1 Thursday, 12 December 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning,
7 Mr. McCloskey.
8 Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
10 Excellencies. Good morning to everybody. Good morning, Mr. McCloskey.
11 I'm glad that you're here with us.
12 WITNESS: MILOS MILINCIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Professor Milincic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. I have just three short questions for you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to call up in e-court
19 1D09746. This is your statement. I'm interested in paragraph 10.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Pay attention to the last two lines. I believe we have to go to
22 the following page in the Serbian language. Are you familiar with this
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Next page, yes. Professor, is this your statement or is this
1 somebody -- is this something that somebody put into your mouth?
2 A. It's very hard for anybody to put anything in my mouth. I'm a
3 literature Professor. Marko Miljanov, a famous Montenegrin poet spoke
4 about dignity and heroism and honesty. Honesty is to keep people from
5 yourself and others from you. These are my original words. I always say
6 that in everyday life, so nobody imposed words on me. I'm very sorry
7 that somebody said yesterday that that was a copy, that I copied
8 something from somebody. This is my original statement. This is the
9 result of my reflections, my thoughts, my philosophy.
10 Q. And now can we go to paragraph 16 in the same statement? Please
11 read this paragraph as well. Are these your words, or did somebody
12 suggest that you should say this?
13 A. This is the situation in Srbac at one point in time when the
14 situation was difficult and we tried to do our utmost amongst ourselves
15 in Srbac, in my municipality, and across the Sava. There was the
16 Croatian town of Davor. We tried everything in our power to avoid
17 conflict, and there were attempts on both sides to conflict us, or we
18 were shelled on three occasions from the Croatian side but not from our
19 neighbour but from some other position, and they fully expected us that
20 we would retaliate against that innocent town. And I personally, through
21 my former student, the commander of my brigade, I asked him not to touch
22 that innocent town and he listened to me and Davor was never sanctioned
23 as a result of that.
24 And since this was a very big news for Republika Srpska and
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because we were shelled from the hideaway from
1 Sanski Brod, the connections and communications were interrupted, and
2 that evening you called me from home and you asked me about what had
3 actually happened in Srbac, whether we were shelled, whether there were
4 any casualties, and what was going on. And then I told you that, yes, we
5 did have some damage, there were some casualties, some people were
6 wounded, because the fire was opened and non-selectively. All over town
7 there were some problems. It was very difficult to shell Srbac because
8 it is protected by a hill, so those shells missed the main targets.
9 We were shelled three times. On the first occasion, those shells
10 fell on the Croatian side. That's why the villagers of Davor reacted.
11 You called me that evening, at home, and I told you what the situation
12 was. And you said, Well, beware of those who are trying to provoke you
13 because the worse the situation the better off they would be. Talk to
14 the Croatian side. Whenever you can, try to preserve balance in Srbac,
15 but you do the same to preserve the balance between you and the Croatian
16 side. Try to be as fair towards them as possible. Praise be lord we
17 managed to preserve those good relations for five years. Every time you
18 told me, Beware of those who are trying to provoke you, every time. And
19 I must tell you that there were provocations from both the Croatian side
20 and the Serbian side because somebody wanted us to start waging a war
21 with the Croatian side but praise be lord we managed to thwart those
23 Q. Professor Milincic, yesterday when you testified, did somebody
24 suggest that you should say what you told us yesterday, or were those
25 your words and what you knew?
1 A. If I were to summarise everything that I said yesterday I may be
2 tempted to change the style but the essence would be the same. Nobody
3 can impose anything on me. These are my words.
4 JUDGE MORRISON: The interpreters are struggling to keep up with
5 you. The strain on them is intense. There is no gap between questions
6 and answers, and both you and Dr. Karadzic are speaking very fast.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll do my best. I'll
8 try to slow down. As I said, if I were to summarise what I said
9 yesterday, maybe I would change my style of speech because you can't step
10 into the same river twice. However, the essence of my words, the points
11 would be the same. I stand by whatever I told you yesterday.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you, Professor Milincic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender these two
15 paragraphs, paragraph 10 and paragraph 16, into evidence.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: I think you know my position on this, Mr. President.
18 The Court has already ruled, so I won't repeat it as a general matter.
19 I continue to consider it anomalous that this would --
20 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber allowed the accused to go paragraph by
21 paragraph, but didn't say whether it would admit this paragraph or not.
22 So if you could --
23 MR. TIEGER: Sure. I -- I -- then I'll just reiterate my
24 position as quickly as possible. I went through the transcript yesterday
25 and I noted first that Judge Baird had noted that if this had been
1 tendered as a 92 ter statement, the information elicited yesterday would
2 a fortiori have suggested that it would not be admissible and had to be
3 led live. I also noted that when this exercise was proposed by
4 Mr. Karadzic, the Presiding Judge indicated that it did not appear to be
5 a useful exercise, as a general matter, and it would not be helpful to
6 the Court in assessing the credibility of the statement or the witness's
7 testimony. As a general matter, I think it is anomalous to suggest that
8 when we don't know anything about the statement it's inadmissible because
9 it's largely irrelevant, but once it's discredited then it becomes
10 admissible. That simply is a proposition that I think cannot be used as
11 a basis for admission. So that's our position.
12 JUDGE KWON: To make it simple, do you agree to the admission of
13 these two paragraphs or not?
14 MR. TIEGER: I didn't agree to the exercise. I -- I --
15 JUDGE KWON: You opposes?
16 MR. TIEGER: I do oppose it, but I don't if the Court is minded
17 to do it. I -- I -- again as with the other matters, I'm not -- it's not
18 a matter of the statement itself. If the Court finds there is any
19 assistance in having the words of these paragraphs before it, that's
20 fine. I'm not trying to make a bigger problem. My issue was the larger
21 admissibility question and that's what I concerned -- so for it's easier
22 for the Court and the Court finds any utility in actually examining the
23 words of the statement -- of -- of the paragraphs that the accused
24 mentioned, I don't have a problem with that in -- in -- my problem is
25 with the overarching principle.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. Mr. Tieger opened this door
3 yesterday. He questioned him about a portion of paragraph 22, suggesting
4 that because the witness's words were similar to words in another
5 statement that what he was saying in his statement and in his testimony
6 was somehow fabricated or suggested to him. We have now gone back and
7 highlighted two paragraphs which deal directly with Dr. Karadzic so that
8 they are the most relevant, and we want to show that his testimony that
9 he gave yesterday as well as what was in the statement was, in fact, his
10 own words and not those of our investigator; and, therefore, just as
11 paragraph 22 was admissible for the Prosecution, paragraphs 10 and 16 are
12 admissible for us.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson and Mr. Tieger, what matters here is
15 not the -- is not the content of the statement but, rather, the fact that
16 whether it was -- or they were the original words of the witness's or the
17 result of some feeding up. So theoretically, the admission of the
18 statement is not necessarily warranted, but in the circumstances where
19 the accused did not read out the portion of the statement in order to
20 understand the context of the witness, we will admit those two parts --
21 paragraphs of the statement, for that purpose only.
22 We will assign a new number for that.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit D4188, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
25 MR. ROBINSON: He had concluded, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE KWON: Probably I missed that.
2 Well, Mr. Milincic, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of
3 this Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your coming to The Hague to give
4 it. Now you are free to go.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE KWON: I take it next witness is ready?
8 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. It's Colonel Blagojevic.
9 JUDGE KWON: While we are waiting for the next witness, I would
10 like to make this observation once again. It's for Mr. Karadzic. The
11 Chamber wanted to put it on the record that it is very concerned with how
12 you are using the remainder of the 325 hours granted for the presentation
13 of your Defence case.
14 At the end of November, you had about 65 hours remaining. While
15 it is within your discretion to decide how to best use your time, as long
16 as you stick to issues of relevance to the indictment, the Chamber has
17 already told you last week that it will not entertain any request for
18 additional time. As long as this is clear, you can proceed.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I am not asking
20 for any privileges because I'm an amateur but because the Prosecution
21 filed 92 bis statements, and their number is 1500 -- or rather, 2500 --
22 and 2500 adjudicated facts and I have to deal with all of that, and
23 herein lies the Prosecutor's advantage.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Blagojevic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE KWON: Would you make the solemn declaration, please?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: VIDOJE BLAGOJEVIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated and make yourself
9 Could the counsel assisting Mr. Blagojevic introduce himself for
10 the record?
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Vladimir Domazet, from Nis, Serbia,
12 counsel for Mr. Vidoje Blagojevic. Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
14 As you may know well, Mr. Blagojevic, before you commence your
15 evidence, I must draw your attention to a certain rule of evidence that
16 we have here at the International Tribunal. That is Rule 90(E). Under
17 this rule, you may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic,
18 the Prosecutor or even from the Judges, if you believe that your answer
19 might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this context,
20 "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an admission of
21 guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might provide
22 evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
23 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you
24 and as a consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you
25 know that the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the
1 question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your
2 testimony, compelled under such circumstances, would not be used in any
3 case that might be laid against you for any offence, save and except the
4 offence of giving false testimony. Do you understand that,
5 Mr. Blagojevic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
8 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel.
10 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
11 Q. I'd kindly ask you to pause between my questions and your
12 answers, and could you please speak slowly so your words may be recorded.
13 Did you provide a statement to my Defence team?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to call up 1D49036.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please pay attention to the screen. Do you see your statement in
19 front of you on the screen?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Thank you. Did you read the statement and did you sign it?
22 A. Yes. I read it and I signed it.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we display the last page for
25 the benefit of the witness so he may be able to identify his signature.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you. Does this statement accurately reflect what you said
4 to my Defence team?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you here
7 today, would your answers to those questions be essentially the same as
8 they are in this statement?
9 A. Essentially they would be the same.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this statement
12 pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McCloskey, do you have any objection?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE KWON: We will receive it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit D4189, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read in
19 English a short summary of the statement of Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic.
20 [In English] Vidoje Blagojevic was a career military officer
21 first in the Yugoslav National Army, JNA, and then in the
22 Army of Republika Srpska, VRS. In July 1995, he held the rank of colonel
23 and was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade. Colonel Blagojevic
24 received and issued orders in early July concerning the Srebrenica combat
25 activities. He never received or gave any order for illegal activities
1 and was not aware of any plan to commit crimes in connection with these
2 combat activities. He had no contact with President Radovan Karadzic,
3 and President Karadzic did not issue any orders to him or his brigade.
4 Colonel Blagojevic was unaware of any plan to execute prisoners from
5 Srebrenica. He states that the claim of Momir Nikolic that on the
6 evening of 12th of July, 1995, Nikolic informed Colonel Blagojevic of the
7 plan to execute prisoners is a lie. Colonel Blagojevic did not see
8 Momir Nikolic on the evening of 12th of July. During the Srebrenica
9 operation, combat activities, Momir Nikolic did not report to
10 Colonel Blagojevic but acted under the direction of the Main Staff's
11 security organs presents at the terrain.
12 [Interpretation] At this moment, I have no questions for
13 Colonel Blagojevic.
14 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you.
15 Mr. Blagojevic, as you have noted, your evidence-in-chief in this
16 case has been admitted in writing, that is through your written
17 statement, in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you will be
18 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do
19 you understand that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
23 Your Honours, Dr. Karadzic, everyone.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
25 Q. Colonel, it's been sometime. Can you acknowledge that you were
1 convicted in this court under what was at the time known as count 3,
2 murder as a crime against humanity; count 4, murder as a violation of the
3 laws or customs of war; and count 5, persecutions as a crime against
4 humanity; and count 6, inhumane acts which was defined as forcible
5 transfer? Do you acknowledge your convictions for those crimes?
6 A. I was unfortunately convicted in that trial but it was an unfair
7 trial. It was an unfair process, for the following reasons: My right to
8 defence was jeopardised. I did not have a defence in that trial. Also,
9 during the proceedings, my elementary, my fundamental, right to a fair
10 trial was violated. I'll give you just one example out of a series of
11 examples that one would need to have a legal training for, is that I was
12 not able to testify. My right to testify in my defence was violated. As
13 I understand it, it could be incomprehensible to the Court but that's
14 what happened to me. Perhaps later, if I have an opportunity, I can give
15 you a short overview of how it impacted on the way I'm serving my
16 sentence. If you have time, you will give me an opportunity to tell you
17 about this.
