1 Wednesday, 5
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: The registrar please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case IT-96-23-T, IT-96-23/1-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac, and Zoran Vukovic.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. We are continuing with
9 examination-in-chief of the accused Dragoljub Kunarac.
10 Mr. Prodanovic, please.
11 WITNESS: Dragoljub Kunarac [resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Prodanovic: [Cont'd]
14 Q. I will remind you where we stopped yesterday. We were talking
15 about the evening of the 7th, and you confirmed that on the 7th of July
16 you spent the night in the village of Sorlaci. Before I put to you
17 questions about what happened on the following days, I shall ask you, did
18 you have any artillery weapons at your disposal? I am referring to this
20 A. On the first day when we arrived there, we still didn't have any
21 weapons, but we did at the end of the operation. We had a self-propelled
22 T-35 vehicle which uses caterpillar tires, and it was a hundred-millimetre
24 Q. Can you tell us when this vehicle turned up?
25 A. The self-propelled vehicle came to the position from which it
1 could be used on the 20th of June. That's when it arrived in the village
2 of Sorlaci.
3 Q. Excuse me. Are you talking about June or July?
4 A. I'm talking about July. The 21st of July it passed through the
5 village of Sorlaci and arrived at the position from which it was supposed
6 to fire, and it did, and then it went on towards Cerova Ravan.
7 Q. I asked you whether the vehicle turned up there on that very same
8 day or earlier.
9 A. It started toward us earlier but couldn't arrive because of the
10 problems on the section of the road between Cvilin and Sorlaci and further
11 on where it was supposed to go.
12 Q. You said that it couldn't move. Why couldn't it move?
13 A. Well, first of all, the road that we used, that we had planned to
14 use to bring in food and supplies, was too narrow for the self-propelled
15 vehicle to use it, and in several places there were very sharp bends where
16 it could not manoeuvre. So it couldn't pass through.
17 Secondly, the road itself, as I said yesterday, had been damaged.
18 On the 7th it was already damaged, but between the 7th and the 8th, the
19 stream washed away seven or eight metres of the road so that other
20 vehicles couldn't pass through, not just the self-propelled vehicle. And
21 the road had to be widened for the self-propelled vehicle to be able to
22 reach us and it was only then could it go on to Gabelic Kosa and further
23 on towards Cerova Ravan.
24 Q. Can you tell us how the units of the Tactical Group were disposed
25 in relation to the Muslim positions?
1 A. Are you referring to that day, the 7th and 8th of July?
2 Q. Yes, the 8th.
3 A. On the 8th, in the morning -- as I said, in the night of the 7th
4 we had already arrived at the position of Gabelic Kosa where there were no
5 enemy troops, and on the next elevation, which is about 650 metres away as
6 the crow flies and only 200 metres from the bank of the River Drina where
7 the Muslim lines were, they were dug in. And on the night of the 7th,
8 three or four groups of five to six men remained to keep guard on Gabelic
9 Kosa and the rest withdrew to the village of Sorlaci so that they could
10 spend the night in buildings where the rain didn't leak in, because there
11 was a lot of rain.
12 On the opposite side, on the left bank of the River Drina, the
13 forces of the 1st Battalion had also gone to reconnoiter, and in the
14 evening of the 7th, at about 2000 hours, fire was opened on them from the
15 right side in front of us.
16 Q. I will interrupt you now. You said that this was the zone of
17 responsibility of the 5th Battalion.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where was the 5th Battalion deployed? Could you tell us?
20 A. The 5th Battalion had its dug-in lines on Preljuca from Goli Vrh
21 in a semicircle on the pass of Preljuca as far as the monument, and that
22 was about 1.000 to 1.500 metres in length. That's where they had --
23 that's where they were properly entrenched. And all the men from the
24 surrounding villages of Brusana and Josanica, they were Serb villages,
25 held village patrols around the villages of Josanica and Grebak.
1 Q. You said that you were under the command of the Josanica Company.
2 Under whose command was that company?
3 A. The Josanica Company was part of the 5th Battalion, and that
4 company was under the command of the commander of the 5th Battalion
5 because it was part of that battalion.
6 Q. Can you tell us the name of the commander of the 5th Battalion and
7 whether you know if he was there those days?
8 A. At that time, the commander of the 5th Battalion was Boro
9 Ivanovic. Borivoj was his first name. We called his Boro. I don't know
10 what his real name was, Borivoj or Boro. Throughout that operation on
11 those 15 days, he was on Preljuca throughout that time where the battalion
12 command was.
13 Q. We are now talking about the Josanica Company, of which you were a
14 member. You said that between the villages of Sorlaci and the elevations
15 of Gabelic Kosa and Cerova Ravan, a torrent had washed away part of the
16 road. Can you tell us how the units were supplied with equipment and
18 A. We had planned that equipment and supplies were to be brought to
19 the lines we had reached in the truck I had mentioned, the two and a half
20 tonne truck, but because the torrent had carried away part of the road,
21 for some 10 or 11 days while we were on those positions, we had to take
22 over food at the place where the road was damaged, and to use the
23 Polonez-type vehicle that I had driven on the 7th when I checked that part
24 of the road as far as Gabelic Kosa, and it had remained on the other side,
25 the side where the men were. So we transported food and supplies by that
1 vehicle, and then we distributed it along Gabelic Kosa where the lines
2 were held for those 12 days where we were trying to carry out military
3 operations in the direction of the enemy lines.
4 Q. I understood you to say that food and equipment and materiel
5 arrived at Sorlaci and the place where the road was damaged. Then this
6 was all carried across to the Polonez vehicle, who then distributed the
7 food along the front line?
8 A. The first time -- well, on the 7th -- or we spent the night -- or
9 rather, on the 8th in the morning, we were at Gabelic Kosa, and we were
10 told not to reveal our positions there, to conceal ourselves. And I
11 talked to the company leader, and he said that in the morning of the 9th,
12 an attack was planned on the positions of the enemy in front of us. And
13 on that day, all the men took food in the village of Sorlaci and carried
14 it there, each for himself.
15 And from that day onward, food was transported by that car to the
16 village of Gabelic, which is in the centre of the Kosa, and from there it
17 was carried to every individual.
18 Q. Who drove the vehicle, the Polonez-make vehicle?
19 A. Well, usually it was I who drove that vehicle. Because of the
20 first time I drove it was on the 10th or the 9th in the afternoon, because
21 on the 9th we tried to carry out an attack in that direction, and the
22 other part of the battalion which was on Preljuca also tried to conduct an
23 infantry attack on Cerova Ravan; but we only managed to destroy two
24 bunkers on the bank of the River Drina from which fire had been opened two
25 days before on the 7th on the men who were moving along the left bank of
1 the Drina. But we did not have any other successes, and we needed to
2 replenish our supplies, to get ammunition so that we could continue our
4 On that day, I was given the task of checking that part of the
5 road because it was already impassable, and I received an order from the
6 commander from the Josanica who was my commander at the time to check the
7 section of the road from the small village of Gabelic in the middle of
8 Gabelic Kosa as far as the stream, the house of Branko, I don't know what
9 his last name was, but his house had been burned down when we arrived
10 there. And I controlled that section of the road. I did not discover any
11 mines there, and I said that that part of the road was safe.
12 Then I received the order to drive the car along that section as I
13 had on the first day. So I loaded it with ammunition and food, and I
14 drove it along the road, but when I was about 500 or a hundred metres
15 further on, when I came out of the woods, I came to a section from which
16 the enemy could see me and they opened fire on the car. However, I
17 managed to pass through; they did not hit the car. And after that, none
18 of the men agreed to drive the car on that section, and later on most
19 often it was I who drove that vehicle. Almost always.
20 Q. You said that a section of the road along which you drove that car
21 was exposed to fire?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Considering the fact that your vehicle was exposed to fire, on
24 what part of the day did you drive it?
25 A. The first day it was in the afternoon. You could still see; it
1 was light. On the following day, food had to be brought in again, and
2 then I suggested we should wait for a suitable moment between twilight or
3 just at twilight when I could drive without switching on the headlights so
4 that it would be dark enough for the car to be barely visible, but light
5 enough for me to see to drive.
6 And I -- the next night I used that time. I brought the car back
7 from Gabelic to the stream. We loaded it with food, and I drove back, and
8 although dark was already falling, I was able to drive. Fire was opened
9 again. And this happened every day for as long as we were in that area.
10 People -- men would place bets on whether the car would be hit the next
11 time, but ten days passed and I was not hit, although the car was grazed
12 by fire several times.
13 Q. In view of the fact that the road was interrupted in a place, did
14 it slow down the operation?
15 A. According to the order, the 5th Battalion and the 1st and 2nd
16 Battalions together on the 9th were supposed to move in to joint attack,
17 to attack the enemy lines, and we started out on the 9th. And as I said,
18 we had -- we weren't very successful until the 1st and 2nd Battalion
19 carried out its part of the assignment and arrived at the positions that
20 it was able to hold.
21 But as the road was blocked in places, the self-propelled vehicle
22 did not succeed in reaching us, so during those first two days when it
23 rained, it took us some time to clear the road, and of course later on the
24 vehicle, the bulldozer, did reach us; but we had to wait for the ground
25 and soil to dry because this was slippery ground, and we had to wait at
1 least one or two days for the soil to dry out for the bulldozer to do its
2 work. So these torrential rains prevented us from carrying out our
4 Q. Was the road cleared and were the vehicles able to move along it,
5 and if so, when was this done?
6 A. Well, the bulldozer did arrive at Gabelic Kosa, and this was two
7 or three days before the 21st, which makes it on the -- which makes it the
8 18th or the 19th. I heard from the company leader that five or six days
9 prior to that, it had been working on a section of the road from Cvilin to
10 that stream, and its job was to expand the road on one section because --
11 and we heard the bulldozer working, and it worked for at least two days to
12 repair the road. In fact, a new section of the road had to be built, and
13 seven to eight metres of the road had completely been destroyed. Because
14 it's a canyon, you see, a very deep-cut canyon, so the bulldozer had to
15 repair a large section of the road for the self-propelled vehicles to be
16 able to pass along it later on. So it reached Gabelic Kosa on the 18th or
18 Q. Do you know who was in charge of the bulldozer?
19 A. When it arrived at Gabelic Kosa, for the next two days I was with
20 the man, I think his name was Ivan or Ivo Pavlovic and he drove the
21 vehicle. He was a man who worked in the firm prior to the war, and he
22 drove the bulldozer. In fact, he was a driver, and I spent two days with
23 him afterwards clearing the road towards Cerova Ravan.
24 Q. As far as I was able to gather from what you have said, the road
25 was open for traffic on the 19th or 20th, is that correct?
1 A. He -- the section up to Gabelic Kosa was completed by the 18th.
2 The plan was after that for the self-propelled vehicle, once it arrived at
3 that position, should enter into operations there.
4 Q. Well, yes. That's what I was going to ask you. Did Pavlovic get
5 a new assignment?
6 A. That's what I started to say. Once he had finished that section
7 of the road, he received orders to clear the road towards Cerova Ravan and
8 link it up with the other road coming to Cerova Ravan, which went
9 roundabout via Josanica. It was a roundabout road. We needed one or two
10 kilometres in order to be able to connect the two roads and allow the
11 self-propelled vehicles to come out on Cerova Ravan. So we only had this
12 one self-propelled vehicle, and we had to place it at Gabelic Kosa and
13 help us destroy the bunkers on that slope and then move towards Cerova
15 Q. Can you tell us how you were able to determine the locality from
16 which the self-propelled vehicle was supposed to attack enemy lines?
17 A. All those eight or nine days, which was the amount of time I spent
18 there when I took part in the combat operations, after that, I was given
19 an assignment to reconnoiter and find the best routes for an infantry
20 attack on these bunkers and these lines, and it was my task to reconnoiter
21 along this axis which is where our units were supposed to pass, to clear
22 the land of mines and to mark out the land if there were any mines and to
23 see where the mines had not been laid. So this was reconnaissance and
24 reconnoitering, which I was in charge of, and I arrived at a position from
25 where I was able to see all the bunkers.
1 The commander of the company himself said that this was the best
2 position for the self-propelled vehicle. That is to say, that it was a
3 meadow from which you could see all the bunkers on Zubovicka Kosa, and we
4 started working on that part of the road right away.
5 Q. You said Ivan Pavlovic had been given a new assignment, which was
6 to clear that road from the main road up until the position where the
7 self-propelled vehicle was supposed to take over and enter into
8 operations. Can you tell us what the conditions were for him to be able
9 to carry out this assignment, that is to say, Ivo Pavlovic's assignment?
10 A. When the bulldozer arrived at Gabelic Kosa, the earth-moving
11 machinery, and moving towards Cerova Ravan and the elevation from which
12 the self-propelled vehicle was supposed to start, visibility -- it was
13 exposed to enemy lines. Which means it was in view of the enemy, which in
14 turn meant that the enemy could open fire. And hand-held mortars could
15 also have been used because we were closer than 450 metres to the enemy
16 lines, and that is the range of the mortars and from bone mines [sic] that
17 are used.
18 Q. In view of the fact that this was in sight of the enemy, that is
19 to say, Ivan Pavlovic and his bulldozer, can you tell us how you dealt
20 with this dangerous situation? How was he able to continue his work in
21 view of this?
22 A. Well, we reconnoitered on foot, and he was able to see where he
23 was supposed to dig out the road, but he had to be physically protected
24 from rifle fire. So the leader of the company conveyed to the battalion
25 commander the situation, and he in turn issued orders that a thick
1 five-millimetre tin should be used to form a protective shield on the
2 cabin of the bulldozer itself, the earth-moving machinery itself, so that
3 the bulldozer could work with this protective tin layer. That is, in
4 fact, what happened. That's what we did. We did that during that first
5 day. So that, I think that it was the 19th when this tin protective
6 shield had been placed on the bulldozer, which allowed him to dig the road
7 towards Cerova Ravan and the elevation in the surrounds.
8 Q. In your opinion, did this slow down the operation itself?
9 A. Well, this one and a half kilometres of road could have been
10 completed in the space of one day, but as the shield had been placed on
11 the bulldozer, visibility was reduced. So he could see out of the window
12 in a very small space. So although the work could have been completed in
13 one day, it was, in fact, completed on the 20th at night and linked up the
14 road to Cerova Ravan, whereas, as I say, had it not been for the shield,
15 the work would have been done sooner, completed sooner.
16 Q. The fact that this self-propelled vehicle was able to reach the
17 elevation, did this facilitate the situation? Were there any problems
19 A. Well, the movement of the self-propelled vehicle itself, that is
20 to say, the vehicle started out on the 14th or 15th. It started out
21 towards us, but it became entrenched when it came to the turning points
22 because, as I say, the terrain is very slopey and it is a difficult
23 terrain. So the bulldozer had to pull it out had it got stuck.
24 In the new segment of the road from Gabelic Kosa and to the
25 elevation and Cerova Ravan, it got stuck in several sections because it
1 was a newly laid road and, as I say, there were a lot of landslides in the
2 area. So it made it difficult for this track vehicle to manoeuvre. It,
3 in turn, caused landslides. So the bulldozer would have to come back,
4 pull it out, and that's how we worked it. But the track vehicle arrived
5 on the 21st at around 8.00 in the morning.
6 Q. On that particular day, that is to say, the 21st of July when the
7 track vehicle reached the elevation, did it enter into action?
8 A. On the 20th, all the preparations had been completed for the
9 infantry attack; that is to say, we had located the exact enemy positions,
10 and we had cut the wires so that we could pass through the minefields, and
11 everything had been well prepared so that the track vehicle could take
12 action immediately. It managed to destroy seven or eight bunkers along
13 Zujbovicka Kosa between that first position between Gabelic Kosa and
14 Cerova Ravan.
15 Straight after that, we continued our operations towards Cerova
16 Ravan. While it was moving towards Cerova Ravan, an infantry attack was
17 launched, and we did succeed in completing the assignment we had been
18 given on the 9th, that is to say, 11 days previously.
19 Q. After the self-propelled vehicle had gone into action, what did
20 you yourself do?
21 A. Well, I personally, and some ten volunteers from this particular
22 company, that is the company I was in, we were given an assignment which
23 was that when the self-propelled vehicle had destroyed the bunkers, we
24 were to launch an infantry attack and storm the destroyed bunkers and
25 trenches and to continue our infantry operations and attack and take
1 control of that part of the front line and to stay there.
2 I myself stormed the first enemy bunkers on Cerova Ravan.
3 Q. Witness Subasic Osman, who testified here in court, said something
4 which I would like to quote. He said that the Muslim forces, probably
5 seeing the arrival of the self-propelled vehicle, left those positions on
6 the 19th of July, 1992. Is that true?
7 A. I can say that on the 21st, after the self-propelled vehicle had
8 gone into action, infantry fighting was weak and infantry defence on the
9 part of the enemy and the bunkers that were not destroyed was very weak.
