1 Monday, 25 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is the case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 The Chamber was informed that the Prosecution wanted to raise one
11 preliminary matter.
12 MR. GROOME: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 This submission relates to the Chamber's request of the
14 22nd of November that the Prosecution indicate by the 2nd of
15 December which redactions it would seek to lift in response to the recent
16 Appeals Chamber decision regarding adjudicated facts.
17 As the Chamber will recall, the Prosecution in its
18 20 November motion, has -- has moved the Chamber to take judicial notice
19 of reformulated impugned facts reformulated in a way which we believe
20 conforms to the Appeals Chamber's decision. The exhibits that we will
21 seek to lift some of the redactions from will depend in significant part
22 on the Chamber's decision on this application. While we will begin and
23 have begun the process of reviewing the evidence to be unredacted, the
24 decision ultimately is dependant upon the Prosecution knowing what is the
25 final set of adjudicated facts upon which we can rely. Something which
1 in turn is dependant on the Chamber's decision. We have already begun
2 the process and will aim to place ourselves in a position to respond
3 quickly once this Chamber enters its decision on our motion for the
4 reformulation of these facts.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for your submission. Yes.
7 Is the Prosecution ready to call its -- yes, Mr. Groome.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, we are ready to call the next witness
9 but there are some residual matters relating to Mr. Brown, the tendering
10 of the exhibits.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I know that. We could deal with them right
12 away. Let me just have a look. I think MFI numbers P2859 through 2863
13 are reports and statements and errata sheets which still need to be
14 decided upon -- still need to be tendered. We will then hear from the
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour probably can't see Mr. Traldi to my
17 right but he will be dealing with this matter.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I didn't see him as a matter of fact. He was
19 hidden behind the column.
20 MR. TRALDI: I apologise, Mr. President. I'll try to lean so
21 don't have to.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if we do both then ...
23 MR. TRALDI: It is those five MFI numbers that are also
24 associated exhibits to the statement which I'm prepared to address if the
25 statement were to be admitted. But, first, I'd tender MFI P2859 through
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Defence? Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. TRALDI: I can go one at a time if that assists.
5 JUDGE ORIE: If you just briefly mention them then ...
6 MR. TRALDI: P2859 is the Krajina report.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, Krajina report. Seems to be a problem
8 with the microphone of Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, this one doesn't work. We stand by all the
10 objections we already raised previously. And we think that especially
11 this Krajina report has a lot of wrong quotations and wrong references.
12 I didn't have time to go through all of them, but -- and we are not going
13 to show the Prosecution where those mistakes are. That's their job.
14 We will probably bring the witness who would refute the work of
15 Mr. Ewan Brown, and in that work, we will show all the flaws this report
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
18 MR. LUKIC: So we will probably have more additional and -- not
19 at this time. I showed a couple of them on Friday, but there are more.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, in the context of admission if you say:
21 I'm not going to show the other ones, then it's impossible for the
22 Prosecution to pay further attention to it, and the Chamber necessarily
23 has rely on the ones you showed. If you think that the Chamber would go
24 through every footnote and see whether possibly there could be a mistake
25 with an underlying document which is not in evidence, then you are wrong.
1 So, therefore, if you refrain from further explaining where the
2 errors are, then we have to rely on what you've shown to us until now.
3 We have to assess the importance of those errors, the type of errors. So
4 it is up to you.
5 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I think you should turn to the
6 Prosecution and ask them where the errors are in their witness's report.
7 Not to ask Defence to show the Chamber where the mistakes are.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. I told you what the consequences are of this
9 approach. I further -- Mr. Lukic, if we would follow you, we would never
10 know because there would be no need to call any witnesses later to
11 explain to us why Mr. Brown was wrong because then it would not be in
13 So anything else in relation to 2859, the Krajina report?
14 MR. LUKIC: What about mistakes we showed, whether -- are they
15 going to be part of this report?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think the Chamber will always look at the
17 evidence in its entirety. So if any mistake or error was demonstrated
18 during the examination -- examination of the witness, then, of course,
19 we'll take that into account in the evaluation of the report as part of
20 the totality of the evidence. If we would admit it.
21 Anything else, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: No, that's -- that's in addition to the written --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
24 MR. LUKIC: -- objections we had previously to this report.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber, having heard the parties, admits into
2 evidence P2859, the Krajina report.
3 Next one, Mr. Traldi.
4 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President. I think the next two, P2860 and
5 2861, the two errata sheets to that report, probably raise the same
6 issues and can be addressed together.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There some of the errors were already
8 addressed. They are, of course, they not be separate from the -- from
9 the report itself.
10 Mr. Lukic, anything to add.
11 MR. LUKIC: It seems those errata sheets are not complete. We
12 would object to them as well.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you are not going to tell us in what
14 respect they are wrong.
15 Therefore, the Chamber, having heard the parties and relying on
16 the submissions made until now, admits into evidence P2860 and P2861.
17 Next one, Mr. Traldi.
18 MR. TRALDI: P2862, Mr. President, is the witness's Manjaca
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, apart from the objections already made,
21 anything to add.
22 MR. LUKIC: Nothing, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: P2862 is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. TRALDI: And, Mr. President, P2863 is the witness's statement
25 which we tendered 92 ter.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: We objected to this statement as well, since I think
4 that statement is actually doing the Chamber's work. Analysing
5 documents. Nothing in that statement is actually a statement. Just an
6 analysis of documents that we consider is job of the Chamber.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, the Chamber will finally analyse
8 and evaluate the -- the reports and the documents but considers that it
9 is assisted by what the witness told us about it.
10 P2863 is admitted into evidence.
11 Mr. Traldi.
12 MR. TRALDI: Regarding the associated exhibits to Mr. Brown's
13 statement, Your Honour, as I suggested last Monday, we've reduced the
14 number to be tendered compared to the 92 ter motion by about 50 per cent.
15 There are 19 remaining. Of those, nine were in our municipalities bar
16 table motion and met with no objection in the Defence's response. Under
17 those circumstances, I'd note your observation during cross-examination,
18 Mr. President, that in the absence of an objection, whether the exhibits
19 come in from the bar table or through the witness is not of primary
20 importance and I'd suggest that it's most efficient to have these nine
21 admitted now. I can just go through the 65 ter numbers for those.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If you would do that. They are mainly the
23 underlying documents to the -- at least to statement and report.
24 MR. TRALDI: All of these are associated exhibits to the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. TRALDI: So the nine that met with no objection in the bar
3 table motion are 00678, 06802, 07042, 07152, 07154, 07159, 08392, 10791,
4 and 22883B.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the nine numbers for these
6 documents range from?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Number P2905 up to and including P2913,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: P2905 through P2913 are admitted into evidence.
10 Mr. Traldi.
11 MR. TRALDI: And regarding the other ten, Mr. President, I'd
12 suggest we might go one by one so that if there any question whether they
13 are appropriate as associated, it can be addressed orally now.
14 The first is 03324.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: I don't have those documents with me.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll delay that and we'll deal with that at a
18 later stage.
19 Mr. Traldi, I suggest that you make a short -- if you put all the
20 numbers in one small document so that Madam Registrar can reserve numbers
21 for them.
22 MR. TRALDI: I'll do that, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Lukic will then prepare for any response to
24 be heard.
25 Mr. Lukic, later this week. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
1 That's -- or is there any other matter?
2 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President. Two other brief follow-up
3 matters regarding Mr. Brown.
4 First, in compliance with the Chamber's guidance, we may file a
5 bar table motion regarding expert Brown related to specific areas
6 challenged during cross-examination. It may be that for a number of
7 issues we can reduce the number of exhibits in that motion by referring
8 to exhibits already in evidence or tendered in other bar table motions.
9 To focus the record, we will do so wherever possible.
10 Additionally, Mr. Lukic inquired on cross-examination about the
11 prosecution of the persons who killed Mr. Bender and Mr. Filipovic at
12 Manjaca. I note that this has been raised with several witnesses now and
13 we would invite the Defence to propose an agreed fact on this topic.
14 Mr. Lukic also put to Mr. Brown that this prosecution was done on the
15 basis of evidence gathered during the war. If the Defence provides
16 evidence to support that proposition, we are open to agreeing on that
17 point as well.
18 That concludes my submission related to expert Brown. Begging
19 the Chamber's indulgence, I would raise one other time-sensitive
20 preliminary matter which is to request an additional two weeks for the
21 reply to the Defence's response to the municipalities bar table motion.
22 The Defence received approximately two months additional for their
23 response and we would request two weeks additional for the reply.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me see ...
25 Yes, we'll consider that and let you know as soon as possible,
1 Mr. Traldi.
2 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President. Then I'd just request to
3 be excused.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You are excused.
5 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness?
7 MS. HASAN: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, and
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. Yes, we are.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Hasan, that is -- no protective measures.
10 MS. HASAN: That's correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Todorovic.
12 MS. HASAN: That's correct. I'd only request that he be given a
13 Rule 90(E) caution.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness may be escorted into the
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Todorovic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Good morning.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
21 make a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you. May I
22 invite you to make that solemn declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: MILENKO TODOROVIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Todorovic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Todorovic, before we start hearing your
5 evidence, I'd like to inform you about your rights.
6 If any of the answers you would give on one of the questions
7 would tend to incriminate yourself, then you may object to answer such
8 question. We, however, the Chamber, could compel you to answer that
9 question despite that objection; but if we would compel you to answer the
10 question in this way, then that could not be used as evidence in a
11 subsequent prosecution against yourself for any offence, apart from the
12 offence of giving false testimony.
13 Has this been explained to you prior to coming to court, that you
14 have this right?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it has. I have already
16 appeared in this courtroom as a witness before.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Nevertheless, we want to repeat it now so that
18 you are fully aware of your position in this respect.
19 One second, please.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now there's another preliminary matter, Ms. Hasan,
22 which is the following, that we have not yet received a response to the
23 92 ter motion, so if you want to proceed on the basis of 92 ter, we
24 should first hear from the Defence. And if I'm not mistaken, there
25 was -- in that request was also a 92 bis request, which may need an
1 answer, but I also can imagine that the Defence would like to respond in
2 writing. But today the Defence response to the 92 ter motion is due,
3 Mr. Stojanovic. What is the position of the Defence?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. We
5 are prepared to cross-examine this witness today.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you do not object to him being examined in
7 chief on the basis of 92 ter.
