1 Tuesday, 6 November 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-09-92-T, The Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom, once the
12 curtains are down.
13 Mr. Groome, you're on your feet.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I can take this opportunity to deal
15 with a brief matter.
16 Yesterday the Mladic Defence filed a motion seeking to enlarge
17 the time to respond to a Prosecution motion filed on the 25th of October.
18 If the Chamber will accept my -- the oral position of the Prosecution:
19 As indicated earlier, the Prosecution would not oppose any reasonable
20 request for additional time to respond and would defer to the Chamber
21 with respect to the precise amount of time it thinks is justified given
22 the size of the Prosecution application.
23 Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber decides that the request for the Defence
3 for further time is granted.
4 Good morning, Witness RM802.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morning.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness -- could the curtains be drawn up again.
9 Witness 802, I would like to remind that you're still bound by
10 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony,
11 that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
13 We'll wait until the curtains are up again. Protective measures
14 are in place, as they were yesterday, and you'll be cross-examined by
15 Mr. Stojanovic. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic and you'll find
16 him over there.
17 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
18 WITNESS: RM802 [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Good morning, sir. I shall go through a few areas that I believe
23 we should deal with together.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] As for the first one,
25 Your Honours, could we please move into private session for the first few
2 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 4590-4595 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave,
25 I'm going to go through the document. I would like to look at P439.
1 This is the statement by the witness and it's under seal. Can we please
2 look at paragraph 4 of the statement.
3 Q. Sir, you're going to look at the text that I would like us to
4 comment on together. Let's look at paragraph 4. In paragraph 4 you say
5 and you can see that in front of you now:
6 "I think I was not wrong not to leave the former Yugoslavia with
7 my family in May of 1992. The fact that I joined my own people and
8 fought on their side, I do not feel was wrong."
9 Let me ask you this: Did anyone ever condemn you for deciding to
10 stay in the country and join your people, as you put it?
11 A. No, nobody condemned me because of that.
12 Q. At any point in time, did you have an alternative where the
13 choice would be to stay in the country, to join one's own people, to
14 fight on their side, or something else?
15 A. I did have an alternative. On the 15th of May, I could have gone
16 to Belgrade to join -- or to be with the FRY army, the army of the
17 then-Yugoslavia. There was a possibility where we would be permitted to
18 state in writing whether we wanted to go to the FRY army or to remain in
19 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or, rather, Republika Srpska of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was the name in the beginning.
21 Q. Thank you. And describing your own status during the war, you go
22 on to say:
23 "But since I was in a command position, perhaps I could have been
24 stricter against those soldiers for whom I found out that they had
25 committed illegal acts. I could have been stricter, even taken
1 discipline to the level of execution, but I did not."
2 So what was your idea in stating this to the OTP? Do you feel
3 responsible because you did not take certain measures?
4 A. Sincerely, I feel some sort of responsibility. I personally do
5 so. There was some negative acts committed by members of my army and
6 members of other paramilitary units, which should have been checked.
7 Measures should have been taken in relation to those acts. I'm talking
8 about 1992, mid-1992 and the end of 1992. Had we been stricter then and
9 punished individuals who committed something that was inappropriate for a
10 member of the army, I think that we could have avoided all the things
11 that happened subsequently. Twenty years on, this is still being
12 discussed. Individuals are being looked for. People who died who still
13 haven't been found. And all three sides are looking for these people.
14 Q. When you say measures should have been taken, as you indicate
15 here, who are you thinking of in the system of command and control?
16 A. There's nothing unclear there. Now, I'm also going back to that
17 period. The police organs, the command organs, starting from the
18 company, battalion, brigade, corps, Main Staff. They should have been
19 taking measures. All of them should have taken measures against
20 individuals. I emphasise "against individuals." Against groups to a
21 lesser extent. When I say "groups," I mean pairs or groups of three
22 people or four people who also committed some acts of mistreatment or
23 abuse. This is something that we should have stopped right at the
24 beginning and this is why I said what I said to the investigators in
25 paragraph 4.
1 I remember how powerless I was to undertake such measures. I
2 told the investigators, a soldier stood up, he left his tent in my
3 presence, and because he had nothing to do, he said, Well, I'm off to
4 burn some Muslim houses now. I prevented that soldier then. But after
5 three or four hours, again he disappeared and went to do what he intended
6 to do. Then I was not in a position to punish him in -- with any kind of
7 measure. I did not have any options to punish him.
