1 Monday, 6
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.21 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning. I would like to greet the parties and
6 all the members of our staff.
7 Mr. Cayley, you have the floor.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Judge Riad, Judge Wald. Good morning
9 learned counsel for the Defence. We're continuing today, Your Honour,
10 with the cross-examination of Mr. Zeljko Borovcanin.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Shall we introduce him?
12 MR. CAYLEY: I think, Your Honour, the usher is just at this
13 moment getting him from the witness room.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Do you have other witnesses today,
15 Mr. Cayley?
16 MR. CAYLEY: I think the Defence have their third witness, but
17 Mr. Petrusic may be able to be helpful.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Petrusic.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, I think actually the wrong witness has
21 been brought in. It's the gentleman with the moustache.
22 JUDGE RIAD: So we have another witness.
23 MR. CAYLEY: We're moving through them very rapidly, Your Honour,
25 JUDGE RIAD: I would like just to announce that we'll have to
1 finish at a quarter to three because we have other functions. So I would
2 hope we'll be through with the witnesses by then.
3 MR. CAYLEY: I think Mr. Petrusic may have a few words.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. After
5 Mr. Borovcanin, the Defence has another witness, and we expect to finish
6 his examination-in-chief by the end of the working day, that is, by a
7 quarter to three.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much. We can call the right witness
10 [The witness entered court]
11 WITNESS: ZELJKO BOROVCANIN [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Borovcanin. Mr. Cayley will
14 continue --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE RIAD: [Realtime transcript read in error "JUDGE RODRIGUES:
17 [Interpretation]"] -- asking questions now. Please proceed.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley: [Continued]
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Borovcanin.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. Now, if you recall, on Friday, I think we concluded where you
22 confirmed to me that in July of 1995 Colonel Mirko Trivic was the
23 commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade. Do you recall that?
24 A. The commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade in 1995 was
25 Mirko Trivic.
1 Q. Do you recall who the Chief of Staff of the Romanija Brigade was
2 in July of 1995? Do you remember his name?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley, there is just a small confusion in the
5 transcript before, that Judge Rodrigues is here. I want just to say that
6 he is not here. "Judge Rodrigues," and even with "interpretation." He
7 must have sent a message. Thank you.
8 MR. CAYLEY: I see, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, I'm right in saying that you were a member of the
10 reconnaissance platoon of the 2nd Romanija Brigade; is that right?
11 A. In 1994 I joined the reconnaissance platoon and I remained a
12 member of it until the end of the war.
13 Q. And so in July of 1995 you were a member of the reconnaissance
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, you said in your evidence that a man by the name of Bojovic
17 was the commander of the reconnaissance platoon; is that correct?
18 A. The commander of the -- or leader of the reconnaissance platoon,
20 Q. Now, you referred to him by two different first names. On one
21 occasion you called him Milenko Bojovic and on another occasion you
22 referred to him as Branko Bojovic. Do you remember what his first name
23 was? Was it Milenko or Branko?
24 A. Milenko Bojovic. I don't think I mentioned the name Branko.
25 Q. Now, do you recall who the name of your battalion commander was?
1 A. The battalion commander was Ljubo Eric.
2 Q. And Ljubo Eric was a major; is that right?
3 A. I don't know whether he was a captain or a major. I'm not quite
4 sure now.
5 Q. And what rank was Mr. Bojovic? Do you recall the commander of the
6 reconnaissance platoon?
7 A. He had the rank of corporal.
8 Q. Do you recall now -- I know it's a long time ago -- the names of
9 any of the other battalion commanders within the Romanija Brigade, apart
10 from Mr. Eric?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Now I want you to think about the 9th of July again. And just to
13 refresh your memory, you testified on Friday that by the evening of the
14 9th of July of 1995, you had reached the Alibegovac feature and the UN
15 soldiers who were at the checkpoint nearby had actually surrendered to you
16 and they had gone to Bratunac. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. CAYLEY: Now, if the witness could be shown a map, which is
19 Exhibit 829.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Borovcanin, I've produced a map of the area and
21 highlighted a number of the places that you spoke about. If you could
22 take a look at the map.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, would you mind and would Defence counsel
24 mind if for just a moment I approached the witness, because this map is
25 quite difficult to sort of come to terms with immediately and I wanted to
1 help him where I've marked places on the map.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Please do.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Do the Defence have any objection to that?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon, I wasn't really
5 listening, so could you repeat your question, Mr. Cayley?
6 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Petrusic, I have a map which, in fact, you gave
7 to us and I've marked on it some of the locations that the witness spoke
8 about and I just wanted to show him the places that I've marked so that he
9 can become familiar with the map before I start asking him further
10 questions, just to make his life a little bit easier. You can join me, if
11 you want, at the ELMO.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If necessary, and if the witness
13 manages to find his way on the map, I'll join you.
14 MR. CAYLEY:
15 Q. Now, do you see Kiprovo?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Alibegovac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Brdo, Slapovici, do you see that?
20 A. I do, yes.
21 Q. Suceska?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Jahorina?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And Bojna?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And Jasenovo, do you see that? Now, these two areas here marked
3 in yellow are two UN checkpoints. Now, this one was called Kilo and this
4 one was called Sierra?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I'll return to the podium now. If I place this here on the ELMO,
7 will you be all right to look at it? Can you see it clearly enough?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Your Honour. Now, unfortunately, Your
10 Honours, it doesn't come out very clearly. Do Your Honours have a copy of
11 this map in front of you? You do; excellent.
12 Q. Now, Witness, could you point to the Alibegovac feature on this
14 A. [Indicates].
15 Q. Now, to the best of your recollection, you can see where Kiprovo
16 is where I pointed it out to you. Which was the UN checkpoint which
17 surrendered to your unit, was it Kilo or Sierra, K or S?
18 A. This one here, next to Alibegovac.
19 MR. CAYLEY: So for the sake of the record, the witness has
20 indicated that it was, in fact, checkpoint Kilo which was the checkpoint
21 that his unit reached by the evening of the 9th of July.
22 Q. Now, you stated in your evidence on Friday that you had been given
23 strict orders not to shoot at the UN, not to seize sidearms or their
24 equipment, and I think the agreement was that the troops be escorted to
25 Bratunac. Are those three things correct?
1 A. Well, my unit was there and, as far as I know, nothing was seized
2 from them nor was any fire opened against the UN forces and they were
3 escorted away.
4 Q. Now, Witness, the Judges have, in fact, heard from one of the
5 soldiers who was present at that particular checkpoint and he, indeed,
6 confirms, as you stated, that not a shot was fired. Now, after the Dutch
7 soldiers had surrendered, I think you moved forward to the old lines of
8 the Bosnian army, you went to their trenches; is that right?
9 A. We only took over the trenches which earlier had been used by the
10 Muslim army.
11 Q. And how far were they from the UN checkpoint?
12 A. I think it wasn't very far. A little hill up there. I can't
13 remember exactly, maybe one kilometre, not more.
14 Q. So you didn't actually see the UN soldiers taken away?
15 A. We took up these positions and there were other people who
16 escorted them away.
17 Q. So you wouldn't know anything about whether or not these soldiers
18 did, in fact, have their weapons taken away from them, their flak jackets,
19 their blue helmets. You wouldn't know anything about that if that
20 happened because you, in fact, were in the Bosnian army trenches?
21 A. There were no troops there. We all took up these positions.
22 Surely five or six men couldn't have seized weapons and things.
23 Q. But I'm right in saying that you, yourself, took no part in
24 transferring the Dutch soldiers from the checkpoint to Bratunac?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. So you wouldn't be able to make any comment on the fact that the
2 witness that the Judges heard stated that his weapon was taken away from
3 him and that, in fact, all of the Dutch soldiers had their flak jackets
4 removed and their blue helmets removed. You wouldn't know anything about
5 that because you weren't, in fact, in Bratunac, were you?
6 A. I don't know what happened afterwards.
7 MR. CAYLEY: And Your Honours, I just refer the Court to the
8 testimony of Mr. Andere Stoelinga and the position at the transcript is
9 2275 where he speaks about these events. He was a soldier who testified
10 before you who was, in fact, one of the soldiers at OP Kilo.
11 Q. Now, if we can move on in time, Mr. Borovcanin, and I want to now
12 talk a little bit further about the 9th of July and the 11th of July.
13 Now, you said in your evidence that, as far as you recall, there was no
14 shelling when you reached the Alibegovac feature. You hadn't heard any
15 shelling up until that point by the Bosnian Serb army.
16 A. I just said that along our route that we were moving, there was no
17 need for shelling nor was there any shelling.
18 Q. And the reasons for that, I think you said, was because the Muslim
19 army had withdrawn, it had retreated?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, briefly, I want you to think about the 11th of July, and you
22 said in your evidence that, on that particular day, you recall that there
23 were air strikes by NATO aircraft against Bosnian Serb forces?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And I'm correct in saying that I think you heard the explosions
1 very clearly?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, I think the reason that you probably heard those explosions
4 very clearly because, one, they were very loud and, two, the bombs were
5 falling in a valley so the noise travelled right down the valley, didn't
7 A. They weren't falling in the valley. We were in the valley. They
8 were above us, near the place where we had spent the night on the 10th in
9 the evening. That is where the shells fell on that hill.
10 Q. Now, the Judges have heard evidence in this case, and Your
11 Honours, I would refer to the UN report on Srebrenica which is
12 Prosecutor's Exhibit 30, that two bombs were dropped by NATO forces, by
13 NATO aircraft at 2.40 in the afternoon on the 11th of July. Do you recall
14 hearing two explosions?
15 A. I really don't know now how many there were.
16 Q. But nevertheless, it was very loud and you heard it. You heard a
17 number of explosions.
18 A. I heard several explosions but I can't remember now how many.
19 Q. Now, I want you to think of the time period between the 6th of
20 July and the 11th of July. What shelling did you hear during that period
21 by your army, by the Bosnian Serb army?
22 A. There were a couple of explosions but, as I said, along our route,
23 there was no shelling, but a couple of explosions could be heard from
24 other directions.
25 Q. But you are aware, are you not, that there was very heavy shelling
1 during that period, into Srebrenica.
2 A. Srebrenica was not shelled, as far as I am aware.
3 Q. Let me refresh your memory about this. Now, you may or may not be
4 aware that present within the enclave during this period were not only
5 Dutch UN forces but also a group of United Nations military observers
6 whose task was to specifically monitor Bosnian Serb forces and shelling
7 into the enclave. Were you aware of their presence?
8 A. I did not.
9 Q. Well, they were there and they produced a number of written
10 reports, which the Judges have seen, over this period of time. And I will
11 not show you all of the reports, they are in English, and I will read you
12 small extracts and just ask for your comments on what they observed and/or
13 heard over this period of time.
14 MR. CAYLEY: So if I can have Exhibit 77/1.
15 Judge Riad, I'm not going to go through -- these reports are
16 voluminous; I'm just going to take extracts. I think Defence counsel have
17 them if they wish to re-examine on them. If you could put the first page,
18 paragraph 3, onto the ELMO. And this is a report from the 6th of July,
19 Mr. Borovcanin, at 1735 hours. I'll read it to you. And this is a report
20 from the period 3.30 in the morning on the 6th of July until 6.00 in the
21 evening on that day. And this is what the UN military observers say:
22 "Team Srebrenica reported a Bosnian Serb army offence launched and
23 ongoing within the enclave as reported under separate cover. The Bosnian
24 Serb army used tanks, artillery, mortars, rockets, and heavy machine-gun
25 and have targeted the DutchBat headquarters and Bandera triangle, DutchBat
1 observation posts Uniform and Sierra --"
2 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Cayley, could you read more slowly, please.
3 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry. "-- south of OP Hotel, Potocari township,
4 Srebrenica township, and --" and then it gives a grid reference, 651849.
5 "At least 250 artillery and mortar rounds have been recorded so far. The
6 UNMO team have confirmed two fatalities and six casualties so far being
7 taken to hospital. Further details re: casualties and shell
8 investigations are not possible at this stage. DutchBat reported six
9 120-millimetre rockets landed close to their compound with only two
10 exploding at about 3.30 hours Bravo on the 6th of July, 1995. The
11 shelling of the surrounding area (Potocari) however continued until 1600
12 hours Bravo 6 July 1995, with two civilian casualties so far recorded."
13 Now, Mr. Borovcanin, I'm not going to read any more of that. Did
14 you hear any of that shelling and tank fire and rocket fire and heavy
15 machine-gun fire on the 6th of July?
