very morning after the
22 operation was carried out, and he briefed you about the operation. Where
23 did that happen?
24 A. Oh, you mean the operation when the detachment entered the
25 tunnel? I think I was in Vlasenica, but I cannot say that I'm 100
1 per cent sure. I was at the command post in Crna Rijeka, but I think I
2 was in Vlasenica at the time when Pelemis came and submitted a report.
3 So I make a reservation that a mistake is possible as far as this
4 information is concerned after such a long time.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, I'm just -- wonder if I could have
6 some guidance about when we might have our breaks today given our delayed
7 start for planning purposes.
8 JUDGE KWON: If it is okay with the parties, the Chamber is
9 minded to adjourn at 3.00 for today. So if it's possible, can we go for
10 a further 15 minutes more.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Of course.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll take the first break at quarter to
14 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
15 Q. I want to ask you a little bit now about your trip to Belgrade,
16 Colonel, because you only told us about the way back in your statement
17 and not about how the trip came about and the way there. So, first of
18 all, maybe you can confirm, you were in Banja Luka when Srebrenica fell;
20 A. Yes, I was in Banja Luka. Let me just think a bit because you
21 are switching to something else, but okay.
22 Q. And you travelled to Belgrade on the 12th of July?
23 A. Yes, I did. Excuse me, I have to tell you right now that I'm not
24 sure whether I went on the 11th or the 12th. After all this time, I do
25 still think that we set off early on the morning of the 12th.
1 Q. And you went there -- you travelled there with two IT specialists
2 from your intelligence centre in Banja Luka and a driver, right, your
4 A. Yes, those were IT people, engineers versed in electronics and
5 information technologies.
6 Q. What were the names of the two IT specialists and your driver?
7 A. One IT engineer was Mirko Obradovic, the other IT engineer was
8 called Braco. Give me some time to remember. And the name of the driver
9 was Radan Djukic. Braco Erceg. Braco Erceg.
10 Q. And when you talk about the intelligence centre in Banja Luka,
11 you're talking about the 410th Intelligence Centre; right?
12 A. Yes, that's the only one that existed.
13 Q. And coming from the 410th Intelligence Centre, the people you
14 travelled with would have had information about the situation in
16 A. These people? These people have nothing to do with that. They
17 deal with completely different things, electronics, the installation of
18 programme, and so on, technical equipment, computers. There you go.
19 Q. So why were they travelling with you?
20 A. And they become involved in analysis a bit. Well, they went to
21 install these programmes, and I was supposed to give them a ride to
22 Bijeljina. And then from Bijeljina, from the centre, they were supposed
23 to be taken to Han Pijesak, and then that is where they were supposed to
24 install a new programme at the intelligence administration.
25 Q. So you set off on the morning of the 12th and you travelled to
1 Belgrade first via Modrica?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then you stopped in Bijeljina?
4 A. No, first in Modrica.
5 Q. And then you stopped -- so you stopped in Modrica and then you
6 stopped in Bijeljina; right?
7 A. If you're interested in why I stopped in Modrica, I can tell you.
8 There was a group from the detachment that was there too, the 10th, that
9 was supposed to carry out an assignment there. The officer who was in
10 charge of that asked that someone come. When he viewed the situation, he
11 thought that there might be civilian casualties and he asked for
12 permission to stop with the implementation of that task. He presented
13 that to me and I accepted his explanation. That task was given up on and
14 the unit continued reconnaissance for our unit that was operating in that
16 Q. Well, actually, Colonel, you've already given evidence in the
17 state court -- pardon me. You've already given evidence, both in the
18 Tolimir case and in the state court, to the effect that the unit in
19 Modrica called you on the 11th because they weren't able to contact
20 Pelemis and called you through the 410th Intelligence Centre in
21 Banja Luka.
22 A. Yes, yes. Yes.
23 Q. And then Kremenovic - and this is in your statement before the
24 state court - Kremenovic, the officer you've just --
25 A. Yes, yes, yes.
1 Q. -- just referred to --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- told you that Srebrenica had fallen and that the other part of
4 the 10th Sabotage Detachment had been engaged in the operation; right?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. So when you in your statement said that in August 1995 you spoke
7 with Pelemis about the participation of the 10th Sabotage Unit in
8 Srebrenica and he confirmed the unit was engaged in combat at the
9 beginning of the operation, that wasn't the first time you knew about it
10 by any stretch?
11 A. No.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end of
13 the answer.
14 MS. EDGERTON:
15 Q. Could you repeat what you just said, Colonel.
16 A. I'm saying that I found out immediately in Modrica, but I hadn't
17 seen Pelemis personally until the month of August.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Could you tell us the para number or page where he
20 talked about hearing from Pelemis for the first time?
21 MS. EDGERTON: Page -- it should be paragraph 8, Your Honour,
22 page 22 in English.
23 JUDGE KWON: Here he said:
24 "I spoke with detachment commander Pelemis about the
25 participation in the Srebrenica events."
1 And he confirmed the engagement in combat action at the beginning
2 of the operation. So here he talked about Srebrenica events, not
3 necessarily limiting to the first part of the operation. Shall we
5 MS. EDGERTON: Quite so.
6 Q. And maybe we should just stay with this area for a little while,
7 actually, and come back to the travel to Belgrade later just so we can
8 flesh this out. Because these, Colonel, are some of the changes you made
9 to your final statement, and you did that by way of a clarification to
10 your evidence in the Tolimir case. So in the Tolimir case at transcript
11 pages 13593 to 13594, you were asked:
12 "So are you saying that it wasn't until sometime after his
13 arrest," referring to Drazen Erdemovic, "on 2 March 1996 that you learned
14 that people were murdered by the VRS?"
15 And your answer was:
16 "Yes, when it was published in the press then the stories began."
17 And in your Tolimir testimony you then said you called Pelemis
18 and had the conversation you describe at paragraph 8 of your statement.
19 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
20 Q. And then in your statement you say, as His Honour Judge Kwon just
21 indicated, in August 1995 you spoke with Pelemis about the participation
22 of the 10th Sabotage Unit in the Srebrenica events and he confirmed the
23 engagement in combat actions at the beginning of the operation. And then
24 you say in your statement that following your testimony in the Tolimir
25 case you established more precisely that it was in late December 1995
1 when you knew that the 10th Sabotage Detachment had been involved in
2 executions. And that's when you had the conversation with Pelemis that
3 you elaborate on. So let's go back to your conversation with Pelemis in
4 August 1995 first. That's when he was in the Krajina; right?
5 A. In December?
6 Q. August 1995.
7 A. No -- oh, August, yes. In August he was.
8 Q. He was in the Krajina because you had detached the unit there;
10 A. Not I. He went to the Krajina in accordance with the decision of
11 the commander. I suggested to the commander that the detachment be
12 transferred to that zone. The commander issued an order and I just
13 conveyed that order, but please just one correction. I would kindly
14 ask -- actually, this group of soldiers who were on leave, however, the
15 detachment did not take part in the execution and the top people, the
16 leaders of the detachment did not, so I would kindly ask that you speak
17 about a group of people not the detachment because it wasn't the entire
18 detachment. This was a small group of people who at the time were on
19 leave and who had nowhere to go, home or wherever. They stayed there and
20 that's how ...
21 Q. Colonel, when you refer to the commander, do you mean to refer to
22 General Mladic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. When you talked to Pelemis in the Krajina in August
25 1995, what did he tell you had gone on in Srebrenica? How members of the
1 10th Sabotage Unit were involved? And, General --
2 A. No, we did not talk about that at all.
3 Q. Pardon me, Colonel. Understanding that by this time there was
4 widespread public outcry about the missing men and boys from Srebrenica,
5 and you would have known that because part of your job was to monitor the
6 media. So setting that in place, what did -- let's change the question
7 around. What did you ask Pelemis? Let's hear it, General -- Colonel.
8 A. We did not talk about that at all. I was in the Krajina. We
9 were at Ostrelj between Bosanski Petrovac and Drvar. I just asked him,
10 "Why were you involved in Srebrenica when the detachment was supposed to
11 go to Herzegovina?" - this other group that was there was supposed to go
12 and reconnoitre in Herzegovina. His answer was, "On orders from the
13 commander," that is to say -- well, Zivanovic -- no, Krstic. Krstic I
14 think asked that that part of the detachment that had stayed on be
15 involved for entering into town and the commander approved that.
16 Go back to Ostrelj. Our conversation at Ostrelj lasted five
17 minutes. We were in a very difficult situation there. Krajina, the
18 Republic of the Serb Krajina, part of it in Croatia, had already fallen
19 and then there were further operations, an attack against
20 Republika Srpska --
21 Q. Colonel --
22 A. -- and no one --
23 Q. Colonel, I'm not asking you about the context. You can tell
24 Dr. Karadzic about that all you like. I'm asking you about the
25 conversation. You knew, Colonel, at the least, by the 12th of July, that
1 members of the 10th Sabotage Unit had been involved in the fall of
2 Srebrenica. The night of the 13th of July you were in contact with unit
3 headquarters in Vlasenica to find out what was going on. By the -- by
4 the 18th of July, you knew from the media that there was widespread
5 international outcry about the loss of the men and boys in Srebrenica,
6 and your evidence is you didn't ask Pelemis what happened when you spoke
7 with him?
8 A. No. No, certainly not then, not from the media or anything. We
9 did not have any media then except newspapers of Republika Srpska. In
10 the eastern part of Republika Srpska, there was no electricity. We
11 didn't know anything, and I did not know truly. And then, that is to say
12 up until the end of July, I was still undergoing medical treatment and
13 then General Mladic called me to come to Ostrelj and that's what I did
14 then if that matters.
15 JUDGE KWON: Shall we take a break?
16 MS. EDGERTON: Oh, I see the time.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll resume at 17 past 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.47 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.19 a.m.
20 JUDGE KWON: I believe Judge Morrison will join us in the next
22 Yes, please carry on, Ms. Edgerton.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
24 Q. Colonel, just to go back to what you said before we broke, you
25 said that:
1 "We didn't have any media then except newspapers of
2 Republika Srpska," and "In the eastern part of Republika Srpska, there
3 was no electricity."
4 And that's one of the reasons why you didn't know about the
5 killings of men and boys in Srebrenica; is that right? You didn't know
6 because there was no electricity in the eastern part of the
7 Republika Srpska?
8 A. No, not even in the western part, even more than in the eastern
9 one. I don't know where you got that from. That's not the only reason.
10 I said that we were absolutely oriented towards the situation in the
11 western part and that was the final operation, and after that there was
12 no talk about that. I don't know of any intensive -- well, probably it
13 started later in the Muslim media. I don't know exactly when, I cannot
14 say, but we considered this to be propaganda. I -- I considered it. I'm
15 speaking about myself. No one talked about that --
16 Q. So --
17 A. -- it was only --
18 Q. -- General -- Colonel, pardon me, not only was there no
19 electricity in the eastern part of Republika Srpska in July and August
20 1995, you just said there's no electricity in the western part as well;
21 is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. EDGERTON: I'd like to go to a document and it wasn't on my
24 initial notification to the parties. It's just arisen as a result of the
25 Colonel's answers immediately before the break and we've sent out a
1 notification as soon as I was able to locate the document. It's
2 65 ter number 06664.