18 Q. Excuse me, Colonel. Colonel, it's your duty in this
19 Trial Chamber to answer my questions. And you're always able to explain
20 your answers. As you know, Dr. Karadzic will be able to ask you
21 questions as well which may go to some of the areas that you're concerned
22 with, but right now you need to answer my questions, okay?
23 JUDGE KWON: And also please bear in mind it is a serious
24 criminal trial against Mr. Karadzic.
25 Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Now, in paragraph 6 --
3 A. Let me just complete my answer. You did ask me a question.
4 JUDGE KWON: I think you answered the question, but if you'd like
5 to add anything, please be brief, Mr. Blagojevic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will be brief, but for my answer
7 to be complete on the previous question, I just wanted to say that it was
8 a kind of joint criminal enterprise by the Prosecution and the so-called
9 defence which resulted in my conviction, and now I've answered.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. So you were the victim here, Colonel?
14 A. Unfortunately, yes.
15 Q. In paragraph 6 of your statement you, in fact, say that it was
16 Mr. Butler's report that violated your most basic right, and you referred
17 to this, and the Trial Chamber -- and the Judges of the Chamber. And you
18 say, and I quote:
19 "Unfortunately this practice of torture and revanchism continued
20 while I was serving my sentence."
21 So I just wanted to add that that completes your answer to my
22 question, I take it?
23 JUDGE KWON: Shall we upload the statement? I'm not sure I have
24 the most recent version. Is it paragraph 6, Mr. McCloskey?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, I hope I have the -- I know there was
1 versions being passed around. It's under the section "would you like to
2 add anything else," the one that I had.
3 JUDGE KWON: I don't see such a paragraph in the statement. Can
4 we upload it.
5 MR. ROBINSON: I think Mr. McCloskey may be working from a
6 different version. The final statement was distributed to all of the
7 parties after the proofing and that paragraph was deleted, or that
8 language was deleted from paragraph 6.
9 JUDGE KWON: So this is the difficulty Mr. Tieger is confronting
10 every day.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I see that. Well, I think we've got this in the
12 record, and I'll go on, if that's all right.
13 JUDGE KWON: Please go on.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Sir, do you feel that the -- do you acknowledge crimes were
16 committed in Srebrenica but that they were committed by individuals and
17 uncontrolled groups?
18 A. On this issue, I can tell you this: Speaking of crimes,
19 especially murder, I condemn every crime, especially killing, and
20 particularly of vulnerable, unprotected victims such as women and
21 children, or any person who does not represent a danger. My view is that
22 the people who committed that, which is a violation of the law, should be
23 prosecuted and punished. As far as Srebrenica is concerned, what really
24 happened, I cannot be the judge of that. I can only speak about my unit,
25 which was fully under my command, for which I was fully responsible and
1 for all of its acts, as its commander. For all other cases, which went
2 beyond my command, I cannot talk about them. I cannot say what crimes
3 were committed, when, where, by whom. We may know more when this
4 Tribunal provides a certain picture.
5 Q. Do you believe the Srebrenica crimes were committed by
6 individuals and uncontrolled groups? Do you stand by those words?
7 A. It's a possibility. It's a possibility. Very probably. Because
8 at that time, it was possible in that chaos for such groups and such
9 individuals to act.
10 Q. Do you think it's really possible that over 7.000 men and boys
11 could be rounded up, detained, transported, summarily executed, and
12 buried in a matter of four days, 13, 14, 15, 16 July, could that really
13 have been done by individuals and uncontrolled groups? You're a military
14 man. Come on. Give us some truth.
15 A. Yes, I'm an officer. I can tell you that considering that I had
16 no knowledge about these things beyond the tasks given to my brigade, and
17 which I endeavoured to carry out as best I could, abiding by the
18 regulations that prevailed at the time over the army, I cannot be the
19 judge of what happened outside of that. I cannot say whether something
20 is possible or not. I have certain experience here, and I can tell you
21 with what I know that what I thought was impossible did actually happen,
22 so it is possible. It is not possible to make an efficient judgement or
23 reason effectively without -- on the basis of speculation.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 6, 5 and 6, the witness said
2 that: What I thought was impossible turned out to be possible, rather
3 than proved to be possible.
4 JUDGE KWON: I think it's reflected in the transcript correctly.
5 Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. Colonel, roughly how many Muslim men and boys were detained in
8 and around Bratunac on the 12th and 13th of July?
9 A. How do you mean how many? You mean a number?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. You're asking me?
12 Q. Yes, this Court knows that your headquarters is right in Bratunac
13 town. They know how small it is. They know all the schools where the
14 prisoners were staying. They know a lot. And so I'm asking you: You
15 were there, you had a front-row desk, how many?
16 A. I did not know that and I did not have an overview of the
17 situation, did not have insight, and I just want to add to what I've said
18 before. You would know better about these things if you had a military
19 expert regarding the place and role of my brigade. The fact that there
20 wasn't one leaves room for speculation. Of the so-called defence,
21 I won't even speak.
22 Q. All right, Colonel, let's go on. Let's go on. Let's go over
23 what you may have known throughout some of the relevant time periods of
24 this indictment that are related to Srebrenica which was the culmination
25 of it. You've told us you started your career at the beginning of the
1 war in the VRS, is that correct, in the spring of 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what unit and where were you located in the spring of 1992?
4 April, May, June?
5 A. Not April, May. Starting with 15 May 1992, that's the date when
6 I reported to the command of the East Bosnia Corps.
7 Q. What town?
8 A. I think it was Ugljevik. That was the command post of the corps.
9 Q. And what job were you given?
10 A. At that time, I was perhaps not so much occupied with a specific
11 task but I was part of the operative section of the command.
12 Q. And did you become commander of the Zvornik Brigade of the
13 East Bosnia Corps?
14 A. The corps command tasked me with trying to form the
15 Zvornik Brigade as an organised unit, and I was there for perhaps two and
16 a half months. That's perhaps from the end of May until, I don't know
17 which exact date in July. I cannot tell you exactly.
18 Q. So if you were in the operations of East Bosnia Corps beginning
19 in May in Ugljevik near -- not far from Zvornik and then you were trying
20 to organise the Zvornik Brigade for the next couple of months, you were
21 very present and on the ground during those days when Arkan and others
22 arrived in the area, weren't you?
23 A. That's not true.
24 Q. When did you go -- you said you started at the Drina Corps when
25 it was formed. You agree with me that it was formed November 1st, 1992?
1 A. Maybe. I don't have the exact date. That information must be
2 somewhere but I would need to be reminded.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we have 65 ter 25558.
4 Q. You can see under paragraph 1 of this order from the Main Staff,
5 it's in the name of Ratko Mladic on the next page, talks about forming
6 the Drina Corps from parts of the East Bosnia Corps, the
7 Sarajevo Romanija, Herzegovina Corps from 1 November 1992. Does that
8 help refresh your recollection?
9 A. Yes, I see that in the first paragraph. I see what's written.
10 It doesn't particularly concern me.
11 Q. You've got to answer the question, Colonel. Does that refresh
12 your recollection as to when the Drina Corps was started?
13 A. Yes. I'm saying I see that on the screen here, but to me it's
14 just a piece of information. I don't know what else to tell you.
15 Q. So if you started at the Drina Corps the same time it started,
16 you would have been working at the Drina Corps in November 1992?
17 A. No, no. In November 1992 I was not in the Drina Corps.
18 Q. So when were you at the Drina Corps? Your statement said you
19 started at the Drina Corps when it started.
20 A. It could have been in February or perhaps the beginning of March
21 the following year. That is 1993. February, end February, or earlier
22 March, I can't say exactly.
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this document into evidence.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6566, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McCloskey, the Chamber will rise just for a
4 --- Break taken at 9.55 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 9.56 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: For the remainder of this session and next session,
7 we will -- we will be sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I have to say this is the first
9 time in the entire trial, I believe, that Judge Baird has not been with
10 us. I don't recall any other time that he's been absent. We appreciate
11 all the efforts he makes.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And can we have Exhibit 65 ter 25789 on the
15 Q. And, Colonel, this is a document we got from the Drina Corps
16 archives that is something you'll be familiar with. It's a list of the
17 duty officers for the Drina Corps, and it's for March - we can see that
18 in the Serbian - 1993. And if you go midway down, go past
19 Major Nedjo Blagojevic, down a bit farther, and you'll see a
20 V Blagojevic. It looks like lieutenant-colonel. Does that help you
21 remember that you were, in fact, in the Drina Corps acting in -- well,
22 you were on the duty officer roster in March 1993, like you'd remembered?
23 A. Yes, that's what I said. I agree. Whether it was the end of
24 February or the beginning of March, but I've answered this.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this into evidence.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. It's just to back you up, Colonel.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Exhibit P6567.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. What was your job? We see "referent," referred to operations
7 section. Can you tell us what position you held? You were a
8 lieutenant-colonel. So in March of 1993, what was your assignment, what
9 was your position in the Drina Corps?
10 A. I was an operations officer in the operations organ, in the
11 command of the Drina Corps responsible for certain tasks at the command.
12 Q. What kind of tasks?
13 A. I could name a few of them now; for example, preparing certain
14 documents, reports, keeping certain records, duty service, participating
15 in the making of the working map, and as required, getting involved in
16 certain tasks according to the plan handed down by the command.
17 I cannot tell you exactly. It depended on the situation on the
18 ground and at the command. But my activities were mostly within the
19 framework I described.
20 Q. And when you got orders from your commander that were to go, be
21 sent out to the brigade, did you sometimes help draft those orders and
22 write them up so that they would go to the brigade in a proper format?
23 A. Yes. I took part in such situations at all, generally speaking.
24 I was one of the desk officers. There were a number of desk officers
25 assisting the chief of operations, and it all depended on what role he
1 would give me. It depended on his decision. I never had a specific
3 Q. Who was the chief of operations and training in March of 1993?
4 Your direct boss?
5 A. Yes, I have to remember now. At least two or three changed but
6 I think I won't make a mistake if I say that at first, when I started, it
7 was Colonel, at the time, and later on he was deputy commander in the
8 Sarajevo Corps, Milosevic. He was a colonel at the time, I think, but --
9 Q. Would that be Dragomir Milosevic, who later on commanded the
10 Sarajevo Romanija Corps?
11 A. I think Dragomir, yes, that's right, yes. Yes, yes, yes. That's
12 who I mean. But I think that after that, Lazic came. Now what was his
13 first name, Milan? Was he a colonel? I cannot tell you exactly. Maybe
14 Milenko, right, right.
15 Q. Now, in 1993, those first months that you were there, March,
16 April, May, tell us how many people, how many officers, were actually in
17 the operations unit of the Drina Corps? We know you had a commander and
18 we know you, you call yourself a desk officer or we hear as a referent or
19 admin officer, who else? What other officers were part of the operations
21 A. Well, I cannot tell you precisely right now, a military expert
22 would have to do that for you and then you'd have a clear picture. Now,
23 for me to try to get bits and pieces out of my head, what was there, what
24 happened, I'd need a longer period of time to prepare but there were
25 several officers who were in this operations organ. How do I put this?
1 This is always a very strong organ within the command and the actual
2 personnel changed. They would have other tasks, these officers, in the
3 command, and so on. However, the intention was for as few as possible of
4 them to stay on in the command. This were several of them, about ten, I
5 don't know really.
6 Q. Was Jocic one of them?
7 A. Jocic? I don't remember that last name.
8 Q. All right. You can't name one person, one other officer, that
9 you shared your wartime offices with?
10 A. No, sorry. Sorry. All right. All right. You said "Jocic" but
11 I think it was "Jocic," Colonel Jocic, not "Jocic," "Jocic."
12 Q. Besides him, what other officers can you name?
13 A. The command [Realtime transcript read in error "commander"] of
14 the Drina Corps?
15 Q. No, I wanted the operations branch. But let's go on, if you
16 can't tell me any.
17 THE ACCUSED: Sorry, sorry, it was question in line 20, in the
18 command, do you mean in the command of the Drina Corps?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Unless you know any other officers in the operations branch,
21 besides Jocic, you can't name anyone else of your wartime colleagues in
22 the operations? Colonel, our records indicate you were understaffed and
23 you had very few; is that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right. There were always very few people or there
25 were not enough.
1 Q. All right. I want to show you a map graphic. It's
2 Exhibit 65 ter 03205. It was something that the Office of the Prosecutor
3 drew up, you may remember it from your trial.