16 A. On the 6 of July I think we were between Jasenova and Kiprovo. I
17 said that along our axis there was no shelling. I said that some
18 explosions were heard.
19 Q. Could you just put the map that you have in front of you and show
20 the Judges where Kiprovo is.
21 MR. CAYLEY: If the camera could come out, please.
22 Q. Could you point to Kiprovo, Mr. Borovcanin? And now point to
23 Srebrenica. Now, each of those big squares on that map is a thousand
24 metres, so during that period you were about 3.000 metres away from where
25 these shells were falling and your evidence is that you heard very little
1 in the way of explosions, heavy machine-gun fire, tank rounds exploding;
2 you heard very little?
3 A. There was shooting from machine-guns and automatic weapons, but
4 shelling was rare.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Let's now move to the 7th of July. And if
6 Prosecutor's Exhibit 77/3 could be placed on the ELMO, paragraph 3.
7 This is a report, Your Honours, made at 1742 hours on the 7th of
8 July. You can see the CapSat notation at the top of this exhibit when it
9 was actually sent, I think, by satellite phone. And I'll read out what
10 the UN military observers observed and heard on that day:
11 "Team Srebrenica reported that the Bosnian Serb army continued
12 their offensive on the enclave with heavy weapons since early this
13 morning. DutchBat reported heavy shelling around their compound in
14 Potocari, and as a result, three men were injured and brought by MSF,
15 Medecins Sans Frontieres, to the hospital. UNMOs confirm this. At 1000
16 hours, unconfirmed reports indicated that the Bosnian Serb army are
17 regrouping around former OP Echo, Company Hill, and Bratunac. At 1000
18 hours, two shells landed in Srebrenica village, but no one was wounded.
19 At 1100 hours, four shells landed in Potocari, no injuries. At 1500
20 hours, three shells landed in Srebrenica and injured two men. One was
21 picked up by our patrol and the other one by Medecins Sans Frontieres, but
22 he died on arrival at the hospital. More shells have been landing in the
23 same spot or around and we suspect they are at a tank positioned at
24 Company Hill. A lot of damage at buildings has been caused in that area
25 despite the low casualty figures. At 1700 hours, 21 detonations were
1 heard by UNMOs in Potocari. We suspect they are from a multiple rocket
2 launcher located at --" and there's a location marked, "but NCBU," which I
3 think is "cannot be confirmed." "We cannot analyse the craters at the
4 moment due to the continuous shelling, but we assess that the Bosnian Serb
5 army are still using mortars, rockets, artillery and tanks."
6 Now, on the 7th of July, I think there was bad weather, so the
7 infantry wasn't moving on that day. Do you recall hearing all of the
8 shell fire on that day from your position about 3.000 metres away from the
9 centre of town?
10 A. As I said, I did hear detonations occasionally.
11 Q. So on the 7th of July you did, in fact, hear shelling go into the
13 A. I cannot say with certainty now whether it was the 6th, the 7th or
14 the 8th. We didn't move until the 9th. We only engaged in
16 Q. Let's move to the 8th of July, and if you can think about that
17 particular date.
18 MR. CAYLEY: And if we can have Prosecutor's Exhibit 77/8. And
19 it's actually the fourth page of this. It's page 127. And it's just the
20 very last paragraph, where it says, "Updates to."
21 Your Honours, this is a report from the 8th of July, and the time
22 indicated is 1758 hours, so it's the early evening hours of the 8th of
24 "Update to: At 1354 hours DutchBat liaison officer called UNMOs
25 and informed them of their intention to withdraw their observation post
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Foxtrot due to the heavy shelling on their positions. They said that
2 their APC will move to a safer place as soon as shelling reduces. UNMOs
3 had counted 60 explosions from 1335 hours to 1406 hours in Srebrenica and
4 Potocari, and shelling is still going on. More info to come as we get
5 it," it says in writing at the bottom of that report.
6 Now, on that date, on the 8th of July, and I know your
7 recollection is not that good at this time period, do you recall hearing
8 shelling on that day? You would have heard 60 shells exploding, wouldn't
9 you, in Srebrenica, from the position where you were located?
10 A. As I said, until the 9th, my unit did not move from its starting
11 position. Every day we heard occasional detonations, but these were
12 occasional; they were not numerous.
13 Q. Now let's move to the 10th of July. And I think on the 10th of
14 July, in the evening hours, you found yourself on the road between Zeleni
15 Jadar and Srebrenica; is that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. If you could just indicate to the Judges on the map. If you could
18 put the map on the ELMO, and the usher can help you here.
19 A. I think that we were, on the 10th in the evening, on this hill
20 here, Bojna, above Srebrenica.
21 MR. CAYLEY: So let the record show that the witness has pointed
22 to a location which is marked "Bojna." It's highlighted and it's
23 essentially in the same grid square as the large indication of
25 Q. Now, I'm right in saying that at this point in time, Witness, you
1 were in fact very close indeed to the town of Srebrenica, weren't you?
2 You were, looking at this map, perhaps a matter of five hundred to a
3 thousand metres away from the town itself?
4 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Can he point on it again more closely?
5 MR. CAYLEY: Of course, Judge Riad.
6 Q. Can you point the location again? If you point to Srebrenica.
7 JUDGE RIAD: I would like to know how far it is exactly, please.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Could you answer the Judge's question how far Bojna
9 was from Srebrenica?
10 A. I don't know exactly, but about 1.000 metres, one kilometre, or
12 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, the squares on this, I believe,
13 Mr. McCloskey, are a kilometre, a thousand metres? I'm sorry. I put my
14 colleague on the spot.
15 JUDGE RIAD: He gave us the indication. Thank you.
16 MR. CAYLEY: I believe the scale of this map, it's a thousand
18 JUDGE RIAD: Because it looks far on the map.
19 MR. CAYLEY: It's a kilometre.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
21 MR. CAYLEY:
22 Q. Now, Witness, I'm going to read an extract from the 10th of July,
23 and this is a report -- if you could place that on the ELMO. This is page
24 109. And again, I'm not going to read all of this. In the -- no. I
25 think you've got the wrong page there, actually. At the bottom of the
1 page, it's marked 109. Yes, that's the page.
2 MR. CAYLEY: If the camera could come out a bit.
3 Q. Starting from the top: "Srebrenica situation update, 10 July,
4 1230 Bravo, July 1995. Shelling is still going on in Srebrenica. Up till
5 now we UNMOs confirm from the morning over a hundred detonations. At 10
6 July 0930 hours about eight rockets were fired from grid --" and then it
7 gives a grid reference -- "in the direction of Srebrenica."
8 And then down to the next paragraph, which is an update on the
9 10th of July at 1255 hours, "Two heavy shells, probably 155-millimetre
10 artillery shells, hit the direct surroundings of the hospital at 1100
11 hours. All the windows are smashed and shrapnel has showered the walls
12 and rooms of the hospital."
13 And the next paragraph, if the interpreters can see that, it's an
14 update at 1346 hours on the 10th of July:
15 "Srebrenica township is still undergoing a very heavy shelling.
16 So far we have recorded figures 49 shells since 1250 hours to 1353 hours
17 this afternoon with figure 9 rockets launched into the town and exchanges
18 of occasional heavy machine-gun and small arms firing."
19 And then the last paragraph, 1645 hours on July of 1995, and I'll
20 just read the first two paragraphs:
21 "Information received from one of our yellow cards who is in
22 Srebrenica at the moment and with whom we are in contact with by radio
23 indicates that as at 1552 hours Srebrenica town came under another heavy
24 shelling, resulting in nine serious injuries. The western end of the town
25 is said to be the most heavily hit, with 12 shells. It is also reported
1 that our former location, the PTT building, is presently under a barrage
2 of shelling, having been hit ten times in the last hour."
3 Now, Witness, you'll agree with me that from your position at
4 Bojna, be it 1,000 metres or 2.000 metres, you would have heard that
5 shelling on that day?
6 A. At the position of Bojna, we reached that position in the evening
8 Q. Did you hear any shelling on that day?
9 A. As I said --
10 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley?
11 A. There were occasion.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Visnjic.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Cayley gave us the
14 piece of information that in one of the squares that the distance in the
15 squares is approximately one kilometre. I have just consulted my
16 colleague, Mr. Petrusic. We think that this is in the ratio 1 to 50.000,
17 which would mean that one square would be equivalent to two kilometres and
18 not one kilometre, just by way of information and for the record, to gain
19 a better insight of distance and impression of distance, although I am not
20 quite certain of that. If it is -- the map is in the ratio of 1 to
21 50.000, that would make one square the equivalent of 2 kilometres.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic. I believe Mr. Borovcanin --
23 it was Mr. Borovcanin who said it was 1.000 metres. Thank you. Would you
24 like to ask him, Mr. Cayley?
25 MR. CAYLEY: We'll check the scale of the map but, frankly, 1.000
1 or 2.000 metres, we'll see what the witness says.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
3 MR. CAYLEY:
4 Q. So on that particular day, Witness, on the 10th of July, you don't
5 recall hearing much in the way of shelling at your position at Bojna which
6 was 1.000 to 2.000 metres from the centre of Srebrenica?
7 A. We arrived at Bojna in the evening and that's why I say that on
8 the 10th we were not at Bojna. We arrived in the evening of the 10th.
9 Q. Let's move on in time, certainly in terms of events, but it's the
10 same day that we're talking about, which is the 10th of July, and I think
11 you testified in your examination-in-chief that you arrived at the village
12 of Slapovici in the morning; do you recall that?
13 A. On the 10th above Slapovici.
14 Q. If you could take the map and place it on the projector and just
15 indicate to the Judges.
16 A. [Indicates].
17 Q. Could you indicate to the Judges where Slapovici is?
18 A. [Indicates].
19 MR. CAYLEY: So for the sake of the record, the witness is
20 indicating to the village marked Slapovici, just above the yellow sticky
21 dot marked K, marked Kilo.
22 Q. Do you recall, if you can, and I know it's five years ago,
23 approximately what time you got to Slapovici on the 10th of July?
24 A. I know that it was before noon.
25 Q. Now, you have said in your evidence that, in fact, nobody was in
1 the village when you got there.
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Do you know where everybody was?
4 A. I don't know.
5 MR. CAYLEY: If for a moment, Judge Riad, we could go into closed
7 JUDGE RIAD: Closed or private?
8 MR. CAYLEY: Closed.
9 JUDGE RIAD: It's supposed to be public anyhow even if there is no
11 MR. CAYLEY: I want to read some closed session testimony.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Can we have private?
13 MR. CAYLEY: Private would be sufficient.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Private session, madam registrar.
15 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 MR. CAYLEY:
2 Q. Now, Witness, I'm just going to read you one more piece of
3 evidence that the Judges have heard, and this is from the commander of the
4 Dutch forces that were in the enclave, and this is what he says occurred
5 on the 9th of July.
6 MR. CAYLEY: This is, Your Honours, Colonel Karremans, whose
7 evidence you heard.
8 Q. "In the southern part of the enclave, there was the so-called
9 Swedish shelter project, a lot of housing built under Swedish
10 authorities. In that Swedish shelter project there used to live about
11 3.000 refugees. As soon as the attack started in the southern part, all
12 those refugees fled in the northern direction towards the city of
13 Srebrenica. You can imagine there was panic, chaos in those days, what I
14 explained before, no food. And there was no way to give them houses in
15 Srebrenica itself. Panic I must say."
16 Now, Witness, are you aware that the advance of the Bosnian Serb
17 army in this area caused 3.000 to 4.000 Muslim refugees, women and
18 children, to flee into Srebrenica? Are you aware of that?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did anybody ever speak to you about it afterwards, did anybody
21 ever discuss that matter with you afterwards?
22 A. In Slapovici?
23 Q. No, I'm saying after the operation on Srebrenica, did you discuss
24 amongst your comrades the fact that Slapovici had been empty when you
25 arrived there?
1 A. Well, we didn't talk about it but when we got to Slapovici,
2 Slapovici was empty.
3 Q. Did it look to you as if people had left in a hurry?
4 A. I didn't notice anything like that.
5 Q. Did you look into any of the houses with your comrades?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was there any livestock in the village at all?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Was there any sign of life at all in the village?
10 A. Well, we didn't notice. We just passed through. I didn't notice
12 Q. How long did you spend in the village?
13 A. Only as long as it took us to pass through.
14 Q. How long was that?
15 A. Well, quite a number of hour -- half an hour, half an hour to get
16 to the other side.
