1 Tuesday, 21 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 The Chamber was informed that the Prosecution wanted to raise a
12 preliminary matter.
13 Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
16 Yes, Mr. President, as you know the next witness is
17 Colonel Mirko Trivic, and I wanted you to know we had to take your advice
18 on his 92 ter statement. I was able to get it down to 56 pages but --
19 actually 52 if you take the redacted. So we did get it down to 52. I
20 also noted that we failed to mention to you that he had while testifying
21 initially as a Prosecution witness in the Blagojevic trial, he came back
22 as a Defence expert in the Blagojevic trial and so he is one of our
23 adverse witnesses and -- though we are not asking for a caution to be
25 JUDGE ORIE: No caution to be read to him. You don't think that
1 there is any need for that. Then I think at this moment the Chamber has
2 no reasons to deviate from that proposition. If that would become
3 different, we'll find out.
4 Nothing else, Mr. McCloskey.
5 Then could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Trivic. Before you give evidence,
8 the Rules require that you make a solemn declaration the text of which is
9 now handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
11 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
12 and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Trivic.
14 WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You'll first be examined by Mr. McCloskey. You find
18 him to your right and Mr. McCloskey is counsel for the Prosecution.
19 Please proceed.
20 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
21 Q. Good morning, sir. Can you tell us your name, please?
22 A. Good morning. My name is Mirko Trivic.
23 Q. And welcome back to this Tribunal.
24 A. Thank you.
25 Q. And, Colonel, have you been able to review your testimony from
1 the Popovic case as a Prosecution witness? It was back in May 2007.
2 A. Yes. I listened to that statement of mine and basically I did
3 understand that. Even six years later I have nothing to add to it.
4 Q. If you were asked the same questions now, would your answers
5 substantially be the same?
6 A. Yes. Yes. The essence of my answers would be the same. Maybe
7 some of the questions -- or, rather, some of the terms used in your
8 questions or in my answers -- maybe, actually, it would have been
9 necessary to say a bit more or to be more specific in my answers in order
10 to give an answer that would be clearer from a substantive point of view.
11 Q. And was your testimony in that case true and correct to the best
12 of your knowledge?
13 A. Yes. In that case and in other cases.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I would offer 65 ter 28902 into
16 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, I will not object since the witness is
17 here, but I would leave it to your discretion whether to accept this form
18 of a witness's statement, whether it's in accordance your guidances or
19 not. So I leave it to your discretion.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of objections and using our
22 discretion, the Chamber admits into evidence the testimony -- the
23 transcript of the previous testimony of the witness.
24 Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
25 THE REGISTRAR: P1463, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the 65 ter number?
4 JUDGE ORIE: The 65 ter number was read out, I think, by
5 Mr. McCloskey, and may I take it that that's the reduced version of
6 the --
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, the one that's in e-court, 28902.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: And may I read a brief summary. I have explained
12 to the witness about this.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Colonel Trivic was born in 1949 in the
15 municipality of Bosanska Gradiska, present day Republika Srpska. He is a
16 career army officer. After secondary school, he enrolled in the military
17 academy of the former Yugoslavia in Belgrade and graduated in 1971. From
18 1971 to 1988 he served in various JNA garrisons in Slovenia. In 1988 he
19 became a teacher of military tactics at the military academy.
20 In 1993 he joined the VRS and was appointed the Chief of Staff of
21 the Guards Brigade, a unit of the Main Staff of the VRS. In 1994 he was
22 appointed commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade of the Drina Corps,
23 taking over from then Colonel Krstic who had been promoted to Chief of
24 Staff of the Drina Corps. Trivic was promoted to colonel in January
1 In early July 1995, he received orders from the Drina Corps to
2 take part in Krivaja 95, the VRS operation concerning the Srebrenica
4 Colonel Trivic and elements of his brigade took part in the
5 attack on Srebrenica beginning 6 July. By 11 July he and the other VRS
6 officers and units were able to enter Srebrenica town where he met
7 briefly with General Mladic and received orders from him.
8 On 12 July he met with General Krstic in the area of Viogor and
9 received orders to go to Bratunac Brigade headquarters at 2100 hours for
10 a meeting there. He travelled to the Bratunac headquarters that evening
11 and met with other brigade commanders from the operation, as well as
12 General Mladic. General Mladic announced that Zepa would be the next
13 operation and the troops would begin their march to the Zepa area the
14 next day, 13 July.
15 On the morning of 13 July, he was present with his unit in the
16 area of Viogor where General Mladic spoke to the units before their march
17 towards Zepa. Colonel Trivic departed himself toward Zepa on the
18 afternoon of 13 July in the direction of Bratunac, Konjevic Polje,
19 Milici, towards Zepa. And the colonel was wounded in the Zepa operation.
20 And if I could ask some questions, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. Colonel, did you receive a preparatory order to get troops ready
24 for the Srebrenica operation in early July 1995?
25 A. Yes. In the beginning of July 1995 from the Drina Corps
1 commander. The 2nd Romanija Brigade was given the task to set up a
2 reinforced company equivalent unit and to be prepared for engagement --
3 Q. Colonel --
4 A. -- in an operation --
5 Q. Colonel, I'm sorry to interrupt you but I'm going to go briefly
6 to that document and so you'll be able to answer my questions, but we
7 need to be very specific, myself -- or you may be interrupted if you go
8 too far into it. You can always explain your answer but my time is
9 limited. So okay. You've got the order. Let's now go to that order.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And it should be Exhibit 65 ter 04096.
11 Q. And did I give you a copy of this order last night to take a look
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. And so if we look at this, we can see that there is a
15 stamp from the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade, but can you tell us is
16 this a genuine copy of an order you actually received?
17 A. Last night I took a look at this copy. I don't have the original
18 in order to compare. I assume that that is the document. That it's
19 faithful to the original, that is.
20 Q. So you did get an original document like this in July 1995?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And we see in the top of it there are "to the commands of"
23 and there are abbreviations for the various brigades. And we have a
24 translation of that in the English. And I am hoping you would clear
25 something up. We see the 2nd Rmtbr. Is that your brigade, the
1 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade?
2 A. Yes, that is the 2nd Rmtbr. "2 R" means "Romanija" and then
3 Motorised Brigade.
4 Q. And then we see also the 1st and 5th Plpbr. Does that mean
5 Podrinje Light Infantry Brigades?
6 A. I think so. That would be the name of those light infantry
7 brigades, like the Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade.
8 Q. And do you remember, was the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade,
9 what -- what city was that associated with?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Does Rogatica sound familiar?
12 A. Yes. But I don't know which unit was where, which unit with what
13 designation, but there were two light Podrinje infantry brigades.
14 Q. And one was Rogatica and one was Visegrad?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. I don't want to spend a lot of time with this preparatory
17 order, but we see that in paragraph 1 it describes the intentions of the
18 Muslim army where it says at the bottom of that paragraph:
19 "At the same time their forces from the enclaves of Srebrenica
20 and Zepa will act in order to cut the Drina Corps area of responsibility
21 in two and connect the enclaves with the central part of which is held by
22 the Muslims."
23 We couldn't read all of that. Do you see at the bottom of
24 that -- can you read it, but it says:
25 "... connect the enclaves with the central part."
1 Can you read that last sentence for us, if you could make it out.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could blow it up.
3 Q. It's that first big paragraph under number 1. When it says: "...
4 connect the ..." --
5 A. [Overlapping speakers].
6 Q. I'm sorry.
7 A. You mean, "The last three months..."? Is that what you mean,
8 from there onwards?
9 Q. Where it says: "Drina Corps area of responsibility in two ..."
10 Just the last two sentences of that second paragraph.
11 A. In order to have an entire sentence, I would like to start from
12 where it says: "The 5th light Podrinje Brigade ..." And it says:
13 "It is to be expected that the enemy will launch an even heavier
14 offensive of activities in the Kladanj and Olovo area. At the same time,
15 their forces from the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa will act in order
16 to cut the Drina Corps area of responsibility in two and connect the
17 enclaves with the central part of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina which is
18 held by the Muslims."
19 BH is what it says there and that is an abbreviation for
21 Q. Thank you. The next numbered paragraph it says:
22 "The command of the Drina Corps pursuant to operation Directive
23 number 7 and 7/1 of the main staff ..."
24 Did you receive the Main Staff Directive number 7 and 7/1?
25 A. I think I did not receive Directive number 7 because that was
1 written by the Supreme Command. Also, Directive 7/1 which is written by
2 the Main Staff. I think it was sent only to corps level, to the corps
3 command. So the command of the brigade -- the command of any brigade,
4 mine or others, did not receive directives as documents. Rather, what
5 the command regulates on the basis of obligations set in the directives,
6 and they spell them out in operational terms and send tasks to their
7 subordinates on the basis of the task defined and the way in which these
8 tasks will be carried out and so on.
9 Q. All right. And after this preparatory order, did you receive an
10 actual operations order?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: And let's go to 65 ter 04097.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, while we still
14 have the document on our screens, there is something that I seem to
15 remember from the first item in this document that was on our screens.
16 Allow me, please.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Colonel, I'm --
19 A. You said something. I'd like --
20 Q. I'm sorry --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If you need to explain your answer, go ahead. But remember you
23 are not here just to explain. There needs to be question and answer.
24 A. Just in relation to the question. You said something that is not
25 the essence of the content of the first paragraph of combat documents and
1 orders. In the first paragraph there is an assessment, an estimate of
2 what the enemy is doing. It is not a position that is being stated;
3 namely, that that is exactly what the enemy is going to be doing, that
4 and nothing else. That's the only thing I wanted to say.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I would like to offer that
7 document, 04096 into evidence.
8 MR. LUKIC: No objections.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: P1464, Your Honours. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: P1464 is it already is evidence. That's how it was
12 announced, isn't it? Oh, no, it's not in evidence yet. It is now hereby
13 admitted into evidence, P1464.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could now go to the next document, the
15 actual operations order, which is 65 ter 04097, and I see it's up there.
16 Q. And we can see here that the list of the brigades involved in the
17 order is slightly smaller than the list that went out to the operations
18 group. Is this deliberate?
19 A. Please, I don't want to give any explanations but I would like to
20 say why I think that is the case in my view. It was sent to all the
21 units of the Drina Corps, the preparatory order, so that they would have
22 some of their forces on the ready for some planned activity in the
23 forthcoming period. After consultations, and obviously the assessment
24 that was made by the corps command, regarding the necessities involved in
25 carrying out that attack, they came to the position that it was only
1 necessary that this was to be sent only to these units. And then further
2 on, this order for active operations was sent to this unit only on the
3 basis of estimated needs in relation to what all the brigades were
4 expecting. They expected that part of their forces would be engaged.
5 Q. All right. And does this -- is this an order you actually
6 received yourself?
7 A. There is no reason for me to express any doubts, and I think that
8 that was the order received.
