1 Thursday, 23 November 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.23 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen. Good morning to the technical booth and the interpreters.
7 Good morning to the Prosecution. I think there are many people who would
8 be back home, but Happy Thanksgiving. Good morning to the Defence counsel
9 and General Krstic.
10 We're going to take up the testimony of yesterday's witness, but I
11 think that we ought to have the blinds lowered before we have the witness
12 brought into court.
13 Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
15 morning to my colleagues of the Prosecution and everybody else in the
17 Mr. President, the Defence would, at the outset of the testimony
18 of this protected witness, like to -- that is to say, we have a series of
19 documents, so may we go into private session straight away, which will
20 last between five and ten minutes, because we have a series of documents
21 to present to the witness.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, let us move into private
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in private session,
25 Mr. President.
1 [Private session]
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21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. Please proceed,
24 Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Witness DE, can you explain to the Trial Chamber the use of the
2 engineers, that is to say, how can you use the engineers in the sense of
3 control and command?
4 A. The utilisation of the engineers in the sense of control and
5 command, according to the laws and regulations that were in force in the
6 former Yugoslav People's Army which were, in principle, translated and
7 respected by the army of Republika Srpska - they were put into practice
8 there, that is - the subject matter is specific, and it takes three forms
9 or there are three possibilities for that utilisation.
10 The first variant is the line of control and command, chain of
11 control and command, in which the superior, the commanding officer, is in
12 direct command of the subordinate Engineers Unit. The second possibility
13 is the establishment of provisional groups, and the third possibility are
14 reinforcements for subordinate units.
15 Q. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber more detailed information
16 with respect to the functioning of the chain of command in each of these
17 three instances?
18 A. The first variant implies that control and command stems from the
19 superior command in the sense of planning, organisation, and so forth down
20 the line, and it gets down the line on the basis of an order issued by the
21 authorised individual. In this case, it was the commander of the Drina
22 Corps and the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps.
23 In a case of that kind, the individual who commands a battalion is
24 the commander of a battalion, or his deputy, in case of the absence of the
25 commander of the battalion.
1 Q. Now we come to the second variant, which is?
2 A. It is the formation of provisional units or groups, and this is
3 one of the most frequent ways in which the engineers are used. When the
4 Engineers Unit of a corps goes to the formation of provisional groups, and
5 in keeping with the tasks and assignments they are given, they function
6 independently and autonomously and are subordinated to the individual who
7 formed the temporary unit or the individual who authorised the person to
8 form the provisional group, to command that provisional group or unit.
9 These provisional groups were called groups for defensive
10 engineering work, mobile groups for defensive engineering work, groups for
11 the maintenance of roads, units for organising the opening of passageway
12 and the control service and -- service of minefields, through minefields,
13 and the Engineers Reserve Group.
14 Therefore, the command of the Engineers Battalion in the sense of
15 control and command with provisional formations only has responsibility to
16 form that formation, to set it up, establish it, and to hand it over to
17 the combat assignment where that unit is to function. He has no further
18 command competencies over that formation.
19 Q. Witness DE, I see that in the transcript we are not
20 differentiating between question and answer for the first variant, so I
21 should like to ask you to tell us again, answer the following question
22 again: What is the use of the engineers via direct orders? And please
23 make pauses between question and answer because otherwise the court
24 reporters are not able to follow this in the transcript.
25 So my question is the use of engineers in the sense of control and
1 command, that is to say, the functioning of the chain of command through
2 direct orders. What you have already said, just repeat it for us, please.
3 A. Well, I am trying to make a pause now. Perhaps I have been
4 speaking too quickly. Let me repeat, therefore, that first part.
5 It is the control and command directly in the chain of control and
6 command, and it consists of the following, that the superior command sees
7 to the planning and use of the subordinated Engineers Unit, and from
8 that -- this means issuing orders to that subordinated unit, and those
9 orders in a concrete case were issued by the commander and Chief of
10 Staff. They were the two individuals who were able to issue those orders
11 of the Drina Corps.
12 When I say Chief of Staff, let me mention in saying so that I
13 explained yesterday that the Chief of Staff was not automatically
14 authorised to command, but he was ordered by the commander of the Drina
15 Corps to perform the duties of command. So he is not automatically the
16 person who is in command and issues commands but must be authorised to do
17 so, and I explained this yesterday.
18 In the chain of command, the order in the battalion is received by
19 the commander of the battalion or his deputy in the case of his absence,
20 if the commander is absent. He then commands further on down the line
21 with his subordinated units. So the chain has been established from top
22 to bottom, passing via the Engineers Unit in the sense of control and
23 command. There is nobody from outside and no other influences or
24 decisions can influence that chain.
25 Q. Witness DE, this brings me to the last -- Witness DE -- Witness
1 DE, this brings us to the last -- I apologise,; we are switched on.
2 Witness DE, this brings us to the final and third variant.
3 A. The third way of command is that the superior command brings in
4 the decision that a certain portion of manpower or materiel and technical
5 equipment is attached to some subordinated unit, that is to say, one of
6 the brigades. It is attached to one of the brigades. The essence of that
7 is that, from that time on, the attached portion becomes a component part
8 of the unit to which it is assigned and has all the -- and all the
9 responsibilities of control and command are within the unit. That means
10 that the battalion has nothing to do with it anymore once it has been
11 attached, once the unit has left and been attached to this other
13 Q. Witness DE, what are the competencies and authorisations of the
14 Engineers Battalion with respect to the engineers in the brigades; that
15 is, the corps engineers and the brigade engineers, what is the
16 relationship between the two?
17 A. The essence of engineers security, doesn't matter which level of
18 command, is that it is independent and autonomous. That is how it
20 I spent a month and a half in Germany, doing some training on an
21 exchange programme, and I was able to see that the way in which this is
22 done in the West is different, so this is a vital question for us not to
23 draw the wrong conclusions.
24 In the West, the West has a direct line, the engineers line, from
25 top to bottom. However, in our country, which is the Eastern variant,
1 that is not the case. Each level of engineers support is completely
2 independent. Now, what does that mean? It means that the brigade
3 commander has his own zone of responsibility. He has his Engineers Unit
4 which provides that security, and everything within that zone and done in
5 that zone is, for the most part, subordinated to him.
6 The Engineer Unit of the corps is intended to ensure units of the
7 Drina Corps, security and support for the Drina Corps units in this case.
8 And let us see what it in fact does. It provides support to the units who
9 do not have their own Engineers Unit; not brigades but, for example, the
10 artillery, for artillery positions and so on. They are the rear units.
11 And then we have the command posts, forward command posts of the corps,
12 and so on.
13 If, in a certain axis, some of the provisional groups are active,
14 the ones I mentioned a moment ago, and if they enter the zone of one of
15 the brigades, which is rare -- that happens rarely -- but if the situation
16 is such that it is ordered to enter the zone of the brigade, then we draw
17 this into our plans and diagrams so that the brigade commander is aware of
18 the fact that we have entered his zone. We colour this area in a certain
19 way to let the commander know that we are in the zone, in his area of
20 responsibility, doing our work there.
21 So those two types of engineers formations have no link, no
22 connection between the two. And perhaps military experts analysing our
23 work in the Engineers Unit of the Drina Corps to mine and demine the
24 terrain, they might have gained the wrong impression for a time, because
25 (redacted), I had all the heads of
1 brigades -- chiefs of brigades directly on the line, and that is not
2 usual. I was in contact with them all the time. And that was because the
3 commander of the Drina Corps had written -- had issued a written order
4 where he ordered that method of work to be applied. So that the many
5 documents that were to have been compiled and drafted, which the corps did
6 not have, should be compiled for purposes of the international forces that
7 were expected to arrive in the area. So that the picture one could have
8 gained in the sense that the Chief of the Engineers had the chiefs of the
9 subordinated engineers groups around him could have been erroneously seen,
10 but we would have had to have written orders; otherwise there are no
11 points of similarity at all between the two groups of engineers. In terms
12 of usage, of course they were in contact when it came to information and
13 exchanging all necessary data and so on and so forth.
14 Q. Your last answer in connection with the role of the Chief of
15 Engineers refers to the period after the signing of the Dayton Accords; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is. It refers to the period of time, which I indicated on
18 the document a moment ago, when I took over the duty of the Chief of
20 Q. Witness DE, I should like to know where, on what kinds of
21 assignments portions of the unit which was under your command in June of
22 1995 was.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And I should also like the usher to
24 prepare a number of exhibits: D137, D138, D139, and D40 [as interpreted],
1 A. Yesterday I spoke about the fact that we were able to form some
2 smaller nucleus. I didn't discuss it in detail, but I will tell you for
3 each and every one of such corps, nucleus is what its strength was.
4 Q. Sorry. I apologise. Could you please enumerate the locations,
5 first of all, and later on, in closed session, we will speak about each of
6 them in turn.
7 A. So locations where the Engineers Unit was engaged. First of all,
8 Vis. So you don't want me to talk about the units, just about the
9 locations; is that what you want? So Vis, the Vlasenica Brigade, Konjevic
10 Polje Engineers Reserve Force, including the part that I spoke about
11 yesterday. On the Drina River, there were three barge crossings:
12 Fakovici, Osmaci, and Petrica. The construction unit was involved in the
13 construction of the Bisina barracks and the Fakovici farm, also on the
14 installations in Crna Rijeka, and they were working on the relay in
16 As regards the construction of the road Sase Mine-Pribicevac, they
17 were also there, and in Konjevic Polje as well. I will talk about it
18 later on, but I think I already mentioned it yesterday.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let us wait for the usher to return,
21 Mr. President, I think it would be advisable at this point to move
22 into private session, and my estimate is that it would take about ten
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Do you ask for a closed session or
25 a private session?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Private session.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, would it be
3 possible for you to organise your examination-in-chief in such a way that
4 we first have a public session and then one private session, so as not to
5 go back and forth all the time?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I try to work in
7 several blocks, so to speak. I think we will have one more in private
8 session, but it was not possible for me to organise myself in a
9 different -- in another way because of the chronology of the events that
10 this witness is recounting.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We will move
12 into private session for several minutes and then we will go back into
13 public session.
14 [Private session]
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6 [Open session]
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Witness DE, let us go back to the issue of Drina Corps positions
9 that were held in the area of Vis and to the work that was performed by a
10 unit in that particular area. How many people were involved once again;
11 for how long did they work, how long did the work last; was the work
12 completed, and if not, when it was interrupted?
13 A. As I have already stated, a Sappers Company was involved in that
14 work, together with their commander, who was the company commander without
15 the group which was part of the Engineers Force Reserves which remained at
16 Konjevic Polje.
17 I said that there were only two or three individuals there who
18 were providing technical support in the area the Vlasenica Brigade, and my
19 deputy was there as well.
20 A KN excavator was being used, one that had been at the Bisina
21 barracks before. The excavator was used for the construction of a
22 shelter, a company shelter on the Vis feature. And if we have a closer
23 look at this particular portion of the text here, you will see that a
24 bulldozer from the Zvornik Brigade was also engaged. That equipment was
25 attached to me by the commander. You will see later on in the text that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 this unit [as interpreted] was to be placed under my command. So this
2 bulldozer was under my command.
3 We had about ten workers from the Engineers Company who were
4 involved in the repairing of roofs and in an attempt to salvage the houses
5 that had been set on fire. Practically the whole area was destroyed, and
6 the brigade commander, who happened to be from that particular village,
7 found himself in front of his burnt-down house.
8 Q. Witness DE, in the record we see that a unit was placed under your
9 command. Is that correct? Or was it only a piece of technical equipment
10 that was placed under your command?