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
7 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your answer, Mr. Blagojevic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean what I said just now?
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please. The interpreters didn't hear your
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said, you mean unfair trial?
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. All right. Colonel, this is just meant to give us some idea of
15 the Drina Corps zone of responsibility which is in yellow. You don't
16 need to really even read the English. And then we see the enclaves of
17 Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde, and this is for the time period 1995, and
18 does that roughly fit your recollection as to the Muslim-held areas of
19 the enclave in the Drina Corps in 1995?
20 A. 1995?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Well, maybe over here in my view, the factual situation on the
23 ground was that these enclaves, Srebrenica and Zepa in a way, were linked
24 up. Otherwise, that's it. The picture is all right.
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer that into evidence.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will receive it.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6568, Your Honours.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, that's all -- I didn't realise it's
5 already an Exhibit P04941, page 6 of e-court.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Now, Colonel, I just put this up here to get -- get that view of
9 the Drina Corps in our heads, but now I want to go back to our
10 chronology, back to 1993. By 1993, you would know that there was much
11 larger areas of Muslim-held territory in the area of the Drina Corps;
13 A. Yes. The area was larger.
14 Q. All right. Let's go to a VRS map, Exhibit 65 ter 25786. And
15 this is a map that we obtained from the Drina Corps. It's a VRS map.
16 And hopefully our memories will allow us to see that this is the same
17 basic shape as the map graphic that I had shown, and while it's not
18 overly clear, up in the left corner we can see that there are dates up
19 there, January 1, 1993, looks like 28 February 1993. Can you just for
20 us, can you just read the Cyrillic up in the left-hand corner so we just
21 know what this says?
22 A. Upper left-hand corner?
23 Q. Yes, please.
24 A. "Work map of the staff. That's the work map of the staff,
25 command of the Drina Corps. Beginning the 1st of the 1st, 1993. The
1 1st of January, 1993, and 28th of February, 1993."
2 Q. Now if we could go back out a little bit, please, so we can see
3 these blue areas. Now, you did say you took part in the working maps and
4 while this is for the period just ending before you got there, can you
5 tell us, these areas outlined in blue, is it the areas -- are those areas
6 that were still held by the Muslim forces in 1993?
7 A. Well, quite possibly. This does correspond to the factual
8 situation on the ground. I cannot strictly say yes now. But possibly it
9 would correspond to the factual situation on the ground at the time.
10 Q. And there were also thousands of Muslim civilians living in
11 villages and towns within the areas outlined in blue, weren't there?
12 A. Well, there were civilians living there but I cannot give you any
13 relevant figures as to how many. But there were armed formations too, at
14 any rate, and --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the end of the
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. They didn't hear your end of the sentence. Could you say it over
20 A. I'm saying that there were armed formations too, and then that
21 can also be linked to the population.
22 Q. Yes. And as the Drina Corps, it was their job, specifically the
23 operations job, to know information for map drawing, for report writing,
24 for order passing, to know about the armed formations; correct?
25 A. Part of it is correct, but most of it is not exactly correct.
1 Because it's not only the operations organ that takes part in the work of
2 the command, many other organs do too and then all information is
3 completed and then the final product is the final document.
4 Q. And correct. So as well as the armed formations, was it
5 important for the command to be aware of the civilians, their numbers and
6 their locations?
7 A. Well, probably for some structures in the command. Now, I cannot
8 give you a strict answer to that question that you put.
9 Q. For you, in operations, was it important to know where the
10 civilians were and their rough numbers, especially as you have said they
11 are associated with the armed groups?
12 A. For me as an operations officer, it was important to know where
13 the possible enemy objectives were, and that is to say units, and their
14 combat resources. That was the danger for the army that I belonged to
15 primarily. And that was the criterion for my involvement in that work
17 Q. Where, if anywhere --
18 JUDGE MORRISON: Sorry, Mr. McCloskey. Can I just clarify one
19 thing with the witness?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Please.
21 JUDGE MORRISON: Were these maps intended to be strategic maps or
22 tactical maps? Both?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, yes. The corps is an
24 operative level of command so these maps were made at that level. They
25 can be operative tactical ones too. However, they are not tactical, but
1 at an operative level, yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. And, Colonel, I want to just ask you about where civilians fit
4 in. You told me your main concern was -- the main threat was from the
5 armed forces. Where, if anywhere, did the numbers and locations of
6 civilians fit into your work?
7 A. Look, I have to repeat part of my answer again. Danger for me as
8 an officer in the unit that I belonged to are the armed forces of the
9 enemy, not the civilians. I'm just saying that. The armed units and
10 their combat resources, their equipment. If I knew that, then I was
12 Q. So you could -- once you knew that and you knew that threat and
13 you could recommend commanders to take out that threat, that's what
14 you -- that was part of your job?
15 A. I could give a recommendation to the head of the operations
17 Q. So it may be naive of me but shouldn't you know where civilians
18 are before you attack the -- what you believe are the armed forces?
19 A. I can tell you that civilians are an important thing to know
20 about, but probably these civilians, due to their personal assessments
21 with regard to their safety and security, et cetera, were at a certain
22 distance away from these armed units, for different reasons. So the
23 other side probably took care of that too. However, my knowledge of the
24 deployment of the armed formations of the enemy is my primary task, and
25 I, as an officer, cannot assume that there, where the armed forces are,
1 or, for example, where an enemy nest was observed, from where a
2 machine-gun was operating or another bigger, say, artillery piece --
3 I mean, if the enemy were to bring a number of civilians to keep them
4 there in their immediate vicinity, no, that is unnatural, impossible,
5 illogical. They have to be at a safe distance. I, as a member of the
6 other side, took up positions and I aim at enemy targets. That's what
7 I was taught at school. I cannot present any different kind of science
9 Q. All right, Colonel. I think you'll agree with me that we see
10 this blue on this map and that by organised operations of the VRS, from
11 the period where you were at the Drina Corps, and a bit before, engaged
12 in these Muslim forces and defeated them to the point where the enclaves
13 were created and the Muslims were restricted to the area of the map we
14 just saw from 1995. Can you agree with me on that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And so, you'll also agree with me, I think, that there are no
17 more civilians left in these other areas, all the civilians were either
18 in the enclaves or over in the rest of the BiH territory, Muslim
19 civilians, that is; correct?
20 A. Well, possibly. But I cannot claim with certainty where they
21 went or where they -- I mean, or if somebody stayed on. I cannot claim
22 anything to you with certainty, but in principle that would be it. It
23 could be that way.
24 Q. Colonel, there were no civilians left in the area of
25 Eastern Bosnia of the RS except in those enclaves. You know that.
1 A. Well, now that I hear it from you, probably it's correct.
2 Q. Okay. Let me show you a segment of a report of a UN rapporteur
3 named Mazowiecki, who described the civilian flight during this combat
4 that we've just spoke of.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go to Exhibit 65 ter 01219A? And I --
6 JUDGE KWON: Did you mean to tender this?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I did. Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE KWON: Do we need to put it up? Marked for identification
9 pending English translation?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I can get some basic translations for the
11 heading so that it's more useful.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will do so.
13 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 25786 gets MFI P6568, Your Honours.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Now, Colonel, I just want to briefly look at this front page, and
16 it will not be my intention to offer this document into evidence.
17 I think you have a shortened version of something similar. But I do want
18 to ask you about some of its conclusions. We can see this -- who this is
19 from, Mr. Mazowiecki, and it's first chapter is titled: "Ethnic
20 cleansing of the eastern enclaves." And it gives the various places,
21 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Srebrenica, Gorazde and Zepa, and I'm sure you'll
22 agree with me that those are the areas that were included in the blue
23 marks, in part, that we just saw on the previous map. And if we can now
24 go to the conclusion page, it should be page 18 in the English and
25 page 19 in the B/C/S, and I'm concerned with paragraph 87, in part, which
2 "Massive and repeated violations of the Geneva Conventions of
3 1949 were perpetrated in recent combat in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 These were cleared out by Serb forces in Cerska, Konjevic Polje and
5 Srebrenica, and attacking and ambushing civilians attempting to flee
6 their encirclement in attacking the villages themselves, in refusing to
7 allow humanitarian aid to enter, in refusing to allow the evacuation of
8 the wounded, in attempting to link the above issues to the independent
9 question of freedom of movement for the Serbs in Tuzla."
10 This document is dated May 1993. Also, if you look briefly at
11 the next paragraph, it talks about violations of the Geneva Conventions
12 of the other side by attempting to use these same civilians as human
13 shields. So this report is giving a two-sided approach.
14 Now, you are at the -- as you've told us, since March, are at the
15 operations unit of the Drina Corps. Can you confirm that you received
16 information of these violations of the Geneva Conventions against the
17 civilians populations in these areas?
18 A. Not particularly, no. I don't remember.
19 Q. You don't remember? So it's possible it happened, you just
21 A. No, no. Quite simply I don't remember. If I don't remember
22 something, that means that this information was not there, to the best of
23 my recollection.
24 Q. Were you aware of the RS or VRS policy to force the Muslim
25 populations in these areas out of these areas?
1 A. I was not aware of such policy.
2 Q. Wasn't this part of the orders of the Drina Corps, to take --
3 force the Muslims -- the Muslim population, out of these areas?
4 A. Show it to me, please.
5 Q. You've seen it before, Colonel. But --
6 A. Yes. But this is an important matter, an important phrase.
7 Q. Before I show it to you, tell us what you remember about the
8 policy of your army, independent of any document. Let's forget about
9 documents for a while. What's in your memory? Remember getting a highly
10 illegal order to force Muslim population out of the area?
11 A. What order are you talking about?
12 Q. I'm talking about your memory. Do you remember any such order?
13 A. Illegal? Unlawful?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No, none.
16 Q. All right. Let's go to P02085. And as you will see as this
17 comes up, this is from the command of the Drina Corps, dated
18 24 November 1992, just before you arrive, and of course would have been
19 applicable for the time period you're there. You will see that it's --
20 if you go to the third page in the B/C/S, it's in the name of your
21 commander, Milenko Zivanovic. And it's the position of the Prosecution
22 that this is directly related to Directive 4, which is P00976 under the
23 name of Ratko Mladic, but I won't take the time. You may recall that
24 document. And I would call your attention to this document, which came
25 out of your command with a strictly confidential number 2-126. Perhaps
1 you recall that the number 2 was the operative branch numbers; correct?
2 JUDGE KWON: First page.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Excuse me, the first page.
5 A. Yes, this is the second page.
6 Q. Okay. Sorry. There is the first page and we see the strictly
7 confidential number 2-126. The numbers 2 at this point in time reflected
8 they were from the operations branch; is that right?
9 A. It's possible. I can't be sure about all the numbers, but it is
10 possible that documents of this kind come or were prepared in the
11 operations branch, yes.
12 Q. And we see in paragraph 1, General Zivanovic is telling the
13 Zvornik Brigade and personally to the commander or Chief of Staff: Using
14 the main forces and equipment and active combat operations, inflict the
15 highest possible losses on the enemy, exhaust them, break them up or
16 force them to surrender. Nothing wrong with that, is there? That's what
17 you do in war sometimes?
18 A. Yes, that's how it could be. I can't tell you. I'm not familiar
19 with the document, but there you go. This is just to say something.
20 Q. This is a serious trial, Colonel. Don't just say something to
21 say something. You've been called by Dr. Karadzic, especially on this
22 question. What about the next part: And force the Muslim local
23 population to abandon the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde?
24 That is criminal on its face, isn't it?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, a while ago, you had General Zivanovic here. Why
1 didn't you clarify that issue with him? Why are you clarifying this
2 issue with me? How can I tell you what was in his head, whether he had a
3 criminal mind or not.
4 Q. Colonel, take some responsibility. Take some responsibility.
5 Answer the question. You were the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
6 You know what responsibility is. Answer the question. Is that criminal?
7 A. Please don't shout. I would ask you in the kindest possible way,
8 don't shout. It has pierced my ears. I don't know about the others.
9 I'm repeating. You had this man here. He could speak about other
10 situations. He could tell you where things led and not ask me who --
11 I was in a totally different position.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Blagojevic, Mr. McCloskey is not asking what
13 Mr. Zivanovic had in mind. When you read this, do you agree that this
14 sentence on its face illegal or criminal? That's the question from
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is how it may be
17 understood, but I did not know what the commander's intentions were.