9 Q. And I gave you a copy of that last night to review as well,
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. And now we see from the beginning of this order, and
13 I don't want to read it all out, but in paragraph 1 the order is
14 describing that the enemy, the Muslim army, has carried out attacks with
15 a limited objectives against the Drina Corps units. And that in the
16 coming period they expect other attacks. And as we read it, by the 28th
17 Division, from the enclave of Srebrenica and Zepa in order to cut the
18 Drina Corps area in two and connect the enclaves with the central part of
19 the territory of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 It goes on then to describe in the next big paragraph that the
21 Muslim forces from the enclave of Zepa and Srebrenica have been
22 particularly active, that they were sabotage groups that were attacking
23 and burning unprotected villages, killing civilians, and small isolated
24 units around the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica. And that they are
25 trying especially hard to link up the enclaves and open a corridor to
1 Kladanj. Then it describes what the various units of the 28th Division
2 are and it describes information on them which I -- which I won't go
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to the page 3 in the English and
5 it's paragraph 2 in the B/C/S. Numbered paragraph 2. It may be the
6 third page of the B/C/S as well. It should be -- yes, that's it. Thank
8 Q. And looking at this numbered paragraph 2, we again see this
9 reference that now:
10 "The command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to operations Directive
11 7 and 7/1 of the Main Staff ..."
12 Now, can you tell us, General [sic], what was the objective of
13 this operation that we are looking at, Krivaja 95?
14 A. Thank you for promoting me. I'm a colonel, not a general.
15 Q. Pardon me.
16 A. The Drina Corps command formulated the task based on these
17 directives as I have said in the answer to your first question, and this
18 was all based on the preparatory order. The goal was to use the
19 available forces for an offensive, and it was defined as an order for
20 active combat activities. Further, the objective was to separate the
21 enclaves Zepa and Srebrenica in the depth of the territory, and this is
22 how they set out to accomplish this objective.
23 Q. Aside from splitting the two enclaves, was there another
25 A. Narrowing. Narrowing them down by separating them, by splitting
1 the enclaves. The physical process was actually squeezing the units and
2 narrowing the area that they had under their control, the enemy forces.
3 The area from which they conducted activities in various forms. They
4 were not planned offensive activities of the entire 28th Division but
5 rather they used various brigades in various sectors and some favorable
6 positions to carry out small attacks, sabotage activities --
7 Q. All right, Colonel.
8 A. -- minor incursions and the like.
9 Q. And we can actually see here in the last sentence of paragraph 2:
10 "In order to split the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica and to
11 reduce them to their urban areas."
12 So this reduction you are talking about is to reduce the size of
13 the enclave to that urban area of Srebrenica and that urban area of Zepa,
15 A. I have to admit that if we are to strictly interpret this, then
16 this wouldn't cover Zepa because Zepa was really not a town. It was a
17 village, a small village. So reducing this to the area that belonged to
18 Srebrenica municipality, if I may be a bit more clear, this was to be
19 within the observation points of the United Nations so that they wouldn't
20 be leaving that area. This was to be the area that was to be the town of
21 Srebrenica from 1993.
22 Q. I won't argue with you, Colonel, but we see here very clearly
24 "In order to split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica and
25 to reduce them to their urban area ..."
1 Urban does not include the vast and very wooded and rural
2 municipality of Srebrenica, does it?
3 A. I agree with you that this term "urban" was inappropriately used
4 here, awkwardly used here, but let us go back to how it functioned in
5 1995. The enclave of Srebrenica and the enclave of Zepa. In 1993 both
6 enclaves were defined and those were their defined areas.
7 Q. Okay. Now let's go down under paragraph 4 which you should be
8 able to see. And under -- it's basically the second paragraph under
9 paragraph 4, and it gives us a title: "Objective." And it says:
10 "By a surprise attack to separate and reduce in size the
11 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, to improve the tactical positions of the
12 forces in the depth of the area, and to create conditions for the
13 elimination of the enclaves."
14 So one of the other objectives that you didn't mention was to
15 create the conditions for the actual elimination of the enclaves; is that
17 A. I haven't mentioned that. It is true. It's not mentioned in
18 item 2, in paragraph 2 -- or, rather, in paragraph 2 they speak of the
19 task and then under 4, where they discuss objective, they say "separate
20 and reduce and create conditions for the elimination of the enclaves." I
21 wish to comment on this given that you deepened further your question.
22 The separation of the enclaves and reduction to the area as it
23 was defined in the resolutions establishing them is that improve the
24 tactical position of the units of the Drina Corps and created conditions
25 for activities which, in this order, order for activities, were not
1 envisioned. Nobody was issued the task of eliminating the enclaves.
2 Simply by successfully implementing this order one would create
3 conditions that in some other situation, having assessed the enemy forces
4 positions and so on, would enable forces to perhaps continue with another
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trivic, we are not here to hear the exegesis of
7 the documents. If you have any facts you could mention which support
8 your interpretation of the document, we'd like to hear that and otherwise
9 the Chamber will interpret the documentary evidence in the totality of
10 the evidence.
11 Are there any facts known to you which support your
12 interpretation which seems to be slightly not fully consistent with the
13 language of the order?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for guiding me in giving
15 my answers. This order, Mr. President, is the order for active combat
16 activities. In item 4, they define the objective of those activities.
17 And the end objective was to carry out that assignment, to separate the
18 enclaves, and by achieving that objective they simply added that that
19 would create the conditions for eliminating the enclaves. I did not put
20 in any new elements in giving my interpretation of the text.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You may not have fully understood my guidance.
22 Next question, please, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Colonel, did something come up in the next few days that changed
25 this limited attack order and actually include a further objective that
1 you became aware of?
2 A. Yes. Precisely so. When they began activities pursuant to this
3 order, conditions were created for changing the objectives and the
4 directions of the attack. In two days before they entered into
5 Srebrenica, they amended the tasks given to battalions and units which
6 participated in the offensive pursuant to this order, and it was only on
7 the 11th based on the conditions that were created and pursuant to the
8 permission to enter the enclave, that they entered the enclave and the
9 enclave ceased to exist.
10 However, the conditions were not created solely by the combat
11 activities of two or three battalions participating pursuant to this
12 order but also by the enemy who contributed to these conditions by
13 deserting the positions and opening up the passage into Srebrenica.
14 Q. All right.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we go to 65 ter 04024. This is a 9
16 July document that -- oh, and I would like to - I'm sorry, Your Honour -
17 offer that previous 04097 into evidence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic is supposed to remain seated.
19 Mr. Mladic, remain seated, as I said before. Sit down.
20 Mr. Lukic, any objections.
21 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: P1465, Your Honours. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: P1465 is admitted into evidence.
25 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, yes, if we could have 65 ter 04024 on the --
2 there it is in the English. Thank you.
3 Q. Now, Colonel, we can see that this is not to any brigades. In
4 fact, it's to the president of the Republika Srpska and the Drina Corps
5 forward command post, General Gvero and Krstic personally from
6 General Tolimir. And we see that what Tolimir says in this paragraph
8 "The president of Republika Srpska has been informed of
9 successful combat operations around Srebrenica by units of the Drina
10 Corps and that they have achieved results which enable them to occupy the
11 very town of Srebrenica."
12 Now, does this change anything? Does this have anything to do
13 with what you are talking about? As we go on and read it, it basically
14 gives the go ahead to go into Srebrenica but abide by the Geneva
15 Conventions about property and civilians. How does this fit into your
16 previous answers?
17 A. This is a logical continuation of the events which took place
18 between the 6th and the 9th, but mostly on the 9th. A sequence of steps
19 which represent a textbook example of how command and reporting functions
20 through the units of the Drina Corps to the Main Staff and up to the
21 Supreme Commander, where they report on the activities of some units. I
22 suppose that assistant commander General Tolimir informed about the
23 results of the activities. On the 9th of July, he reported to the
24 president of the republic. Well, to the Supreme Commander but first and
25 foremost to the minister of defence, and then based on the feedback
1 pursuant to that report, he was sending information to the forward
2 command post of the Drina Corps by send -- but also sent a similar
3 document for information of the president of the republic.
4 So Tolimir sent this document to the Drina Corps forward command
5 post informing that the approval was given and making an assessment that
6 the access to Srebrenica was open by eliminating the enclave, that there
7 was no major opposition, the permission to enter was given. And there is
8 also a caution given about the civilians, civilian population and forces
9 that are mentioned here.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I just ask for one clarification, Mr. Trivic.
11 You said:
12 "Well, he reported to the president of the --" it's -- in the
13 transcript it is not correct.
14 "Well, to the Supreme Command, but first and foremost to the
15 minister of defence."
16 Please, can you help me, to show where I can find that in the
17 document, that he reported to the minister of defence? Where can I find
18 it in this document?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried to reply to the question
20 posed by Mr. McCloskey; namely, whether this document reflects what I
21 said earlier about the task and the conditions for eliminating the
22 enclaves. I tried to reply by trying to explain about who was informed
23 on the 9th about the results achieved and conditions created, who was
24 informed by the staff, and that this was the logical path of reporting.
25 They had to report that the Drina Corps was achieving results which
1 created conditions --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- as a result of which permission
4 was given to enter Srebrenica.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to stop you here. Please help me,
6 was this letter signed by Mr. Tolimir sent to the minister of defence --
7 to the Ministry of Defence or was it -- was this information given by
8 other means?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will try to clarify.
10 This is a cable that was sent on the 9th. It was marked "very urgent."
11 It was sent to two locations. This cable was sent to two locations: To
12 the president of republic for his information and to the forward command
13 post of the Drina Corps as the document containing a position that had to
14 be implemented, that had to be carried out. It was sent for the
15 information only to the president of the republic to inform him --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is well understood.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- about --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is well understood. Please help me to
19 understand why you said it was sent to the Ministry of Defence. Where
20 can I find it? I am only interested in this.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can't find it in this document.
22 However, the minister of defence is a specialised professional person via
23 whom documents are transmitted to the president of the republic.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I would offer this 04024 into
3 MR. LUKIC: No objections.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: P1466, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Now, Colonel, I want to take you briefly to 11 July where we know
10 that the VRS, General Mladic, and others, were able to go into Srebrenica
11 town. And do you recall seeing yourself on video greeting General Mladic
12 in Srebrenica town on the 11th of July?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. And we have all seen that. I don't think we need to spend
15 the time to go through that. And it's clearly identified in the stills
16 book. Did you -- do you recall hearing General Mladic on the radio that
17 day talking about air strikes?
18 A. Yes. Your question was on the radio. It wasn't on the radio, it
19 was in the communications system that existed between the units taking
20 part in this operation. It was on the radio communications system.
21 Q. And what did you hear General Mladic say?
22 A. That taking advantage of his presence at the forward command post
23 of the Drina Corps, General Mladic sent out a circular memo to all units
24 taking part in this operation saying that the NATO air strikes were
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, nodding yes or no to whomever is not
2 permitted. That could be understood as comments on testimony given, so
3 you should refrain from doing these kind of things. And you know what
4 the consequences are if you continue.
5 I thought, Mr. Lukic, that Mr. Mladic was seeking a consultation
6 at a moment ago, but perhaps if that could wait for five minutes then you
7 have an opportunity to do it during the break.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. And did General Mladic say this before any air strikes had
12 A. Yes. As I have said, he sent out a circular memo to all
13 commanders, all units taking part in these activities, warning them that
14 there was an estimate that there could be a NATO air strikes on the
15 forces in that area. So he announced that possibility.
