1 Tuesday, 21 November 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.20 a.m.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
5 gentlemen, the technical booth, the interpreters; good morning to the
6 Office of the Prosecution and Defence counsel. I cannot say good morning
7 this morning to General Krstic, but I think we have a written
8 authorisation to continue the proceedings without his presence.
9 Is that correct, Mr. Petrusic?
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your
11 Honours, colleagues of the Prosecution.
12 I have been informed that in the course of last week or, rather,
13 on Friday, that the Registrar received -- that the Registrar sent out a
14 request and General Krstic said that he was willing to allow the
15 proceedings to proceed without his presence today, and of course as we
16 know, the reasons for his absence are medical reasons.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We haven't got a written
18 declaration then, have we?
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] His written declaration does exist
20 and is probably with the Registry Office of this Tribunal, with the
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I can see that Madam Registrar
23 has her microphone switched on to take the floor and bring us up to date.
24 Please go ahead.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. We already have a copy of this
1 letter with us, and we also filed that document yesterday.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Mr. Petrusic, please proceed.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence will
5 continue its examination of the next witness. But before the witness
6 enters court, the Defence would like to move into private session and will
7 be giving its reasons for that.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us move into private
9 session, then.
10 [Private session]
13 page 7428 redacted – private session
13 page 7429 redacted – private session
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, please proceed.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Bearing in mind your education and training and that you are a
22 university graduate, can you tell us what knowledge, that is to say, what
23 skills and education that faculty provides?
24 A. Well, the name of the faculty speaks for itself. It is the
25 Faculty for Political Science, the National Defence Department.
1 Q. Witness D/C, let me just say before we go ahead, I should like to
2 ask you to speak more slowly to facilitate the work of the interpreters
3 and to make pauses between questions and answers.
4 A. Yes, I will try. As I said, I graduated from the Faculty of
5 Political Science, the Total National Defence Department. The word
6 itself, "Total National Defence," speaks about the concept and Doctrine of
7 All People's Defence in the then Yugoslavia, because the sociopolitical
8 system as a system was one which functioned with this concept of total
9 national defence in the case of an aggression against the former Socialist
10 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 At the faculty I gained knowledge about the concept and doctrine
12 of national defence, and the faculty is fairly similar to the kind of
13 knowledge you gain at military academies. In addition to the
14 professional, tactical, and strategical composition, at my faculty we tend
15 to focus on ...
16 Q. Yes. Please continue but slow down.
17 A. In studying the concept of total national defence, we look at all
18 segments of society, the civilian structures and the organisation of total
19 national defence for the whole area of the former Yugoslavia. I received
20 the title of Professor of Total National Defence and received the rank of
21 lieutenant in the reserve formations, which implies serving one's military
22 duty in case of an aggression against the former Yugoslavia. And I had my
23 wartime assignment in my original unit, like everybody else, all the other
24 citizens of the country we lived in.
25 Q. I assume that during your education and training you became
1 acquainted with the basic types of weapons used by the former Yugoslav
2 People's Army.
3 A. Yes, I underwent infantry training in the Marshal Tito Centre of
4 Military Schools in Sarajevo, and I was trained in tactical training and
5 marksmanship on the training grounds of Sarajevo, to the third level. I
6 got to know all the weapons, how they were used, and what they were
7 intended for.
8 Q. After you completed your education and schooling, you received
9 your wartime assignment, you said, and you were sent to a certain unit.
10 How did that function according to the rules and regulations of
11 Territorial Defence that were effective in the former JNA? Could you tell
12 us something about that? That's right, that's what you did.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When you completed your education, did you start work in your
16 A. Yes, I did. I was employed in the municipality of Sokolac,
17 attached to the municipal staff of the Territorial Defence of Sokolac, and
18 I worked there up until 1990. Later on, because of my family situation, I
19 went back to my native village where I did some other work that had
20 nothing to do with my professional training and rank.
21 Q. And while you worked in the Territorial Defence, could you tell us
22 specifically what your work was there?
23 A. I worked in the staff, in the Operations Department.
24 Q. After you stopped working in the Territorial Defence Department
25 and when you went back home to your native village, you continued to have
1 your wartime assignment, did you not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The start of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, in the area
4 you lived in, where did it find you?
5 A. Well, when the war broke out, I was in the village of Sokolovici,
6 near Sokolac, and that was in 1992. I received a call-up for mobilisation
7 and I reported to the first wartime unit, according to my wartime
8 assignment. That was the Romanija detachment. Later on, on the 21st of
9 May, the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade was established, and I worked in
10 that formation until the end of the war.
11 Q. So after you received your wartime assignment or, rather, after
12 you reported, the 2nd Romanija Brigade had not yet been established; is
13 that right?
14 A. Well, those were the -- it was a fledgling organisation, its just
15 being organised. But very quickly -- it was formed very quickly later
16 on. The wartime unit in the region was formed very quickly after that.
17 Q. Witness D/C, tell us, please, what your concrete task was and job
18 was in the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade? What did you actually do?
19 A. I started working in the Department for Moral Guidance and
20 Religious Affairs, and this department was set up to inform the people,
21 officers and soldiers, of the situation in which the Serbian people found
22 themselves. This type of information involved informing the populous of
23 the -- of what was going on around them. We saw that the people were
24 motivated for their wartime assignments, for carrying out their combat
25 activities, and we saw to relations between the units, that general
1 respect should prevail. We saw to the psychological and physical
2 capabilities of the people and how information and propaganda launched by
3 the enemy were affecting the populous as a whole.
4 Q. Did every unit, that is to say -- let me rephrase that question.
5 Was your work at the level of the command of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, or
6 did your work involve lower levels, if I can use that term, the level of
7 the brigades?
8 A. Yes, it was at the level of the brigade commands, and it went down
9 the ladder, down the chain of command, within the frameworks of the
10 brigade. I worked in the 1st Motorised Battalion of the 2nd Romanija
11 Motorised Brigade which was at the defence lines at Olovo and Kladanj.
12 Q. So you performed those duties, as far as I was able to understand,
13 until 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995.
14 A. Yes, up to 1995, up to March of that year.
15 Q. Let us now move on to the events that took place at the beginning
16 of July 1995. Tell us, please, where you were at the time and whether you
17 continued to do the same work you were doing prior to that.
18 A. I did do the same work, but from the 1st Motorised Battalion, I
19 returned to the command of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade and I worked
20 in the same Department for Moral Guidance, Information, and Religious
21 Affairs. And sometime at the beginning of July, my unit received orders
22 to take part in the Srebrenica operation.
23 Q. Are you acquainted with the plan of that operation and its goals,
24 the operation Srebrenica?
25 A. Yes, the Commander informed us about that, and I think the main
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 goal was to execute the operation, that is, to narrow down the zone, the
2 protected enclave of Srebrenica, and to cut off the corridor
3 Srebrenica-Zepa. And the reason for that was that there were constant
4 skirmishes of Muslims of the 28th Division which was located in
5 Srebrenica, and their skirmishs in Serbian villages and the killing of the
6 population and passing through the Srebrenica-Zepa corridor.
7 Q. As you have broached that subject, you are talking about the
8 attacks and skirmishes that took place although Srebrenica was in the
9 other zone; that is to say, another brigade covered that area. But to
10 quote an example, that kind of reporting, should it have been -- was that
11 your job?
12 A. I did not understand your question. Could you repeat that,
13 please? What do you mean, reporting?
14 Q. I mean the job you were doing, your duties.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you said that from the safe area there were skirmishes by the
17 Muslim forces of the 28th Division, that is. So within the frameworks of
18 your work --
19 A. Oh, I see, yes. It was up to the Information Service, Information
20 Department, to inform the soldiers and their commanding officers
21 realistically of what was going on around Srebrenica for them to gain a
22 proper insight into what was actually going on, realistic information,
23 because the information media put out quite different information.
24 Q. Which information media do you mean?
25 A. The Muslim information media, those belonging to the Muslim
1 forces. Those were the ones that we had access to.
2 Q. So in listening to that information media and the information that
3 you got, you were there to actually say the -- to tell the actual state of
4 affairs, what actually existed, give a realistic view.
5 Could you tell us when you started out on your assignment?
6 A. We started on the 4th and 5th of July, 1995, and we arrived in the
7 Zeleni Jadar area and we set up camp around the village of Jasenova, that
8 region there. And that facility is to the south of the urban area of
9 Srebrenica, urban conglomerate.
10 Q. So your unit moved off from that region towards Srebrenica; is
11 that right?
12 A. Yes. We started out. Nothing happened on the first two days. I
13 think that combat activities actually started on the 6th and 7th, perhaps
14 even the 8th of July. And my unit was assigned the task of taking up
15 position at a feature called Alibegovac. That is a broader region, and it
16 is called -- the region is called Alibegovac. We arrived at the
17 Alibegovac position on the 10th of July, and that is where we stopped
18 because we were ordered not to enter Srebrenica but just to narrow down
19 the enclave, to make it easier to defend the surrounding Serbian
21 Q. Did you see that order that you have just referred to?
22 A. Yes. The Commander explained the order to us, and it said to
23 secure this area from combat activities, and this means the morale of the
24 soldiers as well, their psychological capacitation for that operation,
25 and that was my duty. I had to explain to the soldiers and to their
1 commanding officers what they were supposed to do, what their behaviour
2 should be, to boost their morale, and so on and so forth.
3 Q. In the course of these combat operations, did you, in fact, comply
4 with the order, act on it?
5 A. Yes, I did, because -- that is to say, we had our direction of
6 movement. There was no resistance from Muslim forces, so that we took
7 control of that feature fairly easily.
8 Q. You said that you captured that feature on the 10th of July, and
9 you stated with some certainty that date as opposed to the beginning, when
10 you were not quite sure whether it was the 6th or the 7th that the
11 operation started. So tell us, why is it that you remember the 10th of
12 July so well for you to be able to tell us?
13 A. I remember it because on the 11th of July, we already entered the
14 urban area of Srebrenica, which means that Srebrenica, in military terms,
15 had been liberated.
16 Q. You were in the command of the 2nd Romanija Brigade. Do you know
17 who was in charge of the Operation Krivaja 95, as it was code-named?
18 A. Krivaja 95 was under the command of General Radislav Krstic, but
19 the forward command post in Pribicevac, he was there and we received his
20 commands until the 10th of July, when Alibegovac fell. However, as I was
21 in the command, I was able to hear the orders issued by the Commander to
22 the unit. Once we had captured this feature, Alibegovac, I can't remember
23 whether I ever heard him on the line, but he did not issue us orders. We
24 received direct orders from General Ratko Mladic from there on.
25 Q. Are you quite sure --
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, excuse me for
2 interrupting you. Perhaps the names should be stated clearly. The
3 witness said that the Commander explained an order. Perhaps we should say
4 who that Commander was. Then again she said the Commander of the unit
5 spoke over the radio. Perhaps you should tell us the name. You know the
6 names, we don't, so would you please give us the names.
7 Mr. Petrusic, please proceed.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So a general question: You are a member of the 2nd Romanija
10 Motorised Brigade. Who was the Commander of that brigade?
11 A. The Commander was Colonel Mirko Trivic.
12 Q. And when you are referring to the Commander, when you have been
13 using the term "commander" so far, did that refer to Colonel Mirko Trivic?
14 A. Yes, exclusively I was referring to Colonel Mirko Trivic.
15 Q. So you mean he was your Commander until the 10th of July, and he
16 received orders until the 10th of July from General Krstic. So I'm just
17 going over what you have already said.
18 So from the 10th of July onwards, your Commander, Mirko Trivic,
19 received his commands from General Ratko Mladic; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Witness D/C, are you sure that you heard that on the 10th of July,
22 commands were issued to Mirko Trivic by General Ratko Mladic?
23 A. Yes, I heard it. I was there.
24 Q. Was that command issued over the so-called Motorola?
25 A. Several types of communications equipment were used.
1 Q. And on the line, it was always General Ratko Mladic and Colonel
2 Mirko Trivic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you hear Krstic on the lines issuing orders?
5 A. No. I do not recollect him issuing orders. There may have been a
6 conversation but no concrete orders.
7 Q. You said that Srebrenica fell on the 11th of July. Your unit, the
8 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, did it enter the town of Srebrenica?
9 A. The 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade did not enter the town because,
10 as ordered, it remained at Bojna, the village of Bojna, to the left of
11 Srebrenica. Only the command members entered the town.
12 Q. Can you tell us who were the members of the command? Were you
13 among them?
14 A. Yes, I was. There was the Brigade Commander, Colonel Trivic; then
15 the logistics officer -- do I need to give his name? Captain Dalivoji
16 Podrevic, the Communications Company Commander, Milan Stanic, several
17 communications signalsmen, and the escort of the Commander.
18 Q. Was the Commander of one of the battalions there?
19 A. Yes. Also the Battalion Commander, Major Ljubomir Eric.
20 Q. And yourself?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In these proceedings, Witness D/C -- let me rephrase that question
23 for a moment. You passed through Slapovici.
24 A. Yes. I passed through the refugee camp, as it was called in those
25 days, several times. It was a settlement with 1.000, maybe up to 2.000
1 refabricated buildings. And every night when we returned to the village
2 of Jasenova, where our camp was, we would pass through this village. And
3 even on the 13th of July, as we were withdrawing, we passed through
5 Q. We have heard here that Slapovici was set on fire and shelled, so
6 my question has to do with that. Was Slapovici burned down partially or
7 totally, just a few buildings or the whole settlement? Can you tell us
8 more about it?
9 A. No, no, that is not true. Slapovici was not touched, not by a
10 single soldier. On the 13th of July, in the morning, I went via Jasenova,
11 Slapovici, Srebrenica, and until that day, it was intact. Troops just
12 went past this settlement.
13 Q. Witness D/C, in the introductory part of your testimony, you said
14 that you are acquainted with weapons and artillery pieces that the former
15 JNA had at its disposal, as well as the army of Republika Srpska. In the
16 course of these proceedings, we have heard that an exceptionally large
17 number of shells was fired at the town of Srebrenica itself and its
18 environs, and even on the column of refugees moving from Srebrenica
19 towards Potocari. And since you said that you yourself were in the town
20 of Srebrenica, tell us, please, whether the town of Srebrenica was
21 damaged, and generally, during your stay in the area, did you hear or see
22 artillery weapons being fired?
23 A. There was some fire from artillery weapons but very little. The
24 fire was targeted at fortified Muslim positions. There was no need to do
25 that. The town of Srebrenica was not shelled at all. Not a single shell
1 fell on the urban part of town, not a single building was damaged when we
2 entered the town on the 11th of July.
3 Q. We have heard here that within a span of several hours, 200 shells
4 were fired; would you agree with that?
5 A. No, no. I said that there was some artillery fire but of very
6 limited extent, and it was mostly targeted at Muslim bunkers. But there
7 wasn't any real need because the resistance that they put up did not
8 require artillery action.
