1 Friday, 5 July 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
6 courtroom. Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 The Chamber was informed that both parties wanted to raise
11 preliminary matters.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, for the Prosecution it was simply to
13 inquire about the RM070 application again. We would like to send a
14 letter that we had brought to the Court's attention by the end of the
15 week if possible.
16 JUDGE ORIE: RM070.
17 MR. GROOME: I can refresh the Chamber's recollection but we
18 would have to go into private session.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
20 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 Mr. Stojanovic.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just briefly, Your Honours.
4 Good morning, and once again a request from the Defence team. We are
5 expecting the Trial Chamber's decision regarding the four-day week work
6 during the coming weeks. The reason this is cropping up again is that
7 yesterday after the session, we were in the Detention Unit. We spoke
8 with our client. He did not feel very well, so our request would be
9 along those lines. It's very hard for us, actually, to communicate with
10 him, so we would like to see when the decision could be forthcoming. In
11 our contacts we were told that the information was provided to the
12 Trial Chamber. We don't know whether that's correct or not.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I can inform you that the Chamber is making progress
14 in preparing the decision, without saying much more. That means that
15 it's likely that it will be -- it will be delivered sometime next week,
16 but I'm not going to give any promises because finally all of the Chamber
17 has to agree on the exact wording of the decision, and sometimes that
18 goes quickly and sometimes that takes a bit more time. But we're working
19 hard on it, you can be assured of that.
20 If there's nothing else, is the Prosecution ready to call the
21 next witness.
22 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
24 courtroom tell.
25 Meanwhile, I use the opportunity to announce a housekeeping
1 session. The Chamber announces its intention to hold a housekeeping
2 session on or near the last sitting day of the trial, before the start of
3 the summer recess, with the goal of disposing of as many MFIs -- MFI
4 exhibits as possible. The Chamber, therefore, requests that the Registry
5 provide the parties with an updated list of MFI exhibits by Wednesday,
6 the 10th of July. The Chamber will, before that date, provide the
7 parties with a list of the MFI exhibits for which it is awaiting further
8 submissions so that these can be dealt with at the housekeeping session.
9 This is the end of this announcement.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Gavric, I take it. Mr. Gavric
12 before you give evidence the Rules require you make a solemn declaration.
13 The text is handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I solemnly declare
16 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: MICO GAVRIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Gavric. You may be seated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Gavric, you'll
21 first be examined by Ms. Harbour. You'll find Ms. Harbour to your right.
22 Ms. Harbour is counsel for the Prosecution.
23 Ms. Harbour, please proceed.
24 Examination by Ms. Harbour:
25 Q. Good morning, Witness. Would you please state your name for the
2 A. My name is Mico Gavric.
3 Q. Do you recall testifying at this Tribunal in the Popovic trial on
4 the 1st and 2nd of October, 2008?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you listen to a recording of that testimony prior to coming
7 to court today?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. As I've explained to you, we're only going to tender the portion
10 of your prior testimony relating to the terrain sweep on the
11 17th of July, 1995. The Trial Chamber has that before them, and you
12 identified several things in that testimony that should be clarified, so
13 I'm going to go through that with you now.
14 First, in your Popovic testimony, you talked about three children
15 who were among the prisoners captured on 17 July 1995. And for the
16 record, the pages where you discuss three children are transcript
17 page 26493, 26494, 26596 and 26625, and 26626.
18 Now, Mr. Gavric, without providing any additional details at this
19 stage, could you please tell the Chamber now how many children you recall
20 from that group of prisoners.
21 A. I have to apologise to the Trial Chamber. At the time I said
22 that it was three, but probably in the euphoria I made a mistake. It was
23 four children, and now I know their names also.
24 Q. We'll come back to that. First, we'll finish with the
25 corrections to your prior testimony. In your Popovic testimony, you
1 testified at page 26514 that on the 17th of July you received oral orders
2 from the Bratunac Brigade commander at noon. What time was it that you
3 actually received these orders?
4 A. I received the orders at 10.00, and then at 10.30 up to 11.00 I
5 went to the terrain where I was supposed to go. This was Sandici hill.
6 And then at 11.30, between 11.00 and 12.00, I met the commander of the
7 Bratunac Brigade, my brigade, at a slope of the Sandici hill because that
8 was when he set off to go into the field.
9 Q. Sorry to interrupt. For now we are just correcting your prior
10 testimony, so I would ask that we keep this as short as possible.
11 At page 26488 of your Popovic testimony, you testified that you
12 set off to perform the sweep at 12.00 or 12.30, and I see that you have
13 just corrected that in your prior answer to say that you set off at 10.30
14 up to 11.00.
15 And one final correction that I would ask you to make, actually
16 two more corrections. In the Popovic testimony at transcript page 26513
17 you testified that you arrived at Sandici at 12.15, and I would like to
18 ask you what actually happened at 12.15 at Sandici hill?
19 A. At 12.15, we set off to execute the assignment, and at 12.00 we
20 were at Sandici hill -- or, rather, we joined up there with the commander
21 of the Bratunac Battalion, Dragan Zekic, and the commander of the special
22 detachment of the police, Dusko Jevic. That was my assignment.
23 Q. Thank you for that clarification. And one final correction to
24 your prior testimony is at transcript page 26490, which refers to units
25 of the "military brigade" that participated in the sweep. Now, you've
1 told me that this is a translation error, and what should that actually
3 A. It should state the Milici Brigade.
4 Q. Now, with these corrections, if you were asked the same
5 questioned today that you were asked during the Popovic proceedings would
6 your answers be the same?
7 A. Ninety-nine per cent the same.
8 Q. You say 99 per cent. Did you have additional corrections,
9 specific corrections that you wanted to make to your prior testimony?
10 A. No. That's not what I mean. If you were to put the questions to
11 me, I don't know if the word order would be exactly the same. That's the
12 kind of thing I meant.
13 Q. But they would be the same -- your answers would be the same in
14 substance, would they not?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And would your answers be truthful and correct to the best of
17 your knowledge?
18 A. As far as they have been up to now, they would continue to be so;
20 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honours, I would like to tender the excerpts
21 of this witness's prior testimony into evidence. The 65 ter numbers are
22 28913 and 28914.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar. No objections, I see.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28913 receives number P1691. And
25 document 28914 receives number P1692, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P1691 and P1692 are admitted into evidence.
2 MS. HARBOUR: And P1692, can I ask that that be placed under
4 JUDGE ORIE: P1692 is admitted under seal.
5 MS. HARBOUR: I would also like to tender into evidence five
6 associated exhibits that are discussed in this tendered testimony. Four
7 of them can be public, so I will list those first: 65 ter 4233, 19222,
8 4236, and 4237. And the last exhibit which I would tender should be
9 under seal, and that's 65 ter 6144.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you assign numbers one by
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 4233 receives number P1693.
13 JUDGE ORIE: P1693 is admitted.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document 19222 receives number P1694,
15 Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P1694 is admitted.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 4236 receives number P1695,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P1695 is admitted.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 4237 receives number P1696,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: P1696 is admitted.
23 THE REGISTRAR: And document 6144 receives number P1697 under
24 seal, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P1697 is admitted under seal.
1 MS. HARBOUR: I would now like to lead a public summary of the
2 witness's 92 ter evidence for the record, and I've explained the purpose
3 of this summary to Mr. Gavric.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
5 MS. HARBOUR: On Monday, 17 July 1995, at around 10.00 a.m.
6 Mico Gavric met at the Bratunac Brigade command with his commander,
7 Colonel Blagojevic. Colonel Blagojevic told Gavric that he was going to
8 Zepa. He ordered Gavric to take part in a sweep of the terrain from
9 Sandici to Konjevic Polje. The purpose of the sweep operation was to
10 make sure that no members of Muslim forces remained in the area.
11 Blagojevic ordered Gavric to co-ordinate several units in the sweep
12 including the Bratunac Brigade 3rd Battalion under Dragan Zekic and the
13 special MUP units under Dusko Jevic. The units split up to cover the
14 entire terrain.
15 On the afternoon of the 17th of July, one of the units from the
16 3rd Battalion captured approximately 38 Muslims who surrendered in
17 Burnice. They were arrested and brought to Pervani. There, Gavric
18 instructed the soldiers to remove the children from the captured group.
19 One of the soldiers was threatening one of the minors but Gavric ordered
20 him not to hurt the children. Gavric instructed the VRS soldiers to bind
21 the prisoners' hands.
22 Gavric called the Bratunac Brigade command to report about the
23 captured prisoners and ask what should be done with them.
24 Colonel Blagojevic was not at the command because he had already left for
25 operations in Zepa. Momir Nikolic told Gavric that Dusko Jevic should
1 take the prisoners to a warehouse in Konjevic Polje. Gavric handed the
2 adults over to Jevic's unit. He had the children taken to the
3 Bratunac Brigade where he took them to the military police headquarters.
4 Gavric arranged for a media team to film them the next morning.
5 On 18 July 1995, the children were exchanged for several Serb
6 police officers.
7 Later that same day, Gavric went to Konjevic Polje. He
8 recognised some of the prisoners he had picked up the day before. They
9 were outside the warehouse in Konjevic Polje picking up trash. Gavric
10 did not know what happened to the prisoners after he left Konjevic Polje.
11 This concludes the public summary.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If you have any additional questions, you may put
13 them to the witness.
14 MS. HARBOUR:
15 Q. Mr. Gavric, in 1995, what was your position in the VRS?
16 A. From the 14th of November, 1992, when the Bratunac Brigade was
17 formed, I was assigned as the chief of artillery of the Bratunac Brigade
18 at which duty I remained until the end of the war.
19 Q. And what was your rank?
20 A. I had the rank of captain.
21 Q. Now, let's turn now to the 17th of July, 1995. Bearing in mind
22 that the Chamber has your prior testimony on this event in hand, please
23 be careful to keep your answers strictly to what I'm asking you.
24 In Popovic you testified at T26488 and T26513 that you were
25 briefed by Commander Blagojevic regarding your tasks for the terrain
1 sweep on 17th July, and you've clarified this morning that this briefing
2 took place at 10.00 a.m. Without providing additional details, could you
3 please tell the Chamber where did you meet Blagojevic for this
5 A. At the Bratunac Brigade command, in the operations room.
6 Q. You've clarified for the Court this morning that you set off for
7 the sweep at around 10.30 to 11.00 a.m. When did you next see
8 Colonel Blagojevic?
9 A. I think that I saw Colonel Blagojevic between 11.00 and 12.00 --
10 or actually, around 11.30, to be more precise.
11 Q. Where was that?
12 A. At a pass of Sandici hill where I was supposed to join up with
13 the two units.
14 Q. Why was Colonel Blagojevic at Sandici hill?
15 A. Colonel Blagojevic was not at Sandici hill. He was just passing,
16 because the road along which he was moving on the way to his assignment
17 is the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Han Pijesak-Zepa road.