11 A. Yes, it was only this piece of technical equipment, that is, the
12 bulldozer, that was placed under my command, and not any unit. The
13 vehicle was placed under the command of the battalion, the Osmaci
14 Battalion, and didn't have any direct connection with the Zvornik Brigade,
15 but it was placed under my command for the purpose of this particular
17 Q. Please continue.
18 A. The essence of our assignment was the following: Mine and
19 explosive obstacles that had been destroyed previously had to be placed
20 there once again. The commander probably thought that another more fierce
21 attack can be expected, and that is why we were engaged in putting up
22 these more enforced obstacles, reinforced obstacles. So a shelter was
23 being constructed, the Vis shelter, because of the very high number of
24 casualties that the unit had sustained earlier on and we realised that the
25 shelter was not very good because we always had many casualties there,
1 many wounded soldiers, and so on.
2 The biggest problem regarding the Vis feature was actually the
3 fact that it was very deep towards the Muslim-held territory and its
4 flanks were exposed. There was only one road, one route that led to the
5 Vis feature, and it went along the Brenan Ridge [phoen]. But no vehicle
6 could negotiate that route; only individuals. So whenever we had
7 casualties, it was very difficult for us to carry out an evacuation.
8 The Chief of Staff of the corps, the Chief of Staff, that is,
9 ordered me to try and solve the problem of that axis, of that route, and I
10 thought about it and I thought that the best idea was to dig it in so that
11 we can have a vehicle move along that road, along that trench, so to
12 speak, without being exposed to enemy fire. So that was the kind of
13 construction work that we had to work on.
14 Q. So how long did the work take and how many people did you have?
15 A. Yes. I told you about the people who worked. I said that we had
16 about ten people working on the repair work, on the houses. We had about
17 15 Sappers in total, together with the commander. We also had two Cobras
18 and two other construction vehicles -- one was mine, one was from the
19 Zvornik Brigade -- and we had people who serviced those vehicles. Of
20 course, I used the assistance of the battalion itself in the sense that
21 they provided some kind of technical support on a regular basis, and it
22 was the battalion that needed our construction services, so they assisted
23 us as well.
24 Q. How long did you remain in the area?
25 A. I can say that we remained there until the end of the war. The
1 Vis feature was very important for us in terms of engineers support, and
2 certain portions of my unit were still there at the end of the work and
3 they were engaged in all kinds of construction and repair work. I don't
4 know whether you want to know where I personally was, but troops stayed in
5 the area all the time. Later on, there were NATO airstrikes and they
6 targeted the Vis feature. And then after those airstrikes, of course, we
7 had to carry out additional construction work, so remained there for quite
8 a while.
9 Q. D139, this document pertains to the demining work in the area of
10 responsibility of the battalion. When did you receive this particular
11 order and how did it come about?
12 A. I don't know about the details regarding this particular order,
13 because I was at the Vis feature at the time. However, the person who
14 signed the order as a duty officer briefed me a day later or so about the
15 order when we spoke on the telephone. And one can see from the document
16 that seven Sappers were involved there, together with the company
18 This relates to the engineers communications work, and this type
19 of work was described in the instruction, in the relevant instruction,
20 which provided as follows: If the use of that unit should be ordered by
21 the commander, he is -- he was supposed to carry out that particular
22 work. So everything was regulated in that particular instruction. So it
23 was obvious that the Corps Commander, at that point in time, in terms of
24 using the engineers force, was in a very critical situation. He had
25 already used everything he had, and at that particular moment he made a
1 sudden decision to use this reserve formation, that is, the Sappers
3 Q. Witness DE, I don't think it is necessary to discuss every
4 particular location where your unit was engaged in detail, but I should
5 like to know the following: All these locations that you have spoken
6 about, aside from the area of Zeleni Jadar and the demining work of the
7 Sappers Unit, which was described in document D539 [as interpreted] --
8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. We haven't heard the number of the
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. -- all the work that was carried out by your force there was of a
12 defensive character?
13 A. Yes. This was all defensive work. And the area in question was
14 the area towards Tuzla. We had to protect ourselves from the actions of
15 the Tuzla Corps.
16 Q. So it was only on the 5th of July, which is when Defence Exhibit
17 139 relates to, you were in a position for the first time to deploy your
18 unit and use it in an action of an attack character; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Witness DE, how many people, bearing in mind that your unit was
21 scattered around the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, it had
22 been dispersed, how many people at the beginning of July, or, more
23 exactly, after the 5th of July, were in Konjevic Polje? How many people
24 were there?
25 A. In Konjevic Polje at that time, that is to say, from my departure,
1 there were about ten people, minus one commanding officer with a rank.
2 That is to say, we had the following parts of the unit: We had the
3 logistics platoon and we had my part of the -- which -- we referred to it
4 as "the command," but they were ordinary soldiers, privates, without any
5 rank, and we had the communications department. The communications
6 department had two men manning it. Of those two, one at that time was at
7 Vis and the other one stayed on. Of the command there were three people
8 there, and the rest was the logistics platoon.
9 Due to the extremely critical situation with regard to providing
10 security and support for Konjevic Polje, I had -- I devised a solution,
11 which I don't know whether it was used in the Army of Republika Srpska at
12 all before that. I was not able to solve the problem of providing
13 security for the warehouses in Konjevic Polje. And then in the
14 municipality of Milici, I went there and asked the organs of civilian
15 authority to find six men who would be -- serve as guards.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would -- I understand that
18 narratives are appropriate in some context here, however, this is not a
19 lay witness and the question was asked not about security in Milici. I
20 would request that we try to go as question/answer as best we can. I
21 sympathise with Mr. Visnjic's problems here, but I think this is taking a
22 lot of time and we're going off into areas that I don't find relevant, and
23 we're not going in a question and answer. We're getting very long
24 narratives. That would be my objection.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Visnjic, your
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that the
3 witness wished to explain how his manpower was increased, and I don't see
4 that that has anything to do with the security of Milici. I'll check it
5 in the transcript. But as I heard the witness' answer, he was answering
6 the question that was asked him, and that was with respect to how many men
7 his unit had. I shall try to guide the witness and make him as brief as
8 possible, but we're getting into a critical point now and I think that it
9 is necessary for the witness to speak in detail about that.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Perhaps we ought to go to
11 the core of the matter, the heart of the matter, as quickly as possible.
12 But please proceed.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher to
14 prepare Exhibit 160/A and 160/1.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, perhaps we could go
16 on for five minutes and then take a break. Five more minutes, then.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness DE, while we're waiting for the exhibits, could you tell
19 the Trial Chamber, please: In Konjevic Polje, you were there until the
20 9th of July, when you went on leave for private reasons, and you returned
21 there at around the 20th of July; am I right in saying so?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I object to leading. If we are in
24 the core of the matter, I would prefer to hear the answers from the
25 witnesses and not have them suggested by the counsel.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, you have heard the
2 objection raised. Please ask your question.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness DE, until when were you in the Konjevic Polje area?
5 A. I said a moment ago through this order, that is to say, I showed
6 when I left Konjevic Polje. It was when the engagement at Vis started.
7 As for the area of the Drina Corps, I left that area on the 9th, and I
8 returned to the Drina Corps area on the 20th.
9 I left the area from -- I left Vis, that is to say, I went to the
10 command, Corps Command, Corps headquarters. I think that was in the
11 evening hours. Whether it was on the 8th or 9th, I'm not quite sure, but
12 it was in the evening of that day, and from the Corps Commander I was
13 given permission to leave to see my family.
14 I returned on the 20th. I went to Vis, and seeing certain changes
15 with respect to my unit's engaged, I arrived at Konjevic Polje. I was in
16 Konjevic Polje for perhaps two days, and then returned again to Vis.
17 Q. Witness DE, you told us the days but didn't tell us the month or
18 the year.
19 A. It was July, from the 9th to the 20th, of 1995.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher
21 to place on the ELMO Prosecution Exhibit 160/A.
22 Q. It is a map of Konjevic Polje and the broader area around it
23 incorporated by the Bratunac-Kravica-Konjevic Polje roads and the
24 Zvornik-Vlasenica road.
25 Your unit was located near the junction at Konjevic Polje; is that
1 correct --
2 A. Let me say something at this point. There is something that
3 hasn't been probably understood.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, may I interrupt?
5 I think that now we have reached the heart of the matter, so
6 please make sure not to make leading questions. Your question should be,
7 "Where was your unit?" You can't speak instead of the witness, so no
8 leading questions. We're at the heart of the matter now, and please pay
9 attention not to ask leading questions. Please proceed.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness DE, could you explain this to the Court.
12 A. Up till now, I have been talking about where my unit was.
13 Konjevic Polje is one of the locations where part of my unit was located.
14 So the command post was at Vis, but part of the unit, as I described it
15 earlier on, was locate -- was in that locality. I did not count all the
16 localities that I was engaged in, but one of the localities was Konjevic
18 I see that conclusions have been drawn frequently in the sense
19 that this was the locality of my unit and that this was its permanent
20 position, permanent post. My military post, when I was set up as a unit
21 and all the elements of development of my unit, were Milici, and I gave to
22 the Prosecution a document with the military post and its number, which I
23 have now forgotten; but it was Milici, and Milici was the collection area,
24 and within the context of its assignments, it found itself located in
25 Konjevic Polje at that point in time.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we could take a break.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, this is an ideal moment for
3 a break, and we're going to take a 20-minute break.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, please proceed.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Witness DE, did you, at your post in 1995, did you take any work
9 in the planning of engineering security for the Krivaja 95 operation?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Witness DE, were you acquainted with the plan of operation Krivaja
13 A. No.
14 Q. Witness DE, do you know how many of your men and in which way took
15 part in the Krivaja 95 operation?
16 A. Krivaja 95? Are you thinking of the operation around the
17 Srebrenica enclave; is that what you mean?
18 Q. I'm thinking about the attack and assuming control of the town of
20 A. I did not have occasion to see the document, and from what I have
21 stated so far, it is obvious that in the attack on the enclave of my
22 parts, the Sapper department took part which entered within the
23 composition of the Skelani portion, and we can see that from the document,
24 that is to say, to open passage for the defence of the Skelani feature.
25 I never linked the two together, but they can be placed into a
1 context. That is to say, the road that was constructed up there, we --
2 the work took a month and a half; we started before these events. The
3 road was used in the context of the operation, but it was not built for
4 that purpose. And the main financier of that road and most of the
5 composition up there was from the Bratunac municipality whose interest it
6 was to have the Serbian population return to the Serbian villages that had
7 been left empty.
8 Later on, when I returned -- but the operation had already been
9 concluded -- I came upon two of my compositions in combat activity already
10 turned towards Zepa, which is not that, so I don't know whether you need
11 to know that. It was the Sapper. A Sapper Company from these was
12 transferred to the Zepa area of combat, and the loaders were with that
14 Q. And that loader, where was it engaged before that?
15 A. It was engaged at Pribicevac within the group working on the road
16 construction. And during that operation, it was engaged probably, I did
17 not issue any more assignments because this TG, tactical group, Pribicevac
18 in its position, it's difficult to speak about that because it existed at
19 one point and not at another. But the command cadre in the TG Pribicevac
20 was the responsible authority for engaging that part of the unit, so when
21 the attack started, the loader was used to follow the movement of units
22 moving from Pribicevac to the road going towards Jadar. I think that was
23 the road they used.
24 Q. So that would be the southern side; is that right?
25 A. Yes. I think the only road, although I'm not well acquainted with
1 the infrastructure there, but the only road that the loader could move
2 along was the road towards Zeleni Jadar.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher now
4 to show the witness Exhibit 160/1.
5 Q. Witness DE, you have before you a satellite image of Konjevic
7 A. Yes, I see it.
8 Q. This is a picture taken on the 27th of July, 1995, and we will be
9 using it for the purpose of explaining to the Trial Chamber how the
10 soldiers were deployed and positioned from your unit at the beginning of
11 July, 1995.
12 A. This is rather a narrow image and it is difficult to focus on the
13 whole area of my unit. For me to be able to explain this, let me explain
14 why I came to Konjevic Polje. I explained all the other localities, but
15 not the locality of Konjevic Polje.