10 But those bunkers were not completely empty. So I can allow for the
11 possibility that as of the 19th, when the bulldozer arrived and had passed
12 Gabelic Kosa and started working on the road towards Cerova Ravan, they
13 could have seen us and gathered what we were doing.
14 So I can only assume that the bulk of their forces, they prepared
15 for withdraw. They prepared to withdraw the bulk of their forces because
16 the arrival the track vehicle meant that they had no chance whatsoever of
17 maintaining control of the front line. And the fact that we had taken the
18 line for about three and a half kilometres, we did not find a single dead
19 soldier on -- enemy solder on that part of the front line, which means
20 that they prepared -- had to evacuate their men and had already prepared
21 to entrench themselves on another line of the front, Zigovska Kosa, which
22 is about 700 to 800 metres away on the next elevation.
23 Q. In view of the testimony of Subasic Osman, who said that they had
24 information about the bulldozer's activities and data as to your constant
25 presence in the locality, that he allowed for the possibility that there
1 were heavy rains. What do you say to that?
2 A. As far as his testimony, I listened to it, and I absolutely agree
3 with him in everything he said, but I claim that the earth-moving vehicle
4 did not come from the beginning of the attack, didn't arrive for five or
5 six days, which meant that the bulldozer could not have appeared or have
6 been seen by them before the 14th or the 15th of July. And from that day
7 on, that is to say, from the 15th of July, as I said, the bulldozer worked
8 for two days to enlarge that part of the road. So that makes it the 16th
9 and 17th of July.
10 After that, we lost a whole day. We spent the whole day making
11 the tin shield for the bulldozer. So on the 19th and 20th, the road
12 towards Cerova Ravan was dug, and the fact is that the bulldozer was there
13 and visible from their positions from the 15th of July up until the end of
14 the operation, that is to say, up until the end of the 21st of July.
15 Q. Was somebody wounded on that day from your side, somebody who was
16 with you?
17 A. After these bunkers were taken, the first bunkers that were at the
18 highest points on Cerova Ravan, I got an assignment. The commander of the
19 battalion had already arrived because he was leading that group of men
20 that had launched an attack from Preljuca against that part of the line
21 near Cerova Ravan and towards the village of Nova Kovici. He personally
22 came to Cerova Ravan and ordered me to go on and to pass along the entire
24 As I said, I had previously noticed a minefield. There were
25 fragmentation mines and different kinds of mines, claymore mines, et
1 cetera. At first I just removed the wires. I didn't want some of our men
2 to activate the mines as they were walking.
3 And by every second or third bunker there were mines, so I just
4 took out the fuses, electronic or other, so they could not be activated,
5 and then we went down to the Drina River. While I was engaged in this
6 job, these men were from the Jovanica Company were escorting me and
7 securing the position for me so I could carry out my work, and by
8 nightfall Goran Miljacic had been wounded. We had almost reached the
9 Drina River, and we had to carry him to get him to the new part of the
10 road that went from Cerova Ravan to Gabelic Kosa because we needed to take
11 him to hospital.
12 Q. Can you tell me how Goran was transported to hospital, and when
13 did this happen?
14 A. I said that he was wounded just before nightfall, so it was
15 sometime between 8.15 and 8.30 in the evening. We were at the very bottom
16 of Zubovic Kosa, that is to say, practically on the banks of the Drina
17 River. The attack was launched from the Zubovic village because as we
18 were passing along this line the men entered their lines, their bunkers,
19 their trenches, but they did not move very much. They were given an
20 assignment to spent the night there to guard the lines, so their forces
21 went to reconnoiter to see whether we had taken these positions and what
22 was going on further.
23 We carried him up. This is very difficult terrain. The Zubovic
24 Kosa is a very, very steep hill; it's a very steep slope. You can see it
25 on the map, too. We took it to the Polonez that was at Gabelic Kosa, and
1 then when I took him up there, I was in this group of people; seven of us
2 were carrying him up there. Then I entered this vehicle, and I was there
3 with a medical technician, his first name was Veselin, and I can't
4 remember his last name now.
5 We had already transported Goran. He sat there with me. Ranko
6 Gavran was the driver who was supposed to drive this vehicle. It was at
7 Cerova Ravan at that moment. He had already gone up there, so I drove
8 this vehicle with Goran who was wounded and this medical technician
9 directly to the hospital, and we arrived at the hospital sometime around
10 10.30 or 11.00, that is to say, in the evening.
11 Q. During this period of time, that is from the 6th until the 21st of
12 June, did you see Matovic Marko, and Blagojevic, Vaso? Were they on the
13 Josanica company?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, you said June. You mentioned June. Do you
15 mean June or July?
16 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] July, July, I do apologise.
17 A. Marko Matovic was the leader of that Josanica company whereas Vaso
18 Blagojevic was on this company. I knew both of them. With Marko, I
19 talked practically every day, and I received my assignments from him as to
20 what was supposed to be done every day. Vaso was often with me, involved
21 in carrying out these tasks. I don't know, Goran Gavran, Tihomir Gavran
22 then Vio Ivanovic, and while these men -- more or less it was the same
23 group that moved with me during these ten days, the men from these
24 companies. So these two men were at Gabelic Kosa all the time, and they
25 were with me.
1 Q. During that period of time while you were at that location, you
2 said that you spent the night of the evening of the 7th in the village of
3 Sorlaci. Where did you spent the other nights?
4 A. All the other nights I spent at Gabelic Kosa, just like all the
5 others. During the night we were on this Kosa. There were about 80 men
6 in the Josanica Company, and literally every night we guarded the lines
7 that we had captured, and I personally was assigned to reconnoiter and try
8 to find a way to pass.
9 On several occasions we tried to launch direct infantry attacks on
10 these bunkers; however, due to the configuration of the terrain, we
11 absolutely could not have done a thing until the self-propelled vehicle
12 arrived because Zubovic Kosa, where these lines were, is very, very
13 steep. We could pass unnoticed and reach this point underneath the
14 bunkers; however, we stood no chance to actually go into action against
15 these bunkers, so we could not have succeeded in any way.
16 Every day we tried to carry out an attack against part of the
17 lines so that we could get at least one bunker or one trench from which we
18 could continue infantry fighting towards the other lateral bunkers on that
20 Q. You said that you came with Goran Miletic on the 21st of July in
21 the evening hours. Is that the first day since the 6th of July that you
22 had come to Foca?
23 A. Practically already from the 23rd of June while I was at Dragocava
24 carrying out this other part of my assignment, while I was there, when I
25 was transferred to Preljuca, then I just passed through Foca. I passed
1 through Foca and went directly to Preljuca.
2 However, at any rate, from the 6th until the 21st I did not spend
3 a single moment anywhere farther than Gabelic Kosa and Ceravo Ravan. I
4 spent every night in that area, and I was engaged in this combat task
5 every day. At least all of these 70 or 80 men who were there can testify
6 to that.
7 I already said that in the early evening I would drive the vehicle
8 from the Gabelic village to this undug part of the road until it was done
9 on the 17th or 18th, and then I would return it. And then after that.
10 When Ivo Pavlovic with the bulldozer had already reached Gabelic Kosa,
11 then I personally was in this group of men who were given the assignment
12 to guard the working machine in the forest, because as he was building the
13 road that day, he had reached that elevation, and he left his working
14 machine there at that elevation. We stayed in the forest, then we stood
15 guard so that the enemy would not come during the night and destroy this
16 working machine.
17 So not for a single moment was I farther from Gabelic Kosa. The
18 closest I got was, as I said, the first night in the village of Sorlaci.
19 And then from Gabelic Kosa, I did not go upstream, not a single day.
20 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has two
21 documents that it wishes to tender as Defence exhibits. The first
22 document is a letter of discharge from the hospital for Goran Miletic
23 about whom the witness is speaking. This clearly shows that on the 21st
24 of July this patient was admitted into hospital, and he was kept until the
25 25th of July, 1992.
1 The other exhibit is a certificate provided by the military post
2 code of Srbinje. In this period there was fighting in Cerova Ravan, that
3 is what this certificate states, and throughout that period, the accused
4 was on -- in that area.
5 You have received these documents, and I have acted on the
6 instructions of the registry: I made a photocopy so that they could have
7 it. And all the rest of us already have these documents.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Can you give us some help to find them in these three
9 volumes because they're not easy. They're not paginated; they're not
10 always in chronological order.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: I think the registrar can help us, the numbering
12 which corresponds with our documents. Okay.
13 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] This book starts with 91, and the
14 documents are 93 and 99 respectively.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, may I help you?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: If I see correctly from your list that you
18 handed in, the discharge document should be your document number 92.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the one the registrar has?
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: 93, sorry, 93.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: 93.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: That is the discharge document of the --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And the other document?
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The other document should be 99.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Any objection to the admission into evidence?
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The document presented by the
3 Defence, document 93, will be marked D78. The document marked by the
4 Defence under number 99, the certificate delivered by the Srbinje police,
5 will be marked D79, Defence Exhibit D79.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. We can proceed.
7 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Let us continue. What did you do after you arrived in hospital on
9 the 21st of July?
10 A. When I drove Miletic to the hospital, I went along with him, so I
11 stayed at the hospital for some time until he was admitted into hospital.
12 He was taken to have x-rays made and things like that. Then he changed;
13 he took hospital pyjamas. I took his clothing, which was blood stained.
14 He was wounded; a bullet went through his arm, and the same bullet went
15 through his stomach, although he was rather fortunate. The wounds were
16 not very heavy because he did -- his bones were not wounded in his arm;
17 and also in the stomach, it was only his muscles that were wounded, not
18 the internal organs.
19 So I took his blood-stained clothes, and I went home to my
20 parents' home where I took a bath, and I gave my mother his clothes and my
21 clothes to wash. So I spent that particular night at home, the night
22 between the 21st and 22nd.
23 Q. On the 22nd of July, you were in your house in the morning? That
24 is where you woke up; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened on that day and on the following days?
2 A. That day when I got up, my mother had already washed his clothes
3 and my uniform, and she had already dried it and ironed it. I said that I
4 arrived at hospital the previous evening around 11.00, and by the time he
5 was admitted it was almost midnight. So I took the same vehicle, went
6 back to hospital, and I gave him his clothes back that had been washed and
7 ironed by then, and I found the commander of the battalion there at the
9 I talked to him, and he said that this vehicle that I was driving
10 -- I asked him who I should give it to and where, and he said that I
11 should take it to the brigade headquarters and that they would return this
12 vehicle to the Josanica Company that would continue to use it as an
13 ambulance for the needs -- for such needs. That's what I did.
14 We went to the headquarters together. At headquarters we talked
15 to certain persons who gave me oral orders to prepare for carrying out my
16 next assignment. My next assignment was to be -- to go to the Dragocava
17 position again from where we would observe and reconnoiter further on
18 towards Slatine. This is within the zone of responsibility of the 5th
19 Battalion, but this is up the Cehotina River along to Godina and then
20 further along the Slatine River, so it's opposite Preljuca.
21 I was ordered that on the following day, that is to say, the 23rd,
22 I should go to carry out this task. Then the commanding officer of the
23 battalion said to me that the men who had spent most of the time with me,
24 that is to say, those 15 days that we had spent carrying out this previous
25 task at Gabelic Kosa and Cerova Ravan, that these men, on that morning of
1 the 22nd, had returned from there and that on the next day they would
2 report. I said that as far as such reconnaissance work is concerned,
3 these were different tasks than those that I had been doing until then.
4 Before that, I said that we were primarily focused on mines and I did all
5 of that mostly by myself, then this was reconnaissance. I said that I
6 personally could accept such a task, but that I would like a group of four
7 or five or six men to come with me but only if they would be doing it of
8 their own free will, if they would volunteer to do it, because I was aware
9 of how difficult this task was and how difficult it was. So I needed men
10 who were prepared themselves to go to carry out such a task.
11 Q. Where did you spend the night of the 22nd?
12 A. That night, again after this talk I had at headquarters with the
13 commander of the battalion and with a person from the security organs in
14 brigade headquarters, I went home, to my parents' home. That is, I spent
15 the night at my parents' home. I arrived home before nightfall, around
16 5.00 or 6.00 in the evening.
17 Q. So you spent the night at home on the evening of the 22nd of
19 A. Yes. The night between the 22nd and the 23rd of July I spent at
20 home, at my parents' home.
21 Q. Then the next day, the 23rd of July, you how did it start?
22 A. Early in the morning, I was awakened by my mother when she heard
23 the siren around quarter to seven or 7.00 in the morning. The sirens went
24 off. This meant danger. And all military men who were on leave were
25 duty-bound to report to where they were supposed to go in such
2 I immediately took my equipment; I got dressed. During those days
3 it was cloudy again. It was the morning. I took my brother's leather
4 jacket because I only had uniform trousers and camouflage shirt. I didn't
5 have anything else.
6 So I also went to this point where the 5th Battalion was supposed
7 to assemble. That was at the high school.
8 Q. What did you do next? Were you assigned a task?
9 A. As I said, I went to the place where we had to assemble. I
10 started out from my parents' house, which is near the church next to the
11 Orthodox cemetery in Foca, and I passed by the cemetery, down Cehotina,
12 towards the centre of town in order to reach the secondary school.
13 There, in front of the former JNA club in Foca, I saw a large
14 number of men gathered. And the brigade commander was there, the
15 commander of the Foca Brigade, who was telling the men that they should
16 prepare urgently to attack in the zone of responsibility of the
17 2nd Battalion and to mount an attack on the broader Jabuka area. And
18 according to what he knew, there were a lot of casualties there, things
19 were going badly, there was chaos, and I volunteered to go there and to
20 help as much as I could.
21 Q. Who did you go with and how did you go?
22 A. When he saw me there and when I volunteered to go there, and he
23 had seen me on the 22nd when I and the commander of the 5th Battalion and
24 an assistant security officer, a deputy officer, were talking and during
25 my reconnoitering work on Cerova Ravan and before. So he knew me from
1 before from those occasions, and he said that it would be a good idea if I
2 were to go there with a few men to see exactly how strong the enemy was,
3 in what direction they were attacking, whether it was in the direction of
4 Kozja Luka, and down Kozja Luka toward Foca or from Jabuka towards
5 Ustikolina, that I should go there urgently and then inform him of the
6 situation in that area.
7 Seven or eight other men volunteered then. I know that Milika
8 Kovacevic was one of them he was there with his car. His car was a
9 Zastava 750, a so-called Fica, and some other men volunteered. They had a
10 Zastava 101 car. So I went with six or seven men in the direction of
11 Previla to see what was going on there.
12 Q. When did you arrive in the village of Previla?
13 A. We arrived in Previla at around 8.30, and we came to the
14 2nd Battalion command. However, I did not find anyone in the command at
15 the time because everyone was already in the field in the area of
16 responsibility. And there was a large number of people there, women,
17 children, elderly, coming from the villages. They were all in a panic,
18 and they said that the attack was coming from the direction of Grebak, in
19 that area.
20 I had never been there in my life. I did not know the area well.
21 I asked how much further we could go by car in order to come as close to
22 the enemy as possible so that I could get the information as soon as
23 possible. They said it was safe to go as far as Milotine, which was the
24 next, and it was about a kilometre and a half to two kilometres at the
25 most from Previla. That's what I did. We took those two cars and reached
1 Milotine, and there we left the cars and set out towards the following
2 villages, going from village to village, and we arrived at the village
3 Podstijena. We passed through another village between Milotine. I can't
4 remember the name. I think it's called Milotine 2 or something like
5 that. It's a small hamlet.
6 Then we arrived at Podstijena where we found seven or eight young
7 men who were the last men to protect the people fleeing, the refugees
8 fleeing in the direction of Previla. And we joined them, asked them what
9 was happening. It was then around 9.00 or 9.30 in the morning.
10 And we saw that the next village, which was -- I can't remember
11 its name now -- below Kozanj, the first area. It's about 700 or
12 800 metres away as the crow files from the village of Podstijena, and we
13 saw houses burning. We heard shooting. And then I, with those five or
14 six men who had come with me and with the six or seven men we had found
15 there, I suggested we should take positions in that village and try to
16 resist if the village of Podstijena was attacked. That's what we did.
17 Q. Did you find any refugees there?
18 A. In Previla, when I arrived -- as I said, when I came to the
19 2nd Battalion command in Previla, I found a large number of civilians who
20 were fleeing, and they had arrived from Jabuka. I stayed there only
21 briefly, but they all told me that the attack on all their villages
22 started at 5.00 in the morning. These people were not all from the same
23 village because there were a lot of villages in the area. There is a
24 large number of villages and most of them consist of 10 to 15 houses and
25 farm buildings. So these were actually hamlets of about 30 to 35
1 inhabitants approximately. And although they were all from different
2 villages, they all said that their villages had been attacked at about
4 When we arrived in Podstijena, which was the last village, we
5 found only seven or eight men who were armed. They were poorly armed.
6 One or two had semiautomatic rifles, but all the rest had either hunting
7 weapons, hunting rifles or old military 48 rifles, and there were no
8 civilians left there.