9 Q. When you entered Srebrenica on the 11th of July, did you find
10 civilians or soldiers or the inhabitants of Srebrenica there?
11 A. No, no. They had already left, I think, to the region of Potocari
12 village. On the street I saw two dead men who were probably killed by
13 small arms' fire, and we also saw a woman whose throat had been slit. We
14 didn't know who it was. Then her brother came and told us that it was a
15 Serb woman who had stayed to live there during the war, and if it hadn't
16 been for him, we wouldn't have known the identity of that woman.
17 Q. In the course of your stay in that area, did you have any contact
18 with soldiers or representatives of UNPROFOR who were protecting the safe
20 A. Yes. One occasion we had contact with them. This was prior to
21 the fall of the Alibegovac feature. That day we saw two APCs of the Dutch
22 Battalion heading towards the Muslims, along a macadam road. The Muslims
23 opened fire at them, and we saw that. And we saw that one soldier was
24 wounded. Actually, we thought that he had been wounded, but later we
25 learnt that he had been killed.
1 Later on, I can't remember whether that was that day or the next
2 day, two APCs started off in our direction. I really don't know how to
3 describe this. In fact, they surrendered to my unit. There were two
4 complete crews of six or eight soldiers and two commanders, and it was
5 explained to them to abate their fears. First they were frightened but we
6 managed to explain to them that they would be free and that they could go
7 back to their own country.
8 I don't know how they were transported out, whether it was with an
9 escort or not. I don't know. But anyway, they were directed towards
10 Bratunac via Zeleni Jadar.
11 Q. How were they treated?
12 A. Well, nothing special. We had some beer. It was quite warm. I
13 offered them beer. They were glad to drink it because for a long time
14 they had been living in the enclave outside the urban area, so that beer
15 was rare. They were quite young. We exchanged greetings. They may have
16 been 18 or 20 years old. I didn't really pay any special attention to
17 them. Nobody mistreated them, as far as I was able to see, and they were
18 simply escorted out.
19 Q. Did they leave on their APCs?
20 A. I think so, but -- how else? The only thing I'm not sure about
21 was whether they were escorted. Probably they were, because there were
22 some other activities ongoing. There were reports we were working on, so
23 I didn't have much time to pay attention to them.
24 Q. You entered the town of Srebrenica on the 11th, in the afternoon,
25 together with the commanding officers you have mentioned. Where did you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 go from there?
2 A. We entered Srebrenica in the afternoon. Then we went -- the
3 members of the command returned to the Jasenova camp, and my unit stayed
4 in the village of Bojna, the Bojna feature, close to Srebrenica.
5 Q. But Jasenova is where your headquarters was.
6 A. Yes, it was the headquarters and the camp, as we call it.
7 Q. On the 12th of July, where was your unit?
8 A. On the 12th of July, when Srebrenica had fallen militarily, the
9 unit was to assemble in the region of Viogora close to the Suceska
10 village. That day we were tasked to search the terrain at the same time.
11 So we followed the macadam road going from Mount Jahorina and we were to
12 assemble at Viogora. However, from Srebrenica to Jahorina, it is about 10
13 to 12 kilometres, and it is highly inaccessible, so we moved on foot. On
14 the road we didn't come across anyone, refugees or anyone else. We just
15 walked across that area, searching the terrain. This was completed late
16 in the evening, and there was no time for the unit to assemble and line up
17 in the Viogora region. So we returned to camp, and the next day in the
18 morning, my unit, together with the others, was assembled and lined up in
19 the Viogora region. I did not attend the line-up because the command of
20 the brigade was assigned the task to take the unit to Zepa. At the time I
21 didn't really know what the order was and what the assignment of the unit
22 would be, nor what we would be doing up there.
23 So that on the 13th of July, in the morning, together with the
24 Commander, Colonel Trivic, and the Commander of the Communications
25 Company, I headed towards Zepa, the Zepa area, where our task was to set
1 up camp and to find an area that would be suitable for a communications
2 centre. My unit went to the roundabout way, Srebrenica, Jahorina,
3 Suceska, probably also because of the crowds on the Srebrenica-Bratunac
4 road, which was crowded.
5 Q. Just a moment, please. Let us go back to the 12th or, rather, the
6 11th and the 12th of July. So on the 11th of July you left Srebrenica,
7 and on the 12th and the 13th of July, did you at all see General Krstic?
8 A. I saw General Krstic only on the 11th of July when we arrived in
9 town. General Ratko Mladic came, also General Zivanovic, and then a
10 little after them, probably because he had difficulty walking, General
11 Krstic came, and I didn't see him again until the 13th, in the Zepa area.
12 Q. So you, Colonel Trivic, and you just said the signalsman, you
13 headed from Jasenova on the 13th, towards Bratunac. You passed through
14 Srebrenica, Potocari, to reach Bratunac. Tell us, what did you see in
16 A. I think it was the UNPROFOR compound there. We saw a large number
17 of women, men, and children, troops, members of the Dutch Battalion in
18 camouflage uniforms; also people wearing civilian police uniforms. There
19 was a large crowd of people. I didn't recognise anyone, at least not any
20 of the senior officers of the Drina Corps that I knew at the time. And it
21 was hard to pass through in a vehicle. We went through very slowly and we
22 continued on the road to Bratunac.
23 Q. What you were able to see, that is, men, women, and children, were
24 they mixed together or were they separated?
25 A. They were not separated. They were all together.
1 Q. After arriving in Bratunac, where did you go from there?
2 A. After Bratunac, we headed towards the Zepa area. The Commander,
3 Mirko Trivic, was picked up by a command passenger vehicle which was to
4 take him there, and the Commander of the Communications Unit was told to
5 take the vehicle and to take me as well. So we drove from Bratunac via
6 Kravica, Konjevic Polje, Nova Kasaba, Milici, Vlasenica, and the Zepa
7 area, specifically the area of Pod Plane.
8 Q. Along the road from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje, did you come
9 across troops, the police, convoys? Describe to us this trip.
10 A. Along the road I did see all that you have mentioned. We caught
11 up with a convoy that was driving Muslim refugees. It was a convoy of
12 buses and trucks. I think that it is in the broader area of the village
13 of Kravica. From the hills Muslim soldiers were firing and going in the
14 direction of the road that we were on, as well as the convoy.
15 On the other side of the road, soldiers, policemen, I saw people
16 wearing olive-grey uniforms, as well as blue camouflage uniforms, were
17 resisting. We started to overtake the convoy, though it was difficult to
18 do. It was quite a risky trip; our lives were in danger. As the buses
19 were higher than our vehicle, I couldn't see inside, who the people inside
20 were. But several trucks -- in several trucks I could see that there were
21 men, women, and children inside, as the trucks were not covered by canvas,
22 they were open.
23 The Muslim soldiers split up. There were a lot of them and they
24 were quite close to the road. And they were firing at the convoy and the
25 soldiers who were resisting. However, our aim was to get through as
1 quickly as we could, and we continued along our way to the village of Pod
3 Q. We hear now for the first time that in the broader area of
4 Kravica, that there were Muslim troops from the hills that had split up
5 into small groups and that were firing at soldiers along the road, the
6 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road. Are you quite sure that they were Muslim
7 soldiers or, rather, that that happened?
8 A. Yes, I am quite sure of that because I was passing through and we
9 were trying to get through as quickly as possible to save our lives.
10 There were very many soldiers. One could see it quite easily from the
11 car. They were maybe 300, 400 metres from the road, and the distance
12 between each one of them was 50 to 100 metres, the soldiers that were
13 shooting. Our soldiers were lying down in a trench along the road. The
14 fighting was going on and the convoy was passing through.
15 Q. You passed through Nova Kasaba. In Nova Kasaba there is a
16 football pitch. Do you know that?
17 A. No, I don't know.
18 Q. Along the road, in Nova Kasaba, did you see Muslim prisoners?
19 A. No. After that convoy, we didn't see any larger group of people,
20 be they prisoners or soldiers or anything.
21 Q. Could you please try and remember what time it could have been
22 when you passed through Nova Kasaba?
23 A. Well, it was in the morning, maybe before noon, because we reached
24 close to Zepa around 2.00 in the afternoon.
25 Q. So you reached the Pod Plane area on the 13th, at about 2.00 p.m.
1 And combat operations towards Zepa, did they start that same day?
2 A. No, not that day. That day the units assembled; they arrived in
3 the evening. It was still visible; I can't remember what time it was.
4 Anyway, on the 14th of July, the operations started. There was
5 reconnaissance by subordinate units, deployment, and actual combat was
7 Q. And you stayed until the end of the combat operations around
9 A. Yes. I stayed on until the 2nd of August.
10 Q. In that period of time, were you able to listen to communications
11 among Commanders, that is, between your Commander and his Superior
13 A. Yes, I did have occasion to hear because we did listen to those
15 Q. Who was in command of the Zepa operation?
16 A. General Krstic was in command of the Zepa operation.
17 Q. He issued direct orders to your Commander, Colonel Trivic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Witness D/C, preparing for your testimony, you told me so my
20 question is: What do you know about the fact that when Zepa fell some
21 technical equipment was seized, which included some documentation of the
22 Zepa Brigade and the 28th Division?
23 A. Yes, I heard about that. I think that this was found in a school
24 or something. I can't remember. It was a computer, actually, and some
25 diskettes. There were rumours about that. I don't know what happened
1 with that material later on, who took it over, so I can't be more
2 specific, except to say that I know that it was found, that it included
3 complete documentation regarding both Srebrenica and Zepa.
4 Q. Tell us, please, among the command staff of your Superior Command,
5 did you see any of them at Zepa?
6 A. I would see General Krstic most often. I also saw General Ratko
7 Mladic. I saw some other senior officers from the Main Staff, as it was
8 called then. Do I need to enumerate the names?
9 Q. Yes, please. Tell us who you saw.
10 A. I saw Colonel Beara, Tolimir, officers from the Drina Corps who
11 were with General Krstic, Colonel Vicic. Maybe if I would think a little
12 harder I would remember some more names.
13 Q. So you saw Colonel Vicic with General Krstic.
14 A. Yes. I knew him from before, because he was my Commander at the
15 school in Sarajevo so that I knew him well.
16 Q. Witness D/C, tell us, during the time of the combat operations
17 towards Zepa, do you know which position, by establishment, was held by
18 General Krstic and the Drina Corps?
19 A. General Krstic was first the Commander of the 2nd Romanija
20 Motorised Brigade, later he became Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, and
21 he held that position until, I think, the 20th of July.
22 On the 20th of July, 1995, when the Commander of the Corps
23 hitherto, General Zivanovic, retired, and by decree of the President of
24 the Republic, he became the Commander of the Drina Corps. So this
25 occurred around the 20th. We were informed around the 20th, while the
1 Zepa operation was still ongoing.
2 Q. So around the 20th you were informed that General Krstic had taken
3 over command over the Drina Corps.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Witness D/C, from 1992 you were with General Krstic, I could put
6 it that way, because he was your Commander of the brigade; then later on
7 in July 1995, you were with him again in the Zepa and Srebrenica
8 operations, so I assume that you know General Krstic well. So I would
9 like to ask you whether you can tell us something about him as a
10 Commander, as a personality, though in the army it is difficult to
11 separate the two.
12 A. Yes, I can say quite a lot about General Krstic as a person, but
13 primarily as a Commanding Officer. General Krstic was my Brigade
14 Commander for some time, and later on, when he became Chief of Staff of
15 the Drina Corps, we frequently had contact with him because my unit, the
16 2nd Romanija Brigade, was part of the Drina Corps.
17 When he took up duty as Brigade Commander, General Krstic was
18 Lieutenant Colonel. He formed and organised the 2nd Romanija Brigade in
19 such a way that I think it could not compare -- there was no other unit
20 that could compare with it because everything functioned perfectly in the
21 unit, though it was quite a large unit by establishment.
22 We all came to know him and to love him, I must say, primarily
23 because of his character, his behaviour as a military man, the way he
24 treated his subordinates, the civilian population, his superiors, captured
25 Muslims and Croats. All that we were able to see and hear about him and
1 our experience working with him has suddenly been totally undermined, and
2 I simply cannot understand why he should have been accused. Because later
3 when we learnt what had happened in the environs of Srebrenica, he could
4 not have ordered that to happen, because throughout the war, everything he
5 did and said was quite in the opposite sense.
6 We did have Muslim prisoners who were held in the Knezina
7 detention centre for some time, that is where the brigade command was, and
8 they were treated as any other people. They had coffee, they had
9 cigarettes; they were maybe better off than Serb soldiers sometimes. In
10 due time they were exchanged. And even now we have contacts with some of
11 them in Sarajevo and they are grateful for the way they were treated by
13 In 1993 General Krstic helped the Croats and troops of Vares. He
14 helped the troops and people of Vares, with all their equipment, to reach
15 Sokolac, to save them from the Muslim attacks. And a kind of refugee camp
16 was set up there and they stayed there, some 15 days, some a whole month,
17 and then they went on from there as they wished. The military and the
18 equipment crossed over to territory under the control of the Croatian
19 army. I don't know exactly where.
20 In those days, many inhabitants of Sokolac, which was within the
21 area of responsibility of General Krstic's units, were opposed to him.
22 They did not approve. They were saying, "Why did he as a Commander of a
23 Serb unit, why was he saving the Croatian people?"
24 As for captured people, I never heard him say that a prisoner
25 should be mistreated or anything like that. He always protected them.
1 And I liked his attitude as a professional military man. He treated
2 people with respect. He fully observed the rules of war, and he was very
3 well-versed in them.
4 Q. Witness D/C, I will stop there. I have no more questions for
5 you. It will now be the turn of my learned friends from the Prosecution
6 to continue to put questions to you.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence has no
8 further questions for this witness.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
10 Mr. Petrusic.
11 I'm looking at the clock, and from the point of view of
12 organisation, perhaps it would be a good idea to have a break. But with
13 respect to the day's schedule as a whole, this could complicate matters
14 for us. But I think that we could have a rest. Let's take a break, a
15 half-hour break.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think it's going to be
19 Mr. Harmon who is going to start the cross-examination. Yesterday we
20 spoke about Article 90, (G) and (H), and as the examination-in-chief took
21 more or less an hour, with flexibility with which we take the Rule, please
22 keep that in mind, members of the Prosecution.
23 Witness D/C, have you had a rest?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have. Thank you.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You are now going to
1 be answering questions put to you by the Prosecution, Witness D/C.
2 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours, my colleagues from the
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:
5 Q. Good morning, Witness D/C.
6 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, if we can go into private session for
7 the first set of questions.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Let us move into private
9 session. I suppose this has to do with matters of identification.
10 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are now. Please proceed,
11 Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Witness D/C, you described in your direct examination the concrete
14 tasks that you had in the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade. You identified
15 one of those tasks as a responsibility to inform the officers and the
16 soldiers about the situation in which the Serb people found themselves.