8 Then leave is granted to hear the testimony of this witness under
9 Rule 92 ter.
11 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 Examination by Ms. Hasan:
14 Q. Good morning -- good morning, Witness.
15 Could you please state your name for the record.
16 A. My name is Milenko Todorovic.
17 Q. Witness, have you recently had the opportunity to review or -- to
18 review in a language that you understand the interview you gave at the
19 Belgrade field office on the 2nd and 3rd of February in 2010?
20 A. Yes, I have. I have had the opportunity and, indeed, I used it.
21 Q. And during the course of that interview, did you tell Prosecuting
22 Attorney Mr. Nicholls, and the investigator, Mr. Blaszczyk, the truth?
23 A. Yes, I told them the truth. There was nothing else that I
24 mentioned but the truth.
25 Q. So do you stand by what you said in that interview?
1 A. Yes, I do stand by the interview.
2 Q. And the transcript that you read, does it fairly and accurately
3 reflect what you said during that interview?
4 A. Yes, it does reflect the gist and the contents of the
5 conversation that was held with me.
6 MS. HASAN: At this stage, Mr. President, Your Honours, I'd offer
7 65 ter 29167 which are excerpts from that interview conducted in 2010
8 into evidence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, it is common that the witness identifies
10 the relevant document as the one he reviewed, but if there's no dispute
11 between the parties that 65 ter 29167 reflects the statement, then we
12 could proceed.
13 Mr. Stojanovic, I address the Defence.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] There is no objection against
15 admission, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 29167 receives number P2914,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
20 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, you will note that in the 92 ter motion
21 we are also tendering excerpts from the witness's testimony in the
22 Tolimir case. There are some clarifications to be made to that testimony
23 which will be the bulk of my examination today, so what I propose to do
24 is to read a brief summary for the public at this stage and then proceed
25 with my questions, tendering the Tolimir transcript at the end.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The Defence does not object.
2 Please proceed as you suggest.
3 MS. HASAN: Beginning in mid-November 1993, Colonel
4 Milenko Todorovic was the assistant commander for intelligence and
5 security and the chief of the intelligence and security organ of the
6 East Bosnia Corps. After the fall of Srebrenica, Colonel Todorovic
7 received a task from General Tolimir related to the accommodation of
8 prisoners from Srebrenica at the Batkovic prison camp. Those prisoners
9 never arrived.
10 Colonel Todorovic also gave evidence relating to the command and
11 control of military police units in the VRS structure and the reporting
12 obligations of the corps's security and intelligence organ.
13 That concludes my summary.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed, with any questions you
15 may have.
16 MS. HASAN:
17 Q. In 1995, Witness, what was your rank?
18 A. In 1995, I held the rank of colonel.
19 Q. Now, could you briefly tell us, and I'm not looking for the
20 entirety of the events that happened, but I'd like you just to be as
21 precise as possible in your recollection and tell us what it is that the
22 Main Staff tasked you to do after the fall of Srebrenica.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
24 Your Honour, the question was what the Main Staff tasked him to
25 do after the fall of Srebrenica. If this has to do with the order which
1 in the summary the Prosecutor said had arrived from Tolimir, the question
2 would have been misformulated. If this has to do with some other order
3 from the General Staff, then a foundation has to be laid before the
4 question is put.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, perhaps you ask the witness whether he
6 received any order from the Main Staff in that period of time.
7 MS. HASAN:
8 Q. Witness, you heard the question. Did you receive an order from
9 the Main Staff after the fall of Srebrenica?
10 A. Yes, I did. I am maintaining now, just as I did in my earlier
11 evidence, with incomplete certainty. I'm not sure if it was given orally
12 or via a telegram. I think -- I'm 90 per cent sure that it was a
13 telegram. It was a short cable from the Main Staff, from the
14 intelligence and security sector. It contained a brief message, conveyed
15 to the corps commander the task whereby accommodation should be readied
16 for between 1.000 and 1.200 prisoners of war who would be transferred to
17 Batkovic in the coming days.
18 As I said, I am 90 per cent sure that these would have been the
19 contents of the telegram. I immediately proceeded to share the contents
20 of the telegram to the corps commander, General Simic, the now late
21 General Simic, who issued orders to other organs to begin preparing the
22 arrangements for the reception of prisoners.
23 Q. Witness, now you've told us the number of prisoners that were you
24 told you were to expect to arrive and that they were to be accommodated
25 at Batkovic prison camp. Were you also told from where those prisoners
1 would be coming from?
2 A. Yes. As I said, this is my recollection, and I can't be sure if
3 it was 1.000 or 1.200 but that was roughly the figure involved. They
4 would come from the enclave of Srebrenica. That was my understanding
5 from the telegram. Previously, news reached us of the fall of
6 Srebrenica. I'm not sure if the telegram said that these were prisoners
7 captured in Srebrenica, but that's probably -- probably what the telegram
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly speak closer to the
10 microphones, please. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to come a bit closer to the
12 microphone, Witness.
13 MS. HASAN:
14 Q. Now, Colonel, just so we're all clear, when this order came from
15 the Main Staff from the intelligence and security sector, from whom
16 precisely did this order originate?
17 A. I don't have the order in front of me to be able to give you my
18 comments on it. I assume, and it would have been natural, that the
19 telegram arrived from the intelligence and security department, since I
20 as the chief of the intelligence and security organ of the corps command
21 received telegrams and all other correspondence solely from them.
22 As for the other organs of the Main Staff, they received their
23 correspondence from other organs.
24 Q. Okay, Colonel, I appreciate that you may not remember at this
25 point in time --
1 MS. HASAN: But if we can call up 29167, please. And if we look
2 at page 4 in the English, page 4 in the B/C/S.
3 Q. This is your --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Which is now P2914, Ms. Hasan.
5 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. If we look in English at the approximately lines 19, and the
7 B/C/S, it's approximately line 9, you were asked the question:
8 "Q. Okay, are you certain or not certain that the information
9 came from General Tolimir, whether it was in person or by telegram?
10 "A. I am sure about that."
11 Witness, does that refresh your recollection as to whether you
12 were, in fact, tasked by General Tolimir?
13 A. Yes. This isn't controversial. It's just the issue of whether
14 it was conveyed over the telephone or the telegram that wasn't
15 conclusive. And I did say a moment ago that I am 90 per cent sure that
16 it was conveyed over the -- the telegram and not the -- the telephone
17 within the intelligence service.
18 Q. Okay. And since this order did come from General Tolimir of the
19 Main Staff, can you tell us who he was in relation to you within the
20 command structure?
21 A. He was the chief of the intelligence and security sector of the
22 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska and assistant commander of the
23 Main Staff. He was assistant to General Mladic, ex officio. According
24 to the intelligence and security professional line, he was my superior.
25 My immediate superior was General Simic as the corps commander. However,
1 in terms of my speciality, which was state security, General Tolimir was
2 my immediate superior.
3 Q. Now, having received that order, can you tell us were you, at
4 that point in time, eager to receive prisoners?
5 A. Yes. We expected - and I did say this in my earlier testimony -
6 their arrival because within my corps, which is the East Bosnia Corps,
7 there were quite a few prisoners captured, and they were held -- or,
8 rather, there were quite a few members of the corps captured and were
9 held by the BH Army members. As the arrival of these prisoners of war
10 was expected, there was the intention to have them exchanged for our men
11 who would, in that case, be able to reunite with their families.
12 Q. Okay. Going back to the order that you received. Now, you
13 said -- we know from where they were coming, we know the number of
14 prisoners you were to expect. Can you -- you -- you mention very briefly
15 that you were told they would come in the following days. Is -- is -- is
16 that your recollection today?
17 A. What I recall of it today is just the task given. I can't recall
18 the exact date when I received it. Was it on the 11th in the evening?
19 Q. Sorry -- Colonel, sorry, that wasn't my question. My question is
20 whether in that order that you received you were told when the prisoners
21 would be arriving at Batkovic camp. Was it in a month's time? Was is it
22 in a few days' time? Perhaps I can refresh your recollection, if you
23 need me to.
24 A. From what I remember, no fixed date was given. It was said that
25 preparations should be completed as soon as possible so that we may be
1 ready for receiving them whenever they do come. Perhaps there was a date
2 indicated, but I don't remember.
3 Q. Perhaps I can refresh your recollection.
4 MS. HASAN: Could we again call up P2914. If we can take a look
5 at page 3 in the English, page 2 in the B/C/S. And in the English, we
6 can look at approximately lines 3 -- starting at line 3.
7 Q. In the B/C/S, Witness, you can follow along at approximately
8 line 21. And I'll read the answer you gave:
9 "The point was that we were supposed to prepare the camp so that
10 it could accommodate around 1.200 people who were about to set out the
11 following day."
12 MS. HASAN: And then if we go down to lines 14 to 15 in the
13 English. And if we turn a page in the B/C/S.
14 Q. If we turn the page in the B/C/S and look at the first two lines,
15 you say:
16 "The point was that we were supposed to prepare the hangars for
17 that many people who were about to arrive the following day."
18 So, Colonel, to the best of your recollection, is that, in fact,
19 when you were told the prisoners would be arriving?
20 A. I was able to read this despite the areas that are blackened out.
21 I can see that here it says "on the following day." But it is not
22 dissonant with what I just said a moment ago, that it should have been
23 done as soon as possible. It implied urgency. Preparations had to be
24 made as soon as possible because they would follow soon after, in a day
25 or two.
1 Q. Okay. But, Colonel, do you stand by what you said that -- do you
2 stand by your recollection of what you said at the time you gave the
3 interview, that they would arrive the following day?
4 A. Yes. I've just said that does not change the gist in any way.
5 On the following day or coming days, in my mind it is quite similar.
6 Q. Colonel, now, how was it that you learned about the fall of
8 A. Officially, it was at the briefing at the corps command that I
9 learned of it. The briefing took place every day at around 1800 hours,
10 if I remember correctly. It was the time when we would learn of all the
11 activities that happened in the area of the corps and beyond, the events
12 of the day, and we would learn of the impending activities for the
13 following day. Before I attended the briefing, I may have heard
14 something about it over the media. However, officially, I learnt of it
15 at the briefing that took place at the corps command.