9 On that day, we saw only one civilian coming from the direction of
10 Jabuka in the direction of Previla who was alive.
11 Q. You said that this was the zone of responsibility of the
12 2nd Battalion. Were you under the command of the 2nd Battalion? To whom
13 were you responsible there?
14 A. When I said in my interview that my first assignment was to attack
15 Jabuka, that was the zone of the responsibility between the 2nd and
16 3rd Battalions. The 3rd Battalion was at Miljevina, and the
17 responsibility of that battalion was on Modro Polje toward Rogoj, and the
18 second was Stolac via Stolasce-Previla and in the direction of Jakuba.
19 That was -- so this was actually between the zones of responsibility of
20 those two battalions.
21 At that moment, I received an order directly from the commander of
22 the tactical group or brigade of the army of Republika Srpska, and because
23 I was in the area of responsibility of both the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, at
24 that moment I was receiving logistical help from the 2nd Battalion, but
25 when I arrived at Previla, I did not find the commander of the
1 2nd Battalion at the command post, and on that day I acted independently
2 on the ground without consulting anyone but following the instructions of
3 the brigade commander I had received.
4 Q. So on that day, the 23rd, did you learn which Serb villages had
5 been torched? And please go to the map and show where this area is.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the usher please help the accused with the
7 microphone and everything.
8 A. The area of Jabuka -- the map is too far away from me.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: The usher, could you please move the map. It's
10 quite far. You can hear the interpreters.
11 A. Thank you. The area of Jabuka is below Mount Jahorina. The
12 northern most position held by the Foca Brigade was on the hill of Stolac,
13 and that is an elevation of 1.520 metres. And it went further on toward
14 Nekopi, and then along the road leading to Previla. At Previla was the
15 command of the 2nd Battalion. The villages of Jabuka are the villages
16 below Mount Jahorina. This is a broad area with a lot of villages.
17 I said I went by car to the village of Milotine, which is the
18 first village from Previla via Stolasce, and from there I arrived at the
19 village of Podstijena, and below Podstijena is elevation 1.013. Those two
20 villages had not been torched. And the remaining villages, Slavcici,
21 Prijeklade, Drazevo, Marevo, Modro Polje -- as I said, Slavcici, Drazevo,
22 Marevo, Modro Polje, which could be seen from that part, I saw houses
23 burning in each of these villages. Anything that could burn was burning.
24 And I heard from the refugees that across the hill of Rudi, the
25 villages of Stojkovici, the part below Mount Jahorina, the village below
1 Maslina there were several Serb villages. So every Serbian village in the
2 area of Jabuka except for Podstijena, Milotine and another village
3 Bozanovici, those three were not torched on that day, but all the
4 remaining villages were torched and the civilian population fled in the
5 direction of Previla.
6 And all those who were unable to flee, they were all killed on the
7 spot and no living witnesses were ever exchanged or found. They had not
8 been taken prisoner or caught alive. Four or five days later, I was a
9 witness to the fact that some people had been caught alive, but they had
10 been tortured and killed after that.
11 Q. On that day, the 23rd, do you have any information about
12 casualties, about victims, people who were killed?
13 A. On that day, as I said, I arrived at about 9.30, and there were
14 seven or eight people there. One of them was Goran, I think his last name
15 was Maslo, from one of those two villages Milotine 1 or Milotine 2, and no
16 one from his family had been killed because those villages had not been
17 attacked. And I know that he was a little more collected, calmer than
18 other people because he hadn't lost any members of his family, but all the
19 others mentioned members of their family, their brother, their mother,
20 their whole families. We didn't have exact information, but everything
21 pointed to the fact that there was a large number of civilian victims, and
22 I thought that must have been more than 60 or 70 people killed in that
24 Q. What happened next on that day?
25 A. On that day, as I said, I joined that group of men and suggested
1 that we should organise ourselves and try to defend at least that village,
2 because I had field glasses and everything, and I was able to see that the
3 next village, which was burning at the time, there was not a large number
4 of men according to what I could see. There were 25 or 30 men at the most
5 who were moving around the village, torching everything, killing
6 everything including livestock.
7 I suggested we should stop there and try to organise ourselves and
8 try to offer resistance, and we did this. When they came toward the
9 village where we were, we opened fire on them and we exchanged fire. We
10 wounded one of them who was among the first to advance, and they then went
11 to collect him, and they gave up.
12 At the time we were fighting with them, fire was opened on us from
13 the Kozanj elevation, which is above Podstijena, about 600 or 700 metres
14 away as the crow flies. And fire was opened on us from up there, so we
15 were forced to retreat in the direction of the village of Podstijena.
16 It's called Podstijena because there is a large cliff overlooking the
17 village and Podstijena means "under the cliff." So this is where we took
19 I talked to the men who were there, and I suggested that we should
20 go in the direction of Kozanj and try to take Kozanj because Kozanj was a
21 dominant elevation in the area. It's a rather steep hill, cone shaped,
22 with a very good view of all the villages as far as Marevo, Modro Polje.
23 You can see half of the Jabuka Valley from there, and you can control it
25 Q. Did the Muslim attack stop on that day?
1 A. As I said, when I arrived in the village of Podstijena, it was
2 about 9.00, 9.30, 10.00 at the latest, in the morning. The Muslims, at
3 least the ones I was able to see, were shooting and burning in the next
4 village, which was in front of us. So that was the last village they took
5 in that direction. You could hear shooting in Jabuka and Modro Polje, but
6 the men from the 2nd Battalion who had already organised themselves and
7 opened fire, they managed to stop any further infantry attacks, so they
8 did not go further.
9 When we arrived in Podstijena, I sent a short, coded telegram to
10 the brigade commander directly through the communications centre. I had a
11 hand-held radio with me, and I sent a message saying that they had come to
12 that point and that the shooting had stopped and that we could not foresee
13 in what direction they would attack next. But we could see that there
14 were large numbers of enemy soldiers because all the villages, which were
15 very scattered and distant from each other, all the villages had been
16 attacked. And the people I was able to talk to after that time had said
17 that every village had been attacked by 30 to 40 men who had prepared
18 during the night, approached the villages, and at the break of dawn in the
19 morning they had conducted fast attacks on these villages, and in less
20 than an hour they had already taken all those villages and the population
21 had fled, those who had managed to flee, and those who had not managed to
22 flee had been killed.
23 Q. When did you encounter the first dead bodies?
24 A. As I said, I talked to these men because from Podstijena I was not
25 able to know what was going on on the ground. I wouldn't able to see
1 enemy movement of any kind. So I suggested that we should go higher,
2 climb higher, to try and take control of Kozanj because Kozanj was
3 dominant in the area. And in view of the fire that was opened at us, I
4 saw there were no strong forces at Kozanj. So that's what we did, in
6 We bypassed Milotine, we went to Mirkovica and launched an attack
7 on Kozanj itself from the direction of Rudi Brdo, from the direction their
8 forces came. They didn't notice us, and we killed two of the enemy
9 soldiers and that's where we came across the first dead bodies of our
10 people, five bodies, in fact. They were Serbs who were not part of the
11 2nd Battalion up at the front line, but they were organised in the
12 villages and stood guard at Kozanj, and Kozanj was one of the first places
13 to be attacked. And we found five -- came across five dead bodies there.
14 Other people said that three other young men were missing, but
15 they turned up later on because they managed to escape to a cave, and they
16 had a wounded man with them. So they succeeded in surviving the attack on
18 Q. Can you tell us how long you stayed in the area?
19 A. I stayed in the area of Jabuka for the next three or four days. I
20 know for sure that we found the last dead body on the 26th late in the
21 afternoon before nightfall, and it was already dark when we buried the
22 body. And on the 24th, the bodies were taken to the cemetery. These
23 bodies were from the surrounding villages, and their family cemeteries
24 were in the area as well, so we buried those.
25 And the other dead bodies that we found in the various villages,
1 that was already July. It was very hot. The weather was hot, and 24
2 hours later the bodies began to disintegrate, so we had to bury them on
3 the spot where we found them.
4 Q. From the 23rd until the 26th, how many dead bodies did you find
5 and bury?
6 A. I found the six dead bodies -- we found them ourselves at Kozanj.
7 Once we had taken control of Kozanj, the local people from Jabuka went to
8 look for their nearest and dearest in the surrounding villages because the
9 Muslim forces had withdrawn at that time. And behind the village of
10 Marevo, between Marevo and Drazevo, they had taken up positions there and
11 were not longer active, so these local people went to look for their
13 And there was an incident when an elderly man found his son, the
14 body of his son who had been killed, that is to say, he had been injured
15 and stayed on to protect his parents, so the father knew where his son
16 was. He went to find his son's body, and when he did find the body, he
17 himself was injured because when the Muslims killed his son, the son was
18 massacred. He had the letter U inscribed on his face with a knife. And
19 when the father when he turned the body over and saw his dead son lying
20 there, he didn't noticed grenade that was there, and the grenade was
21 activated, and the father was injured on his lower extremities because --
22 and his legs were blown off.
23 When this happened, I was ordered by the commander of the 2nd
24 Battalion to accompany the locals. I ordered them not to approach any of
25 the dead bodies or touch them until I had ascertained whether there were
1 any mines or not, and once we were able to ascertain that it was safe to
2 take away the bodies, then I would tell them.
3 But on that -- we found over 40 bodies. They were exclusively
4 civilian casualties, not counting the five dead bodies that we found
5 earlier who were younger people and who might have been fit for military
6 service. They were fit for military service. But these other 40 bodies,
7 that is to say over 40 dead bodies -- I don't know the exact number, but
8 quite certainly there were over 40 dead bodies -- they were mostly elderly
9 men, women, and children, civilians. And many of the bodies had been
10 massacred, butchered, and we found many dead bodies in the houses
11 themselves, in the surrounding houses. And they weren't -- I can't really
12 call them dead bodies because they were just parts of bodies or bones
13 which their relatives had to gather up and take away for burial or were
14 buried on the spot.
15 But the number of dead bodies in Jabuca as far as I remember,
16 civilian dead bodies ranged between 40 to 50. I don't know the exact
17 number, but these were exclusively civilian casualties, dead bodies, 40 to
18 50 of them.
19 Q. Where did you spend your nights during the time you were in the
21 A. Well, that first night, that is to say the night of the 23rd when
22 we took control of Kozanj -- I apologise -- I spent the night at Kozanj.
23 There were seven, eight, maybe ten of us there all together, and in the
24 morning several other men turned up with horses to collect the bodies and
25 take them off. I know that one of the men who was killed was buried up
1 there because he was from the village -- a village that was further off,
2 and all his family members had also been killed, so nobody knew where to
3 bury him. His name was Benko, that is to say they called him Benko, and
4 he was buried at Kozanj and didn't take him away anywhere, but they did
5 pull out the other bodies.
6 Q. I asked you about where you spent the other nights.
7 A. Well, that night I spent there. The rest of the time, the other
8 nights, that is to say the nights between the 24th to the 25th and the
9 25th and 26th, we were on the terrain, because, in fact, we were searching
10 for bodies. That was our job, and we would spend the night where night
11 took us. There was a group of people looking for their relatives or
12 people who had already found the dead bodies of their relatives but didn't
13 dare approach those bodies, and I didn't have time to go and examine each
14 body because as I say, it was a very broad area.
15 So I spent my nights where I found myself at nightfall in the
16 Jabuca region. And the Muslims had withdrawn to their initial positions
17 at Grebak, which is where they were from the very first days of the
18 conflict, that is to say, from the fall of Ustikolina, which means about
19 April they were at Greback.
20 Q. Could you please try and answer my questions directly. I asked
21 you where you had spent your nights, so can you say that you spent the
22 nights where you find yourselves -- found yourself at night?
23 A. Yes, I claimed that from the 23rd to the 26th, I spent all my days
24 and nights in the Jabuka area.
25 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this might
1 be a good time to take a break. Looking at the clock, it's 11.00.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it's 11.00. We shall rise and continue at
3 11.30 hours.
4 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Examination-in-chief continues, Mr. Prodanovic,
8 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. When you buried the bodies on the 26th of July, where did you go
10 after that?
11 A. As I said, the last dead body that we found and buried was on the
12 26th, in the evening hours, and we buried it in the course of the night.
13 After that, we went to Previla where I spent the night. We arrived after
14 midnight; it was 1.30 or 2 a.m. And I spent the night at the schoolhouse
15 in Previla, and the command was in the vicinity, and that's where I spent
16 the night.
17 And in the morning of the 7th with the trucks that had come to
18 transport the civilians who were still in the Previla area, I went to Foca
19 with them. I was transported to Foca, and I continued on my way to
20 Velecevo. The brigade command headquarters was there, and I submitted my
21 report to the deputy security commander. I told him about my activities
22 in the area during that period.
23 Q. Do you know where the refugees were put up from the surrounding
24 areas of the village of Jabuka?
25 A. As I was transported in the same truck with the refugees from the
1 Jabuka area, I know that the trucks stopped off in front of the secondary
2 school centre in Foca and that they went into the secondary school centre,
3 whereas I went on to Velecevo and went to the brigade headquarters there
4 to report.
5 Q. Was that the secondary school centre in Aladza?
6 A. Yes, that is the only secondary school centre that exists in Foca,
7 and it's located in a settlement called Aladza.
8 Q. Were any Muslim refugees put up at that centre at the beginning of
9 July? Let me just continue. You heard witness testimonies. Was that the
10 same place?
11 A. Well, the Prosecution on several occasions showed the witnesses a
12 picture of the secondary school centre, the witnesses that testified here,
13 and I can say that that is the same building that the Prosecution showed.
14 And the witnesses who testified there were put up in that very same
15 secondary school centre.
16 Q. You said that you returned on the 27th of July, 1992. Where were
17 you over the next few days?
18 A. As I said, when I arrived in the morning hours of the 27th of July
19 in Foca, it was 9 or maybe 9.30. I went on to the brigade headquarters
20 and talked there to the commander of the brigade, and I reported to him of
21 what had happened in Jabuka and what I found in the area, all the bodies
22 we had come across. And on the occasion, also present was the Deputy
23 Commander for security, and as I later was to learn, the brigade commander
24 replaced him and appointed another person in his place.
25 And I received an order to go to Dragocava with the other few
1 people who were there from the 5th Battalion because I was on the list for
2 of 5th Battalion. We were told to go to Dragocava and to continue our
3 reconnaissance and reconnoitering toward Godina and Slatine following
4 orders I received on the 22nd, that is before the incident, that is to
5 say, the attack on Jabuka took place.
6 So that day I did indeed set out to Dragocava in the afternoon
7 hours, and there was a group of five or six men already there, the
8 Dragocava area, who were doing reconnaissance work, and I joined them. I
9 joined up with them and stayed in the area until the attack on Preljuca
10 which took place onto 29th of July in the morning hours.
11 When I --
12 Q. We'll come to what later on
13 A. Yes. I stayed -- I went to Dragocava on the 27th and stayed in
14 the Dragocava locality toward Slatine doing my reconnaissance
15 reconnoitering work until the 29th, the morning of the 29th of July.
16 Q. Where did you spend the night between the 27th and the 28th of
17 July? Do you happen to remember?
18 A. Well, I do remember that from the 27th I spent the night between
19 Godijeno and the surrounding area in the woods behind the village of
20 Brusana. That was the area of the responsibility of the 5th Battalion as
21 well. There was no military defence line there. It existed at Okolista
22 near the church where a group of people, 10 to 15 people were in charge of
23 controlling the area and providing security.
24 So the night between the 27th and 28th I spent in that area from
25 Godijeno to Okolista doing reconnaissance work towards Slatine. So that
1 is the area between the Foca and Cajnice municipalities.
2 Q. You said you stayed in the area until the 29th of July; is that
4 A. Yes, until the 29th of July. In the morning hours, I heard
5 fighting, that is to say, shooting at Preljuca. And Preljuca is above
6 Okolista. And so I moved off to Godina and maintained radio communication
7 and asked what was happening. I was told a car would come and collect us,
8 that we should all gather together, and that we would be taken, that is to
9 say that there was an attack on Preljuca and a car would come and collect
10 us at Godina. We were transported to Foca, to Velecevo, in fact, which is
11 where I met a new security commander and went off with him towards Cerova
12 Ravan, that is to say, the front line that had been attacked. It was the
13 line we had taken on the 21st. But in that particular section of the
14 front, the people had succeeded in securing their positions, so that at
15 about 10.00 I was already at Cerova Ravan and there were six or seven
16 other people with me there doing reconnaissance work, and we all arrived
17 at Cerova Ravan.
18 Q. You said that the elevation of Preljuca was attacked. Can you
19 explain to us where Preljuca is in comparison to Cerova Ravan? Is this
20 behind the Serb defence lines viewed in terms of Foca?