18 I only knew what my task was, and I was the one who implemented the task
19 and based my decisions on that. And now as to why somebody wrote this,
20 it may have depended on the sequence of events. However, as I am looking
21 at the document, I can't tell you whether there was a criminal intent
22 behind it or not. It would show any -- a lack of any responsibility on
23 my behalf.
24 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. Was it the practice of the Drina Corps in this operation to force
2 the Muslim civilian population to abandon the area of Cerska, Zepa,
3 Srebrenica and Gorazde, as ordered by General Zivanovic?
4 A. On reflection, you have now made a link between Cerska, Zepa and
5 Srebrenica, and the -- there was a time difference between the three.
6 And those events did not have the same outcome -- or rather, the outcome
7 of anything was not the result of operations that happened at different
8 periods of time.
9 Q. Colonel, please answer my question. Did the Drina Corps Brigade,
10 did the Zvornik Brigade follow General Zivanovic's order here?
11 A. As part of those forces, it seems that they did, they were part
12 of the corps forces.
13 Q. I agree. Okay. Let's go to 1995 now. Just want to show you one
14 document to help us get a feel for your office in 1995. You were still
15 in the operations and training branch of the Drina Corps in 1995;
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's see 65 ter 04243.
20 MR. ROBINSON: While that's coming up, Mr. President, were you
21 minded to take a break this morning?
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, if it is convenient.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Of course, please. I'm sorry, I'm a little
24 confused on the break timing. Thank you for --
25 JUDGE KWON: We will have a break for half an hour and resume at
1 10 past 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.11 a.m.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Colonel, in looking at my outline I noticed I needed to come back
7 to your convictions that I went over to clarify something, and that would
8 be that, I'm sure you'll agree to me, that the convictions I mentioned
9 for murder and persecutions were specifically related to the killings in
10 and around the Vuk Karadzic school and did not -- you were acquitted on
11 the broader charges on the overall murder operation and joint criminal
12 enterprise; is that correct?
13 A. Essentially, if you look at the judgement, you could conclude
14 that, but as to the events themselves, it's not true.
15 Q. I understand. All right. We have gotten into 1995 now in our
16 chronology and I'd like to show you a document, Exhibit 65 ter 04243, to
17 help set the scene for us. In March of 1995, you're still working as an
18 operations officer in the operations branch of the Drina Corps; correct?
19 A. Yes, in March 1995, I was still in the operations organ of the
20 command of the Drina Corps.
21 Q. And we see this document that comes out of the Drina Corps
22 command security department, interestingly under the name of
23 Milenko Lazic, who is the chief of ONO, and that is operations and
24 training branch; correct?
25 A. Yes. As far as I remember, he was in that position at that time.
1 Q. As I think you mentioned earlier, he was one of your bosses, so
2 at that time it's Milenko Lazic. And we see the only other persons aside
3 from Lazic and yourself from the operations unit that's on this document
4 is Colonel Predrag Jocic. Is that the person we were talking about
6 A. Yes. I heard you say "Jocic." That confused me a bit. But
7 Jocic, when you say Jocic, I remember now, it could have been
8 Colonel Jocic.
9 Q. All right. And while the Trial Chamber has heard a bit about
10 this operation Spreca, this document speaks for itself. You were
11 obviously involved in some -- the documents relating to this operation,
12 and I won't go any further than that. Is this a true and correct
13 document, as far as you're concerned? Is that your signature there?
14 A. This could not possibly be my signature. I don't know what it
15 is. Look at it. There is no V, no B, nor anything that looks like these
16 letters. This is unlike any variant of my signature. No way. The first
17 letter here is P. Somewhere in the middle there is an M. It could be --
18 I don't know even if it's in Cyrillic or Latin letters, whether it's a P
19 or "ch" in the middle. It's impossible that I wrote this.
20 Q. But you were familiar with the documents related to the Spreca
21 operation? Again, which I'm not going to get into.
22 A. Okay, if you could put to me some basic document to remind me,
23 it's difficult to say anything on the basis of this. There is just the
24 word "Spreca." It's a code name. That's how you recognise documents.
25 I would need to see at least one basic document to remind myself of what
1 it was about. This reminds me of nothing in particular.
2 Q. Does it help at least remind you that your chief, Milenko Lazic,
3 was the chief in March 1995, as it's signed here?
4 A. Possibly, possibly. I don't question that. Does it say
5 operative, chief of operations? Yes.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence, then.
8 JUDGE KWON: Could you remind me what "Spreca" means in B/C/S?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't remember.
10 JUDGE KWON: Probably we need the assistance of the interpreters.
11 THE ACCUSED: Spreca, if I may help, is a name of a river that
12 goes towards Doboj.
13 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Blagojevic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. My association is also with
15 the river which exists somewhere in that area.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6569, Your Honours.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
19 Q. Now, in this early period of 1995, January, February, March, had
20 the policy and practice of the Drina Corps towards the enemy that
21 remained in the Drina Corps zone of responsibility, that is the
22 28th Division inside Srebrenica, and the Zepa Division inside Zepa and
23 the Gorazde Muslim forces, did -- as far as you knew from inside the
24 operations office, did your command have the same regard to the civilians
25 inside those enclaves as they did to the civilians inside the blue
1 perimeters that we saw on the map from 1993? Had anything changed from
2 Directive 4 and the document we read?
3 A. If I can speak about the Drina Corps as a whole, the attitude of
4 the Drina Corps towards those enclaves, Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde, was
5 conditioned by the activities, military activities, emanating from those
6 enclaves, or the rest of the front line which could have been connected
7 with what was going on in the enclaves. It is my personal conviction
8 that, as far as the civilians in the enclaves were concerned, the
9 officers, at least I, did not have any attitude other than the normal
10 attitude towards civilians, in view of the existing situation of course.
11 We have to bear in mind there was a state of war. And in my experience
12 as an operative officer, the treatment of civilians by the command was
13 conditioned exclusively by the activities emanating from those enclaves,
14 the military activities from the enclaves, or perhaps the broader area
15 and the front lines there.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 2, page 37, there was a whole
19 subclause that is missing. It says: The attitude towards civilians in
20 view of the existing situation, of course. And the subclause that is
21 missing is: Leave them to live in peace. Let them live in peace.
22 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Blagojevic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said concerning civilians, let
24 them live in peace, in the conditions, in the circumstances that exist,
25 as dictated by the regulations, the international community, et cetera,
1 but the civilians do not represent a danger.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Colonel Blagojevic
3 speak into the microphone, please.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Blagojevic, for the benefit of the interpreters,
5 could you come closer to the microphone?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It's not a problem.
7 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
9 Q. In that question, I appeared to have heard you say something
10 about the view of the civilians would be connected in some way to the --
11 to the Muslim army. Let me ask you this question, and maybe your answer
12 can clarify it, and I'm sure you'll agree with me that March, April, May,
13 June and even July, the 28th Division of the Bosnian army ran raids out
14 of the enclave against the demilitarise agreement, killed Serb soldiers,
15 attacked Serb villages, as part of a policy to tie down Serbian troops
16 from the Sarajevo front.
17 Now, given that was going on, all the way up to and into July, in
18 that context, you, as an operations officer, would you feel that your
19 army would be justified in taking down that army that's illegally coming
20 out of the enclave and removing the civilian population? In that context
21 that I described to you, would you feel justified in that context for
22 your army removing the civilian population, that is with the
23 28th Division?
24 A. If I understood you correctly, if I understood the question, it
25 refers to removing the population, the civilians.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. No. I don't think that would be all right. I don't think that
3 that would be a reason for my unit or the organ that I belonged to to do
4 that, but I do think that because of the activities of the 28th Division
5 out of the enclave against soldiers, civilians, et cetera, on the other
6 side of that front line, in the depth, would justify activities of the
7 Serbian army.
8 THE ACCUSED: I'm not sure that there is an understanding between
9 Mr. McCloskey and the witness is full concerning the -- translation,
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I don't follow you. You have an issue
12 with respect to translation?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sounded to me like we agreed with each other and
14 we were right on the same page.
15 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue? If necessary, you can take up in
16 your re-examination. Shall we continue, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
18 Q. So, Colonel, as I -- I take it that despite the context that
19 I described that you agree with, it would still be improper militarily to
20 remove the civilians. Let's go to another document, P03040, of the
21 Drina Corps to see if we can look into the orders and the policies of the
22 Drina Corps where you were working on March 20th, 1995. And we can see
23 that this document dated 20 March 1995 is from the command of the
24 Drina Corps. It is to all the Drina Corps brigades and units, and it's
25 entitled, "Operative number 7."
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Your Honours, I won't go into it, but it's
2 the position of the Prosecution that this document is related to the
3 well-known Directive 7 that came out in the name of Dr. Karadzic. And if
4 we could go to the last page of the document, which should be 21 in the
5 English and I have it as 10 in the B/C/S, just so we can see who it comes
6 out under, we can see that -- 20 in the -- should be 20 -- well, you've
7 got it.
8 Q. We see that it came out under the name of the command -- the
9 known commander, Milenko Zivanovic, and that it was drafted by
10 Colonel Milenko Lazic, who we know at the time was the chief of
11 operations. So we just saw you, Lazic and Jocic together. So this is a
12 document that was created and drafted while you were in that office with
13 these guys; right?
14 A. I do not remember that particular circumstance, to be honest.
15 Q. Okay. Let's go to page 6 in the English and -- sorry, it's under
16 the tasks of the Drina Corps in the B/C/S and I did not catch the B/C/S
17 part of it. But it's -- we go to paragraph -- yes, you've got 2, the
18 tasks of the Drina Corps, and you'll see it's down in -- not down far
19 below paragraph 2, and it's the now very recognisable words that after
20 issuing orders regarding various forces, Zivanovic says, drafted by
21 Lazic: While in the direction of Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves complete
22 physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa should be carried out as soon
23 as possible preventing even communication between individuals in the two
24 enclaves. By planned and well thought-out combat operations create an
25 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of survival or life
1 for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa. And this is directed towards
2 the inhabitants of the Srebrenica and Zepa, is it not?
3 A. You can conclude that from this text. I don't see what else.
4 Q. And I'm sure you recall this phrase from Dr. Karadzic's
5 Directive 7, can you tell us whose decision it was who repeat this phrase
6 from Dr. Karadzic's directive into Milenko Zivanovic's now order, taking
7 it for directive to order?
8 A. Maybe this will make you angry again but you should have asked
9 the general, Zivanovic.
10 Q. Well, don't worry, Colonel, I'm not angry. We are not angry.
11 Can you answer the question?
12 A. My answer is you should have put that question to
13 General Zivanovic. I don't know.
14 Q. Would General Zivanovic have any discretion when he receives a
15 legal order from President Karadzic, when passing on that order to his
16 subordinate commanders?
17 A. Well, General Zivanovic signed this document, if I'm not
19 Q. Can you answer the question?
20 A. I am answering your questions. I'm saying this because
21 General Zivanovic signed this document. Maybe this is an important
22 question to which he could give an important answer.
23 Q. All right. Let's go on. You became the commander of the
24 Bratunac Brigade on May 25th, 1995; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And let's go to a document about that, 65 ter 02082. And we now
2 see a regular combat report dated 25 May, looks like it goes out sometime
3 at 4.30 something on the 25th, in your name. When a document like this,
4 a combat report goes out in your name, are you responsible for it?
5 A. Yes. Now, it's a combat report coming out of the brigade,
6 basically it's approved, or rather, signed by the brigade commander or
7 somebody standing in for him, if he's absent, but I don't see the
8 signature of any other person here. However, the situation is a bit more
9 complicated. But it's my document. What else can I say? Because it's
10 possible sometimes that something is left out.
11 Q. And we can see here that this reflects that you took over duties
12 at 1000 hours. But I wanted to ask you, the first part says: Our forces
13 did not open fire towards the demilitarised zone. And were you informed
14 of when your forces shelled the demilitarised zone with mortar fire or
15 artillery fire, as it appears in this document?
16 A. Not only that, that's something the commander should have issued
17 orders for, it's a serious job, serious business, or somebody from the
18 superior command, if they happened to be there.