18 Q. And where was he heading?
19 A. He was going to Zepa with the unit.
20 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please have Exhibit P1581 on the monitors,
21 and this should not be broadcast to the public.
22 Q. While this is coming up, Mr. Gavric, this is an intercept dated
23 17 July 1995 at 12.20. Let me draw your attention to about a third of
24 the way down the page where M says that 400 set off at 1130 hours.
25 M goes on to say there are seven buses. Then toward the bottom of the
1 page he says, "Blagojevic set off at the head."
2 Now, based on your interactions with Blagojevic on that date, do
3 you know what this intercepted conversation is about?
4 A. I think that this has to do with the movement of the
5 Bratunac Brigade. It's moving to its assignment. I don't know how many
6 buses there were, though.
7 MS. HARBOUR: I'm finished with this document.
8 Q. Mr. Gavric, in the Popovic case you testified at transcript
9 page 26598 that during the course of the sweep operation prisoners were
10 captured in the Burnice area and then arrested and brought to the area of
11 Pervani. Could you please describe this place near Pervani where the
12 prisoners were brought?
13 A. When a certain number of people were captured in the Burnice
14 village area, those same people were brought to the Pervani area. The
15 Pervani area where the people were brought is at the end of the Lolici
16 village and at the beginning of the Pervani village. It's on the left
17 side of the road as you go from Bratunac towards Konjevic Polje; that's
18 one thing. The other thing is that the asphalt road in that sector where
19 the people were captured, there is a concrete water fountain. So that
20 would be one feature which was some 400 metres east from the Pervani
22 Q. Were the prisoners armed when they were arrested?
23 A. All the prisoners who surrendered wore civilian clothes, whereas
24 the troops in the field had brought with them a lot of infantry weapons
25 that the soldiers and other armed people had carried with them in their
1 attempt to break out towards Tuzla. They had probably discarded the
3 Q. But the prisoners who surrendered, you said they wore civilian
4 clothes. Could you also confirm that they were not armed?
5 A. I cannot confirm that. They were brought to us unarmed, but
6 whether they were unarmed while moving, I cannot possibly know.
7 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please move briefly into private session.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 13903-13904 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
7 MS. HARBOUR:
8 Q. Mr. Gavric, in Popovic, at transcript page 26493, you testified
9 that the children were brought back to the Bratunac Brigade on the
10 evening of the 17th of July. What time did you arrive back at the
11 Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
12 A. I cannot tell you the exact time now, but I believe it was around
13 7.30 p.m., not later than 8.00 p.m.
14 Q. And at T26597 in Popovic you testified that the children were
15 filmed by a TV crew. Who arranged for the children to be filmed?
16 A. When I returned from the field, I went to see the duty operations
17 officer, and that was Major Filipovic. So when I returned and reported
18 from my field mission, I also mentioned there were four children there.
19 They should be given media coverage, TV crews should be brought, and it
20 was the job of the assistant commander for morale. Ratko was his first
21 name. I don't remember his last name. He was a major, and he was
22 assistant commander for morale.
23 Q. When did the filming take place?
24 A. The next morning.
25 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please have 65 ter 4239 on the monitors.
1 We're bringing up a Bratunac 1st Light Infantry Brigade command document
2 which is dated 17 July 1995 and written to the Drina Corps command. This
3 document reads, and I quote:
4 "Among the Muslim prisoners, there are four underaged children,
5 aged between 8 and 14, who are being held in military custody in
7 And then the last sentence of the document reads:
8 "We propose that this testimony be recorded by cameras of your
9 press centre."
10 And at the bottom we see that it was delivered on 18 July 1995 at
11 12.40 in the morning. Is this document related to the events that you've
12 just described?
13 A. From what I know, people from the press centre were supposed to
14 come in the morning and do the filming, but I was not at the brigade
15 command, so I don't know if they had stuck to that arrangement.
16 Q. Did you provide the information that's contained in this report?
17 A. I only provided information that they passed on to the press
18 centre to the effect that the children were aged 8 to 14, and all the
19 rest was up to the assistant commander for morale.
20 Q. And we can see that the document -- at the bottom of the document
21 is written "Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic." Was he present at the brigade
22 command when you brought the children back?
23 A. There was no one there at the time, only Major Filipovic.
24 MS. HARBOUR: Could I please tender this document.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated] document 04239
2 receives number P --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 04239 receives number
6 P1698, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P1698 is admitted into evidence.
8 Have you done with the filming, Ms. Harbour, or --
9 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would have one or two additional questions.
11 In your previous testimony, you said:
12 "We filmed the children so that there would be no news
13 circulating the globe that children were being caught and shot."
14 What raised your concern about possibly such news circulating the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every war brings with it a lot of
17 dirty things, and so did our war. Propaganda is at the forefront of the
18 special war. My main aim was, first and foremost, to protect these
19 children, because if they are given media coverage and filmed, then
20 nobody would dare even think about doing something ugly to them.
21 Second, apart from taking care of their lives, I also took care
22 of the morale of my brigade and my own conscience, and I thought my army
23 would not be seen as killing young or the infirm.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Were there at that moment any media reports about
25 prisoners or whether children are not being ill-treated?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Throughout the war I followed
2 electronic media, and they were all engaged in propaganda rather than
3 concerned with the truth.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The days before you filmed those kids, was there any
5 specific media attention you noticed about the fate and the treatment of
6 persons which had left Srebrenica after it fell?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know so much about that,
8 but now I know that B92 was present at many locations where certain
9 actions took place.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I wonder whether you knew at the time. So you're
11 saying you were following the electronic media, but there was no specific
12 attention to the Srebrenica Muslims which had left, that there was no
13 media attention to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At that time, there was no
15 talk about it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And what then suddenly caused you to take these
17 measures, whereas -- what then triggered that exactly, just a general
18 concern about possible media attention?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just said a moment ago once you
20 have a child, you start giving them an upbringing. My parents had six
21 children, and they always told us, Do no evil so that no one would do
22 evil to you. That's one.
23 Two, at school, at the school for reserve officers and throughout
24 life, I learned that lesson.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. I asked whether there was
1 any specific media attention in that moment that would have triggered it
2 where you said it was just a general awareness of the possibility of
3 propaganda and that at that point in time, although following the
4 electronic media, you said there was no specific attention for the fate
5 of Muslims which had left Srebrenica. Is that how -- that's how I
6 understood your answer.
7 Now, is that -- can you confirm that I have understood your --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think you understood that
9 correctly, but regarding media coverage for the children, that could not
10 happen until somebody calls up the media and tells them about that
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, my next question would be you said you
13 also -- media coverage would protect the children, because no one would
14 dare to touch them if they had been filmed. Now, these children were in
15 the custody of your own army or your own units. Was there any specific
16 reason why you had to protect them under those circumstances, because
17 usually filming is used as protection by those who have to fear something
18 from the situation in which the filmed persons find themselves, and they
19 were in your own hands. So what were they to be protected for?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to take some time to answer
21 this. First and foremost, my job as the commanding officer sent by the
22 Bratunac Brigade was not allow in the field, in case somebody's captured,
23 any trouble or any killing. And I was perfectly aware that anyone who
24 surrenders and gets killed while I was in command of that unit I would be
25 held to account; that's one.
1 Two, regarding the children, I had a clash - as Miss or
2 Madam Prosecutor said a while ago - I had a clash with one of the
3 soldiers who was a volunteer and expressed his wishes in that regard
4 which I did not acknowledge. I put a stop to it and did not allow him to
5 do what he wanted. Also, I couldn't be with the children all the time,
6 and by ensuring that media coverage I ensured that they would be safe,
7 even in my absence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Was there at any moment anyone including yourself
9 who sought to film any adult prisoners in order to protect them to what
10 might happen to them? Exposing them to the media would have protected
11 them as well, isn't it?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to answer. When these
13 people were captured, they were all in civilian clothes. As far as I
14 know, and I was a uniformed military man, these people did not belong to
15 me as a military unit to do anything about them. I had turned them over
16 to the civilian police which was in charge of civilians.
17 Second, the people who were taken to Konjevic Polje escorted by
18 Dusko Jevic, that seemed logical to me that they would be taken to
19 Konjevic Polje instead of Bratunac, because from Konjevic Polje I thought
20 they would be taken to the collection centre in Batkovici near Bijeljina.
21 That's what I knew about that centre.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's not really an answer to my question, but,
23 Ms. Harbour, you may proceed.
24 MS. HARBOUR:
25 Q. Mr. Gavric, you testified at transcript page 26611 in the Popovic
1 case that the children were exchanged on the 18th of July, 1995. Can you
2 tell me how this exchange or -- was arranged and who was involved?
3 A. On the morning of the 18th, I spoke to Ljubisa Borovcanin because
4 Ljubisa Borovcanin had found out about those children and asked me if he
5 could get them to carry out an exchange. Nine members of the
6 Special Police in Doboj were detained in the area of Zvornik. I said it
7 was possible and that we intended to take the children to the separation
8 line and let them go to the territory of the federation, behind the
9 separation line. I told him, Ljubisa, there is no problem, but please
10 make sure that these children get to the place that is arranged. He
11 said, Don't worry.
12 In the meantime, an open vehicle, PUH, with only a driver in it,
13 and he took those children. So on the 18th the children were turned over
14 to this man sent by Ljubisa Borovcanin, and I believe on the same day or
15 the 19th they were exchanged. In my mind, it stayed as the 18th, because
16 that's when they left the Bratunac Brigade.
17 Q. Can you describe this open vehicle which you called "PUH"?
18 A. It's a vehicle which has a metal cab at the front and one part of
19 the roof. In the back the rest of the vehicle is covered by a tarpaulin
20 which is removed in summertime. I believe the vehicle had belonged to
21 the UNPROFOR.
22 Q. Now, you testified in Popovic at transcript page 26493 and 26595
23 that Dusko Jevic took the adult prisoners to Konjevic Polje, that the
24 next day you went through Konjevic Polje and that in front of a warehouse
25 in Konjevic Polje you saw a group of people picking up paper and litter
1 who you recognised as the prisoners from the previous day. How did you
2 know that they were the same prisoners?
3 A. On the 18th, I was going to Sokolac where I had personal
4 business, and passing through Konjevic Polje I saw a group of people
5 around that depot. Out of sheer curiosity I stopped to see if those were
6 the same people, and when I tried to approach, one of those policemen
7 stopped me, but he let me go relatively quickly. I suppose that his
8 commander was close by, that he recognised me and let me come in. They
9 were collecting litter, paper mostly, around the depot. So I recognised
10 95 per cent of that group among them.
11 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please have Exhibit P1132 and e-court
12 page 50 on the screen.
13 Q. And, Mr. Gavric, while this is coming up, could you tell me were
14 they still prisoners or were these people who were picking up trash
15 freely walking around in front of the warehouse?
