1 Thursday, 27 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, please continue, Ms. Pack.
8 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack: [Continued]
12 Q. I just want to remind you where we were yesterday, we were
13 talking about directive 7 and the words expressed within that directive,
14 and your last -- our last question and answer, just to remind you, I
16 "My question is that you had stated there, hadn't you, that these
17 words were very grave, yes? Very grave?"
18 You said -- you answered:
19 "If you allow me, those were not words, that was a written
20 document. None of my superiors ever informed me verbally to act in that
21 way, after all an order that I have to act upon as well as other
22 subordinate corps commands did not receive such a task."
23 MS. PACK: I would like to have up on the screen, please, P03040.
24 Q. Now, you can see there -- you've seen this document before, it's
25 dated the 20th of March, 1995, from the Drina Corps command and it is
1 directed to your unit, amongst others, the
2 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, amongst others, headed, you can see the
3 heading there: "Order for defence and active combat operations, operate
4 number 7."
5 MS. PACK: Can we turn in e-court, please, to page 6 in the
6 English and page 3 in the B/C/S.
7 Q. You can see there under the heading number 2: Tasks -- the tasks
8 of the Drina Corps --
9 MS. PACK: In English it's the preceding page, the heading.
10 Q. And then if you read that first paragraph as you go through it,
11 I'm going to take it up about four lines -- three or four lines down in
12 the B/C/S and English and it says this "tasks for the Drina Corps" this
13 is headed. "While in the direction" -- taking it up halfway through the
15 "While in the direction of the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves,
16 complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should be carried
17 out as soon as possible, preventing any communication between individuals
18 in the two enclaves."
19 And then this sentence:
20 "By planned and well thought-out combat operations create an
21 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
22 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
23 So you received this order; is that correct? You can confirm
25 A. During my last testimony in the case of General Mladic, I was
1 shown this same document and I would kindly appreciate if you can show me
2 what I said on that occasion because I didn't listen to the tape. I'm
3 not sure, but most probably that's what I said. That was in March --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the year.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just -- could you repeat the year.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document was drafted in
7 March 1995.
8 MS. PACK:
9 Q. I'm confused why you want to look at your Mladic testimony. I'm
10 just asking you about this document. It's addressed to your unit; right?
11 A. Yes, in the heading you can see that it is also addressed to my
13 Q. So you would have received it, you were the commander of the
14 unit, yes?
15 A. Yes, precisely so.
16 Q. You remember these words?
17 A. No, I don't remember. Until I have seen them in the document, I
18 didn't remember those words.
19 Q. Now, on the 2nd of July you had your preparatory order that we
20 saw yesterday from the Drina Corps, and the order for Krivaja 95, the
21 order for active combat activities. You remember receiving that order?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You've looked at it on many occasions previously in these
24 proceedings. I'm not going to show it to you now.
25 MS. PACK: It's P04481.
1 Q. And that order, it's right, isn't it, that order was also issued
2 pursuant to operations directive number 7 and 7/1, yes?
3 A. No, that is not correct. I explained yesterday --
4 Q. Let me just get the document up.
5 MS. PACK: P04481, please.
6 Q. You can see there the heading in your brigade as an addressee to
7 the command of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, 2nd July, Krivaja 95,
8 the order for Krivaja 95; right?
9 A. Yes, this is a task for active operations, but it is a very
10 specific task. The previous order that you showed me a minute ago which
11 was drafted in March was handed over to me for information only because
12 my brigade was not holding positions or holding the lines facing the
13 enclaves, hence, according to the March order, I was not obliged to
14 become involved in any active operations towards the enclave. As for
15 this order --
16 Q. Okay, just a moment. So you're saying you didn't read the March
18 A. I didn't say that I hadn't read it. I believe that it reached my
19 unit, but since the brigade was not in combat contact with the units of
20 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina concerning the enclaves, I had no
21 obligation to pursue active operations towards the enclaves, and
22 therefore I did not pay attention to this specific task.
23 Q. And is your evidence then that had you paid attention to this
24 task you would have been shocked and horrified to have read the order:
25 "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations create an
1 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
2 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa"?
3 A. I am sure that I never ever said anything in that respect, and I
4 would like you to show me the transcript of any statement of mine and
5 that I never said that I would be shocked. I don't use such words and I
6 think it's necessary for you to show me the exact content of my
8 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at the second paragraph, please, of
9 this 2nd July document.
10 MS. PACK: If we can look at page 3 of the English and in the
11 B/C/S, please, at page -- similarly at page 3. Sorry, my apologies, in
12 B/C/S it's page 2.
13 Q. You can see the second point:
14 "The command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to operations directive
15 number 7 and 7/1 of the Main Staff and on the basis of the situation in
16 the corps area of responsibility, has the task of carrying out offensive
17 activities with free forces deep in the Drina Corps zone as soon as
18 possible, in order to split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica,
19 and to reduce them to their urban areas."
20 You can see that. And if I just take it up to paragraph 4 --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- paragraph 4 identifies the objective:
23 "By surprise attack, to separate and reduce in size the
24 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, to improve the tactical position of the
25 forces in the depth of the area and to create conditions for the
1 elimination of the enclaves."
2 I don't want to stay too long with this document. I want to ask
3 you the question: You would accept, would you, that this order is issued
4 pursuant to operations directive number 7 and 7/1 as is stated there,
6 A. No. If you'll allow me. Yesterday I said that you are taking
7 out of the context of the entire directive one single sentence, and it's
8 being used in the indictments as a description of how the enclaves were
9 treated. The entirety of directive 7 is a document drafted based on the
10 analysis of the situation in Republika Srpska or the Serbian Republic of
11 BH in the previous year and it reflects an attempt to find a solution in
12 order to change the situation in compliance with the objectives set by
13 the leadership of Republika Srpska. This directive does not have its
14 objectives and it doesn't have any dead-lines. It was written for the
15 year of 1995 and it was forwarded to the commands so that on the basis of
16 these optional solutions that can produce a resolution, they would plan
17 their activities in 1995. Hence, the first order of the Drina Corps
18 command was written in March. As for this order and the reason
19 underlying it is what is written under item 1, and that is this resulted
20 from the activities to -- done by the BH army in the enclaves.
21 As for the solutions, the corps commander is using the contents
22 of directive 7 in order to resolve the situation in his zone, and there
23 is under this item no reference to hopelessness of the situation,
24 et cetera.
25 Q. Right. I'm not asking you about this sentence for this -- this
1 document. I'm just asking you about the plain wording of paragraph 2,
2 but if you're not going to answer my question, perhaps we'll move on. I
3 asked you, paragraph 2, the task there that the Drina Corps identifies is
4 identified as pursuant to operations directive number 7 and 7/1, and
5 you'd agree that that is what is stated there at the second point to --
6 there of that document, yes?
7 A. Yes. These directives provide the rights and the authorities for
8 operational activities to be conducted.
9 Q. Let's move on to July, 11th July. You entered Srebrenica. You
10 met and greeted Mladic.
11 MS. PACK: And we can see that, Your Honours, on the Srebrenica
12 trial video transcript, that's P04202 at page 21 and pages 201 and 202.
13 Q. That's right, you entered Srebrenica when you left -- July;
14 right? We're not going to look at the stills. You can just answer my
16 A. Can you make your question shorter. I was expecting to see the
18 Q. Did you meet and greet Mladic on the 11th of July in Srebrenica?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. I'm not going to go into any detail. I'm going to go to the
21 12th of July, to the meeting, the meeting you had at night and that you
22 have noted in your diary, 65 ter 25028. You testified previously that
23 General Krstic was there, Drina Corps brigade commanders. You arrived
24 around 9.00, is that right, before 9.00?
25 A. Everything that I noted in my diary is correct and I stand by it
1 concerning the timing but also with respect to other noted situations.
2 Q. And it's page 28 of the English and in the B/C/S also at page 28.
3 General Mladic came at 2200 hours; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 MS. PACK: It's 65 ter 25028. Thank you.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit D3748, Ms. Pack.
7 MS. PACK: Oh, thank you very much.
8 Q. There is a meeting followed by a dinner; right?
9 A. I don't know where you see that. I myself don't see any note to
10 the effect that dinner followed a meeting. The meeting started at 10.00,
11 that is to say 2200 hours, but it doesn't say that it was after dinner.
12 Q. You aren't now denying that there was a dinner; right?
13 A. No, I'm not denying it.
14 Q. Did Zvonko Bajagic at any point -- did you see him in the
16 A. I don't remember.
17 Q. Do you remember what you ate?
18 A. No.
19 Q. In your statement you say that there was no mention of killing
20 people in Potocari, no information of any plan to execute persons from
21 Srebrenica. Now, there's been numerous occasions on which you've
22 testified about this meeting. I want to ask you, on this occasion do you
23 now accept that you discussed at least the evacuation of the civilian
24 population from Potocari?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You didn't?
2 A. No, we did not discuss that. Instead, General Mladic talked to
3 someone on the phone, an individual, concerning the logistical issues
4 pertaining to the evacuation.
5 MS. PACK: Could I ask, please, for 65 ter 25276 to be shown on
6 the screen.
7 Q. That's your testimony in the Mladic case.
8 MS. PACK: And could we have e-court page 66.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] While we are waiting, can we please
10 be told to -- which date this entry refers?
11 MS. PACK: Well, it's been agreed --
12 JUDGE KWON: Did the parties not agree that it was on
13 12th of July?
14 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President, we did.
15 JUDGE KWON: I clarified that with the parties yesterday.
16 Yes, just a second.
17 MS. PACK: Can I -- if there -- if this is --
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 MS. PACK: Mr. President, for fear that there's any issue over
20 the date, I'd like to just go back to the diary, please. It's not the
21 D3748 portion of it so it's back to the 65 ter 25028.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
23 MS. PACK: And if we can just go to page 25 both of the English
24 and the B/C/S.
25 JUDGE KWON: Was there an issue with regard to the order of these
1 entries in terms of paginating.
2 MS. PACK: Well, Colonel Trivic will be able to confirm that the
3 Srebrenica component of this diary is in the right order, going from 1 to
4 25 to 30 and so on. And then the diary is turned over and the Zepa
5 component of the diary then begins flipped over and is numbered therefore
6 out of order from page 75, I think it is, back -- back through, page 60,
7 50, and so on.
8 Q. Is that correct, you can confirm that, Mr. Trivic?
9 A. Mr. President, I would like us to keep to certain sequence.
10 First there was mention of the meeting on the 12th at 10.00 in the staff
11 headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade. Now I see that this is the 12th,
12 9.00 in the morning. Now, I would like to know to which specific part of
13 my diary you would like to put a question to me.
14 Q. Just don't -- don't worry about the entry for the 12th for the
15 time being. His Honour asked a question and I was trying to elicit
16 clarification from you about how this diary is structured --
17 JUDGE KWON: Not because of me but because Mr. Karadzic asked the
18 date, to confirm the date of the meeting at 10.00, although he agreed
19 that it was on the 12th. We wanted to make sure with you.
20 MS. PACK:
21 Q. So we're not going to look at these meetings here, these morning
22 meetings, but just to confirm with you that at page 25 what you see there
23 is your diary starting for the 12th at 0900 hours, is that right, you can
24 see circled?
25 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
1 Q. And then on that page --
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. -- you record entries which we're not going to look at for 0900
4 hours. And then if we go over to page 26 in both languages, there's
5 actually another meeting there, isn't there, with General Krstic,
6 recorded as no time at Vijogor village. We're not going to go into that
7 but that's the sequence. It's later in the day, isn't it?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And then we go through that meeting to the following page, 27, we
10 don't need to look at that page. We go through it to page 28 of both
11 B/C/S and English and that's sequentially, isn't it, still on the
12 12th of July. We then have the meeting at Bratunac Brigade headquarters
13 and you have there the entry of General Mladic coming at 2200 hours;
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, in light of the testimony right now, we'll
18 admit from page 25 to 28.
19 MS. PACK: I'm grateful.
20 JUDGE KWON: Together with the cover page.
21 MS. PACK: Thank you.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
23 MR. ROBINSON: I would just point out for clarification that if
24 you just look at the very next page of this diary it starts on a meeting
25 of the 10.00 hours on the 13th, so I think that this confirms that this
1 all took place on the 12th.
2 MS. PACK: Yes, well perhaps if we could also have admitted the
3 following page, 29. Thank you.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 MS. PACK:
6 Q. Now, we were looking at your Mladic testimony, 65 ter 25276,
7 please, and it's page 66, just to remind you what I'd asked you a few
8 moments ago in relation to that. I'd asked you whether you now accepted
9 that you discussed at least the evacuation of the civilian population
10 from Potocari. And let me just remind you of your earlier testimony in
11 the Mladic case. I'll just read from Judge Orie's question to give you
12 context at line 6:
13 "Judge Orie: We have now spent two or three questions on whether
14 prisoners or personal prisoners or disarmed enemy soldiers were
15 mentioned. Were they not mentioned at all during the meeting, in between
16 the meetings, dinner, after dinner, before dinner? Was any -- but was it
17 ever mentioned that there were prisoners or possibly prisoners or
18 disarmed enemy soldiers? Clear question, please, a short answer."
19 And your answer:
20 "Thank you. During that day at the meeting and during the dinner
21 there was no talk of prisoners of war or disarmed enemy forces. All that
22 was discussed was the evacuation of the population, evacuation of the
23 Muslim population from Potocari."
24 Do you remember that testimony?
25 A. I do remember in relation to this testimony there was a problem
1 and then I asked that the tape be heard to check what I said. There was
2 a certain slip of the tongue by attorney Lukic who had put a question
3 regarding a meeting that day at the Fontana Hotel, and that's where some
4 confusion occurred about the question. And then the Presiding Judge, in
5 order to clarify everything at my request for the tape to be listened
6 again, he granted a break and then after the break we did not go back,
7 they did not take me back again to that question or to the substance of
8 my testimony regarding that particular question. I said earlier that the
9 only thing in my view, according to my recollection that had to do with
10 the evacuation, was a telephone conversation by General Mladic about the
11 evacuation of the population.