16 Q. So if I understand you correctly, at the corps command meeting,
17 the briefing which takes place at 1800 hours, you would have learnt of
18 what had taken place the preceding 24 hours. Is that fair?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, relative to the fall of Srebrenica, then, do you recall what
21 you told us about when you received the order from General Tolimir at the
22 Main Staff?
23 A. Yes, I do recall that I immediately acquainted corps commander,
24 General Simic, with the order that had just come in. He, in turn, issued
25 tasks to the pertinent organs who would implement the order. And that
1 was as far as my duties surrounding the order went.
2 Q. Okay. But let me go back to my question which was: When
3 relative to the fall of Srebrenica -- so you learn of the fall of
4 Srebrenica at the corps command meeting. How long after that corps
5 command meeting did you receive the order from the Main Staff?
6 A. Looking back to that time, it's very difficult for me to say if
7 it was 1900 hours, 2000 hours of the day, or in the morning of the
8 following day. At any rate, soon -- there was an order that followed or
9 the order that followed soon thereafter.
10 Q. So when you refer to 1900 hours or 2000 hours, you're referring
11 to the evening of the corps command meeting when you learned of the fall
12 of Srebrenica? If I can ask you to just put your answer on the record,
13 if you can give your answer.
14 A. Yes. Yes, I meant that day. Actually, it could only have
15 happened at the time the briefing ended and when I went to my office,
16 which was about 100 metres away from the briefing room, and that was when
17 the telegram could have been on my desk. It could have then been
18 2100 hours, 2200 hours, or perhaps at some point on the following day.
19 Q. Okay. Now, after you informed General Simic about this order
20 that you received, what did you do in terms of implementation, in terms
21 of implementing that task?
22 A. I myself didn't have any direct obligations arising from the
23 order. It was the logistics organs who were supposed to deal with that.
24 Together with the administration in charge of the farm, they were
25 supposed to make sure that the hangar is emptied and readied for the
1 arrival of the men. They were supposed to make sure there was a water
2 supply available, that toilets were ready. It was possible also for me
3 to get involved in these activities at some point down the road.
4 However, these activities were aborted after a while.
5 Q. Okay. And just so that we -- we -- we all can -- just to remind
6 us, when you say the "activities were aborted," what was it that prompted
7 the abortion of the preparations?
8 A. As the prisoners from Srebrenica arrived in Batkovic -- or,
9 rather, about the imminent arrival of prisoners from Srebrenica in
10 Batkovic there -- the news spread and very soon families of VRS members
11 who had been captured and were held prisoners were very much expected to
12 see an exchange take place, where these VRS members would reunite with
13 their families.
14 So as the news spread about their arrival, days passed without
15 these prisoners appearing in Batkovic or in the general area. The family
16 members of these soldiers staged a protest and were making inquiries
17 about these prisoners. At Ugljevik, at the headquarters of the
18 1st Majevica Brigade - most of the members of the captured -- most of the
19 captured VRS members were, in fact, from that particular brigade - there
20 was a crowd that gathered. Quite a few of them also appeared before the
21 corps command. They were asking for answers. They wanted to hear the
22 corps commander tell them what was going on.
23 At this point, General Simic summoned me personally, and this was
24 the order that he gave me, roughly. He addressed me as Toso. That's how
25 he shortened my surname. He told me, Toso, call your boss and find out
1 when the prisoners were coming and what is going on in that department.
2 So I went to my office. I dialled an automatic number and
3 reached General Tolimir directly without going through the switchboard,
4 and I conveyed to him the inquiry by my commander, Simic. This was
5 roughly his answer: You go on and work according to your plan. This
6 task was given up on or was withdrawn. So, in other words, we were
7 supposed to proceed according to our earlier plan because this activity
8 was no longer topical. And this is something that I conveyed to my
9 commander, Simic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, I'm looking at the clock. Time for a
12 MS. HASAN: Yes. Ms. Stewart reminds me as well.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MS. HASAN: It's a good time to break.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Are you on track as far as time is concerned?
16 You've used close to 40 minutes.
17 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, there's still a few areas still relating
18 to his current testimony I need to cover. I expect to be within the same
19 time but I may be a little bit over depending on the answers I receive.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Same time would bring you already quite beyond the
21 one hour you had scheduled and if we would even go over that --
22 MS. HASAN: I don't expect to at this stage, but I have to admit
23 that, depending on some of the answers, it may require a bit more
24 reference back to some of the transcripts.
25 JUDGE ORIE: If I may suggest to you that you assist the witness
1 in getting closer to your questions rather than to tell the whole
2 background, if you ask what -- how this aborted -- how -- how it was that
3 the task was aborted, then perhaps if you put more detailed, precise
4 questions, then we come closer quicker to the answer the witness finally
5 comes to.
6 Could the witness first be escorted out of the courtroom.
7 We take a break, Mr. Todorovic.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, for your information, you used almost
10 35 minutes of the 60 you asked for.
11 We'll take a break, and we'll resume at five minutes to 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to be escorted into
15 the courtroom.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, you may proceed.
18 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Colonel, now, you've told us that this order to prepare Batkovic
20 camp was to be conducted on an urgent basis. Did you go to Batkovic
21 camp, to the hangars, yourself after receiving this order?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MS. HASAN: If we can call up 65 ter 30502.
25 Q. And this is the transcript of the interview you gave in 2010.
1 MS. HASAN: If we turn to page 89 in the English and 78 in the
2 B/C/S. If we look down at the bottom on the English at approximately
3 lines 25, 26, and in the B/C/S it should be around lines 25 as well.
4 Q. Witness, you recall at that time of your interview you pointed
5 out to the investigator that -- on an aerial image that house number 5,
6 the one you had marked number 5, is a house "that I personally visited
7 when we heard that around 1.000 to 1.200 prisoners were supposed to
8 arrive and because it needed to be emptied so that they could be
9 accommodated there ..."
10 And you go on.
11 Does that refresh your recollection as to whether or not you
12 visited the hangars at Batkovic camp once you learned of the order?
13 A. When I said no, I had in mind the period between the reception of
14 the order and the moment when I conveyed it to General Simic. Later on,
15 as the order was supposed to be implemented, at some point in time, I did
16 visit the location to see if the preparations were developing as planned.
17 Q. Now, it is your evidence that the military police activities do
18 fall within your sphere of responsibility as assistant commander for
19 intelligence and security and that you -- that there were approximately
20 20 military policemen who worked in shifts of about ten, guarding
21 Batkovic camp. And you've also stated, given evidence, that that number
22 of military policemen was not sufficient to secure a thousand to 1.200
24 So my question for you, Colonel, is did you have the opportunity
25 to discuss or propose to your corps commander the -- the engagement of
1 additional military policemen before you received the instructions to
2 cease preparations?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic is supposed not to speak aloud. And
4 we'll be strict on that.
5 Please proceed.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not discuss it with
7 General Simic. As the preparations developed, it was understood that
8 they should include all those who were supposed to be engaged in them.
9 From the logistical point of view, what was needed had to be prepared to
10 have them accommodated, and the camp warden was tasked with requesting
11 additional resources, personnel, catering personnel, guardsmen,
12 et cetera. It was dealt with during the process of preparation. Given
13 the fact that the preparations ceased, we never got to that point.
14 Q. But, Colonel, it was, wasn't it, within your responsibility to
15 make a proposal to the corps commander about additional military
16 policemen. Could military policemen be engaged without your proposal to
17 the corps commander?
18 A. In principle, I was supposed to make that proposal. But in
19 urgent situations or when things are developing quickly, the camp warden
20 could request a reinforcement of 20 to 30 soldiers. But we never
21 actually got to that point because all activity was halted in that
23 Q. So, Colonel, you've -- you've told us that you had daily
24 briefings with the corps commander and other staff. Before the
25 instruction came to cease preparations, was there an opportunity at any
1 corps command meeting for you to make that proposal?
2 A. There were opportunities at every meeting, if I was requested to
3 do so. I don't remember whether that request was made and whether I did
4 put forth proposals because we are discussing a very short interval
5 before activities ceased. What I can remember, in terms of implementing
6 that task, was that I went to see for myself how far these physical
7 preparations went. I saw a -- a loader and a truck and grain was
8 being -- and wheat was being put on the truck in preparation of their
9 arrival. This is a detail I still have in mind. But as for the rest, it
10 would be difficult for me to recall them.
11 Q. Okay. Colonel, if we could take a look at 65 ter 30492. And at
12 page 27, you had been asked there about the engagement of a contingent
13 that was required for securing the expected prisoners. And you say at
14 lines -- if we look at -- it would be around lines 2 --
15 MS. HASAN: Sorry, that should be transcript page 12952.
16 So it's ... we have to turn two more pages. 29. We are at
17 12953. It should be the previous page, 12952.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any chance that there's an incomplete
20 upload, Ms. Hasan?
21 MS. HASAN: That could be possible, Your Honour. I don't think
22 so, but I can resolve the issue by turning to -- if you just give me a
23 moment. If we turn to -- I think we can pick it up on Sanction, T12952.
24 Q. Well, I can start reading out what it is that you said. So this
25 is in relation to the engagement of additional military police, and you
2 "It did not happen solely because further preparations were
3 stopped for their reception."
4 Do you stand by what you said?
5 A. Yes, I do stand by what I said, as I have said a moment ago.
6 Q. Okay. Now you mentioned --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, the page you referred to is not in
9 MS. HASAN: I think we're just trying to pull it up in Sanction
10 for everyone to see. I have quoted the relevant part. Okay. There we
11 go. At lines 2 -- beginning at line 2:
12 "It did not happen solely because further preparations were
13 stopped for their reception."
14 Q. Now, Witness, you previously told us that it was your
15 responsibility, in fact, to propose to the corps commander the engagement
16 of these military policemen and then you subsequently said that you were
17 waiting for a request. A request from whom?
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated] Mr. Lukic, I address you.
19 Next time if Mr. Mladic talks at this volume again, we'll not accept it.
20 It's just whispering, inaudible for anyone else in this courtroom.
21 Mr. Mladic, it's up to you.
22 Please proceed.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Following this short discussion,
24 I'm afraid I no longer remember your question.
25 MS. HASAN:
1 Q. I can repeat it.
2 Previously you told us that it was your responsibility, in fact,
3 to propose to the corps commander the engagement of these military
4 policemen and then you subsequently said that you were awaiting a
5 request. From whom did you expect a request to come in from?