16 A. They were certainly prisoners. But because their hands were
17 untied after we had turned them over to Dusko Jevic, they couldn't work
18 with their hands tied behind their backs, so their hands were untied and
19 they were collecting paper and other litter.
20 Q. And you mentioned that one of -- you said, "One of those
21 policemen stopped me." Who was it that was guarding the warehouse?
22 A. The warehouse was guarded by the same unit that had participated
23 in the sweep with me.
24 Q. Now, on the screen you can see a photograph of a landscape and
25 some buildings and a road, and you can see that a blue arrow is pointing
1 to a building that is circled. Do you recognise where this is and what
2 that building is?
3 A. That is the building where those people were standing when I came
4 on the intersection Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Zvornik-Sarajevo.
5 Q. Is this the warehouse that you were referring to?
6 A. This used to be a co-operative earlier, and then in the 1990s,
7 since I come from that area, it was a shop, and today there is a large
8 petrol station in that place.
9 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honours, would this be a convenient time for a
11 JUDGE ORIE: It is, Ms. Harbour. We take a break of 20 minutes.
12 Would you please follow the usher.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
18 One second. One second.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand that there is another preliminary
21 which the Prosecution would like to raise. Ms. Harbour.
22 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, Your Honour. It occurred to us during
23 Mr. Gavric's testimony that he should receive a Rule 90(E) caution.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll give him one with retroactive effect.
25 No, no, no. That was -- we'll ask him whether there have been any
1 moments that he would have hesitated to answer the questions.
2 The witness may be escorted into the courtroom.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Gavric, I would like to
5 briefly deal with the following matter: You appear here as a witness.
6 Now, if you would object to making or to answering any of the -- right
7 channel. I see Mr. Mladic is nodding that it's okay by now. It's okay
8 now? Yes.
9 Mr. Gavric, a witness who when he answers a question which --
10 truthfully and if that answer might tend to incriminate that witness may
11 object to answer that question. We then, however, we could compel the
12 witness, so we could compel you to answer such a question, and then that
13 could not be -- the answer could not be used against yourself.
14 Now, perhaps we should have better done this at the beginning of
15 your testimony, but was there at any moment any hesitation on your part
16 to answer a question because you feared you might incriminate yourself?
17 You're nodding yes. Does it mean that you did not hesitate at any moment
18 to answer a question out of fear to incriminate yourself?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that I could not have
20 brought myself into an incriminating position no matter what I said,
21 because in this gesture during my command over certain assignments I
22 adheredly strict -- I strictly adhered to the rules of service and to the
23 orders of the superior command.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, orders by the superior command do not under
25 all circumstances relieve you from your personal responsibility, but I do
1 understand that the subject matter did not give you any reason to think
2 that by truthfully answering the questions that you could incriminate
3 yourself. Nevertheless, I have drawn your attention to this Rule, and if
4 you would object to making in the follow-up of -- in the following parts
5 of your testimony if you would like to make an objection to make any
6 statements, you're free to address the Chamber.
7 Ms. Harbour, you may proceed.
8 MS. HARBOUR: Could I ask that we return to --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MS. HARBOUR: Could I ask that we return to Exhibit P1132 and
11 page 50 in e-court.
12 Q. And, Mr. Gavric, while this is coming up, after you saw
13 Colonel Blagojevic on Sandici hill, when did he return from the Zepa
15 A. I didn't see the commander of the brigade until the 29th of July.
16 We saw each other at a funeral of a soldier of mine who was killed. So
17 we were together at this funeral.
18 Q. And is it your understanding that around the 29th of July was
19 when he returned from the Zepa operation to the Bratunac Brigade area of
21 A. That period from the 17th until the 29th I spent on different
22 assignments, so I didn't have the opportunity to meet with him. I'm just
23 saying when it was that I met with him. I went to Zeravica near
24 Han Pijesak where we were holding a position, and he also toured the
1 Q. Regardless of when you were able to meet with him, do you know
2 when he returned from the Zepa operation?
3 A. I really don't know the exact day. I just said when it was that
4 I saw him for the first time after the 17th and that was the
5 29th of July.
6 Q. Now, you mentioned that Colonel Blagojevic toured the units near
7 Han Pijesak. When was this?
8 A. I think that there was an error in the interpretation. I think
9 that I went to go and tour one of the units near Han Pijesak at Zeravica.
10 So that was between the 17th and the 29th of July. So I don't know
11 exactly when he came back.
12 Q. All right. I'd like to draw your attention now to this
13 photograph on the monitor. Could you tell me what is the name of that
14 road that we see?
15 A. This road that you can see is the Zvornik-Sarajevo road. This is
16 what you can see on the picture. The second part of the road from
17 Konjevic Polje towards Bratunac is barely visible.
18 Q. Okay. And is this sometimes known as the Milici-Drinjaca road?
19 A. It depends on where you live. That's how you call it. We're
20 talking about -- when we describe it, we use the bigger settlements that
21 it passes through. So that's what we use.
22 Q. Now, do you know what happened to the prisoners after you last
23 saw them picking up trash in front of this warehouse in Konjevic Polje on
24 18 July 1995?
25 A. Officially it's correct. I don't know. It is only in 2000 when
1 I was here to testify, Mr. Karnavas said to me, we were talking about all
2 of this, and he told me then that allegedly those people were dug up in
3 the Cerska area.
4 Q. And who is Karnavas?
5 A. Excuse me. Not Karnavas, I'm sorry, but Bourgon. He was the
6 Defence attorney of the general in the proceedings. So it wasn't
7 Karnavas but Bourgon who said that.
8 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please have 65 ter 23277 on the screen.
9 Q. The document that's coming up is a Zvornik CJB dispatch, and it's
10 dated 18 July 1995. And I'd like to draw your attention to item 1 which
11 states that the RS MUP units and the Special Police Unit combed on the
12 right of the Milici-Drinjaca road including features behind Cerska and
13 Udrc in order to "liquidate the remnants of infiltrated groups from
14 Srebrenica. The action was completed very successfully."
15 Were the prisoners that you saw at Konjevic Polje among those
16 remnants who were liquidated?
17 A. They could not have been among those groups that remained behind.
18 The groups that were left behind would be covered in the terrain sweep
19 which we carried out on the 17th. If you found any troops in that area,
20 then that would be the remainder. These are no longer the remainder.
21 These were people who were captured, and I said what my information was
22 about what would happen, but they were not groups that had infiltrated
23 the area or troops that were left behind.
24 Q. And your information about what would happen, does that refer to
25 the fact that they were dug up in the Cerska grave?
1 A. Well, it was not logical to me. If this did happen, for me it
2 would have been logical. My information as to what would have happened
3 and that is that those people would go to Bijeljina, to Batkovic. They
4 would be accommodated there at the reception centre and then exchanged
5 for the remaining Serbs from the Tuzla basin. That was my information.
6 This was the talk about that in the command. About this other part,
7 there was never any talk.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour, could we stay out of what is logic and
9 what is not and whether the witness, who may have no knowledge about
10 exactly what is written in this document, whether the witness thinks or
11 thinks not that the ones should be part of those without proper factual
13 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honours, I'm happy to tender this document and
14 move on from it. The reason I showed it to this witness is because he
15 has testified about a sweep operation that he took part in to the right
16 of the Milici-Drinjaca road with a Special Police Unit just as is
17 discussed in this document, but I would like to tender this document.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I see that he has done that, and then of course the
19 Chamber will evaluate, but whether this document now includes because
20 they were captured yes or no whether it refers to those, the witness
21 apparently has no factual knowledge about that. But he told us about his
22 own participation in an operation which in its description seems to be
23 similar to what we find in this document.
24 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 23277 receives number P1699,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P1699 is admitted into evidence.
3 MS. HARBOUR: I have no further questions for this witness,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Harbour.
6 Mr. Stojanovic, are you ready to start your cross-examination?
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Witness.
9 A. Good day.
10 JUDGE ORIE: But before we do so I would like to ask one
11 additional question.
12 We just looked at a document, a document about the sweeping
13 operation and the liquidation of the remains. Do you know anything about
14 any operations which were aiming at liquidating the remains, the remains
15 of the enemy armed forces?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know about that bit,
17 but generally when a superior writes an order he would say liquidate,
18 "unistiti." You can liquidate only somebody who puts up a resistance.
19 If they don't put up a resistance then there is no logic, for me, for
20 this to be said in the order in that way.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As I said before, we are trying to stay out of
22 the field of logic and, rather, talk about facts.
23 Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, permit me first to ask you this: During those days of
1 July 1995, did you have the opportunity to meet General Mladic?
2 A. I did.
3 Q. Will you tell us when and where these encounters occurred?
4 A. On the 12th of July in the operations centre of the
5 Bratunac Brigade.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpret did not catch the time.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Could you please describe to the Trial Chamber --
9 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Could you repeat the time when you, on
10 the 12th of July, had an encounter with General Mladic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At 7.00 -- at 10 minutes past 7.00
12 in the morning on the 12th.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you. My question was: Would you explain to the
15 Trial Chamber what sort of a meeting this was?
16 A. In the morning on the 11th to the 12th, I slept in my family
17 house which is close to the Bratunac Brigade command. My assignment in
18 the morning meant that I was obliged to report to the operations room at
19 7.00 in the morning.
20 Q. [Microphone not activated]
21 A. All right. All right. I'm sorry.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, may I take it that you asked the
24 witness to slow down, but since you did it without a microphone -- he may
25 have understood it. It's not on the record.
1 Could you please slow down your speed of speech.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue? At 7.00 in the
3 morning, I came to the command compound. Since at 7.00 in the morning
4 General Mladic had already started the meeting, I wanted to enter the
5 operations room, and then in front of it I encountered a major who had
6 been told to leave the meeting, and I was joking with the man, and I
7 knocked and entered the room where the meeting was being held. The
8 General asked me why I was late. I explained why, and then I sat down at
9 some fourth or fifth place back that was free, and I attended that
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber what the meeting was
13 about and if General Mladic said anything when you were there.
14 A. Yes. One of the topics when I had already arrived -- after a
15 short amount of time there was Lieutenant-Colonel Furtula. I don't know
16 if he was the commander of the Visegrad brigade. I think it was his task
17 to continue with the sweep of the terrain in the Srebrenica area, more
18 precisely near the school of the local community of Suceska.
19 Q. Were there any other orders issued by General Mladic to any one
20 of those present?
21 A. He did not issue any orders to anyone else, only to this
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Furtula, as far as I'm concerned.
23 Q. And did you leave the meeting before it formally ended, or did
24 you stay until the formal closing of the meeting?
25 A. I stayed longer. I was there throughout the whole time, and
1 during that time nothing further was discussed, nor were there any orders
2 issued, as far as I can recall.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for the sake of the transcript, I would like
4 to ask you, Mr. Gavric, in the previous answer did you say, I quote "He
5 did issue any orders," or did you say, "He did not issue any orders to
6 anyone else," only to Furtula?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I came at 10 past 7.00 and
8 for as long as the general was in the operations room, he only ordered
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Furtula to -- I'm sorry?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That means -- your answer was: He did not issue
11 any orders to anyone else except Furtula.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Sir, could you please go a bit more slowly so that everything
16 could be recorded in the transcript. According to your recollection, at
17 what time did General Mladic leave the Bratunac Brigade and that meeting?