16 I came to Konjevic Polje pursuant to an order of the command of
17 the Drina Corps to do repair work on the terrain -- the facilities, the
18 buildings, and so on -- so that the refugees from Central Bosnia could
19 take up residence there.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down a little, please, speak a
21 little more slowly. Thank you.
22 A. As I say, so that the refugees from Central Bosnia, the Nisic
23 Plateau, and Sarajevo could have somewhere to live, and there were a lot
24 of refugees for whom we did not have accommodation. We had no solution
25 for them in the Drina Corps. So I started on my repair work, and I
1 started the settling of the area.
2 Had this picture been taken much earlier on, my unit would be in
3 quite a different part of Konjevic Polje. This is the final phase of the
4 operation. I didn't move from this locality afterwards. But the initial
5 stage in Konjevic Polje was quite -- in quite another part, towards
6 Zvornik, and I did repair work on the houses and buildings, and the
7 population was able to receive accommodation there. So my locality moved
8 and changed.
9 Q. But to go back to my question: On Exhibit 160/1, indicate for us,
10 please, where the soldiers of your unit were located at the beginning of
11 July, 1995.
12 A. At the beginning of July 1995, the exact location -- I'm going to
13 speak about two types of location: locations that were manned at the time
14 of these events, that is to say, from about the 10th to the 20th, for
15 example; and facilities that were used when the unit came to Konjevic
17 This facility here, it was a small one and it was the
18 communications department. This building next door was the command.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For purposes of the record, the
20 witness is indicating to the group of buildings in the left-hand corner of
21 Exhibit 160/1, far left-hand corner.
22 A. Shall I continue?
23 Q. Yes, please do.
24 A. These two buildings here in the "A" square were not actually used
25 with respect to the unit's location, but we used them as a technical
1 warehouse. We had reserve -- spare parts there. And when they were in
2 Konjevic Polje, two mechanics worked there repairing the spare parts from
3 the logistics platoon, but nobody was put up there.
4 Around these buildings, we had this area here. They were not used
5 at all; they were just to mask -- used as masks, and I'll explain what I
6 mean by their masking purpose. For operational purposes.
7 Opposite, there was a plateau, and I can't quite distinguish it
8 here. There was a trailer for the transport of engineering material, but
9 it was out of order. It didn't have any wheels and we were not able to
10 replace the wheels, and therefore it was never used. I took it from the
11 SP centre in Bijeljina, and I wanted to make a plateau trailer out of it,
12 a functional plateau trailer. However -- a flat-bed trailer. But it was
13 out of order. Perhaps there was something else parked there, but it was
14 not of any importance to me.
15 This central feature that we see here, central building, was the
16 school. When I started working at Konjevic Polje, the school was already
17 refurbished as a military facility, but with the intention of putting up
18 the manoeuvring brigade of the Drina Corps in the school building, which
19 was to be formed at that time. However, the brigade was not established
20 at that time. It was never formed then. So we turned the interior in the
21 quartermaster residence [as interpreted], that is to say, for units who
22 were passing by and for the MUP forces. And I'm speaking about the time
23 period that I was there. Different units passed through and were
24 accommodated there.
25 I myself used an adjacent building --
1 Q. Well, never mind the details now. We'll go on.
2 A. The buildings in this upper corner consist of three buildings.
3 Q. It is in the "B" square, is it?
4 A. Well, I can't quite see, but in this square, in these three
5 houses, we put up the Engineers Company, the Road and Bridge Company, and
6 the Logistics Platoon. The Engineers Company, after repairing the
7 buildings and facilities in Konjevic Polje, never actually had need to
8 come here. But from time to time perhaps somebody did come for some
9 repair work or to do minor repairs in Konjevic Polje, so that this
10 building was kept locked for the most part of the time.
11 The building next to it was a building where we put up the Road
12 and Bridge Company. When I say "company," a company is equal to 10 men.
13 Before that, I only had the cores of these -- nucleus of these groups. So
14 this was the Road and Bridge Company, and the building down below was the
15 building where we accommodated the Logistics Platoon.
16 The building in the corner here is the quartermaster warehouse,
17 which is where we kept our food and everything else needed for the work of
18 the kitchens. And women slept there, the women working as cooks in the
20 Over here, and you can't see it on the map, actually quite a long
21 way away, about 300 metres, there was another building in which I had my
22 mines and explosives stored. So along the road here towards Bratunac,
23 that's where it was. It was a sort of a warehouse for mines and
25 Opposite here, in these buildings, I had a few livestock, some
1 animals that we fed and kept for our -- for nutrition and so on. So that
2 would be that.
3 Q. Witness DE --
4 A. Let me just go back a little.
5 Q. Let me ask the questions please, Witness DE. Could you explain to
6 the Trial Chamber, please, where the guard posts were at the beginning of
7 July 1995.
8 A. I had a plan and project for the security of Konjevic Polje, and
9 there were six guard posts, according to that plan; however, that maximum
10 level of security was to be used when the units were there and when we
11 were able to man all those points, if the units were there, as I say.
12 When the units were not there, when they were all on assignment
13 and when we were not able to ensure this kind of security, I only had
14 three guard posts. The first guard post was geared toward securing this
15 area here.
16 Q. Just one moment, please. For purposes of the record, it is the
17 rectangular shape in the upper right-hand corner of the exhibit.
18 A. Yes. Over here was the kitchen attached to the school, adjoining
19 the school on the right-hand side. This was guard post number one.
20 Guard post number two was located by the command facility and the
21 communications centre, which is here.
22 Q. For purposes of the record once again, the witness is indicating
23 the area in the bottom right-hand corner of Exhibit 160/1 -- to the left,
24 not the bottom right-hand corner, left-hand corner?
25 A. Over here, in this part which can't be seen on the photograph. It
1 is fairly high up. I wanted to gain in height, so we went up to the
2 position here. If the unit was there, that's where the post would have
3 been. There's a Muslim cemetery up here, and it was a little below this
4 cemetery that we set up guard post three.
5 Q. Once again, for purposes of the record, guard post number three
6 was outside the photograph, in the upper left-hand corner.
7 A. Guard post number four was approximately in this region here, a
8 little above this. Somewhere there. Perhaps a little higher. It's
9 difficult to locate the exact spot now.
10 Q. Once again, for purposes of the record, guard post number four was
11 located near the title where it says "Facility Housing Drina Corps, 5th
12 Engineering Battalion," a little above that title.
13 A. Guard post number five cannot be seen on this image, but it would
14 be somewhere in this corner up here. A little further up. About 200
15 metres further up, perhaps.
16 Q. Once again, for purposes of the record, guard post five is outside
17 the photograph, in the upper right-hand corner.
18 A. Guard post six is along this road here, about 150 metres ahead, on
19 this side of the road. Opposite that guard post was the warehouse for the
20 explosives and mines, and that guard post was designed to provide security
21 for the warehouse.
22 Q. For purposes of the record once again, guard post number six, not
23 included on the photograph, but it is along the road on the right-hand
24 side of the page.
25 A. The security regime at that time, as the units were all on
1 assignment, was as follows: Guard post number one was security for the
2 Logistics Platoon and up to -- manned by the -- guard post number two, we
3 called it a guard post, but it was the duty officer, the signalsman, the
4 man from communications, someone from the command as well, they all manned
5 this guard post; but during the day, actually, the guard post did not
6 exist. The duty officer worked inside during the day and stood guard at
8 Guard post number six, which I said cannot be seen on this
9 photograph, was manned by the soldiers, although I don't know if I can
10 refer to them as soldiers. We called them "guards." We referred to them
11 as guards. They were sent to me from the Defence Ministry of Milici.
12 They were assigned to me from them. They did not have -- they were either
13 too old or they were sick or wounded, so they were not able to be proper
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher now show the witness
16 Defence Exhibit D99.
17 Q. Witness DE, do you know Spaso Bandjur and Vaso Orasanin? Do you
18 know these individuals?
19 A. Yes, I know them. They are the two guards in question. They used
20 to come at 3.00 by bus to Konjevic Polje and return at 7.00. So this
21 guard post was not manned throughout the day, but only in the night hours
22 during the night. So the warehouse was controlled by means of a patrol.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the English version of
24 the D99 on the ELMO, please.
25 Q. Witness DE, are these people, the two individuals that I just
1 mentioned, Spaso Bandjur and Vaso Orasanin, I should like to know whether
2 they were wounded on the 13th of July as it is stated here in this
4 A. The document was signed and composed, actually, by my deputy.
5 What you said in relation to this document is quite correct. I can only
6 give you my comment, but I wasn't personally there.
7 Q. After you had returned from your leave, what were you briefed
8 about by your deputy? You said that you came back on the 20th or
10 A. Yes, that is correct. I didn't have any special briefing, but as
11 I would encounter my assistants, they would provide me with the relevant
12 information. As regards this particular document, my assistant for
13 logistics told me about this document because I happened to see him,
14 because the deputy was at Han Pogled where the TV relay was at the time.
15 I have to say that the signal that was coming from us -- to us from
16 Yugoslavia was turned off, so the relay had to be turned towards
17 Bijeljina. That was his main task; that is why he went there, so I didn't
18 find him when I came back.
19 At any rate, the information that I received was that on the 13th
20 of July, in the early morning hours, an attack occurred against the guard
21 post number six. Out of three guards who were present there at the time,
22 two were wounded.
23 I didn't tell you anything about the kind of defence that I had in
24 mind for Konjevic Polje and what I did to that effect. I must say that,
25 as an engineers officer without enough troops, I tried to use my resources
1 as much as it was possible.
2 The area that I just indicated was very well mined and closed on
3 the flanks, and it could be entered only from two directions, from two
4 axes: from the Bratunac, along the road, and also from the village of
5 Konjevic Polje itself, which was on the other side.
6 So what happened here was the following: The unit that carried
7 out the attack started advancing towards Konjevic Polje. I don't know
8 what exactly they had in mind, what kind of target, but they came to a
9 minefield and two mines were activated, and then the shooting ensued, and
10 in the shooting, two guards that I just mentioned were wounded.
11 From this, you can see that individuals in question were
12 transferred to the Zvornik Medical Centre. Why? At that point in time,
13 practically speaking, Konjevic Polje was cut off and encircled, because
14 the front part of the column of the 28th Division had cut off the
15 communication with Milici, whereas the second axis on which parts of that
16 unit were moving was at Kuslat, which was situated a little further down
17 below Zvornik.
18 Q. Please continue.
19 A. So as regards this particular incident, I thought that whoever was
20 leading the column along the Konjevic Polje-Milici route, having observed
21 the situation, they must have concluded that there were not many troops in
22 Konjevic Polje. That's the only idea I can think of, because this was
23 actually the first encounter with the passing column. So the column was
24 passing and nothing was happening, so I think that somebody just wanted to
25 check out the situation, and they stepped on a mine, shooting occurred,
1 and two individuals were wounded. I don't know what happened later on
2 because we were separated. There was this minefield between us.
3 So because of the passage of the column towards Milici, the
4 wounded individuals were not transferred to Milici, which was our field
5 hospital for our troops, but were transported to Zvornik, and it was only
6 possible to do that after parts of the police force had arrived from the
7 direction of Zvornik to Konjevic Polje. And when we were actually
8 officially told that the wounded could be transported to Zvornik, only at
9 that time were they actually transported to the hospital.
10 Q. What you have just told us is something that you were briefed
11 about by whom?
12 A. Not official. This is what I discussed with my assistant for
13 logistics and then later on with my deputy. I have to say that my deputy
14 personally escorted the two wounded soldiers to Zvornik, and on his own
15 initiative, because the communication had been cut off, he left for the
16 Vis feature. And he asked the battalion commander, the Osmaci Battalion
17 commander, that the Sappers Unit, that the Sapper portion of the unit,
18 which was completing its job at Vis, be returned to Konjevic Polje
19 because, practically speaking, he was no longer able to do his job. This
20 guard post was out of usage. And we had to provide adequate protection
21 and security for this mines and explosive warehouse, which was indeed very
22 important for us, and we couldn't allow the enemy to destroy it or get
23 hold of it.