12 Q. Well, it's right, isn't it, you did -- these words did slip out
13 during your answer to Judge Orie's question, they slipped out, and -- and
14 you subsequently denied having said them and the transcript was then
15 checked. And here is the transcript, still retaining the words that you
16 said during your testimony; right?
17 A. I was not permitted to put any questions then and to respond to a
18 specific question in order to clarify the situation. They said that that
19 matter was done. I don't want you to use something that I was not
20 permitted to express my view once more about that particular meeting at
21 the brigade HQ.
22 Q. Well, you were given an opportunity, Colonel Trivic, and the
23 point is that those words inadvertently slipped out in your answer to a
24 question from the Judge and they, in fact, expressed the truth of the
25 matter, don't they, that that was a topic that was discussed at that
1 meeting; right?
2 A. That was not the topic that was discussed at that meeting, and I
3 repeat, I said then also - I even told the Presiding Judge or his
4 associate - that I did not permit anyone to impute to me something that I
5 never said. I did not say that the topic of the meeting was the
6 evacuation of the population, but the report and tasks for the continuing
7 activities by the army. Perhaps this was discussed at some other
8 meeting, but I did not attend any such meetings.
9 Q. I want to move on to the 13th of July. You testified previously
10 about leaving then towards Zepa and passing Nova Kasaba. You remember
11 that testimony?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. PACK: Can we turn, please, to 65 ter 25032.
14 Q. This is your testimony in the Popovic case, and I'd like to turn,
15 please, to e-court page 65. And it's taking it up from the bottom of the
16 page and then we are going to go over to pages 66 and 67 and I will read
17 it slowly. And I'm going to read this testimony to you and I'm going to
18 ask you if you confirm it, please. Just to put it in the context, you
19 were talking about your journey passed -- your route passed Nova Kasaba
20 at around 1700 hours --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please speak into the
23 MS. PACK:
24 Q. You're talking about your journey at around 1700 hours when you
25 passed Nova Kasaba, is that right? You remember the timing being around
1 1700 hours?
2 A. If this was recorded, I don't know and it says here 11, but I
3 think it was in the afternoon. But I accept this as the --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1700 hours.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I do accept the testimony as it
7 MS. PACK:
8 Q. Okay. So just taking it up then. The question:
9 "And en route to Krivaca, did you see any groups of Muslim
10 prisoners anywhere?"
11 Your answer:
12 "Yes, of course. I saw a large group of people sitting down on
13 the football-pitch in a settlement called Nova Kasaba, on the right-hand
14 side of the road as I was moving."
15 MS. PACK: If we could go to page 66, please:
16 "And do you recall how those prisoners were arranged, if at all,
17 on that football field, in what manner, if at all?
18 "A. They sat in rows.
19 "Q. And can you estimate at all, approximately, how many
20 prisoners you saw on that football field as you drove by?
21 "A. Earlier in my testimony -- it's difficult to give an
22 evaluation knowing the size of the football-pitch and the markings on the
23 pitch. It's difficult to evaluate how many people can be seated on
24 100 square metre. Well, if you manage to estimate that number, you can
25 multiply it by 100. I never tried before to arrive at a number. If you
1 can seat two people on one square metre, then you can possibly calculate
2 how many there were.
3 "Q. Well, let me ask you this, then, sir: Do you recall
4 approximately how full this football field was with prisoners?
5 "A. That entire area was covered with people sitting.
6 "Q. And who was guarding them?
7 "A. I was able to see military policemen, and I believe there
8 were soldiers, conscripts doing their regular military service and who
9 were in training in Nova Kasaba, which had a military police battalion
10 that trained these soldiers; that is, younger soldiers who were in
11 training to become military policemen. I don't know. Maybe there were
12 some senior troops as well, but I remember the younger ones.
13 "Q. And to which unit was this military police battalion
14 attached, sir?
15 "A. It belonged to the Protection Regiment of the Main Staff."
16 Over on to the following page, please:
17 "Q. Is that also known as the 65th Protection Regiment, sir?
18 "A. Yes.
19 "Q. And are you aware of whether or not there is a facility for
20 that military police battalion in that area?
21 "A. That military police battalion was normally stationed in
22 that area, in that settlement, in the school building, and this site was
23 just outside the settlement. The football-pitch was just outside the
24 settlement where those seated people were."
25 And just taking it up from lower down the page:
1 "Q. And during this period of time, in July of 1995, did you
2 know any of the officers within the 65th Protection Regiment or the
3 military police battalion of that regiment personally; and if you did,
4 can you tell the Trial Chamber their names and position?
5 "A. I certainly knew the regiment commander, Colonel Savcic, and
6 I also knew Major Malinic, who was the commander of that battalion in
7 Nova Kasaba, the battalion that had those young soldiers in training."
8 Q. So you testified to that effect in the Mladic -- sorry, in the
9 Popovic case, and you would confirm the truth of your testimony in --
10 would you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MS. PACK: And if we can just go to 65 ter 25276 at page 80.
14 Q. We're going back to the Mladic testimony now, talking further
15 about the football-pitch at the top of page 80 and you're asked -- you
17 "They said at the football-pitch, at the football stadium, on the
18 right side of the road as I was moving along the road, I cannot tell you
19 how many there were. I didn't count. But almost the entire
20 football-pitch was taken up by them. They sat on that pitch."
21 And the Judge asked you:
22 "How were they dressed?"
23 You answer:
24 "They were in the clothes that they wore at the time. I didn't
25 pay attention to what they were wearing. This was in Nova Kasaba. Along
1 the road I saw several smaller groups of disarmed --"
2 And the Judge asks you:
3 "I am asking about Nova Kasaba. You explained that you saw them
4 sitting on the football-pitch, and were they in uniforms or in civilian
6 "A. I didn't pay attention to the clothes that they wore. I
7 don't think it's important. They could have changed their clothes to
8 fair better."
9 You stand by that testimony?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And let me please ask you about a further passage of testimony in
12 the Mladic, and this is just moving back, I'm afraid, to page 77. This
13 was in answer to questions from Judge Orie. Now, you have clarified in
14 your prior testimony - this was in Popovic prior to this - you clarified
15 that you regarded these men, these men you saw in Nova Kasaba sitting in
16 rows on the football-pitch as "disarmed enemy forces," not detainees.
17 Would you stand by that prior testimony, that was how you characterised
18 these men?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And so you're asked -- I just remind you of your testimony in
21 Mladic regarding this at page 77. And you were asked by Judge Orie:
22 "Sill, my question is: How could you know that they were -- and
23 for example, not non-combatants?
24 "A. All of them who had set out to break through towards Tuzla,
25 towards the canton where they wanted to go, in order not to become
1 prisoners of war, all of them put themselves in the position of being
2 disarmed enemy forces.
3 "Q. So therefore your explanation is that if someone decided to
4 try to leave the area through the woods instead of surrendering, that
5 they for that reason were part of enemy forces. Is that your testimony?
6 "A. All of those who decided to set out with the soldiers of the
7 28th Division - I don't know whether all of them were members of the
8 28th Division or not, nobody knows that - but all of those who had set
9 out to break through expecting to go towards their own free territory
10 across the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska brought themselves
11 in a position where they became disarmed enemy forces because the
12 Army of Republika Srpska was concluding its offensive and was in the
13 pursuit stage. Had they decided earlier on to surrender via their
14 representatives, via their commanders, once they saw that they were in an
15 impossible situation, then they would have become prisoners of war. This
16 was my interpretation and the interpretation of the international laws of
18 You go on:
19 "They put themselves in this situation where they became disarmed
20 enemy forces."
21 You remember that testimony?
22 A. I remember the testimony, but there is something in the
23 translation that in another situation or during deliberations of charges
24 in the indictment, I did not say that the Army of Republika Srpska was
25 concluding the offensive or was in the pursuit stage.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he's --
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Mr. Trivic, the interpreters missed
3 part of your answer. Could you repeat it, kindly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with the gist, and of
5 course I would repeat the same thing, perhaps not word for word the way
6 it was said then. But there is one problem in the interpretation, at
7 least that's how I heard it. In the part which says that the
8 Army of Republika Srpska was in the pursuit stage, you cannot translate
9 it like that, "u fazi progona." I don't know English, so perhaps you can
10 look at that and correct it.
11 MS. PACK:
12 Q. I'm asking you about your qualification of -- of these men whom
13 you saw sitting in Nova Kasaba at the football field. Can I pursue it --
14 A. All right.
15 Q. -- you accept, don't you, that the group you saw at Nova Kasaba
16 included civilians, but your point is that they brought themselves into
17 the position where they became disarmed enemy soldiers; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MS. PACK:
21 Q. Now, you're aware now that many hundreds of Bosnian --
22 MS. PACK: Sorry.
23 JUDGE KWON: If I can intervene. I'm interested in hearing from
24 the witness about his explanation about pursuit stage.
25 Could you explain it to me so that I can understand you well?
1 THE ACCUSED: It was said but it didn't -- hadn't been recorded.
2 JUDGE KWON: So I'm asking the witness to explain to us in simple
3 terms so that we can understand him well.
4 It was recorded that "the Army of Republika Srpska was concluding
5 its offensive and was in the pursuit stage."
6 Could you tell us what it meant or how it should have been
7 reflected in the transcript?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This part that was read out to me
9 right now, Mr. President, is correct. During an offensive, an assault,
10 which the Army of Republika Srpska or the Drina Corps was in the process
11 of executing at -- during those days consists of three phases. There is
12 contact with enemy forces, contact and decisive battle, that's the second
13 phase. And the last phase is pursuit of those who can no longer put up
14 resistance but do not wish to surrender. That is the third phase of an
15 offensive according to the rules on offensive action of the then-JNA of
16 the former state which would end with the phase that is referred to as
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 Let's continue.
20 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. You're aware now, aren't you, that many hundreds of the men held
22 at Nova Kasaba were subsequently executed?
23 A. I don't know if those men were executed, the men that I saw as I
24 was passing by, the men that were standing at that football-pitch.
25 Q. No, you said they were sitting in rows?
1 A. Yes, as far as I could see they were sitting.
2 Q. They were, weren't they, under armed guard with soldiers with
3 guns pointed at them, weren't they?
4 A. Yes, they were guarded by soldiers, soldiers at the time when the
5 state of war or imminent danger of war was declared. They had weapons
6 and those who were executing their guard duties also around the
8 Q. And you avoid qualifying them as detainees; rather, you describe
9 them as disarmed enemy soldiers. Why? Why don't you call them
11 A. When the enemy side, the opposing side, in an offensive is
12 defeated and does not accept that defeat correctly but tries to break
13 through to part of its own free territory, and then it gets to the stage
14 where it is disarmed by the strength of the force that defeated it, then
15 that group of people brings itself in the situation of being a disarmed
16 enemy force. And the -- and instead of acknowledging that they were
17 defeated, they would become --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he --
19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Trivic, could you repeat from where you said
20 that group of people brings itself in the situation of being a disarmed
21 enemy force.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The commanders, komandirs and
23 commandants who evaluate that they can no longer put up any resistance or
24 for any other reason, they did not accept to acknowledge their defeat and
25 to surrender and to be listed by the enemy, but instead decided to go and
1 attempt a break through to their free territory. That phase of pursuit
2 led to them being intercepted, prevented from reaching the free
3 territory, and they were then disarmed. But still, at that point in time
4 they have not become prisoners of war.
5 JUDGE KWON: So put simply then, is it okay to kill them all,
6 those who were sitting at the football-pitch, because they were not
7 prisoners of war? Is that your evidence, Mr. Trivic?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I never said that, and in any
9 case I do not approve of something like that. But that is not my
10 testimony, that then it is all right to treat them however anyone wants
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
13 Please continue, Ms. Pack.
14 MS. PACK: Thank you. I'm aware of the time. I'll just be
15 another five minutes or so, just another entry of the diary.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MS. PACK: Thank you.
18 Q. I'm going to move on from this topic. I'd like to take you,
19 please, to your diary again back --
20 MS. PACK: 65 ter 25028.
21 Q. And it's the entry on the 16th of July. This is then going from
22 the back of the diary non-sequentially. I would like to take you to
23 page 73 which is the first day entry for the 16th of July, just to
24 confirm we've got the right date. I'm not going to ask you about what
25 you detailed there, but this is just to have you confirm that we are
1 looking at your entry dated 16 July, 2000 hours; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. This was at a time when you were engaged in the Zepa operation;
4 is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let us go, please, to page 72, which would be the next recorded
7 entry in your diary for the 16th of July. This is in B/C/S and English.
8 And you record there a meeting with General Krstic on the 16th of July,
9 yes? Let me just read that out and just refresh your memory of the
10 content. The first point, this is General Krstic presumably speaking to
11 you, addressing you:
12 "The VRS Supreme Command has decided that eastern parts of
13 Republika Srpska must be liberated from the Turks."
14 Do you remember him telling you that, "the Supreme Command has
15 decided the eastern parts of RS must be liberated from the Turks "?
16 A. I remember that he said that. I wrote that down and I explained
17 that to Mr. McCloskey, this expression, "Turks," as we soldiers called
18 each other. They called Serbs Chetniks and we called them Turks.
19 Q. The second point:
20 "The brilliant victory in Srebrenica is the biggest boost in
21 morale ."
22 Then there's point 3:
23 "The situation in the Srebrenica - Birac enclave," two points:
24 "Small groups of civilians.
25 "Small armed groups."
1 So there you separate civilians from the armed groups?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You understand that distinction; right?
4 A. Well, certainly I understand that.
5 Q. And then you go on to further state:
6 "The 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade and the
7 1st Bratunac Brigade - to search the terrain.
8 "4. The situation in the zone of responsibility of the ...
9 Zvornik Infantry Brigade is very complex."
10 And then I'd ask that we go to page 71, the next part of the
12 "Part of the Muslim's 28th Division has crossed the /canyon?/
13 Karakaj - Crni Vrh and reached the Bajkovica sector (around 2.000
15 So those are the entries, what you were told by Krstic at that
16 meeting on the 16th of July; is that right? You go on further but I'm
17 not going to go through that.