19 Q. Absolutely. All right.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document in evidence.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will receive it.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6570, Your Honours.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. And, Colonel, I would think you would recall the communication
25 and report that the -- a commander of the Bratunac Brigade from
1 July 1994, Mr. Ognjenovic, communicated to his troops. And to refresh
2 your recollection about it, it comes from P04075. It's 4 July 1994, from
3 the command of the Bratunac Brigade, in the name of Ognjenovic. And on
4 page 3 of the English and page 2 of the B/C/S, he says: We must continue
5 to arm, train and discipline and prepare the RS army for the execution of
6 this crucial task, the expulsion of Muslims from the Srebrenica enclave.
7 There will be no retreat when it comes to the Srebrenica enclave. We
8 must advance. The enemy's life has to be made unbearable and their
9 temporary stay in the enclave impossible so that they leave the enclave
10 en masse as soon as possible realising that they cannot survive there.
11 Ognjenovic sent this out right after meeting with General Mladic.
12 Did you do anything to countermand this communication, this report to the
13 Bratunac Brigade troops, when you took over command?
14 A. This document did not concern me at all. I didn't have it. I
15 don't know what to tell you about it. It was one year before,
17 Q. Colonel, this document was found in the archives of the -- the
18 VRS records. I believe we got this from the Bratunac Brigade. It's our
19 position this is an illegal order. Are you saying that an illegal order
20 to expel the Muslims from Srebrenica done by a former commander would not
21 be your business?
22 A. I apologise. You're saying that I claim that this is an illegal
24 Q. It's the Prosecution's position that it's an illegal order.
25 A. Please be specific, Mr. Prosecutor. I'm not a historian. I'm a
1 commander. I'm an officer. I got there, I was informed about the
2 situation in the brigade, and I continued working as the commander in
3 that brigade. I was not interested in history and what happened a year
4 or two years ago. There was no time for that. Now, when the situation
5 is calm, we can study history, because what happened at the time is
6 already part of the history so we can study that now.
7 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 04274. We are still on your first day at the
8 Bratunac Brigade, 25 May. This is from the Drina Corps command, from
9 Zivanovic, as you'll see, and it's to all the brigades of the Drina Corps
10 and other units, and it's not exactly clear what time it goes out but
11 I think if we look at some of the other documents we may get that idea.
12 And we see here that it is informing all these units that NATO had
13 carried out an attack at Jahorinski Potok, which were weapons warehouses,
14 as you know, near Pale.
15 And it tells all the brigades, in relation to this, and in order
16 to take urgent measures to raise combat readiness of the PVO system to
17 the highest level in order to take measures of the anti-aircraft
18 protection and to protect the men, I order, and we can read paragraph 1
19 including the raising of the units of the highest level of combat
20 readiness and the opening of fire shall be regulated by the Drina Corps
21 through the Grabovica signals table. So did you, on this, your first day
22 of command, get this order to -- informing you of the NATO bombing of
23 that date, against your army, telling you to get ready to open fire?
24 A. Judging by the date, it seems that I should have received it and
25 it was only normal for me to have received it because it is addressed to
1 the Bratunac Brigade.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this into evidence.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6571, Your Honours.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could now go to P04076.
7 Q. And, Colonel, you'll see this is an interim combat report under
8 your name, and this one we can see was at least delivered at 2110 hours
9 on the 25th of May. It's to the commander of the Drina Corps, and I'll
10 skip down to paragraph 3 briefly because under this you say that: We
11 have taken steps in accordance with your order strictly confidential
12 number 08/8-60 of 25 May.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And that, Your Honours, for the record, I should
14 have pointed out was the previous order we just saw from the Drina Corps.
15 Q. So you, by 2110 hours, have acknowledged receiving that previous
16 order and have taken steps in accordance with it. You also say that in
17 accordance with an oral order from Colonel Lazic, is that the same
18 Colonel Lazic, your former boss, the chief of operations and training of
19 the Drina Corps?
20 A. Yes. I believe that that's him.
21 Q. We fired at -- two shells from 105-millimetre howitzers, a total
22 of four shells, on the town of Srebrenica at 1907 hours. Artillery
23 observers at Pribicevac reported two shells fired near the Domovija
24 feature. That's the Domovija hotel in the centre of Srebrenica town?
25 A. It's possible. If my memory serves me well, the Domovija Hotel
1 is in the centre. Srebrenica is not a big place.
2 Q. And the other two shells, they don't know where they went, were
3 not observed?
4 A. I don't know. I can't see here.
5 Q. Look at the first paragraph.
6 A. [In English] Ah, first. [Interpretation] Yes, now I can see it.
7 That's what I read, yes.
8 Q. So, do you take responsibility for firing these howitzer shells
9 on the Srebrenica enclave?
10 A. Partly, yes.
11 Q. What do you mean "partly"?
12 A. Because of the oral order I received from Colonel Lazic. He was
13 there. It's in the report. You have read it out. He represented the
14 superior command.
15 Q. Yes. He shares responsibility from the Drina Corps, as did
16 anyone that may have issued orders from the Main Staff, as is anyone from
17 the Presidency that may also have issued such an order; correct?
18 A. It's not about sharing. It's about assuming responsibility. He
19 assumes responsibility because he was there and he issued that order to
21 Q. Okay. Good point.
22 A. It was not my decision. I was implementing an immediate order.
23 There is no two ways about it. It's very clear in military terms.
24 Q. Yes. Let's go to Exhibit 65 ter 25799. Did you authorise any
25 mortar shells to be fired at the enclave that day?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Are you aware of anyone --
3 A. I don't remember. I don't remember. I don't remember. I don't
4 think so. Actually, I'm convinced that I didn't.
5 Q. You didn't. Okay. Would anybody else have fired mortar shells
6 on the Srebrenica enclave on that day outside your command?
7 A. There were several units around Srebrenica. There were at least
8 two other units on permanent positions. I don't know if anybody else was
9 there in addition to them. I don't know.
10 Q. All right. Looking at this document, this is from the
11 28th Division, and this says at 1900 hours, which is, as we just saw,
12 within a few minutes of the time you fired your howitzer shells, that
13 two -- the Muslim army thinks that two 82-millimetre mortar shells fell
14 near a primary school and killed one child and wounded another. You
15 probably remember the ten-year-old, Jasna Gabeljic, who died that day?
16 You're -- you know these things better than others. Can an 82-millimetre
17 mortar shell get mixed up or be --
18 A. [Previous translation continues]... something, something.
19 Q. -- confused with a 105-millimetre howitzer shell when it lands?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, let's clarify some things. I'm confused on some
21 things, and I will ask you to repeat about those 82-millimetre mortar
22 shells. Where were they? Can you take things one at a time, please.
23 Q. It's a very simple document, Colonel.
24 JUDGE MORRISON: Colonel, perhaps we can put it very simply --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, yes.
1 JUDGE MORRISON: What the Prosecution is asking is whether or not
2 somebody on the ground could mistake the impact of a
3 105-millimetre artillery shell with the impact of an 82-millimetre mortar
4 shell, in terms of identifying exactly what the weapon was that caused
5 the explosion. That's the question you've been asked. Would it be
6 possible to confuse the two?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm try to answer your
8 question; however, I'm focusing on the document. I believe that this is
9 not about Srebrenica but about the local commune of Suceska, and those
10 are two entirely different geographical terms. I believe the distance
11 between the two is 20 to 30 kilometres, and it is possible that mortar
12 fire was opened there, but that has nothing to do with fire opened from a
13 105-millimetre howitzer. This is not even in the same sector. These are
14 two different locations with a distance of some 20 kilometres between
16 JUDGE KWON: Did you read this report, Mr. Blagojevic? Could you
17 read it out? And then I'll ask you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've not seen it before.
19 JUDGE KWON: Let us know if you have done your reading.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm done reading. The doctor was
21 in Srebrenica and the children were in Suceska local commune, as far as I
22 can understand.
23 JUDGE KWON: So this refers to two places that were shelled,
24 Srebrenica and Suceska.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, yes.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. And we know that they are right next to each other, just a few
3 kilometres away. I think you've already said that. So can you go back
4 to His Honour's question: Can one mistake a howitzer impact with the
5 particular mortar impact we see here?
6 A. It is possible, but those who know would not be easily mistaken
7 on that. However, confusion is possible.
8 Q. As you'll recall, your unit lost track of two of your howitzer
9 shells. They saw two land downtown Srebrenica and lost track of two at
10 around the same time. So very likely, if not a certainty, that your two
11 howitzer shells landed on Jasna Gabeljic, isn't it?
12 A. It's not likely at all. It's just a speculation. And I would
13 not go there. Artillery is more sophisticated than that.
14 Q. Okay. Well, perhaps someone else fired at the same time.
15 Let's --
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer, I believe, that into evidence.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6572, Your Honours.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now I'd like to go to 65 ter 25746.
20 Q. And, Colonel, were you aware that shortly after 7.00 the same day
21 that you fired upon this inhabited enclave with your howitzer, somebody
22 else fired on downtown Tuzla and killed more than 66 young people
23 gathered in the square? Surely you recall that.
24 A. No. I had no information whatsoever about that at the time.
25 Q. Let's go to -- we see this UNPROFOR report, let's go to the next
1 page in the English, it should be B/C/S page 1.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I'm going to object to
3 any questions about the details of this shelling. As you may recall
4 during the Defence case, our expert prepared a report concerning this
5 shelling which you excluded, and, as a result, we weren't able to produce
6 any evidence about that. So I don't think it's fair for the Prosecution
7 to go further than the fact that shells fell on Tuzla.
8 JUDGE KWON: This shelling, what did you mean by this shelling on
10 MR. ROBINSON: On the 25th of May, 1995, there was a shelling
11 incident in the Old Town of Tuzla which is not charged in the indictment
12 and which was the subject of detailed analysis by our ballistics expert.
13 And having read that, you excluded and redacted that analysis, and we
14 weren't able to present any evidence as to who may have fired that shell
15 or the circumstances of it. So it's our position that it would be unfair
16 for the Prosecution now to be able to elicit evidence about that.
17 JUDGE KWON: Could the Chamber hear from the Prosecution?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. The Defence has chosen
19 specifically to, of course, call Colonel Blagojevic, who, as the
20 Prosecution's position is, that on his first day, he took part in a
21 co-ordinated effort with the rest -- many other VRS units, at -- shelled
22 all the safe areas except for Zepa. This goes to his involvement in
23 these events, his knowledge of these events. This is a lead-up to the
24 attack on Srebrenica. You've seen the document about making life
25 unbearable. That is part of this historical context. When they call a
1 man like this to defend the president, they open the door to his conduct
2 that's relevant to the charged crimes, and especially joint conduct that
3 you will see from later documents are occurring at the same time at a
4 larger level.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MORRISON: Mr. Robinson, isn't there a distinction between
7 the technical aspects of the shelling in question and what this witness
8 may or may not have known about them? The fact of the shelling.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, I agree. And I was trying to make that
10 distinction myself, but the document here is the former, so that's what
11 I was trying to avoid.
12 JUDGE KWON: We will allow the question.
13 Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to the next page in the English, should
15 be the next page in the B/C/S as well.
16 Q. And again we see this conclusion here, that as a sequel to air
17 strikes administered by NATO, at the Pale ammo dump - it's our position
18 that's the dump referred to in the VRS document we just saw - the BSA
19 resorted to massive retaliatory shelling against Tuzla town and TAB which
20 is considered deliberate targeting of the UN and the Tuzla safe area.
21 The shelling commenced at 1910 hours, simultaneously at TAV and Tuzla
22 safe area. Total of 31 impacts were recorded, up till 2100 hours. Out
23 of these 13 impacted in and around - I won't go into all of that - one of
24 them hit the old part of Tuzla city centre, a place where young people
25 flock together, and, as a consequence, 66 people were massacred to death
1 and 170 were wounded, amongst them 31 were critically injured.
2 You know now, don't you, historically that a shell landed in the
3 Tuzla centre killing at least 66 people and more at the same time you
4 fired your shells; correct?
5 A. I don't know about that, where which shell fell in that area that
6 you are referring to, but I would like to add something to what you said.
7 I would like one to be precise. This is an oral order in the presence of
8 Colonel Lazic and that preceded the firing of the
9 105-millimetre howitzer. That should be borne in mind.
10 Q. All right. But do you agree that over -- that at least 66 young
11 people were killed by that shell that evening? That's a Bosnian
12 historical fact?