6 A. As per regulation, it was the camp warden who could launch such
7 request, based on the opinion of the commander who was in place with the
8 20 military policemen. In consultation, they could decide that they were
9 short of men and then he could request of me, through the commander, to
10 provide additional military policemen for security. In that case, I
11 would have proposed to the commander to add an additional number of
12 military policemen as estimated. It did not materialise because the task
13 was dropped.
14 Q. Now, given that -- given that the -- you expected this request
15 from the -- the camp warden and since you were told that these prisoners
16 were going to arrive the following day, would you not expect the camp
17 warden to have already put in that request very, very early on,
18 perhaps ...?
19 A. I probably did expect it. The camp warden and the others were
20 engaged in the physical preparations first and foremost. This would have
21 been a simple thing, to take ten minutes and bring, say, another 20 MPs
22 from the barracks to the collection centre. It would have been an easy
23 and simple task to deal with, as compared to the other tasks that were
24 supposed to be part of the preparations.
25 Q. Now, you've mentioned the mounting pressure from the families who
1 were eagerly awaiting the prisoners to arrive so that they could exchange
2 their soldiers. And I'll just refer the Chamber to P2914, page 3,
3 lines 31 in the English, page 4, lines 20 in the B/C/S, where you
4 describe that pressure. And, in fact, you state that this pressure
5 mounted within 24 hours of having received the order.
6 And my question to you is: Given the pressure on the command,
7 your corps commander and yourself, did you, shortly after there was, as
8 you describe it, a mutiny of sorts at the corps command, follow up on
9 these families' requests?
10 A. There was no mutiny at the corps command. No pressure was placed
11 on me personally, and I did not take part in any conversation with those
12 family members. It wasn't up to me to clarify it for them. It was done
13 by the corps commander, General Simic. He summoned me and asked me to
14 verify what was going on with the prisoners and how far things advanced.
15 Q. Sir, it was -- I was, in fact, using your words from the Tolimir
16 case where you say there was almost a mutiny of sorts.
17 But moving on from that, do you stand by your evidence that you
18 gave in the interview, P2914, that it was quite soon after the families
19 surrounded the corps command that your commander, General Simic,
20 instructed you to contact your boss, General Tolimir?
21 A. Yes, I stand by it. The explanation provided should be taken in
22 a relative sense. But I do stand by the -- the gist of the argument. I
23 had received the task as specified, and I contacted those I was supposed
25 Q. Now, sir, you recall the evidence that you gave in the Tolimir
1 case, and General Tolimir, during his cross-examination of you, asked you
2 about the evidence you gave to the Prosecution during their questioning
3 of you, during the direct examination by Mr. Vanderpuye. And in -- in
4 the course of that cross-examination, and we can call this up. It's --
5 in Sanction at T13138, lines 4 to 12, and I'll read out what you were
6 asked by General Tolimir:
7 "Q. When providing this interview" - and that's a reference to
8 the 2010 interview in Belgrade - "did you always repeatedly say that you
9 were uncertain about the time precisely because a lot of time had elapsed
10 and that you cannot be specific as to the date?
11 "A. Yes.
12 "Q. Is there a possibility that later on, when questions were
13 put to you and insistence placed on confirming something you cannot
14 recall, you made certain changes to the original interview you provided
15 in Belgrade?
16 "A. Partially, yes. But the gist of my original statement
17 remains unchanged."
18 Do you stand by the testimony you gave?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. And do -- can you confirm that your recollection of these events
21 was better at the time you gave the interview in 2010 than your
22 recollection in 2011 during the Tolimir case?
23 A. Relatively speaking. It is a relative question, as a matter of
24 fact. Perhaps I gave it some thought afterwards, and then I presume I
25 could recall a few details, although there are very few that I can recall
1 after so many years. However, I still maintain that the gist of it --
2 well, whether it was one day or two days, from this point in time it is
3 very difficult for me to decide and to stand firmly by saying one thing
4 or the other.
5 Q. Now, moving on to your testimony in the Tolimir case --
6 A. No one put any pressure on me in the sense that I should opt for
7 this or that date. Perhaps it was my reasoning. I was searching for the
8 most logical answer as to how things may have been.
9 Q. So that's -- sorry. Colonel, that's what you did in the Tolimir
10 case. But was your recollection at the interview -- you stand by your
11 recollection that -- the evidence you gave then?
12 A. Yes, I've already said.
13 Q. Okay. So just in relation, then, to the testimony you gave in
14 Tolimir, and this is your testimony between the 18th and 21 April 2011,
15 can you tell the Chamber whether you recently had the opportunity to
16 listen to the evidence you gave in that case?
17 A. Yes, I did. I listened to my evidence in court, and I read the
18 first statement I gave in Belgrade on the 2nd and 3rd February.
19 Q. Now, with the clarifications and the evidence that you've given
20 today, does your Tolimir evidence, the evidence you gave in the Tolimir
21 case, the -- the -- what -- that you heard, does that fairly and
22 accurately reflect what you had told the Trial Chamber in that case?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. HASAN: Your Honours, I'd offer 65 ter 30492, which are
25 excerpts from the transcript of this witness's testimony in the Tolimir
2 JUDGE ORIE: Defence has no objections.
3 Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30429 receives number P2915,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 MS. HASAN: Your Honours, what remains is the admission of the
8 exhibits associated exhibited to that testimony. And if I may, I'll just
9 read those out.
10 65 ter 4138.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections? Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 4138 receives number P2916,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. Next one?
15 MS. HASAN: 65 ter 4378.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No objections. Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 4378 receives number P2917,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
20 MS. HASAN: 65 ter 5234.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 5234 receives number P2918,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
25 MS. HASAN: 65 ter 25965.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 25965 receives number P2919,
3 Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. Next one, please.
5 MS. HASAN: 65 ter 25971.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document 25971 receives number P2920,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: P2920 is admitted. Next one.
10 MS. HASAN: 65 ter 25975.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 25975 receives number P2921,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. And the last one, Ms. Hasan.
15 MS. HASAN: I would request leave to add the last one, which is
16 65 ter 29166, to the 65 ter exhibit list. It was omitted from that.
17 It's an aerial image that was marked by the witness during his testimony
18 in Tolimir on the 18th of April.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, two issues: The first one, adding
20 it to the 65 ter list; second one, admission.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] My answer is yes to both,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Meaning no objections, I take it.
24 Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 29166 receives number P2922,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence after leave was
3 granted to add it to your 65 ter list.
4 MS. HASAN: Just finally, Exhibit P1515, which is on the 92 ter
5 exhibit list, was used with the witness during his testimony in Tolimir
6 but had been omitted from our 92 ter motion. It's -- was used with him
7 at transcript page 13203 and it was Tolimir Exhibit Number P2168. Just
8 wanted to put that on the record so it's clear.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is hereby on the record. P01515 is in
10 evidence already. Yes.
11 MS. HASAN: I have nothing further, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Hasan.
13 Mr. Stojanovic, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
14 Mr. Todorovic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic.
15 You'll find him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Let us go briefly through the internal structure of the organs
20 and services you were a part of as of November 1993 in East Bosnia Corps.
21 You will agree with me that there was only one intelligence and security
22 organ in East Bosnia Corps throughout the time without having ever been
23 divided into two organs.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You assumed the duty of the intelligence and security organ in
1 the East Bosnia Corps in November 1993, taking over from your
2 predecessor, Petar Jovanovic; right?
3 A. Petar -- but his name was not Jovanovic. His name was
4 Jakovljevic. Both of them have died in the meantime.
5 Q. Tell me, there was a commission for the exchange of prisoners of
6 war in East Bosnia Corps, was there not?
7 A. Yes, correct.
8 Q. The commission was headed by Ljubomir Mitrovic; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In terms of hierarchy, was the commission subordinate --
11 subordinated to your intelligence and security organ?
12 A. No, it was subordinated to the corps commander.
13 Q. In terms of the establishment, was Ljubomir Mitrovic assigned to
14 the intelligence and security organ within the staff?
15 A. Formally he was on the list of members of the intelligence and
16 security department. As he was appointed to be the head of the
17 commission for the exchange of prisoners of war, he was released from all
18 duties in the intelligence and security organ and was solely concerned
19 with the duties covered by his position as the chairman of the commission
20 for the exchange of prisoners of war, or the president of that
22 Q. In the defence area of the East Bosnia Corps, was there a -- the
23 Batkovic camp that was active under their purview?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And within whose jurisdiction did the Batkovic centre come?
1 A. The Batkovic collection centre had its commander, who was corps
2 commander's immediate subordinate.
3 Q. The guards and the security detail assigned to the Batkovic
4 collection centre, were they members of the military police of the
5 military police battalion of the East Bosnia Corps, or were they
6 completely independent of the system?
7 A. They were members of the 3rd Battalion of the military police of
8 the East Bosnia Corps resubordinated or attached to the collection
9 centre. They were held answerable for their day-to-day work to the camp
11 Q. What were your duties and obligations as the chief of
12 intelligence and security organ and assistant commander for intelligence
13 and security in respect of the Batkovic collection centre?
14 A. Just as was the case with all the other organisational units of
15 the corps command, where it came to the collection of intelligence about
16 what was possibly unlawful activity, where it came to the prevention of
17 such activities, providing support to the superior officer on security
18 issues, where it came to the use of the police, there was nothing special
19 to it. It was the same sort of duties that I had to discharge in respect
20 of those organisational units that did not have their own intelligence
21 and security organs.
22 Q. If there was news of crimes being committed in the Batkovic
23 collection centre, if there was news of someone overstepping their
24 authority, whose duty would it have been to investigate into the matter
25 and possibly have it prosecuted?
1 A. Upon receiving such information, it was my duty and obligation
2 to, first of all, brief the commander on the specific issue and to take
3 measures that were within my authority, to engage members of my service
4 to collect information, to engage the elements of the military police who
5 were tasked with pre-charge investigations with the recovery of trace
6 evidence of the alleged crime, and, if it had to do with a crime, I was
7 also duty-bound to inform the investigating judge. There was a military
8 court that was active in the town of --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC:
11 Q. As of November 1993 through to the end of the war, had you ever
12 been informed to the effect that there were reasons to suspect that a
13 crime had been committed in the Batkovic collection centre against the
14 prisoners of war?