3 Q. And it's available in your language as well, Colonel. Colonel,
4 this is -- I'll just wait until it's enlarged in English. This is a copy
5 of a statement that was issued on the 17th of July, 1995, by
6 Jovan Zametica, and you know who he is, don't you, he was
7 President Karadzic's -- one of President Karadzic's advisors.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And it's a statement that was issued on SRNA and it was picked up
10 by Belgrade SRNA and it says -- it's his denial of Muslim media and world
11 reports on events in Srebrenica. And it says:
12 "Over the past few days, the world media assisted and prompted by
13 Muslim authorities have indulged in an orgy on the uncritical events in
14 Srebrenica and lists some of the allegations."
15 And then says:
16 "The truth is that nothing like that happened."
17 And if we could go over to the next page in this document,
19 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure it has second page.
20 THE ACCUSED: Not even in English, I suppose.
21 MS. EDGERTON: [Microphone not activated] Mistake in my upload,
22 but I can still continue.
23 Q. Colonel, this statement was issued over Banja Luka Srpska
24 Televizija on the 17th of July, 1995. It was picked up by SRNA in
25 Belgrade, it was later picked up by the CNN. So, Colonel, in Pale, not
1 only did they have electricity there receiving media reports of what
2 happened in Srebrenica. They're denying media reports of what happened
3 in Srebrenica. France, England, and America knew what was going on in
4 Srebrenica, and you're saying you don't because Banja Luka had no
6 A. No, no. I was not in Banja Luka on the 17th of July. I came to
7 Banja Luka on the 18th. On the 13th I was in Han Pijesak, or rather, on
8 the 17th I was in Han Pijesak.
9 Q. So when you --
10 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Where do you have the Banja Luka
11 television here?
12 MS. EDGERTON: In this document it's not, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. The last paragraph says -- it says Zametica's
14 statement forwarded to SRNA, not mentioning the television.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Oh, if I -- that's correct, but I can, in the
16 interests of time I proceeded that way. I can provide a 65 ter number
17 for the document referring to Banja Luka in a couple of moments as well.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue.
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. So, Colonel, are you saying that there was no electricity in
21 Han Pijesak now?
22 A. No. In Han Pijesak there was electricity coming from generators,
23 the generators operated so the radio communications -- our communications
24 equipment was working because we had the oil-fuelled generator that was
1 Q. So, Colonel, on what basis are you saying that there was no
2 electricity in eastern and western Republika Srpska in July and August?
3 A. I'm talking about the entire area. I cannot say. I mean, after
4 all these years, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Now you're
5 asking me to guess about every day and minute, but generally there was
6 this problem. It was Banja Luka that mostly remained without
7 electricity, but the army had generators. And I, from the 18th of July,
8 was on sick leave and I was being treated at home again. I interrupted
9 that sick leave. I cannot remember the exact date.
10 Q. Colonel, you've just said now again that Banja Luka mostly
11 remained without electricity, and maybe we could go to the news report
12 for Banja Luka that I've since found. 65 ter number 00689. Here you
13 see, Colonel, the initial statement by Jovan Zametica carried on
14 Banja Luka Srpska Televizija on 17 July 1995?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Zametica is making a statement on TV which isn't going to work if
17 they don't have any electricity, Colonel. So with respect, Colonel, what
18 are you talking about? Banja Luka knew because Zametica, Dr. Karadzic's
19 advisor, is here denying the killings at Srebrenica?
20 A. Yes, that's clear. I see that.
21 Q. So Pale and the authorities there seem to be better informed than
22 you were?
23 A. Possibly --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the rest of
25 the sentence.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The press media --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Most of the witness's
3 answer was inaudible.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Salapura, could you repeat your question.
5 Interpreters were not able to hear you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm saying that that is possible
7 too. It is possible. I cannot remember now these details.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, could I have this as a Prosecution
9 exhibit, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And --
11 MS. EDGERTON: Without interrupting the Colonel.
12 Q. Please go ahead, Colonel.
13 A. Yes, and I do not rule out that possibility because I know that
14 most people, also from the Main Staff, consider that to be almost
15 impossible even when they did hear about it. I used to think that that
16 was impossible too, but you see it was possible.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive them both.
18 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 06664 will be Exhibit P6409 and
19 00689 will be Exhibit P6410.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
21 Q. And before we go back to your travels to the enclave, I still
22 want to stay on the subject of your conversations with Pelemis whenever
23 you might have had them.
24 A. Yes, please go ahead.
25 Q. So, Colonel, when you heard the answer from Pelemis that you've
1 discussed in your statement, that whoever might have been involved in the
2 executions had volunteered, you were basically satisfied with that
3 answer; right?
4 A. No, I was not satisfied. I was not satisfied. I just said to
5 him whoever had not only participated but whoever had engaged these
6 people, involved them, should be held responsible. I used one of our
7 words, jargon: Who feels an itch should scratch himself. I don't know
8 if this can be interpreted literally. I don't know if the interpreters
9 can do a literal interpretation or translation of that.
10 Q. You told him to get the people who were involved to write
11 statements, and your evidence is you don't know what happened after that
12 or whether the statements were ever written; correct?
13 A. Yes, after that I said that I did not know whether they wrote it
14 or whether they gave him statements about that because I think he was on
15 annual leave then and then he handed over his duty. And then I also went
16 on annual leave after that and then we did not have any contact about
17 that. At the end of his annual leave he left, he handed over his duty
18 and left, and yes, 1996, yes. 1996, beginning of 1996. I used my annual
19 leave and then I had some time when I was entitled not to be assigned to
20 a particular post, and then I submitted my request for retirement.
21 Q. Colonel, you know, Dr. Karadzic is calling a witness, Franc Kos
22 who was -- you would know, he was -- that's the trial that you went to
23 testify on in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he was a commander in one of
24 the 10th Sabotage Unit's platoons, and he's coming to talk about the
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- I want to show you an interview he had with Dr. Karadzic's
5 Defence counsel --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- on 6 March 2013, and it's 65 ter number 1D07999.
8 MS. EDGERTON: And your indulgence for a moment again. I didn't
9 realise there was an uploaded translation, so what I'm going to have to
10 do is find the B/C/S page reference to what I want to direct us to out of
11 courtesy to the Colonel.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MS. EDGERTON: If we could go, though, to pages -- starting at
14 page 21 in English. Actually, in English we could go over to page 20.
15 Q. And I'll tell you this in --
16 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment.
17 Q. I'll tell you this in summary, Colonel, and as soon as I have the
18 page reference in your language I'll give it to you so you can follow
19 along. But Mr. Kos was at the base of the 10th Sabotage Detachment when
20 he received two calls from Colonel Beara on the morning of the 16th of
21 July, 1995, telling him to take seven soldiers and to come to the corps
22 command in Vlasenica. And there was no one at the base at that moment.
23 But about an hour later, Pelemis, Dragomir Pecanac, and the full
24 complement of the 2nd Platoon arrived as well as some soldiers of the
25 1st Platoon who had been on leave. Mr. Kos was eventually called to
1 Pelemis's office, and there he found Pelemis, Pecanac, and
2 Zoran Obrenovic, and Pecanac then said to him, "You and seven soldiers
3 are going today to guard the prisoners." And they went from there to
4 Branjevo, where they then executed the prisoners?
5 So, Colonel, that doesn't sound like anyone volunteered for the
6 task; they received an order from Pelemis. So, Colonel, either Pelemis
7 wasn't telling you the truth or what you're telling us today isn't
8 accurate. Which is it?
9 A. No, I did not investigate the matter.
10 Q. Just before you answer further --
11 MS. EDGERTON: Again, out of courtesy, page 17 in B/C/S for the
12 Colonel. And I think you found it for us already. Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: I think previous page seems to be the correct one.
14 MS. EDGERTON: The previous page was the correct one. My
16 JUDGE KWON: Yeah, let him read it. Shall we collapse the
17 English first for some time.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Absolutely.
19 JUDGE KWON: Let Mr. Salapura read it in full.
20 Tell us when you are done and we'll show you the next page.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he didn't say this to me. I am
22 seeing these details for the very first time. I didn't know the details.
23 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to read further? I think it
24 continues on the next page.
25 Yes, please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. So your evidence is that on the 15th of -- and 16th of July you
3 didn't know really what any part of the 10th Sabotage Unit was doing; is
4 that your evidence?
5 A. Yes. All I know is that I knew when I came on the 13th I was
6 told that the duty operations officer had called, that that group that
7 stayed in the base, that that group participated in the combat in
8 Srebrenica, that they were given rest, that the soldiers went home, the
9 security remained there, and a group of soldiers who had nowhere to go.
10 Later when I spoke with Miso in December, he told me what I said in my
11 statement and I stand by that. I didn't call them anymore after the
12 13th, I didn't call them anymore. Pelemis went with an APC. He told me
13 that on the 13th they had an accident. The car crashed, and he was hurt.
14 He went for treatment and then he got some sort of sick leave or
15 something and that was that.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for just a moment.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MS. EDGERTON:
19 Q. So your evidence then is that you had no contact with the unit or
20 any members of the unit after they participated in the killings at Bisina
21 under the command of Vujadin Popovic?
22 A. No, not until Ostrelj.
23 Q. You had no contact with them after their duty in Zepa?
24 A. No, not until Ostrelj.
25 Q. Even though it's procedure - and you said it was - for the
1 commander to brief you after the conclusion of an operation?
2 A. Please, this is a part of the operation in which I had no part.
3 This is not part of the tasks of the unit. This is part of indirect
4 duties. This is something that probably was a result of direct
5 engagement by the commander of the Main Staff. I said that I came on the
6 13th to that area, that I found General Mladic in Srebrenica, and I had
7 come to inform him about what was ahead of us and I wanted to come back
8 the next day, and I wasn't able to for health reasons. And then the next
9 day the road was already closed, so I was unable to return until the
10 18th. The road was closed from Han Pijesak towards Vlasenica.
11 Q. So let's have a look, Colonel, at 65 ter number 25271, please.
12 Colonel, this is a document from you dated 15 July 1995, ordering
13 the rear command post of the VRS Main Staff to approve paint for two
14 terrain vehicles for the 10th Sabotage Detachment. So the day before
15 they go on operations at Branjevo you're actually --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You issued this. So, Colonel, you had to have been in contact to
18 issue this order, otherwise you wouldn't have been aware of any need.
19 You wouldn't have been aware that they needed paint?
20 A. That is -- yes, I was at the command post at the time. This is
21 their logistics guy, most probably, who sent a request to us for
22 intervention --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the last
25 MS. EDGERTON:
1 Q. Could you repeat, please, Colonel, your last sentence. The
2 interpreters weren't able to understand.
3 A. This request was most probably sent to us by the detachment
4 logistics person. He sent it to the administration. On the 15th, since
5 I was at the command post, I signed it and I forwarded it to the
6 logistics organ or the technical sector of the Main Staff of the Army of
7 Republika Srpska.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have this as a Prosecution exhibit,
9 please, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: P6411, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE KWON: But before we go any further.
13 Ms. Edgerton, in -- at page 37, line 21, you said even though
14 it's procedure and you said it was for the commander to brief you after
15 the conclusion of an operation. What operation did you refer to?
16 MS. EDGERTON: I was referring to the witness's evidence at the
17 beginning of his testimony, where I asked him --
18 JUDGE KWON: It's operation on the 22nd or the 23rd of June?
19 MS. EDGERTON: But he spoke generally at the outset of his
20 testimony in that regard, Your Honours, and said that after an operation
21 it would be normal for the detachment to brief him. So I was referring
22 back to the testimony he gave at the -- the testimony he gave at the
23 outset of the proceedings today. And he did subsequently confirm that he
24 received a briefing from Pelemis after the operation on the 23rd and 24th
25 of June as well.
1 JUDGE KWON: But did he confirm that he had received briefing
2 either Pelemis or anybody above Srebrenica?