24 So he transmitted that request to the commander and he agreed with
25 him that that unit should be returned, and he came back to Konjevic Polje
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 sometime during the night. And the unit in question, that is, those 15
2 Sappers, arrived in Konjevic Polje on the following day, because it could
3 not have been done right away, due to the combat activities. They needed
4 some time to pull out from the area and from the work that they were
5 performing at the time.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like the usher to show the
7 witness Exhibits 160/7, 5, 6 -- those are satellite photographs, please.
8 160/5, 6, and 7. 160/6, if we can have that one first, please.
9 Q. Witness DE, you have a satellite photograph in front of you which
10 was taken on the 5th of July, 1995. In relation to this -- actually, what
11 we see is an enlarged portion which was marked as part B on the Exhibit
12 number 160/1. On this photograph, one can see a tractor with a trailer.
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher
15 Exhibit number 160/7 to be placed on the ELMO, please.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: [Previous translation continues] ... try to
19 clarify it. I believe the one that had A, B, C on it, the enlargement,
20 was 160/1, and that was 27 July. And just to clarify that. I know there
21 was one up there that had 5 July on it.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is true that 160/1
24 is dated 27th of July. However, on the document number 160/6, which is
25 dated the 5th of July, shows the same portion of the photograph that was
1 taken on the 27th of July. I just want to identify the portion that was
2 indicated as part B. I hope I'm clear.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Actually, I'm not sure,
4 but please proceed. But the photograph of the 5th of July is not an
5 enlarged portion of the photograph of the 27th of July, of course, so we
6 have to be precise.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] There may have been an error in
9 Q. Let us go back to Exhibit 160/7, which is on the ELMO. This
10 photograph shows a tractor with a trailer as well.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you tell us something about this machine, please, about this
14 A. I don't know what it was called, the military farm of the Drina
15 Corps. I don't know it, but perhaps it's not that important. Anyway, the
16 vehicle belonged to the military farm of the Drina Corps, and it happened
17 to be in Konjevic Polje for the purpose of some agricultural work which
18 had taken place earlier on, and one of the tractors that was used for that
19 purpose was this one.
20 During this period of time, I think it was out of order, and I
21 don't think that anyone was there servicing the vehicle because no such
22 work was taking place at the time. So once again, this vehicle belonged
23 to the military farm, which was involved in agricultural work in Konjevic
24 Polje. So that work was carried out by the members of the military farm,
25 not us. But I think that this tractor was there for the purposes of being
1 maintained or serviced. I'm not sure. It belonged to me at the time.
2 But I don't think that at this particular point in time, I don't think
3 that it was in order, and the person who operated this machine was not
4 there at the time.
5 Q. Witness DE, was this vehicle used for the transport of bodies of
6 the BH army soldiers who had surrendered on the road at Konjevic
7 Polje-Kravica and who were subsequently executed, as it has been testified
8 by witnesses in this case?
9 A. I don't think that that was the case. I had a number of soldiers
10 there, and I must say once again that they had lots of difficulties
11 maintaining these security -- these guard posts.
12 This is a relatively large area, and I don't think that at any
13 point in time any of my troops abandoned it. They were there all the
15 Q. Let us stay with this photograph of the 27th of July for a while.
16 On this shot, unlike the one on the 5th of July, we can see some other
17 vehicles in the vicinity of the buildings which were, as you said, under
18 the control of your unit. Could you tell us anything about these vehicles
19 and how they happened to be there on the 27th of July?
20 A. As far as I can tell on this photograph, one can see a loader and
21 two FAP tracks. Sometime around the 25th or 26th of July, the Sappers
22 Unit stopped its engagement in the area of -- in the theatre of operation
23 towards Zepa and came back. I know that the combat activities towards
24 Zepa were taking place for a while, but as soon as the defence lines were
25 down, the Engineers Force were no longer needed in terms of opening up the
1 roads and providing engineers support.
2 As regards the direction from which it came from, the bauxite
3 mines -- I'm not familiar with the area and I don't know those many
4 locations that were used. So from that direction, from that particular
5 road, movements of mechanisation was not allowed during that period of
6 time towards Zepa. It was actually not possible because only mountain
7 units together with appropriate mechanisation was able to move along that
8 area. So that is why that particular portion was pulled out from the
9 combat operation zone and returned to Konjevic Polje.
10 At that time, the duty operations officer transmitted an order to
11 me at the Vis feature to the effect that I should assist the cleaning of
12 the city of Srebrenica, which was undertaken by the civilian authorities
13 there. The reason why they requested our help was the fact that there had
14 been some unfortunate incidents in the city, in the town itself or its
15 immediate surroundings, because of the mines.
16 So I was required to solve a very difficult and serious problem in
17 Srebrenica involving a small river or a creek which passes through
18 Srebrenica. I don't remember its name. On that creek, a number of
19 mini-transformer stations or hydroelectric plants had been set up, and
20 those small units or energy plants were being used in Srebrenica. Such
21 stations were makeshift stations, but I believe that they were, they were
22 usable during that period of time. There was a kind of collector
23 underneath this river, and my task was to solve all the construction
24 problems relating to that.
25 Two individuals had been killed at one of those mini-plants
1 because of a booby trap, and this is why these two FAP tracks were
2 returned because I wanted to use them for the transport of the debris that
3 would be there as a result of our construction work in Srebrenica.
4 So this action was, as I said, undertaken by civilian authorities,
5 but this particular work involving those mini-plants was assigned to us
6 because of the danger of booby traps and mines.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to put the
8 exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 165 on the ELMO -- or 160/5, and also to
9 have Defence Exhibits 146 and 145 prepared.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, we will be working
11 until 10 minutes past 12, so that you can organise yourself.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Witness DE, once again I'm showing you a satellite photograph that
14 was taken on the 27th of July, 1995. The photograph shows a number of
15 trucks and one other Engineers Force vehicle next to them.
16 So was this vehicle in the function of the previously-described
17 work involving the cleaning of the town of Srebrenica, was the vehicle
18 there for that purpose on the 27th of July?
19 A. This vehicle was VAT 3 and it was never used during the war. I
20 don't see any particular function, any particular task for which it could
21 be used. That kind of a vehicle has a part that is attached to it on the
22 side, and it makes rows. This vehicle, I don't know why it was there. I
23 don't know how it could be used for any kind of work, for any kind of
24 purpose. I don't know. It could only be used for making a row.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have Exhibit number 145, 146,
1 one after the other so that the Chamber can have a picture of it.
2 Q. Witness DE, what you can see here is an enlarged portion of the
3 OTP Exhibit 160/9 and 8. It is a detail from a much larger photograph,
4 the one that you have still in front of you, perhaps. Two details that
5 were taken on different dates, on the 5th of July and the 27th of July.
6 A vehicle can be seen in the right-hand corner on both of these
7 photographs. Could you tell us what that could be? What is that kind of
8 vehicle that is there?
9 A. I am not sure. This could be -- but really, I'm not sure. This
10 could be the TAM truck that we mentioned, the one from Zvornik, the one
11 that I mentioned yesterday when I talked about the handover of duty. That
12 vehicle was used for rear logistics, and -- well, if it was my vehicle, I
13 think that that could only have been this TAM truck that I already spoke
15 Q. How many loaders did you have in your unit?
16 A. Only one.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like the usher to show to
19 the witness Exhibit number 160/2, and also to have Exhibits number -- OTP
20 Exhibits 160/2, 177, and Defence Exhibit D144, to have them prepared,
22 Q. Can you recognise this photograph, Witness DE?
23 A. Yes, I can. This is the school building, the school in Konjevic
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please put Exhibit
1 number OTP 177 on the ELMO, please.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, what is the exhibit
3 number of this photograph, please?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President. It
5 wasn't entered in the record. It is D160/2.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I think it should be
7 "P" because it is a Prosecution exhibit.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, you're quite
9 right. OTP 160/2.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please continue,
11 Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to place OTP
13 177 on the ELMO, please.
14 Q. Witness DE, are you familiar with this photograph and what it
16 A. Yes. This is the outside booth which is part of the school
17 building, the reception booth.
18 Q. Witness DE, did your unit stay or was it at some point in time
19 holding the positions that can be seen on this photograph at the beginning
20 of July 1995 until your return from leave?
21 A. It's very difficult for me to comment on this photograph because I
22 should need the whole building, the entire building in the photograph;
23 however, let me try to explain.
24 Q. Witness, sorry to interrupt you. Could you please just answer my
25 question with "yes" or "no."
1 A. No.
2 Q. Witness DE, did any other unit of the Drina Corps have control of
3 the facilities which can be seen on the photographs 160/A and 177?
4 A. I don't think so.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the exhibit in
6 question is Exhibit 160/2.
7 Could I now ask the usher to show to the witness Defence Exhibit
9 Mr. President, Your Honours, this is an enlarged portion of an
10 aerial photograph, Exhibit number OTP 160/1.
11 Q. Witness DE, you wanted to tell us something more about this
13 A. When I arrived in Konjevic Polje to do the construction work and
14 the repair work there, the only facility which I did not have the right to
15 use was the school here. Then I insisted on being given at least a
16 portion of it, because it was necessary for me to have access to water,
17 and I also needed a kitchen, and the school had those facilities. So they
18 allowed me to use one part of the school building, this part here. And in
19 this corner that you can see on the photograph, we had a certain amount of
20 coal which was used for cooking. This was used for central heating, and
21 we turned it into a kitchen.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the witness is
23 indicating the upper right protruding wing of the building.
24 A. So this area here was used by the Sappers Unit when it was in the
25 area, when it was there, and the last soldier who left the area was the
1 one who left together with the detachment that went to Zeleni Jadar.
2 Q. When was it?
3 A. I believe that it was on the 5th of July. We saw a document
4 describing that a moment ago.
5 In this part here, there used to be a WC, a toilet, but the Sapper
6 Unit had some of its quartermaster items there and supports, although
7 there was no control there; it was never locked. But anything they didn't
8 need, they would place into that building there.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For purposes of the record, the
10 witness has indicated the upper left-hand part of the building.
11 A. This part here was the school, and it had two floors, two storeys,
12 and for the Manoeuvre Brigade, all the rooms were used as dormitories,
13 sleeping rooms. Only in this corner here, on the ground floor, there was
14 a room with tables and chairs in it, and it was used for meetings and as a
15 kitchen. And I asked them to place that room at my disposal as well, for
16 me to be able to convene a meeting or to have -- for my men to have a
17 proper meal there, sitting down at a table, if it was raining outside.
18 But each of these buildings had small dining rooms, makeshift dining
19 rooms, for the men to be able to eat there.
20 I was not permitted to do so, but I was told that I could turn it
21 into a dining room if I could ensure that I had an entrance to it, and
22 what I did was to knock down the wall here and make a separate entrance
23 which was not linked up to the school proper, so I didn't have to go
24 through the school building but was able to go through this separate side
25 entrance if I wanted to use that room.
1 Q. Just a moment, please. Witness DE, at the beginning of July, did
2 your unit use those portions of the building which you have just indicated
3 and described to us after the 5th of July, 1995?
4 A. The last soldier to leave before those events was this detachment
5 on the 5th. I said that Simanic left on the 13th, in the evening, and
6 that he asked the company to return, and it returned to Konjevic Polje on
7 the 14th, at around noon. From that time on, it was in this section of
8 the building. Those 15 or so men were there. However, as we did not
9 complete the company's engagement, it left on the 15th and went to take up
10 its assignment towards Zepa, because on the 15th those units entered a
11 minefield, suffered heavy casualties, were not able to solve the
12 situation, and went -- that is to say, there was one day when those 15
13 people were ...