17 Can you explain that a little bit more, please, what you mean by that?
18 A. That means to inform the soldiers and officers with the prevailing
19 circumstances, to inform them of their environment, both immediate
20 environment and the broader environment; the state of affairs in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the territory where the unit is located, the territory
22 of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the state of affairs in the other republics of the
23 former Yugoslavia, and the situation and relationship of the International
24 Community towards the former Bosnia-Herzegovina. This also included the
25 relationship of the Muslim people towards the Serbian people and vice
1 versa; the territory in which they live, where they belong, what the
2 object of the fight of the Serbian people was, the objective of defence,
3 things of that kind.
4 Q. Where would you get your information about the view that the
5 International Community had vis-a-vis the Serb people?
6 A. We got official information from the Superior Commands, and this
7 went down the chain of command, and also via the information media.
8 Q. So did you get information about negotiations that were ongoing
9 between the Serbs, the Muslims, and the Croats?
10 A. Yes, we did. We received that information.
11 Q. Did you receive information about United Nations' developments,
12 such as the views and Resolutions of the United Nations vis-a-vis, for
13 example, the attack on the Srebrenica enclave?
14 A. Yes, we did. We received that information.
15 Q. Did you receive information from -- let me ask you -- let me
16 withdraw that question. When was it that you received that information in
17 relation to the attack on the Srebrenica enclave?
18 A. I'm not quite clear what you're asking me, whether when we moved
19 towards the enclave or the events around the enclave.
20 Q. Let me clarify my question. When was it that you received
21 information about developments at the United Nations and their view, their
22 Resolutions, that related to Srebrenica? In July of 1995, in August of
24 A. Well, information about the position taken by the United Nations
25 towards the safe area, we got that earlier on. But the Muslims did not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 respect the Resolution, and because of all the armed attacks on the
2 Serbian population --
3 Q. Excuse me. If you just answer the question that I ask you, I'm
4 going to try to be fairly precise in my questions.
5 Were you aware that the United Nations, following the attack on
6 Srebrenica, was concerned about the fate of thousands of Muslim civilians
7 and prisoners of war?
8 A. After the fall of Srebrenica, well, at that time we didn't really
9 because we continued towards the Zepa operation, so we had no separate
10 information as to the position of the United Nations, just concrete
11 information. And via the public media we learnt what we could from them.
12 We heard different information from the Federation; that is to say, the
13 Muslims conveyed, carried, different information which did not correspond
14 to the actual situation that we found on the ground.
15 Q. So you heard Muslim information through the radio, I take it, and
16 through the television and other media sources that there were thousands
17 of Muslim men --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- who were massacred following the fall of Srebrenica; is that
21 A. Yes, I heard that.
22 Q. And you were an officer in the VRS at the time dealing with the
23 issue of informing the soldiers and the officers about the situation in
24 which they found themselves; correct?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Did you inform your soldiers and your officers about the reports
2 that you had heard on the Muslim media that thousands of Muslim civilians
3 and prisoners of war had allegedly disappeared?
4 A. Yes, I did inform them. But those reports, the reports coming in,
5 and the casualties around Srebrenica, we learnt about that much later on;
6 two to three months, perhaps, after the fall of Srebrenica. The first
7 information came over the media much later, and immediately after the fall
8 of Srebrenica, we knew nothing about that.
9 Q. Did you hear on the 17th of July that the spokesperson for
10 President Karadzic issued a public statement in which he alleged or said
11 that there were very serious allegations about the Muslim civilians and
12 prisoners of war who had gone missing but that he personally did not give
13 that any credit? Did you hear about that statement issued by
14 Mr. Zametica?
15 A. No. At that time I did not hear about that, only later on,
16 because we were already engaged in combat activities again and we had no
17 occasion to listen to the information media and hear information of that
19 Q. Okay. So in performing your duties while you were in Srebrenica
20 and in Zepa, were you in an information blackout? You didn't get any
21 information about that.
22 A. Well, it wasn't an information blockade or blackout. The
23 circumstances were as they were. But most of the work I did at the time
24 focused on information and what the tasks of the units were; to take care
25 of the people on the terrain, to solve the problems that cropped up, the
1 problems that they were facing daily, whether they had psychological
2 problems or anything of that kind, perhaps medical problems, and so on.
3 Q. So at least that aspect of your job you were unable to fulfil
4 because you didn't have information at your disposal; is that your
6 A. Well, not that I couldn't fulfil it. But according to the
7 existing structure and hierarchy that existed in the army at that time,
8 there was no need for that information. We didn't know about the events
9 that had taken place, the occurrences. We were not informed about the
11 Q. All right. We'll return to that topic in a few minutes. But let
12 me now concentrate on your role in the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade.
13 You testified that you received orders to go to Srebrenica sometime before
14 the attack commenced on the enclave, and you testified that you at some
15 point in time reached the Alibegovac feature on the 10th of July.
16 Now, up to that point in time, your unit had not had any
17 resistance, had they?
18 A. Smaller resistance.
19 Q. In fact, your unit didn't suffer any casualties up through the
20 10th of July, did they?
21 A. No, it did not.
22 Q. Now, your testimony -- let me see if I understand the structure of
23 your unit. The 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, the Commander was
24 Lieutenant Colonel Mirko Trivic; am I correct?
25 A. Colonel Mirko Trivic.
1 Q. All right. Did he have a deputy?
2 A. Yes, he did have a deputy, but in the Srebrenica operation he
3 wasn't there. He remained in his original unit.
4 Q. Who was his second in command in the Srebrenica operation?
5 A. In the Srebrenica operation he did not have a deputy.
6 Q. So he was solely in charge of commanding the units under him.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, your role in that operation, can you explain to us exactly
9 what it was?
10 A. Primarily, pursuant to orders, I had to explain to the soldiers
11 and the commanding officers, the subordinate Commanders, what the object
12 of our operation was for them to be able to understand why they were
13 there, why they had come there, what their goal was; and to follow and
14 monitor their work, to write reports, to do reporting for the command, to
15 observe their physical and psychological stability and the ability to
16 stand up to the situation, the effects that enemy propaganda was having on
17 them, and so on.
18 Q. I take it those responsibilities took you into the field, away
19 from Colonel Trivic?
20 A. Well, yes. Sometimes I was there; sometimes I was touring the
21 soldiers in the units, going from one to another. But it was a small unit
22 so we were mostly all together.
23 Q. Were you with Colonel Trivic at all times during the operation?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Twenty-four hours a day?
1 A. Well, for the most part.
2 Q. Did you have a communications centre associated with your unit?
3 A. Yes, we did.
4 Q. Where was it located?
5 A. It was located in the village of Jasenova, and we had
6 communications on the terrain as well.
7 Q. So the communications centre -- the principal communications
8 centre for your unit was not the location Alibegovac; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, there was one there. The communications centre was set up at
10 Jasenova, but all the devices that functioned in Jasenova functioned at
11 Alibegovac as well.
12 Q. All right. And what type of devices did you use at Alibegovac?
13 Did you use hand-held Motorolas?
14 A. Yes, Motorolas and hand-held receivers.
15 Q. Now, let me ask you this question, Witness D/C: Who would be in a
16 better position to know what orders, if any, were given by General Mladic,
17 you or Colonel Trivic?
18 A. Well, I was present there and I could have heard. It's almost the
19 same thing. He would receive the orders and I just listened to them, I
20 heard them.
21 Q. So did you ever receive any orders from General Mladic?
22 A. No.
23 Q. So let me return to my question again. During the operation
24 involving your unit, who was in the better position to know what orders
25 were received from General Mladic, if any, you or Colonel Trivic?
1 A. Well, Colonel Trivic, of course.
2 Q. Let me read you a statement from Colonel Trivic. Colonel Trivic
3 was --
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The Defence has an objection to the
6 reading of that statement. The statement was not provided in the court.
7 The Defence does not have that statement, it has not had an opportunity to
8 get to know it, so I do not think that this statement should be read to
9 the witness.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON: Yes, I take a contrary view to that. This statement
12 was provided to us on the 5th of October by Colonel Trivic, who was
13 interviewed, pursuant to a summons. This witness has testified about
14 certain facts. I'm going to read her the views of Colonel Trivic in
15 respect of certain parts of her testimony and ask her to comment on it,
16 and I think that is a fair and appropriate way to examine this witness.
17 JUDGE WALD: Are you going to make the statement available to the
18 Defence so they can see it?
19 MR. HARMON: This statement, if they want to see it, I will make
20 it available but ...
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I consider that statement -- that
22 that statement should have been provided to the Defence earlier because of
23 the examination-in-chief. And in this case, we are going to be
24 handicapped, in a handicapped position, because we're going to get the
25 statement now in the course of this testimony, and what do we do with it
1 now at this late date? The Prosecutor knew seven to ten days beforehand
2 that this witness would come to court, and he knew the contents of this
3 witness' testimony. I, therefore, consider that he was duty-bound to
4 provide the Defence with the statement if he had the intention of
5 referring to it.
6 MR. HARMON: May I comment on that? May I comment on my
7 colleague's remarks?
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, for us to be able to make a
9 decision in that regard.
10 MR. HARMON: In the first place, we received a very brief and
11 scant summary, mostly topical, about this witness' testimony. The
12 Prosecutor complained about that on two occasions. So to assert that the
13 Prosecutor knew what this witness was going to say is simply not correct.
14 Second of all, if this transcript is to be made available to the
15 Defence, I would ask that, 1, it be kept -- it be returned to us, it not
16 be disseminated. This is a statement that was provided to us pursuant to
17 orders of the Prosecutor. It is a statement that relates to the
18 investigation, and, very frankly, Mr. President, I would prefer making
19 available to the witness the aspects of the statement about which I'm
20 going to examine and not all aspects of this, because other parts of this
21 are sensitive.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are going to consider the
23 matter, and this will take a few moments.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Chamber has decided that the
1 Prosecutor may use, to test the credibility of the witness, this
2 statement. The Defence can have the right to re-examination after having
3 inspected the document. That is the decision of the Chamber; that is to
4 say, the Prosecutor will be duty-bound to provide the document to the
5 Defence for the Defence to be able to study the document and then have the
6 right to re-examine the witness with respect to that question.
7 You may proceed.
8 MR. HARMON: Now, let me --
9 JUDGE RIAD: I just add, only the parts of the document which are
10 relevant, because you said that other parts are supposed to be kept for
12 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
13 Q. Let me read to you what Colonel Trivic told us in respect of the
14 very point on which you testified. Questioned by Mr. Ruez: [as read]
15 "Q. Did you have direct communication with General Mladic from
16 forward command post, or did the communication go through
17 other people?"
18 I'm sorry. Let me read from a few lines above that so I can get
19 the totality of this.
20 "Q. Was this the first time that you were aware General Mladic was
21 in the area?
22 A. I knew before we were in contact through radiolink because he
23 contacted us from the forward command post of Drina Corps.
24 Q. Are you talking about Pribicevac command post?
25 A. Yes, probably.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Since -- do you remember what day did General Mladic in this
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you have direct communication with General Mladic from
5 forward command post or did the communication go through other
7 A. Through the signal officers, communication officers or
9 Q. And what was the topic of the communications?
10 A. There was some warning that we will encounter some air raids,
11 air strikes, just to secure -- just to -- I don't know who
12 conveyed that information to him. But since he was the only
13 -- since he was the one who directly conveyed that information
14 to us, just to secure the manpower, actually to find the
15 proper shelter for them, because the air strikes were
16 expected. I know that at the certain moment that the
17 communications soldier was surprised first to hear Mladic on
18 the radio, and then, second, he said, 'Fuck it. We are
19 expecting the air raids. We have to find shelter.'
20 Q. Did you receive any other orders coming directly from General
22 A. In what sense? About the engagement of the unit or what?
23 Q. Whatever. Whatever. There were direct instructions coming
24 from his mouth.
25 A. Not until the moment I greeted him, and when I was asked to
1 secure the west part, but that was in close contact.
2 Q. Okay. At the moment he gave you that order, was he in the
3 presence of Zivanovic and General Krstic?
4 A. Yes, they were together. Yes, I got close to him and I
5 saluted him as my superior officer, and then I was tasked to
6 secure that on an order to prevent possible attacks and
7 surprises. I think that at that moment he addressed to all
8 present commanding officers, saying that we should be ready
9 for further movement toward Potocari."
10 That conversation took, all in all, around ten minutes. So I've
11 read you -- I've finished reading the statement that was made by Colonel
12 Trivic to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 5th of October, and
13 according to Colonel Trivic, who you say was in a better position to know
14 the orders, Colonel Trivic informed us that the only order that he
15 received from General Mladic was when he greeted Mladic in town at a
16 ten-minute union. Do you care to comment on Colonel Trivic's statement?
17 A. Yes, I can comment. That statement refers to the day of the 11th,
18 when we entered Srebrenica, which means that previous orders were not
19 reproduced there.
20 Q. Okay. We'll move on with your testimony. Now, let's talk about
21 the meeting that you had in Srebrenica with General Mladic, General
22 Zivanovic, and General Krstic. That meeting lasted about ten minutes,
23 didn't it?
24 A. Yes. It wasn't a real meeting, it was just an encounter in the
25 street. But I was speaking about the orders prior to Alibegovac, prior to
1 the 10th of July, that we received from Pribicevac, and the orders once we
2 received Alibegovac on the 10th, the orders on the 11th, while we were
3 entering Srebrenica.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. I cannot deny that General Mladic directly commanded the units.
6 Q. Now, General Mladic was the Chief of the Main Staff, and his
7 subordinate officer was General Krstic, who was at that time the Chief of
8 Staff of the Drina Corps; correct?
9 A. General Krstic was directly subordinate to the Commander of the
10 Drina Corps, General Zivanovic, and also one can say that he was
11 subordinate to the Commander of the Main Staff, as was the whole Drina
13 Q. Did General Krstic issue any orders to the Drina Corps and to
14 members of the attacking units after the 10th of July?
15 A. I have no knowledge about that. I didn't hear them on the
16 communication lines.
17 Q. Did General Mladic order the -- I'm sorry. Did General Krstic
18 order the units to proceed to Zepa?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Who did?
21 A. General Mladic gave orders to the Brigade Commanders.
22 Q. Okay. Let us talk about the orders that were given to the Brigade
23 Commanders. Were you present when those orders were given?
24 A. I was not present.
25 Q. All right. Well, let's just follow the sequence and the correct
1 time order. After you had this brief ten-minute meeting with General --
2 where you saw General Mladic and the other officers in Srebrenica, where
3 did you go?
4 A. The command staff of my unit returned to the camp in Jasenova, and
5 the unit itself stayed at the village of Bojna, close to Srebrenica,
6 actually securing the town.
7 Q. Where did you spend the night between the 11th of July and the
8 morning of the 12th of July?