3 MS. EDGERTON: Not so far, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 Please continue.
6 MS. EDGERTON:
7 Q. Colonel, I'd like to go to the testimony of someone else in the
8 Kos case, the case that you testified in, 65 ter number 25280 is the
9 transcript or is the transcript of the evidence of Petar Cvjetinovic.
10 And if we could go, please, over to page 27 in English.
11 MS. EDGERTON: If you could scroll down, please. Thank you.
12 Q. I'll read this slowly for you, Colonel. And Petar Cvjetinovic
13 was a member of the Panteri. He was asked by Dusko Tomic:
14 "When did you learn about the events in Srebrenica and if you
15 could briefly to the Court what was the nature of your participation in
17 And he answered:
18 "I'm not sure if it was the 15th or 16th July, I think it
19 happened on the 15th and attorney Tomic told me that this was on 16th ...
20 a driver of Petar Salapura found me in Bijeljina."
21 And if we could go over to the next page, please. He's asked:
22 "Who was the driver?"
24 "Zoran Bogdanovic."
25 And Mr. Tomic says:
1 "All right, and what happened next?"
2 And then the witness says:
3 "He asked that I should come to the private house, a private
4 house of Bijeljina businessman Savo Jovanovic, and there was a basement
5 in this house and the military security service had tapping service in
6 the basement, and Panteri unit was also using the personnel there. I
7 found a Colonel Petar, Petar Salapura there. I think he was a colonel at
8 that time, and he talked to me, and Milorad Pelemis was also there. He
9 was also present, and Zoran Manojlovic was another person who was present
11 Mr. Tomic asks who these individuals were.
12 And the witness said:
13 "Petar Salapura, I don't know exactly his position, but I know
14 that he was a member of the military security service of the
15 Vojska Republika Srpska. Zoran Manojlovic was a member of the 10th
16 Sabotage Detachment and responsible for the security as far as I know,
17 and Miso Pelemis, he was the commander of the 10th Sabotage Detachment."
18 And he's asked:
19 "What happened next when you came there?
20 "Salapura talked to me," he responded, "he told me that I was the
21 ideal person to do a service to Republika Srpska. He explained to me
22 that during the attack on Srebrenica there was murder, there was killing
23 of several thousand Muslim civilians, soldiers, and there were already
24 images circulating in the world that this had happened. And he said that
25 I could be of help."
1 And then the witness continues and says:
2 "Petar Salapura told me that I was the ideal person to go to the
3 military farm in Branjevo, and members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment
4 were to arrive there. I don't know from where, but later on I learned
5 that they were in Milici in Vlasenica, and to help there at this military
6 farm in Branjevo about certain issues, but they didn't tell me exactly
7 what it was about."
8 And he goes further in his testimony to talk about his role in
9 the executions with members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment. So,
10 Colonel, you've said that you have no knowledge of the killings, you
11 don't know of the details of what the 10th Sabotage Unit was doing, on
12 this day, the 16th of July in particular, and this witness directly
13 contradicts you and puts you at the heart of staffing and directing the
14 operation. You were there -- you were there with your operative unit in
15 Banja Luka personally picking the people to go to Branjevo farm?
16 A. In Banja Luka?
17 Q. Pardon, Bijeljina.
18 A. Madam Prosecutor, from the first to the last sentence everything
19 that is stated here is a lie. I state that with full responsibility and
20 I think that the court in Sarajevo did establish that it was a lie. The
21 man who -- I don't know the man, I never saw him. He doesn't know me. I
22 never saw him in my life. And that has nothing to do with it. These are
23 just fabrications by Dusko Tomic's lawyer with that person and there are
24 several, not just one. That absolutely, absolutely is not correct, none
25 of it is. The 15th and the 16th, I think these are the dates, were the
1 days when I was in Han Pijesak. I never went to Branjevo in my life,
2 never ever. I know where it is on the map. Never ever. He also was
3 saying about some vehicle, that we were going somewhere. In the end the
4 lie was found out and ultimately I think that person needs to be tried
5 because of those lies, but in any case he's already in Bijeljina, in
6 prison, precisely because of fraud and lies and cheating. He also served
7 prison time in Serbia and now he's serving prison time in Bijeljina and
8 his lawyer is Dusko Tomic.
9 Q. When then exactly did you come to learn about the killings at
10 Srebrenica, Colonel?
11 A. The participation of the detachment?
12 Q. No?
13 A. The participation of the detachment in the killings?
14 Q. No.
15 A. Is that what we're talking about? Or generally when?
16 Q. When did you, head of intelligence for the VRS, under
17 Colonel Tolimir, when did you come to learn about the killings in
19 A. This was something that appeared in the media, but I couldn't
20 really tell you the exact date when that was. For the most part, my
21 first information could only be after the actions were ended in the
22 western sector prior to the Dayton Agreement. When I asked for an
23 exchange to be carried out, exchange of our prisoners who happened to be
24 in Muslim prisons in Zenica, and we would on our part release the
25 prisoners that we had in Srebrenica. And I asked that we exchange ten of
1 theirs for one of -- ten of ours for one of theirs, and I think
2 General Tolimir said that we didn't have enough prisoners for such an
3 action to be carried out in that way. As for the information received
4 from the information media, it was clear that an execution had taken
5 place. But until December, I did not know that this was something that
6 soldiers from the 10th Detachment took part in. But as for finding out
7 about it for the first time, I'm really unable to tell you the exact date
8 when that was. And no one, let me just say that as well, no one, no
9 one -- I did not hear it at the Main Staff from anyone. No one talked
10 about that and nobody talked about it in units either where I would go.
11 A lot of it came from the media from the outside, from the Muslim side.
12 And later when the Belgrade media began to write about it. But I
13 wouldn't be able to say exactly when these first reports about it began
14 to emerge.
15 Q. During your testimony in the Mladic case last week, you talked
16 with my colleague --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- Mr. Vanderpuye about the operation, the killing operation, and
19 the scope of the killing operation. And you said at transcript page
20 13103, in regard to the scale of the logistics of the operation:
21 "I can't say that everybody knew. I can't say that. Most did.
22 For example, some of my desk officers may have been unaware."
23 And then you went on further:
24 "But realistically speaking, yes, probably many people knew
25 because it was a sizeable operation. These people needed to be
1 transported, logistics units engaged, transport organised, engineering
2 corps activated, so many people were probably engaged in it."
3 And then at transcript pages 13125 to 13126 you also mentioned
4 prisoners being taken through the zone as one of the reasons why people
5 knew or had to know about the crimes. You said:
6 "If it was being done during the day, people could probably see
7 that, the way they moved, and some people certainly did," but you really
8 couldn't say everyone. Some did probably.
9 And then further on 13126 you agreed that people who had secured
10 and guarded the prisoners could see the people being put on trucks or
11 buses and being taken away. And you indicated that there were exchange
12 commissions with the Main Staff and corps commissions for the exchange of
13 prisoners and they were probably also informed?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. And you, the head of intelligence, was not -- were not?
16 A. No. I'm talking about the moment when everything was passing
17 there. MUP was involved in order to regulate the traffic. They took
18 part in the implementation, but I'm not aware of that. But I heard of
19 the involvement of MUP units. Therefore, many people knew, but I suppose
20 that many people were appalled by this and they simply did not talk about
21 it. I did not hear a single word uttered at the command.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the last
24 MS. EDGERTON:
25 Q. Colonel, could you please repeat your last sentence?
1 A. That could be the reason why people kept quiet, to put it simply.
2 They were appalled by hearing that. Some of them may not have even
3 believed that it really happened, that they thought that it was just a
4 media propaganda, and no one ever discussed this issue, not a single word
5 was said in the Main Staff or elsewhere and nobody broached this subject
6 at all anywhere.
7 Q. Just let's keep talking about logistics for a minute. When you
8 talked in your testimony in the Mladic case about the killings, you were
9 describing a large-scale operation that involved the movement of
10 prisoners across military zones, it involved assets that had to be
11 secured from different corps departments and ministries. It involved
12 personnel from different organs and administrations. And your evidence
13 is that that wasn't discussed at the Main Staff?
14 A. No, no. Believe me, nobody talked about this. I'm telling you
15 and I explained what was the probable reason for that. Maybe one or two
16 persons discussed that privately, but nobody talked about this in my
18 Q. But you would agree this kind of operation, this kind of -- the
19 scope of this -- the logistical scope of this kind of operation implies
20 some degree of higher level co-ordination, doesn't it?
21 A. Well, most probably it involved that and you can see that people
22 were being brought from different sectors and different zones, and so on
23 and so forth. Requisitions were made for vehicles, fuel, maybe somebody
24 asked for an explanation and somebody provided an explanation and so on
25 and so forth.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I normally wouldn't break but I am
2 keeping an eye on the time, and I've just been notified I have ten
3 minutes left in the allotted time which was awarded before this witness
4 completed his testimony in the Mladic case. I wonder if I might, with
5 Your Honours' leave, of course, be able to finish this area and then go
6 back to the witness's presence in the enclave which we haven't had a
7 chance to deal with yet.
8 JUDGE KWON: So in total, how much longer would you need from
10 MS. EDGERTON: I hope the ten minutes from my original allotment
11 and then something under 40 minutes there following, probably --
12 hopefully half an hour or between half an hour and 40 minutes,
13 Your Honours.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE BAIRD: Ms. Edgerton, in total you're asking for 30 minutes
16 or 40 minutes?
17 MS. EDGERTON: I'd appreciate if at all possibility some
18 flexibility, Your Honour, and I would do my best to finish within an
19 additional half an hour.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we are planning to take a break at quarter to
21 1.00, so please try to conclude by then.
22 MS. EDGERTON: I'll do my utmost, Your Honour. Thank you.
23 Q. So, Colonel, you just said -- we were talking about the
24 co-ordination of assets from different sectors and zones, and you talked
25 about requisitions made for vehicles and fuel and somebody providing an
1 explanation. What level of decision-making and co-ordination does a
2 logistics operation like this imply?
3 A. At this moment I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly, but most
4 probably at the level of the corps because that was a corps operation,
5 and it was up to the corps command to request from the logistics of the
6 Main Staff some kind of materiel in order to reinforce the logistical
7 support I suppose --
8 Q. Well, then --
9 A. -- concerning the regulation of traffic and groups and so on.
10 Q. Let's talk about the exhumations and reburials of the Bosnian
11 Muslim men and boys who were killed at Branjevo, at Kozluk, at
12 Petkovici dam, at Orahovac, and Glogova that happened in September and
13 October 1995. This was a massive logistics effort and it involved the
14 delivery of large amounts of fuel, the assignment of vehicles,
15 excavators, trucks, people from across different military sectors, from
16 different organs, including the police and the civilian authorities.
17 There is no way that was corps-level decision, was it, Colonel?
18 A. It is possible that some aspects were resolved by the Main Staff
19 logistical department.
20 Q. Colonel, you're a senior intelligence officer with, by the time
21 the war was over, 20 years' experience, you remained in the Main Staff.
22 You were involved in meetings, briefing, and conversations with
23 General Mladic and the assistant commanders and also with your
24 counterparts all the way up until after the end of the war. You would
25 have heard the international outcry for access to Serb-held territory
1 through the eastern enclaves because that was your job to do and you've
2 said that again and again. Your focus was strategic intelligence, and
3 all you can say in response to this question was that it was possible?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Let me put this to you --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. Just a brief intervention.