13 A. I don't know of that case at the time.
14 Q. It's not my question. You know it shortly thereafter or now,
15 don't you, to be true?
16 A. Well, I hear that from you now, but at the time I was not
17 informed and I did not know that somebody was carrying out any kind of
18 operation or causing casualties on some side. I don't know about that.
19 Q. All right. Mr. President, I would offer just the first two pages
20 of this, just to show you the time of this report and this incident. I
21 don't think anyone is going to be contesting this incident in that
22 respect, and the issue as to precisely who did it is secondary to my
23 question, as I think you can tell.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
25 MR. ROBINSON: It's been read out, Mr. President. So I don't
1 think there is a need for the document.
2 JUDGE KWON: We tend to agree with it.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the 66 people deserve more than a
4 reading out. This may be the only record, and I would like it to be in
5 the record.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President --
7 JUDGE MORRISON: But it is in the record, Mr. McCloskey. It's in
8 the trial record, together with the timings and your observations of
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: If you're happy that my reading is just as good
11 as the document, I have no problem with that.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will not admit this.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. All right. Colonel, let's now go to 65 ter 19281. This is
15 another May 25th document from Mr. Akashi to Kofi Annan. And in it notes
16 just in the first paragraph, that: After the air strike of 25 May 1995,
17 all the safe areas, less Zepa, have been shelled and the Bosnian Serbs
18 have fired heavy weapons from five weapons collection points around
19 Sarajevo. I won't go on and read the rest. So did you become familiar
20 in the days and months after this that, in fact, the day that you fired
21 your shell on -- your shells on Srebrenica, that the other safe areas had
22 also been fired upon in --
23 A. No. I didn't know.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document into evidence.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive this.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6573, Your Honours.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I note that my time is up.
3 I do have probably 30 more minutes. Do I not intend to rehash the events
4 of Srebrenica, but I do want to finish up this particular area of
5 questioning and some Srebrenica events, if I could.
6 JUDGE KWON: Usually we do not limit -- usually be lenient, but
7 today we have -- really pressed with time. General Tolimir is going to
8 appear today, according to our subpoena decision which specifically
9 indicated today is the day he should appear. And I'm not sure how much
10 time Mr. Karadzic would need for his redirect.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, General Tolimir is here, as is
12 his legal adviser. I would suggest we just suspend the examination of
13 Colonel Blagojevic and call General Tolimir. I think we will be able to
14 conclude him by 12.30 and then we will be a little more relaxed for time
15 for the rest of the day.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's a very good idea. I appreciate
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Blagojevic, do you follow? Do you understand
19 what we just discussed?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. It is clear to me.
21 JUDGE KWON: How much time would we need to prepare the setting,
22 change the setting?
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE KWON: We will rise just for three or five minutes.
25 --- Break taken at 12.10 p.m.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 [The witness entered court]
3 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
4 JUDGE KWON: For the record, we are now in full Bench.
5 Good afternoon, General Tolimir.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: Will you make the solemn declaration, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Thank you.
11 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO TOLIMIR
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, General. Please be seated and make
14 yourself comfortable.
15 Would the counsel assisting Mr. Tolimir introduce himself for the
16 record, please.
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm Aleksandar Gajic,
18 and I'm legal adviser to Zdravko Tolimir.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Professor Gajic.
20 Mr. Tolimir, as you may know well about this, before you commence
21 your evidence, I must draw your attention to a certain rule of evidence
22 that we have here at the International Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E).
23 Under this rule, you may object to answering any question from
24 Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor or even from the Judges if you believe that
25 your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this
1 context, "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an
2 admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might
3 provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
4 However, should you think that your answer might incriminate you and as a
5 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
6 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question. But in
7 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony, compelled
8 under such circumstances, would not be used in any case that might be
9 laid against you for any offence, save and except the offence of giving
10 false testimony.
11 Do you understand that, sir?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 I understand that.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
16 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General Tolimir.
18 A. May God be with you, Mr. President.
19 Q. God be with us. But I'm asking you to kindly pause between my
20 questions and your answers as well. In order to avoid any confusion from
21 triple interpretation, because my notes are in English, with your
22 permission and with an apology that is due, I'm going to put questions to
23 you in English and I hope that the interpretation will be accurate.
24 [In English] Can you tell us what positions you held during your
25 military career?
1 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your question? The first part of
2 your question was overlapped with the translation.
3 MR. KARADZIC:
4 Q. Can you tell us what positions you held during your military
6 A. Thank you, Mr. President. I started my military career in 1971
7 after I completed the military academy. First of all, I was a squad
8 leader or a platoon leader in Slovenia during manoeuvres. This was a
9 military exercise in the then-army. Then I was reassigned to Skoplje.
10 From Skoplje, I was deployed in Titov Veles. I stayed in Titov Veles
11 until 1975. And I commanded a platoon, a company, a squad, and so on,
12 different basic units, if you will.
13 In 1984, I was sent to the school centre of the
14 Yugoslav People's Army in Pancevo for a course for security officers.
15 After that one-year course, I was returned to Titov Veles yet again, and
16 then practically carried out these duties that I had been taught; namely
17 security organ in that regiment, 212th Regiment, where I served in
18 Titov Veles. After that, I was assigned to the duties of security organ
19 for practical training in the military naval district and I was a desk
20 officer there at the security organs until 1980 something, 1986 maybe.
21 And then I was appointed assistant head of that counter-intelligence
22 group. That was a group that was involved in intelligence and
23 counter-intelligence, counter-intelligence of foreign forces and armies
24 against the Yugoslav People's Army. Then I was sent to the high military
25 and political school, I think that was sometime in 1980. The school went
1 on for two years. We graduated from that school, and after I graduated,
2 I was returned yet again to this unit where I had been before that, in
3 the military naval district. I assumed the same duties. After that,
4 I was sent to a course sometime in 1986, a foreign language course.
5 I studied Russian there officially. And sort of, by the bye, I learned
6 English, sort of optionally. After I completed that course, I was
7 returned to the duties that I had before that in Split and at the
8 military naval district. After that, I carried out those duties again,
9 the deputy head of this military naval district. Thank you.
10 After that, I was sent to another garrison, Knin, where I was
11 appointed head of the security organ. Then after Knin, I was sent to the
12 war college in 1991. That's when the war was going on in Croatia. Then
13 they returned us from that war college. We all had to go back to our
14 units because the war had started. After that, I was seconded to the
15 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of the Serb Krajina, until, say,
16 March of 1992. After March 1992, I was assigned to some duty there in
17 that organ, at the time that was a transition period for the military,
18 for civilian structures and everything in the Republic of the
19 Serb Krajina. After that, after the 12th, around the 20th of May, 1992,
20 I was assigned to the 9th military district. That was the Sarajevo
21 military district. Actually, yes, yes, that was it. The 9th military
22 district in Sarajevo. And after that, I was assigned -- well, when they
23 asked whether we would go to Yugoslavia or whether we would -- I stayed
24 in Republika Srpska then because I was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that's
25 where I completed elementary school and high school, in Glamoc. That is
1 roughly what I can say, sort of off the cuff. If I skipped something,
2 you can ask me, if you're interested in something.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, General, sir. Can you tell us.
4 [In English] What was your position in the VRS in July 1995?
5 A. Thank you, Mr. President. My position in July 1995 was assistant
6 commander for intelligence and security affairs. Thank you.
7 Q. Did you ever inform me, either orally or in writing, that
8 prisoners from Srebrenica would be, were being, or had been executed?
9 A. Mr. President, as far as Srebrenica is concerned, the only time
10 I spoke to you was on the 9th of July, 1995. I believe that it was on
11 the 9th. And then I shared with you the information that was received by
12 the Main Staff and that was that the Army of Republika Srpska was coming
13 to Srebrenica. There were no prisoners at the time. And then you said
14 that if they could take Srebrenica, they should. I drafted a document to
15 that effect and I sent it to the units and to the Main Staff for their
16 information. I told them that you ordered that they should be mindful of
17 the civilians, UNPROFOR and prisoners of war. However, at that time
18 there were no prisoners of war. And that was my last contact and
19 conversation with you regarding Srebrenica and the situation there.
20 Later on, I was deployed -- I was appointed assistant commander
21 in Zepa, which is 20 kilometres away from Srebrenica. There are no
22 communications between the two. And I did not communicate with you again
23 because I was not in a position to know anything about those events, so
24 I can't say anything about the ensuing events, because when we spoke
25 there were no prisoners and I could not inform you about something I
1 didn't know or see. Thank you.
2 Q. Thank you. The Exhibit P2989 is the log of the republic
3 communications centre in Pale for July 1995. It shows that reports --
4 JUDGE KWON: Shall we upload it?
5 THE ACCUSED:
6 Q. It shows that reports were received --
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, just a second. Just a second,
8 Mr. Karadzic.
9 THE ACCUSED:
10 Q. So I believe we would need 14th, 15th and 16th and 17th of July.
11 JUDGE KWON: What page should we go?
12 THE ACCUSED: I'm not able to tell right now.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, I'm looking for that, Mr. President. We have
14 intended that this only be -- this reference be for the parties, but if
15 we could look through the document, if I could look through it for a
16 minute, I think page 5 will be the first one.
17 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure if Mr. Tolimir could follow without
18 seeing these notations or record.
19 MR. ROBINSON: Very well, Mr. President. If we could just direct
20 General Tolimir's attention to page 5 and counting up from the bottom,
21 there is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and that shows an entry that we are interested in
22 as well as the two underneath that.
23 JUDGE KWON: General, do you understand what this document is
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I can see here
1 where it says the Main Staff.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is too far from the microphone.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tolimir, could you speak to the microphone, if
4 you could, yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. On
6 line 5, I can see where it reads the Main Staff of the
7 Army of Republika Srpska, and in brackets, OB. This is an abbreviation
8 standing for security organ. The document is sent to the president.
9 This is a piece of intelligence. At that time, I, not me but my organ,
10 sent to as many as 20 different addresses. You will find those addresses
11 in the document. And a document of this kind will contain all kinds of
12 intelligence on what was going on in the world and that concerned
13 Republika Srpska. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
16 THE ACCUSED:
17 Q. So I will continue in English. It shows that reports were
18 received from the VRS security and intelligence organ and transmitted to
19 the president, Ministry of Defence, and the state security of the
20 Ministry of Interior of those dates, for 13, 14, 15, 16, 17th of July.
21 These reports cannot be located now. Did any of them contain any
22 information about the execution of prisoners from Srebrenica?
23 A. Thank you, Mr. President. First of all, I don't know what those
24 reports contained because those reports were drafted by the security
25 organ, which was at the command post at that time, and I was in Zepa;
1 thus, I don't know. If I were to see the original of those documents
2 I could see who signed it, who processed it, at what time it was
3 dispatched and to whom. These are the addresses, the 20 addresses that
4 I mentioned, to which such documents were customarily sent. This should
5 also include the minister of foreign affairs, who participated in
6 international negotiations. I don't know what those documents contained,
7 because I didn't author them. I was in Zepa. If the Presidency doesn't
8 have this document, then you should refer to one of the 20 addresses to
9 which the document was sent, the 1st Corps, the 2nd Corps, the 3rd Corps,
10 and so forth. The Prosecutor could have found that document in any of
11 those addresses. We ourselves could not do it. And thank you,
12 Mr. President, this is as much as I can say about the matter.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At this moment, I have no further
15 questions for General Tolimir.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE KWON: Bear with us a moment.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
21 Mr. Tolimir, you will be cross-examined by the representative of
22 the Office of the Prosecutor, but in the meantime, there is a scheduling
23 issue. We haven't concluded the cross-examination of Mr. Blagojevic. So
24 we'll ask you to excuse yourself --
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: But Mr. Tieger and I have had a chance to discuss
3 this and this very basic information. We don't really feel a need to
4 cross-examine on this situation given the entire context, unless
5 Your Honours would like me to, based on this information. I -- we,
6 Mr. Tieger, is satisfied that we've had enough.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Tieger.
9 General Tolimir, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the Chamber
10 I would like to thank you. You may be excused.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
12 like to thank everybody present, Mr. McCloskey, President Karadzic, the
13 entire staff, and the interpreters. And may these proceedings finish as
14 God wishes and not as I wish and may God's peace be with you. Thank you.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Gajic, as well.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE KWON: Can we bring in Mr. Blagojevic again?