18 A. With a correction, it's not a canyon, I want to correct that.
19 The interpretation was part of the 28th Division has crossed the canyon,
20 not the canyon but the road Karakaj-Crni Vrh, it is "komunikacija" not
21 "kanjon." I would like that to be corrected. Karakaj-Crni Vrh and
22 reached Bajkovica sector.
23 Q. Thank you for that clarification. If we go to page 70 and this
24 is the following part of your entry for 16th July. You talk about:
25 "Must enter Zepa by 1400 hours tomorrow."
1 Then you have an entry:
2 "PAD for launching aerial bombs to come tomorrow ..."
3 I just want to ask you about that.
4 THE ACCUSED: May I have one clarification, whether those words
5 are of the witness or he wrote -- recorded somebody else's words?
6 JUDGE KWON: I think you can take up that issue in your
8 Yes, shall we continue?
9 MS. PACK: Yes.
10 Q. We're dealing with the PAD for launching aerial bombs, and you
11 talked about this -- you'd been asked to describe what this entry
12 pertains to in your earlier testimony. I'll ask to look at the Tolimir
13 testimony at 65 ter 25033 at page 72.
14 My apologies, I didn't ask, but with the diary I'd ask to have
15 admitted those pages related to the 16th July. What -- we'll be looking
16 at them again after --
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll add them.
18 MS. PACK: Just for now. I'm grateful.
19 JUDGE KWON: We'll add them to the Exhibit P3748.
20 MS. PACK:
21 Q. And let me just read that out for your benefit. You just
22 describe what this entry pertains to:
23 "A. This entry pertains to the task to launch from an improvised
24 launch pad on a vehicle, launching of an aerial bomb which could not be
25 launched in the standard way but was, rather, used to produce
1 psychological effects in a larger area, to affect the attitude of the
2 people, not because it had chemical effects or anything of the sort but,
3 rather, because it was supposed to produce a large explosion. It was
4 supposed to be launched from a trailer. Its popular name was sow,
5 'krmaca' in Serbian. That's what this aerial bomb was called but it
6 wasn't really very accurate."
7 You stand by that prior testimony, would you?
8 A. Yes, but in the original part there's something wrong with the
9 interpretation. It's not improvised, it's the launching pad that's
10 improvised on a truck.
11 Q. Well, perhaps the translation didn't get to you properly. What I
12 read was this entry pertains to the task to launch from an improvised
13 launch pad on a vehicle?
14 A. This answer of mine has to do with a question and an explanation
15 as to what this pad is, but there was no reference to whether there had
16 been any firing. I was explaining what the effects were of that bomb,
17 what effects are achieved when it is launched, and it is not directly
18 related to what I noted down on the 16th. Over there, it just says that
19 that launching pad is supposed to get somewhere.
20 Q. That's fine.
21 MS. PACK: Mr. President, there was just one matter because the
22 witness had asked a question about whether or not he had heard back from
23 the Chamber regarding his query over the transcript in Mladic. This was
24 a topic I discussed earlier. And I have the entry and I just wanted to
25 at least for the witness's benefit just go back and show him --
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MS. PACK: -- the matter had been readdressed. So we can just go
3 back, please, to the Mladic transcript which is 25276.
4 Q. Just to -- page 86 of that transcript. So just -- just to read
5 what you were informed of then by Judge Orie. This was on the second day
6 of your testimony you were told:
7 "Before Mr. Lukic continues his cross-examination, I would
8 briefly like to deal with a matter which arose yesterday. On the record
9 we saw that you had referred to the evacuation of the Muslim population
10 from Potocari and a few minutes later you denied to have said any of such
11 thing, and I even suggested to you that you might consider that you may
12 have said it but that -- that you do not exclude for that possibility.
13 You insisted on it being verified. It has been verified. That means the
14 audio has been listened to and the translation has been verified. This
15 is what you said:
16 "'Thank you. During that day at the meeting and during the
17 dinner, there was no talk of prisoners of war or disarmed enemy forces.
18 All that was discussed was the evacuation of the population, evacuation
19 of the Muslim population from Potocari.'"
20 The Judge continues:
21 "This is what you said and that was how it was translated to us."
23 A. Okay, but then just this connection with that telephone
24 conversation that General Mladic had, not with us, the persons attending
25 the meeting.
1 Q. That's not what you say, is it? And I would suggest to you that
2 those words slipped out because you did discuss this topic and you
3 unfortunately hurried then to retract; right?
4 JUDGE KWON: But the witness said it was out of confusion. Shall
5 we leave it at that?
6 MS. PACK: I'll leave it at that. Thank you.
7 I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, you have re-examination?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A little bit, I hope, not very
11 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, sir, good day.
13 A. Good day.
14 Q. In your diary the last entry for the month of July is the
15 29th of July. Can you tell us whether at any one of these meetings
16 anyone mentioned killing of prisoners?
17 A. No, not at a single one of these meetings, those that have been
18 recorded and also those possible contacts that I had with certain persons
19 at that time. There was no talk of any killing.
20 Q. Thank you. On page 25, line 16, it says the Prosecutor says then
21 you say whose words did you write down in your diary, your own or
22 somebody else's?
23 A. Attending meetings at one's superior means that one should record
24 what the superior officer is conveying. That is how it is in military
1 Q. Thank you. On pages 16 and 17 you said that prisoners of war sat
2 in an area of about 100 square metres, and if two persons were sitting in
3 one square metre that that would have to be multiplied. What are the
4 dimensions of the sides of this rectangle or square of 100 square metres?
5 A. I'm not an expert. I was surprised by that question then as to
6 how many persons that would entail in such an area, a pitch. I did not
7 really think about how many people could sit in a football-pitch.
8 Dimensions vary, I assume, they vary. An Olympic stadium is not the same
9 size as a village stadium and so on. So I wouldn't want to speculate
10 with numbers. Obviously this 100 square metres is 10 by 10.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have in e-court
13 65 ter 2841.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. While we're waiting, if you wrote down in your diary who was
16 present, would you write down when people would leave early?
17 A. No, I don't think I did that. I'm almost sure I didn't do that.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now zoom in --
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Actually, take a look at this. Are you familiar with this image,
22 the 13th of July at 2.00 p.m., is that the stadium?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now enlarge the stadium
1 itself, please. A little bit more if possible, please. Thank you.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Is that the image that you saw as you passed by the stadium?
4 A. Yes, yes. This is an image -- actually, this is the first time I
5 see this, so it jogs my memory, the first time since I passed there. And
6 this commotion along the road, that involved those who were security
7 people and then there were journalists and cameramen and some other
8 soldiers. So now this reminds me. So it's not only trees. I assume
9 that this is satellite imagery and it involves persons who were also
10 standing by the road.
11 Q. In this rectangle, Colonel, do you see these shadows, these
12 figures, the four in front of them, are those the guards? And did they
13 hold these people at gunpoint, these people who were sitting there, as
14 had been suggested to you?
15 A. No, not at any point in time, not here and also not the other
16 groups that I saw along the road. There were soldiers who were guarding
17 these persons, that was the order of the command of the Drina Corps, to
18 guard these possible POWs. So they were not holding them at gunpoint.
19 They were guarding them like any soldier would do.
20 Q. Thank you. I believe that this has already been admitted and
21 that it does have an exhibit number, a P number; if not, I would be happy
22 to have it signed and admitted. But I believe it's already been
24 JUDGE KWON: I cannot help you in this regard.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I believe it has been
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, I was just going to say I'm sure it's
3 admitted. I don't know the number offhand. Sorry to interrupt.
4 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, just so there's no doubt about the
5 reference, I think we should just admit this as a separate exhibit so
6 that we know which photo this witness was referring to.
7 JUDGE KWON: And if it turned out that it has already been
8 admitted, we can strike it out.
9 MS. PACK: Yes, it's at page 27 of the Jean-Rene Ruez book of
10 photographs, but I don't have -- I unfortunately I don't have the exhibit
11 number on me right now -- perhaps not page 27, sorry. The one that's
12 been referred to is page 26.
13 JUDGE KWON: Let's admit it temporarily.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3749, Your Honours.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Colonel, sir, on page 6 something was discussed. You said that
18 directive 7 and directive 7/1 was used as a basis which gave the
19 commander the right to act further. Could you tell us whether everything
20 from the directive has to be carried out? Actually, to what extent can a
21 commander be creative, or rather, assess the situation as it is? In
22 addition to exercising that right, does he have to check everything?
23 A. In the answer I've already provided today to one of the
24 questions, I said that a directive is a document, is written on the basis
25 of an analysis of the situation in the previous period. In this
1 situation, I think that it was written after the analysis of the
2 situation in 1994 and that is why it was passed sometime in May for 1995.
3 So it had to do with analysing the situation, seeing how objectives
4 should be attained as the struggle for exercising the rights of the Serbs
5 as a constituent peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina started. So all of these
6 problems were looked at and then it was put on paper according to regions
7 in Republika Srpska that were covered by different corps of the
8 Army of Republika Srpska, which activities, which tasks, how they will
9 act in order to improve or at least maintain the situation as it was.
10 The Drina Corps was rather specific and it had this problem too,
11 protection from enclaves. So they had a territory that had temporarily
12 been taken up of its own area of defence. So that corps commander or the
13 commander of the Drina Corps did not -- actually, just used those rights
14 in terms of being able to act to improve his position, and he also asked
15 for what he could do on the basis of his own assessment. In this
16 situation it was that action with the part of the free forces of the
17 Drina Corps to make the enclaves narrower, to separate them, and to
18 prevent further terror from the enclaves, by engaging also part of the
19 2nd Romanija Brigade which did not have positions facing the enclaves,
20 but had the task as a subordinate unit to send part of its forces to join
21 those forces that were supposed to carry out that offensive in terms of
22 improving the position of that unit in its own area of defence.
23 Q. Thank you, Colonel. On page 5 what was read out to you was an
24 order and it said:
25 "Create conditions for resolving or eliminating or liquidating
2 What does this term mean, "create conditions"? Can that be done
3 without a new order or does any creation of conditions have to be taken
4 into account as something that will actually be carried through? What
5 does it mean actually?
6 A. Mr. President, I think that that's from the order for action,
7 where the objective of the forces involved in Krivaja 95 is to narrow
8 down the enclaves and to create conditions. So the objective ends with
9 the separation and creating conditions for some further orders,
10 assessments, and so on, whether it is possible, whether it's not
11 possible, but to bring them into the situation so that they can take a
12 further activity.
13 Q. Thank you. This new activity, can it be carried out without a
14 new order?
15 A. As a rule, no, but except in situations when conditions are
16 altered in the course of carrying out an activity in order to achieve a
17 certain objective. In this particular instance it meant amending the
18 initial order that had to be amended because you have to create
19 conditions to have the axis of operations moved closer to Srebrenica
20 because we had daily assessments of the results achieved and then the
21 following day we adjusted the axis of operation towards the protected
22 areas of Zepa and Srebrenica.
23 Q. Thank you. On page 4 it was suggested to you that you had stated
24 that you were shocked and then you corrected that. Can you tell us,
25 would you have carried out the element in the directive that did not
1 feature in the order? Did you -- would you have carried it out had it
2 been included in the order and would any commander be obliged to carry
3 out something that would constitute a crime?
4 A. There was no contents of that nature that was conveyed to me as a
5 commander, either verbally or orally; and if it had been the case, I
6 wouldn't have carried it out and I'm quite sure that none of my
7 colleagues, other commanders, would carry out something like that.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Thank you for coming here and answering my
10 JUDGE KWON: I noted down on my book and I forgot that
11 Jean-Rene Ruez's book was admitted in its entirety as Exhibit P4308.
12 MS. PACK: Yes, and -- and, Mr. President, this -- this document
13 that is referred to is at page 36 of that exhibit.
14 JUDGE KWON: In e-court?
15 MS. PACK: Yes, thank you, in e-court.
16 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
17 Unless my colleagues have a question for you, that concludes your
18 evidence, Mr. Trivic. On behalf of the Chamber I'd like to thank you for
19 you coming to The Hague to give it yet again. Now you are free to go,
20 but let us rise all together. The Chamber will have a break for
21 20 minutes and we'll have another break during the course of next
22 witness's evidence.
23 We'll resume at 11.00 -- oh, I'm sorry, we'll resume at 10 to
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
4 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: MILENKO KARISIK
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Karisik. Please be seated and make
10 yourself comfortable.
11 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Karisik, I must draw your
12 attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here at the
13 International Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule you may
14 object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution, or
15 even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
16 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
17 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
18 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
19 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an
20 answer might incriminate you and as a consequence you refuse to answer
21 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
22 compel you to answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal
23 would ensure that your testimony compelled in such circumstances would
24 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence,
25 save and except the offence of giving false testimony.
1 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Karisik?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General Karisik.
8 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
9 Q. I must ask you - and I will do as well - to pause between
10 questions and answers and to speak slowly so that everything that we say
11 can be interpreted and recorded in the transcript.
12 General, have you given a statement to my Defence team?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D9210 in
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Please look at the screen. Do you see the statement?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed the statement?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown the
23 last page so he can identify his signature.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Is this your signature?
1 A. Yes, that's my signature.
2 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you told
3 the Defence team?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today, would your
6 answers basically be the same as the ones contained in the statement?
7 A. Basically, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. I would like to tender this statement and
9 92 ter package into evidence.
10 JUDGE KWON: Can I hear from you, Mr. Robinson, about the
11 associated exhibits.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, we're offering ten associated
13 exhibits at this stage, none of which are on our Rule 65 ter list because
14 the witness hadn't been interviewed at the time we filed that list. I
15 can give you the numbers or we've actually communicated by e-mail so that
16 the Prosecution indicated the ones which it objected to. I said we were
17 going to insist on one of those and the Prosecution agrees that that can
18 be an associated exhibit. So if it's easier for the Chamber, we could go
19 one by one.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
21 MR. ROBINSON: The first one that we're offering is 1D09201. Do
22 you want me to go the whole list?
23 JUDGE KWON: Shall I hear the list of exhibits that the Defence
24 is tendering?