17 Q. So you were in the village for half an hour?
18 A. Not in the village, for as long as it took us to pass through the
19 village, through Slapovici, and to get up on to the hill up there. About
20 half an hour, I'd say.
21 Q. So it took you half an hour to pass through the village of
22 Slapovici to Brdo?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Did any of the soldiers that were with you go into any of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. As I was in a group of 10 to 15, I don't know exactly how many of
2 us there were. We were the reconnaissance group that moved ahead. We got
3 to the hill and gave the sign that the army could pass through and tie up
4 the line and, while I was there, nobody entered.
5 Q. Now, you were in the reconnaissance unit that was ahead of the
6 main unit. Do you have any idea what the main unit of the Romanija
7 Brigade actually did in Slapovici after you had left for Bojna?
8 A. No. When we got to the hill, we waited for the majority of forces
9 and linked up the line and continued on.
10 Q. So you can make no comment on what happened in the village of
11 Slapovici after you had left with the reconnaissance unit and the main
12 force had arrived?
13 A. Well, I do know because we waited for them up above Slapovici,
14 some 500 metres above Slapovici, they came right behind us and we linked
15 up the line. There was no staying behind in the village at all.
16 Q. Now, let's move to the 11th of July which we've already referred
17 to briefly when we were talking about shelling and I think in answer to
18 some of Mr. Petrusic's questions, you said that there was artillery firing
19 from Bojna and I think you referred to a weapon called a Browning?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Whose artillery was that? Was that Bosnian Serb artillery or was
22 that Muslim artillery?
23 A. Muslim artillery.
24 Q. And where was that firing, that artillery piece, who was it firing
1 A. When we were at Bojna, in front of us, some -- I don't know how
2 far away, 200, 300 metres away, they had their fortification in a trench
3 of some kind.
4 Q. And they were firing at you?
5 A. Yes. Towards my unit along our axis.
6 Q. And on that occasion with this firing, how many of your unit at
7 Bojna were killed as a result of that firing?
8 A. Not a single man.
9 Q. Now, let's move to the 12th of July, and let me just refresh your
10 memory. I think in the morning you were given orders to search the
11 terrain in the direction of Jahorina, Viogor, and Suceska; do you recall
13 A. I said I remember that searching of the terrain and our assembly,
14 but I can't remember whether it was exactly on the 12th. I can't remember
15 that and the feature and where we passed through, but we did search the
16 terrain because our unit got the inaccessible area to search. It was a
17 deciduous area of the forest. Now, in the 12th of the morning, we started
18 out where Viogor, Jahorina or wherever, I don't know where we met up but
19 the unit did assemble somewhere there. I know there was the Zvornik, the
20 Birac and our own unit that assembled there, but I don't remember the
21 exact spot --
22 Q. Could you just indicate to the judges the areas where you searched
23 where I was marked. So if you could just indicate Suceska, Jahorina and
25 A. Jahorina is there, Suceska and Viogora. But we did not go into
1 Suceska, we were up there in the inaccessible areas.
2 Q. So in the central area that's bordered by these three places,
3 would that be right, this very mountainous area in the middle?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 MR. CAYLEY: So the witness has indicated that the area that his
6 unit was searching is the area where you can see with the very close
7 contour lines bordered by Suceska, Jahorina and Viogora essentially in the
8 centre of the map.
9 Q. Now, what exactly were you searching for up in this mountainous
11 A. Well, we had received the orders to move along one route axis and
12 to come up, whether at Viogora, I'm not quite sure now, but we were
13 following this direction and did not hit any civilians, and we moved
14 around there. Whether there was any assembly or not, the leader was at
15 the head.
16 THE INTERPRETER: We did not come across any civilians, the
17 witness said, or army.
18 MR. CAYLEY: Now, Witness, you specifically said -- I'm sorry,
19 Mr. Visnjic. Judge Riad, Mr. Visnjic wants to speak.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Witness said,
21 "We did not come across civilians or the army." In line 18, it just says
22 civilians and it doesn't say the army so I just wanted to correct that.
23 "We did not come across any civilians or members of the army." I just
24 wanted to put that straight for the record.
25 JUDGE RIAD: The translation is, "We did not come across any
1 civilians," the witness said, "or army." That's what -- that was said by
2 Mr. Cayley or by the answer. I'm looking at the transcript because it's
3 put under "A," which is the answer. So ask witness again.
4 MR. CAYLEY:
5 Q. Witness, there's a little bit of confusion about what is actually
6 in the transcript, not about what you said. Am I right in saying that you
7 stated that, in your search, you did not come across any civilians or
8 members of the army?
9 A. No, we didn't come across any civilians or members of the Muslim
11 Q. And am I right in saying that that is what you had been tasked to
12 look for? You had been tasked to look for Muslim civilians and members of
13 the army?
14 A. It was not our task to look, to search, just to pass through that
15 axis, because I think that the units were to assemble at these three
16 features that I mentioned. I'm not quite sure which particular feature, I
17 can't remember that now, but we were to assemble somewhere there.
18 Q. What instructions were you given by your commander in the event
19 that you did find any civilians or members of the Muslim army?
20 A. It was our duty, if a situation of that kind occurred, to hand
21 them over. I don't know where that centre for assembly was, but we were
22 to escort them to that particular centre.
23 Q. So you would have handed any member of the army who surrendered
24 and, indeed, any civilian over to your commander who would have had them
25 transferred to this centre?
1 A. That's right, yes.
2 Q. Let's move to the 12th and 13th of July when I think you stated
3 that your unit went to its assembly point at Viogor. Do you remember
4 saying that; are you uncertain about the date?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Could you just point on the map, for the benefit of the Judges,
7 the location of Viogora?
8 A. [Indicates].
9 MR. CAYLEY: And the witness is indicating the location Viogor,
10 which is written almost vertically down the map and it's about two squares
11 to the left of the place marked as Srebrenica.
12 Q. Now, it was at this place on either the morning of the 12th or
13 13th of July that you were addressed by General Mladic; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, General Krstic has already told the Judges in his evidence
16 that he was present during this address by General Mladic. Do you recall
17 seeing General Krstic when Mladic was addressing the soldiers?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you recall seeing anybody at all with General Mladic, any other
20 senior officers?
21 A. No, I cannot claim that I did or not. I'm not quite sure. I just
22 know that as he addressed us. That was the first time that I saw General
23 Mladic personally, in person.
24 Q. What did he say to you?
25 A. Well, he said that we should be prepared to collect our things up
1 and move towards Zepa.
2 Q. Did he say anything about the success of the operation in
4 A. I don't think he did.
5 Q. Did he congratulate you on winning back Srebrenica for the Serbian
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. Do you recall if anybody, apart from General Mladic, made any kind
9 of speech?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did Colonel Mirko Trivic speak to you at all?
12 A. Nobody -- well I say I don't remember. I just remember that
13 General Mladic addressed us and he told us to be prepared to move to Zepa.
14 Q. How long did General Mladic speak for; do you recall?
15 A. Not long. He just addressed us in a few words because the army
16 was tired. The men were tired. And the doctor -- that is to say, there
17 are a lot of tired fighters. We had not taken off our boots for about a
18 month, and we got some skin disease because of that, so we -- the men
19 thought they would be going home.
20 Q. Now, I think on this same day, either the 12th or the 13th, after
21 you had speech from General Mladic, you returned to Jasenovo?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you point to Jasenovo on the map? I think you'll find it's
24 near the bottom of the map and I've marked it for you. So the witness is
25 indicating the area marked Jasenovo directly beneath the yellow circle
1 marked S for Sierra.
2 Now, Witness, am I right in saying that this was the forward
3 command post of the Romanija Brigade during the operation in Srebrenica?
4 A. Our tents were there. There were set up first of all in Zeleni
5 Jadar when we got there, and then they were transferred to Jasenova, and
6 that's where the army has assembled. Now, whether the command was there,
7 well, I say again, we were given orders by our superior officer of the
8 reconnaissance group.
9 Q. Do you remember seeing Colonel Mirko Trivic at all in Jasenova,
10 the brigade commander?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
13 817, which is a photograph.
14 Q. While we're waiting for the photograph, in your reconnaissance
15 unit, do you recall what communications you used, what equipment you used
16 for communications purposes?
17 A. Motorolas.
18 Q. Did you -- did each of you have a Motorola or was there one man
19 who was the signaller in the unit?
20 A. The leader had a Motorola with him.
21 Q. And that's how he received orders from his commander?
22 A. Yes, quite certainly.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me, Mr. Cayley. I was not given Exhibit
25 MR. CAYLEY: We can use this. It's not a very good copy, but ...
1 If Mr. Usher could give it to the witness first. It's not
2 a -- it's a photographic copy of a colour copy.
3 Q. Do you recognise on that photograph General Mladic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you're pointing to the man on the left of the photograph in the
6 foreground, with a pair of binoculars. Do you recognise Colonel Mirko
7 Trivic on that photograph?
8 MR. CAYLEY: And now the witness is pointing to the gentleman on
9 the right of the photograph, not the extreme right, who again has a set of
10 binoculars around his neck.
11 Q. Now, you've already indicated to the Judges that, in your
12 particular unit, your commander had a Motorola and that's how he kept in
13 contact with his superiors. Do you recall whether you saw any
14 communications equipment in Jasenova?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So there wasn't a tent or anything at Jasenova in which you saw
17 radio equipment?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Can you look at the photograph again -- you can take it off the
20 ELMO if you wish -- and study carefully the image of Colonel Trivic. What
21 is he holding in his left hand?
22 A. Well, it's not very clear, but ...
23 Q. It's a Motorola, isn't it?
24 A. Well, we can assume that it is.
25 Q. Does it look like a Motorola to you?
1 A. Well, you can't see that clearly on the photograph.
2 Q. Could you place the photograph on the ELMO?
3 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Cayley, for my benefit, could you -- we don't
4 have the exhibit directly in front of us. Could you identify where the
5 photo was taken?
6 MR. CAYLEY: This photograph, Your Honour, was taken in
7 Srebrenica. This is the walk-through that was made through Srebrenica.
8 My apologies for not -- and this is a still taken from the video that
9 you --
10 JUDGE WALD: As of which date?
11 MR. CAYLEY: This would be on the 11th of July.
12 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
13 MR. CAYLEY: We'll get copies, Your Honour, of this photograph
14 after the break.
15 JUDGE WALD: I was just trying to put it in time and place.
16 MR. CAYLEY:
17 Q. So as best you can make out, it could be a Motorola in Trivic's
18 hand, in his left hand?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you. Now, I'm nearly finished. Judge Riad, do
21 you wish to take a break at this point? We've been going --
22 JUDGE RIAD: How long do you have still?
23 MR. CAYLEY: Probably, at the most, about half an hour.
24 JUDGE RIAD: I'll just consult Judge Wald.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE RIAD: I think we'll continue. Thank you.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Judge Riad.
3 Q. Now, do you recall that after you went back to Jasenova, you then
4 deployed with the rest of the Romanija Brigade to Zepa? Do you remember
5 saying that on Friday?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you were unfamiliar with the route that you took from
8 Srebrenica, from Jasenova, to Zepa?
9 A. That is right.
10 Q. Do you recall that the route may have been via Derventa, Milici,
11 Vlasenica, Han Pijesak and Krivaca? Do you think that's the route you may
12 have taken?
13 A. When we set off from Jasenova, I know well that the first thing I
14 could recognise was Vlasenica, Han Pijesak, and then Plane, when we got
16 Q. So you do recall going through Vlasenica and Han Pijesak?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you recall going through Milici?
19 A. I don't know now. All I know is Vlasenica, Han Pijesak and Plane,
20 as the ultimate point.
21 Q. Do you remember that you went past the bauxite mine?
22 A. No, I don't remember.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Excuse me one moment.
24 Q. How long did it take for you to get from Jasenova to Zepa?
25 A. I can't remember exactly now. You can imagine what it is like to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 transport troops. The vehicles sometimes go out of order, there are
2 delays. I know we got to Plane sometime in the evening.
3 Q. About what time during the day did you leave Jasenova? Now, if
4 you think carefully, Mladic speaks to you in the morning, you return to
5 Jasenova, you arrive at Zepa in the evening.
6 A. In the afternoon, I think it was. I don't know exactly when it
7 was that we left. All I remember well is that when we arrived at Plane,
8 it was -- darkness was just falling, and we slept there.