21 A. The feature of Preljuca is above Cerova Ravan, as I already
22 mentioned. Goli Vrh is the highest elevation there at an altitude of
23 1.306 metres. I said there was a semi-circular trench there before, but
24 when we took Cerova Ravan down there below Preljuca -- now, from the point
25 of view of trigonometry, let me see. Trig 923. So it was Preljuca, Goli
1 Vrh, Cerova Ravan, and down Zubovicka Kosa all the way to the Drina.
2 That's where the 5th Battalion had established its line then.
3 And the time that I said that I spent reconnoitering, well, that
4 is on the other side viewed from Preljuca, by a village here. Here it is,
5 the village of Brusana, then Foca, Godjevno. The Foca-Godjevno road is
6 here, somewhere around here. And then I was involved in reconnoitering in
7 this area towards Slatine, toward the area of Slatine. The only defence
8 that existed in that area was by Okolista at a feature 1.001. That is
9 where the Orthodox Church is too. Of from Godjevno to Gorazde, that's
10 where I spent those two days.
11 Preljuca is the most protruding part on that side of the Drina
12 River where the defence line was established, and Preljuca was the end, so
13 to speak, of the military line from Drina to Preljuca.
14 The part further on towards the village of Brusana and Okolista
15 were not really connected. Every village was guarding itself, so to
16 speak, at the time.
17 This reconnaissance of mine was in that direction, as I said.
18 That's what the security commander, the security officer told me to do
19 when he sent me out to reconnoiter, to control the Muslim forces that were
20 in the area of Slatine, the broader region of Slatine, and to see -- well,
21 the idea was that our forces from Preljuca should go via Banjaca, Hunka,
22 Potrkusa, Dublje, and to link up with the Cajnice forces. Again you can't
23 see it here on the map. You can't see that part over here. We were
24 supposed to link up there, and we were supposed to secure this entire area
25 of Brusna, Slatine, this entire part on the right bank of the Drina River
1 so that the enemy could not get in through that area via Slatine and
2 Godjevno, and jeopardise the villages of Josanica and Brusana that were
3 populated by Serbs only.
4 Q. You were told to go on a new assignment. Who went with you?
5 A. As I said, the men who went with me were practically with me that
6 day in Jabuka as well. They had volunteered to go to Jabuka. They were
7 on the list of the 5th Battalion where I was too. Gaga was there, Bano,
8 Miga, Puko. Then in the 1st Battalion Uros Radovic, Milika Kovacevic,
9 Miroslav Kontic were on the first list. They were with me. They
10 volunteered to come to Jabuka. But when we completed this task at Jabuka,
11 they returned with me to Foca. They did not go with me to reconnoiter in
12 the Slatine area. They stayed in Foca, and they were supposed to return
13 to the zone of responsibility of their respective battalions.
14 Q. Could you tell me how far away Preljuca is from Foca?
15 A. Preljuca? Well, we haven't got to the entire map, but as the crow
16 flies, Preljuca is about 12 to 13 kilometres away from Foca as the crow
17 flies. However, this is hilly terrain. The highest peak of Preljuca is
18 1.300 metres. So then if you walk from Godjevno, for example, which is 12
19 kilometres away from Foca, you can -- you can reach Preljuca from Godjevno
20 in about an hour and a half or two, but then you can return to Godjevno in
21 about an hour for sure.
22 However, on other side also from Cvilin, for instance, which is
23 12 kilometres downstream the Drina River, you can also get to Preljuca in
24 about two hours on foot and then return in about an hour. So Preljuca is
25 on the right bank of the Drina, and it is an elevation around which the
1 Foca municipality lies and on whose slopes is the largest number of Serb
3 Q. How did you go to this elevation of Preljuca?
4 A. I said that in the morning when the attack on Preljuca started,
5 when the shooting started, I did report via radio communications to the
6 communications centre and I asked what was going on. Then I was informed
7 by telegram that an attack had been launched and that I should urgently go
8 with all the men to Godjevno, that I would have a vehicle waiting for me
9 there. I didn't receive any other information via radio communications.
10 Then we were taken via Velecevo to Foca by the same vehicle. And
11 as I said, I talked to the new security commander who was there. Later it
12 was Borivoje Ivanovic. Until then he had been command of the 5th
13 Battalion while we were taking this battalion, and he assumed this duty
14 after Jabuka fell, because the commander of security who was in that
15 position then, after the massacre at Jabuka where we lost -- I think a
16 total of 57, 58 persons were killed on that day, 45 or 46 of them were
17 civilians, he had been replaced after that and proceedings were brought
18 against him because he did not perform his part of the work involved.
19 So then with Borivoje Ivanovic, who was then already Assistant
20 Commander for Security, I took this same truck and with this same group of
21 people who were there with me, I was transported via Cvilin, Bavcici,
22 Gabelic Kosa, Cerova Ravan.
23 Q. How much time did you need to get close to the Preljuca
25 A. We arrived at Cerova Ravan around 10.00, perhaps 11.00 at the
1 latest. And then when we came up there, the men who held the line at
2 Cerova Ravan said that an attack had been launched against them at the
3 crack of dawn. They managed to defend that part of the line.
4 And then I got a task from the Assistant Commander for Security.
5 I was supposed to go to reconnoiter in the direction of Preljuca, with a
6 smaller group of men, to see what was going on up there, because the
7 battalion that was at Preljuca, there were about 150 men there, and they
8 were involved that morning in the defence of Preljuca, and they were
9 completely broken. Part of them managed to get to Cerova Ravan and join
10 the defence, whereas a larger number of men were still missing at that
12 A few men joined me, a few men who held the line at Preljuca
13 before that and who were familiar with the area around Preljuca. So eight
14 or nine of us went towards Preljuca, and we got close to Preljuca in order
15 to see what was going on around there, and we had reached it around noon,
16 around 12.00.
17 Q. When you got close to Preljuca, did you do anything?
18 A. At the first moment when I just arrived there, I just took the
19 situation in and I realised that the enemy forces had taken the entire
20 line of Preljuca. They had entered the trenches and bunkers that had been
21 held by our side in the conflict until then.
22 I went further on through the woods above the village of Nova
23 Kovici, and I was observing everything, and I saw where the Preljuca
24 headquarters were. The command was not at the very top, but it was
25 somewhere in the middle of Preljuca. I noticed a biggish group of Muslim
1 soldiers, and I saw that they were carrying and dragging corpses and
2 putting them all in one place.
3 Then by radio link I sent a short telegram about the situation as
4 it was, and according to my estimate then, there were about 100 men at
5 Preljuca who had been taking part in the attack from their side. I got a
6 return telegram by radio link that we should continue to monitor the
7 situation, that we should remain in the area, and that our forces had
8 already departed from Okoliste and from the direction of Josanica. Upon
9 arrival, they would launch a counter-attack and try to recapture
11 Q. You said that you saw Muslim soldiers collecting corpses. Which
12 corpses were these?
13 A. At that point in time I was about 350 or 400 metres away from
14 them, and I was looking through binoculars, but I was not sure whether
15 these were their own dead who got killed while they were capturing the
16 line, or whether it was our people. But when I noticed that they were
17 throwing the corpses into a hole that had been dug out, because nearby was
18 the mess of the 5th Battalion and that is the hole where they threw away
19 surplus food or food remains, and when I realised that they were throwing
20 these corpses into the hole where food remains had been thrown before
21 that, I realised that it was our men that were killed in the attack that
22 morning that were being thrown into the hole. Obviously they had brought
23 them in from all the places where they were killed, and they were throwing
24 them all into this same place.
25 Q. What happened with these corpses afterwards? Did you notice?
1 A. I was following this. I was aware of the fact that there were
2 eight of us there at the time. I said that at Preljuca, at that point
3 there were at least 100 enemy soldiers. I was aware of the fact that our
4 forces that had left from Josanica and Okoliste needed at least another
5 half hour, 45 minutes, to get up there. So I stayed there, and I reckoned
6 that I should wait for them to come and start operations.
7 However, when I realised that Muslim soldiers were spilling
8 gasoline on the corpses, and when one of them took a blanket, soaked it in
9 gasoline, set it on fire, and threw it into the hole where the corpses
10 were thrown in one above the others, at that moment I lost patience, so to
11 speak. I could not watch this any longer, and I opened fire on this group
12 of soldiers. In the group there were about 30 or 40 soldiers together.
13 They were close to one another.
14 The scene itself of this burning of corpses and their screams of
15 joy while these corpses were burning threw me out of control, so to
16 speak. I was 350 or 400 metres away, and I opened a burst of gunfire
17 against them; and the men who were with me joined in the gunfire, and
18 practically we started the attack on Preljuca.
19 Q. Was it fighting that actually occurred?
20 A. When fire was first opened against these men, I saw that a few men
21 were grazed by our fire. I don't know whether they were killed or
22 wounded. Then they opened fire against us from these lines of ours. And
23 at that moment we were at the place where all our bunkers were facing us,
24 so we took shelter and we engaged in fighting, although we did not stand a
25 chance of doing anything else from there.
1 During this shooting, one of our men was wounded, one of the men
2 who was with me. He was wounded in the arm. Fortunately, it was not a
3 bad wound. We bandaged his arm until the fighting in the area ended.
4 Q. How long did this conflict last?
5 A. I opened fire around 12.30, perhaps, and they responded with their
6 own gunfire that was pretty hard, and our response was sporadic. Already
7 around 1.00 our forces arrived, those who had left from Okoliste and
8 Josanica. And around 1.00 more serious fighting started, and until 4.00
9 or 5.00 in the afternoon. We managed to recapture these positions and to
10 suppress the Muslim forces towards Lackici Dubaj [phoen] and their zones
11 where they had held the line.
12 Q. When the Muslim military withdrew, what did you do then?
13 A. When they had already withdrawn, we were following this because
14 our people were going from one bunker to another and from one trench to
15 another. I immediately went towards the place where I saw them burning
16 these corpses of ours, and I was among the first to reach this spot.
17 What did I find there? I found corpses that had already burned
18 down completely almost. They were almost carbonised, and I found eight of
19 our soldiers that were completely carbonated.
20 Q. When you found the corpses, what did you do next?
21 A. When we had already taken Preljuca, the former commander of the
22 5th Battalion, Boro Ivanovic arrived in Preljuca. He was now the deputy
23 commander for security. He arrived on the spot, and at first we did not
24 touch the corpses. We tried to move one of the corpses, but because they
25 had been burned and carbonated, the corpse started falling apart,
1 disintegrating. So he asked the medical corps to -- the medical team to
2 come from the hospital and take the corpses to hospital.
3 And I know that a group of journalists arrived together with a
4 team from the hospital and filmed the bodies because these charred bodies,
5 before they were moved, could be identified. Once they were moved, they
6 started disintegrating, falling apart. And in any case, I stayed at
7 Preljuca that night, and I was there when the corpses were collected and
8 taken to the Foca hospital.
9 Q. Can you tell us where these people were from whom you found there
10 and whether you knew them?
11 A. At that moment, on that day when Preljuca was attacked, there was
12 a company of men from Zavajit and Celebici, and they were in the 5th
13 Battalion. My father was born in Zavajit, and one of the young men who
14 had been killed was someone I knew from before. He was the son of Uros
15 Radovic, and he was killed that morning. And as for the rest of the men
16 who were killed, they were all from Zavajit, Celebici, and Mestrevac.
17 Q. Were the corpses transported to the hospital on that day?
18 A. Yes. As I have said, the officer who was the assistant commander
19 for security called the medical team from the hospital, and they arrived
20 after about an hour. They collected all the corpses and put them in their
21 vehicle, and then they took them away to the Foca hospital.
22 Q. Where did you spend that night of the 29 of July?
23 A. On the -- when we took back our lines on Preljuca, the men who had
24 left the line in the morning and fled toward Cerova Ravan and Sip [phoen]
25 returned to that place, but 30 or 40 men were still missing. We didn't
1 know where they were at the time. And that night I and the men who were
2 with me, we spent the night in Preljuca; and I joined the men who were
3 guarding the buildings on that night, and I stayed there until the 31st of
5 Q. A witness said, and that was Osman Subacic, he confirmed that a
6 document that was shown to him, that is the order of the 7th of July,
7 1992, Prosecution document number 2, was found during the fighting on
8 Preljuca on the 29th of July, 1992. Is that the fighting you were talking
10 A. That is the document that was presented by the Prosecution and
11 that I saw, and it was taken on that location because the command of the
12 battalion was in Preljuca, and all the documentation that was there fell
13 into the hands of the enemy forces, because as I said, they started the
14 attack very early in the morning, at about 5 a.m., and by 7.00 they had
15 taken our entire line of defence at Preljuca.
16 On that occasion they took away a vehicle that had been on
17 Preljuca. It was a Golf, and on our arrival at Preljuca, when we returned
18 to Preljuca in the evening, we entered the command, and then we noticed
19 that the entire documentation that had been at the command had
20 disappeared; they had taken it away. So the order mentioned by Subacic is
21 the order that on the 29th of July was taken on the occasion of this
22 attack on Preljuca.
23 Q. Does that mean that he was telling the truth with respect to this
25 A. Osman said himself that he was on the Muslim side, and that he
1 was, I think, an assistant commander for security. And in any case, he
2 was telling the truth about that attack. And I am certain that he had all
3 the information about our casualties on Preljuca and the burning of the
4 corpses, but when he was asked whether he knew of any incident there, he
5 could not remember. But he was telling the truth when he said that
6 Preljuca had been attacked on the 29th, that the line had been taken, and
7 that we restored that line on the same day.
8 Q. You said that you remained there until the 31st of July. Did I
9 understand you correctly?
10 A. As I said, I spent the night from the 29th to the 30th at
11 Preljuca, and on the following day, in the morning of the 30th, according
12 to all the information I had received up to then, two men were still
13 missing. I was sure that I had seen when the Muslims were retreating,
14 because I was in a place from which I could see them retreating, I was
15 certain that they had not taken away any prisoners, at least while we were
16 attacking them. So I was given the order of touring the area --
17 Q. Can you slow down.
18 A. And on that day I went to look for the two missing men, and I
19 spent the whole day looking for them, but I did not manage to find them on
20 that day. And I spent the night between the 30th and the 31st of July at
22 Q. Was that man found, and do you know who it was?
23 A. While I was in Preljuca, I did not find him on the 30th, and the
24 next day I was given another task, and he had not been found yet.
25 However, later on I heard that he had been found two days later, that he
1 had been wounded, and that while trying to get out of Preljuca he had been
2 wounded, and that he concealed himself some 600 or 700 metres away from
3 Preljuca. And that he had been wounded in the legs and couldn't walk, and
4 he had seen us looking for him, but he didn't know me personally, and he
5 was afraid to let us know his whereabouts.
6 Both of them were found. One was wounded. The other one had fled
7 in the direction of Foca, and he reported to the battalion commander only
8 three or four days later and then it was discovered that he was alive.
9 Q. Do you know the last name of the man who was wounded in the legs?
10 A. I know that it's a person who was born in Mestrevac and that he
11 was a school janitor in Mestrevac, but at the moment I cannot remember his
12 name. I came across that man later because he was wounded and he stayed
13 there for three or four days, and he was very seriously wounded, and his
14 wounds had become infected. It was very warm and the doctors were barely
15 able to save his legs, and he is now permanently disabled.
16 Q. What happened on the 31st of July?
17 A. On the 31st of July, I was called to the battalion command and I
18 had a telephone conversation with the assistant commander for security,
19 and he told me that I -- that he would send a car to collect us and that I
20 had to go to Kalinovik urgently. And he told me, by phone, that the Rogoj
21 Pass had fallen. The Rogoj Pass was between the Foca Brigade and the
22 Kalinovik Brigade. It was the pass leading to Sarajevo, about
23 50 kilometres from Foca in the direction of Sarajevo.
24 Q. Did you go toward Kalinovik and what time was it when you set
1 A. They sent a car or, rather, a small truck to collect me -- it came
2 to Preljuca -- six or seven of us, the men who had been reconnoitering
3 with me before, and we went to Kalinovik.
4 When I arrived in Foca, I received an oral order that I should
5 report to Kalinovik, to the commander of the Kalinovik Brigade, who would
6 give me further instructions. I went there, and in Kalinovik I went to
7 the barracks. I arrived there in the afternoon. It could have been
8 around 1400 or 1500 hours in the afternoon.
9 Q. You said that you went to the Kalinovik Brigade command. Were you
10 given an assignment by them? Were you told why you had been sent there?
11 A. When I came down from Preljuca and when I talked to the assistant
12 commander for security in Preljuca, on that occasion he told me orally
13 that he knew that Rogoj had fallen, that it had been taken by the Muslim
14 forces, but that they had no information about the movement of the Muslim
15 forces. And this was where the Foca Brigade and the Kalinovik Brigade
16 met, and there was a danger that there would be a breakthrough from Rogoj
17 through Grebak onto our territory.
18 He told me to report to the commander of the Kalinovik Brigade,
19 and I would be given a task by the commander of the Kalinovik Brigade who
20 would tell me specifically what I had to do, and this would be
21 reconnoitering and observing the enemy who was moving in the direction of
22 our two municipalities.