14 Q. Let's summarise briefly. Part of the building after the 5th of
15 July was used by your soldiers, in the period between the 14th in the
16 afternoon until the 15th in the morning, when they left once again; am I
17 right in saying that?
18 A. Yes, you are.
19 Q. Thank you. As we're talking about the departure of the Sapper
20 Company, did they go to Zepa? Is that right?
21 A. Yes. On the 15th, they left for Zepa.
22 Q. What axis were they active in around Zepa, if you know?
23 A. Well, I wasn't there, so I don't know specifically, but I know
24 that they were introduced somewhere from the direction of the bauxite
25 mine, from that area and that approach to Zepa.
1 Q. Just slow down a little, please. Do you know what unit they
2 worked with there?
3 A. I think a tactical group was formed and that they were attached to
4 the commander of that tactical group.
5 Q. Do you know who the commander of that tactical group was?
6 A. I don't know. As I wasn't there, I don't know, but there was a
7 tactical group that had been established from the units that attacked from
8 that axis. You probably know from the rest of the documents.
9 Q. Do you happen to know which units were within the composition of
10 that tactical group, or one unit?
11 A. I assume -- I can only assume, because it was the Milici Brigade
12 and parts of the Bratunac and Skelani ones. They went from that
13 direction. That is on the basis of logic.
14 Q. And when you returned from your leave, you found them there,
15 together with a portion of the technical part, on the Zepa axis?
16 A. My main task was Vis. I was responsible for the situation at Vis,
17 so my task continued to be Vis, but I had to go to Konjevic Polje to size
18 up the situation and to see what further steps I could take.
19 I did not go to the zone where this unit was carrying out combat
20 activities. I was only informed that it was there and of its
21 composition. I know that the department joined it which was within the
22 composition of the Skelani Battalion, so at that time, up there had been
23 completed; it was complete.
24 Q. You say "up there." Where are you thinking of?
25 A. I'm thinking of the axis where it was deployed. I don't know -- I
1 can't locate it exactly because I wasn't actually there.
2 Q. But we are talking about Zepa, are we not?
3 A. Yes. We are talking about the axis of deployment of that tactical
4 group, where that tactical group was attacking, in fact.
5 Q. Witness DE --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, perhaps this would
7 be an opportune moment to take a break. But before we do so, Mr. Visnjic,
8 let me remind you that you said that this witness would be testifying for
9 about four hours, so please do your sums, and I think you'll realise that
10 we're almost at the end of that time. But anyway, let us take a break of
11 50 minutes. We have this siren, the noise of this siren that seems to be
12 going on and on, but I suppose it's doing what it's supposed to do. So
13 we're going to reconvene at 1.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.11 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
16 [The accused not present]
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, we have until 3.00,
18 so, in order to divide up our work, we're going to have a ten-minute break
19 at around 2.00. So bearing that in mind, please proceed.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Mr. President, I should like to inform the Trial Chamber that
22 General Krstic is absent for health reasons, and the Defence has tabled a
23 statement to that effect to the registrar, handed it to the registrar, and
24 he will be absent to the end of today's proceedings. Probably after a
25 doctor has examined him, we shall know whether he will be attending
1 tomorrow or not.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. Visnjic. We
3 should like to wish the General all the best. Please continue.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Witness DE, we showed you a set of exhibits, Prosecution exhibits,
6 160/2 and 177 and Defence Exhibit 144, which is on the monitor.
7 A protected witness, Witness S of the Prosecution, during his
8 testimony stated that he was brought to the building, to the guard
9 building which was identified on these photographs, and he later described
10 the procedure, the conduct towards him, what was done with him.
11 My question is the following: When you returned to your unit,
12 were you informed of whether or not your soldiers took part in the capture
13 of a certain number of soldiers or civilians belonging to the BiH army,
14 members of the BiH army?
15 A. On the basis of the information which I received, no.
16 Q. You told us that in the buildings that have been described that
17 there were some other units present there. Could you please wait for me
18 to put my question to you.
19 Did those units belong to the Drina Corps?
20 A. When I left and when I returned to the building, the units weren't
21 there; however, the school was used to accommodate some of the units, some
22 units. Which units, I do not know because my units and those units had no
23 connection at all with respect to assignment. We had nothing to do with
24 each other.
25 Q. Do you know whether some of those units were subordinated to your
2 A. No. The -- in practice in the Engineering Unit, nothing is
3 attached. It is a unit that can be -- units can be attached to others,
4 but nothing can be attached to this particular unit.
5 Q. Was your unit subordinated to any other unit in your environment?
6 A. No. Let me put it this way: If we're thinking about part of the
7 unit that was in Konjevic Polje, if you're thinking about that, then the
8 answer is no; and we said a moment ago that some units were subordinated
9 in other localities to something else.
10 Q. "My unit" referred to the part of the unit located in Konjevic
12 A. Then my answer is "no."
13 Q. Witness DE, can you describe to the Trial Chamber the -- what kind
14 of communications your unit used? And I'm thinking about the part of it
15 stationed in Konjevic Polje. Just one moment, please.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher to
17 prepare OTP Exhibit 521.
18 A. My unit was undergoing the process of development, and it was a
19 very modest unit in terms of facilities. And in the communications
20 department, it had very poor facilities there, too, very bad
22 In Konjevic Polje at the end of a wire link which was linked to
23 the Milici Brigade, we had a field telephone. It was a telephone that we
24 all used. We had no other communication at all. We had, in addition to
25 that, two other field -- in addition to that, we had two other field
1 telephones which were linked to each other, to one another, and they --
2 the line was drawn from the facility I pointed out a moment ago where the
3 logistics base was to the command. And as this is quite a distance, this
4 saved people from going back and forth, so it ensured communication
5 between these two points. But they were not within any other system of
6 communications, nor could they be used apart from within that one line,
7 from telephone to telephone.
8 In addition to that equipment, I had a radio device. It was the
9 RUP 12, R-U-P 12 device, and two Motorolas. Those communication
10 facilities always attended the Sappers Unit, and the RUP 12 had as its
11 task to ensure communication between the Sapper Unit and the command of
12 the unit for whom we were performing the work. And the two Motorolas were
13 used to establish communications between the group laying the minefields
14 and another group which was providing security facing the enemy.
15 So that's all I had with respect to communications equipment.
16 MR. VISNJIC:
17 Q. Just a moment, please. So when your Sapper Unit left, what
18 remained of the communication equipment at Konjevic Polje? What do you
19 suppose, assume [indiscernible] --
20 A. I don't have to suppose or assume anything. I took the RUP to Vis
21 with me with the two Motorolas, so that in Konjevic Polje there was only
22 this wire link with the Milici Brigade; that is to say, a wire was
23 stretched across the road, and at the end of that wire there was a field
24 telephone, whereas internal communications was based on two telephones not
25 linked to any other system, and that was between the logistics department
1 and the duty officer.
2 Q. Did your unit have a code name?
3 A. My unit did not have a code name, a secret name, nor did I have
4 one, but the exchange -- that is to say, the end of that line was
5 called --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat that, please?
7 A. Communications centre, but it was a telephone.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. That last wire link, wire line, did it have a name?
10 A. Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, I would like -- the
12 interpreters are asking if you could speak into the microphone, please.
13 They're having trouble following.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Did that last wire link that you mentioned a moment ago, was its
16 name Carina?
17 A. Yes, that was the word, "Carina."
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher
19 to place OTP Exhibit 521, the English version, on the ELMO, please.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] OTP Exhibit 521 cannot be placed
21 on the ELMO because it is confidential, and we would have to move into
22 private session if you wished to have it placed on the ELMO.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise. Yes, I know the
24 reason for that. If my colleague Mr. McCloskey agrees, we can move into
25 private session.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: We did see that go across, and I believe that the
3 one you were about to put on the ELMO had the initials blotted off, which
4 means that that was not under seal. But if you can -- which may solve
5 things. The one you were about to put on, I believe, was the bis, that
6 was okay, but we can take a look. We can confirm it and try to solve the
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps we could move
9 into private session, because the next question from another area would
10 also require a private session, and that would be the last set of
11 questions like that.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could have 521 bis, which is right there.
13 That's not under seal and shouldn't be a problem.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] At all events, do you still wish
15 to move into private session, Mr. Visnjic?
16 THE WITNESS: My name is being mentioned here, so I don't want it
17 to go out in public.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, I would like us
19 to move into private session, if possible, please.
20 [Private session]
13 Page 7688 redacted – private session
13 Page 7689 redacted – private session
13 Page 7690 redacted – private session
15 [Open session]
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Witness DE, did the soldiers from your unit take part in the
18 disturbance of the graves in 1990?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Witness DE, together with General Krstic, you actively took part
21 in the implementation of the Dayton Accords. Can you tell the Trial
22 Chamber what this -- what your function -- not your function. Can you
23 explain to us what General Krstic's work comprised of? What was his role
24 and his cooperation with international forces and also with the forces of
25 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's calling for a conclusion on the part of this
4 witness that there's been no foundation laid that he knows that. General
5 Krstic has had a chance to testify. He can talk about his own
6 involvement, but it seems -- unless there's a foundation that there's some
7 close working together, it puts us -- we're not able to now cross-examine
8 an actor.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, perhaps it would
10 be -- we could put a framework to the witness' part in this along the
11 lines of what Mr. McCloskey has just suggested.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I asked -- I think I
13 asked the witness in detail if they worked together towards implementing
14 the Dayton Agreements, then what was his function or the function of
15 General Krstic.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic, but that is a
17 conclusion. You worked together, but what did you do; when; where did we
18 go; meetings with certain individuals; that could set a framework to his
19 participation, determine it.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Witness DE --
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I have to say that
22 Mr. McCloskey, during the cross-examination, can try to clarify the
24 Mr. McCloskey?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: My only issue is if he makes conclusions about
1 what General Krstic is doing, if we can know that he is with him at the
2 time or that -- because if he just goes into talking about General Krstic,
3 we don't know if he heard about that from someone else or whether or not
4 he was with him at the time.
5 I don't have an objection to him talking about General Krstic, of
6 course, but just going into conclusions about General Krstic without
7 clearly establishing where he fits into it will put us in a situation, it
8 would be very difficult to follow.
9 And this is -- obviously, Dayton is not necessarily a big issue
10 for us, so I don't want to make a big deal out of it.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I must admit that I'm
12 somewhat handicapped here because the witness had spoken for more than 14
13 hours with the OTP, so they probably know in advance what his answers will
15 I am asking rather general questions, I know, because I'm not
16 quite sure as to what kind of details he will be talking about. Perhaps
17 we should ask the witness this question, and let's see what he has to
18 say. If he speaks in too great a detail, then perhaps I can interrupt him
19 and guide him.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic, proceed with
21 your question, and then we will see.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness DE, did you participate together with General Krstic in
24 the negotiations regarding the implementation of the Dayton Accords, in
25 particular as regards the procedure of demining the area?
1 A. Yes. The main reason why I left my post (redacted)
2 (redacted) was actually the implementation
3 of the Dayton Accords.
4 Q. Could you tell the Chamber, could you describe to the Chamber, in
5 brief terms, the role of General Krstic in that specific area of work?
6 A. His role at the time as the Corps Commander was rather significant
7 because that whole part of the work which involved the military aspect of
8 the implementation of the Dayton Accords was the responsibility for the
9 Corps Commander. He was the one who had to spell it out, who had to carry
10 out the necessary preparations and organise the work.
11 One of the very important segments of this part of the accord was
12 the area of responsibility of the chief engineer officer. General Krstic
13 was present there at all times, and he encouraged me in my work, and he
14 insisted on the quality of the work that had to be performed.
15 Q. Witness DE, let us try to summarise this particular area, and let
16 me help you with a question.
17 Could you tell us something about General Krstic as a commanding
18 officer, since you had an opportunity to spend quite some time with him?