9 Q. So if it was July and summer months, it was probably 9.00 or 10.00
10 in the evening when you arrived?
11 A. I think 8.00 or 9.00.
12 Q. Now, did you hear Mladic's speech on the same day that you
13 travelled from Jasenova to Zepa?
14 A. I don't know. I can't remember. I said it was the 12th or the
15 13th. I just can't remember that, what date it was.
16 Q. Now, I think it was the 14th of July, in the morning, that you
17 received orders to place yourself as the reserve to the Zvornik Brigade in
18 a shop or a school in the village of Podzeplje.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I think it's true that on the 15th of July you did actually
21 replace the Zvornik Brigade, which was returning to Zvornik.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, I think, in answer to Mr. Petrusic's questions, you heard in
24 the normal course that the reason why the Zvornik Brigade was returning to
25 Zvornik was to deal with the Muslim fighters who were breaking out towards
2 A. I learned that later. All I know is that they were pulled out and
3 that they had to report to the command of the Zvornik Brigade. And later
4 I learnt that the Muslims were -- the Muslims from Srebrenica were
5 attacking the lines under the control of the Zvornik Brigade.
6 Q. Did you ever hear later what happened to the Muslim fighters who
7 had been captured during that operation?
8 A. I heard from the media, later, later.
9 Q. We'll come back to that subject. Now, I think you stated that
10 when you were at Putici you heard General Krstic on a Motorola issuing
11 orders, I think it was to let a Muslim delegation pass. Was that your
12 Motorola or was that your commander's Motorola?
13 A. No, because in my unit only the commander had a Motorola, and I
14 was close by, next to the commander.
15 Q. How did you know that it was, in fact, General Krstic on a
17 A. I recognised his voice.
18 Q. How far away were you from this Motorola?
19 A. I was right next to the commander.
20 Q. Did General Krstic introduce himself on the Motorola?
21 A. No.
22 Q. How many times prior to that had you heard General Krstic speak,
23 prior to hearing him on the Motorola?
24 A. I had heard him. He was my brigade commander from 1992 until
25 1994, and he spent most of his time together with us fighters on the front
2 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
3 818. It's a new exhibit. And again, Your Honours, this is a still
4 photograph from the video of the entrance to Srebrenica on the 11th of
6 Mr. Usher, the witness can have a look at the photograph, because
7 I think he'll be able to see it better if he studies it carefully.
8 Q. Now, Witness, do you see on that photograph General Krstic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. General Krstic has a Motorola in his left hand?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you point to that Motorola? You'll need to -- I see. So
13 could you put the pointer on there and leave it on the hand which you see
14 holding the Motorola.
15 A. I think this is the Motorola, in his left hand.
16 MR. CAYLEY: So the witness is indicating on Prosecutor's Exhibit
17 818 General Krstic holding a Motorola in his left hand.
18 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now, Witness, you --
19 MR. CAYLEY: Just one moment, Your Honours. If I could just
20 confer for a moment.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. CAYLEY:
23 Q. Witness, have you heard of a unit called the 10th Sabotage
25 A. I've heard of it, but I don't know anything about it. I had no
1 occasion to meet them, nor do I know who they were.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, Mr. Visnjic. I owe you an apology,
3 because I have to look at them, and I don't have eyes in my back. So I
4 apologise. Go ahead.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just a point of
6 clarification regarding exhibit -- the last exhibit. Could the Prosecutor
7 explain to us from this which exhibit was this still taken? From which
8 video was this still taken? Has that video been shown here as an
10 MR. CAYLEY: This is -- I don't know the exhibit number off the
11 top of my head, but this is the video of the entrance of General Mladic
12 and General Krstic and their entourage into Srebrenica on the 11th of July
13 of 1995, and we've taken a still from that particular video. I'm told it
14 should be Exhibit number 2. I'm sorry. No, that's wrong. It's not
15 Exhibit number 2, but I will find that in the break, the correct exhibit
16 number, and I'll let Mr. Visnjic know.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could you be kind enough to provide
19 us with that number, because we might need it for our re-examination of
20 this witness. Thank you.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. I will do that in the break, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Please proceed.
23 MR. CAYLEY:
24 Q. Now, Witness, you said that you learned at the beginning of August
25 that General Krstic was the new commander of the Drina Corps. From whom
1 did you hear that?
2 A. Well, you know what it's like in the army. Soldiers talk.
3 Q. But you soldiers had not seen the official appointment of General
4 Krstic, had you? You hadn't seen the documentation which made his
6 A. No.
7 Q. So you wouldn't have any knowledge of the exact date of his
8 appointment, you and your comrades; you simply weren't familiar with that
9 information, were you?
10 A. That's right. When we returned from Zepa, we learnt that he had
11 been appointed commander of the Drina Corps.
12 Q. Now, you said in answer to a question put by Mr. Petrusic that
13 Borovcanin, your last name, is a very familiar -- it's a very usual name
14 to find in the Romanija area.
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Did you know or had you heard of Ljubisa Borovcanin, who was the
17 deputy commander of the Special MUP Brigade?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. He is a fairly senior officer, isn't he, within the MUP?
20 A. I know he worked in MUP. Whether he was a senior officer or not,
21 I don't know.
22 Q. Is he related to you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What is your relationship with him?
25 A. We're relatives. We have the same patron saint. How shall I put
2 Q. I think I understand it. You're cousins, essentially?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Have you ever met him?
5 A. Before the war, yes, but during the war and after it, no.
6 Q. Did you ever hear him referred to as "Borovcanin of the Specials,"
7 "the Specials" being the Special MUP Brigade?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, moving towards the end of my questions for you: When did you
10 hear of the killings of Serbs by Bosniak forces in Kravica in January of
12 A. I heard later. I can't remember now all this. I learned from the
13 media, so I can't remember exactly.
14 Q. Now, the Judges have heard in this case that upwards of 7.500
15 Muslim men were killed during and after the fall of Srebrenica, were
16 killed by Bosnian Serb forces. When did you hear about that?
17 A. I heard that later too from the media, whether it was on the radio
18 or otherwise. You know, there were different figures. The Muslims were
19 using one figure, these others another, the foreigners something else, so
20 I heard all this from the media.
21 Q. As your memory serves you now, how long after July of 1995 did you
22 learn about these killings? A week, a month?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Did you ever discuss these killings with your comrades in the
25 Romanija Brigade?
1 A. As we didn't know, our unit went along different axes and went to
2 carry out a different task. Some people believe it, others don't believe
3 it. I don't know.
4 Q. And those people who do believe it, who spoke to you or you spoke
5 with them, what did they tell you about what happened?
6 A. The story was that this had happened but we never knew what the
7 figure was. We just couldn't understand that it could have been possible
8 that such a thing could have happened. I don't know. I wasn't there.
9 Q. Witness, do you believe that it took place? Do you believe that
10 upwards of 7.500 people were murdered after the fall of Srebrenica?
11 A. As a man, I can't believe it because that is -- I don't know. I
12 can't believe that.
13 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, I don't have any further questions for
14 the witness so I think my learned friend may have some re-examination.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Cayley. Mr. Petrusic, would you like
16 to ask any questions?
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President but the Defence
18 would like to receive from the Prosecutor the exhibit from which this
19 photograph was taken first and then, after that, we might have a couple of
21 JUDGE RIAD: Yes. I was planning to keep it for after the break,
22 but you have some questions?
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
24 JUDGE RIAD: How much time do you think you will need?
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Two or three questions, not many.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much. I think we will resume after
2 half an hour, at 20 past 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.20 a.m.
5 JUDGE RIAD: You can proceed, Mr. Cayley, but before that, we
6 would like to make one announcement. [In French]. You have the floor,
7 Mr. Fourmy.
8 MR. FOURMY: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Simply to
9 inform all those present that, thanks to the efforts of the registrar, it
10 will be possible for the Chamber to sit, as from tomorrow and until the
11 end of the week, in courtroom number three. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. I think that we can have another break at
13 1.00 for 45 minutes. That will be the lunch break, if you think that's
14 all right. If somebody feels any emergency, especially for General
15 Krstic, if we need to stop before that, you can please tell me.
16 Otherwise, we will continue until 1.00. Please proceed.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Your Honour. I think now the Defence have some
18 questions to ask in re-examination. Thank you.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Borovcanin, during your service in the army,
21 did you personally use communications devices of the Motorola type?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you assert with certainty -- I'm sorry, could Exhibit 818 be
24 placed on the ELMO first, please.
25 Are you claiming with certainty that this is a Motorola that
1 General Krstic is holding in his hand?
2 A. No, I cannot claim that with certainty because you can't see it
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
5 Honour, for this witness.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much. Judge Wald.
7 JUDGE WALD: No questions.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Nor do I have questions. I only have to thank you,
9 Mr. Borovcanin, for coming and for testifying and wish you a safe trip
10 back home.
11 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, just before the witness is taken out,
12 there are three exhibits which I'd apply for admission, and if the witness
13 could remain just while we do that in case there are any problems. The
14 first exhibit is 829, which is the map of the Srebrenica enclave with the
15 various locations identified by the accused.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.
17 MR. CAYLEY: 817 is the photograph of Colonel Trivic which the
18 witness identified, and Prosecutor's Exhibit 818 is the photograph of
19 General Krstic that we've just been looking at a moment ago.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.
21 MR. CAYLEY: So I would like to apply for admission into evidence
22 those three exhibits.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic, do you have any comment?
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] With respect to Exhibits 818 and
25 817, the Defence has no objection. But regarding Exhibit 829, the Defence
1 objects, saying that on this map which is drawn -- on which the borders
2 are drawn in red, that those borders are not the borders of the enclave.
3 That is our map and the red line does not indicate the borders of the
5 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Well, the first point that I would make, Your Honour,
7 is it was a map that we received from the Defence so it's not a map that
8 we produced. And in any event, the witness made absolutely no comment nor
9 did I ask him about the boundaries of the enclave. He neither confirmed
10 nor denied, nor do I suspect he probably knows. The purpose of the map
11 was to indicate for your use and for greater clarity the locations that he
12 was referring to together with the Observation Post Kilo and Sierra, so I
13 think it can be admitted into evidence with the reservation of my learned
14 friend, Mr. Petrusic, that indeed the red line does not accurately
15 represent the borders of the enclave.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Would that be satisfactory for you?
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley, we'll admit it into evidence with this
20 MR. CAYLEY: And the others.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.
22 MR. CAYLEY: And the other ones 817 and 818.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Yes. There was no objection about that.
24 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Usher, you can accompany the witness.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before the next
4 witness enters the courtroom, I should like to move into private session
5 for a few moments to explain the protective measures that the Defence is
6 requesting for the witness that is due to testify.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Well, we should stop him from coming, then. Yes,
8 we'll go into private session.
9 [Private session]
13 page 7050 redacted – private session
13 page 7051 redacted – private session
13 page 7052 redacted – private session
13 page 7053 redacted – private session
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness DB, can you tell us in July 1995 where were you and did
23 you receive any assignments or orders with respect to the Krivaja
24 operation, Krivaja 95 operation?
25 A. At the beginning of July 1995, I was at the command post of the
1 communications battalion at Vlasenica and I received an order to set up a
2 communications centre at the forward command post of the Drina Corps in
3 the Village Pribicevac region.
4 Q. Who gave you that order?
5 A. I cannot remember at this point in time whether the order was
6 issued by the head of communications of the Drina Corps as the
7 professional body who, by authorisation of the command of the Drina Corps,
8 is empowered to issue that order or whether that order was issued
9 personally by the Corps Commander, but I do know that I received the order
10 in oral form.
11 Q. I should like to ask you to make pauses between my questions and
12 your answers to facilitate the work of the interpreters, and also would
13 you kindly slow down in responding to the questions, please.
14 Was that customary, that is to say, that an order of this kind be
15 issued orally or does it have to be given in written form?
16 A. The rules and regulations applied in the army from before and the
17 ones that apply now imply the issuance of that order in written form.
18 However, wartime practice very often deviated from those rules and
19 regulations and I remember that quite certainly I was issued that order
21 Q. Can you tell us the contents of that order, that oral order?
22 A. As I was an officer at that time who had been engaged in similar
23 activities of that kind before, and I'm thinking of the war period, it was
24 enough for me to see that from the person that -- giving me the order,
25 conveying the order, that I was given the facts and figures where the
1 forward command post would be, which units would be taking part in the
2 assignment, and to be told when the communications centre of the forward
3 command post should be completed and ready for use. That was the
4 information I needed.