7 The witness said "yes" halfway through the question. Therefore, I would
8 kindly ask Madam Edgerton to establish whether the answer "yes" pertains
9 to the entire question that she put. He answered before the translation
10 was finished and he answered yes midway through the question, which
11 indicates apparently that he understands English.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Salapura, would you like to add anything?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what I could add. I
14 don't understand. Look, I told you that I left the area on the 18th of
15 July. I was at home and in the hospital. General Mladic called me and I
16 cut my sick leave short for a few days and he called me to come to
17 Ostrelj. Croatia had already launched an attack on the Krajina and at
18 the time we were focused and concentrated on those problems. Nobody was
19 discussing any longer about what was going on and what had been going on
20 until the completion of the Dayton Agreement. In this period prior to
21 the Dayton Agreement, we were focused on this situation. And before the
22 conclusion of the Dayton agreement I and a group of officers were sitting
23 and preparing information that was necessary to conclude the
24 Dayton Agreement. I'm not denying that there were some other activities
25 at the same time, but my organ was focused and involved in what I just
1 explained to you that we were doing and we were doing it
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript please.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 18 it should read: I'm not
6 denying that there may have been other activities. [In English] "May
7 have been" [Interpretation] "May have been" instead of, as it says here,
8 that there were some other activities.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
10 Please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
12 Q. Colonel, you -- let me put this to you: You remained involved in
13 intel work throughout the war. You were, after General Tolimir, the most
14 senior -- the most senior intelligence officer in the VRS --
15 A. Yes, yes, okay.
16 Q. You knew because you were helping in the -- you were -- you knew
17 because you were working in the Main Staff and with foreign officials on
18 ways of getting the air-strikes to stop, you knew about the prospect of
19 international deployment on VRS terrain, and your job was to keep -
20 knowing that - your job was to keep the story of the killings outside of
21 the public eye. And that's exactly what you were doing throughout --
22 A. No, no. It wasn't my job.
23 Q. General -- Colonel, pardon me, I keep giving you a promotion.
24 But that's exactly what you did, Colonel, you covered up the story of the
25 killings when you issued -- when you made sure some of the participants
1 in the Branjevo farm executions were issued with false IDs by your
2 services together with the Ministry of the Interior?
3 A. No, no. Please, no. That was not the aim and that's not it.
4 Q. Well --
5 A. -- the objective was --
6 Q. Colonel, just before you answer --
7 A. -- for those people --
8 Q. Just before you answer, let's have a look at your order regarding
9 the ID cards. It's P4491. You saw it during your testimony last week.
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. So, Colonel, this is document which is coded, marked very urgent,
12 from you personally to Dragan Kijac, and it's dated 16 January 1996,
14 "Considering that we have a group of members of the 10th Sabotage
15 Detachment who are foreign citizens or are on the list of individuals ...
16 indicted by the Hague Tribunal, we ask you to order the Bijeljina MUP to
17 issue personal IDs with Serb names to them or with different names for
18 Serb nationals ..."
19 And if we go down in English, you can see it in B/C/S, but if we
20 go to the bottom of the page in English, I'm sorry, it must be on the
21 second page in English. The very -- the note at the bottom of this
22 document says to Mr. Kijac:
23 "You are required to act on this request by the VRS Main Staff."
24 So I'd like to hear your explanations about why this isn't a
25 cover-up, Colonel.
1 A. I don't see it in the original document, the registering of the
2 persons and so on and so forth. And please report back about your
3 decision, no. We sat down once I received the information from Pelemis
4 about the participation and we made an assessment about the general
5 safety and security of those people. We also had information that some
6 people from --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't understand the word used by
8 the witness --
9 MS. EDGERTON:
10 Q. [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE KWON: Microphone.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MS. EDGERTON:
14 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you in the middle of your answer, but the
15 interpreters didn't understand one of the words that you used. I
16 wouldn't normally interrupt you mid-answer like this, but to make sure
17 they understand you.
18 JUDGE KWON: If you could repeat your answer from the beginning.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was not the goal. The goal
20 was to have these people stay there and to be brought before justice.
21 Instead of someone else taking up this role on themselves and kill these
22 people in order to clear up the situation. That is why this document was
23 written and sent to the ministry. At the time when we sent it to the
24 ministry, and we immediately indicated which specific people were in
25 question because The Hague Prosecution was not yet initiating any
1 investigation of those people at this level, but we wanted the minister
2 to know the identity of those people. In addition, we provided a list of
3 the people so that they can be located if a need arose and to be
4 relocated from their then-places of residence to other streets and
5 residence places and that was the objective. We wanted to avoid someone
6 else taking that prerogative into their own hands and resolving this
7 issue in a different manner.
8 MS. EDGERTON:
9 Q. But that's not what this document says.
10 A. Well, we didn't go into detail in this. I discussed this with
11 the minister. This document went through several different levels and
12 it's not very simple exactly like this, it's not so easy to write it
14 Q. So you discussed these perpetrators personally with Dragan Kijac?
15 A. Yes, Dragan Kijac knew the identity of those people. He gave his
16 approval, and he kept a list. So there is very precise records of the
17 names of the people and people who did not participate there were also on
18 the list -- actually, were not participating in that group, but there
19 was -- there were people of interest and we undertook upon ourselves to
20 relocate them to different addresses.
21 Q. So --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance. AID was
23 not recorded, AID is a Muslim secret service.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The majority of the persons were
25 from the area of the Federation and they were not Serbs.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. So your explanation as to the mention of indictments by the Hague
3 Tribunal is to the effect that -- well, actually, it looks like, based on
4 your explanation, the contents of this document with reference to the
5 indictments by the Hague Tribunal is nothing more than misinformation.
6 So the -- there's false information in this document that you used to get
7 false IDs for these people?
8 A. No, no, madam. No. This is put here -- let me tell you now. At
9 that moment, I thought it was horrible to say that these people committed
10 such and such crimes. So in order for one to understand what this is all
11 about, I said that those were persons, and I quote literally, persons
12 against whom indictments were issued by the Hague Tribunal but no
13 indictments were issued at the time against any of them, not at that
14 particular time. Perhaps with regard to Erdemovic there was some
15 information, I don't know, but I formulated it in this way in order to
16 help the minister understand who this referred to, who these people were.
17 Q. People who he needed to hide; right?
18 A. Well, no, not to hide. He had a list of people, but not people
19 to hide but to provide them with safe shelter in order to avoid being
20 executed. AID was looking for three or four of them and we wanted to
21 prevent that from being done. We just wanted this to go through regular
22 proceedings. We just didn't want anyone taking law into their own hands
23 and doing harm to those people. That was the sole reason.
24 Q. So instead --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript, please.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Colonel said that those who took
3 them to do the assignment should not be executed, that means by those who
4 had given them assignment, that was not recorded. And then the next
5 sentence pertains to the danger that was coming from the AID.
6 [In English] It could be clarified what Colonel meant.
7 JUDGE KWON: I think it reads well as it is now.
8 Let's continue.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
10 Q. And this document doesn't say a word about AID; right?
11 A. No. There is no mention there. I didn't mention anyone else.
12 Please, this document was encoded, I submitted to the Bijeljina municipal
13 SUP, and then it went through different levels. That's why I didn't put
14 it, but I wanted the minister to know what this was all about and I
15 expected him to give his approval, but I wanted him to know exactly which
16 persons we were referring to and their exact location. So if any court
17 of law was looking for them, they would know where they were. That was
18 on the 16th of January when the border was porous, when there were no
19 troops guarding the border any longer. And that was an additional risk.
20 Q. Colonel, Colonel, I'd like to go back to the 13th of July and
21 your trip into the enclaves ostensibly to deliver some information to
22 either General Tolimir or General Mladic. I'd like to know, first of
23 all, because you've never actually said it, who did you meet in Belgrade
24 to get the information that was so urgent?
25 A. You want me to give you a name? Please, I can't do that. It's a
1 person with whom I maintained contacts and who provided us with the
2 necessary intelligence. That's one thing. Secondly, I told you I had a
3 meeting with the Japanese military envoy, maybe with an Italian one as
5 Q. Actually, your statement doesn't say anything about any of the
6 people that you met with in Belgrade, so that's why I'd like to know.
7 Did they -- and the Japanese military envoy and the Italian one both
8 spoke to you about the situation with respect to the prisoners of war in
9 Srebrenica, didn't they?
10 A. No. The discussion was how the operation was already over and
11 the focus was shifted to Croatia, what would happen there, and about the
12 imminent attack, and they knew about that. They knew what our views were
13 about that and which measures we intended to undertake.
14 Q. Now something --
15 A. August/September -- excuse me.
16 Secondly, the peace process was over on the date when we wrote
17 this, but as for the 13th of July they were interested to hear what our
18 plans were in the event of Croatia occupying the Republic of Serbian
19 Krajina proceed to attack Republika Srpska. And the person that I
20 mentioned is, let's say -- let's call him an agent, and he was registered
21 under a special code-name which I cannot tell you.
22 Q. So, Colonel, the thing that's -- Colonel --
23 A. I think it doesn't really matter either.
24 Q. The thing that's always puzzled me, Colonel, is that when you
25 received this information that was so urgent, why you didn't make your
1 way to the western front where General Milovanovic was already
2 operational to give him that information instead of going down to the
3 eastern enclaves? The person who needed that information more than any
4 one of your commanders was General Milovanovic. So why didn't you go
5 there instead of going down to the enclaves if the information was so
7 A. It is the commander who ultimately makes the decision.
8 General Milovanovic does things that are current matters.
9 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure your last sentence was translated
10 because you spoke with your microphone off, but let us continue.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The decision, the final decision,
12 is made by the commander. General Milovanovic is the Chief of Staff. He
13 was in charge of those units there, but also there was a series of other
14 actions and manoeuvres that the commander has to decide about, and that
15 is why I went there and because I thought that we had little time and
16 that what was ahead of us were major problems, enormous problems, and
17 our -- my personal opinion was that we should go as soon as possible,
18 leave Srebrenica, the corps is finishing that, that operation is done and
19 over with militarily, and let us seek a solution in the western part of
20 Republika Srpska.
21 MS. EDGERTON:
22 Q. So rather than go there urgently, you went there via Bijeljina,
23 via Nova Kasaba, via Bratunac, where you stopped at the brigade command,
24 via Potocari, and then found General Mladic in Srebrenica; right? You
25 stopped four places along the way before you actually went to your
2 A. I was looking for my commander. I came and from Bijeljina I went
3 straight to look for my commander, and I asked there where he was. I
4 didn't know where he was. I know that he's in the area of Srebrenica,
5 somewhere in that area. That is a theatre that involves a broader area.
6 Q. Colonel --
7 A. That's why I went to the military police battalion, so that the
8 commander could tell me where General Mladic is.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
10 be asked to speak into the microphone. He is barely audible. Thank you.
11 MS. EDGERTON:
12 Q. Colonel, when you answer my questions, I think you will help the
13 interpreters if you can try and lean forward a little bit into the
15 Colonel, as an intelligence officer, you recognised that the
16 situation at Nova Kasaba and Sandici, where you saw hundreds of
17 prisoners, had massive intel potential, and you were in a unique
18 situation where you came face-to-face with the prisoners who had survived
19 and up until that point surrendered. Isn't it the case, Colonel, that
20 you went there -- the real reason why you went there was to see and hear
21 for yourself what information had been gathered, how many people who had
22 surrendered, who had surrendered, to find out how big the column of
23 15.000 men and boys leaving -- of military age leaving Srebrenica
24 actually was, who had been armed, what communications they had with the
25 2nd Corps, you went to Nova Kasaba and passed through Sandici because you
1 were doing your job? You were gathering intel on the prisoners. You, as
2 the senior intel guy in the Bosnian Serb army Main Staff, were checking
3 in to make sure the process was going on as it should?