15 A. I had never received this sort of information either officially
16 or inofficially. There may have been information to the effect that
17 somebody was slapped about, something like that, but I did not have any
18 knowledge of any violations of human rights having been committed there,
19 and that's why I didn't take any steps.
20 Q. Did you, at any point, inform the Main Staff of the VRS about the
21 possible abuse or, as you called it, slaps that were meted out in the
22 Batkovic collection centre?
23 A. When I mentioned slapping about, I didn't mean that I had
24 information to that effect. I just took it as an example. I didn't have
25 this sort of information or any other information. And, therefore, there
1 was no need for me to inform my superior along the professional line in
2 the Main Staff.
3 There were health problems, but the doctors in the health centre
4 in Bijeljina addressed those. There was even an inmate of the camp who
5 died. It was established that his death was of natural causes, though,
6 resulting from something else. This information was shared with the
7 representatives of the Red Cross who had their office in Bijeljina.
8 Q. Did the representatives of the ICRC have, as of November 1993,
9 open and free access to the Batkovic collection centre?
10 A. Our work was open, transparent, and proper. Even the office of
11 the president of the commission for the exchange of prisoners of war and
12 the secretary there kept -- was always kept open to everyone. Everyone
13 was free from that office to come and visit the Batkovic collection
14 centre, and they would come often with items of personal hygiene,
15 tracksuits, and similar.
16 Q. In what way were the prisoners of the Batkovic collection centre
17 provided with food and meals after November 1993?
18 A. This is something I said in the earlier trial as well. To my
19 knowledge, this -- the -- the food that we were served from the kitchen
20 facility in Bijeljina, that same food was served to the Batkovic
21 collection centre.
22 Q. You spoke of the medical treatment of these prisoners. Can you
23 tell us who was the physician tasked with providing medical care to these
24 prisoners of war?
25 A. I can state under responsibility that the medical centre in
1 Bijeljina was tasked with that duty. And even when he was not called,
2 there was a physician who would come once or twice a week. I don't
3 recall the name of the person, but I recall that we did choose -- or,
4 rather, the physician chosen was of Muslim ethnicity to make it easier on
5 the prisoners. And he would go there and choose the right treatment for
6 these prisoners. That I do remember.
7 Q. How many prisoners of war were there, in the awareness that the
8 number did fluctuate, between November 1993 and the end of the war?
9 A. There was a group of about 20 of them from the Cazin Krajina.
10 They were refused entry anywhere, but they managed to leave to third
11 countries. They were permanent residents, if I can even call them, of
12 that centre. As for the rest, there were between 20 and then 50.
13 However, after the fall of Srebrenica, sometime around the 20th - and
14 this is an approximation - between the 18th and the 20-something,
15 20-something, there were around 171 of them. And I did refresh my
16 recollection the last time I was testifying about this.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P2922. If I
18 noted down the number correctly, this is the document that was just
19 admitted. It's an aerial image of the Batkovic facility.
20 Q. Since there are markings there already, can you try and remember
21 what was the facility where prisoners were present up until July 1995?
22 If you can, based on the markings that you made?
23 A. Before July 1995, they were put up in the facility number 2.
24 Yes. The facility north-west of it was the one where preparations were
25 under way for the reception of prisoners, and so on.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, if you can remember, what the size
2 was of the facility that is marked by number 2 in this image?
3 A. I'll give you a number which may be correct and may not be. At
4 least 10 by 30.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] For the record, Your Honours --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, before we continue, north-west
8 makes, for the Chamber, only sense if we know what the orientation of the
9 photograph is. Otherwise, north-west could be in any direction. Could
10 you assist us?
11 Perhaps we could ask the witness to say which construction he
12 referred to when he referred to what was north-west of number 2?
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may --
14 Q. Could you tell us the number shown on the photograph of the
15 facility you had in mind when you said that it was in the north-western
17 A. These are my numbers, but they're not very nice, though. It is
18 the facility number 1. The reception is number 3.
19 Q. Thank you. Thank you for your assistance.
20 Let me ask you something about the commission for exchange. We
21 heard evidence about the exchange of non-Serb population who left
22 Bijeljina and the process was organised by a Mr. Djurkovic as the
23 assistant commander for intelligence and security in the
24 East Bosnia Corps. If you know this person, I would like to ask you
25 whether he had any connection with the Army of Republika Srpska?
1 A. I know him. I had an opportunity to meet him. He had nothing to
2 do whatsoever with the structure of the Army of Republika Srpska.
3 Through certain officers, he tried to establish some kind of contact or
4 whatnot, but it was the corps commander's order, and it was my position
5 as well, to keep him as far as possible from our tasks and obligations.
6 The -- there was the official exchange commission which was in operation.
7 They had all the necessary records, and it was a sound organisation.
8 Now, what he did and on whose behalf, given the situation with
9 the civilian authorities, the civilian police and the military
10 authorities, he did not fall under any kind of responsibility or scope of
11 the military structures.
12 Q. Would it be fair to say that any potential exchange of POWs
13 organised and conducted by the Army of Republika Srpska went through the
14 exchange commission which was headed by Mr. Ljubomir Mitrovic?
15 A. Yes. There was several such exchanges, and they were all
16 provided under the competence and with the knowledge of the ICRC. Any
17 prisoner which went to either of the sides received a certificate from
18 the ICRC, in terms of his or her date of capture and exchange. It was
19 all in keeping with the conventions which regulate such matters.
20 Q. In the area of defence of the East Bosnia Corps there was another
21 facility which you mentioned - not today during direct examination but in
22 your previous testimony - called Vanekov Mlin. Please tell the Court
23 what kind of facility it was and under whose authority was it?
24 A. The facility itself and its name, Vanekov Mlin, well, it is to be
25 found immediately next to the Bijeljina barracks, just across the street
1 from the entrance to the barracks. It used to be a mill owned by a
2 certain Vanek. As a building it is quite run down. However, in the
3 courtyard, there was space used by the military police battalion. They
4 kept their vehicles and other assets there.
5 Q. Was it -- sorry I sorry to interrupted you. Please go on.
6 A. Upon my arrival, rather early on, maybe in early January 1994,
7 upon my proposal to relieve the military police battalion of some
8 unnecessary tasks, the command -- corps commander decided and established
9 a garrison command. In addition to other elements, there was also a
10 military detention facility which was placed in -- on the premises of
11 Vanekov Mlin. The military garrison detention facility was secured by
12 military policemen who were somewhat older or of poorer health. A squad
13 was dedicated to that task coming from the military police structure of
14 the East Bosnia Corps. They were resubordinated to the garrison
15 commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Petar Jovanovic.
16 Q. Thank you. We'll stop just in time for a break. But before
17 that, I wanted to ask you whether the person in question is Jovanovic or
19 A. I assumed my duty from Jakovljevic who then went to Banja Luka.
20 Petar Jovanovic remained. He is from Modrane [phoen], a nearby village.
21 He remained in Bijeljina. He was a retired lieutenant-colonel, and even
22 after the war he remained at the post of garrison commander. I'm quite
23 certain of that.
24 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps this is a
1 good time for a break.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break.
3 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom. We will
4 resume at 20 minutes past midday.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.22 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be escorted
9 into the courtroom, I briefly address the Defence.
10 The Chamber was, in a similar way as the Defence, unpleasantly
11 surprised by the new court schedule because we were not consulted on it,
12 and there's a fair chance that a solution will be found. So, therefore,
13 instead of asking for an urgent response, the Chamber, at this moment, is
14 exploring the responsibility of resolving the matter. But we were not
15 amused either.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: It may be that I have missed something in this
19 respect. If that's the case, I perhaps should have chosen different
20 words, but let's proceed for the time being.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] In any case, thank you for your
22 understanding concerning the need we put forth regarding Mr. Mladic's
24 Q. Colonel, sir, briefly I'd like us to go through a particular rule
25 and then to deal with issues of command and control and documents
1 covering that area. It has to do with your potential conversation with
2 General Tolimir.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have 65 ter 04375 in
4 e-court. Page 1, please. And then could we have page 7 in e-court in
5 both versions.
6 Q. Colonel, these are the rules of service of security organs in the
7 armed forces. Before moving on to specific paragraphs, let me ask you
8 this: Was this the basic document in terms of your work during the war
9 in Republika Srpska?
10 A. Yes. It was the starting or basic document concerning our work.
11 It contains a number of rules.
12 Q. And you will agree that, through your education and training, you
13 had occasion to rely on the rules of service as one of the basic
14 documents concerning your work?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. Let us look at page 7 then in both versions because I will seek
17 your assistance in a matter.
18 Have a look, Colonel. We have the tasks of security organs
19 before us. It is specified what security organs do. Please look at
20 items (d) and (e), and then I will put a question.
21 In item 2 --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, (d).
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S version it would be
24 on -- actually, I would like to go to the next page because I'm
25 interested in paragraph 7, item (d). Can we also go on the next page in
1 English as well, which would be page 8.
2 Q. In 7(d), we see that security organs perform specialist
3 administration services for military police units.
4 Please assist us. What would that mean, in a practical sense?
5 Were you able to issue orders to the military police of the
6 East Bosnia Corps?
7 A. In item (d) you quoted, it states professional supervision or
8 specialist administration services of military police units. It is a
9 different concept from command. Commanding is issuing specific orders on
10 the use of resources and implementation of tasks. Specialist management
11 means control, supervision, providing particular equipment, conducting
12 training on specific topics, and so on and so forth.
13 So command is something a commander does; whereas specialist
14 management is done by his assistants within their respective scopes of
16 Q. Let us put that in a practical situation. Say there's a need to
17 engage a part of the MP battalion of East Bosnia Corps in the area of
18 defence of the Drina Corps. Who is the person who, in this specific
19 case, can issue an order to the MP battalion commander of the
20 East Bosnia Corps?
21 A. The exclusive right and duty to carry out such engagement by
22 issuing an order lies with the corps commander or his assistant or
23 another person standing in if he is currently absent.