16 Q. Now, Colonel, you're going to get us in trouble. That was a very
17 simple question and required a simple answer. You can always explain but
18 remember our time, as is the Defence's, is limited.
19 Okay. So now in your statement we know that the night of the
20 11th you go back to your command post where you were staying at Jasenova
21 and that on the 12th of July you were involved in a sweep operation, and
22 that General Krstic tells you to go to a meeting on the evening of the
23 12th of July at the Bratunac headquarters; is that correct, roughly?
24 A. Yes. Those were the activities in the course of that day. I
25 think in one of the earlier answers to your questions concerning the
1 sweeping operation, I asked that the term "sweep operation" for the 12th
2 not be used because on the 12th it was a continuation of the offensive
3 activities which ended up in chasing, chasing enemy forces. That's what
4 we were doing.
5 Q. Thank you for clarifying that. And did you make -- did you have
6 a wartime diary where you filled out some events and thoughts as you went
7 along at the time?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we now go to 65 ter 25860. It should
10 be page 25 in e-court.
11 Q. And, Colonel, I'm just jumping to the 12 July entry. We see
12 that's the front of your little ringed binder on the left. And if we
13 could go to page 25.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be 25 in both languages. And if we
15 could blow those up a bit.
16 Q. And I don't want to spend time on this one. I just wanted to
17 show that we've written -- excuse me, you've written 0900 hours, 12 July,
18 and some notes there that we can read.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to the next page in both.
20 Q. All right. And are we still on 12 July here, Colonel?
21 A. Could you put back the previous page, please, so I can see the
22 page number?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go back in the B/C/S.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Number 12. And the second
25 page -- I mean, I just want to confirm what I said. It's not a sweep
1 operation. It's just that the attack should be continued along certain
2 axes. Now we can move onto the other page.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have a few minutes on this diary
4 but I see it's break time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And you said a few minutes on this diary. And is
6 that all?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: No. It's almost all but it's --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then if it's not all, then we'll take the break
10 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
11 We take a break and will resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Colonel, I want to go on to the next page in the -- in the diary.
20 And then now -- as we are still on the 12th, so let's go to the next
21 page. Now -- all right.
22 Now here is a reference that you've scratched down that the
23 brigade commanders are to come to the Drina Corps IKM in Bratunac by 2100
24 hours via Srebrenica and Potocari. And did you actually go that evening
25 at 2100 hours to the Bratunac Brigade?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then you note that General Mladic came at 2200 hours; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He arrived at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters at 2200 hours?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And we see here that it says in the English:
8 "By 0800 hours tomorrow, General Kostic must prepare a
9 decision ..."
10 Which general should that be?
11 A. General Krstic.
12 Q. All right. And there is also a note -- we see that -- who
13 ordered General Krstic to prepare a decision to go to Zepa?
14 A. General Mladic.
15 Q. All right. And there is a note here that Vinko Pandurevic and I
16 warned him that the soldiers should rest. And you and now Pandurevic
17 warned who that the soldiers should rest?
18 A. Here in my text it says "made aware of," regardless of the fact
19 that Vinko Pandurevic and I made him aware of. So it wasn't
20 "upgrozali," [phoen] it was "upoznali" [phoen]. It was misread. So
21 although he was made aware of that, he issues an order that
22 General Krstic carry out the decision to free Zepa the next day and so
24 Q. All right. And --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, could the transcription be verified
1 for this page. We have now a second where the witness comments on it.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Krstic, Kostic, and --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: We will get the revision to look at that. That's
5 important, thank you.
6 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this document 65 ter 25860.
9 There is just a section. It's in the English so it's not too long, and I
10 think it should all go in. I think there is -- it would assist the Trial
12 JUDGE ORIE: We've looked at a few pages. I see in e-court it's
13 a 76-page document, if I'm correct.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let me then -- I didn't think we had that many in
15 English. We're perhaps --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, sometimes perhaps they are short, but I see at
17 least 76 -- 67 --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Then --
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, 76 pages, I apologise, in e-court. I suggest
20 the following. That it will be marked for identification. That you do
21 two things: First of all to further select the portions you need or
22 explain why we need the whole of the document in evidence; and second,
23 that you verify the transcription of the pages you used.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I was not aware that
25 it was that long. We'll only -- we'll get together, but I think it's
1 just July we are interested in.
2 MR. LUKIC: I do not object to the portions used during the trial
3 since it's obvious that things have to be explained, but we would object
4 to anything that's not used today in the trial.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, unless we could foresee that it will be used
6 soon and what pages will be used, then perhaps. But as matters stand
7 now, the document will be MFI'd.
8 Mr. Registrar, the document now still 76 pages would receive
10 THE REGISTRAR: P1467, Your Honours. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
12 And when do we hear from you, Mr. McCloskey? Is it within the
13 next week?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Tomorrow. All I will want is the Srebrenica
15 operation notes and that will be very limited, and they actually go along
16 with his testimony and I think will be valuable for the Trial Chamber and
17 it won't be anywhere near 76 pages.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But what I see apparently is that the English
19 is consistent with the original because the original is also 76 pages.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
22 Q. Just lastly, Colonel, and related to you and Colonel Pandurevic
23 making General Mladic aware that the soldiers needed rest, I want to go
24 to something you said in your Popovic testimony.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's P1463, e-court 40.
1 Q. And I'll read it slowly in English because we don't have a
2 Serbian for you. But it's on that same topic where you and
3 Colonel Pandurevic are talking with Mladic that evening about the men
4 needing rest, and I think you -- he then agrees to come to Viogor the
5 next morning to give them a talk which is in your statement. I won't go
6 over that.
7 But I want to just read you something, and you may remember when
8 Mr. Thayer asked you this as you were explaining the question, he goes,
9 this is Mr. Thayer's question to you:
10 "Well, sir, in response to being overruled, did you or
11 Colonel Pandurevic make any suggestions to Generals Krstic and Mladic?"
12 And your answer was:
13 "We were not out-voted. It's not right to put it that way. It
14 is the unquestionable right of the commander to make decisions. We tried
15 to suggest that this part of the troops that had been involved in the
16 operations thus far..." and that they take a rest.
17 Can you explain to us what you meant when you say that it is the
18 unquestionable right of the commander to make the decisions, suggesting
19 it's not to a vote? What -- is that a military principle you can explain
20 briefly to us?
21 A. Well, I assume that this Court, since it has been dealing with
22 the question of warfare for so long and has been investigating what
23 happened from different angles but is primarily dealing with combat
24 operations, military matters, and so on, it must have come to the
25 conclusion that I have already referred to. There is no voting and
1 out-voting. It wasn't a debate. It is the commander's right to say,
2 "All right. All of that is well and fine what you said, but ..." I think
3 that in one of my statements in one of the cases, I did say that --
4 explaining the reasons why soldiers needed some rest, I said it's not
5 about the commander accepting or not accepting something. A motive also
6 had to be found for staying on under such conditions, and then when such
7 a decision is made which is undeniably the right of the commander who
8 said that this should be taken advantage of, this moment of success, that
9 this morale should be carried through and the second enclave should be
10 taken care of as well. Then he insisted that he come and state that
11 personally because when he personally speaks to the soldiers, then they
12 can endure in spite of these problems that cropped up over those 15 days
13 or so that they spent in the field in different conditions without
14 anything comfortable about it and so.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trivic, you might not have understood the
16 question. What Mr. McCloskey would like to know is whether it is a
17 military rule that if the higher in command decides, even if that is not
18 in line what was advised to him by his subordinate officers, that only
19 the decision of the commander is what counts. Is that -- I think that is
20 what Mr. McCloskey wanted to know. Is that your position?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is my position, but both
22 for Mr. McCloskey and you, you do oversimplify relations within a
23 command. There is no discussion there. I mean, a subordinate can say:
24 "Sorry, I think that we should wait, that we should not set out." But
25 it's for the commander to say: "All right. We have to complete this
1 mission as soon as possible, and as soon as this is over then we can get
2 some rest." But there is no discussion there as far as combat operations
3 are concerned.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The answer is clear.
5 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. That was my last
8 JUDGE ORIE: In fact, it was my last question. No, no, no,
9 Mr. McCloskey is --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: You got it just right.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes.
12 Mr. Lukic, are you ready to cross-examine Mr. Trivic?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I am, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trivic, you will now be cross-examined by
15 Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Let me just unpack, if you will.
18 Good day, Mr. Trivic.
19 A. Good day.
20 Q. In this stage of the Tribunal, our time is rather limited as
21 you've seen when you were answering the Prosecutor's questions, and we
22 have quite a few things to deal with with you, so please let us be as
23 specific as possible so that we can cover as much material as possible in
24 terms of everything that we have prepared because we would like to take
25 advantage of your experience and your knowledge of things as they
1 happened. Also, we have to bear in mind the fact that our questions and
2 answers should not overlap because we speak the same language.
3 A. Thank you, I'll bear that in mind.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P1464. That is what I would like to
5 start with today. It was used by the Prosecutor as well.
6 Q. We'll see the document in a moment. You gave your comments today
7 with regard to this document, and this is what I'd like to ask you. This
8 preparatory order of the 2nd of July, 1995, does it deal with the enemy's
9 offensive actions primarily in the spring of 1995?
10 A. Well, in view of the content of the first paragraph, one may
11 infer that that the estimate was -- not only estimate but also there is
12 an analysis of what happened in the spring of 1995 in that area. And
13 there is a reference to operations that were carried out in villages
14 around the enclaves and also the deployment of defence positions of
15 brigades that did hold position vis-a-vis these enclaves. One may
16 conclude that this is an analysis on the basis of which this order was
17 written, including the tasks involved.
18 Q. Thank you. On the ground, did you see and feel these offensive
19 activities of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. Yes, but I have to say that the brigade that I commanded, that I
21 headed, did not hold positions vis-a-vis the enclaves but in other areas
22 towards Kladanj, Olovo. There weren't any major operations but there
23 were some attempts to break through the positions that were held by my
24 brigade, but I did not feel that there were incursions out of the
1 Q. At the time were you informed in the field that attempts were
2 being made to cut Republika Srpska into two and to link up the enclaves
3 with the rest of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The areas that are referred to as areas where the enemy is
6 carrying out offensive operations are areas that are covered by the
7 2nd Krajina Corps, the Sarajevo Corps, the Drina Corps, the Eastern
8 Bosnian Corps. Those are the corps of the Army of Republika Srpska; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Actually, there is a reference to a large part of the territory
12 of Republika Srpska that the forces of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina are
13 attacking, right?
14 A. Yes. It is practically all of Republika Srpska that was covered
15 by these corps.
16 Q. Your units, did they take part in the defence from these attacks
17 and were you helping the Zvornik Brigade in that way?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All units that this order that is before us pertains to, P1464 is
20 how we have marked it, they are part of the Drina Corps, all of them,
21 aren't they?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This order was not sent to the Main Staff of the Army of
24 Republika Srpska; is that correct? Can you see that from the document?
25 A. This preparatory order?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. It wasn't sent.
3 Q. It was not supposed to be sent. Is that correct as well?
4 A. It wasn't supposed to be sent. It is correct that it was not
5 necessary to send it.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we briefly take a look at 1D976
7 in e-court.