23 Q. On that occasion, do you remember whether you were told that some
24 of the Serbian soldiers had been taken prisoner?
25 A. When I arrived in the command of the Kalinovik Brigade in the
1 upper camp, as it was called -- there was a JNA barracks there before --
2 and I was taken to the brigade commander who was the assistant of the
3 commander for security of that brigade, and they had received information,
4 I don't know whether it was by radio or by telephone -- they knew that I
5 was coming. He told me that Trnovo had fallen, that Rogoj had fallen, and
6 that for the time being, they did not know how many people had been
7 killed, but they knew that in Rogoj some 15 men had been taken prisoner
8 and that these men had been manning an artillery piece that our side had.
9 One of them managed to get out, and he was a witness when the others were
10 taken prisoner.
11 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence intends
12 at this moment to show a video about Rogoj and about the men who were
13 taken prisoner. There is no sound. It lasts five minutes. We can see
14 the uniforms of the men who were taken prisoner and the uniforms of the
15 soldiers who took them prisoner.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution?
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please go ahead.
19 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the technical
20 people, who already have the video, to show it to us.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to say thank you to
23 the technicians for showing the video.
24 Q. You have seen the tape. Tell us now, please, did you know the
25 people who had been captured?
1 A. At the time, when I came to Kalinovik for the first time on the
2 31st, I did not know anybody, any of these people. But I heard the names
3 of those people, and later on, Cer Obren [phoen], who was amongst these
4 people here, he was taken prisoner, I got to know him in 1995, before I
5 myself was wounded in the Kalinovik area.
6 I spoke to him on the occasion, and he told me that he had been
7 taken prisoner during the attack on Rogoj, which took place on the 30th or
8 the 31st of July and that he was amongst those prisoners, and he told me
9 what they had had to live through, the 13 of them who had been caught
10 alive, what they had experienced in those first few days of captivity, and
11 he mentioned the scene where the Serbian flag was set fire to, which we
12 saw here.
13 Q. Tell us, please, where were these people who were captured on the
14 31st of July?
15 A. They were captured during the attack on Rogoj, which was on the
16 31st of July, in the morning. They were captured at Rogoj, and they had
17 been the crew of an artillery; that is to say, they were in charge of
18 artillery weapons and they were there while our forces were in control in
19 Rogoj. They were all from the Kalinovik Brigade.
20 Q. On the video, you were able to see the uniforms of the Serb
21 prisoners, soldiers. What kind of uniforms were they?
22 A. As could be seen on the tape, all of them wore the SMB shirts and
23 trousers, the grey/green-coloured uniform of the former JNA. The
24 Territorial Defence forces wore these uniforms. So they were the uniforms
25 of the Territorial Defence of the former Yugoslavia.
1 Q. You were also able to see the uniforms -- the uniform of a soldier
2 belonging to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. What kind of uniforms were
4 A. Well, I saw this on the tape, although it wasn't as visible as I
5 remember seeing them when I was doing reconnoitering in the area, I
6 remember seeing their uniform very well in Rogoj and later on too. All of
7 them were wearing high-quality uniforms, and we were able to note this on
8 their dead fighters as well. They were all American-made uniforms
9 belonging to the US army.
10 Q. On the tape, we can see two Muslim soldiers for a brief moment.
11 Did you happen to recognise any of them?
12 A. When the flag began to burn, an individual came up with a band
13 tied round a lock of hair on his head. That was Mirsad Catic, and I saw
14 him on Muslim television during that time, and later on he gave interviews
15 on television. The Muslim side had interviews. And I know that Mirsad
16 Catic was commander of Tactical Group II, and his command was at Mount
17 Igman. And from the events that took place afterwards and the information
18 that our intelligence service had, we know he was the commander of
19 Tactical Group II and he had been given the assignment of launching an
20 attack to take control of the Kalinovik-Foca area and Trnovo area and to
21 join up with the forces at Grebak and thus to join up with the other
22 forces at Gorazde. So in fact to launch an offensive on Gornje Podrinje.
23 Q. You were also able to see the weapons of two of the soldiers and
24 the weapon on of Mirsad Catic and another soldier whose back was turned to
25 us on video?
1 A. Yes. One of the soldiers who was standing by had in his hand a
2 weapon, an automatic rifle with tripods, and Mirsad Catic -- I saw this
3 tape earlier on, and I saw that Mirsad Catic always had with him a
4 short-barrelled gun, and this was -- with pellets, and this was the weapon
5 that he usually carried.
6 Q. Do you happen to know whether this pellet-type gun is allowed by
7 the Geneva Conventions?
8 A. I personally did not have occasion to become very well acquainted
9 with the provisions of the Geneva Convention, but I know that this is a
10 very deadly weapon which -- and I know that with this type of shotgun,
11 there is no wounding. If you're hit by it, half your body is blown away.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would like to object against
14 this line of questioning. I mean, we have already discussed it. We are
15 not discussing here any crimes committed by the Muslims but we are talking
16 about these three accused.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Prodanovic. You've heard the objection of the
19 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question was
20 linked to Witness Nogo and Witness Alic, who said in this courtroom that
21 they were very careful to apply the Geneva Conventions, and that every day
22 they talked about them. So by showing this tape, I wanted to question the
23 credibility of those witnesses and their statements, their testimony.
24 That was my sole intention.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Did you ever put that to those witnesses, that they
1 used this particular type of weapon?
2 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to show the
3 witnesses this tape but I wasn't permitted to do so, if you recall.
4 JUDGE HUNT: [Previous translation continues] ... objection being
5 taken, I assume.
6 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecution lodged an
7 objection, said that they weren't interested in --
8 JUDGE HUNT: And the objection was upheld, was it?
9 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Why are you going on with it again here? This
11 particular issue has been ruled on I don't know how many times. And as
12 for a question going to their credit, it is so remote to anything we have
13 to determine in this case that you are not, if I may say so, assisting us
14 or your clients by pursuing it yet again.
15 Let's get on with what we are here to deal with. We are here to
16 deal with whether these three accused committed war crimes.
17 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I accept your suggestions and I
18 will no longer ask -- pursue that line of questioning.
19 Q. Mr. Kunarac, tell us, please, on the 31st of July when you reached
20 Kalinovik, what assignment were you given and did you go anywhere from the
21 headquarters of the Kalinovik Brigade?
22 A. As soon as I arrived at the barracks and when I had talked to the
23 head of the Kalinovik Brigade, I was given an assignment to go to Dobro
24 Polje, and our forces still held Dobro Polje, they hadn't withdrawn from
25 the area yet, and I was to do reconnaissance work toward the Rogoj Pass
1 and to see what was happening in that locality, because they didn't have a
2 clear picture of what was happening -- and that I should report back to
3 the headquarters to say how many men were there and their possible
4 preparations for further movement.
5 So I went off towards Dobro Polje. Let me say that I didn't know
6 the terrain well enough because I hadn't been there. I asked the brigade
7 commander to give me at least two or three volunteers to go with me on a
8 voluntary basis and do reconnaissance work there, people who knew the
9 terrain, to help me in this assignment. So I went to Dobro Polje, and I
10 was joined there by three other men from the Kalinovik Brigade.
11 Q. From Dobro Polje, where did you go and where did you stay?
12 A. I was joined in Dobro Polje by --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: The registrar should give a formal number to the
15 videotape because it has been shown.
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The video will be marked D80,
17 Defence Exhibit D80.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Please proceed.
19 A. Thank you. As I said, I was transported in the same truck which
20 had brought me to Kalinovik. The truck waited for me, and I was
21 transported to Dobro Polje in that same truck. The truck returned, and I
22 reported down there to the commander of the company who was stationed
23 there, and I asked to be assisted by two or three other volunteers who
24 were better acquainted with the Rogoj area to do reconnaissance work with
25 me, and in fact three men did volunteer. One of them was one of the
1 Perdzoj [phoen] brothers who lived at Dobro Polje, and before the war they
2 had a cafe there, and they still live there today.
3 So we set out towards the Rogoj Pass and the position where they
4 told us that our artillery pieces had fallen into enemy hands, because our
5 assignment was to see what had happened to those artillery pieces and
6 whether preparations were going on to use those artillery pieces against
7 us, whether they had indeed fallen into enemy hands.
8 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What would you say the time was when you arrived at Rogoj Pass?
10 A. Well, from Kalinovik -- that is to say, we stayed there for
11 20 minutes. We arrived at Dobro Polje at approximately 1700 hours, and we
12 went on foot to Rogoj. This was a slow journey because we had to be very
13 careful moving through woodland. We were at Rogoj Pass at about 2000
14 hours or 2015 hours. And this was the month of August, that is to say,
15 the end of July and the beginning of August, and it got dark at about
16 quarter to nine. So we arrived at the Rogoj area just before dark.
17 Q. When you arrived in the area, what did you do?
18 A. I had all my reconnaissance equipment with me, my field glasses,
19 and I found a suitable spot from which I could see Rogoj Pass itself and
20 the overall position of the howitzers which they had taken over from
21 the -- seized from the Kalinovik Brigade. They were six howitzers of the
22 105-millimetre calibre and six mortars of 120 millimetres.
23 All these artillery pieces were still in the positions they had
24 been previously, and the barrels were turned towards the positions held by
25 the Muslim forces, that to say, toward Mount Bjelasnica and that general
1 area. They hadn't been moved. They hadn't been shifted. And I saw a lot
2 of enemy Muslim soldiers in the area as well. When I arrived in the Rogoj
3 area, there were between 60 and 80 men in this narrow valley around the
5 Q. What did you do then? Did you report back to anyone? Did you
6 inform anybody about that, and could you tell us under whose command you
7 were when you arrived at Rogoj?
8 A. At that particular moment when I saw and assessed the situation
9 and I saw that the soldiers who were there were not doing anything with
10 the weapons. And as I said, it was almost dark, they were not
11 entrenching, fortifying themselves, and I saw that they themselves were
12 quarrelling. I was about 100 to 150 metres away from them, at the most.
13 I noticed that they were quarrelling, and that they had different insignia
14 on their uniforms, although they were all wearing camouflage uniforms, but
15 the uniforms themselves were of different types as well. Some had
16 insignia, the blue shield with the lilies on the sleeve; others had the
17 chequerboard and HVO insignia on their sleeves.
18 But as it grew dark, as night fell, I withdrew from Dobro Polje,
19 and I had a telephone conversation with the commander of the Kalinovik
20 Brigade. So I reported to the commander of the Kalinovik Brigade by
21 telephone, informing him of the existing situation at Rogoj. As I was in
22 the area of responsibility of his brigade, that is to say, the area of
23 responsibility of his battalion, in control of Dobro Polje, I was able to
24 communicate with him by my own command, and I received orders through him
25 and reported directly to the command of the Kalinovik Brigade.
1 Q. Did they suggest you do anything? Did they tell you to stay or to
2 go? Did they tell you plans of any kind?
3 A. When I told them of when -- how I assessed the situation, when I
4 described the situation at Rogoj to them, I was ordered to continue my
5 reconnoitering in the area and to follow the movements there. I was asked
6 over the phone whether it was possible to do this during the night, to
7 follow their movements during the night.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Proceed, proceed.
9 A. So I was ordered to continue following their movements at Rogoj
10 during the night because it was a clear night, good visibility, and so I
11 could carry on my reconnaissance work. So during the night I moved
12 towards Rogoj again and continued my assignment, that is, continued to
13 observe the area.
14 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. Did you receive any information as to the intentions of the
16 Serbian forces?
17 A. At the time when I was told to carry on with my observation and
18 reconnaissance work, the command of the Kalinovik Brigade told me on that
19 same occasion that, in the course of the night and during the morning, I
20 was to see what was going on. And that in the morning, in the early hours
21 of the morning, I was to report back again, giving my assessments of the
22 situation and saying whether I thought an attack on Dobro was possible in
23 order to retain the artillery pieces that had been taken from our --
24 seized from our forces by the Muslim side.
25 Q. On the 31st of July, where did you spend the night?
1 A. As I said, on the 31st of July I first went to Rogoj. I
2 reconnoitered before nightfall, and during the night, again, I went to the
3 area near Rogoj, and from there I monitored enemy movements in that area
4 at Rogoj itself. I spent the night there on the ground in the area
5 leading towards Sarajevo, on the right below Bandijerka in the area of
6 Rogoj, where I followed developments on Rogoj plateau itself.
7 Q. Can you tell us what happened on the next day, the 1st of August?
8 A. Well, already in the morning at daybreak I noticed that on Rogoj
9 plateau itself, there were somewhat less forces than the day before that.
10 There were absolutely no activities. They were carrying out normal guard
11 duty. Their guards were in front of the Rogoj plateau, 30 or 40 metres in
12 front, and these guards were taking shifts; but on Rogoj itself, they were
13 not carrying out any activity whatsoever. They were not moving their
14 artillery pieces, they were not turning them towards our positions, they
15 were not digging in, nothing. I noticed that part of their troops were
16 missing. I realised that only the troops with the shield and lilies, with
17 the insignia with the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were left there, and
18 that there were no men left with the Croatian checkerboard and who were
19 members of the HVO.
20 Having observed that, I went to Dobro Polje once again, and by
21 telephone I submitted this kind of report to the commander. I did present
22 my own view at the time, that is to say, that if reinforcements did not
23 arrive during the course of the day, that in my assessment a
24 counter-attack could be launched, and these artillery pieces could be
25 recaptured. That is what I did on the morning of the 1st. On the morning
1 of the 1st, around 9.00, that is the kind of report I submitted.
2 Q. Was there a counter-offensive against Rogoj?
3 A. When I reported on the current situation, I was sent again to
4 observe the situation and movements in the direction of Rogoj, and then
5 the commander said that he would convey my opinions and my observations to
6 the command of our brigade, and that it was quite possible that during the
7 course of day, preparations could be carried out for a counter-attack on
8 the Rogoj Pass.
9 He told me then that I would be informed by radio link if this is
10 to -- if this was to happen, and that by radio link I would get further
11 instructions as to what I was supposed to do in the coming period.
12 Q. Can you tell us when you received information that the Serbs would
13 launch a counter-attack?
14 A. In the afternoon by radio link, perhaps at 1700 or 1800 hours, by
15 radio link I received a short telegram stating that our forces had arrived
16 in Dobro Polje, and that I should go down to Dobro Polje in order to tell
17 them what the situation was like on the ground so that they could carry
18 out all preparations and that they could act in the area of Rogoj.
19 Q. On the 1st of August, that is to say, where did you spend the
20 night of the 1st of August?
21 A. I said that on the 1st of August, around 1500 hours, I received a
22 telegram stating that our forces had arrived in the area of Dobro Polje,
23 and that I was supposed to go to Dobro Polje. I did go to Dobro Polje.
24 The people who were with me remained in the area of Rogoj. They monitored
25 the situation, and I said that during the night I would return, that I
1 would go back to them.
2 I went down to Dobro Polje. I reported on what was going on on
3 the ground in my assessment. I presented what the position was, what I
4 saw, where enemy forces were concentrated. After that, again I went to
5 Rogoj where the other men were, and that is where I was at daybreak on the
6 2nd of August.
7 Q. On the 2nd of August, what happened? Was there any fighting then?
8 A. The morning of the 2nd of August, around 7.00 or 7.30, I noticed
9 that a car, civilian car was coming toward Rogoj from the direction of
10 Dobro Polje. A woman got out of the car, and she started walking towards
11 Dobro Polje. I observed her; I saw her. I started following her.
12 She came to just before Dobro Polje. She conveyed a message to
13 the commander of the Kalinovik Brigade, and in that message that she
14 brought in writing it was stated that the Muslims at Rogoj -- at the Pass
15 of Rogoj by the Howitzer, there was a restaurant up there -- I don't know
16 the exact number, but they had 30 or 40 captured persons, and that they
17 wanted to carry out an exchange during the course of day, and that they
18 were proposing that this exchange be carried out by noon.
19 I was sure because I had spent almost 48 hours up there in the
20 area, monitoring practically non-stop, and I was certain that there was no
21 one detained in there. If anybody was detained in there, out of 30 or 40
22 people, at least one person would have to go out, at least to go to the
23 toilet. She said that she was there at that restaurant and that she was
24 sent from that restaurant. Then I expressed my own opinion, and that is
25 that my assumption in relation to all of this was procrastination by the
1 Muslim side, that they wanted to gain time, in order to gain time.
2 We got orders from our own brigade then. A group of men came from
3 our own brigade. There were members of the command there as well. We
4 were supposed to go out to the ground to take our initial positions, and
5 if an exchange is not offered by noon, that at noon we should start an
6 armed infantry attack against the positions that were taken by the Muslims
7 two days before that.
8 Q. You did not tell me whether there was any fighting.
9 A. Fighting broke out after 12.00. The Kalinovik Brigade as it
10 received this message sent this woman back with a message that they were
11 prepared to carry out an exchange at 12.00. At any rate, as far as the
12 Serb side is concerned, everything was ready and everything could have
13 been carried out at 12.00.