8 Q. And the principle of disciplinary or criminal responsibility is
9 something that we're going to come back to and I will put more questions
10 about that to you. But now let's look at paragraph 13 of your statement.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] This is 5439 -- 439 -- P439 for
12 the transcript.
13 Q. In the second part of paragraph 13, you say:
14 "When General Milutin Kukanjac arrived in January of 1992, he
15 made many statements to all of us, Muslims, Serbs, Croats, that it was
16 everybody's duty to prevent war in Yugoslavia."
17 I'm asking you how did you understand that? Was that a sincere
18 commitment on the part of the JNA in January 1992?
19 A. Yes, it was a sincere desire at that time. I personally, all
20 those around me, and the associates of General Kukanjac then in
21 January were convinced that there would be no conflict, even though at
22 the time all the sides were making minor preparations. They were forming
23 their small party units. Of course, all of this was done in secret, not
24 publicly, but such things were known. And so to go back in my answer, in
25 January 1992, the JNA was not in favour of war but was trying to prevent
1 it from breaking out.
2 Q. And then you went on to say, and this is my question about why
3 you are saying this, you said in paragraph 14 that:
4 "It would have been very stupid of us not to do anything as I
5 think that all sides were doing the same thing. I do not regret my own
6 responsibility for being engaged in this."
7 Can you please explain that?
8 A. Yes, I will. I will. Of course, this paragraph is taken out of
9 a number of statements so it did not directly follow the previous part
10 that we discussed. Of course, this topic was discussed. I don't know
11 when. Perhaps it was in 2002 or 2003. We did discuss this matter and I
12 did say that, and I can explain why. We're talking about February,
13 March, April, 1992 when the JNA just existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 and it comprised only members of the Serb ethnic group. It was already
15 known that it would withdraw to Serbia.
16 Q. If I may just interrupt you for a minute with a question. Why
17 were only Serb soldiers in the JNA at that time?
18 A. Well, I talked about that before. Because the media of the other
19 two sides appealed to their compatriots to leave the JNA following the
20 events in Croatia which preceded the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
21 because these other two ethnic groups, Bosniaks and Croats, left the JNA
22 units en masse, especially those units who arrived to Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 from Croatia and Slovenia. All the equipment didn't have any crews
24 anymore to service them. Of course, those crews were then comprised of
25 reserve members of the Serb ethnic group. So the JNA gradually became --
1 comprised members of a single ethnic group, and then finally they had to
2 pull out and go to Serbia, with the exception of units and members of the
3 Serb ethnic groups who remained in the territory of Republika Srpska who
4 then went on to form the Army of Republika Srpska.
5 Q. Please take a look at paragraph 19.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the transcript
7 we're still dealing with the witness's statement, P439.
8 Q. This is the first time that you mention General Ratko Mladic in
9 your statement. So this is what I'm asking you now: Would you agree
10 with me that, as regards the context of your statement, you mention the
11 name of General Ratko Mladic when compiling an amalgamated statement on
12 the 24th of April, 2012, and that before that you did not mention the
14 A. Probably, yes. But -- well, probably, yes.
15 Q. Please let us deal with this through questions.
16 A. No, allow me to answer. The General's name was not mentioned in
17 relation to his current status. It is Ratko Mladic as an institution of
18 the General Staff. My understanding was that at the time they were the
19 ones who were charting the strategy of defence and the development of
20 Republika Srpska, the building of Republika Srpska.
21 Q. In that part of your statement you say, inter alia, the Croats
22 had already created a state of their own and the Muslims were trying to
23 create their own entity or their own state.
24 And then in the first part of your statement you say that
25 General Talic, along with other officers, including General Ratko Mladic,
1 was in the process of creating a Serb state, creating the
2 Republika Srpska. Do you see anything negative in any of that?
3 A. I do not see anything negative in that. That is, indeed, what
4 they did. That's the truth. They were the people who held those
5 positions. And it wasn't only them. All of us. We were all involved in
6 the strategic objective.
7 Q. My question would be in relation to the positions and functions
8 of the military personnel you mentioned here - and the strategic
9 objective too - how can an officer, a professional soldier, take part in
10 the establishment of a state? What would be the tasks of such an
11 officer? How do you view them?
12 A. Only to carry out the tasks laid before them by their superiors.
13 Q. Do you see anything bad in General Mladic who was born in that
14 area taking part in the establishment of a Serb state there?