8 Q. Before you can actually see it, I'll say that this is a document
9 of the General Staff of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, dated the 17th of
10 June, 1995. And it is a document that is entitled: "Preparations for
11 Offensive Combat Operations Order." And in paragraph 1 it says that the
12 Chief of Staff of the 2nd Corps, Sulejman Budakovic, is issuing the order
13 as follows:
14 "Execute all preparations in the command of the 28th land army
15 division to execute offensive combat operations with a view to liberating
16 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina overextending the AS and --" it says
17 "AS" or "KS" here, "inflicting losses, co-ordinate the action with the
18 BH Army forces carrying out operations in the SS area of Sarajevo."
19 At that time were you aware that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 was attempting to take control of the entire territory of
22 A. Yes. By carrying out tasks and by conducting individual
23 operations in certain areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina to take hold of that
24 particular area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but especially to split apart the
25 territory of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. You said that you had no contact with the enclaves, the brigade
2 under your command. However, did you have any intelligence to the effect
3 that the units of the 28th Division from Srebrenica and Zepa carried out
4 attacks from the safe havens towards the depth of the territory under the
5 control of the Army of Republika Srpska?
6 A. Yes. We had intelligence on the number of forces first and
7 foremost in the territory in the area of the Drina Corps and such
8 information reached the command of the brigade on a daily basis. In
9 addition to that, in addition to the intelligence, I also received
10 information about the losses and things that were taking place in certain
11 villages, in positions, and in certain sectors.
12 Q. Did you know that not only the villages on the demarcation line
13 were attacked but also the villages in the depth of the territory of
14 Republika Srpska, did you receive information to that effect?
15 A. Yes, I did. And one of the most vivid pieces of information that
16 I will never forget, I think it involved the village of Visnjica, if I
17 still remember correctly, there was a massacre that took place there
18 against the residents.
19 Q. You mentioned Visnjica, that attack of the 28th Division against
20 the village, was that the pretext for Krivaja 95 operation?
21 A. Yes, that was the straw that broke the camel's back that prompted
22 the corps command to start implementing the objectives from the Directive
23 7/1 by conducting active operations in their area of responsibility.
24 Q. We will get to the directive soon. I would like to ask you now
25 something about end of June, early July, of 1995 and the Krivaja
1 operation. So first you came to Bratunac to the command of the Drina
2 Corps when you reached that area; is that right?
3 A. You mean the Bratunac Brigade? Are you referring to the forward
4 command post of the Drina Corps that was there?
5 Q. No, you just tell us where you went on that occasion.
6 A. Well, I went -- I reported to the command, to the command post of
7 the Bratunac Brigade in Bratunac, but I did not report to the commander
8 of the brigade; rather, I reported to General Krstic who was the
9 commander of the operation and used that command post as the command post
10 for that particular operation.
11 Q. And this is where you were -- where you received your orders,
12 your tasks, right?
13 A. Well, the last defining of the tasks took place there. As for
14 the implementation of the tasks in the area, that took place near an
15 observation post near Pribecevci [phoen].
16 Q. As you were receiving your tasks in Bratunac and also as the
17 details were worked out in Pribicevac, is it true that you did not see
18 anybody from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska there?
19 A. That is right. I did not see them there. None of them were
21 Q. Krivaja 95 operation was the operation of the Drina Corps; is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes. That's correct.
24 Q. The Drina Corps planned out this operation and carried it out; is
25 that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Both operations, the one on Srebrenica and on Zepa, both of these
3 two actions were those of the Drina Corps?
4 A. Yes. The competence for carrying out these actions, operations,
5 was within the command of the Drina Corps which carried it out together
6 with its unit.
7 Q. Is it true that the primary objective was to split, to separate
8 the enclaves and that the additional objective once the conditions were
9 created, as we could see earlier, further to the question put by
10 Mr. McCloskey, so the -- following that the additional objective was the
11 demilitarisation of the enclaves as it had been agreed back in 1993?
12 A. Yes. When I was answering one of Mr. McCloskey's questions, I
13 explained my position regarding this.
14 Q. I will ask you something now about the Muslim forces in
15 Srebrenica. So let us first take a look at a document.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] But before we do that, I would like
17 to offer this document that is on our screens to be admitted.
18 [In English] I would tender this document on our screen.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. LUKIC: It's 1D976, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
22 THE REGISTRAR: D286, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D286 [Realtime transcript read in error "P286"] is
24 admitted into evidence. I think I said D286 and that's -- yes, D286 is
1 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
2 [Interpretation] Now we should see on the screens 65 ter 18150.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you repeat the number. It's not recorded.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated] Sorry. 18150, 65 ter
6 Q. [Interpretation] This is the document of the Army of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, command of the 28th Division in Srebrenica, dated 6th
8 June, 1995. This is the document which analyses the manpower per combat
9 arms. It was sent to the command of the 2nd Corps in Tuzla.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need the second page in both
12 Q. And here you will see the segment that reads "ARJ PVO." Can you
13 tell us what this acronym stands for?
14 A. It stands for artillery and rocket units of the anti-aircraft
16 Q. You will see that this document lists commanders of various
17 units. So under number 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 24, 25, you can see
18 that it says PAT-20/1. What does that stand for, PAT-20/1?
19 A. It stands for anti-aircraft gun, 21-millimetre calibre with one
20 barrel. So the calibre is 20 [as interpreted] millimetres and it is an
21 anti-aircraft gun.
22 Q. And then under number 4, you can see rocket S-2M. What is S-2M?
23 A. That is a mobile anti-aircraft rocket carried by individuals and
24 its name is Strela 2M for anti-aircraft combat. It is used to fire at
25 the departing aircraft because it follows the fumes, the exhaust fumes of
1 the aircraft.
2 Q. Under number 6, 13, 18, 21, we can see commanders of units which
3 have that weapon in their arsenal.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you come under fire from this weapon during the activities
6 around Srebrenica and Zepa?
7 A. I think that I did in the Slapovici sector on the second day,
8 which is to say on the 10th of July, in the early stage of the
9 continuation of the attack following the change of the original
10 direction. So once the conditions were created, my units came under fire
11 from this weapon. So my units were under fire from these weapons, these
12 anti-aircraft guns.
13 Q. Thank you for clarifying. I did ask about these anti-aircraft
14 guns. Obviously I didn't think that they were firing anti-aircraft
15 rockets at you.
16 Now that you are mentioning the 10th, is it true that on that day
17 the forces of the 28th Division commenced the counter-attack and pushed
18 back the Serbian forces back to their initial positions?
19 A. In some areas, yes. In the areas where I was, probably owing
20 partially to my influence as well given that I was deployed with the
21 units carrying out the incursion against those positions, our -- in those
22 areas where I was, we were somewhat former [as interpreted], and they
23 didn't manage to push us back. However, I managed to get back a tank
24 which had been resubordinated to our neighbour on the right side, and
25 owing to the fire from that tank, those positions were neutralised and my
1 forces were not moved from their original positions, and then we carried
3 Q. Would you agree with me that owing to the existence of these
4 weapons within the enclave, it wasn't safe to fly above Srebrenica?
5 A. Yes, that's correct. That certainly contributed to their
6 no-being-safe area for flights above Srebrenica, these weapons.
7 Q. The forces of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Srebrenica and
8 Zepa were five to six times more numerous than the forces of the Army of
9 Republika Srpska which were carrying out the attack.
10 A. Perhaps even more than that. I'm saying this without a trace of
11 exaggeration or disparaging. When one analyses the order and the forces
12 that were involved in active operations in order to split the enclaves,
13 then the ratio is even greater.
14 Q. It was much easier to defend Srebrenica and Zepa and that area
15 than to attack it; is that right?
16 A. Yes, given the configuration of the terrain and the long-term
17 fortifications that had been put in place there. It was much easier to
18 be in defence there, to defend the area than to attack it.
19 Q. Was that your impression as someone who took part in those
20 operations that the withdrawal of the members of the 28th Division from
21 the enclaves of Srebrenica was not only of a military but also of a
22 political nature?
23 A. Yes, I agree with what you said. And I hope there will be other
24 opportunities for me to expand on this.
25 Q. Yes. We will get to that point as well. Now let me ask you
1 something about the relations between the Army of Republika Srpska and
2 the UNPROFOR forces.
3 Earlier on you testified and I would ask you to explain to us
4 whether you were aware of the plans of some of UNPROFOR officers to use
5 helicopters for flying above Srebrenica in order to provoke fire for
6 which the Serbs would be blamed. The Serbs would be blamed for knocking
7 down the helicopters which in turn would be punished by air strikes
8 against the forces of Republika Srpska.
9 A. Yes. Not at that time, but later on, while working in various
10 cases and in my various roles at the Tribunal, I managed to see certain
11 documents which refer to that and confirm that.
12 Q. Is it true that this was proposed by General Smith to the command
13 in Zagreb?
14 A. Yes. Based on his statement given in 1996, there is a part of
15 that statement that confirms that.
16 Q. At the time when the operation was being carried out, did you
17 have the impression and was that the prevalent opinion within the VRS
18 that by then UNPROFOR had openly sided with the other warring party?
19 A. That was discussed very often, and in July, I could conclude
20 myself that there were such cases, especially where my unit was involved.
21 It was in the area of Zepa when I was being attacked. There were APCs,
22 sandbags at UN points, and that was confirmed. Until then, we were told
23 about that from other areas. It was intelligence from other areas. But
24 then I saw it for myself. That was confirmation that that's exactly the
25 way it was, that the United Nations was being used for protecting the
1 other side.
2 Q. Despite that, what kind of orders did you receive? How were you
3 supposed to behave towards members of UNPROFOR?
4 A. The orders we received verbally and in writing and in all
5 contacts were that we should no behave improperly and that we should not
6 thereby imperil our positions and the legitimacy of the VRS for carrying
7 out combat operations in accordance with the rules of warfare, and that
8 is how we did behave. There are many confirmations of that, if you will.
9 Q. Like the Prosecutor today when we started, I'm going to ask for a
10 clarification of a term so that I do not use it wrongly. Was this an
11 action, "akcija," or operation, "operacija," of the VRS as far as
12 Srebrenica was concerned?
13 A. Yes. According to the rules for combat documents and for the
14 works of -- for the work of commands and staffs, offensive activity is
15 active combat, and this was not an operation carried out at corps level
16 as a whole. But since the corps command led this - how do I put this? -
17 in its name it had to include the word "operacija," operation, the
18 code-name was Krivaja 95. But basically this was an operation of trying
19 to take care of positions, et cetera, and not all units were involved in
20 carrying out these active operations. The level of the units involved
21 was below the brigade level. So it wasn't even a brigade level. It was
22 battalion --
23 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not hear the end.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Could you just repeat something, this very last part of your
1 answer because it was not recorded. The last thing that was recorded
3 "So it wasn't even brigade level."