9 A. I spent the night at the camp in Jasenova.
10 Q. And were you with Colonel Trivic again?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what happened briefly on the -- strike that. I'll withdraw
13 that question. Were you present when Colonel Trivic was ordered to attend
14 the meeting at a television repeater approximately 800 metres south of
15 Srebrenica? This is on the 12th of July.
16 A. Yes, I was present when he received that order, and I was present
17 when he left. But I was not present at the meeting.
18 Q. Were you aware that at that meeting that took place between your
19 commanding officer and General Krstic and Colonel Obrad Vicic, that
20 General Krstic issued an order to sweep the terrain?
21 A. I did not know who issued the order to sweep the terrain.
22 Q. Following that meeting that took place at about 10.00 or 11.00 in
23 the morning, did Colonel Trivic return, and did he tell you that he had
24 received an order from General Krstic to sweep the terrain?
25 A. Yes, he returned and he told us that he had received an order but
1 not from Krstic. I think that Krstic was not there, already there.
2 Anyway, he didn't tell us who he received the order from.
3 Q. Did your unit, in fact, sweep the terrain after the return of
4 Colonel Trivic?
5 A. Yes. We went from Srebrenica, towards Jahorina. It is about 10
6 or 20 kilometres away. We moved on foot. We went parallel with the road
7 going from Srebrenica to Jahorina, and then from there on, Viogora and
9 Q. Let me read you what took place at that meeting and ask you to
10 comment on what Colonel Trivic says occurred at that meeting at 10.00 or
11 11.00 in the morning of the 12th.
12 "Q. We are now --"
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic. Is there a
14 problem in the transcript?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, this time.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What is the objection, then?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The witness has already said that
18 she was not present at the meeting. The Prosecutor is now going to read
19 an extract from a statement by a person who attended that meeting. I
20 cannot assume what the Prosecutor wants from the witness. But I do wish
21 to draw attention to the fact that if the Prosecutor determines what is
22 relevant from that statement which needs to be shown to the Defence, in
23 the opinion of the Defence, that is purely his own opinion.
24 In our opinion, it would be preferable for the Defence to receive
25 the whole statement of Colonel Trivic, especially since the Defence has
1 already spoken to Colonel Trivic and he is on our list of witnesses, and
2 also in view of certain discrepancies between the statement Colonel Trivic
3 gave to the Prosecutor and what he told us. And I think that the
4 relevance of parts of this statement is not up to the Prosecutor alone to
5 determine, so I wish to object to this question.
6 I am also addressing myself to the Trial Chamber regarding its
7 prior decision: Could you please specify the concept of relevance on the
8 basis of which the Prosecutor is selecting excerpts to disclose to the
10 It is our submission that we need to be shown the whole statement
11 so as to be able to judge for ourselves what is relevant and what is not.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
13 Mr. Harmon, briefly, please.
14 MR. HARMON: Again, Your Honour, I am going to read what Colonel
15 Trivic says and identify another officer who was present at that meeting
16 and ask this witness to comment on it.
17 JUDGE WALD: I'm having trouble just making that linkage. Maybe
18 you could be a little bit more specific about why you would be asking this
19 witness to comment on a meeting at which she has declared she wasn't
20 present? I mean, what kind of linkage would you hope to show later on?
21 MR. HARMON: Yes, let me explain that, Judge Wald.
22 This witness has said, 1, she was very close to Colonel Trivic;
23 she was with him at all times; she was on his command staff. Presumably
24 she's in a position to know from Colonel Trivic what orders Colonel Trivic
25 received and what actions were taken as a result of those orders.
1 This witness has testified today, just now, that she was aware
2 that Colonel Trivic went to a meeting, that there was -- although she
3 didn't know who was there -- I haven't identified all of the people who
4 were there; that Colonel Trivic returned and that her unit conducted a
5 sweep operation on the 12th.
6 So this is to test this witness' credibility when she has informed
7 this Chamber about certain facts on her direct examination. Presumably
8 she's in a position to know, and if she doesn't, then she can answer that
9 she doesn't know that.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We have already decided that you
11 may use this statement to check the credibility of the witness. As for
12 divergencies that may exist between the statement given to the Prosecution
13 and the Defence, we will see that in the examination-in-chief of the
14 Defence and the cross-examination of the Prosecution.
15 So these questions are now being put to check the credibility of
16 the witness, and it is the Prosecutor that has certain doubts regarding
17 the credibility, so it is up to the Prosecutor to determine which parts of
18 the statement they will use. As for the re-examination of the Defence, it
19 is these parts of the statement that will have to be used.
20 So we uphold our decision, having given that explanation. Please
21 continue, Mr. Prosecutor.
22 MR. HARMON:
23 Q. Do you know a Drina Corps officer by the name of Obrad Vicic?
24 A. Yes. I have known him for a long time.
25 Q. And during the Srebrenica operation and during the Zepa operation,
1 he was the operations officer for General Krstic; isn't that correct?
2 A. No, he was not a communications officer. He worked in the Drina
3 Corps, in the Operations Department.
4 Q. There was a poor translation. I said operations officer, not
5 communications officer. He was the operations officer for General Krstic;
6 isn't that correct?
7 A. Not for General Krstic but for the Drina Corps, and he was
8 directly subordinated to General Zivanovic.
9 Q. Okay. Now, we'll pass on this particular point and we'll move to
10 another point, Witness D/C.
11 After you conducted -- I'm sorry. After Colonel Trivic returned
12 to the area after the meeting in the morning, your unit conducted a sweep
13 operation. My question is: Did Colonel Trivic and did you participate in
14 that sweep operation?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And did Colonel Trivic receive an order to report to a specific
17 location while he was conducting that sweep operation? Did he leave?
18 A. The search was to have been done earlier because that same day,
19 the unit was supposed to line up to move on. However, the search took
20 longer because of the inaccessibility of the terrain, and in the evening,
21 at the invitation of General Mladic, Colonel Trivic went to a meeting.
22 That is what we were told.
23 Q. Before that invitation, did Colonel Trivic leave the sweep
24 operation at or around 1800 or 1900 hours?
25 A. Yes, around 1800 or 1900 hours. That was the end of the
1 operation, the end of our assignment. He didn't leave us in the course of
2 the operation but once the task had been accomplished.
3 Q. And he went to meet General Krstic, didn't he?
4 A. No. The communications conveyed that General Mladic was calling
5 the commanding officers to a meeting.
6 Q. Let me read you what Colonel Trivic has to say about this
7 particular topic. This is Colonel Trivic.
8 "A. So sometime, because we were moving slowly, cautiously along
9 the road ..."
10 Let me interrupt here for a second. That's the road that you
11 testified about moving up with your unit.
12 "A. ... and once we -- so sometime around 1800 or 1900 hours.
13 It was summertime so the sun was still up. Actually, I was
14 ordered to refer to the village of Viogor, and I was told
15 that the commander of the operation, that's Krstic, is waiting
16 for me there. I got to him and he was accompanied by Andric.
17 He asked me to brief him about the situation, whether I was
18 engaged in any kind of combat or something like that, but
19 there was no fighting activities so I was tasked, he told me
20 to stay at those positions. So I organised the outpost to
21 organise the line and everything else and to get connected
22 with adjacent units, and I think that was the time when he
23 ordered me to refer to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters at
24 10.00 p.m.
25 Q. Uh-huh. So 12 July, 10.00 p.m., the request to go to the
1 Bratunac headquarters.
2 A. So I issued orders to my subordinates, I went back to the
3 village, to the command post where I was before to pick up
4 maps and some materials, and I made my way to Bratunac."
5 Now, can you comment on what Colonel Trivic says when he says that
6 he met with General Krstic and General Krstic ordered him to go to the
7 Bratunac Brigade headquarters? Can you comment on that, please?
8 A. I cannot comment on that because Colonel Trivic did not inform us
9 about all those details. We just heard over the communication lines,
10 conveyed by the signalsman, that all the unit Commanders were being
11 invited by the command of the Main Staff to the headquarters in Bratunac.
12 Q. Now, do you have any reason to dispute what Colonel Trivic told
13 the Office of the Prosecutor?
14 A. No, I am not disputing those details because I'm not familiar with
15 the details.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has
18 already said that she cannot confirm these things. I don't understand
19 this additional question if the witness has already clearly said that she
20 cannot confirm or deny. I think that is the only logical conclusion from
21 the witness' response.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
23 The witness has already answered, and may I remind you that you have a
24 time limit. And if you're going to use that time, it's up to you how
25 you're going to use it.
1 MR. HARMON: Yes, thank you.
2 Q. Now, you did not attend that meeting, did you, at the Bratunac
3 Brigade headquarters?
4 A. No, no.
5 Q. Are you aware that at that meeting, General Mladic issued an order
6 to General Krstic for General Krstic to issue an order to his subordinate
7 units to move to Zepa?
8 A. I know that General Mladic issued orders. All the unit Commanders
9 were present and they received direct orders that the next day, in the
10 morning, we were to move on Zepa. I have no other concrete information
11 about that meeting.
12 Q. Now, did General Krstic then issue orders to the subordinate units
13 that they had to move to Zepa?
14 A. Colonel Trivic, when he returned from the meeting, he immediately
15 informed us what our next assignment was. And on the 13th, in the
16 morning, we headed towards Zepa. I took a road via Srebrenica, Potocari,
17 Bratunac, whereas my unit took the direction Srebrenica, Jahorina,
18 Viogora, Suceska. I think that at Viogora --
19 Q. I'm going to ask you about that in a few minutes. My question
20 was: Are you aware -- I'm sorry. Did General Krstic then issue orders to
21 your unit and other units that they should proceed to Zepa?
22 A. I was not there. This was at Viogora. The units assembled there
23 on the 13th, in the morning, and they were addressed by General Mladic, as
24 far as I know. I cannot say whether Krstic was there. But when they
25 reached Zepa, they said that they were directly addressed by General
1 Mladic. Which other officers were present, I don't know.
2 Q. Okay. So as I understood your testimony, you were present with
3 Colonel Trivic on the 13th at Viogora; correct?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You weren't?
6 A. No.
7 Q. What time did you leave --
8 A. No, no.
9 Q. -- Viogora on the 13th?
10 A. On the 13th I wasn't at Viogora at all. Colonel Trivic, myself,
11 and the Commander of the Communications Company took the direct road via
12 Slapovici-Srebrenica-Potocari-Bratunac, whereas my unit and the other
13 officers in command took the route Srebrenica-Viogora. And at Viogora
14 they were lined up and addressed by General Mladic. So I wasn't present
15 at all. I didn't take that route on the 13th.
16 Q. All right. My question was: Where was Colonel Trivic on the
17 morning of the 13th? Was he at Viogora?
18 A. No, he was not.
19 Q. Let me read to you now what Colonel Trivic has to say about the
20 meeting of the 13th, in the morning, at Viogora.
21 "Q. Okay. Fine. So we are, indeed, now the 13th of July, in the
22 morning, and you are south of Srebrenica where your forward
23 command post was initially located.
24 A. This is where I slept. In the morning I went to Viogora,
25 somewhere here, to meet Mladic and Krstic, because they were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 supposed to address to the soldiers, speak to the soldiers."
2 Now, further down, Mr. Ruez says:
3 "Q. So we are now in this location where General Krstic and
4 General Mladic are supposed to address the troops.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Who was the one speaking?
7 A. I gave my report and Mladic addressed the soldiers. He
8 explained to him about the new task, about the need to
9 continue, that we cannot return to our base unit, base
10 location. The way that he addressed to them is like every
11 commander when he wants to boost the morale and ask the
12 soldiers that they cannot go and take a bath and change their
13 uniforms and do anything. In that kind of way, he was
14 addressing the soldiers. So 'Is that clear?' Yes.
15 Q. Sure.
16 A. No, no, no, that's not what I said. When he left then, I had
17 problems to calm down the situation. He has a big authority
18 and we, who were supposed to execute the task, we had problems
19 to organise, and those who were really in critical conditions
20 to send them back in the base and bring the new forces to
21 cover them up and stuff.
22 Q. General Zivanovic was not present at the meeting, or was he?"
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, please, counsel.
24 MR. HARMON: Yes, I'm sorry.
25 "A. No, no, no, I think he wasn't there. Only those two.
1 Q. Do you have an idea, approximately, what hour it was when the
2 two Generals were addressing the troops?"
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, the interpreters are
4 asking you to slow down a little.
5 MR. HARMON: I thought I did, but I'll slow --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] There's a conflict of interest.
7 The interpreters want you to speak slowly and you wish to speak quickly
8 because you can bring in more material. I don't know whether the witness
9 can memorise all that and then answer your question, but go ahead.
10 MR. HARMON: I will slow down. I will pick up where I was.
11 Q. Let me repeat: Colonel Trivic was asked the question by
12 Mr. Ruez:
13 "Q. Do you have an idea, approximately, what hour it was when the
14 two Generals were addressing the troops?
15 A. Ten, eleven, in the late morning. I was given the route which
16 I'm going to take with my troops. That's from there through
17 Derventa, Milici, Vlasenica, Han Pijesak, and then to
19 Now, your testimony this morning was that you were -- you first of
20 all went with Colonel Trivic to Zepa. Colonel Trivic says he took a
21 different route. Can you comment on that, please?
22 A. I can comment on that. I think that all the statements given by
23 Colonel Trivic about the meeting refers to the meeting in Bratunac of the
24 12th. Whether he consciously or unintentionally confused the dates. But
25 I state with full responsibility that on the 13th, in the morning, when
1 the unit was formed in Jasenova, that very same moment we took a jeep,
2 together with the Company Commander of Communications, we took the route
3 Srebrenica, Bratunac, and from there to Zepa, and that Colonel Trivic
4 could not have been at Viogora.
5 Q. Now --
6 A. And as for General Krstic, we found him at Zepa. So I don't
7 understand that statement myself.
8 Q. So when Colonel Trivic says that he was present in Viogora at
9 10.00 or 11.00, in the late morning, and you testified that in the morning
10 of the 13th, before noon, you were in Nova Kasaba, there's a radical
11 difference, isn't there?
12 A. Yes, there is a difference.
13 Q. Okay. Now, let's talk about your trip down the Bratunac-Milici
14 road. When you went along that road, your testimony was that there were
15 Muslim soldiers who were firing at the VRS soldiers and police who were
16 alongside that road; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How long did you observe that fire fight?
19 A. This was happening -- I think this was near to the village of
20 Kravica because there were quite a number of burned-down houses around;
21 maybe in terms of kilometres, for 2 kilometres, roughly. I cannot tell
22 you exactly. But this was quite a long stretch of road. Because the
23 configuration of the ground was such that there was a hillside, and as you
24 drove along the road you were able to see these things.
25 Q. Did you see any soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade either injured
1 or killed as a result of the fire fight that you saw?
2 A. No. All the soldiers and policemen were lying down in the trench
3 along the road, on the other side of the road, so I couldn't recognise
4 them. I could only recognise their uniforms, the olive-grey and the
5 camouflage blue uniforms worn by the civilian police. They were all lying
6 down. I didn't really have time to pay attention to all that. We were
7 trying to overtake the convoy to save ourselves, so we didn't have much
8 time to look carefully.