4 A. Well, believe me, I never received any kind of assignments like
5 that from anyone, the ones that you mentioned to me just now. I was not
6 interested in that at all. I do not have any information there that
7 would be important to me that I could get from some soldier who would be
8 arrested. And now if I were to ask is there an officer there, if I were
9 to ask whether they were identified or not, Srebrenica is done and over
10 with militarily as far as I'm concerned. The rest is just a routine
11 matter. It was supposed to be taken care of in a routine manner, the
12 prisoners of war were supposed to be taken to a camp for POWs, and then
13 they're supposed to be processed and interviewed, and this is of greater
14 interest for the security service, not for my service. From these
15 soldiers, my service could not get anything, not even from their
16 officers, whereas they can -- these other people can look for
17 perpetrators of war crimes, and so on and so forth, in different
18 operations that the forces from Srebrenica carried out in the territory
19 of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. In your statement, Colonel, at paragraph 12 and page 15 in
21 English and page 10 in your language, you said:
22 "When I reached Srebrenica, I found General Mladic and explained
23 the situation to him."
24 But when you testified in the Mladic case last week at transcript
25 page 13054, you said that you met General Mladic at Potocari. Are you
1 trying to hide the fact that you were in Srebrenica?
2 A. No. I was not in Srebrenica at all. I was never in that area,
3 and really when I came there I thought that I was on the periphery of
4 Srebrenica. And only when I talked to -- actually, when I saw the
5 picture, what was behind the buildings, I showed that to the investigator
6 of The Hague Tribunal in Banja Luka, and then I said, "No, that's where I
7 was, that's it. What is this?" And then he said to me, "No, this is
8 Potocari." So I was in Potocari, I was not in Srebrenica. I was not in
9 Srebrenica itself.
10 Q. Let's have a look at your statement, Colonel.
11 MS. EDGERTON: And unfortunately I don't have the exhibit number
12 off the top of my head.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3720, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.
15 Could we have a look, please, at D3720, at page 15 in English and
16 page 10 in B/C/S.
17 Q. Colonel, look at the third full paragraph of the page on the
18 screen in front of you --
19 JUDGE KWON: Why is it so blurry?
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE KWON: Please carry on. I was watching the monitor, video.
22 Please carry on.
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. Look at the third full paragraph, Colonel, on the page in front
25 of you --
1 A. Fine, fine.
2 Q. It says:
3 "When I reached Srebrenica, I found General Mladic and explained
4 the situation to him ..."
5 Are you saying -- are you saying that the statement you signed is
7 A. Well, I made a mistake. I confused things. I thought it was
8 Srebrenica but it wasn't Srebrenica. And when I saw the picture -- I
9 mean, the person who took the picture and the building that is behind the
10 back. I was never in Srebrenica. I mean, I thought that it was there.
11 I never was in Srebrenica. I mean from some distance. And then later I
12 gave this statement during the next conversation with the investigator.
13 Now I cannot remember his name, I'll remember that too, and then I asked
14 that that be corrected in Banja Luka.
15 Q. Colonel, if you had been to Srebrenica, you would have seen the
16 body of the man in the town centre whose throat had been slit by a man
17 from your 10th Sabotage Detachment on the order of Milorad Pelemis. Is
18 that why you're now insisting that you weren't in Srebrenica?
19 A. That is what I hear from you now, that that was ordered to him,
20 that this person's throat was slit. No, that's not the reason. I was
21 not in Srebrenica. Do you understand that? These prisoners were all
22 gathered in Potocari at the base there. That's where the buses came,
23 trucks towards the end, and that's where women, children, and so on were
24 loaded onto buses and that's where I was and I didn't go any further than
25 that. And that's recorded.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I'm keeping an eye on the time. I
2 recognise my undertaking and my best efforts. I do feel I would like to
3 go a little bit further with this witness and show him a video that he's
4 seen previously and not had an opportunity to comment on.
5 JUDGE KWON: What video?
6 MS. EDGERTON: A video of the witness in Srebrenica with
7 General Mladic, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE KWON: How long does it take?
9 MS. EDGERTON: I think the clip takes about two minutes all
10 together, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE KWON: We'll take a break after that. Please carry on.
12 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
13 Could we please have -- I'd like to play a clip now from the
14 Srebrenica trial video which is P4201, part 3, from the video V0009016,
15 time codes 0008 to 0241. And I hope my colleagues in the booth have
16 received their transcripts for interpretation.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "You see, unfortunately, your camera
19 too can testify to this. This was destroyed probably sometime in 1992 or
20 1993, just like everything else that was Serb in Srebrenica and around
21 it, as far as Muslim forces and followers of Alija Izetbegovic were able
22 to reach. I have seen for myself today that our authority has been
23 established here in Srebrenica, and you saw over there that an evacuation
24 was carried out of all those who wanted to leave Srebrenica safely. The
25 entire former enclave of Srebrenica is under the control of the forces of
1 the Republika Srpska army. We are at the old Orthodox church in
2 Srebrenica. It was destroyed and turned into a stable. Well, I am
3 archpriest Nedeljko Mitrovic, priest from Bratunac, and this church is
4 dedicated to the shroud of the Holy Madonna. Today, the 13th of July,
5 1995, this church has finally been liberated.
6 "Are you from here?
7 "Yes, I am. From this house.
8 "From this house?
10 "When were you expelled in from here?
11 "On 10th April 1992.
12 "Is there anything inside? Have you been inside?
13 "Yes, I have.
14 "Let's go in for a while. This is your own house?
15 "It's my own house.
16 "They have destroyed all of this?
17 "All of it. I just got in through the gate.
18 "Did" --
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a -- shall we stop here?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We heard something that is
21 not in the transcript.
22 JUDGE KWON: While they were translating, they couldn't hear you,
23 Mr. Salapura. What did you say?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was there when this conversation
25 with this woman took place. That recording does exist and then there's
1 also the part with the journalist. That is after the talk with the
2 journalist and then Mladic talked to this woman. And together with this
3 investigator from The Hague Tribunal, I mean he told me that that was
5 JUDGE KWON: No, I was asking just what you said.
6 Please carry on, Ms. Edgerton.
7 MS. EDGERTON: It's only a few more seconds of film.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 MS. EDGERTON: But then we might have to hear what our friends
10 the interpreters have heard that's not in the transcript.
11 JUDGE KWON: Probably we need to play a bit.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "And do you know where he was
15 "I don't know that either.
16 "What kind of work did you do in Srebrenica before the war? What
17 is your educational background?
18 "Secondary school of economics.
19 "Secondary school of economics."
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I be of assistance. The
21 missing part is precisely --
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "He was killed.
25 "And do you know where he was buried?
1 "I don't know that either.
2 "What kind of work did you do in Srebrenica before the war here
3 at the revenue administration?"
4 MS. EDGERTON: Okay. For the record, the time code that we've
5 just stopped at is 2:34.6.
6 Q. Colonel, that's you in behind the woman on the screen right now,
7 isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Colonel, General Mladic is in Srebrenica, he says he's in
10 Srebrenica, he's in landmarks of Srebrenica, he asks the woman who is on
11 the screen with him if she's from there and she agrees, and your evidence
12 is that this is all happening in Potocari?
13 A. Yes. I said in my first variant that I found General Mladic in
14 Srebrenica, and then the investigator, your investigator, showed me the
15 recording of this conversation with General Mladic, where behind you can
16 see a building. And then he said, "Is that it?" And I said, "Yes." And
17 then he said, "Well, that's not Srebrenica, that is Potocari." That's
18 the first time I came there. Do you understand that? And when we set
19 out from there, then General Milovanovic, together with this woman, went
20 there and he -- she took him to her house. We all went there. There
21 were several of us and these cameramen and his security detail and so on.
22 THE ACCUSED: I believe Mladic -- the witness said Milovanovic.
23 MS. EDGERTON: The witness said Milovanovic, Dr. Karadzic. The
24 witness should be asked to correct.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mladic. Yes, Mladic,
1 General Mladic. Milovanovic was not there. It was a slip of the tongue.
2 MS. EDGERTON: And one more very short clip, please,
3 Your Honours.
4 Q. Colonel, and this is from P4201, part 2, time code 17:59 to
6 [Video-clip played]
7 MS. EDGERTON: I'll leave it, Your Honours. It was the wrong
8 clip and I think it's best to leave it given the time.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 We'll take a break for 45 minutes and resume at 1.40.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.55 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.41 p.m.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Actually, Your Honour, I have nothing further.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
16 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good day, Excellencies.
18 Good day to all.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Colonel Salapura.
21 A. Good day.
22 Q. I shall start with the latest. On page 55 of today's transcript,
23 it was suggested to you that there had to be talks about POWs from
24 Srebrenica between yourself and the military attaches of Japan and Italy.
25 When was it that you saw these attaches, on which day, do you remember?
1 A. The 12th.
2 Q. The 12th of?
3 A. The 12th of July.
4 Q. Thank you. Until then, on the basis of what you know now, until
5 then had something happened that would have had to be the subject of your
7 A. I did not know then. I left from Banja Luka, as I said I was on
8 sick leave. I did not know at all what was happening in Srebrenica and
9 around Srebrenica. I only found out in Modrica when I arrived. They
10 told me that our units had taken Srebrenica, liberated Srebrenica, and so
11 on. So that is where I received this first information -- well -- so I
12 had nothing to say to them about Srebrenica or in relation to Srebrenica,
13 I mean in that contact. The talks had to do with a completely different
15 Q. Thank you. On the basis of what you found out subsequently and
16 what you know now, do you think that they could have had any knowledge of
17 the killings on the 12th of July?
18 A. I don't know. I cannot speculate and I don't think so. They
19 didn't ask me anything about that. On the 11th the operation in
20 Srebrenica was over. So on the 12th, I don't know, were there killings
21 on the 12th? I did not see anywhere en route.
22 Q. Thank you. Just a brief question. What do
23 reconnaissance/sabotage detachments do in any army otherwise?
24 A. They go into reconnaissance missions; that is to say, they
25 reconnoitre the enemy forces starting with the front end and going in
1 depth. And now it depends on the units themselves what the depth may be.
2 At any rate, in our situation it was 5 or 6 kilometres in depth into the
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. Sorry, also carrying out sabotage activities. We in the Army of
6 Republika Srpska had just this one sabotage unit that was capable of
7 carrying out such operations.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us approximately from the beginning
9 until the end of the war how many prisoners of war we had and before July
10 1995 how many times executions or killings of prisoners of war took
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 MS. EDGERTON: I don't see how this arises from the
14 cross-examination, Your Honours.
15 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, the cross-examination called into
16 question whether people knew of the executions and whether it had
17 happened in the past would also be relevant to whether someone would know
18 or expect that these prisoners would be executed.
19 JUDGE KWON: Well, actually, I don't -- I didn't follow the
20 question. What was your question, Mr. Karadzic, from the beginning until
21 the end of war?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Up until July 1995, how many POWs
23 did we have and how many times did executions, unlawful killings, take
24 place before July.
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, can you answer the question?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not aware of a single case.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Although the Trial Chamber knows already, could you
6 tell us, though, where it was to be expected that these prisoners of war
7 would have gone? Where were they supposed to be put up?
8 A. I was deeply convinced that they would be in POW camps. As far
9 as I can remember, that is to say up until now in that area, in 1992,
10 Susica, there was some camp there near Vlasenica and there was a rather
11 large camp in Bijeljina, in Batkovic, that was properly set up for normal
12 life. Then there was Manjaca near Banja Luka, and I don't know whether
13 in the Herzegovina Corps there was one and around Sarajevo, down there,
14 what was the name of that? Sorry about that.