24 Q. Am I correct, then, to say that if we stick by 7(d), as part of
25 the system, it would be the corps commander who would have the right and
1 obligation to ask you as a professional organ of the command whether that
2 would be necessary, proper, and what assets and weaponry would need to be
3 provided to that part of the MP battalion from the East Bosnia Corps when
4 performing tasks in the area of another corps?
5 A. The corps commander, as well as any other level of command, is
7 units. He is under no obligation. It would be ridiculous if he would
8 ask a subordinate whether he could do something. Under normal
9 conditions, when there's discussion of initial engagement of all units
10 including the military police, his assistants, including myself, can
11 propose the best use of resources. The assistant commander for artillery
12 would do that for his scope. I would be in charge of the military
13 police, and so on and so forth.
14 In exceptional situations, there is no need or possibility to
15 consult anyone. The commander is authoritative, and he decides on what
16 units or part of units would be engaged in performing a specific task.
17 Q. Let me ask you specifically: Do you recall one thing which you
18 mentioned in your previous interview, as well as in the redacted part,
19 which is not part of the evidence in this case, do you recall being
20 consulted at any point in time by General Novica Simic, commander of the
21 corps, on the use of part of the MP battalion in the area of defence of
22 the Zvornik Brigade?
23 A. I do not think so. Unless it concerns the situation where my
24 commander, General Simic, ordered to convey something to the MP battalion
25 commander, Major Vulin. It was for him to assign and equip a reinforced
1 squad with the necessary vehicles which were to be sent to the
2 Zvornik Brigade to assist in reception and transport of POWs to Batkovic
4 Q. Let me ask you about that, Colonel, and we will go through a
5 number of documents. But let me first explain why I asked you this.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
7 have P1513 in e-court. It is an order -- actually, it was an interim
8 combat report of the Zvornik Brigade Command.
9 Q. Let us have a look at the document once it is on the screen.
10 Please focus on paragraph 2 of the document.
11 The then-Zvornik Brigade commander, Lieutenant-Colonel
12 Vinko Pandurevic, informed the Drina Corps Command -- Colonel, do bear in
13 mind that this is the 16th of July, 1995, probably sometime in the
14 morning since telegrams were sent in the afternoon from the
15 Zvornik Brigade. In any case, in item 2, we see the following:
16 "Our forces," and then he specified a MUP company of 100 men, two
17 platoons from the Bratunac Infantry Brigade. And now the part I wanted
18 you to focus on:
19 "Part of the military police platoon from the IBK," which is
20 East Bosnia Corps, and then the document goes on, "are carrying out
21 decisive defence in the brigade zone, sealing off and searching the
22 terrain in the wider area of Planinci, Crni Vrh and Kamenica."
23 My question is this: Do you have any knowledge about parts of
24 the MP battalion from the East Bosnia Corps on the 16th of July sent to
25 the area of Zvornik?
1 A. In my testimony, I kept insisting on the fact that I didn't have
2 any knowledge about this and that this did not happen, in fact. However,
3 at the end of my testimony, I was shown the operative diary or log-book
4 of the corps duty officer which read that upon the order from the
5 Main Staff, that deputy corps commander, so deputy to Simic, ordered the
6 commander of the MP battalion, Major Vulin, to send overnight to the area
7 of Zvornik Brigade some 50 MPs in order to carry out certain military
8 duties. Except for me seeing that document - and I have no reason to do
9 doubt it - I know nothing of this.
10 It goes to prove the point that we were looking at a moment ago,
11 item 7 of the rules of service, that the corps commander or his deputy or
12 anybody else standing in for him will have the full right to order the
13 engagement of an entire unit or elements of it - in this case, an MP
14 battalion - without consulting anyone on this issue.
15 Q. Thank you. This is precisely what I'm asking you about. Would
16 it be fair to say that the command and control system and the system of
17 single authority imply that such orders would go up -- down the chain of
18 command: Main Staff, corps, and the corps' subordinate units, and -- and
19 definitely not through the security organ's line?
20 A. Yes, I agree.
21 Q. If that is the case, can you explain the following to the
22 Trial Chamber. I understand that you will not be aware of the date.
23 However, at one point, as you say, you received an order, a report, an
24 instruction. Can you tell us what exactly it was that you received from
25 General Tolimir?
1 A. I don't have any material, in physical terms, and I did speak
2 about it in Belgrade and during my testimony. So I don't have it on a
3 piece of paper.
4 Now, the information that I received down the chain of command of
5 the speciality organs, whether it was that I should convey the
6 information to my superior that preparations should commence, and try as
7 I might, I cannot recall what the form of the information was, but the
8 gist of the information was that Tolimir - that's to say, the
9 intelligence and security sector - tasked me with conveying specific
10 information to my corps commander, which had to do with preparations for
11 the reception of prisoners, and I did as much.
12 Q. Now -- now my next question. In view of the rules of service and
13 your earlier answer, would you agree with me that if things happened this
14 way, then it did not happen according to the process of control -- of
15 command and control and -- and the superior/subordinate relationship, as
16 defined in the army by law?
17 A. Literally speaking, that is the case.
18 Q. During this conversation or the -- during -- or -- or in that
19 document, was it ever mentioned to you any possible involvement in this
20 of General Mladic?
21 A. I can claim with full certainty that General Mladic's name was
22 not mentioned. However, as an officer who has some understanding of the
23 chain of command, I can only conclude the following. In terms of the
24 lawfulness of the document or the information that I received, had
25 someone - the name doesn't matter - had anyone from the intelligence and
1 security sector of the Main Staff been in the vicinity of the chain of
2 command and had they been told, Convey the information down your chain to
3 the corps commander for these preparations to take place, so it would
4 have been a round-about way, but it would still have been within the
5 bounds of law.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your permission, if I may
7 briefly consult with my client.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You may consult. But he is strictly ordered to keep
9 the volume of his voice so that no one can hear it, apart from you.
10 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] May I, Your Honour? May I
14 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up 65 ter document
16 30502 in e-court. It's a -- or, rather, it's the unredacted version
17 which was admitted into evidence as P2914. Let look at page 35 in
18 English and page 32 in B/C/S.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, P2914 is 65 ter 29167.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: It has been resolved.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for your
24 Q. Please, I'll ask you to focus on the portion that I need to you
25 look at.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we skip three pages forward
2 in the B/C/S version, please. Three pages forward, please. The next
3 page, please, in the B/C/S. Thank you.
4 Q. Colonel, please look at line 23. This is where the investigators
5 put the following question to you:
6 "We have the information that on the 12th of July, 1995,
7 General Tolimir came and had a meeting with you and with" -- and we're
8 missing the rest.
9 And you're answering:
10 "The security command -- the security department."
11 And then the investigator says:
12 "Yes, the security department of the East Bosnia Corps."
13 Then you go on to say:
14 "I cannot be sure about the dates but I will tell you what I was
15 tasked with in relation to that. If this happened as a result of a
16 direct contact with him or by telegram, it is very difficult for me to be
17 certain after so much time."
18 And then you go on to say:
19 "To convey -- I was supposed to convey to the commander,
20 basically support the idea that -- so that around 1.000," and then you
21 say again 1.200 people captured in Srebrenica could be brought there and
22 be put up in Batkovic.
23 So I'm asking you this: If the system of command and control is
24 operational as is the superior/subordinate relationship, would it have
25 been in keeping with the rules of service to go through assistant
1 commanders for security and intelligence of the Main Staff of the VRS to
2 go down to their security organs in the East Bosnia Corps for them to get
3 in touch with their commander, or would it have been proper instead to go
4 down the chain of command itself?
5 A. It would have been properly done had it gone down the chain of
7 Q. Thank you. In this interview, the investigator,
8 Tomasz Blaszczyk, told you: We have information that General Tolimir did
9 arrive and met with you.
10 Were you at any point given any sort of information or proof that
11 on that day, the 12th or any other day, General Tolimir was in direct
12 contact with you at the East Bosnia Corps? Were you provided with any
13 proof of that?
14 A. This was not the case. I -- I could not recall this during this
15 interview on the 2nd and 3rd of February and I was convinced that there
16 was no physical meeting. I thought about it later on, and I still
17 maintain today that we did not meet in person, that this took the form of
18 a written document. In other words, I did not meet with General Tolimir
19 either in the area of responsibility of the East Bosnia Corps or in
21 Q. You do know that it is a historical fact that, to this day, no
22 physical trace has -- has been found of this telegram. There is no
23 indication of it ever having arrived.
24 A. What is your question?
25 Q. Do you have any idea as to where this telegram, if it had
1 arrived, could be found? Where it would be physically located today?
2 A. As the war ended in Bosnia-Herzegovina and before I left the duty
3 that I had until that point and joined the Army of Yugoslavia, I remember
4 a document arriving, an order from the intelligence and security sector
5 of the Main Staff of the VRS that a list should be drawn up of all the
6 documents that had been sent to the security organ of the
7 East Bosnia Corps and all the other units. It was an order that was sent
8 to all the security organs in the Army of Republika Srpska. This list
9 was to be drawn up, an inventory made, and this was to be submitted to
10 the Main Staff for their further use and storage. This order was fully
12 The documents that were kept in the intelligence and security
13 organ of the East Bosnia Corps were all included there, but I cannot tell
14 you where they are at present. I -- I have no idea.
15 Q. Is it not customary, since most of the officers of the VRS of the
16 professional soldiers, trained soldiers, was it not customary for all of
17 them to have had diaries, to have kept diaries where they would have
18 detailed their daily activities? Didn't you yourself have such a diary?
19 A. I did not keep a diary of my own activities. I had a notebook
20 where I would make note of the more important meetings and the subjects
21 discussed. There were several such notebooks, and as I was leaving my
22 service for the VRS, I destroyed the contents of all these notebooks
23 because they -- they did not have the validity of a document. All the
24 documents that I had, I handed -- handed them over to the appropriate
25 service with the staff, the Main Staff of the VRS.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] May I consult with the client
2 for a moment?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Briefly, and at low volume. We'll be very strict on
5 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Colonel, if this conversation took place over the radio, do you
8 recall how it was set up, that radio communication at your end, and where
9 exactly, from what location did that call from the chief of intelligence
10 and security department of the Main Staff come? Do you know where he was
11 physically located at that point?