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, I'm going to present an exhibit as
10 Prosecutor's Exhibit 791. It is for your consideration; I don't ask the
11 witness to comment on this exhibit. And if it could be distributed to
12 counsel as well.
13 This exhibit, for the record, is a document that was seized by the
14 Office of the Prosecutor from the Bratunac Brigade, and it is a list of
15 soldiers from the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade who were killed
16 between the 18th of April, 1992 and the 25th of September, 1995. And
17 there are no casualties described in this for any of the days during which
18 time the Srebrenica enclave was taken, and particularly the date of the
19 13th of July, which the witness has testified about.
20 Q. Now, Witness D/C, we're going to play a film, and before we play
21 this film, I'd like to ask you: When you were going along that road, did
22 you see any anti-aircraft guns that were firing at the civilians who were
23 in the hills?
24 A. No, no.
25 MR. HARMON: Can I have a Prosecutor's exhibit, please, which is
2 Q. If you can watch the monitor, Witness, I'm going to ask you some
3 questions about this. This is a film from the 13th of July.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. HARMON: The film continues; there's more to it than that.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Now, Witness, this film was taken on the 13th of July, on the very
9 same road that you went in your direction towards Zepa. Did you see those
10 anti-aircraft guns firing into the hills?
11 A. No. The guns here are on the road all the time that I moved.
12 There was a convoy of Muslims, buses/trucks, on that road, and we overtook
13 them towards Konjevic Polje. It was an enormous column. And just
14 soldiers with infantry pieces were lying down. Muslims also had infantry
15 weapons. And this wasn't the situation on that road. Had it been so, we
16 wouldn't have been able to pass.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. And everybody seems to be shown to be on the road here in this
20 Q. Well, this is a film that was taken on the 13th of July by a
21 Serbian journalist, and you can see that it is timed, dated, and
22 referenced. So let me turn to the next clip, please, in just a minute.
23 The Trial Chamber has heard testimony, Witness D/C, of a
24 significant number of Muslim civilians coming down from the hills and
25 surrendering to the VRS army units and police units that were alongside
1 the road. I'm going to play you a film and I'm going to ask you to
2 comment on it. I'll play two pieces of film. This is also taken on the
3 13th of July.
4 MR. HARMON: And do we have the next clip, which is clip number
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Do you see the person in the blue helmet in this film? I want you
9 to focus on that.
10 Now, this is also a film from the 13th, Witness D/C, and according
11 to the soldiers --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Harmon.
13 MR. HARMON:
14 Q. This is also a film from the 13th of July, and according to the
15 soldiers who were interviewed by the journalist, Muslim civilians were
16 surrendering all day. Did you see any of those surrenders?
17 A. No, I did not see that. I just remembered when they fired because
18 the journey was dangerous and we had to keep taking over the column of
19 buses and trucks. The column was an extremely long one. Later on I saw
20 some soldiers lying down, but I didn't see any Muslim civilians there.
21 Probably those who were shooting, who had rifles. We can see some dark
22 figures. Whether they were wearing uniforms or civilian clothing, was not
23 actually discernible.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, do you have any translation of the
25 dialogue which was happening between the people shooting?
1 MR. HARMON: This last clip?
2 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, this last one.
3 MR. HARMON: I thought that had been distributed. It is
4 Prosecutor's Exhibit 102A. It had been previously distributed. I thought
5 there was a package that was available to Your Honours.
6 Q. Witness, did you see the Bosnian Serb soldier wearing a stolen UN
7 blue helmet in this film?
8 A. Yes. I saw he had something blue on his head.
9 Q. Did you see any Bosnian Serb soldiers along the Bratunac-Milici
10 road wearing United Nations' gear that had been stolen, such as helmets,
11 flak jackets?
12 A. No, no, I couldn't notice that.
13 Q. Did you see any Bosnian Serb soldiers with megaphones calling up
14 into the hills, urging the people to surrender?
15 A. No.
16 MR. HARMON: Could we have the last clip, please, number 5. And
17 while we're showing this clip, Madam Registrar, if I could have
18 Prosecutor's Exhibit 8/1 and 7/2 prepared and available.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] How long have you been there? We
21 were there two days and two nights, completely surrounded. What were your
22 rifles? I didn't have a rifle. I'm a civilian. Civilian, all right,
23 then have no fear. Were you very afraid? Who wouldn't be afraid. Go
24 ahead. What the fuck. You're scared. Come on, have no fear. Hey, you
25 journalist, how come he already arrived before they did? Hey, take off
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that shirt. This one? Yes. How did you get it anyway? Take it off.
2 Fuck it.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. Witness, that was a scene that was filmed near a location Sandici
5 meadows that you passed by on the 13th of July. Did you see any civilians
6 that were in the custody of the VRS soldiers or the police on the road as
7 you drove through?
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. I apologise
9 for interrupting, Witness. Just a moment, please.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
11 like to ask the Prosecution, if possible, for precision purposes, of the
12 answer that the witness is to give now, whether the Prosecutor can be
13 concrete and tell us what time of day this film was made, this clip was
14 made, and the concrete situation, because the witness said that she passed
15 at a certain time of day, that she passed by that way at a certain time of
17 Now, can the Prosecutor be more precise as to the time when this
18 clip was taken? We know it was the 13th of July. But if the witness says
19 that on the road to Bratunac-Konjevic Polje she passed at a certain time
20 of day, we should like to ask the Prosecutor to be more precise as to the
22 MR. HARMON: I can answer that.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, yes.
24 MR. HARMON: First of all, there is testimony from civilians that
25 they surrendered all day long. The answer to my colleague is it's
1 indicated on the film itself the time of this film. The time of the film
2 of the anti-aircraft guns being fired into the hills is at 4.48; the time
3 of the surrender is, again, also indicated, I believe that's at 4.12 in
4 the afternoon. But the testimony that has been presented to the Trial
5 Chamber is that there were surrenders all day long on the 13th.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon, but you could
7 ask the witness what time she passed and then we can discuss that
8 afterwards. But we must bear in mind the time as well, Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Yes. She testified on her direct examination that
10 she travelled down that road sometime before noon. That's why I didn't
11 ask her that question. But I would like to show the witness a series of
12 exhibits. If they are prepared, first of all, I'd like to show Exhibit
13 8/1, if that could be placed on the ELMO.
14 Q. Now, Witness, this is a location that you passed. It's called --
15 it's a warehouse in Kravica. It's an aerial view. And first of all --
16 and there are two buses located at this location. The Trial Chamber has
17 heard testimony of a significant number of prisoners who were detained at
18 this warehouse on the 13th of July and who were murdered at this location
19 on the 13th of July. Did you pass this warehouse on the 13th of July, and
20 did you see a large number of prisoners who were detained at that
22 A. No, I cannot remember the warehouse because I don't know the area
23 very well. I recognise the communication here. But when I was moving
24 along the road, there were lots of buses and trucks transporting the
25 Muslim people. That's not on the photograph. And at that time there were
1 no -- there was nobody by the side of the road or any objects. I just saw
2 that the Muslims were firing over a clear space, and we hurried up to pass
3 that way as quickly as possible for our safety. I don't know that this is
4 a warehouse at all.
5 Q. Let me show you the next exhibit. It's Prosecutor's Exhibit 7/4.
6 This is the location of the film clip where you saw Muslim civilians
7 surrendering. This is Sandici meadow. In this picture you will see a
8 number of buses and you'll see a large grey mass in the middle, and there
9 has been testimony that this constitutes many hundreds of civilians who
10 were detained on this meadow.
11 My question, first of all, is: You passed this meadow on the way
12 to Zepa. Did you see a meadow where hundreds of civilians and prisoners
13 of war were detained? Do you remember seeing that?
14 A. No, just in Potocari. I saw lots of civilians only in Potocari,
15 men, women, children, and from that time on, buses arriving and trucks
16 arriving. But on this photograph or on the last photograph, the two
17 buses, they mean nothing to me. It means nothing to me if two buses are
18 parked somewhere.
19 Q. Did you see a tank in the film a few minutes ago?
20 A. Well, I saw different artillery weapons, artillery pieces, on the
21 film previously.
22 Q. Did you --
23 A. It was on the road, on an asphalt road, and it was operating. But
24 when we came by it wasn't there, because we wouldn't have been able to
25 pass the buses and trucks, and that's why I say that they weren't there at
1 that time.
2 Q. My question was: In the film I played just a moment ago, there
3 was a tank in the film. Did you see that image of the tank?
4 A. Was it a tank or was it an APC?
5 Q. Okay. I'll find the specific spot; I'm going to show you the tank
6 in just a minute. But did you see any tanks at all along the road?
7 A. No, not at all, not a single one, or any other artillery pieces.
8 Only infantry weapons. And that could have lasted -- the whole trip could
9 have lasted about an hour.
10 Q. Now, you went through Nova Kasaba, did you not?
11 A. Yes, Nova Kasaba, Milici, Vlasenica, that is, the communication
12 line towards Han Pijesak and Zepa.
13 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecutor's Exhibit 12/2 placed on the
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: I only have a few minutes, Mr. President. I'm trying
17 to --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I was about to divide up our
19 time. I should like to ask you when you're -- when you think you're going
20 to finish. It is now twenty minutes past twelve.
21 MR. HARMON: I should finish within 15 minutes.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Not more. Because I thought
23 that we could go up to half past twelve, but we'll give you until 12.35.
24 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
25 Q. This is a picture of -- an aerial image, taken at approximately
1 2.00 on the 13th of July, of a football field by which the main road
2 passes, and in this picture there are identified a large group of
3 prisoners who are being detained on the football field.
4 In addition to that, Witness D/C, we have had a number of
5 witnesses, including a Dutch witness named Captain Egbers, who testified
6 he was at this location and he saw a number of prisoners, hundreds of
7 prisoners, on this football field.
8 When you passed on the 13th of July through Nova Kasaba, did you
9 see any Muslim prisoners being detained by VRS soldiers?
10 A. I did not see the field either, the football field. I didn't pay
11 attention. Had there been people there, I'm sure I would have noticed.
12 But I didn't notice the football field at all. This was at 1400 hours. I
13 passed by in the morning hours, so I can't tell you anything about
15 Q. Okay. So it's your testimony that at no time on route from
16 Bratunac to Zepa did you see a single Muslim prisoner being detained by
17 the VRS soldiers; is that correct?
18 A. No, I did not, not from a car. No, I couldn't see that.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. I saw the convoy.
21 MR. HARMON: Now if I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 771, please.
22 Q. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Colonel Popovic?
23 A. Yes, I do know him.
24 Q. Do you see Colonel Popovic next to General Krstic in this image?
25 A. Yes. He has a moustache. It could be him, possibly it is, but it
1 needn't be. It looks like him, but I wouldn't know for sure.
2 Q. Did you see Colonel Popovic in Srebrenica on the 11th of July?
3 A. I can't really say. I saw him somewhere, I did see him
4 somewhere, whether it was Srebrenica or Zepa.
5 Q. Okay. Let's move on a little bit in your testimony and ask you --
6 you testified on direct examination about who you saw in Zepa, and in
7 response to my colleague's question, you said you saw both General Krstic,
8 General Mladic, and the Main Staff officers, including General Tolimir,
9 Beara, and others.
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Where did you see them in Zepa? Where was it that you saw them?
14 A. I saw them at the forward command post of Krivaca.
15 Q. Approximately when did you see Colonel Beara at the forward
16 command post in Krivaca?
17 A. In the course of the operation, that was for sure. But I saw him
18 several times. I think Beara or Tolimir, that they were negotiating with
19 the Muslims. I didn't know them very well but I just saw them there.
20 Q. Did you see Colonel Beara with General Krstic?
21 A. General Krstic, I saw him more because he would tour the units.
22 He visited the soldiers, the units, the command. I don't think he was
23 there when I saw them all gathered there.
24 Q. Did you see Colonel Popovic down at the forward command post in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I saw him somewhere. Whether it was at Srebrenica or it was Zepa,
2 I don't know. He was present, but it's difficult for me now. I can't
3 quite remember where I actually saw him, but I did see him.
4 Q. Okay. Now, did you ever see General Zivanovic down at Zepa?
5 A. I think I did at the beginning of the operation, that he was
6 there. But he wasn't there later on.
7 Q. What was wrong with General Zivanovic's physical condition?
8 A. I don't know. I don't know that anything was wrong.
9 Q. Why did he leave the VRS?
10 A. Many have asked themselves that question. I really don't know.
11 Q. What would have been the answers to that question?
12 A. I can't answer that here. There is some information which is not
13 for this Court; they are rumours, hearsay. But I didn't know that he was
14 ill because he looked quite all right physically.
15 Q. What are the rumours and the hearsay?
16 A. Well, then I'll say what it was. One of the rumours, later on, on
17 the streets when you socialised with people, with the ordinary people, you
18 could hear that General Zivanovic was replaced because of the massacre at
19 Srebrenica, and that all this was laid at the door of General Krstic. But
20 those are only rumours.
21 Q. Now, did you attend any going-away party or any handover-of-duties
22 ceremony between General Zivanovic and General Krstic?
23 A. I did not -- I was not present, but my Commander, Mirko Trivic,
24 he -- there was a restaurant between Sokolac and Han Pijesak. I think the
25 name of it was Jela.
1 Q. Did you hear that there was a handover ceremony where General
2 Mladic went to Vlasenica on the morning of the 13th of July, he assembled
3 the staff of the Vlasenica Drina Corps headquarters, and he announced to
4 the soldiers and staff at the Vlasenica headquarters that General Krstic
5 was now the Commander of the Drina Corps?
6 A. No. My Commander, Colonel Mirko Trivic, received an invitation to
7 attend the seeing-off ceremony of General Zivanovic who was retiring, and
8 that was at that restaurant. It was in the middle of combat operations so
9 we weren't quite clear -- we didn't have time to pay attention to that at
10 all. And the knowledge that the next Commander was Krstic, it was about
11 seven -- we learnt about that seven days after we arrived at Zepa that he
12 had been -- we were informed about that.
13 Q. Now, I have only a few questions left. Did the VRS massacre
14 hundreds of unarmed Muslim civilians and prisoners of war following the
15 takeover of the Srebrenica enclave?
16 A. I cannot answer that question because I don't know. All I know
17 about that is via the media, the information media. If that really did
18 happen, which I find -- nobody can believe, then that is really a crime.
19 But I state once again that General Krstic would never have ordered
20 anything like that and that he did not know about it.
21 Q. Well, my question is: (redacted)
22 (redacted). It's been five years since the massacres took
23 place. They have been verified --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- by international observers. There have been a series of
1 exhumations that have revealed the bodies of hundreds of prisoners with
2 their hands tied, with their heads blindfolded. Now, that information has
3 been available for a number of years, hasn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you believe that the VRS massacred those civilians?