15 A. Well, please, why would I see anything bad in that when I said
16 for myself in the paragraph that we dealt with a moment ago that I said
17 publicly before the Office of the Prosecutor and before the investigators
18 that I did not regret that. I could have left and I did not. So, of
19 course, Ratko Mladic, who was born in that area, he joined in. It so
20 happened, per chance, that he was the number one man in the army, but he
21 is from that area, he is part of the people there, and why would he not
22 do this for his own people?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, when you asked two minutes ago
24 whether the witness saw anything negative in any of that, the witness
25 said I do not see anything negative in that. So why ask him then again
1 about whether there was anything bad in it. And apart from that, this
2 witness has come to testify about facts, not about whether he considered
3 it right or wrong. He may have his opinions about it, but let's focus on
4 facts primarily.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I shall
7 be dealing with facts and how. But please do allow me, since most of
8 this statement has to do with the context involved, may I just put a few
9 more questions and I'll end on that note. And I do understand your
10 guidance, of course.
11 Q. Sir, would you please focus on paragraph 22 of your statement and
12 it is going to be relevant to what happened in fact afterwards. In this
13 statement, you speak about the functioning of the military judiciary. So
14 this is what I'm asking you now. If members of the other warring
15 parties' armed formations were taken prisoner, whose duty is it to take
16 care of their safety and security in accordance with the then-rules and
17 brigade rules of the Army of Republika Srpska?
18 A. Believe me, I do not find this question very clear at all in the
19 context of this paragraph.
20 Q. I'll deal with it step by step. And I'll try to bring this to
21 the level of a concrete situation. If we're talking about a battalion
22 within a particular brigade of the 1st Krajina Corps, members of the
23 other armed formation were taken prisoner. According to the rules, who
24 is duty-bound to take care of these prisoners from a security and
25 logistical point of view?
1 A. It is the duty of those who took them prisoner. Up until the
2 moment when they hand them over to the police and the superior command.
3 So if a soldier took an enemy soldier prisoner, then he detains him. The
4 military police of the brigade arrives, takes him away, and takes him
5 further onto the military police of the corps. And then it is the corps
6 that decided on the future of such a prisoner, whether they would be sent
7 to a camp or whatever. At brigade level, we were not concerned with such
9 Q. You will agree that in any case this care, specifically speaking,
10 does not involve the resources of the Main Staff of the Army of
11 Republika Srpska. Am I right in saying that?
12 A. I'm not aware of any such thing. I just know that in our
13 situation everything ended at corps level. Now what the duties of the
14 corps were in terms of reporting to the Main Staff and seeking
15 instructions from the Main Staff, I was not in a position to know that
16 nor did I really give this much thought in any way.
17 Q. In this entire system, in this entire chain, commits a classical
18 war crime -- when taking care of prisoners, if a prisoner is killed in
19 such a way, who is it that is to file a criminal report in the military
20 judiciary according to the system that was in force in 1992?
21 A. In 1992, there was no system. That's the problem. There weren't
22 any legal instructions. In 1992, there was really nothing that had been
23 prescribed about levels of responsibility and -- and about measures to be
24 taken in relation to prisoners of war. I never received any such
1 However, as I said yesterday, we knew how prisoners should be
2 treated, and I did my best to have things done that way. As for our
3 soldiers who committed crimes, we sent reports to the security department
4 of the corps about the crimes that had been committed, about a person who
5 had committed something like that, and then such a person would be taken
6 in by the police of the corps command. I'm talking about 1992. Later
7 on, things got better. But in 1990, 1992, this was not regulated well.
8 Q. I shall briefly go through the time and places where you were at
18 [Private session]
11 Page 4506 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. At this meeting that you attended, were you made aware of the
20 military situation in the area of the village of Vecici in the
21 municipality of Kotor Varos?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- Mr. Witness --
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is clear. It's clear to you as well,
3 Let's turn into private session for a second.
4 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please go ahead, sir.
19 A. Yes. It is clear why this interruption took place. I will try
20 to respond to so that it is clear.