12 A. When I was inquiring about the prisoners and why they were not
13 coming? Is that what you mean?
14 Q. No, no, we're still dealing with that initial, first
15 conversation, where you were asked to tell your commander that between
16 1.000 and 1.200 prisoners would be coming your way.
17 A. I said that I was 90 per cent sure that it was a telegram. So I
18 allow for the possibility that the information was communicated to me
19 over the telephone but that's just the 10 per cent.
20 Q. Very well. Let's go with the 90 per cent. So where would that
21 telegram have arrived from? What was the code of the sender?
22 A. It's really hard for me to say without looking at the telegram.
23 General Tolimir may have been at Pale, and then the telegram that would
24 have been drafted in that unit closest to his location.
25 JUDGE ORIE: If you know, tell us; but apparently you do not
1 know, tell us as well.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
3 Or perhaps the witness -- apparently when he said, when asking
4 for clarification of the question, whether you're asking about him
5 inquiring about the prisoners and why they were not coming -- do you know
6 how you got in touch and where Mr. Tolimir was at that time?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Please try to respond. Although it is completely acceptable if
9 you don't know. Just say so.
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Very well. I'll move on. Can you tell us where you were when
12 the telegram arrived? Who handed it to you?
13 A. I was in my office. It was physically brought to me by the organ
14 which was from the corps command. It had -- it contained their code as
15 well as signature.
16 Q. Would you agree with me that a result of any kind of legitimate
17 fighting, that there is a possibility of POWs being captured?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It would have been quite logical that if there had been POWs,
20 they would have been accommodated in an appropriate facility; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And for the collection centre --
23 JUDGE ORIE: The previous question was useless. The present
24 question is about logic. It -- really, we don't need a witness to
25 explain to us that if you take a large amount of prisoners of war, that
1 you have to leave them somewhere. That is really -- if someone doesn't
2 understand that, then I would not expect him to be on this Bench.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. Would the area of the collection centre at Batkovic meet the
6 conditions necessary to have POWs accommodated there?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic is -- Mr. Mladic should not speak aloud.
8 Not to anyone.
9 Mr. Stojanovic, this question, it's -- it's -- it's all about --
10 you want to make the message about prisoners of war. That's fine. The
11 Chamber understands the position of the Defence in that respect. But in
12 view of what the witness told us before, he considered this to be a place
13 where you could accommodate a larger number of people. That's why he
14 talked about logistics, et cetera, et cetera, so there's no need to
15 repeat that.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. Let me
17 conclude the topic with this question.
18 Q. As part of the information you received, as well as the request
19 as to what was to be conveyed to your corps commander, did you see in it
20 anything that would be unlawful?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Thank you. [Microphone not activated].
23 A. Your microphone is off.
24 Q. Let me ask you about dates. You say that you cannot remember the
25 point in time when this memorandum or a telegram or a phone conversation
1 or even General Tolimir appearing on the premises of East Bosnia Corps --
2 well, let me try and ask you to recall at least whether it was in the
3 morning or in the afternoon. Was it night-time? Day-time?
4 A. I definitely cannot tell you the date with any certainty.
5 As for the time of day, whether it was night-time, day-time,
6 well, I can be a bit more certain about that. Speaking from this point
7 in time, I seem to remember having found General Simic in his office, so
8 during the working hours. So it may have been in the morning or
9 afternoon. He showed me -- I showed him the document and he read it.
10 This is what I seem to recall, in terms of procedure.
11 Now, whether it was at 8.00 a.m. or 2.00 p.m., I can't say from
12 this point in time.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you have any idea what time elapsed until when you
14 received another task from your commander, General Simic, to call
15 General Tolimir to check what was going on with the arrival of POWs?
16 A. I cannot be completely precise on that point either. But I am
17 positive that more than one day must have passed but also not more than
18 three to four days.
19 Q. Do try and tell us this: In your view - and you have already
20 discussed it in the redacted portion of your interview - where did you
21 find General Tolimir when you called him?
22 A. I remember the following. When I called him to obtain
23 information about when they would be arriving and what was going on with
24 the POWs, I called a direct number from my office, and he picked up the
25 phone. So I called his number in his office.
1 Early on in the conversation I mentioned some number, and then
2 the real figure of 165 came to my mind, which I recalled in the meantime.
3 Q. Let me try to determine it more closely.
4 After your conversation on the phone with General Tolimir, when
5 was it that General Simic called Vinko Pandurevic, inquiring with him
6 whether he had any POWs in the area of responsibility of his brigade?
7 How much later did that happen?
8 A. Shortly afterwards. I went from my office to General Simic's
9 office where I told him that there was nothing doing, that things were
10 stopped. He called Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic. Perhaps an hour or
11 two later, he called me again and tasked me with -- well, I don't know
12 whether it was one, two, or five hours, so take it conditionally
13 speaking. But he tasked me with conveying his order to the MP battalion
14 commander to implement what we have already discussed.
15 Q. Is my reasoning correct then, that on the day when you had the
16 telephone conversation with General Tolimir, is the same day when the
17 part of the MP battalion from East Bosnia Corps left for Zvornik in order
18 to take over the prisoners?
19 A. That would be the most logical conclusion. Perhaps if it was in
20 the afternoon, a decision was made for prisoner security not to have them
21 transported during the night but to bring them in the next day.
22 Q. Do you remember whether at any point in time in the course of
23 those few days you received POWs from another area and brought them to
25 A. In terms of my knowledge and engagement ... let me repeat. In
1 terms of my knowledge, and in terms of engaging any MPs from the
2 East Bosnia Corps, no such things happened that I know of. Perhaps there
3 was a unit from the East Bosnia Corps or some other unit which brought
4 one, two, or several prisoners to Batkovic because there were such
5 examples in the previous period. But I'm not aware of this.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I'd like to take the witness back to
7 a previous matter.
8 I asked you earlier, Mr. Todorovic, I asked you whether -- when
9 you were inquiring about the prisoners and why they were not coming, I
10 asked you:
11 "Do you know how you got in touch and where Mr. Tolimir was at
12 that time?"
13 Then Mr. Stojanovic intervened and said:
14 "Please try to respond although it is completely acceptable if
15 you don't know. Just say so."
16 Your answer was:
17 "I don't know."
18 Five minutes later, Mr. Stojanovic asked you:
19 Tell us, and you've already discussed it, where did you find
20 General Tolimir when you called him? That was at the same occasion
21 seeking information -- or is that a different one?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps it is my question which
23 caused the confusion. It actually referred to another conversation the
24 witness had with General Tolimir a few days later, as he put it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's -- I hope that it has been clear to the
1 witness --
2 Mr. Mladic, one second, please. One second. Please be seated.
3 You will have an opportunity to consult. I would first like to clarify
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: I said you can later consult, not now. One second,
7 please. I consult with my colleagues. You wait for a while,
8 Mr. Stojanovic.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: You then answered that question when put to you by
11 Mr. Stojanovic:
12 "I remember the following. When I called him to obtain
13 information about when they would be arriving and what was going on with
14 the prisoners of war, I called a direct number from my office, and he
15 picked up the phone. So I called his number in his office."
16 That apparently was a telephone conversation when you were not
17 yet aware that the whole thing had been cancelled.
18 Now, one second -- if you say -- you -- apparently you are
19 gesturing that I may make a mistake. Please explain yourself on this to
20 be a different -- or at least to be a telephone conversation where you
21 were aware already that it was cancelled.
22 Please explain yourself.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll be brief.
24 My first response, when I said that I don't know where
25 General Tolimir was, had to do with the initial information, the initial
1 tasking I received to carry out preparations to accept the prisoners.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let me then -- I stop you immediately and then I
3 read exactly to you what happened.
4 You were asked:
5 "Do you know where he was physically located at that point?"
6 And then you answered, you said:
7 "When I was inquiring about the prisoners and why they were not
8 coming? Is that what you mean?"
9 Then Mr. Stojanovic said:
10 "No, no, we are dealing with the initial ... conversation where
11 you were told by your commander that ..."
12 And then your answer considered.
13 Then at the end of this matter, you said you did not know where
14 he was when you received these initial instructions. You said he may
15 have been in Pale. And then the telegram would have been drafted, that
16 unit closest to his location.
17 And then I said to you: If you know, tell us, but if you don't
18 know, tell us that as well. Apparently you did not know where he was
19 during the initial instructions.
20 Then I said:
21 "Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic."
22 And then I said: Or perhaps the witness, when he -- I think said
23 when he asked for clarification of the question, whether you're asking
24 him inquiring about the prisoners and why they were not coming, do you
25 know how you got in touch and where Mr. Tolimir was at that time? That
1 is, when inquiring about why they were not coming.
2 Then Mr. Stojanovic intervened and said it would be completely
3 acceptable if you wouldn't know. And then you said:
4 "I don't know."
5 I asked you, the first time, clearly about the moment when you
6 were inquiring why -- where the prisoners of war were and -- not coming.
7 When asked the same question by Mr. Stojanovic, you gave a
8 detailed answer. I just wanted to put this clearly on the record.
9 We'll move on.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since I'm about to
11 call up a document, perhaps this would be the right time for our break.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It is the right time for a break.
13 The witness can be escorted out of the courtroom.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could you tell us where we are in
16 terms of time?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I believe
18 that I still have half an hour left, and I will be within the time given.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic is expected to remain seated. I don't
20 have to repeat -- first seated before consultation.
21 Mr. Lukic, we're not playing games.
22 Okay. Mr. Stojanovic, you were answering my question. You
23 said half an hour left. Yes.
24 Then, Ms. Hasan, there is a small chance you might need more than
25 three or five minutes. Could you give us an estimate? As matters stand
2 MS. HASAN: As matters stand now, I would estimate 15 to
3 20 minutes. But I'm -- I'll reassess that during the break and see,
4 indeed, if we can let the witness go at the end of the day.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So if everyone would be very disciplined and
6 very brief, we might be able to finish. If not, we'll have to do the
7 last part tomorrow morning.
8 We take a break, and we resume at 20 minutes to 2.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 1.32 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.43 p.m.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Colonel, we stopped when we were discussing the point at which
15 the East Bosnia Corps commander was contacting the commander of the
16 Zvornik Brigade and giving you instructions about the deployment of
17 elements of the MP battalion.