18 A. As far as I can remember, it was at about 8.00 that he left the
19 Bratunac Brigade.
20 Q. And did you have the opportunity to see him again at any point in
21 July 1995?
22 A. I did not ever meet General Mladic again since then to this very
24 Q. Thank you. I would just briefly like to go through something
25 that is very important to us. At one point did you receive an order to
1 go to Zvornik with a part of the Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And could you please tell the Trial Chamber who you received the
4 order from?
5 A. I got the order on the 14th to the 15th -- or on the 15th, to be
6 more precise, at about 12.30 from the commander Colonel Blagojevic.
7 Q. And what did the order say that you received in the night between
8 the 14th and the 15th of July, 1995?
9 A. On the 14th at zero thirty hundred hours the military police came
10 to my family house and told me to come to the brigade command. I got
11 ready very quickly and I came to the command. At the command in the
12 operations room I encountered Colonel Blagojevic and Major Dragan Trisic,
13 who was the logistics assistant. When I sat down, I said, Colonel, sir,
14 go ahead. And then he said, Listen, I received an order --
15 JUDGE ORIE: You really should slow down, because otherwise your
16 words will be lost. Try to keep this in mind.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. When I arrived at the
18 Bratunac Brigade command, to the operations room, I saw
19 Colonel Blagojevic there and the logistics assistant commander,
20 Major Dragan Trisic.
21 I sat down and I asked the colonel, Tell me what you need. And
22 he told me that he had received an order from the superior command to
23 send one of the units to assist in Zvornik, because there was a large
24 concentration of Muslim forces around Zvornik. And I answered that my
25 unit was not meant for infantry fighting. There must be other units for
1 that. He told me, You can organise your unit the fastest and go to the
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I'm going to stop you there, and I'll ask you to tell the Court
5 about the structure of that unit of yours which you said was not equipped
6 for infantry operations.
7 A. My unit had within its composition troops who were trained from
8 officers-plotters and gunners and their assistants, the people who pass
9 on the shells and put them into barrels.
10 Q. So what was that group?
11 A. It was a mixed artillery group because in its composition it had
12 a battery of B1 cannons, 76 millimetres; one cannon platoon,
13 122 millimetres/37; and a howitzer platoon, 105 millimetres, M-56.
14 Q. At some point did you receive that order and went to meet the
15 Zvornik Brigade?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How many people went with you?
18 A. Forty.
19 Q. Did you get a promise that you would be rotated soon?
20 A. Precisely.
21 Q. On the night of the 14th-15th, when did you reach the Zvornik
22 Brigade command?
23 A. I believe 1.30, perhaps 2.00 a.m.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps out of an
25 abundance of caution I think we should move into private session.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
2 [Private session]
11 Page 13926 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Let us just wait to see the English version as well. I should
7 like to draw your attention to -- that would be paragraph 2, which says,
8 among other things -- it's not very legible, so you'll have to make a bit
9 of an effort to read the B/C/S. The last sentence of this daily report
10 of the Bratunac Brigade, dated 15 July 1995, that a part of the forces
11 has been sent to the area of "Zlpbr, the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade
12 (80 soldiers)." Would this part of the regular daily report dated
13 15 July be consistent with your memory that at one point your group of
14 40 artillery men was rotated by another part of the Bratunac Brigade? Do
15 you remember that number?
16 A. Yes. It's true we were replaced. The commander sent Major Eskic
17 and the commander of the 1st Company of the 2nd Battalion,
18 Zoran Kovacevic, along with these 80 soldiers. Now, whether there were
19 80 or 60, I really don't know. I know that they did come to Zvornik, and
20 I took one of the buses that had brought them and returned.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, not all of us are familiar with that area.
22 Could you tell us first which route did you take to go from Bratunac to
23 Zvornik on the night of the 14th July?
24 A. The Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road. At the intersection we took a
25 right turn towards Drinjaca, then we continued on towards Zvornik town,
1 passed it, and outside of the town 1 or 2 kilometres further was some
2 sort of factory where the command of the Zvornik Brigade was and I took
3 the same route back.
4 Q. At what time on the 15th of July did you return, taking the same
6 A. We departed from Zvornik around 11.00, so at noon we were back in
8 Q. Travelling on that road, did you notice on the way from
9 Konjevic Polje via Kravica and up to Bratunac any military units?
10 A. On the return trip I didn't see any people, but when I was
11 departing on Sandici hill I saw people who were guarding the road
12 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje.
13 Q. Do you know whether they were members of the Bratunac Brigade or
14 the police forces who were present in the area?
15 A. Some of them were policemen and others were members of the
16 Bratunac unit, but I don't know when they had arrived.
17 Q. Thank you. Where did you spend the rest of the day on the
18 15th of July and the 16th of July?
19 A. Upon returning from Zvornik, I got a short leave from the
20 commander, and I spent that day and a half with my family.
21 Q. I understand that you corrected your statement on one point,
22 namely the time when on the 17th of July you received a new order from
23 Colonel Blagojevic. First of all, I want to ask you is that true?
24 A. Now definitively, after talking to the other men who were there,
25 I'm sure. I got to the brigade command at the same time, and at 10.00
1 Colonel Blagojevic issued me the order to be -- to act as co-ordinator in
2 that area.
3 Q. Is it true that in earlier statements you mentioned that it could
4 have been around noon on the 17th of July?
5 A. I don't know whether it was interpretation or something else, but
6 that was a mistake. At noon I had agreed with Dragan Zekic and Jevic to
7 be on Sandici hill, and at 12.15 we had already started moving along the
8 Sandici-Kamenica and Gornji Bratunci [phoen] road deploying troops.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I ask you the following: You
10 referred to having talked to the other men who were there. You said:
11 "Now, definitively, after talking to the other men who were
12 there, I'm sure" that "I got to the brigade command ..." now, when did
13 you talk with them and with whom exactly?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I talked to Major Trisic, because
15 he was in the office next to mine and for a long time --
16 JUDGE ORIE: When did you talk to him?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I returned from this trial,
18 because we discussed that time, that period, and he told me, Your memory
19 is good, because you made the connection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: But -- perhaps I'm confused. I think you recently
21 corrected the time. Ms. Harbour, I'm also looking at you. It was in --
22 is the correction made -- originates from when, as far as you're
24 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, this morning --
25 JUDGE ORIE: This morning.
1 MS. HARBOUR: -- he corrected his Popovic testimony. However, he
2 has in prior testimonies testified that the time was between 10.00 and
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you speak with the person you mentioned
5 after you had given your testimony in the Popovic case?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke to him in October 2008,
7 after I returned, and then taking into account his recollection and my
8 recollection I was able to determine these things. When I came here
9 first, I had had no earlier opportunity to -- to tell the Prosecutor
10 about it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You said you had talked to the men who were there.
12 Did you talk with anyone else apart from Major Trisic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the CO, Major Trisic, the
14 people within the command, because within the command we discussed these
15 things, but we don't discuss them with soldiers.
16 JUDGE ORIE: But you discussed them, therefore not only with
17 Major Trisic but with others as well?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, with Major Trisic because we
19 were close, and we continued to discuss our memories of those days.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you said you had discussed it with the
21 men who were there, which suggests that there was more than one.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it could be a grammatical
23 error, let me say, and I can ascribe it to myself.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. The place where you were supposed to meet with the unit, senior
2 officers that were to take part in the execution of the assignment was at
3 Sandici. What I want to know now is how far is Sandici hill far from --
4 from the Bratunac Brigade command?
5 A. It's 13 kilometres to Kravica and then another kilometre or a
6 kilometre and a half to Sandici hill.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P1694 in e-court,
8 please, 1694. Can we go through the document briefly, please.
9 Q. It's a document drafted by Colonel Ignjat Milanovic on the
10 15th of July, 1995, and it's sent to the Drina Corps command, to the
11 1st mlpbr and the SB Skelani. I am now going to ask you this: Do you
12 know who at that time, and which duties at that time were carried out by
13 Ignjat Milanovic?
14 A. Ignjat Milanovic, as far as I can remember -- actually, I don't
15 remember at all his duties when General Krstic took over corps command.
16 I really don't know what duty he was occupying, whether it was operations
17 chief or Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps.
18 Q. And did you have the opportunity to meet Colonel Ignjat Milanovic
19 during those days?
20 A. Colonel Ignjat Milanovic was the Chief of Staff of the
21 Bratunac Brigade. We knew each other very well. And, as far as I can
22 remember, from there he went to be the commander of the Milici Brigade
23 and then he was transferred to the Drina Corps, and he was replaced by, I
24 think, from Bratunac -- from a -- by an officer from Bratunac,
25 Ivan Stojanovic.
1 Q. In any case, would you agree with me that Colonel
2 Ignjat Milanovic at that time in July 1995 was a senior officer at the
3 Drina Corps command?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. And can we now look at the first paragraph of the
6 document where he's informing the commander and the command of the
7 Drina Corps, and among other things, he says the
8 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, if that's proper expansion of the
9 abbreviation, assess the situation and is about to come out on the
10 ordered line. I'm asking you whether the brigade already on the
11 15th of July or earlier had already started the terrain sweeping
13 A. All I know is that as soon as the operation in Srebrenica was
14 finished, the battalions were assigned and sent to sweep the terrain. I
15 didn't know about this order, because it came at the time when I was
17 Q. And now I would like to deal with some doubts of mine, in the
18 military sense. If you look at the middle part of the document where it
19 states, "I ordered the following," and then in item 4 it says that the
20 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade shall continue to search the terrain
21 and clear up the battleground on the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Kasaba road
22 and create a sort of reserve of the forces because they currently do not
23 have any in order to be able to be engaged upon request.
24 In the control and command system, can Colonel Ignjat Milanovic
25 issue an order of this type so that it's executed by the
1 Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. As soon as he receives an order from the corps, and it must have
3 been written in an order coming from a high place, that then the
4 commander of subordinate units, the commanders the Bratunac and
5 Milici Brigade were subordinated. So they had to carry out this order.
6 So he did have the right to order the commanders that their units carry
7 out this order.
8 Q. All right. And then he says "proposal 1," that the commander of
9 the commander of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade is authorised
10 and appointed as commander of all forces engaged in the sweeping of the
11 train and the clearing up, "asanacija," of the battleground east of the
12 road and part of the Kasaba-Drinjaca road; because in the command of the
13 Drina Corps, if that is the proper expansion of the abbreviation, "We do
14 not have anyone we could assign to the task." And then who is being
15 assigned as the co-ordinator of this assignment if he does have the right
16 to command?