4 A. Yes. The order for active operations in the part where tasks are
5 being issued to individual units, one can see that there aren't even
6 units at infantry brigade level. All of them are lower-ranking. So it
7 wasn't even an operation at brigade level. Quite simply, it was an
8 operation that was called an "action," that is, active combat. I don't
9 know English, so I don't know whether this last part has been
11 Q. It's fine now.
12 A. All right.
13 Q. Is it correct that you were told that UNPROFOR and its members
14 were not the target of the actions of the VRS?
15 A. Certainly. Certainly there was that kind of cautioning that was
16 effected, that certainly it wasn't the forces of the UN, UNPROFOR, that
17 were the target.
18 Q. Your soldiers from the units that you commanded, did they obey
19 these instructions?
20 A. Well, I insisted that they obey this. Of course, I could not see
21 everything, but there weren't any reports to the contrary.
22 Q. The 9th of July, 1995. That's what I'd like to move on to now.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'll need document number
24 65 ter 04024. That's what we'd like to have in e-court. I think that we
25 used it today. Just a moment, please.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's now P1466.
2 MR. LUKIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
3 [Interpretation] P1464 [as interpreted], could we now have that
4 in e-court.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any intentions to tender the document
6 which is on our screen?
7 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 18150 receives number D287, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D287 is admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] You were asked about this document today.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I wrote this
15 down somewhere.
16 Q. In this document, who is it that is agreeing to the entering into
17 enclaves? Because page 18, line 1, of today's LiveNote is unclear. It
19 "[In English] The permission to enter was given." "The
20 permission to enter was given."
21 [Interpretation] That is how it was recorded in the transcript.
22 Sorry, does this document show --
23 A. This document shows in paragraph 2 that it says:
24 "The president of the republic is satisfied with the results of
25 combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed with the continuation
1 of operations for the take-over of Srebrenica, disarming of Muslim
2 terrorist gangs, and complete demilitarisation of the Srebrenica
4 So this is General Tolimir. He sent this. He informed the
5 forward command post of the Drina Corps. He said that the president of
6 Republika Srpska was satisfied and that they could proceed.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now we'd need document 1D973.
9 Q. Before I move onto this document, I'd just like to ask you
10 something that my learned friend Mr. McCloskey dealt with on page 5
11 today. In line 7, this is what he said. I'll start reading this out in
12 English so that you could get the right interpretation. This is a
13 summary of your statement. This is what it says:
14 "[In English] By 11 July, the other VRS officers and units were
15 able to enter Srebrenica town where he met briefly with General Mladic
16 and received orders from him ..."
17 [Interpretation] The order that you received was the direction of
18 the Bratunac, right?
19 A. Yes, as far as I can remember. However, this part, "other
20 officers could enter," that confused me a bit. General Mladic did utter
21 those words, "ahead Bratunac," that was not the order -- this was not
22 issued as an order and I did not understand that to be an order.
23 Q. Was it carried out all?
24 A. No, not on my part, and I think that other commanders did not
25 take it that way either, did not carry this out as an order.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you were referring to the summary of the
2 evidence of the witness which is not evidence, so there is no need to
3 correct that. If there is anything in the evidence which needs
4 correction, then please do so, but there is no need to seek further
5 comment on the summary. It's just -- if you think that the summary is
6 not accurate.
7 MR. LUKIC: My learned friend is on his feet.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. There -- in the previous testimony he
10 does actually state what orders he received from Mladic at the time and
11 that, of course, would be the appropriate thing to be referring to.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you can examine the witness on that but
13 not by putting to him the summary read by Mr. McCloskey. But, of course,
14 if the summary accurately reflects what he said then, and if you want to
15 challenge that, then you should --
16 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could the microphone be switched off for Mr. Mladic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Mr. Mladic is not receiving -- oh, okay. It's okay
19 now. He wasn't receiving translation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently it has been resolved.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I finished with this
23 clarification. I will move on.
24 Q. [Interpretation] 1D973 is the document that we have before us.
25 This is a document from the 9th of July. This fits into what we were
1 discussing about relations with UNPROFOR. This is an interim combat
2 report. Major-General Radislav Krstic. Paragraph 4, we see it's
3 entitled "Conduct of UNPROFOR forces." It says:
4 "UNPROFOR forces at the check-points in Slapovici village and
5 Bucje village surrendered fully to our forces with all their weapons and
6 equipment and asked for our protection. Ten (10) UNPROFOR soldiers from
7 the UNPROFOR check-point in the village of Bucje have been sent to and
8 accommodated in Milici, while five soldiers from the check-point in
9 Slapovici have been accommodated in Bratunac. UNPROFOR forces from the
10 base in Potocari village did not intervene at the check-points or attack
11 our forces."
12 Do you know about these things? Do you know that this happened
13 when UNPROFOR soldiers asked the VRS for their help and crossed over to
14 their side?
15 A. Yes, I know about that.
16 Q. Did you, your unit, come across these UNPROFOR soldiers in the
17 village of Slapovici?
18 A. Yes. That part of the village of Slapovici that was like a
19 refugee camp for the Muslim population. A crew of an APC encountered me
20 or I encountered them in this group that was with me. They came out and
21 they surrendered. I mean surrendered in the sense of walking out of the
22 APC with their hands up, and they asked to be taken out of this area of
23 combat activity and that was indeed done.
24 Q. This interim combat report in part speaks about that, doesn't it?
25 A. Yes, it does.
1 MR. LUKIC: I have more on this topic but I think it's break
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Lukic, it is indeed time for a break.
4 Could I invite the parties, the issue we had a few minutes ago
5 about was there an order, was that what the witness testified in the
6 previous case, did he understand it to be an order, was it executed by
7 the others, yes, but not as an order, that was all rather vague and all
8 rather ambiguous. It would assist me, perhaps my colleagues as well, to
9 have those matters clarified. But then not on the basis of the summary
10 but then on the basis of the evidence.
11 The witness may follow the usher.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I may be able to clear that up
15 with a brief explanation that my guess is my colleague would agree with.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then coffee or tea. Use the next break to see
17 whether you can --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was thinking of directing it to the Trial
19 Chamber to see if that would help put it in context and that might help
20 us guide our coffee.
21 JUDGE ORIE: To say that it's entirely clear to me,
22 Mr. McCloskey, it's not.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can clarify some of the issues for you. That's
24 one of the problems with only taking an hour. These issues have been
25 flushed out in greater detail, and I think if I explained it in two
1 minutes my colleague would probably agree with me and it may help direct
2 us to any further questions.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Give it a try during the break in the presence of
5 Mr. Lukic, and then if he does agree then you'll certainly agree that
6 you'll address the Chamber in that way, and then we'll hear that this is
7 what Mr. Lukic agrees to, and it may be of guidance for us for further
9 We take a break and we resume at quarter past 12.00.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 11.54 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, excuse me, before that, could I --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. If you have -- well, there is no problem,
16 I take it, if the witness would hear it, because it's apparently
17 something you agree upon.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well -- and the witness may have his views as
19 well. But one thing we did agree upon that we suggest is there is a very
20 brief video segment where Colonel Trivic meets General Mladic and the
21 comments "go to Bratunac" are mentioned which has started this. I was
22 going to play it. But you just saw this with the last witness whose name
23 I won't mention. But for this particular issue, it helps to originate it
24 with that -- with that video.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's clearly on my mind. That gives the factual
1 basis for whatever interpretation you may have on whether these are
2 orders or not orders or, of course, it doesn't say anything about whether
3 they were executed yes or no. But that is clear, you say, for both, that
4 is the factual basis for that portion of the evidence.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: It -- yes. And, Mr. President, just so you
6 understand, it's from this video that the -- the witness will say that
7 the orders to go towards Bratunac, that they were able to talk the
8 general out of that and he was to security the heights. And that is what
9 is in his transcript that is in evidence on page 28 of e-court. But to
10 get to that, and that was the order I was referring to in the summary,
11 but to get to that we do -- I -- hopefully it won't confuse the issues to
12 see the -- to see the you actual videotape.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: It's the videotape where there is a conversation in
15 the streets and that's --
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes --
17 JUDGE ORIE: And the persons are identified. We have them on the
18 stills. So the Chamber is sufficiently aware of that.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. There is two sections. There is that when
20 Trivic meets him, and he says, "On to Bratunac," and, "Colonel, we will
21 talk about that." And there is another section where Mladic is doing the
22 same thing, a little while later Pandurevic steps in and says something
23 to the effect of, "Wait, general, we have to secure the hills because
24 there is Muslims up there," or maybe -- and so that comes to what his
25 final orders were, to secure the hills, and I think that's in agreement.
1 And --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. And I think we have seen that second portion
3 as well, isn't it? Yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yup.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: So I wasn't playing it again.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: But we can if you wish.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No, there is no need to do that. But we now at
10 least have a clear factual basis for ...
11 MR. LUKIC: I don't know about the agreement but only that I
12 agreed on securing the hills, so if it's not played today we will play it
13 tomorrow for sure at the beginning of our ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. If you are -- of course, it's up to you to
15 select what you want to play with the witness.
16 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. We may continue.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You said that the members of UNPROFOR crossed over to the side of
23 the Army of Republika Srpska. Did you mistreat them, did you threaten
24 them, did you torture them? How did you treat them?
25 A. There were no threats. There was no torture, no mistreatment.
1 In this group where I was, there was a soldier who was able to
2 communicate with them in English. They said who they were. They
3 surrendered the weapons to my group. And then all together headed by me
4 we walked back to the command post in Jasenovo. Among them there was an
5 officer who sat with me. We offered them something to eat and I know
6 that we had a beer. It was quite a warm day and we managed to cool the
7 beer in a stream. And then we headed. It is then that I informed them
8 about what happened, and then a representative of the corps command
9 appeared and took them over and led them away from my command post.
10 Q. Via that interpreter, were you able to find out about their state
11 of mind? Were they scared? Were they distressed?
12 A. Yes, I did learn about that. An example showing how scared they
13 were was when they left the APC, at which time one of those young
14 soldiers must have been in a difficult mental state and his trousers all
15 of a sudden became wet. So we told them that there was no reason for
16 them to be afraid, that they came into safe hands, and that they should
17 not be afraid, and they should not worry that anything would transpire
18 that would be in line with the stories they had heard earlier about who
19 Serbs were, what kind of soldiers they were, et cetera.
20 Q. Did they tell you via the interpreter that the members of the
21 28th Division used them as human shield?
22 A. After all these years, I can't remember the exact conversation
23 that we had. It's possible that something like that was mentioned in
24 that brief conversation that I had with them. Later on, I learned that
25 there had been such attempts. I learned that from the book written by
1 the interpreter who was from Srebrenica, Nuhanovic I think was his name.
2 I can't remember, though, whether back at that time they told me that.
3 Later on I saw some documents and some statements and some combat
4 documents from that time all indicated that they were told to take
5 advantage of the positions of the UN forces, to take full advantage to
6 their benefit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trivic, that may be true or not, but what we are
8 interested in to hear from you is not what you read in books, not and
9 what you later learned in statements of others and what conclusions
10 reading that material might justify. We are exclusively interested in
11 what you heard, what you saw, what you observed at that time.