25 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. So --
1 JUDGE KWON: Shall I deal with one by one?
2 Mr. Nicholls, do you have objection to the admission of the
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours. No, I do not. And as
5 I said in my e-mail which I think went all the parties, we objected to
6 those I listed. I withdraw the objection to 1D09204, and I think we have
7 agreement that the rest will not be tendered and I do not object to the
9 JUDGE KWON: We'll assign the number for the Rule 92 ter
10 statement of the witness.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3749, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE KWON: And with respect to 1D9201, the Chamber is of the
13 view it does not form an indispensable and inseparable part of the
14 statement, in that the statement can be understood without it. So we'll
15 not admit it.
16 What is the next item?
17 MR. ROBINSON: 1D09202.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3750, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Next is 1D09204.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that will be admitted.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3751.
24 MR. ROBINSON: 1D09205.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3752.
2 MR. ROBINSON: 1D09206.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Exhibit D3753.
4 MR. ROBINSON: 1D09209.
5 JUDGE KWON: How is this intercept relevant, if you could have a
6 word about it?
7 MR. ROBINSON: It doesn't seem particularly critical, so I think
8 we can leave it out if you --
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well, thank you.
10 MR. ROBINSON: The next one is 65 ter number 17186.
11 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is not -- is of the view that this
12 document is not forming an indispensable and inseparable part.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I think my friend made a mistake.
14 10186 is something I objected to which he agreed would not be tendered.
15 JUDGE KWON: 1 -- I'm sorry. 10 --
16 MR. NICHOLLS: 65 ter 17186 --
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, 17186. Yes, I understood it was objected to
18 and Defence is not tendering it.
19 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct. That was my mistake.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 MR. ROBINSON: 65 ter number 30720.
23 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is of the view that it has some doubt as
24 to the nature of indispensable and inseparable part of the statement as
25 well as the relevance. So we'll not admit it at the moment. So if it
1 wishes -- the Defence wishes to tender that, it should deal with it live.
2 Next one?
3 MR. ROBINSON: 65 ter number 30732.
4 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3754, Your Honours.
6 MR. ROBINSON: The last one is 65 ter number 30716.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3755.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Now I'm going to read a summary of General Milenko Karisik's
12 statement in English.
13 [In English] General Milenko Karisik was in a special unit of the
14 BH MUP from 1983 until the outbreak of the war. He served as deputy
15 commander of the special anti-terrorist unit of the BH MUP. This unit
16 was the strike force of the MUP of BH. The strict regime for using this
17 unit required legal and professional justification for performance of the
18 most difficult tasks. Special attention was paid to ensure that the
19 staffing structure corresponded to the population of BH.
20 After the multi-party elections in BH in 1990, the SDA personnel
21 were appointed to key supervisory positions in the Ministry of
22 Internal Affairs of BH. This undermined the legality of the work and
23 professional principles of the organs of the ministry. A new
24 organisation of the MUP was imposed. The number of active policemen was
25 increased and, in particular, the reserve forces, mostly Muslims, were
1 activated in all organs at all levels. Huge resources were invested to
2 arm the Muslims and Croats for conflict to create a unitary BH to the
3 detriment of the Serbs. Particular problems appeared in late 1991
4 because of the negative tendencies in the MUP headquarters. The unit
5 started to perform tasks that were not within its remit. Anti-terrorism
6 training transitioned to military training. There was clear deviation
7 from the regular training plan in preparation for new purposes. After
8 the unit was compromised in this way, mixed motorised patrols were set up
9 with members of the special unit and members of the JNA. They did not
10 defuse tensions on the ground but provoked adverse reactions. At one
11 meeting, Mr. Cengic said, quoting:
12 "The Muslims will sacrifice a million people for a sovereign
14 The special reserve unit was filled only with Muslims. The
15 formation of this armed unit undermined the ethnic mix to the benefit of
16 the Muslims. Muslim officers who deserted the ranks of the JNA were
17 appointed to commanding positions already held by officers from the
18 professional special unit. The personnel service of the MUP of BH was
19 completely gripped by lawless behaviour, upsetting the ethnic mix of the
20 unit. Recruitment was carried out without any regard to selection
21 criteria. After a series of the abuses in the use of the unit, Serbian
22 professional specials reacted by demanding a meeting with the MUP
23 leadership. Although agreement was reached, it was not respected and the
24 unit was misused again on orders from the Muslim representatives. This
25 impacted on the internal unity of the unit, and led to the breakdown of
1 personal relationships and trust.
2 After the failed attempts to keel life and work in the unit
3 within the framework of valid legal regulations of the MUP, working
4 together became impossible. Momcilo Mandic signed a dispatch to split
5 the MUP on 4th of April, 1992. Based on the agreement reached at the top
6 of MUP, the bases in Vraca, in the MUP school, went to the Serbian part,
7 and Muslim-Croatian part of the specials remained in Krtelji. It was
8 agreed that the Serbian specials would leave with their personal weapons,
9 equipment, and vehicles, but without armoured personnel carriers.
10 Milenko Karisik and his unit entered the school centre and encountered an
11 unexpected problem, coming under cross-fire from two directions from
12 Muslim paramilitary formations. They were forced to defend themselves.
13 Two Serbs were killed and another seriously injured; however, none of the
14 Muslims or Croats were hurt because the Serbs' intention was only to save
15 their lives. The Muslim MUP leadership had ordered the director of the
16 school centre not to allow Serbian specials to enter their base and to
17 use an armed operation to prevent it, the implementation of the agreement
18 on the splitting up of the special unit. For the Muslim side, this
19 conflict was a test of the functioning of its paramilitary police
20 organisation which they had been preparing for a long time. They wanted
21 to determine the readiness to use force and war to determine their
22 destiny and the Serbs.
23 The special units remained in Vraca until 10th of June, 1992.
24 From late July 1992 onwards, the detachment was located in Zvornik.
25 While in Vraca they came under daily attacks from Muslim forces. They
1 were attacked by infantry and anti-armour weapons and mortars as well as
2 other artillery weapons. General Milenko Karisik had no contacts with
3 the Crisis Staff of Novo Sarajevo. No non-Serbs were forcibly driven out
4 of Vraca and Grbavica. By mid-1992, the unit operated together with the
5 Territorial Defence in Sarajevo in the defence and protection of the
6 Serbs and Serbian settlements. From mid-May 1992, the unit co-ordinated
7 actions within the VRS. After three months of engagement in Sarajevo,
8 Milenko Karisik's unit was engaged in combat tasks throughout
9 Republika Srpska. The unit did not mount offensive operations, but
10 engaged in ad hoc combat operation zones if lines of combat were breached
11 and civilian population endangered. The unit was used to disarm
12 paramilitary units appearing on the Serb side in Republika Srpska. The
13 unit also took measures to establish law and order in Republika Srpska,
14 and to prevent serious crimes. General Milenko Karisik's unit acted in
15 line with the rules of service and rules of war, as well as the
16 Geneva Conventions. It never committed a single crime.
17 General Karisik was commander of the special police brigade until
18 February 1994, when he moved to the chief of the police administration.
19 In November 1994, he was appointed deputy minister of the interior and
20 chief of the RJB, public security department. No one informed
21 Milenko Karisik that any crimes had been committed against the Muslims in
22 Srebrenica. There were no plans to expel civilians forcibly from
23 Srebrenica or plans to capture and liquidate members of the
24 28th Muslim Division -- Division of Muslim army.
25 Milenko Karisik was not a member of the SDS or any other
1 political party. He never received instructions from them on any basis
2 for the conduct of action of his unit. The unit never committed a crime
3 against Muslims or Croats. No one ever asked him to commit a war crime.
4 He never received any kind of order directly from Radovan Karadzic.
5 General Milenko Karisik never informed President Karadzic orally
6 or in writing that prisoners from Srebrenica had been executed. He
7 didn't have that information himself. And that would be the summary. At
8 that moment I do not have questions for General Karisik.
9 JUDGE KWON: So I take it that Defence is not tendering any of
10 the associated exhibits admission of which was denied?
11 MR. ROBINSON: Correct.
12 JUDGE KWON: Just before we hear the cross.
13 Mr. Karadzic called you -- addressed you as "General." Could you
14 tell us why it was so?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, in 1993 or 1994, I cannot
16 remember exactly, received the rank of general. I got the rank because I
17 was the commander of that unit and the president himself perhaps can
18 explain better himself why I was given the rank of general. As a
19 professional staff member of the MUP, I followed that line. I
20 successfully formed the special police in detachment form. Later it was
21 turned into the special brigade, and because the unit waged war
22 honourably to the extent that it was involved in combat operations and
23 because I saved many Serbian civilians because many times lines were
24 broken and it was a bad situation at the front and in essence we tried,
25 even though as a mobile unit, we tried to defensively protect our
1 population. And in any event, I'm sure that the decree by the president
2 and the awarding of the rank of general is something that the president
3 himself be better asked about.
4 JUDGE KWON: I forgot that the police had adopted the rank system
5 similar to the military. That was the case.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. Karisik, as you have noted, your evidence
8 in chief in this case has been admitted in its entirety in writing, that
9 is, through your written statement in lieu of your oral testimony. And
10 now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the Office
11 of the Prosecutor. Do you understand that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: Before he starts his cross-examination, in terms of
14 today's scheduling, we'll have a short break until 11.30, and we'll
15 resume again for an hour and we'll have another lunch break. I was told
16 that Mr. Karisik wants the session not to last more than an hour.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise, Your Honour, we're breaking --
18 JUDGE KWON: Now.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: And resuming at 11.30.
21 --- Break taken at 11.17 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please proceed.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
1 Q. Now, you're a career professional policeman before your
2 retirement; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. That's in your statement. And you rose really to the very top
5 ranks of the RS MUP by July 1995, correct, just under Tomo Kovac and the
7 A. You could say that. I was the commander of the special brigade,
8 briefly I was chief of the police administration. After that, from
9 November 1994, I was the chief of the public security department or
10 assistant minister of the MUP, and towards the end of my police career I
11 was deputy minister of MUP.
12 Q. Yeah. And when was that, the end of your police career? When
13 did you retire from the police?
14 A. I retired in 1998.
15 Q. Right. And in your statement at paragraph 6 - you don't need to
16 read it - talking about the special unit before the war, you talk about
17 how it was comprised of outstanding professionals. So you're an
18 outstanding professional too; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So what we have in front of us today is basically the finest of
21 the finest of law enforcement of the RS, one of the top; right?
22 A. You could say that, yes.
23 Q. Highly trained, promoted to general; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And Tomo Kovac, he's a professional too, isn't he, a good
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And Dragomir Vasic, also a superb professional, a good cop?
4 A. I can confirm that, but he came to the MUP during the war. He
5 was not a policeman before the war --
6 Q. You answered the question --
7 A. -- as Kovac and I were.
8 Q. You actually answered the question in the first four words, so
9 you can confirm that, so that you don't always need to go beyond my
11 And what about Mane Djuric, as far as you know him, good
12 policeman? I'm talking about the Mane Djuric who was Vasic's deputy in
13 the Zvornik CJB in July 1995.
14 A. Mane was the deputy and the best evaluation of him could be given
15 by Vasic, who was his immediate superior.
16 Q. Perhaps, but I'm asking for your evaluation. If you know, do you
17 consider him a good policeman?
18 A. In principle, yes.
19 Q. Right. And we just heard from Mr. Karadzic in his summary that
20 your job and the job of the MUP was to establish law and order and
21 prevent serious crime. That is the job of law enforcement; right?
22 A. The question is not clear to me.
23 Q. Okay. Is the job of the MUP, what Mr. Karadzic read out in his
24 summary, to prevent serious crime? Is that a tricky question?
25 A. The MUP is obliged to prevent crime and that is part of its remit
1 in the territory outside of combat actions. Our territory was limited or
2 the boundaries were the lines of separation which were held by soldiers
3 of the Army of Republika Srpska. That was no longer under the
4 responsibility of the MUP; that was the responsibility of the army. The
5 Ministry of the Interior outside of the separation zone and the combat
6 operations zone was obliged to carry out its constitutional and legal
7 duty of securing law and order, preventing all forms of crime, and so on
8 and so forth. That is part of the responsibility of the
9 Ministry of the Interior according to the constitution and the law,
10 securing the territory within our area of responsibility. It is not the
11 responsibility of MUP to do that within the combat zone; that was the
12 responsibility of the army.
13 Q. Right. And we'll get to that and I see where you're going, but
14 we'll get to that and flesh that out. When it's not possible to prevent
15 serious crime or any crime and crimes have occurred, it's the job of the
16 MUP to investigate the crimes; correct?
17 A. My answer is the same here as well. The Ministry of Internal
18 Affairs --
19 Q. Let me stop you --
20 A. -- once it finds out --
21 Q. Okay. Let me just stop you. We don't need to go into the army's
22 job now or where the limitations of your jurisdiction are. Is the job of
23 the MUP to investigate crimes which have occurred?
24 A. I was going to say that. The MUP cannot investigate crimes that
25 occur during military operations and which are under the jurisdiction of
1 military courts and military prosecution offices. That is something that
2 the MUP cannot do. The MUP can investigate crimes that happened outside
3 of the territories where the army's operating. Once they found out --
4 find out about it either through the police or a citizen, that when --
5 once they find out about it, they can initiate the regular investigative
7 Q. Right. And so that is the job of you highly professional RS
8 policemen, to investigate serious crimes and bring, when you can in your
9 jurisdiction, the perpetrators to justice; right?
10 A. You must repeat your question, please. I don't understand the
12 Q. All right. Well, if you don't understand that question, I'll
13 just move on. Let me ask you about one part of your statement, this is
14 paragraph 40. You're speaking about the 16th of July, 1995, and you say:
15 "That day no one informed me in any way that any crime had been
16 committed against the Muslims in Srebrenica."
17 Then we switch to the present tense. So this is now, this is
18 when you signed this statement:
19 "I also have absolutely no knowledge of any plan to expel
20 civilians forcibly from Srebrenica and," again present tense, "I am not
21 aware that there was a plan to capture and liquidate members of the
22 28th Muslim Division."
23 So is your honest, truthful testimony that you - one of the
24 highest-ranking and successful law enforcement officers in the MUP who is
25 head of the RJB in July 1995 - in 2013 are not aware that there was a
1 plan to capture and liquidate Muslim soldiers in July 1995?