5 Q. Did you get all that relevant information?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What about the units who were to take part in those combat
9 A. Yes. I had information as to the units to be taking part in the
10 forthcoming operation.
11 Q. When establishing communications at the forward command post, were
12 these indispensable to you?
13 A. Yes. For purely technical reasons that's what I needed.
14 Q. Therefore, having received that order, you set out for the
15 Pribicevac forward command post; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us the time or, rather, the date when this occurred?
18 A. The new forward command post of the Drina Corps in the village of
19 Pribicevac, that is to say, I arrived there a day before the combat
20 operations took place, that is to say, on the 5th of July, sometime around
21 noon or thereabouts.
22 Q. What did this imply, the establishment of communications or
23 communications centre at the forward command post? Technically speaking,
24 what did you have to do to establish the centre?
25 A. In the technical sense, according to the rules that exist, it was
1 my duty and I was assigned to establish communication between the forward
2 command post and the superior command, that is to say, the command of the
3 Drina Corps in Vlasenica, and to establish communication from the forward
4 command post to the subordinate units which took part in the Krivaja 95
6 Q. When you say the "subordinate units," does that -- would you
7 explain to that whether you mean subordinate units to the command or
8 subordinate units who were on the terrain itself?
9 A. No, not to the commands of the original units, their commands in
10 the original zones, but towards the commands of the units and the units
11 which actually took part in the Krivaja 95 operation, that is to say,
12 those units who were grouped in the regions expecting to perform the
13 assignments mentioned.
14 Q. So this initial information, that is to say, when the corps
15 commander or head of communications told you that there would be combat
16 operations around Srebrenica, is that the first time you learned about
18 A. Yes, those were -- that was the first information I received as to
19 the forthcoming assignment.
20 Q. Did you know who issued the order for preparations for the Krivaja
21 95 operation?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you acquainted with the directives 7 and 7/1 issued by the
24 Main Staff and the supreme commander and the Main Staff of the army of
25 Republika Srpska?
1 A. No.
2 Q. To the best of your recollection, when did the forward command
3 post of Pribicevac, when was it technically capacitated and ready for
5 A. The forward command post of the Drina Corps in the village of
6 Pribicevac in the technical sense, technically speaking, as far as
7 communications, it being a communications centre, was ready for work in
8 the afternoon hours of the 5th of July.
9 Q. You told us about the establishment of communications with the
10 units that were to participate, that is to say, participating in the
11 combat operations and the establishment of communications with the
12 superior command. Now, was this everything that you, as a professional
13 man, did or are there any additional matters with respect to the general
14 functioning of that centre that you had to see to?
15 A. Do you want me to explain how I organised communications
17 Q. Yes, quite so.
18 A. The communication towards the superior command, that is to say,
19 with the command of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica, that communication line,
20 I organised by means of, one, a single channel via a radio relay device.
21 And I did so by the fact that at the forward command post of Pribicevac,
22 we brought a telephone switchboard and extension from the command facility
23 of Crna Rijeka, and those same extensions we had in the command, that is
24 to say, at the communications centre of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica. And
25 so by dialing these mutually, we were able to ensure a direct
2 By using that same communication, via it, we were able to send out
3 information, written information which was encrypted, protected. At the
4 communications centre, I also had a device for the protection of oral
5 information. And this oral protection, the protection of oral
6 information, was possible towards the main command of the army of
7 Republika Srpska. We were able to do that along that line.
8 The communication towards the subordinate units I organised in a
9 radio network of command with a protected device, and that was my sole
10 communication towards the subordinate units which were participating in
11 the Krivaja 95 operation.
12 Q. When you spoke about the sending out and reception of written
13 messages, that is what we generally know as a teletype machine; is that
15 A. Yes. Yes, that's right. It was a coded teletype communication,
16 with the use of teletype and encryption devices.
17 Q. All that, then, was ready on the 5th of July; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. In the afternoon of the 5th of July, by the afternoon of the
19 5th of July.
20 Q. And you were there at the forward command post, you yourself?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were you acquainted at the time with the plan, or rather, the --
23 yes, the plan of operation Krivaja 95?
24 A. At the forward command post, after the arrival of the command to
25 the forward command post, I was informed of the plan for Krivaja 95, in
2 Q. Can you tell us what the plan was, Krivaja 95? What was it?
3 A. As far as I remember, in the military sense, we were to encircle
4 the enclave of Srebrenica by deployment of our units and taking up the
5 dominant features, assuming control of the dominant features in the
6 vicinity of the demarcation line, delineation line, between our own forces
7 and the forces of the 28th Division, and that line was in the vicinity of
8 certain points which were controlled by UNPROFOR.
9 Q. You mentioned dominant features. For the functioning and
10 establishment of your communications, was that important?
11 A. Yes. It was essential for me to have that knowledge and
12 information because, with the subordinate units taking part in the Krivaja
13 95 operation, I had only one type of communication: radio link. And in
14 view of the mountainous terrain around which the movements had to move, it
15 was very important for me to know the assignment and their axis of attack
16 so as to be able to have feedback information, that is to say, whether
17 communications would always be top quality and continuous. So when I say
18 this, I'm referring to it in the technical sense, technically speaking.
19 Q. So you learnt at the time which those elevation points were or the
20 features that were the object of the activities of the units taking part
21 in the attack?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were those features Kak, Alibegovac, and Zivkovo Brdo?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Among the command staff, or rather, senior officers of the Drina
1 Corps, who was present at the Pribicevac forward command post?
2 A. I remember that at the Drina Corps forward command post in the
3 region of the village of Pribicevac, the Chief of Staff, the then Chief of
4 Staff of the Drina Corps, was present, that is, General Krstic, as the
5 commander of the forward command post. There was Colonel Vicic, from the
6 operations department of the Drina Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Svetozar
7 Kosoric from the intelligence department, there was myself, and probably
8 one of the non-commissioned officers from the staff command of the Drina
9 Corps to service the forward command post.
10 Q. Was that the first time for you to go to the Pribicevac forward
11 command post?
12 A. No. In that region and the area around it, I had been on several
13 occasions, ever since the spring of 1993, when units of UNPROFOR entered
14 the town of Srebrenica itself, and in the meantime I had been there on a
15 number of occasions. And immediately prior to the operation Krivaja 95, I
16 was in the region of the forward command post at the village of Pribicevac
17 sometime at the beginning of June 1995, when units of the Drina Corps
18 placed under their control the asphalt road going from Zeleni Jadar to
19 Jasenova, Jelindol, Podravanje. Because this road, for the implementation
20 of peace in the area, could not have been used until then; it was not
21 possible to use it. Rather, our forces were not able to use it, even
22 though it belonged to our territory.
23 Q. Was the command staff at Pribicevac the same at the beginning of
24 June, when you went there then?
25 A. I remember that at the beginning of June the commander of this
1 assignment was General Zivanovic, the commander of the Drina Corps, and I
2 don't know who else, or rather, I don't remember who else among the senior
3 officers of the Drina Corps was present. Probably one of the operations
4 people, but I do not remember that now.
5 Q. Witness DB, do you remember how the combat operations developed
6 during those few days following the 6th of July?
7 A. As far as I can recollect, the combat operations that were part of
8 the Krivaja 95 operation started in the early morning of the 6th of July.
9 The Drina Corps grouped the bulk of its forces along the axis Zeleni
10 Jadar-Zivkovo Brdo, and I think the auxiliary forces had the task of
11 breaking out from the broader region of Podravanje to the features of Kak
12 and Alibegovac.
13 During the first several days, or rather the first two days,
14 combat contact was established with the enemy and surveillance was carried
15 out by force, but there were no significant movement of the forces of
16 either side, ours or the enemy forces. I think that it was on the third
17 day, counting from the beginning of the operation, that our units along
18 the main axis of attack managed to gain control of a feature called
19 Zivkovo Brdo that was part of the defence system of the 28th Division.
20 Along that axis the forces of the 28th Division put up strong resistance.
21 I think that this feature was captured in the afternoon of that day. From
22 the direction of Podravanje, according to my recollection, there was no
23 significant resistance by the forces of the 28th Division, so that our
24 units along that axis made advances without encountering any major
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. So we're talking about the period from the 6th until -- now we're
2 talking about the 9th of July and the afternoon of the 9th. During those
3 days, was General Krstic at the forward command post at Pribicevac?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you tell us what he was doing at the command post at
6 Pribicevac during those days?
7 A. General Krstic, throughout this time, was in command of the
8 operation Krivaja 95.
9 Q. My question was with reference to the period from the 6th to the
10 9th, so when you say "all the time," do you mean that three-day period?
11 Because we'll be going on to the period after the 9th later on.
12 A. Yes, yes. I'm referring to this period that he was in command of
13 his units and the operation Krivaja 95 during that period. He was in
14 command of his units.
15 Q. Does that mean that using radio transmitters, he conveyed --
16 MR. HARMON: Objection. I'm going to object to that.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: I'm going to object to my friend telling the witness
19 what it means. I think the question should not be leading. It should
20 perhaps be more open-ended. So my objection is, and I object to the
21 reference to "Does that mean ..." because it is Mr. Petrusic who is
22 testifying and not the witness.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, I just wanted to
25 clarify the time that the witness was referring to, the time period,
1 whether he meant the period from the 6th to the 9th of July.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Witness DB, in that period from the 6th until the 9th of July, do
4 you have any knowledge as to how General Krstic would forward his orders
5 to the brigade commanders?
6 A. In that time period, General Krstic forwarded his orders to the
7 brigade commanders within the command radio network which I described at
8 the beginning of my testimony.
9 Q. At the forward command post, did you have reports from those
10 communication lines on the situation on the front, or rather, along the
11 lines of attack?
12 A. Yes. General Krstic, by means of those communication lines,
13 issued commands to his subordinate commanders and they reported to him
14 using those same communication lines regarding the achievement of the
15 tasks assigned to them and the situation on the front lines.
16 Q. By means of those communication lines, were you informed about the
17 peace forces that were stationed there?
18 A. I remember that one of the subordinate commanders, directly
19 subordinate commanders, reported to General Krstic that at one of the
20 UNPROFOR posts or checkpoints, an accident had occurred and that in a
21 conflict or during a war conflict, a soldier had been killed. And we had
22 that, the information that this soldier had been killed by members of the
23 28th Division and that the UNPROFOR soldiers at that post, finding
24 themselves in an unfavorable situation for them at that time, and fearing
25 the possibility of further adverse consequences, they pulled out to our
1 side. What I mean is they crossed into territory that was under our
3 I remember this because General Krstic ordered me personally at
4 the time to go in the direction of Zeleni Jadar to find that group of
5 UNPROFOR members and to escort them to safe territory in the region of the
6 village of Pribicevac. That is what I did. I came across them in the
7 vicinity of Zeleni Jadar as they were about to move in the direction of
8 Pribicevac, and I escorted them to the region of the village of
10 Q. When you said you escorted them, did they have their side weapons
11 and equipment with them? I'm referring to APCs.
12 A. Yes. I think there were three or four personnel carriers. They
13 were marching alongside the APCs in a column, in a combat formation
14 together with all the equipment and weapons they had, and I led them to
15 safe territory in the region of the village of Pribicevac. And I am quite
16 certain that, in that region, nothing could have -- nothing unforeseen
17 could have happened to them. What is more, a number of our soldiers who
18 happened to be there spoke and greeted them in a very friendly manner and
19 they spoke in English. I think that someone offered them water.
20 After that, I returned to the forward command post, that is the
21 communications centre there.
22 Q. Witness DB, you are an officer and you are familiar with the
23 concept and notion of taking captives. Can you describe this situation as
24 taking members of UNPROFOR captive or capturing members of UNPROFOR?
25 A. No, that situation has absolutely nothing in common with that
1 term. Our behaviour towards them in the situation that I have just
2 described was as between colleagues, between military men and officers,
3 and I am quite sure I am not mistaken if I also add that it was, to a
4 degree, a friendly attitude. I am saying this with reference to what I
5 personally saw and the situation in which I participated.
6 Q. Do you know where they went on from there, that is the UNPROFOR
7 troops, that is, where they went from the region of the village of
9 A. This group of three or four APCs, as far as I can recollect,
10 stayed there for a while, and then I learned from someone that after they
11 had established contact with their own command, they headed towards
12 Bratunac, crossing through our territory, that is, territory controlled by
13 our forces.