18 THE ACCUSED: How about --
19 JUDGE KWON: I'm carried away. Thank you. We will break for
20 45 minutes and resume at 1.25.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I just want to remind
22 everyone we do have to finish Colonel Blagojevic today because his
23 counsel is not available after today. But now we have what should be
24 plenty of time, but let's not get carried away either.
25 JUDGE KWON: We have to bear in mind that there is a
1 swearing-in ceremony today in this courtroom, so we have to withdraw
2 ourselves at least by 3.00.
3 MR. ROBINSON: That should be enough for everybody.
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.41 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 --- On resuming at 1.30 p.m.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Please continue.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Could we have 65 ter 25792, up.
11 WITNESS: VIDOJE BLAGOJEVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
14 Q. Colonel, we will be done soon, but I have a -- this is a map
15 graphic and I know you're a Bosnian and know this area well, as all
16 Bosnians do, and can you confirm that where these red stars are are the
17 places where those -- those UN protected enclaves were, Bihac, Tuzla,
18 Sarajevo, Gorazde and Srebrenica?
19 A. Yes, they were there.
20 Q. And there is a document that's in evidence in the case that I'll
21 show you a bit, that talks about going from Banja Luka to Pale. And we
22 can see -- can you tell us, driving a car in that time period, obviously
23 if an officer or the president was driving from Banja Luka to Pale, they
24 wouldn't go through the federation. Can you tell us roughly how long it
25 would take to drive from Banja Luka to Pale, just very roughly, in those
1 days, May, June 1995?
2 A. I can tell you only roughly. I can't tell you with any certainty
3 because, first of all, until Bijeljina, which is somewhere halfway, you
4 need five, six hours, maybe more; and from Bijeljina, which is in the
5 middle roughly speaking, to Pale, you would need another five or
6 six hours, but that's driving without any stops. And it all depended on
7 the conditions on the road and whatever you had to do on the way. It
8 takes a lot of time, more than half a day.
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this into evidence.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
12 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6574, Your Honours.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have P02781.
14 Q. And, Colonel, this is the document I mentioned. It's from the
15 CJB in Banja Luka and it's just talks about Dr. Karadzic's movements and
16 as well as chairman Krajisnik travelling from Banja Luka to Pale. And we
17 can see here that on the 25th, it says that he left at -- they left at
18 1300 hours. And then we see this little scratch up in the right-hand
19 corner, it says, arrived safely, 2220 at Pale. So my math tells me
20 that's about nine, nine hours and 20 minutes. Is that -- was that --
21 would that be consistent with driving, if you're the president?
22 A. I can't put myself in their shoes. I can't answer this question.
23 It would be pure speculation. I just can't give you a rational answer.
24 Q. Colonel, it's roughly consistent with what you just said. You
25 said around 10 hours. This is about 9 hours and 20 minutes.
1 A. I said more than half a day, if I remember correctly.
2 Q. All right. One last document on this topic. Could we go to
3 65 ter 16502. And you'll see that this is from the Main Staff of the
4 Army of Republika Srpska, and I'll just tell you it's in the name of
5 General Milovanovic, and it's dated 25 May. The actual time is hard to
6 make out, but I wanted -- as we look at that first page at the bottom, we
7 can see that in the Sarajevo -- this is a -- a report, excuse me, from
8 the Main Staff, from Milovanovic, to the president of the
9 Republika Srpska and the commands of the corps, as the Trial Chamber has
10 heard about these reports in detail.
11 And we see when we look at the section regarding the Sarajevo
12 Romanija Corps down at the bottom, and it should be as well there on your
13 page, that the president is informed that overflights of NATO aircraft,
14 that NATO fired from the NATO aircrafts using air bombs against the area
15 of Jahorinski Potok over the warehouse, and it explains that damage. And
16 then it goes on in page 2 of the English, should be on your page still,
17 says: Situation, under situation in the corps, all corps units are at
18 the first level of combat readiness for shooting the goals in the
19 air space. It says: Artillery was used against selective targets, the
20 repeater hum, UN check-points, except the Russian one. Do you have any
21 problem with -- is there anything wrong, in your view, with the VRS
22 targeting UN check-points after NATO targeted VRS ammo dumps?
23 A. It's a judgement call of the person who had the right to make the
24 decision. What can I tell you? In that situation, the decision-maker
25 had more information, a broader picture, and had more material to make
1 the decision. I don't know what he was guided by.
2 Q. And when you say "who," who do you mean? Mladic or Karadzic?
3 A. Well, the person who made the decision. I don't see who that
5 Q. That would be at the highest levels of government, though,
6 wouldn't it, army or government?
7 A. I don't see it here. Maybe I didn't follow closely enough what
8 you've read, but I didn't see who gave the order.
9 Q. All right. Let's go to the Drina Corps area of this report. It
10 should be on page 4 of the English and page 3 of the B/C/S. And here
11 under section B, situation in the corps, we see artillery was used
12 against the enclaves, Srebrenica and Gorazde and Tuzla airport. So in
13 this case, the president is being told of the -- your shelling of
14 Srebrenica; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes. This could be connected with what we've just discussed, the
16 order I received from the superior command. It was carried out in the
17 presence of the representatives of the superior command. Yes, the two
18 could be connected.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I offer this into evidence.
20 JUDGE KWON: We will receive it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6575, Your Honours.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. And, Colonel, one last set of questions on one document, and I'll
24 let you go on to the next questioner.
25 If we could go to P05074. Colonel, you will probably remember,
1 this is an intercept from 15 July 1995, and in the Prosecution's case and
2 under the evidence in this case, it was between Colonel Ljubo Beara, who
3 we know to be the Main Staff chief of security, and General Krstic, who
4 at the time was the commander of the Drina Corps and engaged in the Zepa
6 And we can see here that Beara tells Krstic: General, Furtula
7 didn't carry out the boss's order. Krstic says: Listen, he ordered him
8 to lead out a tank not a train. Beara: But I need 30 men, just like it
9 was ordered. Take them from Nastic or Blagojevic. I can't pull anything
10 out of here for you. I won't read everything. It goes on. And,
11 finally, Krstic says again in the middle of the page: I'll see what I
12 can do, but I'll disturb a lot. Have a look down there at Nastic's and
13 Blagojevic's. Beara says: But I don't have any. If I did, I wouldn't
14 still be asking for the third day. Krstic: Check with Blagojevic. Take
15 his Red Berets.
16 So, first of all, Radomir Furtula, who is that?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. You remember the -- the commander of the Visegrad Brigade? He
19 was part of the Srebrenica operation, I believe.
20 A. Well, there should be a rank next to his name. This way,
21 Radomir Furtula could be anyone with that name and surname. I don't
22 know. If there was a rank next to this name, maybe I would remember.
23 This is too arbitrary. I cannot speculate. Because --
24 Q. I'm not asking you, Colonel --
25 A. -- all we see here is Furtula, I think.
1 Q. And my question is: Was there a Furtula who was the commander of
2 the Visegrad Brigade when you were commander of the nearby
3 Bratunac Brigade?
4 A. It's not really nearby, Mr. Prosecutor. It's at least
5 80 kilometres away. And second, if you tell me his name, surname and
6 rank, I can answer. But if you tell me just Furtula, I don't know which
7 Furtula you mean.
8 Q. How about Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel Radomir Furtula, ever
9 heard of such a person?
10 A. At that time, he was -- or rather, there was a
11 Lieutenant-Colonel Furtula, one brigade commander. I don't know if you
12 know a colonel by that name. But there was
13 Lieutenant-Colonel Radomir Furtula, one of the commanders. I don't know
14 exactly which. There were three or four of them there.
15 Q. Okay. So we've got that. Now, do you recall the name of the
16 commander of the Milici Brigade, which is very close to you?
17 A. Yes. They were my neighbour on the left, in a defence position
18 facing Srebrenica enclave. I believe at that time, it was a certain
19 Lazic. I can't be sure because they rotated them very often in that
20 period, or perhaps it was another person. You have to help me. There
21 was a --
22 Q. How about Nastic?
23 A. Nastic, Nastic, that's it. Thank you for your help.
24 Q. Do your remember his first name? I can't remember it off the top
25 of my head.
1 A. Is it Milan? I can't remember.
2 Q. Rank? What rank was he?
3 A. Perhaps major. I don't know.
4 Q. And did you have a unit known as the Red Berets at that time in
5 July 1995?
6 A. The unit Red Berets did not exist in the wartime brigade. That
7 name was given earlier, before I joined the brigade, but the men from
8 that unit who continued to be called Red Berets were assigned to the
9 3rd Battalion of my brigade.
10 Q. Right. Rade Petrovic, I think, was its leader?
11 A. Rade Petrovic, yes, son of Sreten Petrovic, yes. He kind of
12 imposed himself as their commander, yes.
13 Q. And you -- do you remember the member of the Red Berets unit that
14 was wounded sometime after about 5.30 p.m. at Kravica on the 13th?
15 A. I didn't have any reports about that at that time. It was later,
16 when I was already here in the Detention Unit, looking over some
17 materials, that I read it in a document, but that's a piece of
18 information that is of absolutely no assistance to me. I only read that
19 in -- in that document. I don't even know what it was about.
20 Q. All right. So then back to this intercept, are you the
21 Blagojevic that General Krstic is sending Colonel Beara to? And let me
22 ask you, this is your chance to tell us something important: Did
23 Colonel Beara come to you on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th of July,
24 any time during that time, and request of you any assistance for the work
25 he was doing?
1 A. No, he didn't.
2 Q. He was in your brigade, wasn't he? Present at your brigade
3 during those -- some of those days?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You saw this guy?
6 A. No, he wasn't -- no, he didn't -- I didn't.
7 Q. You've seen him before, he's about 6-6, 250, 280, big shock of
8 blond hair? No, never?
9 MR. ROBINSON: I was just going to mention that these American
10 measurements of feet and pounds probably won't mean too much to
11 Colonel Blagojevic.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know how they translate it. I don't know
13 if they do the centimetres. I apologise.
14 JUDGE MORRISON: [Microphone not activated]
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Two metres and 120 -- 110 kilos, thank you.
17 JUDGE MORRISON: I'm just remembering the scales from my last
18 trip to the gym.
19 Q. Yes or no? No Beara? Yes Beara? Think about it, Colonel, and
20 it's the last question.
21 A. I never measured his height or weighed him, that's one; and
22 second, I never saw him and he never was in my brigade, nor did he ever
23 contact me or approach me. Never at that time. Please remember that.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Colonel. I have nothing further.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not much, your Excellencies. I
3 have some but not much.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, on page 53 you were asked -- or perhaps
8 a bit further down, you were asked about the decision to open fire and
9 you said it was up to the person who made the decision. Can you tell us
10 who made decisions for a unit under attack to respond, and does a unit
11 under attack wait for approval from the president or anyone else to open
12 fire in return?
13 A. Concerning that situation, as I imagine it, I can tell you very
14 simply. If a unit is attacked, it has to respond with all possible means
15 to save itself and its men. So the decision in that case is made
16 immediately in that situation by the commander of the unit under attack.
17 Q. Thank you. It was suggested on page 53 and it was read out to
18 you that in a UN telegram, it said that Serbs shelled Muslim enclaves
19 after NATO air strikes. So on that day, on the 25th of May, and later
20 on, on the 25th of June, were there any actions launched from the
21 enclaves against Serb territories?
22 A. By that date, there had been very important military activities
23 that were creating a serious military situation, and raids were run out
24 of the enclave against villages outside the enclave and there were
25 ambushes set. I can tell you of at least two or three cases, there was
1 one village which was in the area of the neighbouring Milici Brigade and
2 the second ambush with numerous fatalities was just between the left
3 flank of my brigade and my left neighbour, which was the
4 Skelani Battalion, and in that ambush one van was ambushed and a lot of
5 men were killed. There were also a lot of sabotage actions, and it was
6 typical. Those contact mines were set. The contact mines can easily be
7 moved and when you step on them, or when a vehicle runs over them, they
8 are activated. I had numerous such cases.
9 Q. Where did those sabotage men come from, these terrorists?
10 A. I mentioned those places, and those troops were identified very
11 close to Srebrenica enclave so my conclusion was, and it was only logical
12 to conclude, that they came from Srebrenica.
13 Q. On page 45, it was suggested to you that you had fired four
14 shells on Lazic's order and that they landed on the town of Srebrenica.