15 Q. Kula?
16 A. Yes, Kula.
17 Q. Thank you. But in 1995 in the area of Eastern Bosnia, the
18 eastern part of Republika Srpska, there was another camp that had been
19 properly set up?
20 A. Batkovic, yes, and it had the largest capacity too. I personally
21 had never been there.
22 Q. Thank you. And can you please tell us if prisoners were to be
23 transported to Batkovic, where would they pass along the route from
25 A. They would need to go through Zvornik to Bijeljina.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. And then from Bijeljina to Batkovic through the town.
3 Q. Thank you. You were talking and you were asked about the
4 transport people, so trucks and buses. This action of transporting
5 people from the north from -- towards Batkovic, was it something unusual
6 or something that would alarm those who saw it?
7 A. The transport itself probably would not. All that would be seen
8 would be that there was a large number of prisoners, a mass.
9 Q. Thank you. And you were asked on the first day about contacts
10 and if it says there "call Salapura" and there is a tick saying that
11 Salapura was called, does that mean that they actually reached you?
12 A. Not necessarily, because I don't remember much today. I don't
13 remember many of those contacts today. By phone mostly it was conveying
14 messages that were left perhaps from the level of the president's office
15 or something.
16 Q. Thank you. And from the Presidency, was I the only person that
17 you communicated with? Did you have contacts with Subotic, Koljevic,
18 Plavsic, or anyone else from the president's office?
19 A. I was in contact with all members of the Presidency, perhaps more
20 with Koljevic than with anyone else.
21 Q. Thank you. And do you know who all of my secretaries worked for,
22 who did they make calls for, who did they receive calls for?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you ever inform me verbally or in writing that
25 prisoners from Srebrenica were executed?
1 A. I did not. I said that and I stand by that today, that I did not
2 know that until late and that was not part of my duties, it was not part
3 of my remit. There are other services that would deal with that, with
4 instances like that.
5 Q. Thank you. And, Colonel, sir, did you know anyone, either myself
6 or anyone to the lowest-ranking state instance, if anyone had an
7 intention or plan to commit genocide or to expel Muslims and Croats from
8 the territory of Republika Srpska?
9 A. I did not know of such a plan. No one ever told me about such a
10 plan, I never heard of such a plan, and as far as I am concerned a plan
11 like that would merely be the result of a sick mind.
12 Q. Thank you. Were there other -- in our army were there people who
13 were not of Serb ethnicity? Were there other non-Serbs, Muslims, Croats,
14 Slovenians, what was the ethnic composition of our army? Who were all
15 the ethnic -- what were all the ethnic groups in our ranks?
16 A. I think there were others. I couldn't tell you exactly who, but
17 all the minorities that lived in our territory were a part of the army,
18 the Serb ethnic group was absolutely dominant, though, but there were
19 others to a small degree.
20 Q. Thank you. In your opinion and according to what you know, would
21 the unlawful killing of prisoners at the end of the war be in the
22 interest of Republika Srpska?
23 A. It was not in the interest of Republika Srpska. At the end of
24 the war, then, and now I think it created more damage to the Serbian
25 people than harm to the people from whose ranks those prisoners came
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat what he said.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you, Colonel, sir, for your efforts and for your testimony.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I have no
8 further questions.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Salapura, that concludes your evidence. On
11 behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to The
12 Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE KWON: Please call the next witness.
16 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're ready to hear the
17 evidence of Cedomir Zelenovic.
18 JUDGE KWON: Not Zametica?
19 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. Zametica was postponed until the 3rd of
21 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes. Okay.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: CEDOMIR ZELENOVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Zelenovic. Please be seated.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE KWON: And make yourself comfortable.
6 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Zelenovic, I must draw
7 your attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here at the
8 international Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may
9 object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution, or
10 even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
11 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
12 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
13 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
14 have committed a criminal offence.
15 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you
16 and as a consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you
17 know that the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the
18 question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your
19 testimony compelled in such circumstances would not be used in any case
20 that might be laid against you for any offence save and except the
21 offence of giving false testimony.
22 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Zelenovic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have more or less
24 understood, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
2 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Zelenovic.
4 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
5 Q. Could you, and myself included, please speak slowly, speak our
6 sentences out slowly and make a pause between question and answer so that
7 everything could be recorded in the transcript. Did you provide a
8 statement to my Defence team?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 1D9682 in e-court,
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Could you please look at the screen in front of you, the Serbian
15 version is on the left-hand side. Can you see the statement on the
16 screen in front of you?
17 A. Yes, I can.
18 Q. Thank you. And did you read and sign the statement?
19 A. Yes, I did both read it and sign it.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown the
22 last page so that he can identify his signature.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Is this your signature, sir?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you told
2 the Defence team?
3 A. Yes, it does.
4 Q. Thank you. And if I were to put the same questions to you today,
5 would your answers essentially be the same as the ones in this statement?
6 A. Yes, they would be the same.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender the
9 statement, Your Honours, pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
10 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. McKenna?
11 MS. McKENNA: No objection, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it, but subject to portions of
13 paragraph 24 which the Chamber has difficulty in following its meaning.
14 It reads -- parts of it reads:
15 "The president of the Crisis Staff, Brano Grujic, gave him a
16 negative answer, and, in addition, told him that could not secure
17 provisions for the men who would keep people the freed parts of the
19 So I would like you, Mr. Karadzic, to lead live that part if you
20 wish us to tender that part as well.
21 Yes, shall we assign the number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3723, Your Honours.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I am now going to read
24 the summary of Mr. Cedo Zelenovic's statement in English.
25 [In English] Cedo Zelenovic worked as an engineer in the
1 management of the aluminosilicate plant in Zvornik since 1975.
2 Relations between the Muslims and Serbs in Zvornik were good
3 before the first multi-party elections. In 1991, the SDA Zvornik came
4 under pressure from the SDA leadership in Sarajevo to implement SDA
5 policy on the secession of BH from Yugoslavia. In October 1991, the
6 Muslim leadership in Sarajevo out-voted the Serbs and proclaimed the
7 sovereignty of BH. This was a clear signal that the Serbs were socially,
8 culturally, and ethnically at risk. The Serbs in BH established regional
9 areas and municipalities, and this was the only way to protect themselves
10 and challenge the chauvinistic and separatist activities of the Muslims
11 and Croats in Bosnia.
12 The poor state of inter-ethnic relations was reflected in the
13 factory where Cedo Zelenovic worked. In 1991 it was apparent that
14 Muslims and Serbs were forming their own groups in offices. When talking
15 to their Muslim colleagues, Serbs were repeatedly told that they had
16 Serbia, and had no business looking for anything in BH. Muslims strongly
17 opposed the Cutileiro Plan after accepted. Alija Izetbegovic rejected
18 the Cutileiro Plan because he enjoyed the support of the United States.
19 There were countless stupidities in interpretations and relations among
21 Serbs taught by their experience from Second World War sought
22 protection from the regular forces of JNA. The Muslim leadership on its
23 path of chauvinists and separatism saw the JNA as an obstacle, so they
24 portrayed it to its people in a planned and systematic fashion as an
25 occupational and Chetnik force. Two soldiers were physically attacked in
1 a Muslim village close to Kalesija because they were members of the JNA.
2 In December 1991, the Crisis Staff was formed. It was not operational
3 except until 6th to 10th of April, 1992, when the interim government of
4 the Serbian municipality of Zvornik was formed. In March 1992, owing to
5 the escalation of inter-ethnic conflicts, Muslim fundamentalists in
6 Zvornik mistreated a number of Serbian residents. Elderly Serbs were
7 attacked and physically mistreated. A JNA officer was attacked. Muslim
8 flags were put on buildings and groups of Muslim youths imbibed with
9 nationalism moved about the town carrying religious flags and cassette
10 players with loud music.
11 After the Muslim-Croatian referendum for the independence of BH,
12 anti-Serbian hysteria started in BH and Zvornik. Muslim and Croatian
13 flags were tied together at all political and sporting events. All was
14 directed against the national interests of the Serbs in the municipality.
15 The Serbian leadership, headed by Radovan Karadzic, did its best to calm
16 the situation and avoid the conflict. Karadzic asked that the leadership
17 in Zvornik to negotiate with the Muslims and find peaceful solutions to
18 problems. A rally was organised in the town hall. Karadzic and Muslim
19 leader Zulfikarpasic said that BH should remain in Yugoslavia and
20 arrangements needed to be made to avoid a war at all costs. In the
21 internal organisation of BH should have been in line with agreements
22 between ethnic groups and for the benefit of all who lived in it.
23 Karadzic was committed to a peaceful solution to the problems in Bosnia.
24 People from the SDA were unhappy that Zulfikarpasic advocated a peaceful
25 solution and had therefore set up an ambush on the way between Zvornik
1 and Sarajevo where they were going to assassinate him.
2 The Zvornik SDS and SDA leaders negotiated a peaceful division of
3 Zvornik. While negotiating -- negotiations were ongoing, the chief of
4 the SUP of police approved and armed the reserve police which were
5 staffed exclusively with Muslims. On 5th of April, 1992, in Sapna, armed
6 Muslim extremists carried out a terrorist attack on a JNA vehicle in
7 passing. A JNA officer and a soldier were killed and the rest of those
8 found in the vehicle were taken captive. The attack in Sapna was the
9 reason to seal off Zvornik and all the villages where they were the
10 majority population, as well as some bridges from the town to Serbia.
11 The Crisis Staff in Karakaj was convened after a number of Serbs fled to
12 Serbia from Zvornik. A group of Muslim soldiers guarded the bridge in
13 Zvornik. Under the pretext of looking for weapons, armed Muslims
14 searched Serbian homes. Serbs were bullied and physically mistreated.
15 Arkan's soldiers beat up two Serbian negotiators in Mali Zvornik.
16 The Zvornik Serbian leadership had been trying to resolve the situation
17 peacefully. Arkan prevented the negotiations from proceeding, so he took
18 over all the power and personally commanded his forces in the operation
19 to lift the blockade. The Crisis Staff did not make a decision on
20 lifting the blockade from Zvornik; Arkan did this. After the blockade
21 was lifted, local authorities were established, but they did not have any
22 power because of the number of paramilitaries and individuals.
23 Paramilitaries introduced the reign of terror. All residents of Zvornik
24 were mistreated. Paramilitaries seized the town and made all decisions
25 on the basis of their fighting strength and power.
1 Muslim extremists planted explosives under the factory's red
2 sludge piping above a drain, polluting the Sapna river and killing a huge
3 number of fish. They also planted 70 kilos of explosives in the spillway
4 tunnel. If activated, an unprecedented environmental disaster would
5 occur. On 27th of May, 1992, Muslim extremists attacked a column of
6 trucks carrying ore to Cedo Zelenovic's factory killing five innocent and
7 unarmed drivers. More trucks and more people were massacred after this
8 event and after which production was suspended. Only after Zuco, Repic,
9 and their paramilitaries were arrested in late July 1992 were relatively
10 normal conditions created for the local authorities. All the arrested
11 paramilitaries were brought to justice and supposedly convicted of their
12 own crimes and offences mainly in Serbia.
13 [Interpretation] That would be the summary of Mr. Zelenovic's
14 statement. I have no questions for him at this time except for those
15 that you indicated. So I would kindly ask that the witness be permitted
16 to use his own statement if he has it in front of you.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Zelenovic, do you have your statement in front of you --
19 JUDGE KWON: When leading live, I would like you to put the
20 question directly to the witness.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Are you able to tell us what was the request by Arkan to Grujic
24 and the Serbian authorities in Zvornik and what the reaction of the
25 authorities was?