2 A. Yes, I really don't know. To this day from the aspect of the
3 clerk's duties that I was carrying out or civil servants, I was not
4 informed by the centre of the public security station either verbally or
5 in writing in any way that any crime had occurred --
6 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the function.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. I don't want to cut you off but you already answered the
10 question, as you sit here today you don't know of any plan. Now, let's
11 break that sentence down a bit.
12 Forget the plan --
13 A. Yes, I did not know. Yes, I did not know.
14 Q. Okay. There was a corps of the VRS called the Drina Corps;
16 A. Yes, I have heard of the Drina Corps.
17 Q. Yeah. As you sit here today in 2013, when you signed this
18 statement, when you signed this statement, were you aware that after
19 14 July 1995 in Zvornik municipality the Drina Corps executed captured
20 Muslim prisoners?
21 A. All of this that you are asking me is something that I heard from
22 the daily information media and TV news reports. I have just found out
23 and I as a senior-ranking professional MUP officer to this very day am
24 not quite clear about things because there is a lot of manipulation
25 regarding the true extent, the numbers, and so on and so forth. I did
1 not take part in that military operation, as the operation in Srebrenica
2 was called. I was then a civil servant at the Ministry
3 of Internal Affairs who had to carry out other assignments under the
4 jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior --
5 Q. Okay, okay, I'm going to stop you now. I understand you keep
6 saying how you weren't involved in the army. I understand and we'll keep
7 going through that. Now please answer the question.
8 In 2013, when you signed this statement, were you aware that the
9 Drina Corps in the Zvornik municipality executed Muslim prisoners?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that this was answered and
11 I have an intervention in the transcript.
12 JUDGE KWON: No, that can be asked again. Fair enough.
13 Can you answer the question, Mr. Karisik?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not find out. To this
15 very day I don't know the actual truth of the true extent of the crime,
16 the true facts. There is a lot of manipulation in the media about this,
17 so if anybody in the world were to ask me today about exactly what
18 happened, I would not be able to say so.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript. The witness said,
20 "and about the true nature of that crime," and that was not recorded that
21 he said that he did not know about the extent, the number, and the nature
22 of the crime.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Do we agree there was a crime, the Muslim prisoners were executed
25 by the Drina Corps in Zvornik after 14 July? Forget the extent or
1 numbers, precise numbers. Do you agree that you as top MUP official know
2 there was a crime?
3 A. I don't know who were the perpetrators of the crime, whether they
4 were from the Drina Corps within the military operation. Really, I
5 cannot, because that's under the jurisdiction of the military justice
6 system, the prosecutor's office in the military. So to this very day, I
7 did not have the opportunity to find out who the perpetrators of the
8 crime were, whether they were from the Drina Corps or from which
9 formations. It's something that I cannot confirm. After the war, from
10 the media, I found out that a crime took place. I don't know who the
11 perpetrators were. I did not conduct any investigation about it. This
12 is something that was published later, after the war, after the combat
13 operations stopped.
14 Q. Okay, Mr. Superb-law-enforcement-professional, lets just look at
15 that answer --
16 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, speaking of
17 "professional," that wasn't very professional and I think that
18 Mr. Nicholls should refrain from making those kind of characterisations.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, it's the witness's but I'll move on. That's
20 the way Mr. Karadzic and the witness have described this man in the
21 statement, as a superb professional law enforcement officer, and that is
22 why I referred to him that way, and it is perhaps a bit sarcastic the way
23 I used it, but I'll move on, but I don't think it's a fair objection.
24 JUDGE KWON: Please move on.
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. So you found out about the crime after the war from the media;
2 that's your truthful testimony here today? That's when you first found
3 out about the crime, talking about, again, the execution of Muslim
4 prisoners after the fall of Srebrenica?
5 A. I said that after the war ended I found out from the media that
6 in the sector of Srebrenica a crime had occurred. To this very day I
7 don't know the reasons the perpetrators, the extent. There are a lot of
8 manipulations, and I stand by what I said.
9 Q. Yeah. So during the war you did not know that this crime had
11 A. No. I was not informed along the line of reporting from any of
12 my subordinates in my hierarchy that any crime had occurred during the
14 Q. Yeah, but regardless of who did or did not inform you, your
15 answer is: No, you were not aware that this crime occurred during the
17 A. No.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. Then at paragraph 36 of your statement you talk about
21 being on the MUP staff in Pale.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P02981, please.
23 Q. Sorry, before we get to that, your code in July 1995, your
24 call-sign, was Tango 3; right?
25 A. I didn't understand the call-sign.
1 Q. Okay. Were you referred to on radio communications as Tango 3?
2 Tomo Kovac was Tango 2; the minister was Tango 1.
3 A. I cannot remember the code-name, my true call-sign during the war
4 is Karlo.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we have P06188, please, e-court page 2. We
6 need to -- yeah.
7 Q. Okay. In English we have head of RJB/public security department
8 is Tango 3. Does that help refresh your recollection?
9 A. A little bit, but I don't recall anybody ever referring to me as
10 "Tango 3" during any kind of communication. It's possible that this is
11 some kind of call-sign directory of the ministry, but there is no
12 introduction or a conclusion so that you could tell what this is, what
13 kind of a paper this is --
14 Q. Let me --
15 A. -- because here I can see --
16 Q. Let's go to page 1 just so you can see what the document is.
17 This is the Zvornik one, and just so you know Mane Djuric testified here
18 that it was accurate as to his call-sign and to Danilo Zoljic's and to
19 the Zvornik communication centre. So I'm just trying to see if you
20 remember. You said it helps you remember a little bit or something that
21 you were Tango 3.
22 A. I really cannot remember my call-sign. This is the first time
23 that I'm looking at the UKT, ultra-short wave, directory of the Zvornik
24 CJB. I was never in any kind of action where somebody - how can I put
25 it? - would refer to me in communications as - how did you say
1 it? - Tango 3. It's possible that I as a MUP civil servant was included
2 in it and that the signals administration did assign code-names, but I
3 wasn't aware of that. I'm surprised to see that I was Tango 3 because
4 throughout for all the functions I was referred to as Karlo. I'm not --
5 Q. Okay --
6 A. -- saying that this document is not valid. But I'm just saying,
7 I mean, I don't really have any particular comment on this.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I won't tender this document now, Your Honour,
10 because Tango 2 is coming --
11 JUDGE KWON: Is it not already admitted?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm not sure about that page.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll add this page to the exhibit.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
15 Q. Now, in paragraph 36 you talk about how you spent most of the
16 time in July 1995 at the RJB headquarters in Bijeljina, and you remember
17 the MUP staff in Pale.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P02981, please.
19 Q. This document is dated -- it's unclear but June 1995 and it's
20 type-signed by Deputy Minister Tomo Kovac. You see your name there as
21 number 2 on the staff?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. So this is the staff you're talking about, right, in your
25 A. Yes, I was a member of the staff, I'm here under number 2.
1 Q. Okay. I want to move on now, thank you, and talk about some of
2 what the MUP knew at the beginning of the Srebrenica operation --
3 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could have P04927, please.
4 Q. Now, your copy's not to clear, unfortunately, but this is dated
5 6th July 1995, it's the RDB, so not your section, it's state security.
6 And it's written in handwriting on the top right that it's for the VRS
7 Army of Republika Srpska security department as well as going up to
8 Bijeljina. And we see here in the top paragraph that there is a
9 discussion of information learned on 6th July that Srebrenica
10 representatives asked for a way to send Naser Oric in Tuzla back to
11 Srebrenica. And at the bottom paragraph is what I'd like you to look at:
12 "We will continue to monitor further developments of situation in
13 Srebrenica battle-field through our sources and inform you about further
14 developments in due time. We verbally informed the representatives of
15 the VRS OB about the said information."
16 Then it gives the source, Merkur, and personal observations of
17 the operative. Information is classified as reliable, and this is from
18 Goran Radovic.
19 So again, not your subordinates, but you agree with me the RDB
20 was monitoring the situation in Srebrenica on July 6th, 1995, the day of
21 the attack?
22 A. I can say that this is a dispatch from the RDB. It's of a report
23 nature and it's sent -- I cannot see all the places it is addressed to.
24 I'm not sure, I couldn't see that. I don't see it --
25 Q. No, I --
1 A. -- on my copy, it's difficult.
2 Q. I understand completely. I'll try to get a better version in the
3 original. It says in the English that it goes to RDB centre Bijeljina.
4 So you agree with me RDB is monitoring events in Srebrenica on 6 July?
5 A. I can agree that they had information through this insider in
6 terms of what was going on, but I cannot comment upon their dispatch in
7 terms of what they were following and to what extent because this is the
8 head of the RDB. I see that he has this information that things are
9 happening there, but I'm not sure that he knows what will happen in the
10 end. This is --
11 Q. Okay --
12 A. -- one of those pieces of information whereby they provide
13 information to the RDB centre in Bijeljina.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection --
15 JUDGE KWON: No, just a second.
16 It was sent by RDB Bijeljina, and according to the English
17 version it was addressed to RS MUP, RDB Pale, 2nd and 3rd Administration.
18 Can you tell us what it is about, 2nd and 3rd Administration of
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this is their
21 organisation, which I wouldn't want to comment upon. It doesn't have to
22 do with the public security section and I don't want to allow myself to
23 comment upon things that I'm not familiar with and don't know.
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
25 Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. And I apologise for reading it out
3 Could I have P04928.
4 Q. All right. This is a much better copy. It states 6th of June on
5 the top, but that's a typo because we can see right on the first sentence
6 of the first paragraph that it's talking about early morning of the
7 6th July 1995. And this is sent from state security to Republika Srpska
8 deputy minister of the interior personally and RS MUP RJB public security
9 department personally. And the first couple lines state:
10 "Early in the morning of 6 July 1995 representatives of the
11 political and military leadership of Srebrenica established radio-contact
12 with the leadership in Sarajevo. The Srebrenica representatives wanted
13 some way to be found for Naser Oric to return to their area urgently (he
14 is in Tuzla) ..."
15 So the information we saw in the RDB document from 6 July that we
16 just looked at from Goran Radovic up to Bijeljina --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: And let's go to the next page, sorry -- or we
18 can -- sorry, we can continue.
19 Q. -- is now being sent on to you personally; correct? RS MUP RJB
20 public security department personally, that's you?
21 A. Yes, that is I.
22 Q. And the information -- okay. Let's go to one more document
23 P02985. Here we have 9 July a report from Vasic at the Zvornik CJB to
24 the MUP in Bijeljina, talking about the situation on 9 July and saying
25 where the units are advancing from towards Srebrenica, from Jadar towards
1 Crni Guber, the villages of Salapovici and Ljubisavci have been occupied.
2 And before I ask you the question I would like to now go to P05230.
3 That's also a document. This one is from 10 July, the next day. This
4 one is from deputy minister Tomo Kovac who's listed here as commander of
5 the staff. And if you look at the third paragraph it also talks about
6 capturing the villages of Salapovici and Ljubisavci and this document is
7 at the Pale forces command staff. So again, just an example of how
8 information in the field is conveyed to the Pale staff; correct?
9 A. According to dispatches -- actually, I'd like to read the
10 previous one. It was a very poor copy, what I saw, so could it please be
11 enlarged. Could I read one by one. You have shown me three dispatches,
12 so let me read them at least.
13 Q. These two are separate. If you want to look at them again we can
14 look at P02985, the one from Vasic.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Maybe we can put both B/C/S versions on the screen
16 for the witness.
17 Q. Take your time and read them, but my point very simply is this --
18 A. I cannot read Vasic's. Could Vasic's be enlarged.
19 I've read Vasic's. Let me see the other one.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. I've read it, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Very simply: Some of the information from Vasic's report,
23 his dispatch, is being conveyed up to the Pale command staff; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. One more document, 65 ter 24707. This is dated
1 6th July, headed RS Ministry of the Interior police headquarters Pale,
2 type-signed Tomo Kovac. And in the first paragraph not -- talking about
3 the Herzegovina Corps it says between 50 and 100 enemy soldiers were
4 killed and 23 captured on 5 July. And on page 2 of the English, please,
5 if we could look at the bottom part:
6 "In the early morning hours of 6 July 1995, the offensive against
7 Srebrenica began, and we shall provide you with timely information on all
8 interesting developments in that theatre of operations.
9 "Staff commander.
10 "Tomo Kovac."
11 Okay. Are you ready for a question?
12 A. I can provide a comment now.
13 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you the question first. Now, this
14 document talks about 50 to 100 enemy soldiers killed and 23 captured in a
15 different location and says that all interesting developments in the
16 theatre of the Srebrenica offensive will also be reported. Now,
17 following the interesting developments in the theatre of operations of
18 the Srebrenica operation, would the Pale forces command staff have found
19 the execution of prisoners, even the taking of a large number of
20 prisoners, an interesting development to follow?
21 A. I think, if I understood these dispatches correctly, police
22 forces of Pale, the headquarters of the police forces in Pale, is the
23 headquarters of the forces for the declared state of war in the zone of
24 Sarajevo, not Srebrenica. That can be seen in the first dispatch that
25 was established in June, I don't know the exact date, 1995. The
1 headquarters were established because a strong Muslim offensive was
2 launched against Serb positions around Sarajevo. A particularly key
3 point is here between the Herzegovina Corps, let's say Trnovo and
4 Treskavica, and in that area, in Trnovo, there were some units of police
5 units that were resubordinated to the Army of Republika Srpska. And
6 there was even a headquarters of the police forces in Trnovo there. This
7 is reporting on losses, enemy losses, and an inaccurate figure is
8 referred to or estimate, between 50 and 100, and that shows us that this
9 has nothing to do with Srebrenica. And somewhere towards the bottom,
10 Vasic -- I mean, it says that Vasic is reporting that some military
11 operation is underway there and that certain positions had been reached.
12 There is no reference to any kind of prisoner taking and other things
13 that you're asking me about. My role at the headquarters in Pale, I can
14 explain that --
15 Q. Let me stop you right there. I'm not saying that that first page
16 had anything to do with Srebrenica prisoners. Okay. The question is:
17 Staff commander Tomo Kovac says at the end:
18 "In the early morning hours of 6 July ... the offensive against
19 Srebrenica began, and we shall provide you with timely information on all
20 interesting developments in that theatre of operations."