21 Everybody in that area knew the problem of Vecici in June, July,
22 and August. So at this meeting when I contacted my immediate superior,
23 there was no mention of that. As a matter of fact, there was no mention
24 of the duty that I would hold in the future. Because I asked to leave my
25 current position for a variety of reasons, circumstances. I commanded a
1 unit where I knew people in terms of family ties, friendly ties,
2 neighbourly ties, all other ties, and that would not be a good thing in
3 terms of my fairness towards the people who did not know me. That is why
4 I suggested to my commander that I be given a different duty then and
5 that the people from the municipality where I was should be commanded by
6 someone else from another area. The commander accepted that and said
7 that he would resolve the matter within two or three days. So that was
8 the essence of what was discussed at that meeting.
9 I went to my command post that I had come from, and then orders
10 arrived, in writing, about the further treatment and also in terms of our
11 attitude towards the orders received.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this would
14 be the right moment to take the break.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It is. Could, first, the witness, once the curtains
16 are down, be escorted out of the courtroom.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, before we take a break, the Chamber
20 observes that approximately 80 per cent of the evidence you're eliciting
21 from the witness is either irrelevant or your questions are not focussed.
22 It's really not of great assistance to the Chamber, and, of course, the
23 Chamber wishes to be assisted by a meaningful cross-examination of a
24 witness. It's important for us.
25 Would you please keep that in the back of your mind. And I
1 suggest that if the witness moves away from what you asked him, that you
2 take the lead and take him back to what may be relevant.
3 We take a break, and we'll resume at five minutes to 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom
7 after the curtains are taken down.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, if you're ready, you may proceed.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, if you remember, we were dealing with what you know about
12 the situation in and around the village of Vecici. Can you please tell
13 us what your information is about exactly, what was happening regarding
15 A. In my statement, I talked about the gist of that, and I can
16 repeat it briefly in more detail, in the briefest possible way.
17 Actually, in 1992 the village of Vecici was a small enclave. It
18 was a Bosniak village where armed fighters were concentrated from all the
19 nearby villages. They put up a defence of the village. They organised
20 it. There were a number of attempts to disarm them peacefully and with
21 weapons, but this was not successful. I'm talking about June, July, and
23 Q. Was there any fighting around the village of Vecici in that
25 A. Yes, there was. During those three months there were attempts to
1 attack by [indiscernible] army after failed negotiations to try to get
2 them to hand over their weapons. There were a number of extreme fighters
3 who were hiding there, who set up ambushes on roads and wounded and
4 killed passers-by, both in uniform and civilians, and they would seek
5 shelter there. And because of those incidents there were a number of
6 attempts to disarm the village, but they failed. I knew this. While I
7 was there in the neighbourhood, let's put it that way, I was in contact
8 with the commander of the units that went there to resolve this problem.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 4612-4631 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
15 Witness 802, could I invite you to give short answers, focussed
16 very much on the question that is put to you.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Sir, you remember that when we stopped we were dealing with
20 questions related to what you knew about what happened to this group of
21 soldiers from the Knezevo Brigade. After these contacts, you returned to
22 your forward command post; is that correct?
23 A. Correct, yes.
24 Q. And at one point in time, you received information that there was
25 yet another group of prisoners and that a grave crime was committed
1 there; is that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Could you please say, to the best of your recollection, what day
4 was that when you received this information about this crime that had
5 been committed?
6 A. I think that yesterday we dealt with that. I think it was the
7 3rd of November, 1992. It is not impossible that it was the 4th of
8 November either. It's got to be one of those two days though.
9 Q. Thank you. Without mentioning any names at this moment, you
10 received information from an officer to the effect that this tragic thing
11 had that happened; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was that in writing or orally or through some communications
15 A. It went through communications equipment.
16 Q. The site where this tragic thing happened, how far is it away
17 physically from the location where you were at the time?
18 A. Well, if you were to take the road -- I mean, it's shorter as the
19 crow flies, but if you were to take the road, it's about 40 kilometres.
20 Even more. Even more than that. 50 kilometres.
21 Q. How far away would that be from the place where the command of
22 the 1st Krajina Corps was?
23 A. About 60 to 70 kilometres.
24 Q. What were you told specifically? What was it that happened
25 around the school in the village of Grabovica?
1 A. In the briefest possible terms, I was told that a group -- a
2 bigger group of armed Muslims from the village of Vecici had surrendered
3 and that they were now in the village of Grabovica by the school.
4 Q. If I understand you correctly, first, you received information
5 about them being taken prisoner and then only you received the
6 information about the tragic thing that happened, or did you receive both
7 pieces of information simultaneously?