17 A. If certain assignments are about to begin, the superior officer
18 must appoint a lower-ranking officer who would be responsible for that in
19 the entire area. Like I was responsible for the police unit and the
20 military unit in the same way, according to the way I'm thinking, the
21 colonel could have appointed Blagojevic as the commander of that complete
22 action in that section of the sweep operation.
23 Q. I'm going to stop you for a minute. Would it be correct that the
24 area that was indicated here as the area to be searched was in the
25 territory which was behind the defence zone of a number of brigades that
1 were part of the Drina Corps, not just the Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. Well, if the Milici Brigade is included, then, yes, because the
3 Bratunac Brigade was sweeping the Bratunac municipality topographical
4 area, because the place where the left flank of the Bratunac and the
5 right flank of the Milici Brigade were joined and the area where they
6 were sweeping the train belonged to --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he's
9 JUDGE ORIE: You're speaking too quickly. You said:
10 "... because the area where the left flank of the Bratunac and
11 the right flank of the Milici Brigade were joined and the area where they
12 were sweeping the terrain belonged to --" and would you then please
13 repeat what you said.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The area assigned to both of them,
15 meaning the right flank of the Milici Brigade, left flank of the
16 Bratunac Brigade, bordered on each other territorially, both according to
17 the boundaries of the municipalities and according to the boundaries of
18 the assignments that were assigned to them.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please tell us if the sweeping of the terrain, and I'm
21 asking you as a senior officer and a military person, is a legitimate
22 activity after that kind of combat?
23 A. Well, it's an obligation. In order to secure the terrain you
24 need to sweep the terrain, just as it would happen if a terrorist group
25 is infiltrated into a country. When the terrorist group is destroyed,
1 then you are obliged to sweep the terrain again and sanitise it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I'm looking at the clock. Time for
3 a break.
4 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom. We take a
5 break of 20 minutes.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 11.51 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
11 Mr. Stojanovic, the Chamber was informed that there is a
12 possibility that you would conclude your cross-examination within the
13 next hour. Is that -- yes. That would be highly appreciated, because
14 the Chamber needs a bit of time for some procedural matters as well.
15 Could you give us already an assessment what time the Prosecution
16 would need for re-examination if any?
17 MS. HARBOUR: At this stage we don't anticipate having any
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll both have time to conclude the testimony
20 of the witness and to deal with the procedural matters.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We stopped, sir, at the point when we were talking about the area
25 and the legitimacy of actions relating to the sweeping of the terrain.
1 Is it correct that this area was deep inside territory controlled by the
2 Army of Republika Srpska before the operation to free Srebrenica?
3 A. Yes, it was quite deep inside that territory.
4 Q. And in this document, I think you still have it in front of you,
5 the term "asanacija" is mentioned. As an officer, I want to ask you if
6 you know what that term implied as it stood in the order of
7 Ignjat Milanovic.
8 A. Looking at this order now, I'm surprised to see that it says that
9 you could -- you should do the sanitisation of the terrain together with
10 the sweep, because that is something that is done after the sweep
11 operation is completed.
12 Q. If I understood you correctly, you're an artillery officer.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you completed the non-commissioned officers' school; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When and where in?
18 A. In 1997-1998 in Zadar, and then after that I was an intern in the
19 3rd Guards Regiment in Pozarevac where I worked for a few months.
20 Q. Could you please now look at the screen in front of you where it
21 says that in 1997-1998 you completed the school in Zadar.
22 A. This is a mistake. It's a typing error. It was 1978-1979 that
23 that was.
24 Q. And what does "asanacija," the sanitisation of the terrain, mean
25 to you?
1 A. That means that the remnants that remain, including bodies,
2 should be collected all at a certain location.
3 Q. As a rule would that be the job of soldiers or any specialised
5 A. Well, in happier times that would be the job of the civilian
7 Q. And I'm going to finish with this document by putting the
8 question: If you personally know if there was any order or document that
9 Vidoje Blagojevic as the commander of the Bratunac Brigade was authorised
10 and appointed as commander of all the forces that took part in the sweep
12 A. I am not familiar with that. As I said, that order didn't reach
13 me because that was issued during the time that I was off, I was resting.
14 So I'm not familiar with this order.
15 Q. We will come back to this order that you received from Blagojevic
16 on the 17th of July at approximately 10.00 or 11.00 in the morning. I am
17 asking you do you remember exactly the wording? What exactly was your
19 A. I was ordered by the corps -- the brigade commander to go to
20 Kravica, to Konjevic Polje, to be more precise where Dragan Zekic and
21 Dusko Jevic were: Dragan Zekic who was heading the 3rd Battalion and
22 Dusan Jevic who was heading the Special Police detachment. I should put
23 them together and agree with them how to proceed with the terrain sweep
24 from Sandici through Kamenica, Gornji Bratunac and up to Konjevic Polje
25 along the left side of the road towards Konjevic Polje from Bratunac.
1 Q. Did you understand and were you told directly that you had any
2 command responsibilities over the police units in that operation?
3 A. I understood that I would be there just like a co-ordinator in
4 that area, which is what I was, and that all of the -- each of the units
5 were given a certain zone to sweep, specifically from the road to
6 Kamenica entrusted to the police and from Kamenica to Gornji Bratunac,
7 that area was assigned to the military.
8 Q. Did the police have its own chain and system of command and
9 control in that operation?
10 A. Yes. They had company commanders who commanded in the field, and
11 Dusko Jevic was the representative of the special detachment.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P15882 in
13 e-court, please.
14 Q. Sir, I assume that you had the opportunity to see this document
15 in earlier testimony. I'm now going to ask you to look at paragraph
16 marked 1 which says that on the 17th of July, the commander of the
17 Special Police Brigade, Goran Savic, orders the urgent formation of a
18 combat group the size of a battalion in the Kravica-Konjevic Polje sector
19 using the 5th Doboj Special Police Detachment, two companies from the
20 seminar on Jahorina and two PJP companies with the assignment of
21 searching the terrain in the Pobudje sector, in the course of that day,
22 the 17th of July, so as to fully mop up the right side of the
23 Milici-Drinjaca road before regrouping for the search of Cerska.
24 In paragraph 2, the BG commander, if that would indicate
25 "borbena grupa," combat group, comprising units referred to in the
1 previous item, and then the deputy commander of the Special Police would
2 be Dusko Jevic.
3 Would this order correspond to what you remember about the police
4 forces which took part in sweeping the terrain in a specific area?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer, Witness.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This order refers to this
8 assignment in the Pobudje sector, but it says here that it should be 800
9 or 600 people from the police to be engaged. This is incorrect data. In
10 the field where I was, I don't think that this number of people took part
11 in the assignment.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. According to your best recollection, how many did participate?
14 A. In my opinion, up to 200 policemen.
15 JUDGE ORIE: On what is that opinion based, Witness?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am basing my opinion on the fact
17 that when we lined up the units at Sandici hill that's the number, and
18 then judging by the area in which we deployed them after we issued
19 assignments to the police when they were there, I went with Dusko Jevic
20 and at a certain -- and the soldiers were at a certain distance apart
21 from each other. So when you cover that area, the number that you would
22 get according to these calculations would not be more than 200 men.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We are not that much interested in calculations or
24 reconstructions but rather in facts, and I do understand that you saw the
25 men lined up and you saw men at a certain distance and then you started
2 Mr. Stojanovic, please next question.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, before you go to the next
4 question, I just want to find out from the witness if he could please
5 direct us to where the numbers 800 and 600 are referred to in this
6 document. I understand that he --
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Could you answer this question by the Judge. How did you get
9 this number 800?
10 A. According to this order if the unit from Jahorina was engaged and
11 they were present and the other units enumerated here in this order did
12 not take part in the sweep.
13 Q. But the question was: How did you come up with this claim that
14 800 policemen were supposed to be involved?
15 A. Well, there are four detachments mentioned here, if I see well;
17 Q. Let's go step-by-step. I believe it is written in item 1, please
18 follow this, that the following should be engaged: The
19 5th Special Police detachment Doboj.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't want to waste your time. Obviously the
21 witness is not able to give us where he finds the number 800 or 600 from
22 this document and you don't have to go through all those units.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But I would like to get a clarification from the
24 witness. On page 49, lines 14 to 18, the witness said, "This order
25 referred to this assignment in the Pobudje sector," but it says here that
1 "it should be 800 or 600 people from the police to be engaged." Is
2 that -- Mr. Gavric, is that just the consequence of your calculation, or
3 how could you say that, that it says here it should be 800 or 600 people
4 from the police?
5 JUDGE ORIE: In order perhaps to cut matters short having
6 listened to the questions, having listened to you, Witness, do I
7 understand you well that your reference to 800 to 600 people was a
8 calculation based on the units mentioned in the order and that then later
9 you say, That must be wrong because what I saw on the ground, and then
10 you started calculating again coverage, terrain, et cetera, that it
11 should have been less? Is that how we have to understand your testimony?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's how you should
13 understand my testimony.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, all -- both the initial numbers and the later
15 numbers all based on calculations rather than on any exact knowledge of
16 facts. It's interpretation of the document and then interpretation of
17 what you saw on the ground.
18 Mr. Stojanovic, you may put your next question to the witness.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. Let us just wrap this up. According to your estimate
21 of what you saw when you lined up the participants in this operation, how
22 many policemen and soldiers were there in total?
23 A. Around 500 policemen and soldiers in total.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you personally go in depth of the area where the
25 units were moving?
1 A. In part, yes.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness be told
3 not to start answering before the question is finished.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The interpreters ask you not to start your answer
5 until the question has been translated. The best way of doing it is look
6 at your screen and once the text stops moving, as, for example, it did
7 now, that you only then start giving an answer.
8 Mr. Stojanovic.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Witness, sir, did you have an organised system of communications between
11 the commanding officers of the units that were involved in the sweep?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you have information as to whether during the sweep the units
14 were coming across dead bodies in the area they were passing through?
15 A. There were corpses on the line from which we started the sweep
16 and along the whole length of the road, 50 metres wide and all along,
17 there were corpses.
18 Q. Could you give us an idea, taking into account the markings you
19 made in the previous case, what is the width of the area where you
20 conducted the sweep, and what is the length?
21 A. The width is 6 kilometres, and the depth was 10 kilometres.
22 Q. Who kept you informed that they were finding bodies in this area?
23 A. When assignments were given and soldiers deployed, above Kamenica
24 was the transit area where columns of people breaking out towards Tuzla
25 were moving. In that area, one part is wooded and the other part isn't.
1 The wooded part of the area is cut through by a small track leading to
2 Gornje Vratnice, which is where our people were moving through. They
3 were coming across a lot of corpses that were hanging, people who had
4 hanged themselves. A large number of corpses was lying on the ground,
5 with lower parts of the bodies destroyed, probably by setting bombs
6 underneath their own bodies. You could see that some had committed
7 suicide, usually by a gunshot to the head.