1 A. Arkan's request, Arkan and his assistant Peja's request was for
2 us to decide at the Crisis Staff to lift the blockade of Zvornik.
3 Q. And what was the answer of the Serbian authorities?
4 A. Our response, the response of the Crisis Staff at the time one or
5 two days before the conflict broke out, was that we were still trying to
6 resolve things in a peaceful way and that we could not make that decision
7 like that, nor were there any forces that would be able to help them.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last part of
9 the witness's answer.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Zelenovic, the interpreters were not able to
11 hear the last part of your answer.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think the answer has now been
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Did you not say that there were no forces that would be able to
16 help them, the ones that they were requesting? That was not recorded.
17 A. Yes, yes, something like that.
18 Q. Other than the decision to lift the blockade, what else did they
19 request from the authorities?
20 A. As far as I can remember, they asked for police forces which --
21 well, at that time the police had separated. The Serbian police was in
22 Karakaj, not all of them, just those who stayed there, and these others
23 probably left. Thus, to help them in this lifting of the blockade of
24 Zvornik. And they received the answer that I mentioned a little bit
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this now sufficient,
3 satisfactory, Your Excellencies?
4 JUDGE KWON: It's for you to present your evidence. Very well.
5 Mr. Zelenovic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
6 case has been admitted in its most part in writing, that is, your witness
7 statement. Now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the
8 Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. McKenna.
9 Yes --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is an intervention here. I
11 saw in English where these explosions were, where this explosion was
12 planted. It says "red sludge," but actually it's red mud, "crveni mulj."
13 I just wanted to make that correction.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Zelenovic.
15 Yes, Ms. McKenna.
16 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Cross-examination by Ms. McKenna:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Zelenovic.
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 Q. Now, at paragraph 19 of your statement, you discussed the
21 negotiations which took place between the SDS and the SDA in Zvornik.
22 I'd just like to clarify. Is this a reference to the negotiations that
23 were taking place in early 1992?
24 A. Your Honours, could you please put this variant -- could you
25 please put the Serbian version of my statement on?
1 JUDGE KWON: Do you have your statement with you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: In hard copy I mean.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I have nothing. I was told
5 that I would be given everything here and that I should not bring
6 anything with me.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, your statement will be forthcoming to you, but
8 in the meantime read it from the monitor.
9 MS. McKENNA:
10 Q. So it's just the first sentence of paragraph 19 of your
11 statement, Mr. Zelenovic.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And can you just clarify that this is a reference to the
14 negotiations which were taking place in early 1992?
15 A. That should be the case.
16 Q. And so you state, also in paragraph 19, that while the
17 negotiations were ongoing, Muslim reserve police in Zvornik were armed.
18 And at paragraph 14 of your statement you say that the Crisis Staff was
19 not operational until the 6th of April, 1992. It's true, though, isn't
20 it, Mr. Zelenovic, that Serb municipality leaders were organising for war
21 before the Crisis Staff was formally operational on the 6th of April?
22 A. Look, I was a member of the Crisis Staff that was set up sometime
23 in December and it says here it has certain functions for a few days,
24 with a view to calming down the situation and that was prior the arrival
25 of those paramilitaries. And it basically became non-operational. As
1 for the preparations for war, I'm not aware of that. What I do know are
2 these things and that is that in the then-Bosnia and Herzegovina when
3 Bosnia seceded from the former Yugoslavia and after the negotiations
4 about the internal set-up of Bosnia failed, the only thing that Serbs
5 could do was to form autonomous districts comprising two or three
6 municipalities or only one municipality. Now, if you would describe that
7 as preparations for war, I would rather say that that was preparation for
8 peace. Throughout the First and the Second World War, the Serbs suffered
9 a lot and were victims of heinous crimes --
10 Q. Mr. Zelenovic --
11 A. -- and in the Second World War --
12 Q. -- I'm sorry, I'm going to have to interrupt you here. We are
13 very limited in time, so I'm going to ask you to focus very carefully on
14 the questions that I'm asking you and answer them as concisely and
15 precisely as possible. Now, I understand your evidence to be that you
16 weren't aware that the Crisis Staff was involved in organising for war in
17 early 1992. And I'd like to show you a document on that topic.
18 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3390.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
23 [Interpretation] In line 14, page 82, the witness said that the
24 Crisis Staff was suspended by the paramilitary, that it was the
25 paramilitary who suspended the Crisis Staff.
1 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Zelenovic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 Yes, please continue, Ms. McKenna.
5 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Could we please see page 19 of the English of this document and
7 page 16 of the B/C/S.
8 Q. Now, you'll see, Mr. Zelenovic, that this is a report on the work
9 of the Zvornik SJB for the year 1992. I'd like to turn to page 21 of the
10 English and page 18 of the B/C/S now. And halfway down this page it
11 says -- there's a passage that reads:
12 "As agreed upon with the Crisis Staff, a meeting was organised
13 with active and reserve policemen of Serb nationality in Celopek in late
14 March 1992. A certain number of young people from Celopek and Trisic
15 were also invited to the meeting. Over 150 Serbs attended the meeting,
16 assignments were handed out regarding the putting up of barricades at
17 certain locations, as well as on all other roads running across Serb
18 territories, securing of all important facilities in the Karakaj
19 industrial zone, and seizing of the bridges in Karakaj and Sepak. Active
20 SJB personnel were given concrete assignments concerning the extraction
21 of vehicles and other materiel and technical equipment ..."
22 Now, were you aware that this meeting had taken place?
23 A. No, no, I wasn't.
24 Q. Well, if we could move to the previous page, which is page 20 in
25 the English and page 17 in the B/C/S. And we see under the heading (a)
1 which reads:
2 "Description of Activities Undertaken on the Winning Over of
3 Personnel for the Serb MUP by 4th of April, 1992."
4 It says three paragraphs down:
5 "Working on various check-points during the months of January and
6 February, police personnel of Serb nationality enabled the transport of
7 weapons, ammunition, and other materiel and technical equipment necessary
8 for the arming of the Serb people in this territory of this
10 Now, were you aware that police personnel of Serb nationalities
11 were enabling the arming of Serb people in Zvornik in January and
12 February 1992?
13 A. I'm not aware of that at all. This is the first that I hear of
15 Q. Well, Mr. Zelenovic, your colleague Mr. Jovan Ivanovic recently
16 confirmed to the Trial Chamber that before the war meetings took place,
17 including in Celopek, in which the Serb leadership in Zvornik organised
18 the arming of the Serbs in the municipality.
19 MS. McKENNA: And for the parties' reference that's T 39852 to
21 Q. So it's a fact, isn't it, that the Crisis Staff, even if it was
22 not formally operational until the 6th of April, Serb municipality
23 leaders were organising for war well before that?
24 A. Well, it seems to be one and the same question apparently. As
25 far as my activities on the Crisis Staff are concerned in which I acted
1 as a member of a charity society, this was not mentioned in any of these
2 meetings. This was only activated, as it says here, I don't know the
3 4th, the 5th, or the 6th, as it is stated in the statement, and I wasn't
4 present there.
5 Q. Thank you. Now --
6 A. I mean -- I'm sorry. Everything could be either true or untrue.
7 I cannot vouch for that because I myself was not active in that part.
8 Q. Thank you. Now at paragraph 26 of your statement you describe
9 how Arkan took over all the power and personally commanded his forces in
10 the operation to lift the blockade of Zvornik, and you state that in
11 these battles he was joined by individuals and groups who came from
12 Serbia and Croatia. And in paragraph 35 of your statement you say that
13 you never heard that the paramilitaries were invited in by anyone from
14 the Crisis Staff. Now, we'll come back to the issue of who invited the
15 paramilitaries in, but it's a fact, isn't it, that the Zvornik
16 authorities were supportive of Arkan and groups from Serbia coming into
17 Zvornik, weren't they?
18 A. Well, look, let me tell you this. The Serbs --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat. We didn't
20 understand what he's saying.
21 MS. McKENNA:
22 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Ivanovic. Could you start your
23 answer again? The interpreters did not understand what you were saying.
24 A. Sometime, I don't know, the whole time since the sovereign Bosnia
25 was created, the Serbs were leaving and moving out of Zvornik, which left
1 only 5 per cent of Serbs on the eve of the war, which is some 5.000
2 according to the 1991 census, but people didn't run away as a whim. They
3 had to take their families away, they had to enrol their children in
4 different schools, they felt threatened --
5 Q. Mr. Zelenovic, I'm sorry, again that's not responsive to my
6 question. I've asked you whether -- whether the Zvornik authorities were
7 supportive of Arkan and groups from Serbia coming into Zvornik?
8 A. Look, whether it was the authorities or not, I was on the
9 Crisis Staff. I can tell you that I would have supported Satan himself
10 if it would have helped to calm down the situation. You must realise if
11 there was some force from above that could force everyone to look and
12 find a peaceful solution, then you can call it support and that applies
13 to the authorities as well instead of going out and killing each other.
14 Q. So do you agree that the government was supportive -- that the
15 Serb authorities were supportive of the paramilitaries coming in, just to
16 clarify your evidence on this point?
17 A. Look, whether there was supporting or not, there are two things.
18 One thing is to support conflict as a means of solving a problem and it's
19 a completely different thing to support a so-called armed force coming
20 in, in order to establish some kind of balance because the Serbs were
21 vulnerable and threatened and by applying this force to compel and make
22 the other side to agree to the peace. It was not like you describe it.
23 Your question, whether they were supportive, they were supportive in the
24 sense that I tried to explain to you and that is to avoid a conflict.
25 Your question was something else and I said that we would have supported
1 any force, be it paramilitary or some other, just to have the problem
2 solved in order to avoid conflict. We didn't want the problem to be
3 solved to the benefit of the Serbs, but we wanted to resolve this kind of
4 ignorant attitude of the Muslim authorities which was prevalent
5 practically from the date Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised and when the
6 leadership headed by Alija Izetbegovic ignored all possible proposals,
7 including the Cutileiro Plan. And what happened, I saw something as
8 coming from heaven above, and I don't understand why this is being to
9 vehemently opposed.
10 Q. We're going to come to discuss some of the specific types of
11 support that were provided, but let's just look at some of the
12 individuals who were involved. So you've laid a lot of emphasis on
13 Arkan's role. Could we please see 65 ter number 25239.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 20 to 22, it is unclear. The
17 witness said that he had seen Cutileiro's Plan as something coming from
18 the heaven above.
19 JUDGE KWON: I think it's there.
20 Yes, Ms. McKenna.
21 MS. McKENNA: Thank you.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Zelenovic, if you look at the photograph of Mr. Karadzic
23 on the screen, can you read what it says behind him?
24 A. Patron Saint's Day of MUP, St. Archangel Michael, Zvornik, can
25 you move it a bit, I suppose it's 1995. You can't see the next digit. I
1 suppose it's 5.
2 Q. So it's clear that this celebration of the MUP patron saint took
3 place after the Serb take-over of Zvornik?
4 A. No, no. Can you tell me the year next to the word "Zvornik"?
5 Q. We're unfortunately unable to move the photograph, but it's clear
6 that it's 90 something. Do you agree that this would be after the
7 take-over of Zvornik, given the context of the celebration?
8 A. Well, if I -- what I see is 95, it's nothing then.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. McKENNA: So could we now see 65 ter number 25240.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness did not say "then it
14 has nothing to do with this." [In English] "What I see is 1995, it's
15 nothing then," "is nothing then" connected with -- [Interpretation] He
16 said that it has nothing to do with the take-over of Zvornik --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreters are
18 interpreting only what they hear witness saying.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, let's continue.