14 Around 11.00 the woman returned once again, and then she conveyed
15 a message from the Muslim side that they were not ready, that allegedly
16 they had some other detainees who they were supposed to bring to Rogoj,
17 and that they could carry out this exchange only around 1600 or 1700 hours
18 in the afternoon. Then we received orders to carry out an attack against
19 Rogoj to take these lines that were held by the Muslims. The fighting
20 started around 11.00 -- or rather, around 12.00, 12.15, in the early
21 afternoon hours.
22 Q. Did you take part in the fighting?
23 A. As I had been saying all along, that in Rogoj, in that restaurant,
24 there were absolutely no detainees, and that I was absolutely sure that
25 that house there was empty. Then the men from the Kalinovik Brigade who
1 were present there were afraid that I was not right, that there were
2 people who were imprisoned in there, and that if we were to carry out an
3 attack, that these people could get killed. So they were unsure as to
4 whether orders should be issued for an attack or not.
5 Then I agreed that I personally go, together with a group of
6 volunteers, that I go and launch an attack personally against this
7 restaurant and this position where the artillery pieces were, and I
8 guaranteed that there were no prisoners there and that there would be no
9 casualties in this respect at Rogoj. That is how I was issued an
10 assignment from the joint command of the Foca Brigade and the Kalinovik
11 Brigade, that I should go with these volunteers to carry out this kind of
12 assignment, and that I should join in the combat operations.
13 A total of 15 volunteers signed up to go with me, and on the 2nd
14 of August at noon, I carried out an attack against the restaurant in
15 Rogoj. We started the attack around 12.15, and the fighting went on at
16 the Pass itself until 1.15 or 1.30, and by nightfall or by dusk, fighting
17 went on around Karaula and around Bandijerka because this is to the left
18 and to the right of Rogoj Pass.
19 Q. Karaula and Bandijerka, is that the wider region of Rogoj, and do
20 these features belong to Rogoj?
21 A. Bandijerka and Karaula, well, I mean Rogoj itself is a plateau
22 across which the main road of Foca-Sarajevo goes. So this is a broader
23 plateau of Rogoj. Karaula and Bandijerka are features left and right of
24 Rogoj on the road between Foca and Sarajevo. All of that is the wider
25 region of Rogoj.
1 Q. Can you tell us what time it was approximately when the fighting
2 ended that day?
3 A. As far as the fighting at the pass itself is concerned, the
4 fighting at Rogoj around these artillery pieces, we managed by 1.00 to
5 take, recapture, our artillery. After that, we started pursuing the enemy
6 who was withdrawing towards Trnovo, and we took positions that were lower
7 than Rogoj, and we were preparing for a possible counter-attack in order
8 to make it possible for our rear units to start moving the artillery
9 pieces away from there, the ones that we had recaptured.
10 On that day, that was our main objective, the basic aim of this
11 entire action, that we were supposed to recapture this. And the fighting
12 on the left and on the right of the pass went on throughout the
13 afternoon. It practically stopped only around 1600 hours. That is when
14 the infantry operations stopped and Karaula and Bandijerka, these two
15 features, were taken.
16 Q. Did you go to Foca that evening?
17 A. On that day after Rogoj was taken, as I said, and after these
18 artillery pieces were recaptured, I did send a telegram immediately by
19 radio link to urgently organise the withdrawal of artillery pieces from
20 that area. I was given the assignment of taking a position further
21 towards Trnovo and securing it from the -- from a possible
22 counter-attack. That's what I did.
23 And in the afternoon, perhaps after an hour or after an hour and a
24 half after we had taken Rogoj, from the direction of Trnovo a vehicle had
25 set out where there was an anti-aircraft gun, three times 20 millimetres.
1 We had ambushed it on the road between Trnovo and Rogoj. We managed to
2 take it away, so to speak, from the Muslim forces.
3 With this vehicle in the early evening hours, around 8.00 or 8.15,
4 I set out from Rogoj, and also a convoy set out with the rear units, and
5 others came to help out in Rogoj. We all started moving in the direction
6 of Foca. We arrived in Foca, I personally arrived in Foca sometime around
7 20.30, by 2300 hours, with this captured enemy vehicle and with a PAT
8 mounted on it. I went straight to the brigade headquarters.
9 Q. Did you notice any sign on this anti-aircraft gun?
10 A. As I said, we had taken the position in front of Rogoj towards
11 Trnovo. There are a few big curves there, so one can see rather well. I
12 saw that a Daic vehicle was moving towards Rogoj. It had been painted in
13 camouflage colours, and on it this 3-barrel gun was mounted, three times
14 20 millimetres. We took the vehicle, and the 3-barrelled gun, and a
15 person got killed in the process, a person who was securing this gun.
16 I mounted the gun itself. I had the opportunity of seeing such a
17 gun before that, too, and I noticed that it was different from the gun
18 that was used by the Yugoslav army before that. The small handles were of
19 a different shape, and also the little pedals were of a different shape.
20 And below the seat there was a small plaque, 7 by 12, and on the upper
21 part it said in the Serbo-Croat, Bosnian, or whatever language, it said,
22 "Presented to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Saudi Arabia."
23 Underneath that it said something in Arabic, probably the message was the
25 In this attack, during the attack on that vehicle and while the
1 vehicle itself was being captured, we used only infantry weapons to fire
2 against them, and then that is when we hit both front tyres and both back
3 tyres, so we drove this truck further with these punctured tyres almost
4 all the way up to Rogoj.
5 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Would this be a good time to have
6 a break because it is 1300 hours, as far as I can see from here.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We're breaking off until 1430 hours this
9 --- Recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon. We continue with
5 May I ask you, Mr. Prodanovic, to stop maybe five minutes before
6 our time, because we have a matter to deal with.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I will bear that in mind, Your
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
11 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Kunarac, you said that on the 2nd of August, when the Serbs
13 retook Rogoj, that you set out for Foca in the evening. Can you tell us
14 who remained at the Rogoj elevation?
15 A. As I said, the Rogoj Pass was taken by us at about 1300 hours, and
16 the fighting around Rogoj at Bandijerka and Karaula lasted until about
17 1700 or 1800 hours. As soon as we had taken the Rogoj Pass, there was --
18 from the Kalinovik Brigade it was organised for the artillery pieces to be
19 taken away from the Rogoj Pass, and we who had taken the pass were given
20 the task of going in the direction of Trnovo some 1.000 or 1.500 metres
21 forward so as to secure the withdrawal of the artillery pieces, and the
22 artillery pieces were withdrawn.
23 Two trucks were involved. They would come and take two howitzers
24 and then take them to Dobro Polje and Kalinovik and then come back again.
25 When they came back, they transported members of the Trnovo brigade which
1 had been scattered two or three days previously, and they left them in the
2 Rogoj area. When the first two trucks arrived, they brought about 20 or
3 30 men, and the leader of the unit said that he had been given the task of
4 taking over the Rogoj Pass and securing the further withdrawal of the
5 artillery pieces.
6 Up to that time, we had taken a 3-barrel gun and brought it to the
7 Rogoj Pass. When they arrived, I asked the leader of the group who was
8 organising the transport of the howitzers to give us at least three tyres
9 for the vehicle on which the 3-barrel gun was mounted. It was a Daic-make
10 vehicle. We intended to take it to the direction of Foca where our
11 brigade was, because this was an artillery piece that we had captured from
12 the enemy and not --
13 Q. Please let us not go into unnecessary detail. Would you please
14 answer who took the positions when you left?
15 A. In the evening, up to 2300 hours, the entire position was taken by
16 units of the Kalinovik Brigade from the Trnovo Battalion, which had been
17 scattered two or three days previously, which had been defeated and
18 scattered when the Muslim forces attacked.
19 Q. You said that you came from Rogoj to Dobro Polje where a convoy
20 was formed in the direction of Foca. Where is Dobro Polje? Can you tell
22 A. At the time when I sent for the tyres, two men went to get the
23 tyres. They came back with the tyres at about 1900 hours. They brought
24 only two tyres; they couldn't get any more. At about 2015 hours, we set
25 out for Dobro Polje, and that is at the crossroads of the Sarajevo-Foca
1 road where there is a junction leading to Kalinovik, and it is some five
2 or six kilometres from Rogoj.
3 Q. When the convoy was formed in Dobro Polje, where did you go?
4 A. When we arrived in Dobro Polje, it was, as I said, about 2015 or
5 2020 hours. There were members of the units which had taken part in the
6 fighting in Rogoj there. We formed a convoy and set off in the direction
7 of Foca.
8 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence has a
9 document which it wishes to tender into evidence. This is a certificate
10 issued by the Srbinje military post from which it follows that battles
11 were conducted on the 2nd of August on Rogoj and that the accused was
12 there throughout this time and that he arrived in Foca about 2100 hours
13 and that on that occasion he came with the vehicle that had been captured
14 in the fighting for Rogoj.
15 The document -- we have numbered the document 102.
16 And another thing, if you will allow me. The Registry has
17 informed me that as regards the tape that the Defence wishes to tender
18 into evidence, it is not yet clear whether it has been admitted into
19 evidence or not.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Which one, that particular document?
21 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] The videotape.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: This morning? The one we watched this morning?
23 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it was tendered into evidence. It has a
25 number. It was tendered.
1 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I was informed by the Registry
2 that this was not clear.
3 JUDGE HUNT: It wasn't clear. It wasn't clear whether it was
4 admitted as an exhibit. You want it admitted as an exhibit, do you?
5 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Regarding the video, the Prosecution objects
7 against admitting it as an exhibit for the same reasons that was argued
8 when this video was shown for the first time.
9 JUDGE HUNT: But surely it has some relevance of a very minor
10 nature. What it shows is the colour of the uniforms.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, that's true.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Do you still object?
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. But I still want to mention it's also a
14 question of weight. There is no tone, there is no date, there's nothing.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And in relation to the document --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: No. First we'll deal with the tape.
18 So it's formally admitted. The Trial Chamber will decide what
19 weight to attach to it.
20 So can we have the formal number? Do we still retain the same
21 formal number?
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The video is numbered D80. It's
23 Defence Exhibit D80. As for the second document, the document submitted
24 by Mr. Prodanovic, that has been numbered by the Defence 102, and it will
25 be identified as Exhibit D81.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: It's not yet admitted.
2 JUDGE HUNT: It's not yet an exhibit.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Any objection from the Prosecution? Any objection
4 from the Prosecution?
5 JUDGE HUNT: Can I just ask a question? Have we got any evidence
6 that Major Gagovic was with him all the time to be able to give this
8 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I cannot confirm this, when Major
9 Gagovic signed it.
10 JUDGE HUNT: If you can't, I don't see how it's admissible.
11 What's it compiled from? We don't even know where he's got the
12 information from.
13 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] He got the information in the
14 command, and he probably wrote because he had information that the accused
15 arrived with an anti-aircraft gun, and at the time he came, he probably
16 checked it.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, as I understand this document,
19 it's more or less an affidavit for what this person Miladin Gagovic can
20 testify about. To me it's not quite a document, an exhibit, like other
21 certificates we received here. All we can see at the moment is that a
22 person, Miladin Gagovic, wrote this document, but what is the contents of
23 this document? It's actually a statement saying that this -- that
24 Mr. Kunarac was at Rogoj, that he returned with a special vehicle, and
25 that is actually a statement.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And we would object against using this
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber has decided that document is not
6 admissible into evidence; however, if the Defence wishes to put into
7 evidence what the document contains, they should call the author to come
8 and give evidence viva voce; then he can be cross-examined. But even if
9 he were to come, he could still not produce that document.
10 JUDGE HUNT: The point, if I might say so, Mr. Prodanovic is
11 this: Unless he can demonstrate that he has some personal knowledge or
12 that the records are so complete that he can assert this, then he wouldn't
13 be even able to give evidence orally, so you're going to have to prove it
14 some other way than this.
15 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The Defence
16 will try to prove this in another way, that the accused was there at the
17 time. Even Prosecution witnesses testified to this, so I did not expect
18 it to be a problem.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: So it is only numbered for identification purposes,
20 that's all, I mean the document.
21 You may proceed.
22 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. What happened in Velecevo when you arrived there? Can you explain
24 what Velecevo is?
25 A. As I said, we set out at about 2030 hours from Dobro Polje in the
1 convoy, and we went on to Velecevo where there was the command of the Foca
2 Brigade. The command of the Foca Brigade was located in buildings which,
3 before the war, were a women's prison, and now there is an academy there.
4 Q. At what time did you arrive in Velecevo?
5 A. We couldn't go by the Foca-Miljevina asphalt road because we were
6 afraid. With the fall of Rogoj, the command of the Foca Brigade sent an
7 order to the Miljevina battalion to mine part of the road from Dobro Polje
8 to Miljevina, and there were already obstacles on the road, some rocks
9 were across the road, and a section of the road was mined. The task was
10 to blow up a bridge and cut off that communication. So we had to use the
11 old road via Vratna, and we arrived in Foca at about 2300 hours, in
12 Velecevo in Foca, and we set out from Dobro Polje at about 20 hours and 30
13 minutes. I know when we set out from Dobro Polje, we had to have the
14 headlights on.
15 Q. Can you tell us the distance between Velecevo and Foca?
16 A. Velecevo is about two kilometres away from Foca. It is on the
17 Foca-Velecevo road on the right bank of the River Cehotina, upstream from
18 Foca on the second kilometre.
19 Q. Did you arrive in Velecevo in the vehicle that had been captured
20 in the fighting in those days?
21 A. When we set out from Dobro Polje, I was sitting on the, on the
22 vehicle, actually on the 3-barrel gun, and inside there were others.
23 There were seven or eight men on the vehicle all together. And that was
24 the vehicle with which I arrived in Velecevo.
25 Q. How long did you stay in Velecevo on the 2nd of August in the
2 A. When we arrived there, we had learned by way of a radio connection
3 that we had managed to restore Rogoj and capture that vehicle, and the
4 news had already arrived, and the commander congratulated me on our
5 success. And we handed over the vehicle to the commander of our brigade,
6 and it was used by our brigade afterwards, this anti-aircraft gun. It was
7 used in military operations.
8 And I stayed there talking for about half an hour, not longer,
9 because I was exhausted. In the night of the 30th to the 31st and the
10 31st to the 32nd [sic], I had spent the entire night there reconnoitering
11 at Rogoj and had had very little sleep, and on the 2nd of August we fought
12 on Rogoj. And then the commander told me I could go home to my parents'
13 home to have a rest, to change, and to report to the command at 7.00 a.m.
14 the next day to give him a complete report about the events that had taken
15 place at Rogoj on the previous few days.
16 Q. Where did you go from Velecevo?
17 A. Because I did not have a car, nor was I ever issued with a car by
18 the command, the commander lent me a vehicle that the command used so that
19 I could use it to go to my parents' house, spend the night there, and
20 return the following morning.
21 I left in the direction of Foca, and I didn't have time -- I
22 hadn't come to the town yet. I was near the depot at Livade when a
23 powerful explosion was heard from the town. It was perhaps about 23.30,
24 23.45 at the latest.
25 Q. What did you think? What kind of explosion was it?
1 A. At first, as Foca is located in a valley but surrounded by hills
2 on all sides, the explosion itself reverberated, it resounded, so that you
3 couldn't tell whether it was a single explosion or more than one
4 explosion. And I thought that it was the town that had been shelled
5 itself, that there was an artillery attack launched on the town itself.
6 That's what it looked like to me.
7 Q. What did you do next?
8 A. I continued to drive on, and when I got to the Aladza settlement
9 which is around a thousand -- about a thousand metres in front of that
10 place where the detonation occurred, I saw that the people were rushing
11 out into the streets from the buildings. They were half-naked because
12 they'd already gone to bed. There was no light in the settlement, no
13 electricity, and nobody knew exactly what was happening at that particular
14 moment. Everybody thought that it was a case of shelling, and they
15 weren't able to assess where the detonation was coming from.
16 I continued on my way and passed the Cehotina bridge, and on that
17 part of the road there was a lot of glass, fractured glass, because there
18 was a supermarket there, a department store, and the glass had shattered.
19 I got to in front of the supermarket and I saw two policemen who were on
20 duty, and I asked them what was going on, what was happening. And they
21 said they didn't know, they said that something had exploded in the Livade
22 area, and they thought that the Livade warehouse had been razed to the
23 ground; it was a warehouse of military materiel and ammunition. But I
24 said that I had been in that vicinity and that it hadn't come from there.
25 So I went round town again, did another circle around town to see
1 what was happening, and when I passed through the centre itself, the JNA
2 centre, and went towards Livade again, I saw smoke. I saw a cloud of dust
3 coming out from the motor society where the Aladza mosque was. So I went
4 towards this cloudy -- this cloud of dust or whatever, and came to the
5 motor association. It is about 70 to 80 metres away from the Aladza
6 mosque. I wasn't able to go on further by car because there were bits of
7 stone from the mosque itself, because the mosque was built of large stone
9 Q. When you had become convinced that it was the Aladza mosque that
10 had been destroyed, what did you do next?