21 And the question was, I'll make it simpler: Would be the taking
22 of a large number of Muslim prisoners an interesting development?
23 A. We do not know here at all, on the basis of these dispatches,
24 that there would be any prisoner taking in that military operation --
25 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
1 A. -- that is conducted by General Mladic --
2 Q. Stop, stop, stop --
3 A. From the dispatches --
4 Q. That's not the question. Okay, I'll try to make it very simple.
5 This is 6 July, all right, so there are no prisoners taken yet. We saw
6 on the first page in a different area a report of enemy soldiers being
7 captured. The question is, it's very simple: Since Tomo Kovac is saying
8 he will provide information on all interesting developments in the
9 Srebrenica theatre, would the taking in the future of large numbers of
10 prisoners be an interesting development to report?
11 A. Yes, but we did not receive that report as far as I can
12 remember --
13 Q. Okay --
14 A. -- that is why -- I mean, these are questions for Mr. Kovac as
15 head of staff.
16 Q. Yeah, and if a report was made of large numbers of prisoners
17 being taken was reported, would it also be an interesting development
18 that large numbers of prisoners were executed by the VRS or the MUP in
19 the Srebrenica theatre of operations?
20 A. You're putting a hypothetical question to me which was not in the
21 report. I as head of the department and a member of the staff in Pale, I
22 did not receive any information about prisoner taking in Srebrenica,
23 about the numbers, and I was not aware of any plan, believe me --
24 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
25 A. -- so I cannot give any comments of prisoner taking in an
1 operation that is conducted by the Army of Republika Srpska. The MUP of
2 Republika Srpska is there with a minimal number of participants and has
3 no powers over that act.
4 Q. Are you testifying that you never received information that
5 prisoner had been taken in the Srebrenica operation?
6 A. I'm not sure now whether there is some dispatch. It really has
7 been a long time that says that prisoners had been taken. In particular,
8 I do not have a report and no one ever reported to me about any
9 executions in certain locations. I do not have a single report like that
10 as head of the RJB.
11 Q. Yeah, again, that wasn't the question. The question was: You
12 say you don't remember. Are you telling us that you don't remember
13 whether you knew in July 1995, as head of the RJB, that the Serb forces
14 had taken -- VRS and MUP had taken -- and/or MUP had taken large numbers
15 of prisoners? Any prisoners?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Don't [overlapping speakers] --
18 A. Categorically, I had never been reported to about that. I cannot
19 confirm that.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I'd like to tender this document,
22 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D6421, Your Honours.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, could I have P02992?
1 Q. I take it you've seen this document before, you know about this
3 A. Yes, but not a lot earlier.
4 Q. What does that mean?
5 A. That means that I do not remember this document, although I was
6 at headquarters. And as I gave a statement to the investigators of the
7 MUP of Serbia when they first showed me this dispatch, my comment was
8 that I cannot recall this order because I worked at Pale in relation to
9 affairs that have to do with Sarajevo, not Srebrenica, because it was a
10 staff that was dealing with Sarajevo.
11 Q. Okay. When was the first time you saw this document? Are you
12 saying the first time you saw it, if I understand you, maybe I don't, is
13 when the -- it was shown to you by the MUP of Serbia?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Well, this is a document to the commander of the
16 special police, you used to be a commander of, you weren't at the time,
17 showing the supreme commander, Mr. Karadzic, has ordered -- issued an
18 order for the engagement of the MUP. And I don't want to go through it
19 all. At paragraph 2 it talks about the 1st Company of the PJP of Zvornik
20 being engaged. In paragraph 3 it talks about Ljubisa Borovcanin being
21 engaged to take part in combat in Srebrenica. So you never discussed or
22 knew about this order on 10 July 1995; is that your testimony?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Let me ask you about this: It's type-signed by
25 Tomo Kovac, and in an interview with -- in an interview in 2010 he
1 confirmed that he neither signed nor approved this order, that's
2 65 ter 25299, e-court page 2 for my friends. And in his testimony in
3 Serbia in the Medic case, Tomo Kovac testified at page 52 about this
5 "I left this area, but the president of the republic directly
6 called Karisik, my deputy, and Borovcanin and dictated to them this
8 Now, does that help refresh your recollection? Tomo Kovac - and
9 he's coming - basically says it was you who worked on this order with the
11 A. No, no. I refute Tomo Kovac's statement. I think he got things
12 confused there. It's possible that the president orders someone on the
13 staff because actually my signature is not there either, I did not sign
14 this dispatch. There were many dispatches, you know, that's why I do not
15 remember them, because this is one of the routine things as these things
16 are written in the staff. A duty officer must have drafted a statement,
17 or it's not a statement, but unskillfully. I was dealing with Sarajevo.
18 I was not there. I was dealing with Sarajevo. As for the problems
19 concerning Srebrenica, it's only Mr. Kovac who can speak about that so
20 you can ask him when he comes. I deny this.
21 Q. Okay. Engaging the special police, not even now talking about
22 anybody from Serbia, but engaging the special police to combat in
23 Srebrenica theatre of operations, that's a routine matter?
24 A. I'm sure that I can tell you the following. The staff in Pale
25 did its work and it was established for Sarajevo. I don't know how come
1 now there is this story about this staff that is 200 kilometres away,
2 that now it is also doing work in relation to Srebrenica --
3 Q. Okay, but --
4 A. -- but Mr. Kovac headed the staff and I can give comments with
5 regard to my part.
6 Q. Stop. You said this is a routine thing. Is engaging the special
7 police on order of the supreme commander to take part in combat in
8 Srebrenica combat a routine, just kind of nothing development?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can Mr. Nicholls tell us what did
10 the General say was a routine thing? He said that something else was
12 JUDGE KWON: Page 66, line 1 -- lines 1 and 2.
13 Can you answer the question?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand, which question?
15 Could it kindly be repeated.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. I'm just going to move on. You say in your statement that on
18 10 July 1995 you met with President Karadzic, it's in his diary, I won't
19 bring it up, for 20 minutes with Dragan Kijac, head of the DB. And you
20 didn't discuss anything to do about Srebrenica when you met with the
21 supreme commander on the day that the Supreme Command engaged the MUP in
22 the Srebrenica operation; is that right?
23 A. Probably the protocol of the president is correct and I don't
24 want to challenge that, but I cannot remember exactly - it's been a long
25 time - what we talked about. But I assume that it only could have been
1 my story about the Sarajevo theatre of operations and my duties to
2 prevent a deblockade of our forces in that area and the fall of our
3 positions. Because 150.000 civilians of Serb ethnicity --
4 Q. Okay --
5 A. -- would be in peril.
6 Q. So if I understand what you just answered now, you don't remember
7 what you discussed, you can't say you didn't discuss Srebrenica, but
8 you're assuming you talked about Sarajevo?
9 A. Yes, that's right, because there's nothing else. I know what my
10 task was on the staff --
11 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
12 A. -- and that is Sarajevo.
13 Q. Okay, you answered --
14 A. The problem --
15 Q. Now, just before the break, three days after this order engaging
16 Borovcanin as commander of these forces in Srebrenica, they murdered over
17 a thousand Muslim prisoners in Kravica. You're aware of that, aren't
18 you, that that attack happened three days after this order was issued?
19 A. No, I wasn't aware of that either.
20 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
21 A. Because I dealt with the question of Sarajevo on the staff in
22 Pale that's what it was formed for. No one informed me about that
24 Q. Last question. Until now, you --
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, we'll take a break, but before we take
1 a break let me ask the witness this one.
2 Since you were dealing with Sarajevo front, taking a high-profile
3 policeman like Borovcanin and sending him to the -- another front, is
4 something important to you such that you should have been informed of it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot -- I mean, that is the
6 remit of Mr. Kovac. He decides on who this commander is going to be.
7 For us he was deputy commander of the special brigade and that is the
8 only comment I can make. We were not planning anything important as far
9 as Srebrenica is concerned, particularly not I who was dealing with the
10 problem of Sarajevo and preventing a civilian exodus and planning
11 evacuation -- a plan of evacuation and everything else that we were
12 preparing --
13 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- so I really cannot comment on
15 why Borovcanin -- I mean, Borovcanin did not have any kind of special
17 JUDGE KWON: Did you know at the time that Mr. Borovcanin was
18 sent to Srebrenica?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not at the time. I learned of it
20 only later, that he was at the head of a small unit which was under the
21 command of the Drina Corps and it was dispatched there.
22 JUDGE KWON: If it is convenient, shall we take a break for
23 45 minutes, and resume at quarter past 1.00. One further thing.
24 I asked around with the interpreters and the reporters, but given
25 the timing we are minded -- the Chamber is minded to go till 3.30 today,
1 if it is convenient with the parties as well, in order to conclude this
2 witness's evidence today.
3 MR. ROBINSON: We appreciate that very much, Mr. President.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue, shall we move into private
7 session briefly.
8 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
4 We are now in open session. In light of the discussion we had,
5 we'll have -- we'll continue to hear the examination till 2.20 and we'll
6 adjourn for today.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. We were just talking about the 10 July order which, amongst other
9 things, pulled Mr. Borovcanin and his units off the Trnovo front and it
10 also engaged, according to the order, the 1st Company the PJP, special
11 police unit, from Zvornik centre. And you said you didn't know anything
12 about that at the time at all. Did you go to Zvornik the following day,
13 11 July?
14 A. I think not. I cannot remember where I was on the 11th of July.
15 Q. Well, do you remember going down to Zvornik during the Srebrenica
16 operation at all other than your trip on 16 July which we'll talk about
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So when did you go besides the 16th of July?
20 A. I cannot remember going any other day, but as for the 16th, with
21 the help of others I remember, because that was also a long time ago,
22 that I went to the IKM, the forward command post, for the Zvornik Brigade
23 for negotiations --
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P06190, please, e-court page 1.
1 Q. While this is coming up, I'll tell you what this is, sir. This
2 is the diary of Mane Djuric who testified here and confirmed that it was
3 his diary or notebook from the MUP. This is an entry that he confirmed
4 was for 11 July 1995. We see at the top Goran S., then PJP special unit
5 and then an arrow that says "can't." Predrag Blagojevic, Presidency,
6 et cetera. Fuelling up. And then if you look towards the bottom:
7 "Map for MUP.
8 "MUP dispatch ...," some other things. And then it says:
9 "Karisik - came by and expressed an interest."
10 Again, this is a day after the 10 July order, putting the Zvornik
11 PJP into the Srebrenica operation. Mane Djuric testified in this case,
12 this is at T35037, line 19, about this entry:
13 "All right. And below that we can see Karisik came by and
14 expressed an interest. And just quickly in our interview you told us
15 that must have been Milenko Karisik; correct?"
16 And his answer was:
17 "Most likely, yes."
18 Does that help you refresh your memory that you went down to
19 Zvornik the day the PJP from Zvornik were engaged?
20 A. I really cannot remember. It was a long time ago. I cannot. I
21 mean, you know, it's been 20 years since then. I cannot remember.
22 Q. Do you have any special memory problems other than -- I don't
23 want to get too personal, but you don't remember whether you went down to
24 Zvornik on the day Srebrenica fell. I'm just asking if you have any
25 particular memory problems for any other reason?
1 A. I don't know how much -- well, I don't have any proof from the
2 doctors, if I may put it that way. But really, it was a long time ago
3 and you're asking me about one day where I was 20 years ago. I'm not
4 able to say because so much time has passed since then. I cannot do it.
5 I'm sure this would be the case with many other people if you asked them
6 to the day exactly on a particular day where they were.
7 Q. Okay. Well, just for your reference, this is the day Srebrenica
8 fell or was liberated.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P4581, please. And I don't know if
10 it will come up properly that way. It's also 65 ter 35025, tactical
11 intercepts. Page 1 of the English, page 9, I believe, of the Serbian
12 version. And I'll just say before this document wasn't on my list. I
13 told Mr. Robinson that I planned to use it based on some earlier
14 testimony and he agreed, so I thank him.
15 Q. All right, sir, these are tactical intercepts, some of which have
16 been authenticated by Mr. Mane Djuric. We can see that this is the
17 11th of July. The part I'm interested in is at the top, where it says:
18 "They were collecting people who were left behind and it is
19 possible have them -- and if it is possible have them wear green
20 uniforms. Bor asked Omega 21 to check how many men he can collect.
21 Karlo will take them."
22 So again, just to help you remember, we've established that Omega
23 21 is Danilo Zoljic, who is the Zvornik centre commander of the PJP
24 units. This is a day after Mr. Karadzic has ordered that the PJP units
25 be engaged in Srebrenica. It's the same day that Mane Djuric wrote in
1 his diary "Karisik came down and expressed an interest in it." And Bor
2 is one of the code-names for commander Ljubisa Borovcanin.
3 So the question is: Seeing that, does that help you remember
4 whether you in fact went to Zvornik on the 11th of July and took an
5 interest of the preparation of the PJP getting ready for the Srebrenica
7 A. No. I must give a comment. May I?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. I am the head of a department. I do not get involved in the work
10 of the centre chief. In his duties in terms of his jurisdiction, his
11 duties to assemble forces pursuant to a dispatch, how he would organise
12 that, and so on and so forth. Only if there are any problems in relation
13 to the HQ, specific ones, then I could get involved and make suggestions.
14 But in principle this was never requested nor ever needed. That's why I
15 cannot give you any comments on these internal communications of theirs,
16 nor do I remember them.
17 Q. Okay. Well, again the reason I brought this up now is we learned
18 this morning from you that your code-name or nickname on the call-signs
19 was Karlo. This is an intercept, including Karlo coming down. And
20 Mane Djuric at the time wrote "Karisik came by."
21 A. I really cannot remember that. I am Karlo. I don't know if I
22 stopped by or not. It's possible. But why would the commander of the
23 PJP in the Zvornik headquarters be preparing any unit? This is something
24 that I never did. It's not my practice. I'm the head of a department.