8 Q. During the sweep did you receive information from the units
9 involved that they were coming across military equipment and weapons?
10 A. Yes, and I could see that for myself, because each of our
11 soldiers involved in that operation had taken -- or, rather, had brought
12 with him back one or two rifles of different makes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could I seek some clarification of
14 one of the previous answers. You said:
15 "There were coming across a lot of people who were hanged. They
16 were hanging. The lower parts of the bodies were destroyed, probably by
17 bombs set below them ..."
18 Now, how do I have to understand that? Is it that people hang
19 themselves and then someone would put a bomb under their body?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to make this clearer. I
21 found a lot of people who had taken off their belts and hanged themselves
22 from trees. That's one type of death. Another type of death is when
23 people put a bomb under themselves. When I said the lower part of the
24 body, I meant the part of the body lying on the ground. And judging by --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I've read all that in your previous testimony, but
1 today you combine even the two. You say:
2 “ They were hanging, the lower parts of the bodies were destroyed,
3 probably by bombs set below them ..."
4 This suggests that people hanging had even destroyed lower part
5 of their body.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know exactly how it
7 was interpreted to you, but I can repeat. I don't mean that lower parts
8 of the hanging bodies were destroyed. I meant to say that some people
9 committed suicide by placing a bomb under themselves and the bomb damaged
10 the lower part of their bodies.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We'll check whether there is a translation error or
12 not or that you combined the two elements. So you did not say that those
13 who were hanging, that they had the lower parts of their bodies
14 destroyed. You say that's not what you said.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll verify that.
17 Madam Registrar, I would like to have verified as soon as
18 possible -- let me see. It's page 54 -- no. It is page -- page 53,
19 lines 11 to 14, even if only provisionally for the time being so that we
20 have a provisional verification of the transcript.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. During these activities related to the sweep, did you at any
24 point have information that some other units of the Drina Corps were
25 participating in the sweep as well?
1 A. I had no such information.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to call up in
3 e-court P1579.
4 Q. Witness, could we please look together at paragraph 3 of this
5 order. In the text it says that it's an order by
6 Colonel-General Ratko Mladic dated 17 July, 1995, and it reads:
7 "As of 17 July, the forces of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry
8 Brigade, the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, and the 67th Military
9 Police Battalion, the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment, and MUP forces
10 engaged in the wider areas of Bratunac, Milici, and Drinjaca will comb
11 the territory in the zone of Bratunac, Drinjaca, Milici, Vecici village,"
12 et cetera.
13 Did you at any point have information that this sweep involved
14 also some units from the Main Staff of the VRS?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And the key issue I want to ask you about, it says here and
17 please pay attention to the following paragraph of -- or, rather,
18 following sentence in paragraph 3:
19 "I hereby appoint Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic, the officer for
20 military police in the Main Staff of the VRS security administration, as
21 the commander of all the aforementioned forces during the conduct of the
22 aforementioned task."
23 Do you know Keserovic?
24 A. That was the first time I heard that last name.
25 Q. When you say it was the first time, do you mean today?
1 A. I mean I heard it the first time today. I never met the man, or
2 perhaps I met the man without knowing that that was his name.
3 Q. Did you at any time in the course of at that day, the
4 17th of July, have around a commanding officer whom you didn't know and
5 who gave you advice or instructions regarding the sweep?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you at any time after the execution of that task on the
8 17th July, the 18th, or any of the other following days report to anyone
9 else but the commanders of the Bratunac Brigade?
10 A. No one except Filipovic, the duty officer.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you at any time in the course of that
12 17th of July have any contact with the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment
13 based at the barracks?
14 A. I did not, because I didn't go to that area on the 17th. I
15 passed through on the 18th, but I didn't see them.
16 Q. Considering that you mentioned the place from which you started
17 the sweep could you please explain to the Court relative to
18 Konjevic Polje where did -- where was the boundary where that sweep area
20 A. It was actually 1 kilometre beyond the road, the kilometre up to
21 the road at Djugovi -- at Djugum remained outside the sweep. Djugum is
22 to the south of Drinjaca, 1 or 2 kilometres to the south, and that is the
23 boundary between Bratunac and Milici.
24 Q. And then it says the assignment is finished. You have reached
25 the point where you were supposed to reach in the sweep of the terrain.
1 A. When I set off, I got the assignment of sweeping the terrain up
2 to the part that we reached, the other part is quite forested, and
3 according to information that I had, there were a lot of mines there, so
4 I did not want to let my people go to that part of the terrain.
5 Q. According to your best recollection, what time of the day was it
6 that you completed that day's work?
7 A. I think that it was at 1900 hours. Between 1800 and 1900 hours,
8 as far as I can remember.
9 Q. At what point in time did you get information that there were
11 A. I think that this was at around 1700 hours that Dragan Zekic
12 received information through his radio that during the sweep of the
13 terrain a resistance was met. Dragan informed me about this, and I said
14 then that they should not rush, not to sustain casualties, but to go
15 slowly and to call people to surrender. Dragan conveyed this to some of
16 his subordinate commanding officers, and then they reported back to him
17 and he conveyed to me that shooting was over and that there was one child
18 with a white T-shirt in his hands was walking towards them.
19 Q. I'm going to stop you there for a moment and ask: When you say
20 that you received information that there was resistance, could you please
21 tell the Trial Chamber what this was about? What kind of a resistance
22 was this?
23 A. I will tell you everything. There was shooting in the direction
24 of our units. I found this out later from these children who were there
25 because they said that in this group there were some other people who had
1 not surrendered, who did not wish to surrender.
2 Q. And did any members of the Bratunac Brigade get killed or were
3 they wounded at that time?
4 A. Nobody was killed and nobody was wounded.
5 Q. Do you know if any members of the police forces that took part in
6 the action were wounded or killed?
7 A. As far as I know we were together in that place down there when
8 those people who were captured were brought in. Nobody said anything
9 about it, but I would have known about it in essence because Dusko Jevic
10 was close to me.
11 Q. Can you remember who or which formation was it which you
12 described as Cesme [phoen] on the road who brought the prisoners out?
13 A. These were soldiers of the 3rd Battalion. I don't know which
14 unit it was, which company.
15 Q. When you say the 3rd Battalion, you mean
16 the Bratunac Brigade Battalion?
17 A. Precisely.
18 Q. And after they were brought in as prisoners, did you count those
19 people, and did you take down their names?
20 A. As far as I can remember, I counted the people while they were
21 there, and then when we went and when we reached the road when they went
22 to Konjevic Polje in a column two by two, I told Jevic, Jevic, I am
23 taking the children with me and you take these -- these people with you.
24 They will probably send a bus for them so that they could go to
1 Q. And how many people were there in total, according to your best
3 A. I remember 99 per cent accurately that there were no more than 38
4 of them -- 38 of them. But I think that there were 35 according to what
5 I remember, so according to what I remember there were between 35 and 38.
6 Q. And were they all men?
7 A. Yes, they were all men.
8 Q. Could you please tell us this place where they were brought to
9 the road, how far is that from the intersection in Konjevic Polje?
10 A. Three to 4 kilometres at the most.
11 Q. And who were the prisoners handed over to physically?
12 A. The prisoners were handed over physically to three senior
13 officers, I think, of Dusko Jevic's, and Dusko Jevic was there present
14 when we did it.
15 Q. And you testified recently in Bijeljina precisely in a case
16 trying one of the commanding officers of Dusko Jevic's unit?
17 A. Well, as far as I understood, he was not a commanding officer. I
18 understood that he was a logistics soldier. Perhaps he was a commanding
19 or senior officer, I don't know. And I did testify in the Bijeljina
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic.
22 Mr. Gavric, Mr. Stojanovic has put one question to you which you
23 didn't answer. Did you take down their names, the names of these
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did anybody else take down the names of these
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, no.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why not?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since these were people in civilian
6 clothing, it was logical for me that I as a soldier should not treat them
7 as military prisoners of war since they were not in uniform. I handed
8 them over to Dusko Jevic, according to an order or agreement with
9 Momir Nikolic, and I understood that as far as I was concerned I was
10 done. There were no bad intentions on my part. Had we had any, we would
11 not have had them brought in or handed them over to that man.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I have put one follow-up question there. You
14 said they were wearing civilian clothes. Therefore you considered them
15 not to be treated as prisoners of war. Why were they prisoners at all?
16 They were just civilians.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that area -- area I was born
18 there; thus nobody lived there. According to the order that we received,
19 everything that we encountered in that area it would be normal that we
20 would liberate the area from those people who were not born there and who
21 did not live there; that is one thing. Secondly, we brought them -- we
22 brought them down there and at any point they could have been potential
23 soldiers. And I'm going to tell you about a problem now. There was a
24 problem of a similar nature because commanding officer committed an error
25 from that area when civilian surrendered themselves and then one of those
1 civilians grabbed a rifle and killed a man.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, there's a saying in English: You can't have
3 your cake and eat it. Which now is the case? You said, I would not
4 consider them to be prisoners of war, and at the same time you say they
5 may have been military people and therefore you would never know. Now,
6 what did you do? Did you consider them to be prisoners of war or did you
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not considered them to be captured
9 soldiers but captured civilians when they surrendered.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the next question: What was the basis
11 for capturing civilians? Had they done anything wrong? Had they -- and
12 you were in a military position. What is the authority of a military
13 over innocent civilians?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We as the army had the assignment
15 in that area since no population was living there. So whatever we
16 encountered, that is number one. Number two, we had among them, which
17 can be confirmed by the witnesses, these children -- we had people among
18 them who had weaponry and threw it away. Then first they put up
19 resistance, this renegade group that did not want to surrender. As far
20 as we were concerned at one point when they bear arms we can call them
21 whatever they want but we would consider them enemies and then on the
22 other hand when they surrendered without weapons then as far as we were
23 concerned they --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, whether they ever had been carrying arms
25 before, that might make them still military men, but you considered them
1 civilians. I'm just putting to you at this moment that it seems that you
2 want to have your cake and eat it. It's either of the two. Well, you're
3 nodding no. I'm just putting to you that that is how we analyse at this
4 moment your testimony without drawing any further conclusions, but that
5 there is some contradiction in it.
6 I have another question. They were not free to move, were they,
7 once they were captured civilians? They were still more or less
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the point of time that they
10 surrendered to our units, they were captured, and I said that as far as I
11 was concerned, civilians were -- they were civilians because they were
12 not in uniform. That is one thing. And that is why I handed them over
13 to the police, because the police is entrusted or in charge of civilians
14 and not the army.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the police would not detain civilians,
16 would they, if they had not gone anything wrong?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was war. It wasn't peacetime
18 for us to be interfering with anyone. They found themselves in our
19 terrain, in terrain that they were not expected to be found in.