20 MS. McKENNA:
21 Q. Mr. Zelenovic, do you recognise the person at the podium in this
23 A. Arkan.
24 Q. And so it's clear these photos show, don't they, that Arkan
25 continued to be received and supported by the local and indeed the
1 republican leadership well after the take-over of Zvornik?
2 A. Look, let us go back to the question that you asked me a while
3 ago, again in relation to Arkan. I personally, and I believe some of the
4 local authorities, the SDS and so on, not "so on," the authorities
5 themselves genuinely saw in Arkan a force that would establish a balance
6 from the Serbian side in order to resolve things in a peaceful way. On
7 the eve of the conflict itself, there were negotiations in that respect
8 and it is common knowledge that he even, I don't know, beat up those
9 Serbian representatives who were in negotiations with the representatives
10 of the Muslim side. In that sense, you understand; but otherwise,
11 nothing could be solved unless there was a balance imposed from the
12 Serbian side and an increase of power which the Serbian authorities were
13 unable to achieve and control. So things started going their own way.
14 All of this came as an outcome of the rejection by the Muslims to
15 negotiate. That is what caused the conflict and the ball started
16 rolling. You have --
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. -- to understand these are the Balkans we are talking about.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zelenovic. I think again we are slightly straying
20 from the question.
21 MS. McKENNA: I'd like to tender those two photographs, please.
22 MR. ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Although ... although -- I do
24 apologise, Your Honours. I have to intervene.
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
1 We'll receive this, both these photos.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibits P6412 and P6413 respectively,
3 Your Honours.
4 JUDGE KWON: I think we can move on.
5 Yes, Ms. McKenna, please continue.
6 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Now, we've been discussing --
8 A. No, no, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I do apologise. I wanted to
9 intervene in relation to this photograph. Once again, if possible ...
10 JUDGE KWON: If necessary, Mr. Karadzic will ask you further
11 questions. Let's move on.
12 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. We've been discussing Arkan's role in the take-over, but
14 additional to Arkan and his men the operation to take over Zvornik was
15 also carried out by the Serb TO and by Serb SJB personnel, wasn't it?
16 A. During the deblockade, could you just clarify the question?
17 During this conflict, the deblockade of Zvornik. Could you clarify your
19 Q. My question is: In addition to Arkan and his men, forces from
20 the Serb TO and the Serb SJB were also involved in this operation,
21 weren't they?
22 A. Who took part? I really cannot give you an answer to that. I
23 don't know. I mean as far as Serb forces are concerned of the police,
24 that's probably that SJB -- no, I don't think so.
25 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3390 again.
1 Q. This is the police report that we've looked at earlier, and this
2 time I'm interested in page 22 of the English and page 19 of the B/C/S.
3 And you'll see, Mr. Zelenovic, that two paragraphs down in the B/C/S it
5 "SJB personnel acting together with forces of the Serb TO entered
6 Zvornik and took hold of the town's vital facilities on 8th of April,
8 So do you agree that according to this contemporaneous document,
9 forces of the Serb SJB and the Serb TO were involved in the operation?
10 A. Well, not necessarily. I mean, they came after the operation,
11 and of course there has to be a take-over and some kind of order has to
12 be established and these same forces and the authorities later on called
13 upon everyone to return to Zvornik. You have to know that too, and the
14 way you put it, it doesn't have to mean that they took part. These
15 forces, I mean, were so weak -- I mean, it's the Serb police, right?
16 It's only natural that they should come to establish some kind of order.
17 Q. Well, let's --
18 A. It doesn't mean what you said, that they took part in the
19 conflict. I wasn't doing any counting and I didn't look at who was
20 participating. I just know who made the decision. I've already said
21 that and who did that.
22 Q. Thank you. Well, let's talk about who -- the type of order that
23 was established after, you say, the blockade was lifted. Now, at
24 paragraph 28 of your statement you discuss that after the blockade was
25 lifted, the local authorities were established but that to your knowledge
1 those authorities didn't have any power. Now, I'd just like to clarify
2 with you, you also say that after four days in the Crisis Staff you
3 didn't join the government, but rather you went back to your work in the
4 factory. So you're not really in a position to speak to the power that
5 the authorities had over the paramilitaries, are you?
6 A. No. I mean, the way you put this is as if I did not want to take
7 part in government. I had major responsibility in the factory in that
8 situation, I mean, for work to go on. Practically I was there on the 6th
9 I think, and I no longer showed up in these -- well, I mean the
10 Crisis Staff stopped operating and I had my duties at the factory. And I
11 what happened, I mean, after that -- I mean, well, I cannot go into
12 detail since I'm not a member of government and since I wasn't anything
13 special out there, didn't take part --
14 Q. But --
15 A. -- as a member of the SDS.
16 Q. But you do, however, in your statement talk about the fact that
17 the paramilitaries, and this is -- I'm referring to paragraph 30 in your
18 statement, the paramilitaries in effect seized power in the town and made
19 all the decisions on the basis of their strength and power and so this is
20 why the local authorities could not stand up to them. And I'd just like
21 to explore with you the relationship between the local authorities and
22 the paramilitaries. You mention a number of times in your statement the
23 Yellow Wasps and Zuco and Repic. Now, the Trial Chamber has heard
24 evidence that the Yellow Wasps was the informal name of the Igor Markovic
25 unit. Are you familiar with that?
1 A. I have no idea whatsoever. I tried to stay away from these
2 paramilitaries and Zuco. I had personal experience with him in the
3 factory and that is not -- that is not in this condensed version. So he
4 came to the factory and he wanted to make an armoured train out after an
5 engine. One was in working order and the other one was not. And I said,
6 "Okay, give him the one that didn't work," and I almost paid with my own
7 life, and I stayed away from them. I know because I talked to people who
8 were in power that it was impossible, that you couldn't resolve anything
9 with them. And, I mean, the Serbs, the Serbs in Zvornik itself were in
10 jeopardy and the Muslims who had returned. So practically one could not
11 go on living with them and we saw -- I don't know if I'm right. It was
12 at the end of June I think, we thought that we were being saved by the
13 legal police, when they came from Pale, Mr. Karisik. And in two or three
14 hours they arrested them in different buildings, they took them away,
15 they convicted them, and then we breathed a sigh of relief. And now,
16 what the relations were among them, I mean, do you understand this? The
17 authorities had to do what they had to do. They couldn't get rid of them
18 in any other way but the way that I've just described to you now, as it
19 ultimately happened.
20 Q. Well, let's look at some documents which illustrate the
21 relationship that the authorities had with the paramilitaries.
22 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P2867.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Zelenovic, this is Zvornik interim government decision
24 dated the 27th of April, 1992, and it's signed by Mr. Grujic as president
25 of the interim government. And it states in Article 1 that:
1 "Permission is hereby given to purchase material for the
2 manufacturing of uniforms for the Igor Markovic special unit of the TO."
3 Now, as I've told you, the Trial Chamber is aware that the Igor
4 Markovic special unit is another name for the Yellow Wasps. So this
5 document shows Grujic providing the Yellow Wasps with logistical support.
6 So it's not a case of the authorities not standing up to the
7 Yellow Wasps; rather, it's a case of them actively assisting them, isn't
9 A. Well, Madam Prosecutor, it can also be put this way, that these
10 things, that is to say, knowing Grujic very well, and as far as I can
11 remember it's been a long time, he was even beaten up by these same
12 people. So their hand was forced as far as the paramilitaries are
13 concerned, and I know that personally because we're friends, you know. I
14 know his personal opinion about the paramilitaries, all these
15 paramilitary formations. So this decision was forced. It can be
16 interpreted in this way rather than what you had said. That is my
18 Q. Mr. Zelenovic, there is an abundance of evidence on the record of
19 Mr. Grujic and the government providing logistical assistance, payment of
20 salaries to not just Arkan's unit, not just the Yellow Wasps, but the
21 White Eagles, the Aleksic's group, Niski's group and Pivarski's group who
22 were all on the payroll of the Zvornik TO. Now, I'd just like to show
23 you P2913. So it's your evidence that Mr. Grujic was forced into
24 providing this assistance to the paramilitaries?
25 A. Well, all these documents -- I mean, well, he had to cover this
1 in financial terms, but this is how it arrived. I mean, on the basis of
2 what I talked about then and when I asked them for help and -- what do I
3 call them, these paramilitary -- these paramilitaries threatened the
4 factory. And he said nothing, you can do nothing, you can just be a
5 victim, like me -- I mean, I'm talking on behalf of Grujic now. And he
6 had to cover himself in material terms. That is how I see this, because
7 I heard this from him with my very own ears. That is the only way I see
9 Q. Well, let's look at a document that he wrote at the time which is
10 on the screen in front of you, which is a request dated the 6th of June,
11 1992, from the Zvornik interim government and it's signed by Mr. Grujic.
12 And it's stamped the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the same
13 date. And he is informing the republican authorities that TO members
14 from the territory of the municipality received payments for April 1992
15 in a total amount of 32.100.000 dinars. And he's asking to effect the
16 payment for the arming of the police members for the month of May.
17 Now, this is a document, Mr. Zelenovic, that specifically
18 discusses payments to the TO in April and May. We've just discussed the
19 fact that the paramilitaries were paid as members of the TO during that
20 period, and yet in this document to the republican authorities there is
21 no mention of the fact that the payments were coerced in any way. In
22 fact, Mr. Grujic just requests more funding. So surely if Mr. Grujic was
23 being forced into paying the paramilitaries as part of the TO, he would
24 have mentioned this to the republican authorities in his letter on
25 exactly that topic?
1 A. Well, look, if you're done with your question, it was hard.
2 These were very hard times, and to try to deal with these people, I mean
3 directly and these clashes, you risked your head. And to put anything on
4 paper from that point of view, as you had put it, that would have been a
5 stupid thing to do. I tell you, I fled from the factory because they
6 left and somebody said there, "Hey, he tricked you into taking an engine
7 that wasn't working." I wasn't even at the factory, I was in Serbia.
8 You see, that's how I see it. Who was not in that situation cannot -- I
9 mean, well, you can put whatever, hundreds of these sort of, what,
10 evidence, things here. But I've given you my opinion about this. 100
11 per cent, I stand behind this 100 per cent.
12 Grujic cannot say and write to I don't know who,
13 Radovan Karadzic, and say, "You know what? I'm under threat by these and
14 those." They were in all pores. Quite simply, nothing could function.
15 Believe me. After the 29th of June I think, I mean when they were
16 arrested, that is to say -- well, you could not even be in peace in your
17 own apartment, nowhere, so that was really a sigh of relief. For us it
18 was as if it was an occupation force that was strangling us every day and
19 we were just waiting. It was unbearable. Their main task was to walk
20 around, to loot shops. I don't know. I mean, let me not qualify them.
21 It was impossible for the authorities to do anything. They were
22 powerless. They were a lot more powerful. They were armed. People with
23 troubled backgrounds. So that was it. The authorities had to behave the
24 way they did.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zelenovic.
1 MS. McKENNA: Your Honours, I note the time.
2 JUDGE KWON: Does it mean you have more?
3 MS. McKENNA: I do have perhaps ten minutes more if that's --
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's continue tomorrow then.
5 Mr. Zelenovic, we'll adjourn for today and continue tomorrow.
6 I'd like to advise you not to discuss with anybody else about your
7 testimony while you are giving evidence.
8 We'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. The hearing is
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.00 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of
12 June, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.