25 This is not the sort of job that I'm doing. What it means was
1 interested, I really do not know what does that mean. It is not my duty
2 to prepare the Zvornik PJP units to act pursuant to a dispatch. No, I
3 cannot confirm this. I simply cannot remember this. I never prepared
4 this in any centre.
5 Q. Okay. But again, you're not just a civil servant like you keep
6 saying, are you? You're head of public security; right? And this is a
7 public security centre.
8 A. I agree. This is the centre activity in which I would never get
9 involved. As to how they would activate a unit, whom they would
10 assemble --
11 Q. Okay --
12 A. -- this is something that I never did. This is something that
13 belongs to the lower command ranks. It's part of the department, though.
14 Q. Okay. Now it's in your statement and I don't think there's any
15 dispute, the night of the 11th you met with Mr. Karadzic again late at
16 night, correct, 10.30 p.m.?
17 A. Probably if it is written down, yes.
18 Q. Right. So it's -- in the diary that day, the day after the MUP
19 are engaged in the Srebrenica operation, the day Srebrenica falls, this
20 is around the time of the end of the second Hotel Fontana meeting, you
21 may or may not have been at Zvornik, you don't remember. But your
22 testimony is you didn't discuss Srebrenica whatsoever with Mr. Karadzic
23 that night? That's what it says in your statement.
24 A. Yes. I did not speak with the president about Srebrenica for
25 sure because I had no information. I said that I was at the staff in
1 Pale on the 11th, and I was conducting completely different activities
2 related to the Sarajevo front.
3 Q. Okay. All right. Now let's look at a little bit of your
4 testimony that you had no information about Srebrenica --
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Nicholls. The e-court says this
6 intercept was not admitted.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour. I would tender it,
8 although he has not said it's him --
9 JUDGE KWON: We can mark it for identification, following our
11 But could the Chamber move into private session briefly.
12 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll mark this entry for identification,
2 following our practice.
3 Shall we assign the number?
4 THE REGISTRAR: MFI P4581, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE KWON: Please continue.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
7 Could I have P02996, please.
8 Q. This is a document dated 12 July, 1995. It's from
9 Dragomir Vasic. It's to the MUP of RS, to the police force staff
10 Bijeljina, office of the Minister Pale and the public security
11 department, which is your department. Now, I don't want to spend a lot
12 of time on this document, but it says that Mr. Vasic was at a meeting
13 that morning with General Mladic and General Krstic -- well, it doesn't
14 say that. It says a meeting with General Mladic and Krstic was held at
15 the Bratunac Brigade.
16 Paragraph 2 says the -- paragraph 3 says the military operation
17 is continuing according to plan.
18 Paragraph 5 talks about a meeting will begin soon, at 10.00 at
19 which an agreement will be reached on the evacuation of the civilian
20 population from Potocari.
21 Paragraph 6 says the joint police forces are advancing on
22 Potocari with the aim of taking UNPROFOR personnel prisoner, surrounding
23 the entire civilian population, and clearing the terrain of enemy groups.
24 Paragraph 8 says you will be promptly informed of all further
25 facts and developments, and you head of the public security department
1 are listed on this document.
2 So do you stand by now your assertion that you didn't receive any
3 information about Srebrenica so you couldn't discuss it with
4 Mr. Karadzic?
5 A. Yes, I stand by my previous statement. This is reporting to the
6 public security sector, informing Mr. Vasic who is the head of the public
7 security centre. But you can see that the -- the minister of the
8 interior would be the one authorised to take measures regarding the
9 combat. As the head of the department, I was more turned towards
10 civilian affairs and the regular tasks of the MUP and other activities
11 that fall under the remit of the ministry.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were engaged there as police,
15 small number of us --
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
18 A. -- we were resubordinated to the army and this is where our
19 jurisdiction ended.
20 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you to keep your -- try to focus a little
21 bit more on my questions. First of all, this is not information to
22 informing Mr. Vasic, as you said; this is information from Vasic, it's
23 going to the public security department. You are head of the public
24 security department; correct?
25 A. Yes, but not only to me. This is a regular report to Vasic and
1 the sector.
2 Q. Okay --
3 A. He is the head of the sector and he needs to report to the
4 department and the minister. I don't see anything of dispute there.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P02986, please.
6 Q. This is a document dated 12 July 1995, it's from head of RDB,
7 Dragan Kijac. It's to the deputy minister of the interior of the RS,
8 that's Tomo Kovac, personally. And it's to head of the RJB/RS MUP
9 Bijeljina personally, which is you. And it states in paragraph 1
10 referring to a report from UN military observers, that by 1700 hours
11 about 60.000 refugees left Srebrenica for the north and their overall
12 position will be hopeless in 48 hours.
13 All right. This is going to you personally; correct?
14 A. According to the dispatch, yes. This is regular report. The
15 department to the minister and to the department as the head of -- and
16 myself as the head of the department.
17 Q. Right. And contrary to what you said earlier, this is reporting
18 on Srebrenica; correct? It's telling you that the situation for the
19 refugees is hopeless?
20 A. I'm saying again my jurisdiction was not to take over military
21 operation conducted --
22 Q. Stop, stop, stop, stop, please.
23 A. -- by the VRS --
24 Q. There was no part of my question that said whether you were or
25 not meant to take over an operation from the VRS. My question was: You
1 received this information and you did receive this information and you
2 knew this information; correct?
3 A. Probably, since there is this dispatch then it probably means
4 that it did reach the department.
5 Q. Well, again - and I don't say this sarcastically - you're a
6 highly ranked, highly decorated, highly promoted, in your own words,
7 superb professional. So presumably you read dispatches about a
8 significant military operation that are directed to you personally;
10 A. As a professional, I'm saying that my public security department
11 in all procedures receives dispatches from those sent in the form of
12 regular reports which appear and infrequently from the state security
13 sector about things that they are reporting about. So my comment is
14 nothing else other than that that dispatch was sent. Probably it reached
15 the public security department, but my own personal jurisdiction was not
16 to act --
17 Q. Okay, stop --
18 A. -- and for me to make decisions --
19 Q. Stop. I'm only asking if you got it and read it, not what you
20 did afterwards or what your duty was.
21 A. I'm sure that the dispatch arrived, but I'm not sure if I read it
22 or not since I had many other duties at that time as the head of the
23 department, not just to read that dispatch which, to be honest, I am now
24 here for the first time, and when you present it perhaps I can recollect
25 it a little bit because situations were infrequent, excuse me, when
1 information and reports were received from the RDB, intelligence reports.
2 Q. Well, unfortunately I have very little time, or I could go
3 through very many documents from the RDB to you which are in evidence in
4 this case. I'll go through a couple more, P04936. This is the same day,
5 12 July. So if they're infrequent, it's interesting that you are getting
6 lots of them during the Srebrenica operation. And you can think about
7 that and I'll ask you about it.
8 Now, this document which again is to you personally as head of
9 RJB from the head of the RDB, Dragan Kijac, states that the humanitarian
10 situation according to reports they know about are worse than ever in
11 Srebrenica. There are 30.000 people in and around the DutchBat base.
12 There are about 8.000 people trying to reach UNPROFOR base and there is
13 not a single military -- a single armed soldier of the so-called BH army
14 among these people. Now, I'm not asking about your duty, your
15 jurisdiction, or anything other than than, again, you are receiving
16 information about events in Srebrenica; correct?
17 A. This information obviously, yes.
18 Q. So it was not correct when you stated a little while ago that it
19 would have been impossible for you to discuss Srebrenica events with
20 Radovan Karadzic when you met with him because you were receiving
21 information about Srebrenica and you were the head of the RJB; correct?
22 A. I did not speak about Srebrenica with President Karadzic, I'm
23 sure about that. The only thing that we could have talked about was the
24 Sarajevo, since I was at the staff in Pale, it was the Sarajevo front
25 because I was personally entrusted with that --
1 Q. Okay, okay, okay --
2 A. This is something that arrived at the department in Bijeljina and
3 at the time I was in Pale.
4 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat what he said.
6 He overlapped with the interpretation.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a second --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So if you permit me --
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, you totally overlapped with the
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said the witness is trying to say
12 where he was and where the telegrams were arriving, and Mr. Nicholls
13 keeps interrupting him. He should be allowed to say what he's saying --
14 JUDGE KWON: No --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I cannot --
16 JUDGE KWON: No --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- manage to do all of that in the
19 JUDGE KWON: It's your problem, Mr. Karadzic. The witness was
20 not answering the question posed -- put by the counsel of the
21 Prosecution. I don't think -- I don't find any problematic conduct in
22 Mr. Nicholls' cross-examination.
23 Please continue.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Now, P04389, please.
1 Q. All right. Now, earlier today at page 64 I asked you:
2 "Are you telling us that you don't remember whether you knew in
3 July of 1995 as head of the RJB that the Serb forces had taken, VRS and
4 MUP had taken -- and/or VRS or MUP had taken large numbers of prisoners,
5 any prisoners?"
6 "A. No."
7 Take a look at this document, please, this is the next day,
8 13 July. You said these are very rare, I want to know what you mean by
9 "rare" that you got these types of informations from the DB. 13 July
10 1995 to RS deputy minister of the interior personally, that's Tomo Kovac;
11 and to you, head RS MUP Bijeljina, public security department,
13 "During the night of 12-13 July 1995, members of the VRS,
14 Army of Republika Srpska, and MUP managed to capture a large number of
15 Muslim soldiers (over 300) in ambushes set up in the general
16 Konjevic Polje area."
17 Below that in the same paragraph, sir:
18 "The operation to detect and neutralise Muslim groups is
19 continuing. Earlier information regarding their intentions on the access
20 of movement towards Kladanj ..." I'll skip the locations "has been
21 confirmed many times in interviews with prisoners."
22 And then it talks about taking custody of one of the prisoners.
23 So you were incorrect when you said earlier this morning that you didn't
24 receive any information about the army and/or MUP taking prisoners during
25 the Srebrenica campaign; right?
1 A. First of all, I would like to say that at that time I was in Pale
2 at the staff and turned to the Sarajevo problems. These dispatches were
3 arriving at the head of the -- at the seat of the department in
4 Bijeljina, which is some 250 to 300 kilometres away. And at that moment
5 I could not read these dispatches because I was dealing with specific
6 problems in the Sarajevo area as a member of the staff in Pale.
7 Q. Okay. So your testimony is that the - I have to say it - superb
8 professionals of the RS MUP in July 1995, this is not the beginning of
9 the war, when the head of state security sends you personally a series of
10 documents about events in Srebrenica, you don't read them? And the
11 reason you don't read them is because you're 200 kilometres away from
12 where they are sent to, that's your story? These are sent by Telex.
13 These are sent through the air. They can't be forwarded to you? They
14 can't be couriered to you?
15 MR. ROBINSON: Well, how many questions is there that the witness
16 can answer?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: It's basically one question.
18 MR. ROBINSON: Put it simply then.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Is is pretty simple.
20 Q. There is no way these could have reached you, is that your
21 testimony? That's why you didn't read them?
22 A. One of the reasons why I didn't read them on time was the fact
23 that I was far away and technical possibilities -- I mean territorially I
24 was very far away at a different destination, Sarajevo, as I've already
25 mentioned, resolving the problems of the staff that was working on
1 Sarajevo, as I've already explained. And these reports, as far as I'm
2 concerned, are of the nature of the documents that they sent to the
3 minister and to me personally. I'm not denying that these dispatches
4 exist, but as you can see I cannot see in this dispatch anything about
5 any kind of execution or a plan for that --
6 Q. Okay, now I'm going to stop you --
7 A. -- then or later I did not --
8 Q. Now I'm going to stop you. The question was about taking
9 prisoners. You keep saying you didn't know about executions, when I'm
10 not asking you if you knew about executions. So let me just go here now.
11 In the professional MUP chain, we can see this reporting, I've shown
12 Dragomir Vasic reporting on the same day it getting up the chain. We see
13 state security carrying out interviews with prisoners, getting
14 information, and forwarding it to you. Is -- was President Karadzic a
15 professional? Was he conscientious? Or was he just sort of somebody who
16 would say, "I'm in Pale, I don't know what the hell is going on, I don't
18 A. As head of the department, I was not supposed to report to the
19 president about this. This is the top of the ministry, I'm referring to
20 the then-minister. If anybody was supposed to report to him about this
21 kind of knowledge, then it should have been that gentleman within his own
23 Q. Tomo Kovac should have reported all this to the president when he
24 met with him on 13, 14, and 15 July?
25 A. I don't know when he met with him and I cannot comment upon what
1 the minister did, but you are asking me whether I had to report to
2 President Karadzic. No, it's the top of the MUP, the minister himself,
3 who is a member of the Supreme Command. He is supposed to report if he
4 has some questions for President Karadzic, not I as head of the RJB.
5 Q. And the MUP wasn't a junta that had some huge conflict with
6 President Karadzic and wouldn't meet with him. I'll tell you and my
7 friends won't contest it that it's in Mr. Karadzic's notebook that he
8 met with Tomo Kovac on 13, 14, and 15 July. So what you know as a career
9 military police officer in the MUP directly subordinated to Tomo Kovac,
10 Tomo Kovac would have reported all the information he received to
11 President Karadzic; correct?
12 A. The minister's purview and actually the procedure is that the
13 minister provides information collectively to the commander of the armed
14 forces since there was a state of war that had been declared and also
15 members of the government too. This is regular procedure according to
16 the law, how information is supposed to be provided by the Ministry
17 of the Interior to the president.
18 Q. All right. Could I have P04943, please. This is a 13 July
19 document, the same day of the document we were talking about showing that
20 prisoners were being taken by the MUP. This is to the police forces
21 command staff Pale. It talks at the top about information on 10.000
22 able-bodied Muslims from the Srebrenica area gathered in Susnjari. And
23 at the bottom of the page it talks about Zulfo Tursunovic and his
24 movements and he's in the general sector of Snagovo, and it talks about
25 Ibrahim Mandzic and where he's moving. So you at the police force's
1 command staff in Pale would have gotten this information as well from
2 this chief of administration, Todor Cikavic [phoen], correct, and try to
3 keep your answer short, please, whether you got this or not.