20 JUDGE ORIE: They were moving in the area. Is there anything
21 wrong with that? I mean were they -- was there any legal prohibition for
22 them to move to the next village or the village after that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Since this was an ongoing
24 operation, in that operation all people who were peaceful of their own
25 accord or had simply understood that they were supposed to surrender and
1 did surrender in Potocari, that was one thing. All the others who had
2 decided to start moving towards Tuzla decided to do so in a military
3 column that was there. Therefore, that group also was definitely in that
4 column. It's just that they were late. They were lagging behind the
5 main body of the column.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Next question, please, Mr. Stojanovic.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Sir, was there fire from that group at the
9 Army of Republika Srpska as the legitimate military power?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were there any danger of anybody getting killed, wounded, hit?
12 A. Well, of course. Whenever there is shooting, there is the
13 possibility that somebody would be shot.
14 Q. Thank you. After you brought these people to the road, you
15 sought instructions from the Bratunac Brigade command as to what to do
16 with these people.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in your estimate that could have been between 1700 and 1800
19 hours on the 17th of July.
20 A. That could have been most realistically sometime between 1800 and
21 1900 hours when everything was finished and when we had reached the road.
22 Q. And the chief of the intelligence and security organ in the
23 Bratunac Brigade, Momir Nikolic, told you what to do with those people?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. He was the one who told you that you should hand them over to the
1 police structures?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you remember, and I'm asking this for reasons that are
4 completely understandable to us and due to testimonies from previous
5 witnesses, whether you informed Momir Nikolic about the number of people
6 who had been brought to the road?
7 A. I wouldn't know or be able to correctly remember that or those
9 Q. And do you remember if you informed him about the fact that you
10 had four children that you wanted to bring to the Bratunac Brigade
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did he suggest anything to you regarding those children?
14 A. No, he did not, nothing.
15 Q. Now, I'm going to put a direct question to you: Are you sure
16 about your recollection that you drove three boys towards Bratunac and
17 placed one in a bus or did all the boys get in the buses and go towards
19 A. I remember that when we gave the children something to eat, three
20 children we brought them -- we were going in front of the buses. The
21 buses were going behind us. So all together we arrived at the command of
22 the brigade.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: We placed three
24 children in the Lada Niva vehicle.
25 Could Mr. Stojanovic please begin his question again.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you -- could you please, Mr. Stojanovic, start
2 your question again.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
4 Q. You mentioned that there was some sort of paramilitary person who
5 tried to harm one of those boys. Did you ever find out who that person
7 A. I found out that this was a volunteer from the Cacak area who was
8 in the 3rd Battalion, but I don't know his name to this day. I do have
9 official information that in the following week after that, in some three
10 or four days he tried to take an electric engine in the black
11 Gubar [phoen] area. It was booby-trapped, and so in the process of doing
12 this, dismantling this, he was killed.
13 Q. In the course of your earlier testimony, and I'll come back to
14 this, you spoke in more detail about the dangers and the possibility of
15 vengeance that was present between the warring sides. Why do you think
16 there was a real danger that people might give in to their desire for
18 A. People are very different, and they have all very different
19 notions, and we could see that on the ground.
20 Second, I took instantly the decision that it's better for those
21 children not to go to the collection centre but to live in more normal
22 circumstances like before the war.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could I seek clarification of one of
24 the previous answers.
25 You said that -- that the people of that group had fired at you,
1 isn't it, before they were ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gunfire was opened at our units. I
3 got that report from the field, namely from the commander of the
4 3rd Battalion.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But you also said that it was the members of that
6 group, isn't it, that had fired at your units.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that group of people who
8 surrendered, there was a certain number who did not want to surrender and
9 did not surrender, and they had a clash between themselves whether to
10 surrender or not. Jusupovic can tell you that himself.
11 JUDGE ORIE: My question to you is whether the members of that
12 group where you said you took 36 or 38 prisoners, whether they had fired
13 at your units or your army.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around Burnice village where these
15 people surrendered, there was a large number of people, and only this
16 number surrendered.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So whether these people had ever used their
18 arms or any arms, you don't know; the ones you captured, that were
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which of them fired,
21 whether some from among those who surrendered or those who fled and did
22 not surrender. We were not able to come close and see.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So the answer is you don't know.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Would it be soldierly and would it be correct from the police
3 point of view to check whether perhaps among those people there were some
4 who had shot at a legitimate armed force?
5 A. To be quite honest, those people who surrendered to us, apart
6 from the underaged ones who were separated from the others, were able
7 bodied and fit for military service, but we should have formed a military
8 panel to do that job, but it was not up to us. It was up to military
9 security authorities.
10 Q. Just one more question before the break. I asked you about your
11 fear of possible incidents of revenge. Do you know that such incidents
12 happened on the ground, that people took revenge on others?
13 A. I cannot see -- I cannot say that I saw something for myself. I
14 did what I did as a precaution, knowing that with 99.9 per cent certainty
15 these children would be sent for an exchange, and I don't know through
16 how many hands they would pass before the eventual exchange. But my idea
17 was to have them filmed so that whoever handles them from that time on,
18 they know they can't do any such thing.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I think I need ten or 12 more
20 minutes to go through the remaining documents, and I plan to finish
21 within that time. Perhaps I should say now that a part of my examination
22 would be in private session to protect certain names.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, the Chamber would prefer that you do
24 that before the break, then we'll look at the clock. You have another 12
25 minutes then, and we'll then adjourn at close to 25 minutes past 1.00.
1 Please proceed. Well, when I said adjourn, I meant take a break.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we pull up in
3 e-court P1698. P1698.
4 Q. I have a few questions for you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document has
6 one more page in B/C/S, and I should like to see the next one. Thank
7 you. That is it. We can then go back to page 1.
8 Q. But the reason I want to see this is the following: Do you
9 recognise the handwriting of your brigade commander Vidoje Blagojevic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you recognise his signature?
12 A. I can see it's his signature, but to be quite frank, after so
13 many years I had forgotten it.
14 Q. Now we can go back to page 1 in B/C/S. From what I was able to
15 see, this is the same text but typed on a teleprinter, and it's exactly
16 the same as the one in handwriting. My young learned friend asked you
17 about the first and the last part of this document, and I want to remove
18 a certain confusion.
19 In this document addressed to the command of the Drina Corps, we
20 read that one of them, meaning one of the four children, spoke to the
21 commander of the sweeping unit about a large number of Muslim troops
22 committing suicide or killing each other, and then comes the sentence
23 quoted to you by the Prosecutor:
24 "We propose that this testimony be recorded by cameras of your
25 press centre."
1 Let me ask you now: Did any of these children tell you about
2 mass murders among Muslim troops and mass suicides?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you understand this is a reference to yourself when it says
5 that the children spoke about that to the commander of the unit?
6 A. I really don't know, but I know that I spoke to that child and
7 that's what he told me.
8 Q. Would it be fair to say that one of the commanders of the
9 sweeping units was also commander of the 3rd Battalion, Dragan Zekic?
10 A. It also could be the commander, Dragan Zekic, or perhaps the
11 commander of the unit to which they surrendered, because they were
12 divided into companies and platoons which have a company ran into them
13 first, had its own commander, another company commander was Zekic, and I
14 was the third.
15 Q. Do you know whether any of the four boys shared this information
16 with anyone else but you?
17 A. I don't know. I didn't talk to them anymore.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now could we
19 please move into private session because I will be mentioning names now.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We'll move into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 13960-13962 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
21 What I want to know, quite simple question, is whether the
22 information about what the boys had told about suicides, et cetera,
23 whether it was you who passed that on to your command which then resulted
24 in a proposal to have it all filmed, or that it was not you who passed on
25 that information.
1 A. I think that I did tell Pilipovic about this. I don't know if by
2 Pilipovic passed that on further though.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier today you were asked whether you had
4 provided the information that was contained in that report. Your answer
5 then was:
6 "I only provided information that they passed on to the press
7 conference to the effect that the children were aged 8 to 14 and all the
8 rest was up to the assistant commander for morale."
9 So you didn't provide that information, as I do understand from
10 your previous answer.
11 A. My previous answer was that it was the assignment of the
12 assistant for morale to do what I told him to do. My main motive and
13 task was for him to do with the press centre what he did.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. We take a break. Before we take the
15 break could I ask you, Ms. Harbour, whether your position has changed in
16 any way as far as the need to re-examine the witness.
17 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, Your Honour. I will need around ten minutes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ten minutes. Then I'll give you ten minutes, but as
19 I said before, the Chamber needs some time for a few procedural matters
20 as well. But you'll have your ten minutes, but then we'll be very
21 precise. We'll take the break. The witness can be escorted out of the
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ORIE: And we'll resume at 12 minutes to 2.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 1.28 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The witness could be escorted into the courtroom.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour, you may proceed.
5 Re-examination by Ms. Harbour:
6 Q. Mr. Gavric, this morning at temporary transcript pages 32 and 33,
7 you discussed a meeting that you went to at the Bratunac Brigade on the
8 morning of the 12th of July, 1995, and you said that at that meeting
9 General Mladic issued an order to Furtula. Could you please tell me who
10 else aside from you and Furtula and General Mladic were present at that
12 A. I think that there were many officers who were carrying out the
13 combat assignment in Srebrenica. I know a number of people by the way
14 they look. I know Furtula by name because I was in the same unit during
15 peacetime when he was in the Han Pijesak operations unit. He was the
16 commander of a company. That's how I knew him.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Gavric, the question is who was at the meeting
18 in addition to yourself, Furtula, and Mr. Mladic. You haven't said a
19 word about that.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that all the commanders were
21 there, all the officers. I don't know their names.
22 MS. HARBOUR:
23 Q. I will name a few and if you know any of them, would you please
24 let me know if any of them present at the meeting. Blagojevic, was he
1 A. I think that when I was there the commander was not inside, as
2 far as I can remember, but I don't know exactly.
3 Q. And by "the commander," you're referring to Blagojevic; is that
5 A. I think so. I am saying my commander who was my immediate
6 superior, Colonel Blagojevic who was the commander of the brigade.
7 Q. Do you know if Krstic was there?
8 A. Krstic was not there that morning.
9 Q. Do you know if Pandurevic was there?
10 A. I don't think that Pandurevic was there either. I know him
11 personally. I don't think that he was there.
12 Q. What about Vasic? Was Vasic there?
13 A. I know of Vasic, the man. I never met him to this very day.
14 It's possible that the man was there. Is that man from the police
15 component? I don't think that he was there, because it was just us corps
16 officers, if I can say that. And in essence they are the ones who took
17 part in the operation. I know the names of the persons, but I couldn't
18 tell you with any degree of certainty whether Andric, Trivic, and others
19 were there. I really don't know. I know about Furtula because I knew
20 him personally and it has remained with me as an impression when the
21 commander or the general ordered him to do that.