11 A. When I came to the spot, I couldn't go further on, actually, I got
12 out of the car and realised what had happened because the lights of my car
13 were turned towards where the Aladza mosque had stood.
14 People from the surrounding houses were rushing about
15 panic-stricken. Some of them were injured. There are screams and cries
16 and general panic.
17 I turned around and went back towards Velecevo, to the
18 headquarters, because as I said a moment ago, they lent me the vehicle.
19 The headquarters had lent me the vehicle, and after that incident, I felt
20 sure that they would need the car. So I drove straight back to the
21 command headquarters at Velecevo.
22 Q. Why did you decide to go to the command headquarters in
24 A. Well, as I said, I was issued the car by the commander who usually
25 used the vehicle for his own needs. So when he lent me the car, he said
1 he didn't think he'd need the car that night because he wouldn't be going
2 anywhere that night. He had my telephone number at my parents' house and
3 said that if anything cropped up, he would call me. But when I saw that
4 the mosque had been destroyed, I thought that it was quite normal that the
5 commander would want to go to the site itself and see the damage that had
6 been done, because the damage was enormous, and a considerable portion of
7 the town, practically all the Aladza district -- the windows were
8 shattered, many of the houses were destroyed, the roofs had caved in. But
9 when I arrived, I saw nobody except for the neighbours who lived there,
10 the local people who lived there. They themselves said that they'd seen
11 nobody. They didn't know who had done it.
12 So I moved up along the street and went back to return the car and
13 to see what I was to do next.
14 Q. Do you know or did you hear, in view of the fact that there was a
15 fire around, was there a warning issued that houses shouldn't be burnt?
16 A. Well, I spent all my time reconnoitering the terrain, and I had a
17 small radio transmitter that I carried with me. Very often we would hear
18 news and information broadcast by Radio Foca itself.
19 Almost every day, in fact I would say every day, Radio Foca would
20 broadcast warnings saying that measures would be taken against all those
21 who were found destroying in any way private property that had been left.
22 And I knew that this warning had been issued by the commander of the
23 brigade himself. He would read the warning himself over the radio, as did
24 the representatives of other political organisations in Foca, and the
25 representatives of the public security station in Foca itself. This was
1 repeated practically on a daily basis. Radio Foca would broadcast
2 programmes issuing warnings to people not to plunder property.
3 So I do know -- and I do know that many people were taken into
4 custody on the spot. What measures were taken against these offenders, I
5 don't know; and what sentences they received, I cannot say, but I do know,
6 that particular evening, when I went back to the barracks and looked for
7 the commander, when I had returned to Velecevo, at the gates -- I returned
8 there, and the guard at the gates, I asked him where the commander was,
9 because I was very angry to have witnessed what was going on. He said,
10 "What do you want the commander for?" I said, "Some idiot has destroyed
11 the mosque and there might even be some people dead around the mosque
12 area." And the guard said that the commander was at the headquarters, in
13 the building itself.
14 So I went to look for him. I went to the headquarters itself
15 where I found the commander, who was not wearing a uniform. He had
16 ordinary trousers on and a T-shirt. When we parted, he had, in fact,
17 wanted to go to bed and was preparing to go to bed for the night when the
18 actual explosion occurred.
19 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has a
20 document which it would like to tender into evidence as a Defence
21 Exhibit. It is dated the 24th of April, 1992, and it is signed by the
22 command of the Crisis Staff. It is an order ordering the chief of the
23 Serbian station of public security, the leader of the military police,
24 urgently to undertake an investigation and bring before a military court
25 the people who planted the fire that destroyed the Careva mosque -- and
1 that was the first mosque that was destroyed -- the arsonists, to bring
2 them to justice.
3 As I say, the date is the 24th of April, 1992, and you have been
4 given copies of that document. We have numbered it document number 12.
5 So I should like to hand it over to the registrar.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Are you able to tell us which volume it's in? You
7 see, one of the volumes I have starts at your document numbered 64. The
8 next one starts at your document numbered 83, and the third one starts at
9 your document numbered 133. Now, where am I going to find document 12?
10 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I shall ask my colleague Madam
11 Lopicic to give you that information. She has worked on the binder.
12 MS. LOPICIC: It is annexed with General Radinovic military
14 JUDGE HUNT: I'm sorry, it doesn't help me.
15 MS. LOPICIC: Yeah. It's not in those three bundles. I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE HUNT: It's somewhere in the three bundles?
17 MS. LOPICIC: No, it's not.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Oh, I see.
19 MS. LOPICIC: It's a totally different bundle that Defence
20 submitted with the military written expertise of General Radinovic,
21 annexes 1 through 63.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we hear the Prosecution on this?
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The Prosecution thinks that it's irrelevant,
25 this document. Otherwise, in regards to authenticity, we would not
1 object. It's part of the Radinovic set of documents, and we have general
2 objections in regard of relevance to most of his testimony and this
3 includes this document as well.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But what are your reasons for this one in
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We think it's irrelevant. It's the timing,
7 and the Careva mosque is not of relevance.
8 JUDGE HUNT: This is not the mosque that was used as a dating
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. That's an entirely different --
11 JUDGE HUNT: That's in July.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's not the Aladza mosque. It's a different
13 mosque. So everything else is irrelevant.
14 JUDGE HUNT: What is the relevance, Mr. Prodanovic? I can
15 understand that there may be some significance about the Aladza mosque,
16 because your client, in his statement, relied quite considerably upon it
17 in respect for the timing of the events in which he says he was involved,
18 but what's the relevance to this one?
19 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] In my opinion, Your Honour, that
20 document is relevant because the Defence wishes to demonstrate that the
21 official authorities did not stand behind hooliganism and acts of
22 hooliganism of that type --.
23 JUDGE HUNT: They're not being prosecuted though, are they.
24 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] -- of individuals.
25 JUDGE HUNT: The Serb authorities are not being prosecuted. Why
1 do we need to know whether they thought it was a good thing or a bad
3 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I am able
4 to gather, the indictment contains some general allegations, and the
5 Defence was of the opinion that this document could have relevance.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Well, can you identify in the indictment the
7 particular paragraphs where you say this disputes the facts stated in
9 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] In the indictment there is no
10 chapter, Your Honour, which speaks of this document. But if we're looking
11 at it in an all-embracing manner and wish to look at the systematic
12 quality, the fact that ethnic cleansing was carried out and the
13 destruction of buildings, then in my opinion, the authorities in power at
14 the time would be behind it, behind this destruction of buildings and
15 behind the act to drive the Muslims out of Foca. So that is why we feel
16 that the document is relevant.
17 JUDGE HUNT: But it still doesn't have any bearing, does it, upon
18 whether or not it was burnt down. There's no dispute about that. And the
19 inference which I gather we will be asked to draw in the end is that
20 because of this there was some action being taken by somebody against the
22 Now, the Serb authorities are not being prosecuted, so they're not
23 being charged with having been a part of it, and neither, as far as I can
24 see, is your client being charged in relation to those events.
25 All that we are asked to do is draw an inference from a number of
1 different facts where the burning of houses and mosques and the treatment
2 of various Muslims that there was an attack by somebody, in the Serbian
3 interest clearly, against the Muslim population. Now, how does this deny
5 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we'll withdraw the
6 document if you don't feel it to be relevant.
7 JUDGE HUNT: It's certainly of no weight to any issue we need to
8 determine, if you want a frank assessment of it, and I, frankly, can't see
9 the relevance of it.
10 We're going to be buried with paper if we're going to have a piece
11 of paper about every building that was burnt down, in which it says the
12 Serbian authorities wanted to investigate it and, therefore, were not
13 guilty of it.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: We should still have a number, I think,
15 Madam Registrar, because it has been discussed.
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This document will be marked
17 D82 for identification purposes.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, for identification purposes only. It is not
19 admitted into evidence.
20 You may proceed.
21 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. After talking to the commander, did you return to Foca?
23 A. When I came to the headquarters and went into the building, I
24 found the commander, the chief of security, and all his four or five
25 assistants, the complete command, that is to say. At that particular
1 point, I conveyed to them what had happened. The commander told his
2 deputy, the security officer, that is to say, he issued the order that he
3 should go to the spot to ascertain what had happened and try to determine
4 what had happened.
5 I also rang up the police station, and the duty officer at the
6 police station was told that the police station should carry out an
7 investigation to see who the perpetrator of this act was.
8 I talked to him, and by what I could judge, and judging by their
9 reactions, I can say for certain that nobody in the brigade command had
10 issued any orders along those lines and that they were highly indignant as
11 to what had happened, and they were ready and willing to uncover the
13 If I may give a comment of my own with respect to the situation
14 that reigned in town, and that was the reason I went there, it is a fact
15 that when all this went on, in the town itself there were individuals who
16 were out of anybody's control. They were people who used this chaotic
17 situation and all these bad things that were happening to people to
18 further their own ends and --
19 Q. You have gone into detail and that will lead us too far astray,
20 I'm afraid. The question was whether you returned to Foca after seeing
21 the commander.
22 A. No, I stayed up there that night. When the security officer went
23 to investigate on the spot, I stayed in the command, at the command
24 headquarters, and I waited for him to return. He did indeed return 45
25 minutes later and said what he had seen. And we discussed the situation
1 at Rogoj itself, what had happened that day and several days before that.
2 And in fact, that very evening, I reported to the brigade commander.
3 I said what I had seen in Rogoj, I reported on the movement of
4 enemy forces in the area, and so on and so forth. And after that
5 conversation, which went on till about 3 a.m., I went to where the guards
6 were accommodated, the soldiers living in -- within the headquarters
7 compound. I went to their quarters and slept there throughout the night
8 until 7.30 when I got ready and went to have breakfast at the brigade
9 headquarters itself.
10 Q. Do I understand what you're saying correctly? That night on the
11 evening of the 2nd you spent at the brigade headquarters; is that right?
12 A. I don't know whether it was the police or this guard, but I spent
13 that night on the ground floor in a room where the military men guarding
14 the compound of the headquarters of that brigade were. There were four or
15 five rooms there, and there were seven to ten men there. I went into a
16 room where there was an unoccupied bed, and I slept there.
17 Q. On the 3rd of August in the morning, what did you do and where did
18 you go?
19 A. On the morning of the 3rd when I got up, I got ready, I went to
20 have breakfast. I went straight to the canteen, to the kitchen that was
21 on the ground floor. I had breakfast, and I sat at the table with
22 Drinjak. This young man was in the police. I talked to him, and after
23 having talked to the commander of the brigade -- I talked to him that
24 evening and I reported to him, he said to me that he would see on the next
25 day, during the next day, that is to say the 3rd of August, with the
1 entire brigade command. That they would make an estimate concerning enemy
2 movements, and that he would issue a task to me the next day which
3 direction I should go in, where I should go to reconnoiter, to see where
4 possibly the enemy attack would continue.
5 When I told Drinjak that I was free and that I could go home that
6 day, he offered me his car saying that I could go to my family house with
7 that car. He was on duty at headquarters anyway, so he didn't need the
8 car, so around 7.30 in the morning I set out in the direction of town, or
9 rather, in the direction of my family house.
10 En route, I went via the lower Cehotina River, the one that is in
11 the centre, and I intended to turn left and to pass by the cemetery toward
12 the family house, and I saw an Yugo car going towards me. The person in
13 the car recognised me. I knew that person from before. This person tried
14 to talk to me a few times before that, so I stopped the car and I started
15 talking to this person.
16 Q. Can you tell us who this person was?
17 A. That person was a girl, Gordana Draskovic. She was an accredited
18 journalist of SRNA, of TV SRNA, and also of the newspaper publishing house
19 SRNA. When she stopped me then -- when I stopped, she asked me whether I
20 could allocate some time for a talk with her. Since we had both stopped
21 and the traffic couldn't continue, we both parked our cars on the side and
22 we started talking.
23 I told her then that I did not want to give any kind of
24 interview. She wanted to ask -- well, that is the way she started this
25 conversation. She wanted to write about the previous fighting at Rogoj,
1 and how we managed to recapture this artillery and things like that, and I
2 said that I absolutely did not wish to give any kind of interview, and
3 that I did not want to have my name mentioned in any context in any
4 newspaper articles or in radio or TV programmes.
5 Q. Did she propose to you to have coffee somewhere?
6 A. Since I had refused to grant an official interview, she said,
7 "Well, we can sit and talk, and we can have a cup of coffee. You never
8 have time." Because before that, after Cerova Ravan, she also tried to
9 talk to me once, and I refused an interview then. And then she said,
10 "Well, we can just sit and talk and have a cup of coffee." She promised
11 then that she would not take an official interview, that this would be
12 just a regular friendly invitation to have a cup of coffee.
13 I accepted this invitation and we went to the Zelengora Hotel
14 which is nearby, about 30 or 40 metres away from that spot. We went there
15 to have coffee. At that time coffee could be had there in the morning
16 because breakfast was served for refugees, for refugees that were put up
17 at the hotel itself. We went to the hotel, and the conversation
19 Q. What did you talk about?
20 A. When we sat down, she was still trying to get the story about
21 Rogoj. I said to her that we had agreed that I absolutely did not want to
22 discuss any of this. If she wanted to have an interview with someone, she
23 could go either to the command or anywhere else, to see anyone else, and
24 she said at that moment -- she started mentioning me, she said, "Well, you
25 don't want to give interviews about yourself, but others speak so nicely
1 about you, and they know exactly what you're doing."
2 At first I did not understand what she was talking about. I
3 thought then that she had talked to some of the participants in the Rogoj
4 action, and that somebody else had mentioned my participation in Rogoj.
5 And then I said, "Well, you have the story; but although you have that
6 story, please don't mention my name anywhere because my wife and my
7 children are outside the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina." They were in
8 Montenegro and Tivat, and at that time there were quite a few refugees,
9 Serb and Muslim, on the Montenegran seacoast. I absolutely did not want
10 my name to be placed into any kind of context.
11 She said to me then, rather ironically, sarcastically, "Well,
12 these stories are not nice ones. They're very bad," and she said that
13 with contempt. Something like, "How can you do things like that to these
14 poor girls?" I absolutely had no idea what she was talking about. I could
15 not understand what was going on. I said, "Tell me specifically what are
16 you talking about? Who said what?"
17 Then she started asking me about whether I knew where Partizan
18 was, whether I knew who was in Partizan. Until then, I absolutely did not
19 have any knowledge. I knew where the building of Partizan was. It was
20 there from before; that's where the sports hall was. But I absolutely had
21 no knowledge of anyone having been in Partizan, and until then, I hadn't
22 been there before that, so I didn't know.
23 And then we continued the conversation, and she said, "Well, come
24 on. I was there. I talked to these persons, and they said that you came
25 up there, that you took them out, that you mistreated them, that you raped
1 them." I was truly astonished when I heard all of that, and I was hurt as
2 a man and as a person. I had no idea about this, I had nothing to do with
3 any of that.
4 From the very outset I thought that this was some kind of a sick
5 joke of hers, that it was some kind of provocation or whatever. Again I
6 said to her, "Who did you talk to?" "Well, you don't know who these
7 persons are." And she mentioned four names then. Before that, I had
8 never heard those names in all my life. Especially two names I knew that
9 I had never heard in my life because they're very rare names.
10 Q. I had to interrupt you here. I have to warn you that you should
11 not mention those specific names.
12 A. Yes, I understand. She mentioned the name of Witness FWS-87 and
13 the name of Witness DB. That was the first time in my life that I heard
14 those names. It was the first time that I heard that anyone had that kind
15 of a name. These were very rare names. I never, ever heard of those
16 names before. She also mentioned two other names. I knew that she
17 mentioned the name of Witness 75 for sure.
18 And at that moment I was shocked. How should I put this? I was
19 surprised. I could not understand whether she was pulling my leg or
20 whether she was actually telling the truth. I asked her again, and she
21 repeated the names to me once again, and when she repeated the names once
22 again and when she said that she talked -- she had talked to those persons
23 a few days before that.
24 And when they said that I had personally come to Partizan, and
25 that I had taken them out of Partizan, and that I had mistreated them and
1 raped them, among other things, then I wrote down those four names that
2 she mentioned because I had on me in the uniform a small writing pad. I
3 usually always had one when I went out to the terrain, and I had just come
4 back, so I would write things like that down in my writing pad, and then I
5 would transfer it to maps and perhaps --
6 Q. So let me interrupt you. How did your conversation with the
7 journalist end?
8 A. Well, the conversation might have lasted about half an hour at the
9 maximum. We had coffee, and when I said that I had nothing to do with all
10 of this whatsoever, she said that if I did not believe her, that I could
12 At that moment as we were parting, she said that she had taken
13 that story, that interview with them, and that she would be pleased if I
14 gave her a story in connection with all of that. I said that I had
15 nothing to do with it whatsoever. Then we parted. She said that she was
16 going towards the post office, that she was supposed to submit her daily
17 report to the company that she represented, and she mentioned that these
18 persons who spoke to her mentioned Montenegrans, mentioned Zaga, Zaga's
19 unit, Zaga's men, and that they had said that Zaga personally had come up
20 there, taken them out, and that Zaga and his men had raped them.