8 A. As soon as contact was established with them, they, of course,
9 handed over their weapons and they surrendered to our soldiers who were
10 there. And in the report that I received via radio, I received the
11 information that I stated a moment ago; that is to say, a bigger group
12 had surrendered their weapons, and we're there now.
13 Q. After receiving this first information about the surrender of
14 this bigger group of prisoners, how much time elapsed until you received
15 the second piece of information about this tragic thing that had happened
16 to these people?
17 A. I cannot remember exactly in terms of minutes, but after two or
18 three hours. Two to three hours. That's when I received information
19 again, that they had suffered that fate.
20 Q. During that first conversation with the officer who informed you
21 that this bigger group of members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
22 been taken prisoner, did you say anything in relation to the status of
23 these prisoners to that officer of yours?
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 4636-4637 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you tell us when it was that you informed the command of
7 the 1st Krajina Corps about this tragic event?
8 A. First of all, the regular combat report was sent for that day
9 without any reference to that event. The combat report had already been
10 sent when I learned of this.
11 Immediately in the morning I made a phone call from the command
12 post and I spoke to the corps commander. He said that I should go down
13 there and that he had already received a report about all of that from
14 the corps officers who were in Kotor Varos and this colonel who was the
15 commander up there in Kotor Varos.
16 Q. Did you provide any other information in writing to the corps
17 command about this?
18 A. Possibly. I don't remember exactly, but it's possible that I
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
21 ask that we look at document P441 now. With your leave, 65 ter 02608.
22 02608. If I'm not mistaken, as far as the number is concerned. I think
23 that that would be the right number. 441.
24 Q. Sir, we are looking at the regular combat report of the command
25 of the 1st Krajina Corps dated the 4th of November, 1992. And I would
1 like to ask you to focus on paragraph 2 of this document.
2 This is what it says in this report:
3 "In the area of Kotor Varos, because of the refusal to negotiate
4 on moving out of the Vecici village area, there was a clash between
5 members of the Muslim forces and our units ... about 40 members of the
6 Green Berets were killed and about 200 were captured. A brutal massacre
7 of the captured members of the Green Berets started because of the
8 wounding of four and killing of one soldier from the Kotor Varos Light
9 Infantry Brigade and also because of the burning of wounded soldiers on
10 Gola Planina (Jajce)."
11 This is what I'm asking you now: Can this report correspond to
12 what you reported to the corps commander orally?
13 A. I don't think so.
14 Q. Would you say that I were right if I were to say that practically
15 the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska did not receive proper and
16 accurate information in this way about what happened in Grabovica?
17 A. I think that it's the duty operations officer who compiles this
18 report. You can see the signature on the second page. And he writes up
19 paragraph 2 and all other paragraphs out of a multitude of reports that
20 are received from different units. Now, what he deems important and how
21 he writes up the report is something that I cannot go into now.
22 Q. Please focus on the last sentence in paragraph 2 where it says --
23 I mean, you don't have to speak more extensively about the position:
24 "Measures were taken to prevent further massacres through the
25 22nd lpbr."
1 Now the question would be whether you know anything about these
2 measures taken to prevent further massacres?
3 A. I did not receive any orders about that. I think that this
4 sentence was written just formally. I think. I don't know. If there's
5 a document in relation to this that something was sent to me about this,
6 I will stand by that. But I do not remember having received anything
7 about that, in writing or orally, that I should take anything in relation
8 to this. Any kind of measures in relation to this, that is.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Would you say that I was right if I were to say that the text
12 that was written here in the regular report by the duty operations
13 officer and sent to the Main Staff does not reflect everything that
14 actually happened?
15 A. I don't think that it reflects the actual situation.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at a document,
18 65 ter 02957. I think that now this is P442. This is the correct page.
19 Can we now please look at this combat report a day later, on the 5th of
20 November, 1992, and it's sent to the Main Staff.
21 Q. Do you see this?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. In item 4 of the report being sent to the Main Staff one day
24 later, states:
25 The situation in the Kotor Varos municipality is still very
1 complex ... Muslim extremists, after they refused to return the weapons
2 and surrender to the Army of Republika Srpska, attempted to fight their
3 way through towards Travnik. Muslim extremists from the village of
5 Is this something that reflects the actual situation in the
6 field, in the --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then in item 2, it says: "In the clash" -- in paragraph 2 of
9 item 4, it says:
10 "In the clash against the Army of Republika Srpska following the
11 death of one soldier and the wounding of several others, more than 150
12 extremists died in combat."