15 Did you fire them on the town of Srebrenica? Were there any legitimate
16 military targets in the town of Srebrenica?
17 A. Well, you see, I answered that question just a while ago. As for
18 that action that was carried out, I was safe in that action because I was
19 in the presence of the officer from the superior command, from the corps
20 command, who was in touch with the observers. Those were artillery
21 observers who were deployed in the vicinity in order to observe military
22 targets that may have posed an immediate threat to our troops, and he's
23 the one who requested the opening of fire so the only thing that I can
24 see is that the target was a military target, that it could have been a
25 command post, and that's why action was ordered by that officer.
1 Q. I don't know whether the interpreters understood when you said
2 the "Domovija." What is Domovija?
3 A. Domovija. I believe that before the war, Domovija was a hotel.
4 Q. Thank you. It says in document P6570 that the objective was to
5 expel Muslims. Does that imply Muslim civilians or Muslim armed
7 A. It is my deep conviction, as an officer and as participant of the
8 events that took place at the time, that the main objective was to
9 subjugate the enemy. And as for the civilians, according to all the
10 conventions and laws regulating the matter, they should have been treated
11 differently, without any force and the application of force. I can't say
12 anything about the decisions made by the enemy with regard to their own
13 civilians, whether they took the civilians with them. It would be
14 speculation if I said anything. However, my position with regard to the
15 military actions, they should target only the military elements, i.e.,
16 the military formations of the enemy side.
17 Q. Thank you. When -- pursuant to the provisions of the
18 international rule of war, is it inadmissible to make the life of the
19 enemy unbearable? Is it allowed or not allowed?
20 A. I repeat: When you say the enemy, you imply a military force.
21 And it is absolutely allowed. However, I would like to refer again to
22 the innocent part of the population which does not pose a direct threat.
23 This is obviously out of the question and this is my position. That was
24 my position at the time, and that's the rule that I complied with in my
25 command of the unit. And that's why I said at the beginning that I would
1 sincerely hope that the Trial Chamber will allow me to say something
3 Q. We are on my time, so I can give you that time.
4 A. You mean I can say something else? I'll try and be very concise
5 and brief and up to the point. I don't want to go over the same ground
6 again. What was the problem in all that? I have to say this: I did not
7 have defence. I was on my own in this courtroom. I suffered for a year
8 and a half. I did not -- I was not allowed to say anything. I did say a
9 couple of things when I could no longer sit still because I was going
10 crazy. I was not -- I didn't dare say anything because I thought that
11 everything would turn against me, and it was turned against me. But my
12 conscience is clear. Things were done unbeknownst to me. And the
13 joint criminal enterprise that was so portrayed by the Prosecutor, was
14 supported by the so-called lawyer who was in charge of my defence,
15 although he wasn't. I'm sorry, I become very excited when I speak about
16 this. If -- things continued when I was in prison, in Trondheim, in
17 Norway. There I received some illegal decisions which resulted from the
18 violation of the national criminal code. I'm here to fight that. So
19 far, my fight has been futile, but it hasn't stopped. On one occasion,
20 in the evening, although they know that my eyesight is impaired and
21 I can't use my right eye, they tried to give me a tablet which was very,
22 very small, black but very small. Luckily enough I spotted that tablet
23 among --
24 JUDGE KWON: This goes well beyond the scope of re-examination.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I didn't know what the
1 Colonel would be telling us, although I understand that his emotions are
2 running high. I will continue with my questions.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Here on page 39, you heard the term "removal of civilians." In
5 our language, what connotations does the term "removal" have? How did
6 you understand the term "removal of civilians"?
7 A. As a human being, I can understand that this means to help them
8 to move out or to be resettled. That's how I can understand this.
9 However, I'm telling you if one starts -- started wondering how that term
10 came about and what caused it, then I can't be absolutely certain because
11 the enemy side may have had a lot of influence in that. One has to see
12 what the decisive influence is from one case to the next.
13 Q. How could the enemy side have influenced all that?
14 A. In my view, it could have influenced the situation by imposing
15 ideas and pursuing different policies, but that has nothing to do with
16 the military principles and the decisions made by officers. It is other
17 people who do that. It does not pertain to my manner of commanding.
18 Q. How does our own national legislation regulate obligations
19 towards one's own civilians and the enemy's civilians in the area of
20 combat activities? What is an enemy -- what is a military force
21 duty-bound to do when it encounters civilians on its path?
22 A. My position arises from what I learned about the rules and
23 regulations that I was duty-bound to comply with. And that means that we
24 were duty-bound to protect civilians.
25 Q. How?
1 A. It depended on the situation. If nothing else was possible, if
2 you didn't have other means, and I mean if you didn't have food or
3 medicines or anything like that, then at least you had to move those
4 civilians from the area where there was combat going on.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Karadzic. I'm asking this
7 because -- in order to check whether there is a transition issue.
8 Mr. Blagojevic, you said a minute ago - let me find it: The removal of
9 population means something to help the population to move out or to be
10 resettled. Do you remember having answered so?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant was that they should
12 be protected, that they should be moved from such places where they could
13 become collateral damage, where they could be hit. This is what I meant.
14 So if that was within my purview, if that was something that I had to
15 decide on, that would have been my position, to move them somewhere safe.
16 JUDGE KWON: On page 74, line 20, Mr. Karadzic, when you asked
17 Mr. Blagojevic about the term "removal of civilians," what verb did you
18 use in B/C/S for "removal"?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, in the
20 cross-examination, the term removal was translated as "uklanjanje" or
21 "ukloniti." In our language, this term has a lot of connotations. That
22 may also mean to kill the enemy. This is the term that I used,
24 JUDGE KWON: Is that term identical to the one that was used in
25 Drina Corps document, i.e. Exhibit P3040? Drina Corps order,
1 operation number 7. So this could be answered either by the parties.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. "Ukloniti" was not used in
3 that document. It was something else, "take out," "move out," but the
4 word "resettle" was also not used because resettlement implies permanence
5 to move people somewhere forever.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well. I'll leave it at that. Please continue,
7 Mr. Karadzic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You were asked on page 33 whether the Drina Corps implemented
11 Directive 4. Did you have any information as to what the Main Staff had
12 in mind about whether Directive 4 had been implemented or not? If not,
13 just say so. Did you know what the position of the Main Staff was with
14 regard to the implementation of Directive 4?
15 A. I do not have an insight into that so I cannot answer your
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
18 65 ter 09219.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, just to answer your question
21 regarding the Drina Corps document, P3040, that's entitled, "Operative
22 number 7," it's that language that you'll recall: By planned and well
23 thought-out combat operations, create an unbearable situation with no
24 hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants. So it's not
25 talking specifically about removal. That would be the -- Directive 4
1 goes more into that.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you see the document?
5 A. Yes. Combat order, operational number 5, I can see it.
6 Q. Could you please read the first sentence, or rather, the first
8 A. "Since the Drina Corps forces did not execute their task from
9 Directive 4, the enemy switched to counter- offensive in the eastern part
10 of the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps and succeeded in
11 inflicting large losses on the units of the Drina Corps in Glogova
12 mountain, in the general area of Bratunac, Skelani and Rudo. The attack
13 against Visegrad is ongoing."
14 Q. Thank you. Can you also read the last paragraph?
15 A. "The civilian population should not be destroyed. It should
16 rather be allowed to move to other areas, or if they accept the authority
17 of Republika Srpska, they should be disarmed and the Serbian civilian
18 authority should be established."
19 JUDGE KWON: Next page, please.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And the Serbian version as well, we
21 need the next page.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And can you now look at paragraph 4? Usually this paragraph is a
24 decision and after Srebrenica, Skelani, can you read to the end?
25 A. "In co-operation with the forces of the Drina Corps, break and
1 destroy the enemy forces in the general area of Srebrenica. Liberate the
2 Sase and Kunjaci mines and cut off the green transversal in the general
3 area of Srebrenica, and then in co-ordinated action with the Drina Corps
4 forces, embark on the gradual destruction of the enemy in the general
5 area of Zepa and Cerska.
6 Q. Does this imply the destruction of Muslim civilians? Is there a
7 single officer, or was there a single officer in the
8 Army of Republika Srpska who could construe this as an order to destroy
9 Muslim civilians?
10 A. No, I don't see this as a destruction of Muslim civilians. This
11 is combat and trying to defeat the enemy force under arms.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this document in
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit D4190, Your Honours.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no time to deal
19 with the document that Mr. McCloskey mentioned, 03040. It has been
20 admitted, so we will eventually come to it.
21 MR KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Could you -- you were asked on pages 15 and 16 whether you knew
23 about what was going on in the town of Srebrenica itself. Where were you
24 during the night, actually, from the afternoon of the 12th until the
25 morning of the 13th?
1 A. The afternoon of the 12th until the 13th in the morning, that is
2 the first day after I returned to the command of the brigade. And after
3 that work-day I went to the Fontana Hotel, quite simply to refresh
4 myself, to get some rest and to renew my capacity to work.
5 Q. Did you receive information from someone in terms of what was
6 going on in town, or did you tour the town itself that night?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you. Were you well informed about what was going on and
9 about the neighbours along the line where your brigade was? I mean, not
10 your own brigade but the neighbouring ones. Actually, the situation on
11 the front.
12 A. I think that I was informed to a necessary degree so that I could
13 command my unit in the way that I considered to be optimal at that point
14 in time.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
16 65 ter 02105. It's on the next page. It's handwritten.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Actually, is this your handwriting, or did you dictate this to
20 A. Well, what can I -- well, I see it now.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We can go back to the first page in
22 Serbian so that the witness can see this typed up on a teleprinter.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly somebody was typing this
24 up at the operative organ. I don't know. I'm not 100 per cent sure
25 because of this signature. It's illegible so I cannot quite decipher it
1 with certainty. Can you change this? Can I see the other part that was
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You mean the next page?
5 A. That's right. Is there a signature here, down here? Well, that
6 is what confuses me. I do not see that that is my signature.
7 Q. Thank you. What is this document about, regardless of whether
8 it's one of your co-workers or you? Why is it important to know where
9 your forces are on the left flank?
10 A. Well, it is important because of linking up with the neighbour to
11 have a certain link, I mean contact, I mean for the control of that
12 mutual link-up.
13 Q. Thank you. When the learned Mr. McCloskey said to you, do you
14 agree, do you accept, that 7.000 men and boys were executed in
15 Srebrenica, according to what you know now, what you learned
16 subsequently, in Srebrenica itself, and in the territory of the
17 municipality of Srebrenica, was there an execution there? I'm not asking
18 you what you knew then. Did you hear later where that happened?
19 A. I didn't know then. I don't know now. I know nothing. Maybe
20 you find that incredible but you asked me about the territory of
22 Q. Yes the municipality of Srebrenica, the town of Srebrenica.
23 A. I don't know a thing, I really do not.
24 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions, sir, Colonel, thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I tender this document.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
2 JUDGE KWON: We will receive it.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit D4191, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE KWON: That concludes your evidence, Mr. Blagojevic. On
5 behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your coming to the
6 Tribunal again to give it. Now you're free to go. Our thanks also goes
7 to Mr. Domazet.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, I would also like to
9 personally thank Mr. Domazet because he appeared for Colonel Blagojevic
10 on a pro bono basis, and I think he exemplifies the very finest of the
11 profession to do something like that, and I thank him.
12 JUDGE KWON: Are we going to hear the next witness's evidence?
13 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, the next witness is
14 Sveto Kovacevic.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. It's been a pleasure, as always.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE KWON: Does it mean that his evidence will be interposed on
19 Monday by Veselinovic?
20 MR. ROBINSON: I think we can continue his evidence and finish it
21 on Monday and then have Mr. Veselinovic.
22 JUDGE KWON: I think that's correct. Veselinovic.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE KWON: There seems to be some miscommunication, or it is
25 the understanding of the VWS that the Defence informed that he is due to
1 testify next week, not today. So the upshot is that he's not available.
2 MR. ROBINSON: I apologise for that, Mr. President. I'll look
3 into how that happened. But in the meantime we will start with
4 Mr. Veselinovic on Monday and then have Mr. Kovacevic after that.
5 JUDGE KWON: Well, unless there is any matters to be raised, the
6 hearing is adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.26 p.m. to
8 be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of December,
9 2013, at 9.00 a.m.