14 Q. So you are linking this event to the 9th of July.
15 A. It was the day when they had one fatality, one killed soldier.
16 And reconstructing the whole period, I assume that it could have been the
17 9th of July.
18 Q. At the forward command post at Pribicevac, in addition to the
19 officers you have mentioned, were there other officers of the Main Staff
20 or the Drina Corps in the period from the 9th of July onwards?
21 A. From the 9th of July until the completion of the operation, that
22 is, until Srebrenica fell in military terms, I remember that at the
23 forward command post, the commanders of the Main Staff did come, that is
24 General Ratko Mladic, and the commander of the Drina Corps, General
25 Zivanovic. I think they came on two or three consecutive days, and I also
1 remember that one day, but I think this was only for a couple of hours, at
2 the Pribicevac forward command post that General Gvero also came.
3 Q. Can you tell us what General Mladic and General Zivanovic did
4 during their visit to the forward command post?
5 A. General Zivanovic was accompanying or escorting General Mladic, or
6 rather, they were always together. When they arrived at the forward
7 command post, General Mladic would briefly inquire into the situation on
8 the front in global terms, in general terms and, according to my
9 recollection, on that occasion and on the occasion of several other
10 operations, it was his custom personally using the radio link to confer
11 with commanders of the directly subordinate units participating in the
12 operation, telling -- to tell them, to congratulate them or to give them
13 additional orders.
14 I remember this because that was the customary behaviour of
15 General Mladic.
16 Q. On the 10th of July, was General Mladic at the forward command
17 post at Pribicevac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On that day, did he get in touch with the subordinate units, the
20 units actually carrying out combat operations?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you have occasion to hear that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please explain to us, in addition to what you have
25 already said about the operation of the communications system at the
1 Pribicevac forward command post, tell us how it was possible for you to
2 hear his messages that were transmitted through that communication
4 A. When he came to the forward command post, and after being briefed
5 about the situation, General Mladic would go to the observation post on
6 the Kula feature, from where there is a very good view of the whole valley
7 of Zeleni Jadar and Srebrenica, in fact, and all the surrounding features
8 and the terrain in general. As a rule, together with him, General
9 Zivanovic and General Krstic would go to the observation post. In order
10 to be able to directly transmit orders from the observation post, I would
11 order a soldier to carry a mobile transmitter to the observation post and
12 to accompany them there with this equipment. The other transmitter would
13 remain with me at the communications centre of the forward command post.
14 So that we were all in one and the same network at the time, same radio
15 network, both the observation post, where General Mladic was, and myself
16 at the communications centre, and all the commanders of the directly
17 subordinate units directly participating in the operation. In this way, I
18 was able to hear the conversations that were being transmitted within that
19 radio network.
20 Q. On that day, the 10th of July, did you hear conversations or
21 orders issued by General Mladic to subordinate units?
22 A. Mostly, yes.
23 Q. Can you remember one of those orders or conversations?
24 A. I remember an incident that occurred very early in the morning,
25 before dawn, in a counterattack by the forces of the 28th Division. Our
1 forces were pushed back from Zivkovo Brdo and there were several killed
2 soldiers on our side belonging to units whose task it had been to take up
3 defensive positions on the lines they had reached. That battle went on
4 until 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning of the 10th of July. At the time, we
5 were taken aback by this new development, and I remember there was hasty
6 regrouping of forces in preparation for an attack, for another
7 counterattack to gain control of Zivkovo Brdo again.
8 At that point in time, or about that time, I think it was about
9 9.00 or 10.00 in the morning, General Mladic appeared at the forward
10 command post, together with General Zivanovic, and when he learnt about
11 this development that had occurred that morning, he personally spoke to
12 the then Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, commander of the Zvornik Brigade,
13 whose unit was attacking along that axis. And I remember that Lieutenant
14 Colonel Pandurevic said then that they would regain the feature, regain
15 control of the feature, by 11.00 that day. I thought this was a brilliant
16 military response at the time. And when he really did manage to recapture
17 it sometime before midday, this made me remember the whole incident.
18 After that event, General Mladic communicated over the radio with
19 a number of commanders who were participating in the operation, and as far
20 as I can recollect, as the overall combat situation at that moment
21 appeared to be extremely favourable for our forces, because the dominant
22 features had been captured, those immediately next to Srebrenica and some
23 further away, I remember that General Mladic, in his communication with
24 some of the commanders, ordered that the attack should resolutely be
25 continued towards Srebrenica.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
2 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I must say, I have to interrupt the
4 witness and his testimony, but my colleague tells me that General Krstic
5 needs to be excused for a moment.
6 JUDGE RIAD: I was expecting that, and I gave you this authority.
7 Thank you. So we'll adjourn for 15 minutes, till a quarter to one. Thank
9 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic, we have been informed that General
12 Krstic is not feeling in good shape. If he wants to waive his right to
13 attend the trial, he is authorised to do so. If he can stay, he can stay
14 with us until 1.30 and then we can adjourn for half an hour for the lunch
15 period and resume until quarter to three. If he prefers not to be in the
16 courtroom, you can ask him. I know the nurse is being fetched.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] We'll all remain as we are until
18 the next break. So General Krstic will attend up until the break and,
19 depending how he feels after that, we shall be able to decide,
20 Mr. President. Thank you.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness DB, you have Exhibit 829 before you and I should like to
24 ask the usher to place it on the ELMO, please.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. Usher.
1 Q. Witness DB, you said that you had information that the dominant
2 features that were to be taken control of by orders for active combat
3 operations was Kak, Alibegovac, and Zivkovo Brdo; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On the map in front of you, can you find those features for us,
6 please, although we used another map previously, but could you point them
7 out to us, please, on that map?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you point them out? Let's take Kak first.
10 A. Kak is here. Alibegovac next, Alibegovac is here; and Zivkovo
11 Brdo is here.
12 Q. Witness DB, now between the Kak and Alibegovac features, will you
13 draw a line with your felt tip marker. I think you have a marker in front
14 of you, a red one. Will you draw a line between those two points,
15 please. Join the two features up.
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. Thank you. Next, from Alibegovac towards Zivkovo Brdo. Will you
18 do the same and draw a line between those two points.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. Witness DB, are you acquainted with the Bojna feature?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you find it for us on the map, please?
23 A. [Indicates].
24 Q. Would you draw a circle around the feature Bojna.
25 A. [Marks].
1 Q. According to your knowledge, sir -- just one moment, please. I
2 withdraw that question upon the suggestion of my colleague, Mr. Visnjic.
3 Now, along these lines, the lines that you have linked up, Kak,
4 Alibegovac, and Zivkovo Brdo, those areas that you have linked up, will
5 you please put your initials "DB" for us.
6 A. [Marks].
7 Q. That will be difficult to decipher as being DB because you have
8 written them in Cyrillic but, for the purposes of the record, let us note
9 that the witness has written in his initials DB in the Cyrillic script.
10 Can you do the same for the Bojna feature, please; also place your
11 Cyrillic initials there.
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. Thank you. After gaining these lines and taking control of those
14 features, the ones that we mentioned, did General Mladic, through radio
15 communication, issue orders to his subordinate commanders?
16 A. I remember that, after our units broke through to these features
17 and assumed control, he congratulated the commanders on having done so
18 through radio link, radio communication and, at the same time, he hurried
19 them up so to speak, to continue and -- in a further attack. Whether he
20 dictated the axis of attack to the units on that occasion or not, I can't
21 remember at this point. But at any rate, each unit had to receive an axis
22 of attack. But I do remember him speeding up the commanders, urging them
23 on. And sometime on the 10th, in the afternoon, perhaps even at about
24 7.00 or 8.00 p.m., when Colonel Andric, the then Colonel Andric, the
25 commander of the 1st Birac Brigade, informed him that after his order he
1 was still engaged in this assignment and that he had still to take control
2 of the Vagan feature. I remember that very well. I remember it well
3 when, according to his assessment, he energetically ordered him to bypass
4 that particular feature and to continue his attack further so that his men
5 would not become too exhausted by taking control of that particular
6 feature, because I felt at the time that General Mladic thought that there
7 were no forces at that feature belonging to the 28th Division.
8 Q. Can you find that feature on the map, please, because we have
9 mentioned it for the first time, Vagan.
10 A. It's this feature here. It's this feature here.
11 Q. Please put your initials in Cyrillic, please, DB. So those were
12 the activities that you described and which, to the best of your
13 recollection, took place on the 10th of July, 1995?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let us now stay with the 10th of July for a moment. General
16 Zivanovic and General Krstic, were they in command then and did they issue
17 orders to the units at that time?
18 A. I think that General Zivanovic did not appear in the command
19 network, and I also think -- I also do not think that General Krstic
20 appeared either. That is how I remember that period and that particular
22 Q. Witness DB, may we move on to the 11th of July now, 1995. You
23 were at the forward command post, were you not?
24 A. Yes, I continued to be at the forward command post.
25 Q. Was the composition of the superior officers the same with respect
1 to the previous day?
2 A. Yes, they were the same.
3 Q. Can you tell us what happened, what was taking place at the
4 command post that day and what the commanding officers' activities were,
5 depending on developments on the front?
6 A. That particular day, the attack by our units was continued on the
7 basis of the order given the previous day. I think that at one point
8 General Mladic, together with Generals Zivanovic and Krstic, transferred
9 to an observation post in the region of the Kvarac feature. Whether that
10 was immediately before the NATO airstrikes -- I think it was, yes, which
11 would make it sometime around midday. And I know that it is from that
12 observation post at Kvarac that communication continued and commanding of
13 the operation continued from there.
14 Q. Would you show us that area, please, on the map, the Kvarac
15 feature. Where is it? For purposes of the record, we have your initials
16 in Cyrillic there again.
17 The aviation, that is to say, the NATO airstrikes, took place?
18 A. Yes. That day, there were NATO airstrikes attacking our forces
19 located -- that is to say, in combat with the forces of the 28th Division,
20 and I think that those strikes, that bombing, took place in the Bojna
21 region, and they attacked the forces of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
22 I think that there was machine-gun fire around the broader region of
23 Pribicevac sometime around 1.00 p.m. or 2.00 p.m., after midday.
24 Q. You said that, according to your recollections, Mladic, Zivanovic
25 and Krstic went to the Kvarac area. Did they return to the Pribicevac
1 forward command post?
2 A. I can't be quite sure now whether they returned or not during the
3 afternoon. I think they did come back from the Kvarac area to
4 Pribicevac. I think they returned sometime in the afternoon, that is to
5 say, after the NATO airstrikes.
6 Q. And finally, did you -- via your communications centre and the
7 subordinate units, did information reach you that either parts of the
8 units or their commanders had entered the town?
9 A. Yes. At the communications centre, following developments via our
10 radio devices, we learnt that all the defences of the 28th Division of the
11 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had ceased and that parts of our own units had
12 entered the town itself.
13 Q. These three commanding officers, Mladic, Zivanovic and Krstic, the
14 generals, did they go into town?
15 A. Yes. Sometime during the afternoon, at about 1700 or 1800 hours
16 or thereabouts, with their heavy vehicles, terrain vehicles, they went off
17 towards the town itself.
18 Q. So after their departure, who stayed on at the Pribicevac forward
19 command post?
20 A. After their departure from the forward command post, of the
21 officers at that forward command post, only I myself remained and probably
22 some of the subordinate officers from the staff command.
23 Q. You said earlier on that, in the course of those days and in the
24 establishment of the former command post, that Colonel Vicic and Colonel
25 or Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric arrived there. Now on that day, the 11th of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 July, were they at the forward command post?
2 A. Yes. They were at the forward command post on that day too, but
3 following an assignment, they left the region. Whether before the group
4 of generals or immediately after the generals, I can't say. I can't
5 remember. But what I do know is that I was the sole remaining officer.
6 Q. The officers that we mentioned and -- that is to say, Generals
7 Mladic, Zivanovic, and Krstic, did they return to the forward command post
8 of Pribicevac at all?
9 A. While I was at the command post that day, the forward command
10 post, they did not return.
11 Q. And how long did you stay at the forward command post?
12 A. I stayed at the forward command post until 1900 hours or
14 Q. And did you leave the forward command post?
15 A. I took stock of the situation and the new developments, and as I
16 was able to control the lines and developments via radio relay, I thought
17 that the communications centre was no longer needed at Pribicevac, that
18 there was no need for it anymore and so I packed it up. When I say
19 "packed up," that is a term we use. And at around 1900 hours or a little
20 after that, a little later, I went off towards the command of the Bratunac
21 Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
22 Q. You say "packed up the communications centre"; can you explain
23 what that actually implies, the term to "pack up," what does that imply?