6 A. Well, if I saw all that documentation, but all of it has been
7 reproduced by the Federation, the Muslim Federation.
8 Q. My question is --
9 A. I cannot believe it. I find it difficult to believe.
10 Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you just some last questions. When was the
11 first time that you heard about these massacres?
12 A. Quite a long time later. I thought it was -- I think it was the
13 autumn of that year, when it began to be rumoured. Before that nobody
14 knew about it, the population, the army, the people. And I learnt about
15 that through the information media because up till then they were closed
16 off. We didn't know much. When General Krstic was arrested, then we
17 received different information about everything and evidence and pictures,
18 photographs, although, as a human being I can't conceive of it being at
19 all possible.
20 Q. Witness D/C, shortly after the massacres -- after the fall of
21 Srebrenica took place, and many of these massacres took place in public
22 areas in the Zvornik municipality - one major massacre took place at the
23 Kravica warehouse, the warehouse by which you passed on the morning of the
24 13th - those massacres which were quite public in nature were known to the
25 civilian population and known to the military that participated in those.
1 You've been a soldier, remain a soldier. Is it your testimony
2 that after these massacres took place you didn't hear any information
3 about the massacres?
4 A. No, not immediately after. Perhaps two to three months went by
5 when something like that was talked about, but not at all those figures.
6 And there was no official information in the command or via the
7 information that it had actually taken place. It was only in
8 1990-something. When General Krstic was arrested, well, then, the story
9 began to be recounted and that kind of information.
10 Q. Now, you personally acquired information about those massacres,
11 didn't you?
12 A. No, not personally, no. There was no official information ever
13 from the Superior Command. But it was for the most part from the
14 information media, and the Muslim information media at that.
15 Q. What did you do to attempt to verify, since you were involved in
16 morale and you needed to inform the subordinate soldiers who were in your
17 units whether these rumours were correct, what did you do to attempt to
18 verify this information that was quite common?
19 A. We learnt that after peace was established, when the unit was
20 demobilised. The postal code has young conscripts now. But all those
21 rumours and all those events around Srebrenica could not be verified, nor
22 could any information be obtained, nor was it possible to have any
23 influence over that. Even people in much higher positions, not to mention
24 ordinary officers and soldiers.
25 Q. Witness D/C, wouldn't those allegations, if true, directly affect
1 the morale of the soldiers in the VRS? And wasn't it your responsibility
2 to ensure that the morale of the soldiers was maintained?
3 A. To maintain the morale, yes. But these allegations were made by
4 the Muslim side. Information obtained from the media cannot be
5 disseminated be they Serbian or Muslim media, because during the war and
6 after the war, there were so many discrepancies, there were many
7 untruths. There were various political parties, each one with their own
8 version. And our responsibility is to reproduce information that we
9 receive down the chain of command. But we never received any such
10 information in that manner.
11 Q. And information that you also received and disseminated was
12 information about United Nations' Resolutions related to Srebrenica, and
13 there were United Nations' Resolutions that dealt with the missing of
14 Srebrenica. Was that a source that was questionable in your mind?
15 A. No. Officially we did not receive that Resolution in the unit; we
16 just heard about it.
17 Q. Is there --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, another question.
19 It's already two minutes beyond your time. So this is your last
20 question. Be careful choosing it.
21 MR. HARMON: I've thought about it already. Thank you.
22 Q. When was it, Witness D/C, that you learned that the Supreme
23 Commander, Radovan Karadzic, and the head of the army, Ratko Mladic, were
24 indicted for the events in Srebrenica by the Tribunal?
25 A. I really cannot remember the date. But we did learn about it. I
1 think this was in 1996.
2 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, you just gave us an exhibit 757 with a
4 picture. Is it relevant to any of your questions?
5 MR. HARMON: It is not. We will make an offer -- we will tender
6 certain of those exhibits into evidence. That will not be one of them.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
8 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Harmon,
10 especially for your cooperation.
11 We are now going to have the long break. But before that, I
12 should like you, Mr. Harmon, to communicate to the Defence the extracts
13 that you used so that we will try and divide up the time so as to give a
14 little time to the Defence to prepare. But as we're having the big break
15 now, I think that the Defence will be able to review those extracts before
16 the re-examination. So we are intentionally having the break now so that
17 the Defence will have time to review those texts for its re-examination.
18 So we are now going to have an hour-long break.
19 JUDGE WALD: Can I just clarify one thing on this, because I'm not
20 sure I understood myself. As far as what you have to give the Defence, I
21 understand it's just -- is it just, what you're going to give them, the
22 extract which you've already quoted into the record, or is it any other
23 material that deals with that precise subject matter?
24 MR. HARMON: I had intended to give them just the extracts, but I
25 can give them just a little bit more to deal with the subject matter
2 JUDGE WALD: Well, I would feel more comfortable then. I know it
3 isn't going to be true, but we always have the hypothetical that in the
4 next line, somebody gives a sentence that, you know, goes against what
5 came before. So I think that would make everybody, certainly me, feel
6 more comfortable.
7 MR. HARMON: I will do that. No problem. Thank you.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. A one-hour break
10 --- Recess taken at 12.40 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Witness D/C, you are going
13 to answer questions now put to you by Mr. Petrusic.
14 Mr. Petrusic, your witness.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 The Defence will not re-examine this witness for long. We shall
17 take advantage of the material disclosed to us by the Prosecution in the
18 break to put questions regarding it.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
20 Q. Witness D/C, in a statement given by your Commander, Colonel
21 Trivic, to the Office of the Prosecutor in Banja Luka on the 5th of
22 October, page 39, it says, among other things, that on the 12th of July,
23 between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m., officers received orders at the Bojna
24 repeater, that they gathered there and that they received certain
25 instructions and orders.
1 Then he goes on to say in his statement that present there were
2 Colonel Andric, Colonel Vicic, and General Krstic; also, that Colonel
3 Vicic was the one who chaired the meeting and that Krstic was present. So
4 the time we are talking about is the 12th of July, between 10.00 and
6 In the course of these proceedings, we have established without
7 dispute, I would say, and we have witness statements to that effect and a
8 videotape, that on the 12th of July, between 10.00 and 12.00, General
9 Krstic was present at a meeting in the Fontana Hotel with representatives
10 of the Dutch Battalion, representatives of the Muslim population, and
11 other VRS officers were present.
12 So reviewing the statement of your Commander, Colonel Trivic, it
13 appears that General Krstic was simultaneously at two different places, at
14 Bojna and at the Fontana Hotel. Have you any comment to make regarding
16 A. At Bojna, on that date, on the 12th, I did not see General Krstic,
17 or at that time.
18 Q. The Prosecutor also showed -- quoted from a statement in which
19 your Commander claims that on the 13th of July he took a different route
20 to go to Zepa rather than the route via
21 Srebrenica-Potocari-Bratunac-Konjevic Polje to go to Zepa, the route that
22 you have described. Are you now sure that you and Colonel Trivic and your
23 signalsman together took the route that you told us about in your
24 examination-in-chief, and also during the cross-examination?
25 A. Yes, I'm quite certain of that.
1 Q. Witness D/C, we heard from you today for the first time, and that
2 is the first time I hear of it too, that in the area of Zepa, for a
3 certain time, Colonel Beara was also present. Do you know what he was
4 doing there? Do you have any knowledge about that?
5 A. He was present. I think he was involved in the negotiations, and
6 he was also Chief of Security. He and General Tolimir conducted the
7 negotiations. I don't know exactly what they talked about, but we got
8 certain information about offensive operations and the like.
9 Q. So you know that he and General Tolimir were engaged in
11 A. Yes. I saw them several times.
12 Q. And those negotiations were between who and who?
13 A. Between the Serb side, the army of Republika Srpska, and the
14 Muslim side, actually representatives of Zepa municipality.
15 Q. Colonel Beara and General Tolimir are officers of the Main Staff
16 of the army of Republika Srpska, are they not?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. President. My
19 friend Visnjic is drawing my attention to the transcript regarding the
20 interruption of offensive operations. So let me repeat the question.
21 Q. So you received orders to halt offensive operations because of the
22 negotiations at Boksanica Mountain with the Muslim side and other
23 representatives; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence has no
1 further questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
3 Mr. Petrusic.
4 Judge Fouad Riad, do you have any questions?
5 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Witness D/C. I can't say your name.
8 I just want to have a clearer perception of what you went through since
9 you almost graduated -- you said you graduated as a professor. Were you
10 ever a professor?
11 A. Your Honour, I never worked as a professor.
12 JUDGE RIAD: But you had the title. You said that in the
13 beginning of your testimony, that you had the title of professor.
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE RIAD: But you preferred to be an officer.
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE RIAD: (redacted)
18 (redacted). Now, what was your role, exactly,
19 when you said that at the beginning, in 1990, you were really interested
20 in raising the morale and giving the soldiers the perception of taking
21 part in a war and solidarity? What was, exactly, this mission? Against
22 whom was this war?
23 A. (redacted)
25 (redacted), an unexpected situation occurred for the former
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the Serbian people in the republic. A war
2 broke out, conflicts which later developed into an all-out war and
3 conflicts and hostilities.
4 The role for the organ for Information, Moral Guidance, and
5 Religious Affairs was to explain to the soldiers the truth and to provide
6 them the indicators as to what situation we were in, why we were in that
7 situation, how to deal with crisis situations that they may encounter in
8 the course of the war.
9 JUDGE RIAD: I mean, as a catalyst to direct them against what you
10 call the enemy?
11 A. No, no. Our lines were defensive lines, and the Serb army was not
12 always attacking, it was mostly defending and protecting the Serb civilian
13 population from the attacks by Muslim soldiers.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Good. As far as attacks are concerned, I will go now
15 to 1995, in Srebrenica.
16 You mentioned today that there was no resistance from Muslim
17 forces on July 10th and you took control very easily of the area, and
18 therefore they did not have to shoot much. So there was no attack in that
19 part in that time, in that area of Srebrenica? Did I understand you
21 A. Yes, you did. One can't say there were no attacks, but there were
22 no operations of any greater intensity.
23 JUDGE RIAD: But Srebrenica, in that case, was not really shelled,
24 the city itself, to your knowledge.
25 A. Yes, I know that very well. It was not shelled at all. Not a
1 single shell fell on the urban area of Srebrenica.
2 JUDGE RIAD: But when you went in, there was nobody in it, was
3 there? It was a deserted city, except for this --
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE RIAD: -- Serb whom you saw killed?
6 A. Yes, I saw two Muslims, and the third, a woman, was a Serb. The
7 people had abandoned the town and headed towards Potocari.
8 JUDGE RIAD: The whole population fled, ran away.
9 A. Yes. We entered a completely deserted Srebrenica.
10 JUDGE RIAD: (redacted)
11 (redacted), why did they run away? Why was it a
12 deserted village?
13 A. I think that when the Serb army reached their initial positions,
14 they themselves requested to go to the territory of the Federation,
15 because as far as I know, they could have stayed behind. They could have
16 surrendered and stayed on, but they all said that they wanted to leave
17 because they didn't want to live in a location where Serb authority had
18 been established.
19 JUDGE RIAD: I'll not dwell on that. It was very -- I was very
20 interested in listening to you telling us about how General Krstic was
21 loved by his soldiers, and this is something very understandable. He
22 cared for them. You also told us that he visited them in hospitals and so
23 on. Was he, in other words, also -- you know when you love someone very
24 much, you can let him do what he likes. So was he permissive? Would he
25 allow them certain eccentricities, violations, and not really hold them
2 A. No. In the unit there was strict discipline, and precisely
3 because of that discipline the troops and officers respected him. It was
4 an organised entity where everything functioned normally. And whenever he
5 addressed soldiers or officers, he always drew their attention to their
6 behaviour, how they should behave, how they should conduct the war. He
7 was a soldier, a real soldier, and nothing more than that.
8 JUDGE RIAD: So for the sake of popularity, he would not sacrifice
9 discipline and accountability.
10 A. Though he was so strict and introduced strict discipline, he was
11 loved and respected, because he was also a just man, a fair man. In all
12 the situations we found ourselves in, he always had the right solution.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Now, being strict, do you have any instance where he
14 applied this discipline by punishing soldiers or holding them accountable
15 for violations?
16 A. Yes, there were such cases. Many soldiers at the beginning of
17 1992 and many people who were mobilised to our units were refugees from
18 Zenica, Sarajevo, and various other places, so they were extremely
19 indignant about everything that had happened to them. They had lost their
20 homes; some of them, family members. They joined the unit and they tried
21 to behave in the way they wanted.
22 For instance, if a Muslim was captured, there were cases that they
23 wanted to kill him, not just to kill him but to somehow take their revenge
24 on him for what they had been through, but he was always against that.
25 And this was something that was so pronounced. He attached the greatest
1 importance to this, saying that prisoners of war must not be hurt, be he a
2 soldier or a civilian, a man or a woman. He was against torching of
3 buildings, against destruction. He was a rare officer who behaved fully
4 in accordance with international conventions, the respect of human rights,
5 and a correct attitude in spite of everything a war entails.
6 JUDGE RIAD: You being in the Information Department, do you have
7 any specific cases where he really did practice that and he had authority
8 to do it, or was it just as a principle which was not put into action?
9 A. No, no. It was always put into action, it was put into practice,
10 and that's why we're so fully aware of it. I mentioned that we had Muslim
11 prisoners who were kept for more than a year near the brigade
12 headquarters, and I said how he treated them. As in any army, there were
13 extremists, uneducated, illiterate people who had lost their homes and
14 families, who wanted to make up for it in a way by killing that person or
15 mistreating them. But, no, no one dared do any such thing because of him,
16 and that is how it was always.
17 And now suddenly nobody understands why General Krstic should be
18 accused for Srebrenica and accused for the death of such an enormous
19 number of people, which we can hardly conceive of being killed. We just
20 don't understand that.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Did he have the authority to punish, or just to give
22 orders to the soldiers not to commit anything? But did he have real
23 authority to punish anybody who really committed?
24 A. While he was the Brigade Commander, he had the authority of a
25 Brigade Commander, and the Commander has the greatest powers. He could
1 punish, he could give orders. Later when he became Chief of Staff of the
2 Drina Corps, he no longer had such powers because, as in all the other
3 armies in the world, it is well known who is authorised to issue orders.
4 A Chief of Staff does not have the competence to issue orders but to
5 organise operations, combat, together with the Operations Department. But
6 I think that he has no right to issue orders except if so authorised by
7 the Commander.
8 JUDGE RIAD: You, in fact, mentioned that - I just found it in my
9 notes - he was very kind to the prisoners and he sometimes exchanged
10 them. Did he have authority to exchange the prisoners? Was it within the
11 authority of a Commander, or was it a political thing?
12 A. At the time when he was the Commander, he had the authority to
13 exchange, but he also -- for some prisoners to be exchanged, certain
14 bodies had to exist to actually carry out the exchange. He could just
15 propose that he would give so many people for exchange, but there were
16 services and bodies who actually engaged in those exchanges. I think it
17 was the Security Organs and the civilian MUPs or the police; I think they
18 were responsible for all these exchanges.