19 And that would be my last question.
20 A. If you would please let me finish this issue regarding the Dayton
21 Agreement and his attitude towards it.
22 I remember an incident that took place in the area of the Main
23 Staff when the soldiers of the 2nd Armoured Unit wanted to accomplish a
24 certain task and then something happened, there was a misunderstanding of
25 some sort, and we had an official ban to contact the forces.
1 The following day, I had a meeting with Colonel Seymour, and I
2 gave up the idea of going, but General Krstic managed to find him, and he
3 expressly ordered me that I should go to that meeting. I also remember
4 that he had had a very serious conflict within the command with his
5 subordinate officers regarding this order and the incident which preceded
6 the issuing of that order. But General Krstic provided a very strong
7 explanation, saying that the Dayton Accords should be given all the
8 necessary support, and that I should go to that meeting. And I must say
9 that Colonel Seymour was really very surprised, because the communications
10 were very important; and General Krstic said that peace was all that was
11 important, and that's why I went to the meeting.
12 As regards the personality of General Krstic, during that period
13 of time in my capacity as a chief engineers officer, I had very frequent
14 contact with him, and we worked together on the implementation of those
15 assignments very often. And he struck me both as a man and an officer.
16 As an officer, he was always very precise and very consistent in his
17 work. And as I said, the main focus of our work at the time was the
18 implementation of the Dayton Accord, and he spared no effort on that work.
19 As regards General Krstic as a man, I should like to mention the
20 fact that General Krstic was always extremely mindful about the
21 humanitarian side of the problems, or rather, the humane side of the
22 problems involving this area. Very often we had to solve problems having
23 to do with refugees, with families of the killed soldiers. Sometimes it
24 was necessary to do some construction work for the accommodation of those
25 people, and so on and so forth. And General Krstic always thought that it
1 was of very high importance, that it was sometimes even more important
2 than combat activities.
3 I must say that I didn't know General Krstic from before -- I
4 mean, I didn't know him very well, but that period of time made me believe
5 that General Krstic was indeed a man and an officer of very high
6 qualities, and that is what I wanted to say before this Honourable
7 Chamber, because I knew General Krstic and I wanted to tell you what my
8 view of him is.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very much.
10 This concludes my examination of this witness.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
12 Mr. Visnjic. As I have already indicated, we are now going to have a
13 break. This would be perhaps a good moment, before we proceed with the
15 Does that sound convenient to you, Mr. McCloskey, a ten-minute
16 break at this point?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We will have a
19 ten-minute break now.
20 --- Recess taken at 1.39 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.51 p.m.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, you have the
23 floor for the cross-examination. Please bear in mind the time that was
24 spent for the examination-in-chief. If you forget that, I will remind you
25 of that. And I should like also to ask you to organise your
1 cross-examination so that public questions are asked in public session
2 and, if necessary, we will go into private session for a limited number of
3 questions. Please bear that in mind.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Please, if you could, try to answer my
7 questions simply. And you will always be given a chance to explain an
8 answer, but listen to my question carefully and answer it simply, and then
9 you can always explain, if need be.
10 When did you and General Krstic first start working on the
11 implementation of Dayton?
12 A. We worked together on the implementation of Dayton ever since the
13 beginning of that process, the process of implementation of the accord,
14 and the work became more intensive when I became chief of engineers.
15 Q. Witness, my question was: When? And now, to help you out, Dayton
16 occurred November 21st, 1995, just -- the anniversary was a couple of days
17 ago. So when did you start working on the implementation of those
19 A. Well, ever since that point in time, since that period of
20 time -- and we kept receiving specific assignments, and the Dayton Accords
21 are very specific in terms of assignments and time references. Some of
22 the paperwork was done even before the signing of the agreement. I don't
23 know exactly what you have in mind.
24 Q. Okay. So there was preparations underway even before they signed
25 the Dayton Accords?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And was General Krstic present in the Drina Corps?
3 A. He was present in the Drina Corps. There may have been a period
4 of time during which he was absent for reasons of health, but he was there
5 most of the time.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm sorry to interrupt
7 you, but Mr. McCloskey has asked you a very specific question: When you
8 started working with General Krstic on the implementation of Dayton.
9 You were told that the accords were signed on the 21st of
10 November, 1995. You told us that you had started even before that. I
11 have to ask you whether you started, for example, in June 1995. Tell us
12 the exact date.
13 It's probably a question of cultural habits. Every time a
14 specific question is asked, you have to provide a specific answer
15 beginning with the words contained in the actual question. So if the
16 question is, "When did you start working together," you have to answer
17 your question, "I started working with him on such and such date."
18 Otherwise, we will keep wasting time. I have to ask you once again to try
19 to do your best in answering specific questions by providing specific
20 answers, of course.
21 Mr. McCloskey, let us try again.
22 A. I don't remember.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. We don't need a specific date to minutes. If you can tell us, do
25 you know what month, perhaps, that you first started working on the
1 implementation of what you hoped would be the Dayton Accords?
2 A. I took up my duty at the time when the relevant paper was issued,
3 and I signed it, and I joined the corps at that time with the purpose of
4 compiling the documentation on the demining work. So that was the basis
5 of my work on the implementation of the Dayton Accords. One of the most
6 important things connected with that accord was exactly that, and I don't
7 know how else I can answer your question.
8 Q. My question was "what month"; what month did you start all this?
9 Dayton was November --
10 A. So I, as chief of engineers, started working as soon as I came to
11 the corps on the 1st of February. But I told you, there had been a number
12 of activities that we did as a battalion, in particular, the demining work
13 around Srebrenica and Zepa, and that work was also part of the
14 implementation of Dayton and involved drafting of the appropriate
16 However, the real work for me started as soon as I came to the
17 corps and took over the specific assignment and my duty in accordance with
18 that, that is, as of the 1st of February, 1996. And ever since that time,
19 I have been involved in this work.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, could you please
21 switch off your microphone each time you finish your question; otherwise,
22 we will have problems with protective measures. We don't want the witness
23 to be heard outside.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I kept thinking I was about to ask a question, but
25 I'll try to be more careful with that.
1 Q. Witness, it's clear that you became part of the corps in February.
2 You also were the head of the Engineering Battalion prior to that. As the
3 head of the Engineering Battalion prior to February, what month did you
4 first start implementing the Dayton Accords?
5 A. After the signing of the Dayton Accords, we first received the
6 relevant documentation that had to be examined; however, specific
7 activities concerning the implementation had begun sometime before that,
8 and they involved the demining work of the minefields that could be
9 removed, that is, they did not affect the security of the corps; and to
10 the filling up of some trenches and some routes that could be filled up.
11 So there had been a number of very specific activities which were geared
12 to the implementation of the accords even before they were signed.
13 But we received more detailed information only after the signing
14 of the agreement. We received a military annex to the agreement providing
15 for all the specific activities that we as the military had to perform.
16 And it is very difficult for me to tell you the specific date. It
17 was a process that took a while.
18 Q. And are you sure General Krstic was present as Corps Commander
19 from November through February, November 1995 through February 1996?
20 A. Again, it's very difficult for me to tell you the exact date,
21 whether he was there or not. He was the Corps Commander --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 A. -- and he was involved in the implementation, and he was present
24 there. But again, (redacted) was subordinated to the
25 Chief of Staff after that, and I received my assignments from him. So I
1 didn't need to contact him in a direct fashion during that time, but I
2 assumed that everything that was being done in the corps was done pursuant
3 to the instructions of the Corps Commander.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. One of the most critical parts of the Dayton Accords for the army
6 of Republika Srpska were the presence of NATO troops on the ground in
7 Republika Srpska; is that correct? That's a "yes" or "no" question, and
8 if you need to explain it, you may.
9 A. No, no. No. No.
10 Q. Did you know that part of the Dayton Accords included bringing
11 NATO troops onto the ground of the Republika Srpska?
12 A. We knew about that, and I assisted in bringing them there. I
13 assisted Colonel Baptiste and Colonel Seymour in their arrival, and I
14 helped them take up their positions there. I have to say that I ensured a
15 very high level of communication with the local population.
16 If you're referring to the 2nd Armoured Unit which was deployed
17 along the separation line between the Drina Corps and the 2nd Corps of the
18 BiH army, that unit was located on our side, and the command was in the
19 immediate vicinity of our corps.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think this is in answer to my question, if
21 I can interrupt the witness, but I'm -- he's just going on and on, and I
22 would prefer to be able to try to go question by question.
23 Q. Witness, as part of the preparations for the implementation of the
24 Dayton Accords, did you receive instructions from the corps level to hide
25 documents from the 5th Engineering Battalion?
1 A. Documents belonging to the 5th Engineering Battalion were handed
2 over to the corps.
3 Q. So the answer to my question was "yes"?
4 A. No. The answer to your question is what I have just told you.
5 Q. Do you recall giving a statement to Mr. Ruez, Mr. Ruez of the
6 ICTY, on 28 July 2000 on that subject?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let me again ask you: Did you receive instructions from the corps
9 to do something regarding the documents of the 5th Engineering Unit
10 because you viewed IFOR as a potential enemy?
11 A. See, what happened was that I handed over the documents, as I told
12 you --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Witness, Witness DE, the
14 Prosecutor has asked you whether you received an instruction, an order, or
15 not. The answer is "I did receive an order" or "I didn't receive an
16 order." Would you please answer the question.
17 A. Yes, Your Honour. I have finally understood the question. But I
18 abide by what I have just said. However, I must add that there was a
19 service which had a specific assignment which had to deal with the
20 documents and which had to prevent the information from leaking. I told
21 you about General Krstic and the implementation of Dayton Accords. This
22 is something quite different. We had an assignment, we had a task, and we
23 worked according to the relevant instructions. We didn't know what this
24 new army that was coming into our area actually was. We didn't know
25 anything about them. After all, we had been shelled by them.
1 I'm sorry. Maybe I didn't understand you, Mr. McCloskey. I told
2 you about my work with General Krstic, but what you asked me has to do
3 with the Security Service, whose task was to provide adequate security in
4 terms of intelligence and everything it entails to the unit, and that was
5 their attitude, as you have indicated.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. All right. Let me read to you the question and your answer and
8 see if this helps refresh your recollection. Mr. Ruez: --
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm sorry. I see that
10 Mr. Visnjic wishes to either make an objection or correct the transcript.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this time I have an
12 objection to the document that Mr. McCloskey is about to use. The Defence
13 believes that the situation is not the same as with our previous witness,
14 where we had hearsay evidence. This time we have a statement given by
15 this particular witness, and the Defence might have an opportunity later
16 on during the direct [as interpreted] to verify the credibility of the
17 witness. But however, in order for us to be able to do so, we would need
18 the entire statement of the witness, and I think that, bearing this in
19 mind, the Chamber should make an order to that effect to the Prosecution.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I believe this issue has been dealt
22 with before, but I can say it briefly. This is a statement --
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Sorry, Mr. McCloskey, but
24 Mr. Visnjic told you about the difference. You used a document which
25 involved some hearsay evidence. However, this time you are using a
1 document containing the statement which was given by this witness, so the
2 situation is different. Please bear that fact in mind.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Your Honour, in fact, when Mr. Harmon did
4 this, he used a statement not of the witness; in this particular
5 situation, this is a statement of this actual witness. And I can tell you
6 that the -- that what we are basing this on is the rule of law from --
7 that is first developed, cross-examination, in Great Britain, and it's
8 moved over to the US. I'm a little reluctant to cite US codes since I saw
9 someone do it in the Florida Supreme Court at his own expense, but this is
10 a process that has been established in Britain for many years and has been
11 adopted in the United States, and especially when it has to do with a
12 witness; whereas using a statement like this in cross-examination, the
13 Prosecution is allowed to use it in questioning the witness, and then if
14 the Defence ask for it, they are allowed to view it. And if it's used to
15 impeach the witness, then they are actually allowed to have a copy of it.