12 Please proceed.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
14 you for cautioning me. When it comes to this instance of using UN forces
15 as human shield by the members of the 28th Division, the only area where
16 I saw that happen was the area of Zepa and Borik where they fired from
17 the APC of Ukrainian forces.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We will get to that part as well, and we have a document that
20 refers to that. Now, when it comes to the document that is on our
21 screens right now, tell us, please, does it reflect accurately in
22 paragraph 4 what happened on the ground about how those people were taken
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In that case, we tender this document
1 into evidence, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: 1D973 receives D288, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: D288 is admitted into evidence.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Is it the village of Slapovic or Slapovici?
7 A. I think that it's without the i. I think it's just Slapovic.
8 Q. Slapovic. All right. So the village of Slapovic was empty when
9 you got there; right?
10 A. Yes. The population was not there within those houses.
11 Actually, this is a settlement of prefabricated homes. That's how it was
12 established, if you will. There was no population there.
13 Q. When you reached that place, there was no longer any members of
14 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina there; right?
15 A. No, there was nobody there.
16 Q. And not a single house there was set on fire; right? They were
17 all intact.
18 A. No house was damaged by anything, either as a result of combat
19 activities or any other reason.
20 Q. Let me asking you something briefly now about the fire that was
21 opened by the Army of Republika Srpska before entering Srebrenica. You
22 personally entered the town of Srebrenica; right? We can see it in the
23 video footage that we'll probably show tomorrow.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Before entering, did your forces open fire on the town of
1 Srebrenica, the forces under your command?
2 A. The forces under my command, those units had no need to do that
3 nor did they open fire against the town of Srebrenica. I'm saying this
4 because our forces came under fire and there was no need for us to fire
5 at the town.
6 Q. During this operation, was heavy weaponry used at all? What kind
7 of weapons did you have at your disposal?
8 A. In addition to small arms, the support weaponry that I had was
9 one mortar, 82-millimetre, and perhaps another calibre. I would need to
10 check my diary for that. And nothing else. As I said, we had small arms
11 that we had on us. As for the three tanks that were -- that I had in my
12 units, they had been resubordinated to the Zvornik Brigade due to the
13 configuration of the terrain. It was possible for them to use the tanks
14 if needed because that's what the ground was like in their area.
15 Q. In the course of that attack, did you see other units of the
16 Army of Republika Srpska or perhaps those three tanks themselves? Did
17 you see them open fire at the town of Srebrenica?
18 A. I did not see that and I was not aware of that.
19 Q. So now we go to the 11th of July, 1995, the entry into
20 Srebrenica. When you personally - not your unit - but you personally
21 entered the town, did you see buildings destroyed by artillery weapons?
22 A. I did not see damaged or destroyed buildings.
23 Q. On the road to Srebrenica and in Srebrenica itself, how many dead
24 people did you see?
25 A. I did not see a single corpse on the road along which I moved.
1 Q. Did you see any houses burning in Srebrenica or burnt houses in
2 Srebrenica when you entered?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. You saw shattered glass on the Srebrenica hospital; is that
6 A. Yes, I saw that. But it wasn't that there were ruins there
8 Q. You did not see any direct hits on the hospital itself?
9 A. No.
10 Q. On the 11th of July, 1995, did you enter the UN base in
12 A. I personally did not.
13 Q. When did you enter Srebrenica? Can you remember the exact time?
14 A. I have either the fortune or misfortune to have my own diary, so
15 that often helps me remember, especially in such situations when I am
16 preparing to testify. I think it was between 17- and 1800 hours on the
17 11th [Realtime transcript read in error "27th"] of July.
18 Q. Did you enter Naser Oric's apartment on that day, too?
19 A. Me? No.
20 Q. The civilian population relocated from Srebrenica to Potocari
21 before you entered the town; right?
22 A. Yes, I am sure. Most of them. Also there were still some
23 individuals who were leaving those small streets and buildings and they
24 were told that they should go to Potocari to the base there.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I clarify about which day are you testifying
1 at the moment?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 11th. The 11th of July.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the record I see on page 53, line 15, "I think
4 it was between 17- and 1800 hours on the 27th of July." I take it that
5 you are referring to the 11th of July; is that correct?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say either the 11th or
7 the 27th. I did not say anything about the date.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And in fact you were testifying at the moment
9 about 11th; is that correct.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, that's correct.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you for noticing that, Your Honour. I missed
14 Q. [Interpretation] Did you personally help some elderly persons on
15 that occasion?
16 A. Yes, but that was on the 12th of July.
17 Q. All right. Then, we'll get to that when we start talking about
18 the 12th. You or some other member of the VRS, do you know, did you find
19 any weapons in any of the depots that the Muslims had allegedly handed
21 A. No, I did not find anything and no one informed me about any such
22 thing and I don't know anything about that.
23 Q. Members of UNPROFOR, did they hand over weapons to members of the
24 VRS that they allegedly held in the depot? Did you hear anything like
25 that or did anyone hand anything over to you?
1 A. No, and I wouldn't want to speculate as to what I heard and when
2 I heard it, but I did not know of anything like that at the time and who
3 took these weapons and who gave what to who.
4 Q. The only personal contact that you had with General Ratko Mladic
5 during this operation or action was when you were filmed in Srebrenica;
7 A. Yes, that is the only personal contact. And the one at the
8 meeting on the following day.
9 Q. During this action, you did not have any contact with
10 General Ratko Mladic, not even through communications equipment; is that
12 A. Yes, that's right. There weren't any conversations. I just knew
13 about the circular information stating that there could be NATO air
14 strikes and that commanders should personally speak through radio
15 equipment in such a situation, so it wouldn't be the communications
16 officer or operator but it would have to be the commander personally who
17 would have to speak.
18 Q. On that occasion in that circular information, the General is
19 cautioning about the possibility of NATO air strikes; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that was a warning, and it was an announcement of that
21 possibility, and that we should camouflage our forces, that they
22 shouldn't be concentrated, that they should be extended over a broader
23 area as is the case in such situations. So it has to do with what
24 officers are duty-bound to do in such situations.
25 Q. So he's just reminding you about the duties that had already been
1 prescribed; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. On that occasion, did you enter the building of Srebrenica
5 A. You mean the 11th.
6 Q. The 11th.
7 A. No. The municipality building, I entered it -- or, rather, I was
8 in front of the building on the 13th in the morning when preparing
9 vehicles to transport personnel to the area of Zepa.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 65 ter 4400 in
12 e-court now.
13 Just a moment, please. I need to approach my client.
14 [Defence and accused confer]
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon.
16 Q. We see this document now, the 11th of July, 1995, issued by the
17 commander of the Drina Corps Milenko Zivanovic at the time. In the first
18 paragraph it says:
19 "The command of the 28th Division of the so-called Army
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina asked to be immediately redeployed from the
21 Sarajevo front."
22 And then in the last paragraph in B/C/S, it's on the next page in
23 English, it says:
24 "In agreement and co-operation with MUP organs in Srebrenica" --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. "... Vlasenica, Han Pijesak, Sokolac and Zvornik, by sensible
3 deployment of forces, ensure control of roads, block the passage of
4 Muslims from and into the enclave and take control over the territory in
5 depth in relation to the road."
6 Did you manage to find this? We actually need the previous page
7 in B/C/S. I do apologise. At that time is it correct that you did not
8 have accurate information as to where the members of the 28th Division
9 were. Also you did not have accurate information as to what their
10 intentions were?
11 A. What you say in your question is correct. We did not have
12 information as to where they were and in which directions they were
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we clarify who he means by "we"?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain, Witness, when you said, "We did
16 not have information ..." who you refer to?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Army of Republika Srpska or,
18 rather, the Drina Corps. But let me correct this by saying that I did
19 not have information. My command group and I did not.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you take into account the possibility, in your plans, that
23 is, that along any road that you were moving on within the enclaves or
24 the enclave of Srebrenica at the time and around it that there could be
25 an attack from the units of the 28th Division?
1 A. Yes. Yes. That was one of the important assessments made, that
2 one had to be alert and complete these active operations, which did
3 happen on the 12th because we were given tasks to complete the attack, to
4 enter the state of pursuit towards the facilities that were the original
5 targets that were set for individual units.
6 Q. So what we see on the screen, is this in line with what you and
7 your unit received at the time?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'd like to ask that this document,
10 65 ter 4400, be admitted into evidence, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: D289, Your Honours, thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D289 is admitted.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Now I'd like us to move in time, the 12th of July, 1995. In
17 Potocari when you were passing by in the evening, you were passing by
18 around 2030 hours on the evening of the 11th?
19 A. Yes, roughly, because I needed to reach the command of the
20 Bratunac Brigade.
21 Q. You saw the police trying to maintain law and order and to keep
22 the traffic going for the vehicles that were there?
23 A. Yes, I saw that.
24 Q. The first evening --
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of the prior
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if there is any problem in whether or not
3 it accurately states, could you please quote to the extent possible
5 MR. LUKIC: Can we have 1D970, please, line -- page 16 in the
6 e-court. [Interpretation] This is a page of the Popovic et al. trial and
7 the page number of that transcript is 11838. [In English] I will read,
8 quote, answer, line 3:
9 "A. There were many people in Potocari, crowds of people. On
10 the road itself, while I wouldn't say that there were crowds of people,
11 but at any rate there were people moving along the road to the left and
12 to the right roadside, and one had to pass through that section of the
13 road quite slowly. Military and civilian police officers, several of
14 them, tried to maintain order and make way for the vehicles passing along
15 that road."
16 So I don't know if the problem was with translation.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether it's "the law" which was
18 missing, but, Mr. --
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now that it's complete and we have military and
20 civilian police I think it's a fair question, otherwise I think it was
21 unfairly questioned.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. LUKIC: If we go back to audio recording, I am sure that I
24 mentioned military and civil police [overlapping speakers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. You have an opportunity to do that.
1 MR. LUKIC: I apologise if that made confusion, but I am sure
2 that I read both.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on at this very moment.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] The first evening as you were going through
6 Potocari, on that evening did you see any buses?
7 A. The 12th?
8 Q. Yes, the 12th.
9 A. I think I did see them but in that commotion one didn't pay
10 attention to everything that was happening and much time has passed
11 since. I know that of the 13th I was driving in a column of vehicles,
12 buses, trucks, transporting residents from Potocari to Bratunac.
13 Q. We are still on the 12th. And there was a meeting of the
14 12th of July in the evening at the Fontana Hotel. You attended only one
15 meeting at the Bratunac Brigade; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At the meeting we are discussing right now, you mentioned in your
18 previous testimony that you heard General Mladic talking about the need
19 to provide fuel for buses and trucks; is that right?
20 A. Yes. To ensure fuel.
21 Q. At that meeting on the 12th of July in the evening, you remember
22 that you were present and General Pandurevic; is that right?
23 A. Yes. That's for certain.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Colonel Pandurevic, interpreter's correction.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You don't remember anybody from the Main Staff attended that
2 meeting other than General Mladic; right?
3 A. I don't remember anybody else being there from the Main Staff
4 other than General Mladic.