13 What I'm asking you now is this: From the 4th to the 5th, and if
14 I'm not mistaken we're talking about 1515 hours judging by the stamp,
15 there was some other fighting. There was some other fighting going on in
16 the Vlasic and Kotor Varos area where there were more than 150 extremists
17 who were casualties.
18 A. I don't think that there was any fighting or that so many
19 fighters were killed.
20 Q. And would you say that I was right if I were to say that this
21 document, or rather, this report being sent to the Main Staff, does not
22 reflect the actual situation in the Kotor Varos municipality?
23 A. This second paragraph of item 4 does not reflect the situation.
24 It does not say what actually happened, what it's supposed to say. They
25 were supposed to inform the Main Staff about what happened and how it
2 Q. And do we agree that, judging by these two reports, that was not
3 done; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. As a superior officer, as somebody who was there at the time, how
6 is it possible in the system to misinform the Main Staff in this way?
7 Whose problem would that be?
8 A. Well, I really cannot answer your question, whose problem that
9 would be. But I think that this is the problem that I referred to
10 earlier - we're talking about 1992 - without any formal system of
11 responsibility being set up from the bottom, going all the way to the top
12 structures. I think that I wouldn't really be able to tell.
13 Q. Well, all right. I'm going ask you about this specific case
14 then. Do you know if an investigation was carried out as to the persons
15 who committed this crime?
16 A. As far as I know, no investigation was carried out. And it was
17 not -- nothing was done to establish precisely all the facts of the
18 events in that micro area of the village of Grabovica.
19 Q. Do you know anything about the perpetrators of this crime;
20 specifically, where they went after this crime?
21 A. I spoke with my superior officer to ask him if he knew where
22 these people were, if it would be possible to find these people. And he
23 actually told me, It's impossible to catch them now. They've already
24 escaped across the river Drina, to Serbia, to Yugoslavia. Later I
25 heard - I cannot tell exactly when, but a month or so afterwards - I
1 learned that they were seen again in that area and that they were killed
2 in the middle of some burglaries or robberies or something. In any case,
3 they are no longer alive. Of course, I never followed that up. I never
4 checked. I didn't have any means of checking whether that was correct or
6 Q. Did you personally have any direct contacts with General Mladic
7 during those days?
8 A. No, I didn't have a personal contact with General Mladic right
9 until General Mladic came to see me at my command post. This was in the
10 spring of 1994.
11 Q. Are you able to tell the Court, according to your best
12 recollection, how many times General Mladic toured your units during the
13 war but after these events?
15 Mostly we discussed military issues.
16 Q. And at any point during your direct contacts with General Mladic,
17 did you inform him about the events from 1992?
18 A. No, I didn't discuss that with him. Of course, a lot of time had
19 passed since then, but I went to talk to General Talic a day or so after
20 that, to see how much he knew about what happened and how to proceed, how
21 to resolve this matter. I'm coming back to 1992 now. After the events a
22 day or two later, as soon as it was possible to do so, I went to see him.
23 The two of us talked. I asked him if he was informed about the actual
24 situation, about what happened up there in Cacavica [phoen] he said that
25 he did not that he was told --
1 Q. I'm sorry, I apologise for interrupting you. But it's a question
2 of the transcript. You said Cacavica?
3 A. No, no. Not Cacavica. Grabovica. Grabovica.
4 Q. Sorry to interrupt. Carry on, please.
5 A. Grabovica, yes. And he told me that he knew about it and that
6 the municipal structures would conduct an investigation, that I should go
7 back and deal with my own tasks, that I was to reinforce the front line.
8 We were discussing our internal problems. And I understood that he was
9 going to take steps to investigate and clarify what happened when things
10 calmed down. After that General Mladic and I did not discuss this when
11 he came to see me. We had other matters to discuss. He suggested some
12 solutions and helped me in resolving some problems in my unit. It was
13 a -- a -- a special occasion any time he came to visit us. At that time
14 the fighters liked it very much when he would come to visit. He
15 strengthened combat morale. Any commander liked it when the
16 commander-in-chief would come to tour his unit.
17 Q. Thank you. I'm going to follow up on an answer you gave about
18 your conversation with the corps commander: (redacted)
11 Page 4645 redacted.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 4647-4659 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 Having concluded the testimony of the previous witness in private
14 session, we remained often in private session, we now are back in open
15 session and I'd like to deal with a few procedural issues.