21 In Foca I did not know, nor do I know until the present day, any
22 other person bearing the nickname of Zaga. The very mention of men, of
23 Montenegrans and Zaga's men and the mention of certain places, because
24 they said that they were taken to Aladza, to the neighbourhood of Aladza,
25 at that moment -- at that moment the only thing I decided was to see what
1 all of this was about, to see how much truth was in this story, and I
2 wanted to check her story out, whether she was lying to me or whether
3 there was a grain of truth there.
4 Q. What did you do then?
5 A. Then, I told you, I was hurt as a man and as a person. I had been
6 attacked. Some persons had lied about me concerning something that I did
7 not have the time to do, or that I did not do at all. The only thing that
8 occurred to me that I could do then was to go to Aladza to see these men
9 who could have possibly said that they were my men and to see whether any
10 one of them had anything to do with it.
11 I went to Aladza, to the neighbourhood of Aladza, and in this
12 house that is mentioned here in the indictment, the house in Aladza 16 --
13 Q. We'll come to that. Please, you're going on and on. We'll deal
14 with question by question.
15 A. Oh, all right. Well, I went to the neighbourhood of Aladza trying
16 to follow up on the journalist' story to see whether there was any truth
17 in it at all.
18 Q. Why did you go precisely to that house?
19 A. Well, Aladza was mentioned; Montenegrans were mentioned in that
20 story; Zaga was mentioned and Zaga's men were mentioned. In this house in
21 Aladza 16 there were four men who were staying there during their free
22 time. One of them was very often with me in the field, one of these four
23 men, another one from time to time, a third one very rarely, and the
24 fourth one was never in the field with me.
25 Next door to that house there was also an apartment where four men
1 lived who were from Montenegro, and during those two months of my stay in
2 Foca, once or twice they were in the field with me.
3 I went there to check with these men whether perhaps any one of
4 them had ever been there and whether any one of them had anything to do
5 with what these persons had told the journalist.
6 Q. Can you tell us who put those people up in that house?
7 A. Well, the first time I went to that house, I learned -- and that a
8 group of people was living there was on the 22nd of June, a day after
9 Goran Miljacic was wounded.
10 Q. Did you say June or July?
11 A. I meant July, after Cerova Ravan was taken over. The 22nd of
12 July, when I went to the hospital to visit Goran Miljacic who had been
13 wounded, he told me then that in his spare time, since he was assigned to
14 the 5th Battalion, if he had free time, he lived in the flat next to that
15 house, in a building near that house. There was a Supermarket downstairs
16 there. He asked me to go there and get some of his personal belongings
17 from that flat and take them to my own home, to leave them with my
18 parents, because he knew that very often the flat was empty, and he was
19 afraid that his things might be lost or stolen.
20 When I went there, one of the men there, Gaga, Dragutin Vukovic,
21 had told me that they had been in the field on that day. He had been in
22 the field with me from the 6th to the 21st at Cerova Ravan, and they were
23 there on leave then. He told me that he was in house number 16 next to
24 that building in Osmana Djikica street and that Kontic was with him in
25 that house -- he had been with us in the field as well from the 7th to the
1 21st -- and that two other men from Niksic whom he knew were accommodated
3 He also told me that those men had entered that house -- it was
4 empty; it had been abandoned -- when some refugees came to the school. Up
5 till then, people who were not from Foca and did not have relatives or
6 close friends there with whom they could stay, they had been able to go to
7 the school and spend the night in the school if they had to wait for
8 transport to take them to the front line or if they had a day or two of
9 rest. When the refugees arrived, then those men looked for empty houses
10 which they could use, and they so used the house in Osmana Djikica
11 number 16.
12 Q. Could you describe that house to us? What did it look like?
13 A. That house, when you go to the health centre in the direction of
14 the Velecevo-Dragocava on the Foca-Godjelno road, was behind the building
15 next to the park, next to the first street leading to the right in the
16 direction of the Aladza mosque. It was a rather old house, maybe even
17 before the previous war, and it had a fence, a wall around it and a yard
18 in front. There was a cellar and a floor which was at the height of the
19 Foca-Godjelno road, and the entrance to the yard was from the street
20 leading to the Aladza mosque, and it was the first house on that road
21 reading to the Aladza mosque. From the Aladaza mosque -- viewed from the
22 Aladza mosque, it was on the right-hand side.
23 Q. When you came to that house on that day after talking to the
24 journalist, did you go into the house?
25 A. First I went to in front of the building where Miljacic, who was
1 in the hospital, had been, and I tooted my horn. The men got out of the
2 house, and I -- there were three of them. They were quite young. I
3 talked to them, and I asked them whether they knew where Partizan was and
4 whether they knew anything about it. They said that they didn't. Then I
5 asked about the neighbouring house and if they knew about it. They said
6 they didn't know anything.
7 I arrived there at about 8.00, and they said that Gaga, Dragutin
8 Vukovic, had been to see them and that he had told them that he intended
9 to move into the house with them if there was room, because Goran had
10 already been wounded, because on the occasion of the explosion the night
11 before, all the glass in that house had shattered, all the window panes,
12 and a lot of plaster had fallen off the ceiling and the roof was damaged.
13 So I went with them to the yard of that house and there I found
14 five or six men. There were the four who were living there and two others
15 whom I had never seen before nor did I know them. I wanted to go in but
16 then one of them, and that was the one who came with Kontic, whom I had
17 met in Niksic, whose name I didn't say, and he was also living in that
18 house, he was cleaning the fragments of glass and plaster away.
19 I asked them all to come into the yard so we could talk. So now
20 there were 10 or 11 of us outside in the yard. I asked them whether they
21 knew where Partizan was, whether any of them had introduced themself as
22 Zaga or something like that. They all said they knew nothing about it,
23 that they had no idea what it was all about.
24 Then I said quite arrogantly that I would check, and that if any
25 of them did anything to connect me in any way, to involve me in what had
1 been done, I was prepared to shoot him. That was the way I talked to
2 them, because they denied that they had anything to do with it. I went
3 back to the yard and Gaga Vukovic went with me. From the day I had met
4 him, and the first time I met him was after my return from Tjentiste when
5 two men were wounded, and that was on the 19th or the 26th, and I was
6 introduced to him by Kontic, and that was when I met three other men who
7 were volunteers from Montenegro and who were assigned to the 5th Battalion
8 as volunteers, and from that day onwards, almost the entire time while I
9 was in the field, Gaga Vukovic was with me.
10 He went out with me. He saw that I was furious, and he asked me
11 what the matter was. So we got into the car, and I told him everything
12 that the journalist had told me. I asked him, because he knew the other
13 men who were from Niksic better than I did, I didn't know Gaga Vukovic
14 before meeting him in Foca, and I knew Kontic, and the other one I met in
15 Niksic by sight, we had spent some time in the reserves together, so I
16 knew them but not well enough to be able to know what they were capable of
18 Q. I will interrupt you now. After that conversation, where did you
19 go with Gaga?
20 A. When I talked to him, I believed him. I trusted that man. I was
21 with him throughout the military operations I was in after that. The day
22 before at Rogoj, he saved my life. I'm certain of it. He was seven or
23 eight years older than me, maybe ten years older. I asked him whether it
24 could be any of those men, and I asked for his opinion. I asked for his
25 advice what I should do. Then he said, "Let's go up there to see who
1 those bastards are," that's the words he used, and he meant the men who
2 were doing that and who were somehow trying to involve me. And I accepted
3 his advice. So we went to Partizan.
4 Q. Could you tell us what time it was when you arrived in Partizan?
5 A. My entire conversation with them and afterwards with Gaga, well,
6 after that it could have been about 8.30 in the morning or a quarter to
7 nine in the morning. It certainly wasn't later because breakfast in the
8 command was from 7.00 to 7.30, and I was among the first men at
9 breakfast. I talked to the journalist not more than half an hour, so it
10 could have been half past eight when I arrived in Partizan.
11 I parked my car where the widening is near the building. I went
12 into the yard of Partizan. There were women and children there. A group
13 of women were washing, doing their laundry.
14 Q. Let me interrupt you. Did you manage to find the women because of
15 whom you had gone there?
16 A. Yes. I went straight into the Partizan hall. The door was open;
17 it wasn't locked. In front of the entrance at the gate of the yard, I did
18 not see anyone who could be a guard, who would be guarding the gate.
19 There were women and children there whom I did not know and who I hadn't
20 seen before.
21 I went into the hall. Inside the hall there were about
22 50 people. I don't know. They were lying or sitting along the wall and
23 from the door to the wall. So I took a few steps into the hall. I was
24 wearing a uniform at the time. I was wearing camouflage trousers and a
25 camouflage shirt. I was not carrying weapons in my hands. I did say I
1 wanted to talk to the persons who had talked to the journalist a few days
3 I looked around, but none of the women present got up or moved or
4 gave any sign of getting up. Then I said, and everybody who was there
5 could hear me, that I wanted to talk to those who had told the journalist
6 that Zaga had taken them out and raped them. Again, no one got up. I had
7 a notepad in my trouser pocket. I took it out and I called out those four
8 names. I called out the names of Witness DB, 87, 75, and the fourth
9 name -- I really don't know who this fourth person was, but it was a
10 female person younger than DB and 87, Witness 87.
11 Q. Tell me, was that the first time you came to Partizan?
12 A. On that morning at half past eight, it was the first time I had
13 entered the yard and the hall of Partizan. Up to my conversation with the
14 journalist, I had no idea that there were persons accommodated in
15 Partizan. That was the first time I entered the hall, and I have just
16 described how I went in, what I said, how I called out those names.
17 When they got up, I was the first to go out. They followed me
18 out. We went out and went to the corner next to the monument which is
19 inside the yard, in the corner of the yard of Partizan. They followed
20 me. Vukovic was with me all the time, Gaga, Dragutin Vukovic. I don't
21 remember that he said anything while we were in Partizan.
22 Q. Can you tell me, when the girls followed you, you said you went
23 into the Partizan yard. What did you talk about?
24 A. Well, I said -- I went in front of them, and when I reached the
25 monument, I wanted to talk to them alone without other witnesses around.
1 As I said, there were at least ten women in the yard at the time and at
2 least ten children running around playing in the yard. The women were
3 either sitting on the grass in the yard, and some of them were doing their
4 laundry across from the entrance, next to the fence.
5 When I came to the monument, I saw Vida Pavlovic, a woman I knew
6 from before, from my childhood. While she was married, she lived in the
7 neighbourhood where my parents lived. She knew me from when I was a
8 child, when I went to primary school. I said good morning to her. The
9 girls were already approaching, and she said to me, "How are you, Zaga?
10 How's your mother? Give my regards to your mother." She was just hanging
11 up her laundry next to her flat. She lived in a small flat in a building
12 next to the Partizan building.
13 When those four girls approached, I asked them whether we knew
14 each other, whether they knew me. They said they didn't know me; they
15 couldn't know me. They said they had seen me -- they were seeing me for
16 the first time.
17 Then I asked if they knew who the Zaga was who had taken them out;
18 had they been taken out? When Vida addressed me as Zaga, because
19 everybody in Foca called me Zaga ever since I was a boy, and I noticed
20 when Vida mentioned my nickname Zaga, they hung their heads and they
21 blushed. Then I said that I went by the nickname of Zaga.
22 I asked them if they had talked to the journalist. At first they
23 claimed that they had never talked to any journalist or mentioned anyone's
24 name and that they had no idea what I was talking about. I said again
25 that I had talked to the journalist, that the journalist had told me that
1 they had talked to her, that they had told her that Zaga had come to
2 Partizan, had taken them out, he and his men, Montenegrins, and that they
3 had been raped. So I said to them, "Which one of you did I rape?" The
4 two younger girls, Witness 87 and the other one, said absolutely nothing.
5 They just stared ahead of them. When I said, "Which of you talked to the
6 journalist?" they both looked at Witness 75. They said, "We didn't talk
7 to the journalist about anything."
8 Then I asked again. I asked DB and 75 whether they had talked to
9 the journalist and whether they had mentioned Zaga in any context, and
10 they said they hadn't. Then Gaga, Dragutin Vukovic, asked them, "Did you
11 mention Montenegrins?" Gaga had a very strong Montenegrin accent, which
12 is recognisable, which is different from the local vernacular, and they
13 recognised his Montenegrin accent, and they said, "No. We didn't mention
14 any Montenegrins."
15 Q. Can you tell us what you did next after these conversations?
16 A. When the younger girls kept silent and said nothing, DB and
17 number 75 acknowledged that they had, in fact, spoken to the journalist,
18 but they denied that they had mentioned me and the nickname Zaga or
19 "Montenegrin." I told the two younger ones that they could go off, so
20 they went back to the Partizan hall. DB and 75 stayed on with us there,
21 and I asked them whether somebody had actually taken them out, whether
22 that was true or not, and would they be able to recognise the house they
23 were taken to.
24 When I asked them that, number 75 did say that they had been taken
25 to Aladza. I asked her who the people were who had taken her there, and
1 she said, "I don't know them." I asked them both if they would be able to
2 recognise those men, and they said yes, they would.
3 At that particular moment, it was my intention to learn the truth,
4 to see who these people were who had mistreated them or linked me up in
5 any way with those events, and I suggested that I take them to show me
6 where the house was and perhaps to show me if they recognised the people
7 who had taken them there.
8 Q. Tell us, please, you spoke to four individuals. Why did you
9 decide to take those particular girls DB and 75 with you?
10 A. Well, DB and 75 during that conversation, which lasted for perhaps
11 20 minutes, not longer than half an hour, they acknowledged that they had
12 spoken to the journalist several days beforehand. Number 75 did say that
13 she told the lady journalist that they had done lots of things to her when
14 they had taken her out, but that they hadn't beaten her. DB also said
15 that she had talked to the lady journalist, but that she had complained of
16 the general conditions of accommodation. The two younger ones had said
17 that they hadn't talked to the journalist about anything, but that they
18 had just been present during the conversation.
19 And so that was the only reason I decided to take those two
20 particular girls, to tell them to go back to -- that is, to tell them to
21 go back to the Partizan hall, and take the other two because they had said
22 that they had indeed been taken out by some men.
23 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you asked me to
24 bear in mind the time, so is this a good moment to adjourn, perhaps? It
25 is five to four. You said five minutes earlier.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, thank you for keeping to time. You will
2 continue your examination-in-chief tomorrow.
3 We'd like to deal with a motion by the Defence. Actually, it's a
4 Defence submission under Rule 94 ter in which they are seeking to
5 introduce the testimony of Mrs. Jovanka Kunarac through the accused during
6 his testimony sometime later.
7 So we wanted to find out from the Prosecution, because this is a
8 submission under Rule 94 ter, I'm wondering whether they have sight of
9 this submission, the Prosecution? It was filed on -- it's dated the 4th
10 of July.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are aware of this submission, and we
12 object in handling it as a Rule 94 ter because we want to cross-examine
13 this witness.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber is of the view that this statement
16 you have submitted under Rule 94 ter is, in fact, evidence by Mrs. Jovanka
17 Kunarac, and our ruling is that if you intend to submit this, she should
18 come for cross-examination.
19 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your permission, Your
20 Honour, it was the intention of the Defence that the witness should not
21 come, but if you decide that she should, then she will.
22 In her statement, she just corroborates some of the facts stated
23 by Witness 92 who came here to testify, and she just clarified this. We
24 wanted to save time in that way because this is evidence that we received
25 from the Prosecution, and we did not expect any objections in that
1 direction, so it was our idea to save the Court's time. But that is the
2 least -- that is not a problem. She can come here to testify.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: You would like to -- but the ruling of the Trial
4 Chamber stands. If you wish to submit this, then she has to come for
5 cross-examination. It's up to you to decide with the instructions from
6 your client.
7 So we will adjourn -- I'm sorry, Mr. Ryneveld, I didn't notice
9 MR. RYNEVELD: No. Just, Your Honour, I'm just taking this
10 moment, if I may, as a courtesy to the Court, I have a request to make of
11 the Trial Chamber.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: I'd like to inform the Trial Chamber that I've been
14 recently assigned to two additional matters, one of which is before a
15 different Trial Chamber, which has an urgent deadline of the 28th of July
16 to do some substantial matters.
17 I will continue as senior trial attorney with respect to this
18 matter; however, I'm asking this Court's permission to absent myself from
19 time to time as the need arises, and that the Court won't take umbrage at
20 the fact that I may not be at counsel table when matters proceed. I think
21 as a courtesy to the Court, I ought to ask your permission.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: It's all right, Mr. Ryneveld, you may absent
23 yourself in view of your other assignments, but we know that your
24 colleagues will be always present.
25 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: We will rise today and continue tomorrow at 0930
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.59 p.m., to
4 be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day of July,
5 2000, at 9.30 a.m.