5 Q. Is it also correct that between the 6th and 13th of July, 1995,
6 in Bratunac, you had no contact nor did you see anybody from the
7 Main Staff of the VRS there?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Is it also correct that other than the cases you stated, you had
10 no communication with any members of the Main Staff during the Krivaja 95
12 A. Yes, that is correct. I did not communicate with any officers
13 from the Main Staff at that time.
14 Q. So this meeting on the 12th of July in the evening was attended
15 by General Mladic as well. At what time did he come? Was it at around
16 2200 hours?
17 A. Yes, he came at around 2200 hours. General Krstic came at 2100
18 hours and General Mladic joined at 2200 hours.
19 Q. What did he say on that occasion. Will you tell us that, please?
20 A. I can't quote his exact words but he congratulated on the results
21 of the combat until that point. And as I have stated earlier to
22 Mr. McCloskey, he gave a task -- or, rather, he proposed -- well, he
23 asked General Krstic to come up with a plan for the Srebrenica enclave
24 and how that was going to be solved, and he said that they should use the
25 momentum of the success achieved until that point and to continue into
1 the next task immediately from that area.
2 Q. And what was your position? What was the position of Pandurevic?
3 A. The only activity that was planned at the outset of this task as
4 we were preparing our soldiers for the task was to take part in the
5 splitting of the enclaves and that was the motive for the soldiers and
6 for those who came to participate. As you know, not all of the soldiers
7 wanted or were willing to take part in the offensive, we assigned them to
8 holding the positions and so on. I don't want to go into those details.
9 And there were also some health issues with some of the soldiers because
10 it was quite hot, there was no water -- not enough water, they couldn't
11 bathe, and so on.
12 So before General Mladic came, we informed General Krstic about
13 the condition as it was at the time. That's what we did between 21- and
14 2200 hours. Maybe this is the first time I am telling you this, but
15 General Krstic wasn't really willing to tell the commander of the
16 Main Staff that we shouldn't go. He asked us as brigade commanders to
17 inform him of that and to explain it to him. General Krstic did not know
18 what the position of the commander of the Main Staff was going to be. We
19 did inform Krstic earlier before General Mladic came and the conclusion
20 of that meeting was as I have already told you today and as you already
22 Q. Was there an order to ensure the roads in the Srebrenica area at
23 the time? Was there such an order?
24 A. I don't want to interpret things but, yes, there was a need for
25 that, and as is stated in that document about closing off roads, it was
1 stated there that it was necessary to maintain lines, positions, so that
2 there would be no surprise attacks when the forces were withdrawing from
3 Srebrenica. Yes, there was such need. And there was an order to secure
4 roads so that there wouldn't be any surprise attacks in that area, Zepa
5 and Srebrenica, as the forces were withdrawing.
6 Q. Was there an order to secure roads leading from Srebrenica to
7 Bratunac and Vlasenica?
8 A. Yes. We were given such orders, too. And one of such orders was
9 given to the 2nd Romanija Brigade given that such activities were
10 conducted in their position. So there was no information as to the
11 direction that the withdrawing forces were taking, so it was possible
12 that they could have threatened the -- all of the positions of the
13 Army of Republika Srpska in all of the areas through which the corps
15 Q. The order to secure roads was also issued by the command of the
16 Drina Corps; right?
17 A. Yes, yes. They were in command of the entire operation and
18 they -- and that's how it concluded, under their command.
19 Q. And that was a -- that is a routine military activity after an
20 area is taken; right?
21 A. Yes, that is a routine procedure that is applied always after
22 combat activities. Yes.
23 Q. The main task, at least as far as you were concerned, was to move
24 on to Zepa; right?
25 A. Yes. For me and my unit, yes. After the 13th.
1 Q. After that meeting, there was a dinner, right, on the
2 12th of July 1995 in the evening?
3 A. Yes, we had dinner in a room in that facility where the command
4 of the Bratunac Brigade was.
5 Q. Was the dinner attended by the same people as the meeting?
6 A. Yes. Those who were at the meeting and perhaps some other people
7 joined as well among those who had organised the dinner. So it was in a
8 separate room, not in the dining room of that facility. That facility
9 used to belong to a company before the war and they had their kitchen and
10 their dining room where the soldiers ate, whereas we went to another room
11 where perhaps up to 20 people could be seated. So it was us from the
12 meeting and some other people who had organised the dinner.
13 Q. Please listen carefully to my question. During that meeting or
14 perhaps during the dinner which followed the meeting, was there any talk
15 of the prisoners or possible prisoners or disarmed enemy soldiers?
16 A. There was no talk of what to do. The activities concerning
17 future tasks of the units mostly centred about what was to be done
18 afterwards. And when it comes to closing off certain roads, blocking
19 them off, controlling roads, and the deployment of civil authorities,
20 military police, and so on, all of this was concluded -- the official
21 part of the evening was concluded in the room where we had our meeting.
22 After that, there was no talk of prisoners or disarmed forces. It was
23 not discussed at the dinner.
24 Q. Was it discussed at the meeting because you just said that it
25 wasn't discussed during the dinner.
1 A. Everything that was said at the meeting was that somebody --
2 somebody with whom General Mladic had talked was to provide fuel, whereas
3 the army was to rely on the old system of requisitioning vehicles to
4 ensure vehicles, because I guess somebody was saying what about the
5 vehicles. So that was all that was discussed.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We have now spent two or three questions on whether
7 prisoners or personal prisoners or disarmed enemy soldiers were
8 mentioned. Were they not mentioned at all during the meeting, in between
9 the meetings, dinner, after dinner, before dinner? Was any -- but was it
10 ever mentioned that there were prisoners or possibly prisoners or
11 disarmed enemy soldiers? Clear question, please, a short answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. During that day at the
13 meeting and during the dinner there was no talk of prisoners of war or
14 disarmed enemy forces. All that was discussed was the evacuation of the
15 population, evacuation of the Muslim population from Potocari.
16 JUDGE ORIE: They were not even mentioned?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that prisoners of
18 war were mentioned or disarmed enemy forces.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the evacuation of the population. Would that
20 include men and boys of, well, let's say over 16 years?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that a question to me?
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's a question to you. You said that was part of
23 the conversation and you talked about the population. Were you talking
24 about men and women or men and boys or children and elderly? What was
25 the gist of it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish to be clear.
2 At that meeting, both the official part and the dinner part that followed
3 there was no talk of prisoners of war. No such term was used, nor were
4 the disarmed enemy forces discussed either. The term "prisoners" as it
5 pertained to population, to people in Potocari, was used for the first
6 time by the Prosecutor in this case when I was asked whether I had seen
7 the prisoners, when I was asked about their evacuation, and so on. In
8 that case I clarified it. I said that they were not prisoners and those
9 who were killed. I said it back then that those were not prisoners and I
10 wish to repeat it now.
11 People in Potocari, the population, they were not prisoners. As
12 for those who were disarmed later on on the road, those were the disarmed
13 enemy forces and that was the first time I used that term, and I ask that
14 it be treated in that way.
15 JUDGE ORIE: When I asked you whether prisoners or prisoners of
16 war were even mentioned, you said:
17 "I don't remember that prisoners of war were mentioned or
18 disarmed enemy forces."
19 So you started by saying that it had not been discussed and that
20 at a later stage in your answers, after you have dwelled far away from
21 the question and not directly answered the question, you then said:
22 "I don't remember whether they were mentioned."
23 Is that still your answer?
24 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, Your Honour, when did he say that he does not
25 remember? I don't have it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I have, yes. Let me -- just one second, Mr. Lukic.
2 It just disappeared from my screen, so I have to find it on the other
4 MR. LUKIC: The gentleman said that he does not remember whether
5 anybody mentioned it.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I asked, and we were talking about, evacuation of
7 Muslim population from Potocari.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Line 15, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] prisoners of war. I am
10 looking at my question at page 65, line 14, and then the answer on
11 line 15.
12 "I don't remember that prisoners of war were mentioned or
13 disarmed enemy forces."
14 MR. LUKIC: Not that he does not remember. He does not remember
15 that anybody mentioned them.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And earlier the witness answered more or less
17 that it had not been part of the -- had not been part of
18 the [overlapping speakers] that's not the same.
19 MR. LUKIC: That's the same.
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, that's not the same.
21 MR. LUKIC: That's the same. I can clarify it with him but it's
22 the same.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I disagree with you that that's the same.
24 Yes, Judge Moloto has a question.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: At page 65, lines 20 to 23, Judge Orie asked the
2 "That's a question to you. You said that was part of the
3 conversation and you talk about the population. Were you talking about
4 men and women or men and boys or children and elderly? What was the gist
5 of it?"
6 And you went on to answer, sir, from line 24 of page 65 right up
7 to line 8 of page 66, talking about prisoners. Now, I would ask you to
8 answer Judge Orie's question which wasn't about prisoners but about the
9 population. Did you talk about men and women and children being
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- to try --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just say yes or no. Did you talk about the
15 evacuation of the population which in discussion included men and women
16 and children and elderly?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no mention of evacuation
18 at all. None at all except for the telephone conversation of
19 General Mladic with someone about fuel for evacuation.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. It seems -- [Microphone not activated]
22 It does seem to me as if you -- there is a change from what you
23 said, because Judge Orie earlier said to you:
24 "Now the evacuation of the population, would that include men and
25 boy of, well, let's say over 16 years?"
1 That was long before what I quoted to you. And that was in
2 reaction to you having said, "Thank you," and this is at page 65, line
4 "During that day at the meeting and during the dinner there was
5 no talk of prisoners of war or disarmed enemy forces. All that was
6 discussed was the evacuation of the population, evacuation of the Muslim
7 population from Potocari."
8 That's what you've just said. Now you say that that was not
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise to the
11 Presiding Judge and the entire Trial Chamber. What you are imputing to
12 me now is not correct. I did not say that there was any reference to the
13 evacuation of the population. I never stated that and I'm not stating
14 that today, either, that on that day at meetings or at the dinner that I
15 attended there was any mention of evacuating the population, older,
16 younger, prisoners of war, this or that, but I did say that for the
17 people in Potocari, the word "prisoners of war" was used by the
18 Prosecutor in Popovic, I think. And later in some statements I said
19 that, after all, these were not prisoners of war. These were people who
20 went to Potocari themselves.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let the record show that I am not imputing
22 anything to you and that I am not talking about prisoners. I am talking
23 about the evacuation of the population which is on the record here, and
24 if you say you didn't say so, and maybe it's just a question of
25 interpretation, but the record shows clearly that that's what you said.
1 JUDGE ORIE: This can be easily verified, Witness, by listening
2 through the audio. If you say, "It's not what I said," then we'll check
3 it and then we'll see whether you said it or not. Is that what you wish
4 us to do? Or are you leaving the possibility open that you said:
5 "All that was discussed was the evacuation of the population,
6 evacuation of the Muslim population from Potocari."
7 If you consider it possible that you said that, we'll just follow
8 the transcript. If you say that's not what I said, we'll check it on the
9 basis of the audio.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Once again, thank you.