4 A. At the staff in Pale I don't remember this dispatch at all and I
5 cannot confirm, really. On the one hand it was a long time ago and on
6 the other hand I had my own duties in the staff that had to do with
7 Sarajevo not in Srebrenica.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: P05099, please.
9 Q. And again, you said you barely ever got them. Think about that
10 answer. This is another RDB report that goes up somewhere to where you
11 were part of the staff. Take a look at this one carefully, please,
12 13 July 1995, very urgent. Bijeljina RJB at the top, that's you. It's
13 type-signed by you. It say:
14 "According to information available to the RDB, a Muslim group
15 led by Zulfo Tursunovic ...," et cetera, and it says "is currently in the
16 Snagovo sector."
17 This document is being sent by you to the Zvornik CJB chief,
18 Dragomir Vasic. So you're not just not -- you're not just getting
19 information; you're acting on it and you're passing it on about
20 Srebrenica; correct?
21 A. I remember this dispatch because at that moment I appeared in
22 that area because of negotiations. And when the column got out to
23 exchange prisoner -- a policeman who had been taken prisoner and he was
24 from the PJP Doboj. There was also the possibility that these forces
25 would enter the town of Zvornik.
1 Q. This is the 13th of July, sir. You were in Zvornik on the
2 13th of July?
3 A. No, no, no, no, no. Mistake. I was in Zvornik on the 16th.
4 Well, you know what? It's really been a long time, I really cannot link
5 up all the dates, but this dispatch was sent to the chief, very urgent,
6 because these are force that are coming and you can see that these are
7 big forces coming in to big groups. And I wanted to say that when I
8 arrived I saw them leaving, they were on the move and there was this
9 possibility of them jeopardising the town of Zvornik. So that's why this
10 very urgent dispatch was sent to the chief of the centre, so that he
11 would be informed.
12 Q. Okay. So you have available to you and you act on information
13 about the movements of the Muslim column. That's important information.
14 You also had information that the MUP was taking large numbers of
15 prisoners. If you need me to go through all the evidence with you, I
16 will. But there's evidence in this case that the MUP escorted thousands
17 of prisoners and provided security to thousands of prisoners being
18 transported from Bratunac to Zvornik on the 14th. So you knew about that
19 as well, didn't you, the transport of prisoners to Zvornik?
20 A. No, no, absolutely not. I don't know when the MUP took prisoners
21 and how. Again, I'm saying I'm not aware of these details that you are
22 putting to me now.
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: P02987, please.
25 Q. Do you know Ljubisa Borovcanin personally I suppose in some
2 A. Yes, I know him.
3 Q. All right. This is his report from 13 July 1995, the same day as
4 the other reports we've been looking at. This goes to the Pale police
5 staff. It talks about the operation in Potocari which I won't go into.
6 Page 2 of the English, please:
7 "In the night between 12 and 13 July 1995, this armed Muslim
8 group launched an attack in the direction of Konjevic Polje. In the
9 combat that lasted several hours and which continued through today, the
10 enemy had more than 200 dead, and we captured or had surrendered to us
11 around 1500 Muslim soldiers. The number increases by the hour."
12 This goes to the Pale police staff where we saw the other
13 documents had gone to, some of which reached you. So you did know that
14 on the 13th the MUP had taken 1500 prisoners approximately and was taking
15 more; right?
16 A. That's not right. This is a special police brigade, that's what
17 it says in the heading of the dispatch, and they are informing the police
18 staff in Pale. You see that there, Vogosca, and special brigade Janja
19 and Ljubisa Borovcanin, the deputy commander, is under the direct
20 control, as far as combat activities are concerned, under the minister of
21 the interior and he is not reporting to Milenko Karisik as head of the
22 RJB. He is informing the staff headed by Tomo Kovac, who is deciding on
23 behalf of the staff in Pale, that is to say that special brigade of the
24 police is directly linked to the minister of the interior, not to the
25 department, the RJB.
1 Q. I'm not talking about who he is linked to. I'm saying you got
2 this information. We saw at the beginning you were number two of the
3 persons listed on this staff.
4 A. Yes. Yes, but I do not read all dispatches. I'm out on the
5 ground by Trnovo, the municipality of Sarajevo, and so on, so I did not
6 see this dispatch. It was probably sent to the staff, as noted here, but
7 I did not see this dispatch and in this chaos in relation to Sarajevo I
8 didn't have time to react. This was the duty of the Chief of Staff,
9 especially the special brigade.
10 Q. Okay. You keep saying what your duty is not. I'm not asking you
11 what your duty is. I'm asking you what you were informed of. And again,
12 you're a top career professional law enforcement officer. The Srebrenica
13 campaign is a hugely significant campaign, and your testimony is that you
14 didn't read urgent dispatches to you and other dispatches to you during
15 that operation?
16 A. Yes, that is my testimony because at that time at that staff I
17 was working on the Sarajevo front, not Srebrenica, and the staff was
18 established for the Sarajevo front. As for decisions, to use the police
19 forces, it is the minister who is supposed to decide.
20 Q. Okay, okay. So the special police commander knows they're taking
21 thousands of prisoners. Dragomir Vasic knows that they're taking
22 prisoners. Tomo Kovac knows that they're taking prisoners. People above
23 you, below you know about these prisoners being taken. Dragan Kijac in
24 state security at your level knows. So you're the only senior law
25 enforcement officer in the MUP who doesn't know about prisoners being
1 taken as far as you know; is that right?
2 A. That's right --
3 Q. Okay --
4 A. -- that's right, because I had a specific task at the staff in
5 Pale and the minister's powers came to the fore as regards
6 decision-making about using the police in combat.
7 Q. Okay. Let me tell you -- let me see some other -- tell you about
8 the Muslims going to Zvornik. Very briefly as you sit here today, before
9 today did you know that Muslims were transported from Bratunac to Zvornik
10 on 14 July? Or is that news to you today?
11 A. I did not deal with Srebrenica. Activities of the --
12 Q. Stop, stop --
13 A. -- ministry of the interior will --
14 Q. Stop. Answer my question. Listen carefully to the question.
15 The question was: Before today, before you sat here today, did you know
16 that Muslims were transported in large numbers from Bratunac to Zvornik
17 on 14 July? The question is: Did you know it?
18 A. No, I cannot remember that. To this day I don't know what
19 happened in Srebrenica, believe me.
20 Q. I won't spend a lot of time on it, but witnesses in this trial,
21 Milorad Brcakovic [phoen], who was Drago Nikolic's driver in Zvornik, met
22 the convoy of buses on the 14th in Zvornik and he said there were
23 policemen on the buses, civilian policemen, wearing blue uniforms.
24 Another witness KDZ407 was present when prisoners were brought on the
25 14th to the Orahovac school in Zvornik. He guarded them there and he
1 said - this is at P00379 at 6446 and onwards - that there were policemen
2 wearing blue uniform and that they assisted in bringing the prisoners
3 into the school. And he said that the policemen, the civilian policemen,
4 who he recognised some of them from Zvornik, went back and forth with the
6 So these are civilian policemen, public security policemen,
7 they're in your department. They are going with the prisoners from
8 Bratunac to Zvornik to the detention sites. So you knew less than a
9 uniformed policeman in Zvornik as head of the RJB; right?
10 A. That is quite natural because I was not there and I wasn't
11 commanding that unit, that is to say these are questions for the head of
12 the centre whose unit of the PJP was engaged there. As for details
13 regarding that operation in Srebrenica, if it can be called that, I am
14 hardly familiar with that because, I repeat once again, as head of the
15 RJB I also dealt with this peace time work, if you will, within
16 Republika Srpska and especially I was linked to the Sarajevo staff. So
17 that part Mr. Kovac, I mean, and so on, they can explain that as
19 Q. Okay. Last question on this topic. Dragomir Vasic, the Zvornik
20 centre chief, is in Bratunac on the 14th when the convoy leaves.
21 Mane Djuric on the 14th is in Zvornik when the convoy arrives. So number
22 1 and number 2 of the Zvornik centre are at the beginning and the end of
23 the convoy. None of that reaches you as head of the RJB from these
24 public security subordinates of yours?
25 A. That's right --
1 Q. Okay --
2 A. -- no. Report-wise, possible.
3 Q. When you're -- okay, well did you get reports? I thought you
4 just said you didn't know until now that Muslims were brought from
5 Bratunac to Zvornik on the 14th.
6 A. No, I did not know that and I repeat once again that since I did
7 not take part in that area in the capacity of chief of the RJB, I've
8 already referred to the obligations that I had in that period of time as
9 far as I can remember, and that was outside that area, except for when
10 the column was leaving when I appeared in the area, because I was there
11 for the exchange of the policemen and that is 100 kilometres away from
12 there. As for the rest, the police, the reporting, and so on --
13 Q. Okay --
14 A. -- the minister, the person who was minister then could say more
15 about that.
16 Q. Okay. On the 16th of July, what time did you set out to Zvornik
17 on order of Mr. Kovac and your mission was to try to help, one, get --
18 get some MUP members who had been captured released? What time did you
19 go to Zvornik on the 16th?
20 A. I cannot remember the time because I could barely remember when
21 it was mentioned that it was that date, the 16th. But I came, say, in
22 the morning, it could have been the morning but I really cannot remember
23 the time, and I stayed at the IKM for a long time --
24 Q. Stop --
25 A. -- because the procedure of negotiating was long and
1 unsuccessful, if I can put it that way --
2 Q. Stop. The question was when you went, okay, not how long you
3 stayed or what you did. So you don't remember. Sometime in the morning,
4 you think?
5 A. I did not understand your question. Could you please repeat it
6 for me --
7 Q. When --
8 A. -- when I came or when I left?
9 Q. When did you drive to Zvornik from Bijeljina on the
10 16th of July, 1995?
11 A. I cannot remember the time exactly, really.
12 Q. Okay. When did you drive back?
13 A. I think it was in the afternoon, but I cannot remember the exact
14 time either.
15 Q. And even though you've got nothing to do with Srebrenica, you're
16 dealing with these humanitarian affairs in Sarajevo or something,
17 Tomo Kovac gives you this one specific assignment, right, to go down
18 there and try to get the MUP who've been captured by the Muslims
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Okay. Just before --
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, we have to 20 after, right, Your Honour?
23 P04981, please.
24 Q. This is a document from the 15 July from RDB head Dragan Kijac.
25 Oh, it's the day before you went down. I think my friends will stipulate
1 it was the 16th that you were there. And on the top it talks how on the
2 14th of July the commander of the platoon from the Doboj SJB and another
3 six members of the MUP and VRS were captured. So that's what this is
4 about, right, trying to get those men released?
5 A. I was told that one policeman had been taken prisoner --
6 Q. Okay --
7 A. -- a policeman from PJP Doboj and I went for him. I cannot
8 remember any others now. I just remember this one policeman --
9 Q. Okay --
10 A. -- that I waited for three or four hours, I think, but he did not
11 get out.
12 Q. Okay. This is to you personally; correct?
13 A. Well, I didn't even manage to read this, believe me --
14 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
15 A. -- give me time to read it.
16 Q. Look at the top. RJB public security department head personally,
17 that's you; right?
18 A. Yes, yes. Yes, that is I personally. That's what's written
20 Q. Okay. Now, you can read it if you want. Let's scroll down to
21 the bottom:
22 "On the morning of 15th of July, a group of about a hundred
23 captured Muslims from Srebrenica managed to escape from Gornja Pilica,
24 Zvornik municipality."
25 So you did receive information that there were prisoners in
1 Zvornik, correct, the day before you went there?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P04941, please, e-court page 9.
4 JUDGE KWON: This will be the last question for today.
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. Well, while it's coming up, you drove down there -- just to see
7 the route you would take to the IKM. Bijeljina, it's above Pilica, so
8 you would have come down through Pilica, through Rocevic, through Kozluk,
9 to Karakaj, turned right, and then head towards the IKM; right?
10 A. Probably. To this day I wouldn't find my way on that road, I
11 mean had somebody showed me the way to the IKM where Commander Pandurevic
12 was. Even on the map I cannot show the exact route that I had taken, but
13 I was in that area in some hills up there. I don't even know the exact
14 location. I don't know what the name is. So after all this time I'm not
15 sure which road it was, but I did arrive from Bijeljina. I think they
16 told me -- actually, I even think there was somebody with me, I cannot
17 remember, and showed me which way I was supposed to go to the IKM.
18 Possibly it might have been Vasic, but I cannot remember exactly. But I
19 was there at that time. I've remembered the date now as well, although
20 it's been a very long time.
21 Q. Okay. Well, we'll get to that on Tuesday, because Vasic does
22 confirm that he was with you. So we'll talk about that, but this route
23 you took, you drove through Pilica where there were mass executions. You
24 drove -- it's not right on the road, past Branjevo, you drove past
25 Rocevic. You drove past Kozluk where there were mass executions on the
1 15th. You would have gone by Orahovac where there were mass executions
2 on the 14th and you did it all again in reverse. So you basically went
3 down this murder alley almost there and back on the 16th; correct?
4 A. That is not correct. I don't know exactly where these places or
5 execution sites were, and I did not see anyone there. I didn't see any
6 corpses because I was in a vehicle. I didn't see any corpses. As far as
7 I can remember today, I went along a clear road. I did not see anything
8 on either side and I did not know of any of this that you are imputing to
9 me right now, whatever you called it, murder alley. What you are saying
10 to me now is not proper, that I went to all these execution sites and
11 then went for the exchange? Absolutely not. I did not see any corpses
12 along that road up to these hills, and you are referring to a route that
13 I cannot confirm. To this day I would not be able to find my way if I
14 didn't have a guide. Nobody took me to any execution sites. I went
15 straight to the IKM of the Zvornik Brigade so that we could try to
16 negotiate with the other side to get the imprisoned policemen from PJP
17 Doboj released. That's the only thing I can say and I do not accept as a
18 fact any of the rest. I do not accept it as the truth.
19 JUDGE KWON: We'll adjourn for today and continue Tuesday, next
20 week, at 9.00.
21 Mr. Karisik, I'd like to advise you not to discuss with anybody
22 else about your testimony while you are giving evidence. Do you
23 understand that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.21 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of
3 July, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.