19 JUDGE RIAD: But what was his role, then? Did he suggest -- was
20 he a promoter of exchange?
21 A. Yes, he would make a suggestion. For instance, he would say, "I
22 have war prisoners in the unit," and then he would make a request for them
23 to be exchanged.
24 JUDGE RIAD: And his requests were usually obeyed and thought
25 highly of as a General? What was his prestige?
1 A. While he was Commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, he
2 had the rank of Colonel, so his authority regarding the area of
3 responsibility of his brigade and the municipality covered by that brigade
4 was extremely high. He was respected as officers used to be in the former
5 Yugoslavia. And later when he became a General, he still enjoyed high
6 prestige and a great deal of respect. But as for the respect of his
7 superiors, I cannot say much about that because I am not familiar with
8 those relationships.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, but you are an information officer. You are the
10 person who sees everything. So his status in the army was a high one.
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Now, you mentioned that he took, in fact, very strong
13 positions. He did it with the Croats, apparently, and he saved -- he
14 saved Croats. I won't go into the details again. Was that taken against
16 A. Yes. I said many people, ordinary people, and even some of the
17 troops were against this, because this was already in 1993 when the combat
18 was very intensive, and this did not affect a small group but an entire
19 municipality inhabited by Croats, their soldiers, and equipment. And he
20 helped them, both the civilians and the military, to go to Sokolac, and
21 from there on, where they wanted.
22 And I remember there were people saying, "Who does he think he is
23 to be able to transfer Croatian soldiers?" It wasn't really something
24 that they applauded.
25 JUDGE RIAD: He did that to save them from the Muslims.
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Did he do something on the other side, to save
3 Muslims from Croats?
4 A. Yes. He saved some Muslims. The village of Crna Rijeka, at the
5 Nisic plateau, a little later they too came to Sokolac. So I remember
6 that they were accommodated right next to the Croats. There were no other
7 facilities that were close by. So minor arguments, disputes, occurred
8 between them but a stop was put to it.
9 JUDGE RIAD: And in this instance, also, was he looked upon as
10 having acted in some kind of unorthodox way, in a way that was not so
11 nationalistic? Was he reproached by his superiors? I'm not talking
12 about his inferiors but the great authorities. Do you know if he was
13 blamed or discarded or anything?
14 A. Officially he was not charged; I don't believe he was discarded
15 either. Only by public opinion, the general public, and some soldiers who
16 disapproved, until he explained why this was necessary, and then he calmed
17 them down. But we were always involved in combat. There was a war going
18 on, things were happening, so there wasn't much time always to think about
19 things in detail.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, but there would be a policy, a line of policy,
21 perhaps, to bring up someone and to bring down someone. So General Krstic
22 belonged to which one?
23 A. I think he was put down precisely as a result of politics. He
24 didn't deserve it. He should have continued advancing in his career and
25 he should have been the main commander of the Serb army. That is my
2 JUDGE RIAD: Don't you think the fact that he replaced Zivanovic
3 at an early age was a sign of appreciation? And President Karadzic
4 praised him as a great officer, in spite of you saying that he had this
5 precedent of being kind to both Croats and Muslims.
6 A. Yes, but they expressed their appreciation only on television.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Just in passing, my last question: You just
8 mentioned Beara. You said he was present at Zepa and he conducted
9 negotiations. What was his relationship with General Krstic?
10 A. I don't think they had a good relationship. That was my
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Witness D/C.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Judge Fouad
15 Madam Judge Wald, if you please.
16 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
17 Witness D/C, I have only two questions. Do you remember the date
18 or approximately the time that Beara was in Zepa? I know you were there
19 sometime from the 13th of July to the 2nd of August, I think. Can you
20 place the time that he was there within that framework?
21 A. Within that framework, the 13th/14th, I didn't see him. But I
22 think on the 15th onwards.
23 JUDGE WALD: So you saw him several times from the 15th on, when
24 he was involved in negotiations --
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
2 My second question is this: Given that what you told us was part
3 of the prime parts of your job, which was to reassure the soldiers about
4 what was going on in the outside world and what they might hear other
5 places, during the time from, say, July 12th or 13th all the way through
6 to August 2nd, which is the date you say you left Zepa, did you hear
7 from -- no matter how much you discredit it, but did you actually hear
8 over the radio or the TV or by rumours that may have come from the Muslim
9 sources, but nonetheless, did you actually hear anything about the
10 complaints about the disappearance of some of the survivors of Srebrenica?
11 No matter how much you didn't think it was true or you couldn't believe
12 it, did you actually hear any of those rumours or accusations during that
13 whole period? On the radio.
14 We have had other witnesses who have told us that they heard,
15 within the week after July 12th or 13th, from Muslim sources, over the
16 radio, accusations about disappearances. Did you hear any of those? Even
17 if you didn't believe them.
18 A. No, I did not hear them. My units had its active combat
19 operations underway, and Zepa, they call it the municipality of Zepa, but
20 it's an enormous area with no electricity. We didn't actually have the
21 means by which to hear about it, and we didn't have time to listen to
22 anything like that. Events followed each other in rapid succession. We
23 had to move all the time, so that nobody talked about that. We didn't
24 discuss anything like that.
25 JUDGE WALD: Is that true all the way through to August 2nd -- by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 August 2nd Zepa had already been captured or liberated. But still, even
2 after the active combat was over, you still didn't hear anything, and none
3 of the soldiers came to you and said that they had heard it or that sort
4 of thing? Not until after you left Zepa did you get any idea; is that
6 A. No, no. Yes, that's right. We heard something later on, much
7 later on, but we didn't pay attention. Nobody mentioned any figures of
8 that kind for the victims. And even when people started talking about it,
9 we didn't believe it, and that's how the years passed. And now it would
10 appear that it actually did take place.
11 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Wald.
13 Witness D/C, I have a few questions for you as well. You said
14 that the Information Service (redacted) had as its
15 objective to furnish a realistic image of the situation. Now, what do you
16 mean by "realistic, a realistic image"? What does that mean to you?
17 A. I wish to say that it was our task to show the realistic state of
18 affairs in the encirclement -- immediate encirclement and further off in
19 the unit, in the state, in the country, outside the borders of the former
20 Yugoslavia. But they were information which we -- the information we
21 reproduced was the information that we received from the Corps command,
22 which was our Superior Command. And even if we heard something by the way
23 or learned something by the way, we were not allowed and were not able to
24 convey that to the soldiers. It was only official information that we
25 received from our Superior Commands that we had the right to pass on to
1 the men.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What, therefore, in order to
3 construct that reality, was the place or the role of radiowaves and the
4 mass media that you mentioned?
5 A. Well, the role of the mass media on public opinion was not
6 considered too much because different stations put out different
7 information, and different television stations would present the same
8 event in a different way. So that that information was not reliable
9 information. Of course, the soldiers could listen to all the different
10 media. But as morally ourselves, that's what we called ourselves, we had
11 to indicate and guide them towards seeing what was true and what was
12 false, and in order to do this, we received instructions from our Superior
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Your service, did it diffuse
15 information to the media as well? Did you supply the media with
17 A. Yes, we were able to inform the media about the situation in our
18 unit, how far we were moving, how we were holding our positions. We did
19 have cooperation with local information media, and for this information to
20 be channelled towards state television, this was done, once again, through
21 the Superior Command.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] When you say that information
23 via the media were not trustworthy, how were you able to trust whether
24 they were trustworthy or not? How were you able to arrive at that
25 conclusion as to trustworthiness?
1 A. Well, I've already said that the criteria was set by the Superior
2 Command. We ourselves were not able to do this. We had different
3 information. So if an event took place outside the zone of our unit, we
4 were not able to do this on the basis of what the media said, and not only
5 the Serbian media, because they too -- information was different there
6 too. Then we had the Croat media and the Muslim media.
7 So we did know that something was going on but we couldn't really
8 distinguish what. And then the Department for Moral Guidance,
9 Information, and Religious Affairs would get instructions from the
10 Superior Command and pass it on down the line to the subordinate levels.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In this process of constructing
12 reality, building up a picture of reality, did you try to take in
13 information from, may I say, the enemy side?
14 A. Yes. There was information via the media from the enemy side, so
15 the Intelligence Organs and Security Organs were in charge of collecting
16 all this information. The work of my own department was in that -- for
17 example, if the enemy side exerted psychological propaganda towards a
18 unit, then we should try and prevent that kind of propaganda if it was
19 false, and for the most part it was false. So that was our task.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For example, did you intercept
21 communication between two parties on the enemy side?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What type of interception did
24 you engage in?
25 A. Well, it's difficult for me now to explain what these devices were
1 called, but we did have devices through which we were able to monitor and
2 intercept the conversations and decode them. And if there was information
3 that the enemy was preparing for attack, then we would pass the
4 information on. If there were pieces of information that were less
5 important, then we didn't send them further on down the line. They were
6 just set aside, so to speak.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The people who did these
8 interceptions, were they really preoccupied with informing -- reporting on
9 what they actually heard, on what they really heard?
10 A. Well, that was the -- the people who worked on these devices,
11 these people were trained in the area of communications and that was their
12 sole assignment. That's all they -- that's the only thing they knew how
13 to do. Later on it was the Intelligence Organs, Security Organs, who
14 would pass down any relevant information to us and so on, that went down
15 to the units afterwards, after it had been sifted through.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For example, Witness D/C,
17 imagine the following situation, if you will: You are given a report by
18 somebody and he says, "I've written down what I heard when I intercepted a
19 communication," for example, with regard to a combat, a battle of some
20 kind. What would you do with that report? Would it be a credible,
21 reliable, trustworthy report, or not?
22 A. Not always. It depended on who the person who had intercepted it
23 was and who had heard it, because there were -- people wanted to plant
24 different pieces of information; for example, the enemy would like to
25 plant information and lead us astray. So it would depend on the person
1 working in this communication system and how far he was able to detect
2 this, because there were efforts to mislead us. So there were cases even
3 on our side where -- so it's not always trustworthy, no. You can have a
4 change of voice. It is not always reliable and absolutely trustworthy
5 information, but sometimes it can be of assistance, yes.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And another question: You spoke
7 about the enormous number of deaths when you spoke about the Srebrenica
8 events, the enormous figures that were mentioned. Now, after the 2nd of
9 August, when did you hear for the first time about these events? When was
10 the first time you heard of them?
11 A. When I returned from Zepa, I did not hear anything about that
12 because my unit was still engaged in combat activity and holding defensive
13 lines, and the lines were attacked by the Muslims of Olovo and Kladanj.
14 So we were engaged in that defence. So it was October/November when there
15 were certain intimations that something had happened. But as I say, it
16 was only when General Krstic was arrested that we actually learnt of it
17 via the information media, and in different ways we began to hear more and
18 more about all this.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For example, the zone between
20 Konjevic Polje and Bratunac, that area, is it as populated with respect
21 to -- what was the situation like there? Were there a lot of people
22 living in that area, in Bratunac, for example? Was it a highly-populated
24 A. Well, yes, in Bratunac, the town did have a large population. I
25 went to Srebrenica and Bratunac then for the first time. During the
1 Srebrenica operation, I passed through Bratunac. That's the first time
2 I'd been there. We passed through that village, and there is a Serbian
3 village called Kravica, and it had a lot of inhabitants. I think in 1993
4 it was completely destroyed and burnt to the ground, and I saw these
5 houses that were destroyed and burnt down to the ground beside the
6 roadway, the roadside.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So after having learnt about
8 everything that had taken place, that there were hundreds of people who
9 had been killed, who had been transported in cars, who had been interned,
10 and so on, was it possible that all that had taken place without the
11 public knowing, without the people knowing? The general public. I'm not
12 speaking about military men, just the people, the public. Could the
13 people have known?
14 A. I don't know. Probably. But why that was not expressed through
15 the public information media. It didn't exist on the Serb media; a little
16 perhaps in the Muslim media. That was the situation right up until
17 two years ago.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In the general public, if people
19 generally could have known, then people with military authority, could
20 they have known as well or not?
21 A. Well, probably some of them did know. But the majority of them
22 did not know.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You said that you knew General
24 Krstic well. Do you know whether General Krstic may have shared knowledge
25 of the existence, or at least the probability of the rumours regarding
1 those events? Was General Krstic in a position to know? No, let me make
2 myself clear. Did you know whether he knew? Did you know whether he
3 knew, in the first place?
4 A. He did not know.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Was he in a position to know to
6 the same extent that the general public knew?
7 A. He was not in a position to know because, from the 13th on, he was
8 rarely at Zepa. Fighting was going on. He must have learnt something
9 at some point later on. He was in the command.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And when you said that he may
11 have known something later, can you tell us when? When you say "later,"
12 could you tell us when?
13 A. I'm not thinking of a long period of time, but I assume at some
14 point, I assume that somebody must have said what had been going on,
15 because I saw that General Krstic - I don't know how to put it - he was a
16 terribly bitter man. Later on, when he was Corps Commander, I had the
17 impression that he was having problems of some sort, because as the Chief
18 of Staff and as the Corps Commander, after Srebrenica, when the
19 headquarters was in Vlasenica, he would often come to the base of our unit
20 because it was his original unit, and he would often visit the troops. So
21 we had contacts with him. We didn't talk about Srebrenica much. But he
22 was in a rather strange mood. And now that I think back, I think that he
23 felt awfully sorry that this had happened and that he was unable to do
24 anything about it. That is my personal opinion.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you are telling us that
1 General Krstic became rather bitter. Could you explain to us more or less
2 when this was? You mentioned his becoming Commander of the Drina Corps.
3 I am not sure that I understood you correctly regarding the timing.
4 A. No, not when he became Commander, but much later in 1995, when the
5 active combat ended throughout Republika Srpska. There was some more
6 fighting in Bosnia and Krajina. But I had a feeling that something was
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
9 You have finished your testimony here in the Tribunal. Thank you very
10 much for coming. I wish to congratulate you once again on your birthday,
11 and I wish you a safe journey to your place of residence.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I wish to
13 thank this Honourable Tribunal for their hospitality and for their
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps you need to wait a few
16 more minutes because the usher is not here to escort you out.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Petrusic, I see that
19 Mr. Harmon is about to get up.
20 Yes, Mr. Harmon, I think that we have some exhibits to deal with.
21 MR. HARMON: Yes, that's correct.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
23 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we tendered two exhibits in the course
24 of this examination; one is Prosecutor's Exhibit 791, which is a Bratunac
25 Brigade casualty report, and one is a new video compilation, Prosecutor's
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Exhibit 766.
2 Now, in respect of Prosecutor's Exhibit 766, there were five
3 subparts to that exhibit. I showed Witness D/C three of those subparts.