11 I do not wish, I mean, for us to have any kind of I don't want to say
12 "clash" but misunderstanding. That evening on the 12th of July --
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] No, no --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- there was no mention --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I am not seeking repetition of a discussion
16 on the matter. What I'm doing at this moment, I asked you whether it's
17 possible that you said what I just read to you. If you say, "No, that's
18 not possible," we'll verify it. If you say, "It's possible," we'll leave
19 it as it is. Which of the two?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to have this checked
21 what I said. I want to be clear in my answers. And I am telling the
23 JUDGE ORIE: It has got nothing to do with the truth. We'll
24 check. We'll verify whether that is what you said. We are talking about
25 page 65, lines 12 and 13. If it could be done during the break, that
1 would be preferable; if not, we'll hear later and then we can put it to
2 you tomorrow.
3 We take a break and we would first like the witness to be
4 escorted out of the courtroom.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at quarter to 2.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 1.24 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Can we proceed now? Do you have the right glasses?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How long did you stay at the Fontana Hotel that evening? Did you
17 leave when everybody else left? Did you leave earlier? Just tell us
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know where we are getting the
21 Hotel Fontana --
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the Bratunac Brigade. Sorry about
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your help. It seems
25 that this entire misunderstanding is based on that first question during
1 that part before the break. I did not attend the meeting at the
2 Fontana Hotel.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That has been corrected already. Please answer the
4 question: At what time did you leave the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I left after the dinner and came to
6 my command post very late.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you leave when all the rest left?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. At that meeting, did anyone at any point in time say or propose
11 that the Muslims should be killed?
12 A. No, no one. No one proposed that, no one said that.
13 Q. At that time you had intelligence to the effect that most of the
14 28th Division was withdrawing through territory controlled by the VRS.
15 They were fighting their way to Tuzla, that was under BH control; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At the time of this meeting, did anyone inform you -- did you
19 hear about men being separated in Potocari on the evening of the 12th?
20 A. No, I did not hear that.
21 Q. After that meeting and after that dinner, when going to your
22 command post you passed through Potocari; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In Potocari you saw women and men; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I don't know whether you paid attention to this, but did you
2 notice the age of the men that you saw there? Would you remember that
4 A. I cannot remember and I wasn't paying attention to that.
5 Q. Now I'd like to ask you something about the 13th of July, 1995.
6 Did General Mladic address the troops on the 13th of July, 1995, and is
7 it correct that he was asked to do that because of the exhaustion of the
8 soldiers that had taken part in the Srebrenica operation before that?
9 A. Yes, General Mladic came to the area of the village of Viogor and
10 he addressed part of the forces of my unit that I commanded, the unit
11 that was commanded by Colonel Andric, and otherwise our forces were there
12 in that area along that road in the village of Viogor. And this address
13 was due to what we said at that meeting, that he would motivate the
14 soldiers and he would mitigate the situation and motivate them to go to
15 other areas.
16 Q. On that occasion did General Krstic address the troops too?
17 A. Yes, General Krstic did too.
18 Q. Did he issue specific tasks to the units on that occasion?
19 A. On that occasion -- or rather, after General Mladic's address,
20 General Krstic addressed the soldiers and then he issued specific tasks
21 to us, the commanders, in respect of Zepa, specifically those initial
22 tasks so that we could move to the sector of Zepa.
23 Q. On that occasion what was the task that you received from
24 General Krstic, to go to the village of Krivace; right?
25 A. Yes, the task that pertained to my unit was first of all what my
1 marching route would be with the main forces of -- and then also what the
2 dead-line would be for reaching Krivace; inter alia, it was stating that
3 my unit would have a task, a particular role in Zepa and so on.
4 Q. Now Potocari on the 13th of July, 1995. In Potocari you see
5 groups of people, right, you see soldiers, policemen, and inhabitants of
7 A. It was a clear day in July and I observed all of that that
8 happened. I saw civilians, women, children, soldiers, policemen, men,
9 vehicles, the boarding of vehicles, and so on.
10 Q. Now going from -- towards Krivace from Bratunac, you saw
11 prisoners in Nova Kasaba; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Disarmed enemy soldiers?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. You were travelling by car; right?
16 A. Yes. I was travelling, or rather, I was in my Puch vehicle.
17 Q. You did not leave the vehicle on that occasion?
18 A. No, did I not. Except for lunch, but when I set out after lunch,
19 I did not leave the vehicle.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could I seek some clarification of one of the
23 previous questions and the answers.
24 You said in Nova Kasaba you saw prisoners. Your answer was
25 "yes." And then the next question was:
1 "Disarmed enemy soldiers?"
2 You responded again by saying:
3 "Yes, yes."
4 How did you -- how were you able to distinguish between prisoners
5 and disarmed soldiers? Were they separate? Were they together? How
6 were you able to see who was a prisoner and who was a disarmed enemy
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that there was a
9 question with these two terms that I used. The forces in Kasaba were
10 disarmed enemy forces, in my view, from the units of the 28th Division.
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated] So there were no -- there
12 were only disarmed soldiers there?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Kasaba, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: How did you know? Did you speak with them? Or how
15 did you know that they were disarmed soldiers rather than persons not
16 being armed, whether or not belonging to any armed force?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would rather not explain, but the
18 stage of the attack that we carried out on the 12th, which was the
19 conclusion of the offensive, was the pursuit stage of the enemy forces
20 that refused to surrender. Had they surrendered when they were in an
21 impossible situation and had they stayed --
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- with their population, then they
24 would have been arrested or taken prisoner.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'm stopping you there. Again, you are not
1 answering my question which seems to become a habit of yours. Simply,
2 how were you able to distinguish between disarmed soldiers and --
3 apparently you consider disarmed soldiers not being prisoners, not even
4 being prisoners of war. I do not know what your answer means in this
5 respect, that there were no prisoners. But how could you distinguish
6 between those who were not free, apparently, to move as they wished? How
7 did you know that they were disarmed soldiers rather than not disarmed
9 Please could you answer my question.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The interpreter used the term
11 "armed soldiers" and not "disarmed soldiers" in the last bit of
12 interpretation I received.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I am talking about disarmed soldiers. Could
14 you please answer my question.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer to your question is this:
16 Those who I saw in Kasaba for me were disarmed enemy forces who had been
17 disarmed at the conclusion of the attack in the pursuit stage. They did
18 not surrender in the combat activities when they were in the position to
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Still my question is: How could you know that
21 they were and, for example, not non-combatants?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All of them who had set out to
23 break through towards Tuzla, towards the canton where they wanted to go,
24 in order not to become prisoners of war, all of them put themselves in
25 the position of being disarmed enemy forces.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore your explanation is that if someone
2 decided to try to leave the area through the woods instead of
3 surrendering, that they, for that reason, were part of enemy forces. Is
4 that your testimony?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All of those who decided to set out
6 with the soldiers of the 28th Division - I don't know whether all of them
7 were members of the 28th Division or not, nobody knows that - but all of
8 those who had set out to break through expecting to go towards their own
9 free territory across the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska
10 brought themselves in a position where they became disarmed enemy forces
11 because the Army of Republika Srpska was concluding its offensive and was
12 in the pursuit stage. Had they decided earlier on to surrender via their
13 representatives, via their commanders, once they saw that they were in an
14 impossible situation, then they would have become prisoners of war. This
15 was my interpretation and the interpretation of the international laws of
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They put themselves in this
19 situation where they became disarmed enemy forces.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it to you that that's your interpretation.
21 Whether that's the interpretation of the international laws of war is for
22 this Chamber to further consider.
23 Mr. Lukic.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When you pass by in Nova Kasaba towards Krivace,
2 in your vehicle, how did you establish that these people you saw there,
3 these detained people, were part of those who tried to break through
4 towards the so-called free territory? How did you establish that, by
5 passing by?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] See here. In the course of those
7 several days while the combat activities were carried out and while those
8 events were taking place, the effects can only have one interpretation.
9 In that period of time, one part of combat activities were concluded. On
10 the 10th or 11th, somebody decided that the forces of the 28th Division
11 and the population would withdraw from the positions. Now, whether it
12 was the commanders of the local authorities who decided that, I don't
13 know; however, some of them went to Potocari --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is not my question. You passed by, by car,
15 and saw a group of people, and then you established that these were
16 disarmed enemy soldiers. How many people -- how many disarmed enemy
17 soldiers did you see there?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat once again.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On 15th or 20 kilometres further
21 on --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, no, no. Please stop. I asked you a precise
23 question. How many people did you see there? How many disarmed enemy
24 soldiers did you see at Nova Kasaba, only there, when you passed by in
25 your car? Please answer my question and nothing else.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They said at the football-pitch, at
2 the football stadium, on the right side of the road as I was moving along
3 the road, I cannot tell you how many there were. I didn't count. But
4 almost the entire football-pitch was taken up by them. They sat on that
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How were they dressed?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were in the clothes that they
8 wore at the time. I didn't pay attention to what they were wearing.
9 This was in Nova Kasaba. Along the road I saw several smaller groups of
10 disarmed --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am asking about Nova Kasaba. You explained
12 that you saw them sitting on the football-pitch, and were they in
13 uniforms or in civilian clothes?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't pay attention to the
15 clothes that they wore. I don't think it's important. They could have
16 changed their clothes to fair better.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How did you establish that they were part of the
18 people who tried to break through towards Tuzla? How did you establish
19 that? Did anybody tell you or did you ask them?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, the
21 order of the corps commander, the last one we saw in the Serbian
22 language, stated that the estimate of the Drina Corps was that the forces
23 of the 28th Division were moving towards Kladanj and Olovo - it said
24 everything to me, the forces of the 28th Division.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I notice that you are not able to answer my
2 Mr. Lukic, you should proceed.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. Nova Kasaba is on the road to Kladanj and Tuzla; right?
5 A. Yes. In that direction towards Kladanj and Tuzla and on the road
6 to Milici and Vlasenica.
7 Q. As for the clothes that they wore, you said that you didn't pay
8 attention. In the clashes with the members of the BH Army earlier on,
9 were you able to see that a lot of them were armed but wore civilian
11 A. Yes, there was such situations in earlier combat.
12 Q. So the existence of nonexistence of uniforms among the soldiers
13 of the BH Army wasn't the decisive factor in determining whether somebody
14 was a member of their armed forces or not?
15 A. No, it wasn't the decisive factor.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You're asking for opinion. You're aware of that, I
17 take it? That it's a decisive factor --
18 MR. LUKIC: No, I'm asking his opinion as a commander, whether he
19 would establish the enemy through the wardrobe.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That's not what you asked, but I do not mind.
21 Let's proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: We are close to the end; right?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you consider this -- that this would --
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- finish an area.
1 Could you tell us more or less where you are in terms of time?
2 MR. LUKIC: I asked for four hours. I am sure that I will finish
3 in that time-frame.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's understood.
5 Mr. Trivic, I would like to instruct you that you should not
6 speak or communicate in whatever way with whomever about your testimony,
7 whether that is testimony you've given today or whether it's testimony
8 still to be given tomorrow. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning
9 at 9.30 in this same courtroom, III. You may now follow the usher.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will abide by your
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow,
14 Wednesday, the 22nd of May, at 9.30 in the morning in this same
15 courtroom, III.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.15 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 22nd day
18 of May, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.