24 A. Well, according to our regulations, we have that term to install
25 and to pack up the communications centre, both to install and establish
1 means to establish all the communications that have been planned; and to
2 pack up the communications centre quite simply means what it says, to
3 discontinue those communications and to place the devices and vehicles --
4 to put them on the march, and to prepare to establish communication
5 centres elsewhere where they are needed.
6 Q. So does that mean that, up until the 11th of July, as you say, at
7 around 1900 hours, that is to say, on the 11th of July when you left
8 Pribicevac, the communications centre at that particular command post no
9 longer existed? Is that what you're saying?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At that forward command post, that particular feature, was there
12 some other form of communication, telephone communication, apart from the
13 one you yourself helped establish?
14 A. No. At that feature, what remained was part of the units. I
15 think it was the independent Skelani Battalion, part of the battalion
16 stayed on, and they had their own internal communication. That is to say,
17 between the trenches or the defence lines in the defence system that had
18 previously been established before the Krivaja 95 operation was launched.
19 Q. With that type of communication that you say existed within the
20 defence lines of the Skelani Battalion, were they able to communicate in
21 the way in which had previously been done by the communications centre
22 that you, yourself, established on the 5th of July; was that possible?
23 A. No.
24 Q. That is to say, there were no communications with the -- no
25 communications were possible with what was left of the Skelani Battalion
1 with the Corps Command, for example?
2 A. No, because there were no technical facilities for doing so after
3 the communications centre that I had established and installed had been
4 packed up.
5 Q. You said, sir, that you left for the command of the -- the
6 headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Which route did you take?
9 A. I took the route going from Pribicevac to Bojna, to Srebrenica,
10 Potocari, Zuti Most, Bratunac.
11 Q. When you passed through Srebrenica, you encountered the army
13 A. I passed through that town for the first time on that occasion. I
14 noticed some soldiers belonging to the army of Republika Srpska in the
15 town itself along the streets, but not more than ten of them, about ten.
16 Q. And in the town itself -- I suppose you went down the main street
17 -- did you happen to notice the traces of fighting, shelling?
18 A. I don't know what Srebrenica looked like before that. I noticed
19 on the facades of the houses that there were holes from infantry weapons.
20 There were no more visible traces of any major combat activities compared
21 to some other places that I had passed through during the war. I remember
22 that the town itself looked fairly dirty and in disarray, and it is
23 situated in a valley, in a depression, so the impression was not a nice
24 one. But there weren't any major traces of combat activity in the town
25 itself, I can't say that in the sense of any major destruction or anything
1 of that kind. I didn't notice anything like that.
2 Q. Did you notice any civilians or any members of the 28th Division,
4 A. On the road from Srebrenica to Potocari, at several points along
5 the road, along that route, I noticed towards Potocari the -- I noticed
6 two or three civilians moving that way. They were elderly persons, for
7 the most part, and they were carrying some bags and things like that with
8 them. But there weren't too many of them. I did notice several of them
9 moving towards Potocari along the road.
10 Q. Did you pass through Potocari?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was -- what about the members of UNPROFOR; did they prohibit
13 passage through Potocari at all?
14 A. I did not encounter any checkpoints or anything like that.
15 Q. And in Potocari itself, did you see any civilians yourself there?
16 A. Yes, in Potocari itself, in the place itself, both on the left and
17 right-hand side of the road, I did see a large number of civilians.
18 Q. I think we'll agree that they were Muslims, were they not?
19 A. Yes, they were Muslims. And for me, that was a new and surprising
20 image in the war, a large number of civilians. And it was already getting
21 dark, dusk was falling, but I didn't stop my vehicle. I moved slowly
22 onwards to make it safe for the civilians.
23 So I moved as slowly as I could, moving in the presence of such a
24 large number of civilians. I took care to move slowly. And I noticed
25 that these civilians seemed to be mixed up with the UNPROFOR soldiers. At
1 several points amongst the civilians I noticed members of UNPROFOR. I
2 also noticed a number of soldiers belonging to the army of Republika
3 Srpska and they were all there together mixed up, and they were discussing
5 The soldiers had their rifles on their shoulders, not in the
6 combat position. Quite simply, there seemed to be some curiosity going
7 on, some inquisitiveness, and they were communicating about something of
8 this large number of civilians all together, members of UNPROFOR together
9 with the civilians and some Republika Srpska soldiers. But the
10 communication that was going on amongst all these people, as far as I was
11 able to notice, was not a war situation.
12 I thought that perhaps those soldiers, the army of Republika
13 Srpska soldiers were perhaps from the town itself, from the town of
14 Srebrenica who had been holding positions up until then around the enclave
15 or that they were some other soldiers who happened to know some of the
16 civilians. That was the impression I gained. I was surprised to see
17 this -- to see that only a few hours before that, there had been fighting
18 and war going on whereas at that particular moment, everybody was talking
19 to everybody else in a sort of inquisitive way.
20 Q. Now, this image that you gained, this impression that you gained
21 as you were passing the presence of the soldiers from Republika Srpska and
22 so on, their presence, it did not give the impression that there was any
23 hostility going on, is that right, or any mistreatment of those civilians
24 or any -- or that they were behaving towards the civilians in a way that
25 would not be customary and which would represent a violation of the laws
1 and customs of --
2 MR. HARMON: This is a leading question. I object to the form of
3 the question. I think the witness can be asked his impression, but again,
4 my learned friend is leading the witness by providing the answer to him in
5 his question, and I object.
6 JUDGE RIAD: This time, Mr. Petrusic, I agree.
7 Thank you. Please proceed.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I agree too, Mr. President.
9 Q. Let's put it again. Was there any hostility in the impression
10 that you had of this conduct on the part of the army of Republika Srpska
11 towards the civilians?
12 A. No.
13 Q. As you passed through Potocari, following on from that, you went
14 along the road towards Bratunac; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Let me go back for a moment. How many Serb soldiers were there in
17 this crowd of refugees and UNPROFOR soldiers?
18 A. I cannot now tell you with certainty, but I am quite sure that
19 what I saw were small groups of soldiers, two or three, or individuals,
20 talking to certain groups. So all in all, as I was passing, I didn't see
21 more than 10 to 20 Serb soldiers along the road that I passed along, to my
22 left and right, as far as I was able to see, because it was already
23 getting dark by then.
24 Q. So you were heading towards Bratunac. Along that road from
25 Potocari to Bratunac, did you see groups of Serb soldiers?
1 A. No. On the road from Potocari to Zuti Most, or Yellow Bridge, I
2 think I did not come across anyone.
3 Q. So you reached Bratunac, the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade?
4 A. Yes. I arrived in Bratunac around 2130 hours, or 2100 hours.
5 Anyway, it was already quite dark, so my estimate is that it could have
6 been that time.
7 Q. Who did you find, or where were any -- were your soldiers, your
8 soldiers who were with you at the communications centre?
9 A. When leaving the communications centre and the forward command
10 post, as a rule, together with General Krstic and a mobile receiver, a
11 signalsman would go with him. Whether this always happened, I cannot say,
12 but that would be the rule, so that General Krstic could communicate,
13 while being on the move, with units taking part in an operation from some
14 other location, as far as the technical possibilities allowed, that is,
15 within the range of those devices. The other soldiers from the
16 communications centre went with me, and a vehicle, a large vehicle with --
17 the communication system vehicle, where we always had a mobile centre
18 assembled, passed through Srebrenica with me, Potocari, and we arrived at
19 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters sometime after 2100 hours.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Would it be suitable for you now to break?
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic. We'll resume at 2.00.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.32 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.04 p.m.
2 JUDGE RIAD: I hope General Krstic is feeling better.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We'll continue
4 in General Krstic's presence.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Please resume.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Witness DB, before we pick up where we left off, that is your
8 arrival at Bratunac, my question is: Are you aware that, according to
9 establishment, there was in the army of Republika Srpska a 10th Sabotage
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know under whose command, direct command was that unit?
13 A. The 10th Sabotage Detachment was a unit directly subordinated to
14 the Main Staff.
15 Q. The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In the period from the 5th of July when you set up the
18 communications centre at Pribicevac until the 11th of July in the
19 afternoon or early evening when this centre was packed up or dismantled,
20 was the unit of the 10th Sabotage Detachment linked by communications to
21 your system?
22 A. No.
23 Q. In that time period, therefore, could anyone from the forward
24 command post at Pribicevac, through the system of communication lines that
25 was operative there, establish contact with them?
1 A. Through the system of communications that I organised for the
2 operation Krivaja 95, it was not possible to command that unit.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge about their presence, the presence of
4 the 10th Sabotage Detachment in the area of combat operations at the time?
5 A. I think that they arrived in the area only a day or two before
6 Srebrenica fell militarily, which means a day or two prior to the 11th of
8 Q. So you do know that they were there?
9 A. Yes. I personally saw their signalsman so we exchanged a couple
10 of words related to communications because I was wondering whether they
11 would have any assignment or not. However, they were not covered by our
12 communications system so I don't know exactly who gave them assignments.
13 But in any event, their signalsman told me that they would not enter our
14 communication system, that is the communication system used to command
15 that operation.
16 Q. According to your knowledge, they were not in the communication
17 system in the period from the 5th to the 11th?
18 A. No. They were not in the system at all in that period.
19 Q. When you arrived in Bratunac and you said it was 9.00 in the
20 evening or half past 9.00, who did you find there?
21 A. In the compound of the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, I remember
22 seeing a vehicle which had brought General Krstic there, because I found
23 there my soldier, a signalsman who was carrying with him this mobile
24 device for the needs of General Krstic that afternoon of the 11th. So I
25 asked him whether there were any news, whether I had been called by anyone
1 because, according to my own assessment, I left the forward command post
2 in the evening and I asked whether General Krstic had arrived there. He
3 told me that General Krstic had arrived and that he had come with him
4 along a different route, that they had not passed through Potocari, that
5 he had tried to reach me over the mobile device to convey to me a couple
6 of messages but I had already left the forward command post.
7 I then felt it necessary for me to report to General Krstic, to
8 inform him that I had left, and that I had packed up the communications
9 centre at the forward command post and that that communications centre no
10 longer existed at Pribicevac. I think that my signalsman or someone else
11 told me that there would be a meeting shortly in the Bratunac Brigade
12 headquarters and that General Krstic would be there, so I headed in that
13 direction to report to him and to tell him, let him know that I was in the
14 brigade headquarters too now.
15 Q. You mean in the command of the Bratunac Brigade?
16 A. Yes, the Bratunac Brigade.
17 Q. Did your signalsman tell you what route General Krstic had taken
18 upon leaving Srebrenica?
19 A. They didn't come through Potocari and Zuti Most along that route.
20 In fact, he found it strange that when I told him that I had passed
21 through that area of Potocari. I think he told me that they took another
22 route via Pribicevac and Sase because in passing, he mentioned that
23 already around 2000 hours, just before dark, they had caught up with a
24 couple of soldiers probably from the Bratunac Brigade who had, until then,
25 held defensive positions in the area, that they were pushing in front of
1 them a small herd of sheep, probably from a Muslim village.
2 And I remember this because he told me how he had to get into a
3 jeep in the back seat where it was crowded because -- it was cramped,
4 because General Krstic was furious with these two soldiers, that he
5 apparently criticised them very hard and, in fact, he ordered the
6 signalsman of mine that should any one of them utter a word, that he
7 should hit him with his rifle butt, and he personally drove those two
8 soldiers in his vehicle to the military prison at the Bratunac Brigade
10 Q. As far as I am able to understand, those two soldiers that you
11 assume were from the Bratunac Brigade had in fact stolen that livestock?
12 A. Yes. These were some petty thieves. When the front line was
13 moved, they probably took advantage of the opportunity to pick up that
14 herd for their own needs.
15 Q. Among the officers, who did you find in the Bratunac Brigade
17 A. I entered the hall where the meeting was held. Just then it
18 hadn't started yet, and I think it started around 2200 hours. I know that
19 present at the meeting were General Mladic, General Zivanovic, General
20 Krstic, I think. Logically, all the commanders of the directly
21 subordinated units that had taken part in Krivaja 95 were also present,
22 and also some other officers, but I do not recollect now who.
23 Q. Do you have any recollection as to the contents of the meeting
24 that you are referring to that was held on the 11th in the evening?