16 And we think this is fair, it's appropriate for cross-examination, and we
17 would hope this Court would adopt that rule.
18 JUDGE WALD: Can I ask you just one question? I'm familiar with
19 the practice, obviously, but are you suggesting you will ask him questions
20 on cross-examination based upon the statement, the Ruez statement that you
21 have, then you will make that statement available to Mr. Visnjic for -- if
22 he wants to try to rehabilitate it, if there is anything to rehabilitate,
23 on direct? Is that what you're telling us you'll do? I want to get it
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, just as it worked with Mr. Harmon
1 before. So the appropriate part of the statement would be provided to the
2 Defence, and so they would be allowed to use it --
3 JUDGE WALD: By "appropriate part," you mean anything relevant to
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
6 JUDGE WALD: The same thing I said to Mr. Harmon: If there was a
7 line, two lines below that took a different point of view, they would want
8 to see that.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, and that's what we intend.
10 JUDGE WALD: I think that's what we've been doing, hasn't it,
11 roughly, throughout this trial?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's what I thought, and that's -- the argument
13 is the same argument and it's based again on the reciprocal discovery. We
14 would have provided anything appropriate for the Defence under the
15 Reciprocal Discovery Statute. It has not been asked for, not even on this
16 particular date.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you wish to add something,
18 Mr. Visnjic? Otherwise, the Chamber will make a ruling. Do you have
19 anything else to add?
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have tried to find
21 the relevant provision in the Rules that Mr. McCloskey just mentioned
22 which refers to this particular situation, not to the situation that we
23 had with the witness a few days ago. But I must say that I haven't found
24 anything about this type of cross-examination in the Rules. However, if
25 it should be the case, if I'm wrong, then I think that the Defence needs
1 the entire statement in order to verify the credibility of the witness, if
2 the Prosecutor insists on using the statement and if the Court allows him
3 to do that. So in that case, we need to have an entire statement, and we
4 hereby make this request so that we are able to conduct our redirect
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that the relevant
7 provision of the United States law has been invoked here, but I must say
8 that we are working on the basis of the Rules that we have. I can also
9 invoke my domestic rules of procedure. What we have to do here is to
10 stick to the Rules and Regulations of our Statute and the Rules of
11 Procedure and Evidence. This is what we have to use here. And our Rules
12 provide clearly that there is no application of national law, only in case
13 when we have to interpret our own Rules, so for the purposes of
14 interpretation only.
15 If you wish to test the credibility of the Defence, if anyone
16 needs to test the credibility of the witness here, it's the Prosecution,
17 and that is the objective of the cross-examination. They conduct their
18 cross-examination on the basis of the examination-in-chief, and they are
19 now conducting their cross-examination to that effect. If you have any
20 questions arising to that, you can ask them during your additional
21 examination on the basis of the cross-examination.
22 The Prosecutor has to provide you relevant portions, the
23 appropriate part that they used from the statement. But I think that in
24 order to have -- I think that what -- that you will have enough with some
25 enlarged portions of the appropriate text.
1 I think that we have two basic differences here: the situation
2 that we had some time ago when the witness was confronted with a statement
3 of a third person, and if -- and the situation when the witness is
4 confronted with the statement that he himself has given. We don't see how
5 that difference in situation can entail a difference in procedure.
6 The decision that the Chamber made for another situation will be
7 used once again. It will be applied in this as well. That is, the
8 Prosecutor is obliged to provide to the Defence relevant portions of the
9 statement, in somewhat enlarged form, so that the Defence can
10 appropriately carry out the redirect examination of the witness.
11 Having said that, having made this ruling, or rather reapplied
12 this ruling, I think that we can continue.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. And one last statement
14 on that point: Great Britain, I believe, has since this time abandoned
15 the rule, but it's continued in the United States, and I just wanted to
16 make that clear.
17 Also, Mr. Harmon reminds me --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But Mr. McCloskey, our basic
19 rule here is to have a fair and speedy trial. This is something that we
20 have to be focussed on all the time. Please try to avoid invoking case
21 law and statutory provisions of other countries; otherwise, I will have to
22 speak about my domestic law as well.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I understand.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But I have to add that I have
25 profound respect for that legal system, of course. But we are applying
1 here the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal for
2 the former Yugoslavia, and we have to apply it; but I have, once again,
3 profound respect for all legal procedures of the most important legal
4 systems in the world.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I thought I could get away with it on
6 Thanksgiving, Your Honour, but I won't be getting into that any further.
7 If I could actually now take that statement and perhaps refresh
8 the witness' recollection.
9 Q. "Mr. Ruez, what happened with the archives of the 5th
11 Witness: Once I was transferred, the archive was still with
12 the 5th Engineer Battalion and it was complete, everything,
13 all the reports that were made on the level of battalion.
14 Actually, there were some instructions from the corps level to
15 just hide the documentation, to remove the documentation,
16 because, you know, at the initial phases we treated SFOR as
17 enemy forces until the situation melted out and the
18 relationship improved. Actually, whether it was just done
19 because of the attitude towards SFOR or some other reasons, I
20 don't know, but that's up to the security bodies to deal with
21 that issue, to make the assessment whether it's necessity just
22 to move the document."
23 And so on. So do you -- to this day, do you agree with the
24 statement that you made to Mr. Ruez?
25 A. Once again, I must say that I don't see a very big difference
1 between what I said on the previous occasion and what I have testified
2 about here.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't wish to
5 trouble you with constant observations; however, I think that we are
6 dealing here with a situation which we can solve once and for all.
7 The witness does not have a statement in his own language.
8 Mr. McCloskey is reading out to him the relevant portion of the text. As
9 far as I understand the interpretation that I have just received, this is
10 exactly the same as what he has stated here before the Chamber.
11 I do not wish to discuss the interpretation; however, I think that
12 prior to using the statement, the Prosecution should provide the statement
13 to the witness so that the witness can have some kind of control over what
14 he said; and also the statement should be provided to the Defence. I
15 think that it should be useful for the future that we adopt this
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, do you have a
18 B/C/S translation of the document?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I do, Your Honour, and we've marked all the
20 places that we intended to give to counsel, pursuant to the rules that
21 have been established, and highlighted them.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you have the B/C/S version of
23 the statement, Mr. Visnjic?
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, we don't, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So they don't have it yet. I
1 think it would be convenient for the witness to have the statement in
2 front of him. It would be preferable, at any rate, once you have the
3 B/C/S version of the text. However, if you don't have the B/C/S version
4 of the text, it is possible to test the credibility of the witness later
5 on during the redirect examination if the interpretation here in court is
7 Mr. McCloskey, could you perhaps put the relevant portion of the
8 statement before the witness, or would that be a problem for you?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: At this point, I don't think that violates the
10 rule that's already been established. I hadn't planned on asking any more
11 questions about this subject; however, I can show the witness in B/C/S
12 what I'd read to him.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey -- okay, okay. If
14 you want to do that, that's fine. I will give you the opportunity to do
15 that. You can put the B/C/S version in front of the witness, and then
16 that will render the objection of the Defence moot; or during the
17 additional examination, the Defence can check out whether you have
18 correctly read out the statement or not. So for the purposes of equality
19 of arms, I think that that should do.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Whatever the Court prefers. I can either go on,
21 or I can show this to the witness.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] To speed matters up, please show
23 this version to the witness, the portion of the text that you have just
24 read out and on which you are basing your question.
25 Mr. McCloskey, we should perhaps have a question and guide the
1 witness somehow; otherwise, he will continue reading the whole text. You
2 have to tell him which part of the text interests us here.
3 A. Thank you, I have read this part of the statement.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Is that basically the way I read it, with perhaps some slight
6 differences in translation?
7 A. Well, let me tell you, I don't have the original here. Some of
8 the things could have been translated perhaps differently, but that is
9 more or less what I said.
10 Q. Now, Witness, you said you were made aware of some events on the
11 13th of July, 1995, in the area of Konjevic Polje. Were you aware on the
12 16th of July that the 5th Engineering Battalion was involved in a blocking
13 and search operation for Muslim stragglers from Srebrenica?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you ever hear that your unit was under the command of Vidoje
16 Blagojevic on the 16th of July in those operations?
17 A. No.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could have Exhibit 539/A placed on the ELMO.
19 Q. And if you could take a moment to read this.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could push it up so we can -- actually,
21 no, it covers the -- maybe push it up a little bit higher. Yes, thank
22 you, that's fine.
23 A. I have read it.
24 Q. Is that unit mentioned in paragraph 2, the "5th INZB;" is that
25 your unit?
1 A. Yes. However -- okay. Do you want me to comment?
2 Q. If you wish.
3 A. Obviously, the gentleman that engaged in this tour passed through
4 Konjevic Polje, and on this communication line that he passed through, a
5 system was established, I don't know how, but I say with full
6 responsibility here that only in the context of that one kilometre or so
7 stretch that I pointed out a moment ago is an area where my three guard
8 posts were distributed which were functioning in the area. The minefields
9 were on the flanks and outside that area, which means if he goes in order,
10 then he went past the area of the 5th Battalion, and that -- I'm not
11 contesting that.
12 But the battalion never received the task -- an order about the
13 blockade, had I seen an order or if I was shown anything like that, nor
14 searching of the terrain. And it would be logical to suppose that when
15 the man passed by this area, he passed the stretch that I explained
16 earlier on because that is where it is located. And my three guard posts
17 were there on the road, on that route; and if they were in jeopardy, then
18 communication would be in jeopardy, too.
19 It is also obvious, however, that you were not able to approach
20 the area because of the minefields that blocked it off on the flanks. So
21 you could approach it only from the Bratunac road or from the junction of
22 at Konjevic Polje. From the direction of the village, that is. So it is
23 an area, a stretch of about one kilometre in length.
24 Q. But you're not challenging the authenticity of this order
25 regarding what was going on on July 16th?
1 A. No, I'm not in a position to challenge it or not challenge it,
2 because this is the first time that I see it. And if the document is an
3 authentic one, then obviously this individual did pass through Konjevic
4 Polje, and perhaps he stopped off by the guards or the people who were
5 there. Perhaps. I'm saying maybe. I don't know what actually he did do
6 and whether he -- what he did in the locality or did not do. I can't say.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we show the witness Exhibit 504/A.
8 Q. Witness, this is a -- what you're reading is the handwritten
9 notation of an intercept operator, what they heard over the airwaves on
10 the 12th of July at 0740 hours. And the part I would like to call your
11 attention to is the comment, "He's not. He isn't answering. Listen,
12 please tell him that I called, that Mane, Laco's deputy, will call him,
13 that the police in Konjevic Polje have been told to [sic] the same as the
14 Engineering Battalion are doing, and that he can give orders to them
15 through the commander of the Engineering Battalion."
16 So on 12 July, who is in command at the Engineering Battalion?
17 A. My deputy.
18 Q. And do you know who Mane Laco's deputy might be?
19 A. No. What did you say the name was? Lacin? Laco?
20 Q. Just like it's written there?
21 A. Laco's deputy. No. No. Deputy, no.
22 Q. Were you aware that the MUP forces were in Konjevic Polje on the
23 12th of July, 1995?
24 A. Yes. The MUP forces -- when I say "yes," I assume so. I wasn't
25 there. The MUP forces had a permanent checkpoint at the Konjevic Polje
1 junction, a permanent checkpoint. I don't know whether it was those
2 forces or some other forces. That I can't say.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could show the witness Defence Exhibit
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have the document.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Do we have it placed on the ELMO? I'm sorry.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could place it on the ELMO.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The witness' name is on the
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. We should be in private session. I'm
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us move into private session
14 for a few moments.
15 [Private session]
13 Page 7716 redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: So if we could show the witness Defence 99 and
2 place the English version on the ELMO.