22 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please have --
23 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be an audio problem apparently. No
24 need to speak aloud, Mr. Mladic. It has been fixed. Please proceed,
25 Ms. Harbour.
1 MS. HARBOUR: Could we please have Exhibit P1509 on the screen.
2 Q. Now, this is a Zvornik CJB dispatch. It's dated 12 July 1995,
3 and if I could draw your attention to paragraph 2. This states that a
4 meeting with General Mladic and General Krstic was held at the
5 Bratunac Brigade command at 0800 hours at which tasks were assigned to
6 all participants. And again I repeat this is from the 12th of July,
7 1995, so the same day that you had your meeting. Were you present at
8 this meeting at 8.00 in the morning?
9 A. The command of the Bratunac Brigade was located at the ceramic
10 tile factory which had a large number of premises. Then the operations
11 room as I said --
12 Q. I just need to know whether you were present at this meeting.
13 A. I wasn't there, but I wanted to say because I said earlier that
14 the general left the operations at 8.00.
15 Q. I'm finished with this document. Today at transcript pages 43 to
16 44, you were reviewing a proposal by Milanovic, and you were asked:
17 "And then who is being assigned as the co-ordinator of this
18 assignment if he does have the right to command?"
19 And you responded:
20 "If certain assignments are about to begin, the superior officer
21 must appoint a lower-ranking officer who would be responsible for that in
22 the entire area. Like I was responsible for the police unit and the
23 military unit in the same way, according to the way I'm thinking, the
24 Colonel could have appointed Blagojevic as the commander of that complete
25 action in that section of the sweep."
1 Do you recall that testimony? Now, I'd like to show you a
2 document which is P1696. Around halfway down the second paragraph it
4 "During the day the brigade commander visited all units which are
5 blocking the enemy retreat. The 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, units
6 of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, parts of the MUP and the
7 5th Engineering Battalion defined their tasks and organised their joint
8 action and communications."
9 Now, this document is dated 16 July 1995, and it's issued by
10 Commander Colonel Blagojevic. Does this document demonstrate what we saw
11 in the Milanovic proposal that Blagojevic was in command of these units?
12 A. If he received a written order as we see that he did from
13 Milanovic, that means that realistically speaking, he was responsible for
14 the reason that that was the area that was part of the Bratunac Brigade
16 Q. And these units include the 65th Protection Regiment. This is a
17 Main Staff unit; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour, you asked for ten minutes.
20 MS. HARBOUR: I have maybe one more question, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please put that question to the witness.
22 MS. HARBOUR:
23 Q. At temporary transcript page 56 today --
24 MS. HARBOUR: Actually, Your Honour, I'm happy to leave my
25 redirect examination as we are.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Have the questions in re-examination triggered any
2 need to further ask questions, Mr. Stojanovic?
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: This means, Witness, that this concludes your
5 testimony in this court. Before you leave the court, I would like to
6 inform you that the issue on which that is the people, persons, found
7 hanging and with the lower part of their bodies destroyed, it has been
8 verified. The CLSS has done a great job in providing us with the
9 verification very quickly, and it turns out that it has not been
10 accurately transcribed. So therefore the way in which you explained it
11 is now confirmed in the transcript as will be corrected.
12 I'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for
13 having answered all the questions that were put to you, and I wish you a
14 safe return home again. You may follow the usher.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then there are a few procedural matters which --
18 with which I would like to deal. For the first one, I'd like to go
19 briefly into private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Page 13970 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then a few matters. I'd like to read a -- some
23 decisions, and I'd like to start with the decision with regard to expert
24 witness Thomas Parsons.
25 On the 2nd of April, 2013, the Prosecution filed a notice of
1 disclosure of Thomas Parsons' expert report pursuant to Rule 94 bis of
2 the Rules and a motion to amend its Rule 65 ter exhibit list, requesting
3 to add a one-and-a-half page statement by Parsons and the Prosecution
4 sought the admission of Parsons' CV, the report titled "Methodology
5 report 2001-2008 DNA process," which was dated the 15th of January, 2008,
6 and the one-and-a-half page statement I just referred to.
7 On the 8th of May, the Chamber granted the Defence an extension
8 to make its submissions pursuant to Rule 94 bis. On the 3rd of June, the
9 Defence filed its notice and objection. The Defence did not object to
10 the addition of the one and a half page statement by Parsons to the
11 Prosecution's exhibit list.
12 Considering this and the length and the nature of the document,
13 the Chamber decides to grant leave to add it to the exhibit list.
14 In its Rule 94 bis notice, the Defence challenged the methodology
15 and reliability of the proffered report. The Defence requested that the
16 Prosecution be ordered to supplement its submission or that the Chamber
17 should denied the report's admission into evidence and that Parsons be
18 barred from presenting expert evidence. The Defence further requested
19 the opportunity to cross-examine the witness.
20 The Defence did not challenge Parsons' expertise. Upon review of
21 his CV, the Chamber is satisfied that he has specialised knowledge which
22 may be of assistance to the Chamber in assessing the evidence to be
23 presented by the Prosecution on the DNA identification of victims,
24 including those listed in indictment Schedule E. It therefore considers
25 Parsons an expert for the purpose of his anticipated evidence before the
2 With regard to the Defence objections, the Chamber considers that
3 the Defence will have a full opportunity to explore the alleged flaws in
4 methodology and reliability of the report when the witness appears to
6 The Chamber hereby decides pursuant to Rule 94 bis of the Rules
7 that Thomas Parsons may be called to testify as an expert witness and
8 shall be made available for cross-examination by the Defence, and the
9 Chamber defers its decision on admission into evidence of the tendered
10 report, the CV, and the one-and-a-half page statement until the time of
11 the witness's testimony.
12 And this concludes the Chamber's decision.
13 I would then like to read a decision by the Chamber on the
14 admission of the expert reports and the CV of Witness Kathryn Barr.
15 On the 28th of February, 2013, the Prosecution filed a
16 notification of its disclosure of the expert reports of
17 Witness Kathryn Barr seeking the admission of nine reports on hand and
18 typewriting and the witness's curriculum vitae pursuant to Rule 94 bis of
19 the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
20 While the Defence filed its Rule 94 bis (B) notice on the
21 2nd of April, 2013, in which it objected to the witness's qualification
22 as an expert and to the admissibility of the reports, in court on the
23 26th of June, it submitted that it would no longer be opposing the
24 admission of the proffered evidence and would not require Witness Barr to
25 be called for cross-examination. This can be found at transcript
1 page 13437.
2 In light of no objection from the Defence with regard to the
3 admission of the proffered evidence, the Chamber will first consider the
4 expert status of Witness Barr and then decide on the admission of the
5 nine reports and her CV. Witness Barr's CV demonstrates that she had at
6 least 11 relevant years of experience in forensic document review at the
7 time she drafted the first report in 2003. The witness started working
8 as a forensic document examiner for the forensic laboratory of the
9 Metropolitan Police in 1992, before joining her current employer,
10 Document Evidence Limited in Birmingham in 1999, where she now holds the
11 position of director and works as a forensic document examiner. In
12 addition, during her years of experience, the witness has examined
13 documents and handwriting in over a thousand cases, including cases
14 before the Tribunal. Therefore, the Chamber considers that Witness Barr
15 has, through her experience as a forensic document examiner, developed
16 specialised knowledge in forensic document review which may assist the
17 Chamber in understanding the evidence to be presented by the Prosecution
18 in this case.
19 With regard to the requirements of Rule 89(C) and (D) of the
20 Rules, the Chamber finds the proffered evidence to be relevant to the
21 case and probative for the purposes of admission, as the reports assess
22 the authenticity of relevant military documents such as log-books and
23 vehicle logs through the analysis of handwriting entries of alleged JCE
24 members and typewriting respectively.
25 In light of the foregoing and considering that the Defence
1 accepts the proffered evidence to be admitted without calling
2 Witness Barr to testify in person, the Chamber admits the nine reports
3 with 65 ter numbers 05655 up to and including 05659, 06226, 06227 and
4 06228, and 25909, as well as her CV bearing 65 ter number 05660 into
5 evidence under Rule 94 bis (C), and requests the Registry to assign
6 exhibit numbers to the respective documents.
7 Madam Registrar, I don't know whether you can already provide us
8 with a range now. I think we need ten.
9 Madam Registrar will provisionally assign numbers and will
10 communicate them through a memo. And this concludes the Chamber's
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: If with the indulgence of all those assisting us, I
14 have one other decision to read. It's even shorter. I therefore seek
15 their co-operation. It is the oral decision on the admission of the
16 associated exhibits in relation to Witness RM176.
17 During the testimony of Witness RM176, the Prosecution tendered
18 16 documents associated with his two witness statements which were
19 admitted into evidence as Exhibits P640 and P641, both under seal. The
20 Registry filed an internal memorandum on the 17th of November -- December
21 2012, assigning provisional exhibit numbers to the 16 documents.
22 With regard to the numbers -- the number of associated exhibits,
23 the Chamber notes the Defence's objection of the 27th of November, 2012.
24 While the Prosecution has reduced the number of associated exhibits from
25 originally 26 as tendered in the 92 ter motion of Witness RM176 on the
1 14th of November, 2012, to 16 now, the Chamber uses this opportunity to
2 again remind the parties of its previous guidance to carefully consider
3 the need for each document they tender and to limit the amount of
4 associate exhibits to the extent possible.
5 As neither of the parties made follow-up submissions with regard
6 to the tendered documents, the Chamber will now decide on their admission
7 using the approach taken in the Tucker oral decision of the
8 22nd of November, 2012. Consequently, the Chamber admits the following
9 14 documents into evidence as associated exhibits of Witness RM176's
10 statement: P649, P650, P652, P653, and P654, all under seal; P655, P657,
11 P659, P660, P661, P662, P663, P665, P667, all public with the exception
12 of P665 which is admitted under seal.
13 With regard to the two remaining associated exhibits MFI'd as
14 P648 and P666, the Chamber denies their admission into evidence without
15 prejudice. And this concludes the Chamber's decision.
16 I think -- yes Mr. Groome. You're on your feet.
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I do have information regarding RM506
18 if the Chamber wishes to hear it now.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps it would be good if it will be short.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour -- all of the intercepts the Prosecution
21 will tender during 506's testimony he can authenticate. The ones that
22 the Prosecution is proposing to deal with in a bar table are ones that
23 he's unable to address the substance so the Prosecution would be making
24 submission regarding their relevance separately from the ones that he can
25 speak to their substance and that's the reason for distinction.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but he would still testify as to the
3 MR. GROOME: Of all exhibits.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Of all exhibits.
5 MR. GROOME: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. Whether it's then really bar tabling or
7 not remains -- remains a question, but at least we now better understand
8 what the request is about.
9 Then I'd like to thank everyone assisting us in this courtroom
10 and around this courtroom for their indulgence, and we resume -- we
11 adjourn for the day and we'll resume Monday, the 8th of July, at 9.30 in
12 the morning, Madam Registrar, in Courtroom III.
13 We stand adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.22 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day
16 of July, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.