16 First, Ms. Bibles, the adding of the four documents to the 65 ter
17 list seems to be moot. They have not been used after the witness was
18 cross-examined. I see that you agree.
19 MS. BIBLES: That's right.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Second, the Prosecution has tendered 54
21 associated documents for Witness Thomas. The Chamber expresses its
22 concern over the number and the length of these documents and wonders
23 whether the Prosecution would then use these documents in court with the
24 witness which may cause some considerable practical problems as well. I
25 leave it to that at this very moment, but the -- the Office of the
1 Prosecutor, of course, can think about this observation.
2 Then, next, on the 29th of October of this year, the Defence has
3 withdrawn D43. The Prosecution submitted that it wished the document to
4 remain accessible in e-court - we're talking about the video which was
5 dealt with I think during the examination of Mr. Vulliamy I think it was.
6 D43 is marked, not admitted, as opposed to vacated. It thus remains
7 accessible in e-court but does not form part of the body of evidence.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: And now the question is whether the Prosecution
10 could already indicate when the Chamber would receive any report on
11 the -- on this video which seemed to be have been manipulated by adding
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, we have submitted for -- or had a
14 preliminary consultation with the NFI. It was actually far more
15 expensive than we thought to conduct the test but -- and that's why I
16 wanted to wait to hear what the Chamber's position on it was before we
17 gave further consideration to making this expenditure. But I will speak
18 with the Prosecutor and Ms. Bibles and make a decision. I can inform the
19 Chamber by the end of the week our decision, whether we -- there are a
20 number of tests that can be done and what test we will do and then we
21 might expect results.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you'll follow up on what the possibilities
23 are and -- because I think it's the first time that we hear about
24 concerns about the costs involved, but that we'll then further hear from
25 you what is possible, perhaps with a price list attached to it, and that
1 the Chamber can then express what it would preferably be the route to be
3 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
5 Then --
6 MR. LUKIC: If I may.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: The cheapest way to check something regarding this
9 issue is to go to the site where that clip was taken from and that would
10 clarify who add sound or not.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Well --
12 MR. LUKIC: It's -- it's very easy to go to the site where the
13 clip is taken.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You'll understand that the Chamber will not
15 take this activity, but if Mr. Groome would go to that site and find a
16 satisfactory answer, then of course the Chamber would like to hear that
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, perhaps a useful suggestion by
20 Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. One thing I can say is we did do
22 some analysis in-house, and we made that available to the Defence, and
23 we're happy to make that available to the Chamber, and it was revealing
24 of some rather important features about the video, and that could be
25 provided to the Chamber --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. The only thing we have not heard anything
2 since we asked for the matter to be further investigated, because the
3 Chamber had difficulties in having it off the list and therefore it -- of
4 being of no certain anymore. That's the reason why I raise the matter.
5 Whatever follow-up information you come up with, whether it's prices or
6 what you find on the Internet site, we are looking forward to whatever
7 information there is --
8 MR. GROOME: If there is no objection by the Defence, we will
9 provide the Chamber with the in-house analysis that we provided the
10 Defence the same week that this was tendered.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps that would be a good start.
12 Then I would like to -- I cannot deal with all the issues but --
13 I have on my list. However, and that takes not more than two minutes,
14 two short matters.
15 First, changing the status of filings. The Chamber puts on the
16 record that the following filings are hereby made confidential. The
17 first one, the Prosecution's Rule 92 ter motion which was filed on the
18 9th of October, 2012. Second, the Defence's response thereto, which was
19 filed on the 22nd of October, 2012. Third, the Chamber's post-session
20 redaction order which was filed on the 5th of November, 2012.
21 And then, briefly, one or matter. It is about the filing of
22 requests for leave to reply. The Chamber noticed that the Prosecution
23 increasingly files requests for leave to reply to Defence responses to
24 motions. The Chamber reminds the Prosecution that such requests should
25 be limited to situations where a reply can meaningfully add something to
1 the litigation. This has not always been the case in the recent past.
2 And, accordingly, the Prosecution is again requested to exercise
3 restraint in this respect.
4 I leave it to that as far as procedural issues are concerned.
5 We will adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow,
6 Wednesday, the 7th of November, at 9.30 in the morning in this same
7 courtroom, III.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.18 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
10 November, 2012, at 9.30 a.m.