3 Q. Witness, is this a document that you provided to the Defence?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know where this document came from?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Have you had a chance to look through the 5th Engineer archives
8 before testifying today?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you have a chance --
11 A. No.
12 Q. -- to look through something else, some other kind of archives?
13 A. Everything I had I gave. I said that I took several documents
14 later on from the company because I said that the only documents I had
15 saved were there, as I said a moment ago. But otherwise, I did not have
16 occasion to see any other archive.
17 Q. I'm a little unclear. Have you had a chance to look in some kind
18 of military archives, aside from your own personal documents, prior to
19 testifying today?
20 A. No, except my personal ones and a small portion of an archive
21 which, through force of chance, was with the company commander from which
22 I took the document I mentioned a moment ago. So certain documents, when
23 I write an order, for example, they go to my subordinate, and that
24 subordinate makes up his archive, and that's how it came to be there.
25 Q. So who are you referring to when you say your company archive, or
1 the archive of your company commander, excuse me?
2 A. The one that was on the document a moment ago in which I handed
3 over my duty. He was the leader of that Sapper Company, and he had the
4 Sapper Company archive as commander of that company. He received orders
5 coming in to the company, all orders coming in or anything that he needed
7 So he had this archive of his own, and when I wanted something for
8 myself, he would -- I wanted to get at some of the documents that were
9 with him, and so I looked at those documents and found what I wanted.
10 Q. Did you look for the attendance roster of the 5th Engineer for
11 that month of July 1995?
12 A. We didn't keep that kind of roster, that kind of document, an
13 attendance roster, a daily attendance roster. We didn't have that kind of
14 document. The company commanders kept this sort of data, not the
15 battalion command. They just saw to the command part, whereas the company
16 leaders or commanders saw to the attendance of the men in their
17 companies. And the principle was that there were two shifts with some
18 companies and with others, depending on the assignment. So half the
19 people were absent on leave, and the other have were in the unit, present
20 in the unit.
21 Q. But as I understand it, the 5th Engineering Battalion kept no
22 attendance roster?
23 A. In the headquarters of the battalion, not in the unit, subordinate
24 units. Each company for itself had an attendance roster. This was done
25 at the -- at company level, a daily attendance roster. Not at the level
1 of battalion, at the level of company. The company leaders, it was their
2 duty to have this attendance, daily attendance roster.
3 Q. And you didn't look for the attendance roster that would have
4 indicated you were not at work on these key dates?
5 A. As to my presence and absence, that was taken care of and
6 registered in the superior command. So I was not in a position that
7 somebody should take care of my attendance in my own battalion. It is the
8 superior command who sees to my attendance, and that would be the in corps
9 command, data of that kind, with respect to me.
10 So it is my superior officer who gives -- grants permission for
11 leave, orders, gives me assignments, and so on, so I wouldn't -- I would
12 be in the superior -- my attendance would have been registered by the --
13 in the superior command.
14 Q. You're still in the military, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You could have gone to the archives and looked for the documents
17 that would have indicated that you were in Belgrade, correct?
18 A. I wanted to look for that, but I wasn't in a position to get to
19 that archive. When I went -- left for Belgrade, I received a piece of
20 paper, that is to say -- but, you know, how serious papers are treated is
21 another matter.
22 The crossing across the River Drina, this was done with a slip of
23 paper of smaller dimension.
24 Q. You weren't able to get to the archives; is that the answer to the
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could show the witness Exhibit 807.
3 Q. Witness, I want to ask you a little bit about the buildings in the
4 area of the Konjevic Polje 5th Engineer Unit. I think some of these
5 photographs you've seen before. Could you take a look at that building in
6 this exhibit and tell me if you recognise it.
7 A. I think, but perhaps I'm wrong -- I can orientate myself better if
8 I have a broader view. I don't want to go wrong. Could I have -- could
9 you show me a picture taken from a different angle, from further away,
10 because one building is very much like another, looking at it close to
11 like this.
12 I have -- I think I know which it is, but I'm afraid that I might
13 go wrong, so could you give me a photograph with a wider view? But I
14 think it is the building which was to have been the MUP command building,
15 but as I say, I'm not quite sure. It's a similar building, but then
16 buildings tend to be similar, anyway.
17 Q. And where was the MUP command building located in relation to,
18 let's say, the big school building in Konjevic Polje?
19 A. That building of the MUP command, if -- you know that area where
20 my two commands were and the communications command on that large
21 photograph you showed me? It was moving towards the crossroads, and it
22 was about 30 or so -- 50 metres away from me, moving towards the centre.
23 Towards the junction, the crossroads.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Could we show the witness Exhibit 178.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I think we would
1 need to hold a brief Status Conference, so perhaps this would be a good
2 moment to interrupt our deliberations for the day because we would have to
3 do some stocktaking with regard to next Monday, and I think there are
4 certain aspects that the OTP would like to consider as well. So we could
5 devote 10 minutes to that, perhaps, if you agree. Do you agree?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, that's fine. I was hoping to
7 wrap up in about 10 or 15 minutes, but we can, we can do that tomorrow,
8 too, no problem.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You mean to finish your
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] At any rate, let me reconsider
13 the matter. No, but there are additional questions, questions by the
14 Judges. No, I think it is better to stop at this point. I wanted to
15 allow the witness to go, but I don't think that will be possible.
16 So, Witness, we're going to meet again tomorrow at 9.20, but we
17 have some further business to attend to here, and I should like to ask the
18 usher to escort you out of court, but wait for the blinds to be drawn
19 first before you leave.
20 Witness, you will be escorted out of the courtroom, and we meet
21 again tomorrow morning. You are free to go.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic or Mr. Visnjic, I
24 should like to take stock of the situation as regards your witnesses. I
25 should like to know where we are, how we stand.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, good
3 As regards the sessions of this week, this would be the last
4 Defence witness for this period of time. I will also give you my estimate
5 for the following session, which, according to the schedule, should take
6 place between the 4th and the 8th of December. During that period of
7 time, we intend to call two additional witnesses and one military expert.
8 So as things stand now, realistically speaking, I think that we will be
9 able to complete during that period of time, by the 8th of December. In a
10 special filing, we will inform the Chamber that, as regards other
11 witnesses mentioned in our filing of the 14th of September, that we will
12 actually forego those witnesses, that they will not be called to testify.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. As regards the
14 forensic expert, I will also ask the same question to the Prosecutor, but
15 I should like to know what the situation is with your pathologist. There
16 were two expert witnesses -- one military expert and one pathologist --
17 but you mentioned only this military expert. What happened with the
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I must say that
20 Mr. Visnjic spent much more time with Mr. Stankovic than I did, but I will
21 take this opportunity while I'm still on my feet to tell you that we have
22 managed to reach an agreement with the Prosecutor as regards the written
23 opinion of our pathologist. The Prosecutor has provided us with a written
24 opinion of their expert, so we will be able to present the Chamber with
25 two written reports, and we thought that it was no longer necessary for us
1 to bring in this Defence witness to testify in Court.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Petrusic. Is
3 there anything else that you wish to add before I give the floor to the
4 Prosecutor? Do you need to consult with Mr. Visnjic? No. Okay. Thank
6 Mr. Harmon, let us hear you.
7 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to my
9 Your Honours, when we break, I can assure Your Honours that my
10 colleagues and I have been working hard to try to streamline the evidence
11 presentation in this case. We have agreed, and we have filed our notice
12 of agreement pursuant to 94 bis (B), that we accept the opinion of -- we
13 accept the report, I should say, as evidence of Dr. Stankovic. And in the
14 meantime, I have provided to the Defence the reports and the comments that
15 our experts have made in respect of Dr. Stankovic's reports. I provided
16 my colleagues with a report of Dr. Christopher Lawrence, Dr. Wright, and
17 today I provided them with a report of Dr. Clark. These are all their
18 analyses and their views of the reports -- the report of Dr. Stankovic.
19 I'm waiting for the report of Mr. Jose Baraybar so I can likewise present
20 to my colleagues Mr. Baraybar's views of Dr. Stankovic's report.
21 It is our hope that we will be able to present, in lieu of those
22 witnesses testifying in our rebuttal case, their reports, and we would
23 submit those as evidence. But my colleagues inform me that they're going
24 to submit the reports that I have given to them to Dr. Stankovic for his
25 views and they will let me know whether we will be in a position to merely
1 submit the views of the experts that we have had testify in our case in
2 chief. So in respect of Dr. Stankovic's report, we have filed our
3 acceptance of it as a piece of evidence.
4 Now, I have some additional issues I'd like to raise with the
5 Court if the Court feels it's appropriate at this time. May I, Your
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes.
8 MR. HARMON: All right. Your Honour, we have -- this year, while
9 we were presenting our expert testimony, we were conducting additional
10 exhumations at additional sites that were related to this case, and in
11 fact, Your Honour, we have conducted these exhumations at four cites:
12 Lazete 1, Lazete 2C, Ravnice and Glogova 1.
13 Now, this is evidence that will augment the evidence that Your
14 Honour has heard, but because it wasn't -- because it's newly-discovered
15 evidence in the sense that we didn't complete the exhumations until the
16 end of the summer, we would like to present that information to Your
17 Honours to supplement the information that we have presented previously.
18 And with the Court's permission, I would like to file a motion, or do it
19 orally, requesting that the Court permit us to present additional evidence
20 in the form of reports only, summarising the findings of the experts at
21 those various sites I've identified, and we would file with the Trial
22 Chamber the expert reports that are related to that and the additional
23 findings of additional ligatures, photographs, blindfolds, the number of
24 bodies, the number of body parts.
25 For example, at Lazete 1 and Lazete 2, those are two sites that
1 were mentioned previously by our experts that were going to be exhumed.
2 They were identified in the aerial image as being in close proximity to
3 the site about which Your Honours did hear testimony.
4 Now, I've raised this issue with my colleagues. I intend to get
5 them and furnish the reports as soon as I receive them. I expect to
6 receive them this month, and -- and I will get them to my colleagues, I
7 should say, by the end of December, and I will get them to my colleagues
8 forthwith. But I raise that because of the timetable that is facing us.
9 We, as I understand, must present -- we have a four- or five-day block
10 middle of January, and this application would be an application, I hope,
11 that could be presented merely on the basis of the reports and not
12 on -- assuming the Court granted it, would not require us to call
13 additional evidence.
14 Obviously, it's discretionary with the Court at this point in
15 time, a motion that would seek to admit new evidence, but in the meantime,
16 I raise this issue just as a possibility. I don't intend to file my
17 motion now until I get my reports. I intend to continue my dialogue with
18 my colleagues to see if we can reach an agreement, and then I will inform
19 later the Trial Chamber of those developments. But I'm attempting to make
20 sure that the Court has all the relevant evidence that it needs for its
21 consideration, but at the same time I'm trying to be very mindful of the
22 schedule so we don't prolong this trial inordinately.
23 So that is one piece of information I'd like to pass on to the
24 Trial Chamber.
25 We have a large number of exhibits that we need to regulate. I
1 can inform Your Honours that Mr. Petrusic, Mr. Visnjic, and I met last
2 night in an attempt to regulate these issues. We can inform Your Honours
3 of the conclusions that we made now or we can wait until tomorrow. I'm at
4 your disposal. I have some additional exhibits I'd like to regulate, but
5 I'm at your disposal as to when you want to do that, whether you want to
6 do that today or whether you'd like to do that tomorrow.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think tomorrow would be
8 better, because we know more or less that the witness will complete his
9 testimony somewhat earlier than expected, and we will have enough time to
10 discuss all these issues. I just wanted to know whether we have to make
11 some plans for Monday or not; that is why I wanted to know what the
12 witness situation is. Since we will finish today [as interpreted], and
13 early, we can discuss these matters tomorrow.
14 Thank you very much, both of you, for notifying the Chamber about
15 these issues. We will discuss them tomorrow, after the testimony of the
17 Thank you very much. We will adjourn for the day and come back
18 tomorrow at 9.20.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.08 p.m., to
20 be reconvened on Friday, the 24th day of November,
21 2000, at 9.20 a.m.