4 We therefore seek admission to the subparts of Prosecutors Exhibit 766,
5 subparts 3, 4, and 5. I might add, for the record, that the two subparts
6 that were not offered have been taken from a previous exhibit that was
7 offered as part of the Petrovic film that we have introduced previously.
8 But for purposes of this 766, we are only offering subparts 3, 4, and 5.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The Defence has no objection
12 regarding Exhibit 766, subparts 3, 4, and 5. However, regarding Exhibit
13 791, it was tendered during the testimony of Witness D/C. This is a
14 report about members of the Bratunac Brigade, and I am trying to discover
15 the reason for tendering this document now because this witness did not
16 speak about individual members of various entities. She identified them
17 on the road from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje as members of the army and the
18 police but not specifically.
19 We can neither contest this list because we are aware of the
20 source. This is just my comment regarding this exhibit. And as for the
21 trustworthiness of this exhibit, the Defence has no doubts at all.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, what is the
23 usefulness and its link with this testimony?
24 MR. HARMON: This exhibit is offered, Your Honours, for the reason
25 that this witness testified that on the 13th of July she observed army
1 soldiers and police along the road of Bratunac-Milici Brigade engaged in
2 combat with Muslim units.
3 The Defence yesterday offered Exhibit D25, which is a map that
4 shows the location of various Bratunac Brigade units that were involved in
5 the sweeping operation. It is alongside the Bratunac-Milici Brigade; it
6 is in the Bratunac area of responsibility. And we tender the Exhibit 791
7 only for purposes of showing that there were no casualties. And if there
8 was, in fact, active combat along that particular road, one would have
9 expected in this casualty report to have seen some deaths and the like.
10 It's our view that this evidence, 791, is an exhibit which
11 demonstrates circumstantially that if there was combat -- it demonstrates
12 directly that if there was combat, there were no casualties suffered by
13 the Bratunac Brigade members, and one can infer -- and its relevance is
14 that one can infer that if there was combat in this period of time along
15 this road, it wasn't very active.
16 But whatever inference can be drawn from the exhibit can be made
17 by the Trial Chamber. We will argue the relevance of the exhibit during
18 our summation.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I may. It is, of
21 course, up to you to decide, but I feel that reference by Mr. Harmon to
22 the map drawn for us yesterday should not be linked to this exhibit, the
23 deployment of units of the Bratunac Brigade on the 14th of July,
24 following orders of the Commander of that brigade, Vidoje Blagojevic. So
25 we have spoken about that at length.
1 Therefore, the testimony of this witness relates to the 13th of
2 July, and the deployment referred to by my learned friend occurred a day
3 later. So that the Defence still maintains its position. But this is
4 just my remark regardless of the use that this document may be put to.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Chamber rules to admit the
7 two exhibits, 791, and the Chamber will attach probative value as it sees
8 fit to this document; and Exhibit 766/3, /4, and /5 are also admitted.
9 We now have 20 minutes. Do you have a witness, Mr. Petrusic?
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, we have two
11 more witnesses for today.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Two for today? But can one stay
13 for tomorrow or do we have to hear them today? If not, we'll divide them
14 up so we have ten minutes for each.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] According to our plan and our
16 schedule, we had expected that Witness D/C's testimony would take much
17 shorter; however, the Prosecutor has obviously many questions to ask, so
18 we have planned two more witnesses. One is in reserve. We have another
19 20 minutes, so it is up to Your Honours to decide whether we should begin
20 with this witness today.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, let's do that. Yes, let's
22 begin with the witness to make the best of the time.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] This witness has not asked for any
24 protective measures.
25 THE REGISTRAR: May I please have the name of the next witness for
1 the court reporters?
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Vlado Rudovic is the name.
3 MR. HARMON: While we're waiting, Mr. President and Your Honours,
4 I have provided to the Defence certain pages of a transcript of an
5 interview with Colonel Trivic, and I would request that those pages now be
6 returned to us and not be disseminated.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. That was merely for you to
8 prepare for the re-examination. As far as I know, the Defence has the
9 statement of this witness, so does the Prosecution, as far as I've been
10 able to understand.
11 Yes, we're waiting for the witness.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Can you hear
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can. Good
16 afternoon. I can.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You're going to read
18 the solemn declaration that the usher is going to give you, please,
19 Mr. Rudovic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: VLADO RUDOVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated. Please make
25 yourself as comfortable as you can. Are you feeling relaxed?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much
3 for coming, Mr. Rudovic. You are going to answer questions which the
4 Defence attorney, Mr. Petrusic, who is standing to your left, is going to
5 put to you, and after that there will be questions from the Prosecutor and
6 the Judges. But now it is Mr. Petrusic.
7 You have the floor, Mr. Petrusic.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Examined by Mr. Petrusic:
10 Q. Mr. Rudovic, before we start, I know that you're a little nervous,
11 and it is quite natural that you should be, but as the President of the
12 Chamber has already suggested, please relax. At any time you can have a
13 drink of water. And you will see that this is a perfectly normal
14 situation and we will get through it easily.
15 So, Mr. Rudovic, will you please tell us when and where you were
16 born, where you lived, where you're living now; very briefly, your
17 particulars, personal particulars?
18 A. Do I need to give the date? The 23rd of September, 1934, in
19 Sokolac, that is where I was born. And I've been living in Han Pijesak
20 since 1952.
21 Q. And now I assume you're a pensioner.
22 A. Yes, I'm a pensioner living in Han Pijesak.
23 Q. Mr. Rudovic, tell us, since when were you a participant in the
25 A. You mean this war? This war? That other one or this one, this
1 last one? Because I was in both wars, the Second World War and this one.
2 Q. Very well. Since you've touched upon the subject, tell us, you
3 participated in the Second World War?
4 A. Yes. I was a boy then.
5 Q. So I assume you were a courier.
6 A. Yes, I was young and I was a courier, and I did other such simple
8 Q. What about your participation in this war that started in 1992 and
9 went on to 1995?
10 A. I was a participant from the 13th of August, 1992.
11 Q. So can it be said that you were mobilised on the 13th of August?
12 A. No. I was a volunteer.
13 Q. You were quite well-advanced in age.
14 A. Yes, I was getting along, but I wanted to be a volunteer. I was
15 forced to be a volunteer.
16 Q. What were the reasons that prompted you to volunteer to the army
17 of Republika Srpska?
18 A. Well, on the 7th of August, 1992, they killed my son, the Muslims,
19 who now call themselves Bosniaks, and this prompted me to take up arms and
20 to go to war.
21 Q. So your son was killed in action?
22 A. He was killed in the village. Six of them were killed there; a
23 woman of 75 or 76, another man of 75 or 76, another one of 70, and they
24 slit the throat of a total invalid, a young man, and then they killed this
25 teacher and my son. This was no combat, it was murder. After my son's
1 funeral, I joined the army.
2 Q. So when you say that you volunteered, I assume you reported to a
3 military district or the Territorial Defence or whatever it was that was
4 taking in people?
5 A. Yes. There was a military district for the able-bodied men, and I
6 volunteered. They registered me. I personally asked for that unit; they
7 didn't assign me to any unit. I asked to join.
8 Q. Which unit was it?
9 A. The 2nd Romanija Brigade.
10 Q. What position were you assigned to?
11 A. The position where my son used to be in my place, in my village,
12 Borovine. There is film on that, the killings, the torching. And I
13 joined there.
14 Q. So you joined at the beginning of August, that is, the 8th of
15 August, 1992.
16 A. No, the 13th of August.
17 Q. I beg your pardon. The 13th of August, 1992. Tell us briefly,
18 were there any combat operations there?
19 A. There were then and not afterwards for a couple of days, because
20 they captured some people at Veliki Zep, those young soldiers. Then there
21 was negotiations, blackmail; I don't know exactly how much, but about 50
22 or 60 tonnes of flour, fuel, NAFTA salt, I don't know what, things like
24 Q. Mr. Rudovic, please speak more slowly, because of the
25 interpreters, when answering my questions.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 So let us make things clear. This is the region of Han Pijesak,
2 where you were.
3 A. Yes, the area of the municipality of Han Pijesak.
4 Q. And in those villages around Han Pijesak, on one side was Serb
5 villages and on the other, Muslim villages; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, correct. That is the line that separates them, because
7 these were not mixed villages as in many other places. They were purely
8 Muslim villages, and over here to the right, Serb villages. Not just the
9 one village, but all villages along an area of 20 kilometres. Why that
10 was so, I don't know.
11 Q. Were there armed conflicts at that time between the Muslim army
12 and you, that is, the Serb army, along that line of separation between
13 those villages?
14 A. No, not until they attacked that village. There were no
15 operations. But then, after they attacked, the operations started. And
16 these kept attacking, these others defending, and that is how it was. And
17 then the Romanija Brigade came and formed a line; the leadership of the
18 2nd Romanija formed a line. They pushed them back. This line was in
19 between the villages, you see, so they couldn't approach us, nor could we
20 approach them. There was a distance of some 4 or 5 kilometres between us
21 and the line and between them and the line; the line was in between, in
22 other words.
23 Q. So along that line, was there any movement? Were there any combat
24 operations? Was anything happening?
25 A. Of course. There weren't many troops there. They could pass
1 where they wanted. They went into villages behind our backs; they stole
2 livestock; they killed elderly people who were all unfit for combat, they
3 stayed home.
4 Q. Let us be quite clear about this. So the period you are talking
5 about is the period prior to the formation of the safe area.
6 A. I'm talking about 1992. Only 1992.
7 Q. When preparing for your testimony, you told me that there was a
8 group of soldiers there who were killed in 1992, at the beginning of
10 Just a moment, please. Let me finish my question. Then you make
11 a pause of 10 or 20 seconds, and only then give your answer. Please bear
12 this in mind because of the interpreters. So please go ahead.
13 A. This was on the 4th of June. They went to the repeater, Zlovrh;
14 there was a military repeater there. There were some 15 soldiers there.
15 Vehicles were carrying fuel and food and I don't know what. They passed
16 through three villages. Nobody did anything to them, nor did they hurt
17 anyone, and when they reached that spot, they were killed.
18 I took part in pulling out the dead. It was a terrible sight; a
19 normal man couldn't describe it. They were burnt. Casings were pushed
20 into their eyes and set on fire. I found a woman, a nurse, of 22 or 23,
21 totally naked, cut across this way and that way, lying dead in the meadow.
22 And when we pulled out the dead from there, the line fell, and this went
23 on like that until they attacked Borovine. When they attacked Borovine,
24 the line moved 4 or 5 kilometres, this line between the villages. And
25 they kept on with their provocation but we didn't return fire much.
1 Somebody was giving us orders and they told us not to fire back.
2 It was in October when we went back to the villages, and then
3 during the winter they started their provocations again and we had to
4 withdraw again. So sometime in April the situation was placed under
6 Lieutenant Colonel Krstic was in charge of the operation. He
7 ordered us to halt and he explained to us what a safe area meant - this
8 was already in May - that we mustn't shoot, that we mustn't go there, that
9 they were disarmed, that we had to observe this. So very few of us were
10 left behind, and so we joined the protective regiment which was left there
11 simply to keep order. But they did not respect this.
12 Q. So let us go back for a moment to 1992. On the 13th of August,
13 you became a member of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, and you said that in
14 April or May, the Lieutenant Colonel explained to you what a safe area
15 meant. Was this April 1993?
16 A. Yes, yes, 1993, because we withdrew in October 1992, and in spring
17 1993 we went back to our old positions.
18 Q. So Lieutenant Colonel Krstic, now General Krstic, his first name
19 is Radislav --
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. -- did you meet him for the first time then?
22 A. No. I saw him from before because his wife is from Han Pijesak.
23 He was an officer; he served somewhere. But this was the first time I was
24 with him personally, just then.
25 Q. So this was in 1993?
1 A. Yes, 1993. About the end of April, beginning of May.
2 Q. At the time he was Commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade?
3 A. Yes. Commander.
4 Q. Could you tell us in more detail whether you personally saw him?
5 A. When all this was explained to us and what our role should be,
6 that they had been disarmed down there and that we mustn't do anything,
7 that we had to take care, that people could till their land normally, that
8 even Muslims would be allowed to go on tilling their land and that we
9 mustn't hurt them, then I asked him, "Mr. Krstic, do you know that my
10 son's son and my own son were killed? They were not killed, they were
11 murdered." And I said, "You see what it looks like. He kills my son and
12 I mustn't do anything. If he kills my son, I'll kill him too." And he
13 says, "No, you mustn't." He was an officer but I am older. But then he
14 said, "Look, it's a safe area and it must not be done. Is that clear?" I
15 said, "Clear." How can it be clear to me that I can't go there and he
16 can? He can. I'm talking about Krstic, Mr. Krstic.
17 We had quite an argument there. He said to me, "You must not. I
18 don't want to be a war criminal because of the likes of you." And there
19 was a young soldier next to me, and he said, "You mustn't take an eye for
20 an eye and a tooth for a tooth," and he turned around and left. I didn't
21 see Krstic again, and I really can't tell you when it was again -- maybe
22 1994. Then he was wounded, and after that I didn't see him again until
24 Q. So when you had that argument with Krstic and when you expressed
25 your fury, Krstic said that he would not be a criminal because of the
1 likes of you.
2 A. He said a Serb soldier must be a normal person, he must act
3 normally. "I told you already that no one may attack civilians, but only
4 if they attack you." So I have to wait to be attacked. If I see him
5 armed, I can capture him. "Once you capture him, you can't do this or
6 that to him. You have to hand him over."
7 So there were no problems. They did make incursions, though.
8 There was about 7 kilometres between two positions, and they would pass
9 through there.
10 Q. Witness, we will have to stop there and we will continue tomorrow,
11 of course, with the Chamber's permission and because of the working hours
12 which have run out.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I take advantage
14 of this opportunity. If we could listen to the tape again. Page 99, rows
15 5 through 13, could corrections be made, please.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. I think the
17 interpreters have some difficulties. Could you repeat what you just
18 said? What was your request? What was your remark?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] My remark relates to the
20 translation at page 99, between rows 5 and 13. I'd rather not go into the
21 details now, but I suggest that the interpreters listen to the tape again
22 and correct the interpretation.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think it would be more
24 practical - I think the interpreters agree with this procedure - that it
25 is much better for you to put the question and for us to hear the answer
2 Do you agree that we go on for a couple of more minutes? I think
3 there's something that wasn't quite correctly interpreted. So maybe you
4 could repeat the question and we can wait and hear the answer of the
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to take
7 advantage of this afternoon, Mr. President, to look through the
8 transcript, and then I will put my question to the witness again
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That's a good suggestion, yes.
11 You're going to read the transcript and put the question again to the
13 In any event, I thank the interpreters for their willingness to
14 stay on a little longer.
15 So, Mr. Rudovic, we will stop there now and we will have the
16 pleasure of seeing you again tomorrow at 9.20.
17 We will now adjourn.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.05 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 22nd day of
20 November, 2000, at 9.20 a.m.