25 A. It seemed to me that the meeting did not have a strictly military
1 content that was precise and clear, as was customary, because there was a
2 feeling of victory, a celebratory atmosphere, probably because of the
3 outcome of the combat operations. And the meeting was chaired, or rather
4 the main say was held by the commander of the Main Staff of the army of
5 Republika Srpska, General Ratko Mladic.
6 Q. And what was the topic of the meeting?
7 A. I remember that General Mladic praised the units for their
8 success; he underlined their successes in the operation. And I remember
9 also that just then he conveyed his idea or gave orders that immediately
10 all the units which had participated in the operation Krivaja 95 had to be
11 transferred to new areas in order to prepare for the attack on Zepa. It
12 seems to me that he said that a plan had to be done immediately and that
13 General Krstic should prepare the plan and that, with all the units that
14 had participated in Srebrenica, should immediately be transferred for the
15 offensive operation against Zepa. General Mladic, while saying this, and
16 as he noticed me sitting there in the hall, he ordered me that I should
17 immediately, that same evening, immediately head for a new forward command
18 post in the region of the village of Krivace [Realtime transcript read in
19 error "Pribicevac"] to establish a communications centre there.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think we have an
21 error in the transcript. The witness said "in the region of the village
22 of Krivace," and in the transcript we see "the village of Pribicevac."
23 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So let us correct this through a question. Did you get an order
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to set up a forward command post in the village of Krivace, near Zepa?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That concept or order, as you put it, at the meeting, did anyone
4 oppose that or did you all accept it as such?
5 A. I remember after this concept had been presented, or order, that
6 the then Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic addressed General Mladic. He was
7 the commander of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade. And he pointed out
8 that the situation in the broader region of Srebrenica was, in military
9 terms, rather unclear, that forces of the army of Republika Srpska who
10 were in pursuit of the enemy had not managed to establish combat contact
11 with them anywhere and that again we had no information that the units
12 which had held defensive positions earlier on in other parts of the
13 enclave, that there were reports that soldiers of the 28th Division were
14 endeavouring to break through. For this reason, Lieutenant Colonel
15 Pandurevic suggested that the situation should first be cleared up in the
16 military sense around Srebrenica so that this should not provoke any fresh
17 problems. However, I cannot now quote or even paraphrase the answer
18 General Mladic gave, but in general terms it could be interpreted as the
19 following: Regardless of that, all for Zepa.
20 Q. Did you draw any conclusions from that, if it is possible at all
21 to talk about conclusions?
22 A. At the time, I was the youngest at the meeting, but the suggestion
23 and the thoughts conveyed by Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic seemed to me to
24 be quite logical and justified, because I had up to then already had
25 appreciation for his military capabilities and the fact that he was
1 capable of presenting his own views and positions to General Mladic, who
2 in those days was considered to be an unquestionable military authority
3 among soldiers and officers alike. I think that General Mladic had his
4 own assessment on the basis of which he had made this idea and decision,
5 he had taken this decision.
6 Q. Did you have any knowledge about the officer cadres, if I can call
7 them that, that had gathered at that meeting? What was your opinion? Why
8 was it that Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic addressed General Mladic; do you
9 have any explanation for that?
10 A. I think it was because our forces were in pursuit of the enemy
11 from the south-east towards the north or north-west. And it was expected
12 that the forces of the 28th Division would try to make a breakthrough
13 towards the north or northwestern part of the enclave and their advances
14 towards the territory of the 2nd Corps of the BH army through the area of
15 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade. And I think because he was the
16 commander of that brigade, he thought that there was a danger for his own
17 area of responsibility and that is why he made that suggestion.
18 Secondly, Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, in that particular
19 situation, felt that it was logical for the situation to be cleared up
20 militarily. At the time, he was the commander of a brigade which numbered
21 between 5.000 and 6.000 men. And with his unit, he was a pillar of
22 support for the Drina Corps in many battles even in other theatres of war
23 outside that area. He was considered an authority among other
24 commanders. And as I said, he had a say of his own and he didn't hesitate
25 to convey his opinion.
1 Q. When you were given the order orally on the 11th in the evening at
2 that meeting to go and set up a communications centre at Krivace, was that
3 sufficient for you to set up technically that future centre, or rather,
4 the future forward command post?
5 A. Yes. For me, that was quite sufficient. I knew the location of
6 the new forward command post. I heard the order that all the units that
7 had been at Srebrenica should march forward and prepare for an offensive
8 operation on Zepa so that I know who the participants were. I knew where
9 the forward command post would be, and that was quite sufficient for me.
10 So I sat there for a very short while, waiting, whether perhaps in
11 the course of these consultations, there might be some additional
12 information or any change which would affect my organisation of
13 communications. And when I saw that there were no additional information,
14 that same evening, with the communication centre already packed, and with
15 my soldiers, I went from Bratunac in the direction of the command of the
16 Drina Corps in Vlasenica.
17 Q. What route did you take for Vlasenica?
18 A. I arrived at Vlasenica from Bratunac via Krivace, Konjevic Polje,
19 and Milici.
20 Q. On that road from Bratunac to Vlasenica, did you come across
21 members of the army of Republika Srpska?
22 A. No. No. I think it was only in the region of Krivace and
23 Konjevic Polje along the road that there was some ambushes being prepared
24 and I think that I saw members of the MUP, Ministry of Interior Affairs.
25 Q. Are you sure that they -- that it was them or is that a
1 supposition on your part?
2 A. I think it was them because they had the characteristic uniform
3 predominantly blue. Had it been the army, I should have known that in
4 view of the units which took part in the operation Krivaja 95, and as I
5 monitored the situation, I know that in that region, there would not have
6 been any, so to speak, reserve units of the army there.
7 Q. When did you arrive in Vlasenica at the command headquarters of
8 the corps?
9 A. I arrived at the Corps Command at around 2400 hours or thereabouts
10 on the 11th of July.
11 Q. From there, did you carry on towards Krivace because you had an
12 order to set up a command centre?
13 A. Moving towards Vlasenica, I had something wrong with my vehicle,
14 something had gone wrong with the vehicle, and there was some knocking
15 noise in the wheels. And when we reached Vlasenica, after the driver had
16 looked at the vehicle and told me that a whole spare part had to be
17 replaced and taken from another vehicle, he informed me of that. But that
18 vehicle was very important because we had installed all the devices
19 necessary for a mobile communications centre on it.
20 I can't now remember whether, at the corps headquarters, I asked
21 permission from anybody because, at that time, I don't think that there
22 was anybody in the Drina Corps command headquarters who had the authority
23 to give me permission to spend the night in Vlasenica or perhaps I
24 assessed the situation myself and decided to spend the night there. But
25 anyway, I stayed there that night in Vlasenica and didn't go on to Krivace
1 to repair the car, the vehicle, and that's where we spent the night.
2 Q. In Vlasenica at the headquarters of the corps, is that what you
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember who you came across there of the officers in the
6 Corps Command?
7 A. It was late. Perhaps the duty operations officer was there but I
8 don't remember who it was.
9 Q. And the next day, on the 12th of July, in the morning, what were
10 your activities then?
11 A. The next day, early in the morning we worked fast to repair the
12 vehicle and to prepare everything else necessary for our new assignment.
13 They were technical preparations, all the material that we needed for the
14 communications centre and I think that the new forward command post
15 towards Krivace we started at sometime around midday, at around 12.00
17 Q. From the 11th in the evening when you left the meeting in
18 Bratunac, up to your departure for Krivace at about 12.00 the next day on
19 July 12th, did you have any communication with General Krstic, or rather,
20 anyone from the Corps Command?
21 A. No. I think General Krstic stayed in Bratunac on the 11th, and I
22 did not see him until my departure for Krivace.
23 Q. Did you come across anybody in Krivace on the 12th of July, upon
24 your arrival?
25 A. In the immediate vicinity, that is to say some 50 to 100 metres
1 away from the place, we set up the communications centre on the 12th of
2 July. There was a unit there from the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment
3 and they had a defence position there that they held from earlier on, and
4 it was 285th Zepa Brigade, that is to say, they were close by. So I found
5 them there, and some two or three kilometres away, there was the command
6 of a battalion in the village of Plane, a battalion belonging to the 65th
7 Motorised Protective Division, but I didn't go to them on that day.
8 Q. As you mentioned the 65th Protection Regiment, do you know which
9 unit held that resistance point, defence point?
10 A. I don't know. I think it might have been a platoon. They had one
11 or two combat vehicles perhaps, so it was perhaps a platoon of one of the
12 companies from that battalion in Plane.
13 Q. And the battalion in Plane, do you know anything about that? Was
14 it an infantry battalion, or what?
15 A. I think it was an infantry battalion, although in that particular
16 region, whether before or afterwards, there were some armoured units as
17 well, but I think that, at that time, it was an infantry battalion. At
18 least, those were the kinds of weapons they had. That is what I would
19 say. That is how it appeared to me.
20 Q. On the 12th of July, in the course of the day and the evening,
21 while you were there at Krivace, did anybody appear of the command staff
22 at that forward command post? Did anybody come?
23 A. No. On that day, we had a lot of work to do to install the
24 communications centre, to camouflage the devices and set up the defence.
25 And I remember that, on that particular day, which was the 12th of July,
1 the day that I arrived at the new command post in the village of Krivace,
2 nobody from the command of the Drina Corps turned up. I didn't see
4 Q. That communications centre, had it been installed for use on the
5 12th of July? Was it ready to function, technically speaking?
6 A. Technically speaking, it could have been used. It was operative
7 and operational and all the communications were ready to go.
8 Q. On the 13th of July, that is to say, the 13th of July, did any of
9 the commanding officers come to the forward command post of Krivace at
11 A. On the 13th of July, I think somebody did appear at the forward
12 command post, but conditionally speaking, it was a whole team from the
13 Drina Corps in the Krivaja 95 operation, which means General Krstic,
14 Colonel Vicic, and Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric. Now, whether that was
15 before noon, in the afternoon, or in the evening, I really can't say. I
16 don't remember.
17 Q. So on that 13th of July, the communications centre was
18 operational; it could function unimpeded and serve its purpose, the
19 purpose for which it had been set up?
20 A. Yes. Sometimes we had some minor problems with the power supply,
21 and we had a generator with us, but those problems were not so frequent.
22 And I know that the -- they did not have any vital effect on command, so
23 these problems did not affect command. There were no serious
24 interruptions, so we could go ahead with those communications without any
25 great problems. There were certain interruptions, but it was possible to
2 Q. Before we end for the day, Witness DB, could you explain to us the
3 functioning of the communications centre, that is to say, from Krivace
4 towards the subordinate and superior commands.
5 A. It functioned on the basis of exactly the same principle and with
6 all the same details as it did in the Krivaja 95 operation. The terrain
7 was different, that was all. But otherwise, all the principles were the
8 same as they were for the communications centre in the village of
10 Q. So from that communications centre, if I understand you correctly,
11 there was no direct communication with the commands of the original units
12 who were taking part in the operation towards Zepa; is that right?
13 A. Technically speaking, we did not have the possibility from the
14 command posts [Realtime transcript read in error "forward command post"],
15 both Pribicevac and Krivace, to receive -- to reach the commands of the
16 original units directly in the locations where they were. But if that was
17 indispensable, if we had to communicate with them, then we would do so
18 through the mediation of the communications centre at the command
19 headquarters of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica. So we would ring them up,
20 and that communications centre had all the original matrix, commands and
21 connections, and then the switchboard operator would connect us further
22 on. So we didn't have direct communication, but technically we were able
23 to connect via the communications centre in Vlasenica.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have an objection
25 to make with respect to the transcript. On line 23, which is on the
1 screen, page 86, it was the forward command post, and the witness said,
2 "We had no possibility from both forward command posts, Pribicevac and
3 Krivace." The forward command post [as interpreted], not just "the
4 command post," as it says in the transcript. The forward command post [as
6 JUDGE RIAD: It stands corrected.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 JUDGE RIAD: It stands corrected now after the intervention. Yes,
9 Mr. Petrusic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
11 end there for today with respect to the examination of this witness.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Mr. Petrusic.
13 We resume tomorrow at 9.20, and I believe it will be in Courtroom
14 3. [Interpretation] Is that right?
15 MR. FOURMY: [Interpretation] That is correct, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Tomorrow at 9.20.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m., to
18 be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of November,
19 2000, at 9.20 a.m.