18 Let's look at P2918 together. P2918. I think that you were
19 shown this document while you were being proofed by the Prosecution.
20 It's a list of persons to be transferred under guard issued by
21 the 5th MP Battalion of the East Bosnia Corps -- the 3rd Battalion of the
22 East Bosnia Corps military police.
23 So the persons were escorted on the 18th of July, 1995, at
24 1600 hours, and they ended up at Batkovic. Now this group of
25 22 individuals, does it correspond with what you recall were, indeed, the
1 individuals who were transferred to and admitted into Batkovic?
2 A. That's what the list says. It's a general document. It doesn't
3 bear the signature of the person who would have received these
4 individuals on the 18th of July at 1600 hours. Let's assume that this is
5 what happened. During my earlier testimony, I saw these same individuals
6 among the -- among the individuals who were, indeed, admitted into
8 Q. In P2137 [Realtime transcript read in error "P2317"], there is a
9 list of Muslims who were exchanged from the Batkovic collection centre.
10 All of the 22 individuals listed here were exchanged, and this was with
11 the involvement of the 2nd BH Army Corps.
12 It says here at the top of this document: Military post code
13 7118 in Han Pijesak. And it also reads: The 5th Battalion of the
14 military police in Vlasenica.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The 3rd Battalion. Mr. Stojanovic, two
16 corrections. I think you said P2137, not 2317. And this document is
17 labelled 3rd Battalion not 5th Battalion.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. With all due
19 respect the heading reads: The 5th Battalion of the military police in
20 Vlasenica. Supposedly someone who would have been the author of the
21 document. That's what my question was about, if I may proceed.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. Colonel, can you be more specific about what the -- this
25 involved? Who is it that the 3rd MP Battalion of East Bosnia Corps would
1 be taking this group of 22 prisoners from?
2 A. You've presented the situation as it transpires from this
3 document. The 3rd Battalion would be taking charge of these individuals.
4 However, what is missing at the bottom of the document is the place where
5 this hand-over took place, time, date, and signature. So anything I
6 would say at this point about any of these things would be just
7 speculation, and I don't want to go there.
8 Q. In view of the indisputable fact that we agreed upon, which is
9 that these individuals were admitted into Batkovic and subsequently
10 exchanged, would this date, the 18th of July, correspond to that point
11 where your corps commander, Novica Simic, told you to convey information
12 to the MP battalion that they should go ahead and take charge of the
13 prisoners who would be exchanged on the following day?
14 A. Based on what I can see here and based on my earlier knowledge of
15 that broader list, I think that the day when they -- the first prisoners
16 arrived in Batkovic was the 18th. So these would have been the first
17 prisoners to arrive there. And I think that it was in the afternoon on
18 the 17th that I conveyed this information to the MP battalion commander,
19 and that then he proceed to implement the task on the 18th to the area of
20 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade and that was the first contingent
21 of prisoners.
22 Q. I am trying to, in fact, reconstruct the chronology of the
23 events. Would it be fair to say, then, that the conversation that you
24 had with General Tolimir over the phone could have taken place on the
25 17th of July, 1995?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, we're not exploring possibilities.
2 We're exploring facts.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. I am
4 asking the witness to testify to the facts. And since the witness was
5 not really precise in terms of when the conversation took place, I will
6 try to explore this with the witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness could tell us, then he is invited to
8 do so. But to put four, five different portions of evidence to him and
9 say whether it is likely or unlikely that this would have been the day is
10 something that is argumentative, and if you put that evidence together,
11 you can raise such an argument before the Chamber.
12 The witness is supposed to tell us what he knows, and you should
13 focus on that rather than to ask him whether it could have taken place on
14 the 17th of July.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Witness, having seen this document, and having confirmed to me
18 that you established that the first group of prisoners arrived in
19 Batkovic on the 18th of July, does this here refresh your memory as to
20 when that conversation between you and Mr. Tolimir took place? And I
21 mean the telephone conversation.
22 A. The dates here and the arguments from today and before do point
23 to such a conclusion, although I do not remember that it was -- or
24 whether it could have been the 17th, the 18th. It could have been day or
25 two before this date at least ...
1 Q. Very well. I will not press the matter anymore. I would like to
2 focus your attention on something else now.
3 In the East Bosnia Corps, did you have information about the
4 intensity of the fighting on the 16th of July in the AOR of the
5 Zvornik Brigade and the breakthrough of the 28th Division column in the
6 direction of the BH Army-held positions.
7 A. I believe that we did. Though this was not relevant to what I
8 was doing, so I don't remember the details of what happened in which part
9 of the front line.
10 Q. All right. Colonel, let's look at the 65 ter document 07463.
11 07463. Colonel, during proofing for your testimony you were shown this
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'll have several questions about it, about its format, in fact.
15 Do you remember that this document, in fact, is a summary of the
16 conversation that you had on the 6th of May, 1995 in the
17 East Bosnia Corps Command with the president of the republic,
18 Mr. Karadzic, and Momcilo Krajisnik, as well as Major-General
19 Bogdan Subotic?
20 A. I remember the talks. I was present there. In my earlier
21 testimony before this Tribunal, I was shown a report drafted by
22 General Simic which I wasn't aware existed, although I did attend the
24 Q. Since you were one of the participants in the meeting, do you
25 recall, in fact, that this followed the Assembly session in Sanski Most,
1 the Republika Srpska Assembly session, and that it followed an open
2 conflict between the political and military leadership which took place?
3 A. The very subject matter of the discussions points to this fact,
4 so there's no reason to believe otherwise. Though the issues discussed
5 in Sanski Most was not something we were aware of. We knew that it had
6 to do with certain removals from posts in the army but nothing more.
7 Q. While it is beyond dispute that Colonel General Ratko Mladic, on
8 26th of April, 1995, following the Republika Srpska Assembly session in
9 Sanski Most, came to the East Bosnia Corps and informed you of the events
10 that transpired during that Assembly session.
11 My question to you is: Did you attend this meeting with
12 General Mladic on the 26th of April, 1995?
13 A. I was probably -- most probably was. I can't remember. I can't
14 remember possibly where I was on the 26th or -- 19 years ago.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic should refrain from any comment by
16 gesture or by words. Otherwise ... smiling, nothing.
17 Please proceed, but I'll only do so, Mr. Stojanovic, after I've
18 drawn your attention to the fact that when you earlier said that the
19 witness had established that the first group of prisoners arrived on the
20 18th, I read to you what the witness really said.
21 He said:
22 "Based on what I can see here and based on my earlier knowledge
23 of that broader list, I think that the first prisoners arrived Batkovic
24 was the 18th."
25 He has not established anything. He has drawn conclusions from a
1 document and from portions of his memory.
2 Please refrain from misrepresenting what the witness said. And
3 you may now continue.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Colonel, this is my question: Do you recall at all the report
6 that was drafted and distributed to each and every soldier of the
7 East Bosnia Corps on the current military and political situation
8 authored by General Mladic?
9 A. It seems to be coming back to me now. I seem to remember that
10 this report did reach us and was sent to all the units with a request
11 that all the personnel be acquainted with the contents thereof.
12 Q. Do you recall if, at any point in time, any senior or commanding
13 officer of the East Bosnia Corps was called upon to in any way resist or
14 stand up to the political leadership or to engage in any sort of
15 activities that would be akin to a coup d'état?
16 A. I'm not aware of it. I had information to that effect and I am
17 convinced that the relationship between the army structure and the
18 political structure nationally and locally was unburdened by any problems
19 and free of any difficulties.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Can Mr. Stojanovic please repeat his reference.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you're invited to repeat the
22 reference you apparently requested.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Page 3 in B/C/S,
24 page 6 in English, paragraph 2.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Of he document which is still on our screen, I take
1 it, Mr. Stojanovic?
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Precisely. For the transcript,
3 it is 07463.
4 Q. In this report by General Simic, we find the following. After
5 President Karadzic, Major-General Novica Simic, the IBK commander,
6 addressed the meeting. He first greeted the guests on behalf of the
7 IBK command. General Simic noted that, in principle, it was not right
8 for the Supreme Commander to criticise a superior officer before
9 lower-ranking officers who are subordinated to him. He added that the
10 report in question was a truthful rendering of General Mladic's briefing
11 and had not been fabricated in the corps. He especially emphasised that
12 there had never been any coup orientations within this corps and, had
13 there been any, he would have certainly prevented them and reported to
14 the Supreme Command. He repeated his request that the problems that have
15 arisen be resolved at the necessary level in such a way as not to
16 undermine the efficiency of our defence forces.
17 Do you recall whether at that moment President Karadzic as the
18 supreme commander mentioned any ambitions on the part of the military
19 leadership to execute a coup d'état?
20 A. I do not recall the details of that conversation. I don't
21 remember things turning unpleasant during the consideration. Now whether
22 President Karadzic told this to General Simic without the presence of
23 assistant commanders, maybe then he said that it wasn't right for the
24 supreme commander to criticise his superior in his presence. I really
25 don't know.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] In the same document, can we
3 look at the last paragraph of page 5 in the B/C/S version and the last
4 paragraph on page 10 of the English.
5 Q. It reads:
6 "During the discussion, President Karadzic said that
7 General Gvero wrote General Mladic's speech for the Assembly which is why
8 he bears responsibility for the problems which arose. General Gvero came
9 to his own Supreme Command in the company of eight men in bullet-proof
10 jackets, which is a disgrace for a general. There have been rumours that
11 somebody wants to kill General Mladic, which is absolute nonsense and a
12 lie. When General Mladic was undergoing a crisis, we were under the
13 impression that he deliberately rushed in front of the front line in
14 order to be killed, and we issued an order for his protection to prevent
15 him from being hurt."
16 Colonel, given the fact that you were present at the meeting,
17 were you at any moment under the impression, bearing in mind the
18 information provided by General Mladic ten days before the meeting, that
19 he had any kind of ambition to carry out a putsch and assume power in
20 Republika Srpska?
21 A. I have never had that impression, including the time in question.
22 Quite the contrary. He was modest and carried out his duties strict --
23 in a strictly military fashion. He did not get involved in politics
24 without allowing any local-level politicians to interfere in military
1 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Bearing in mind that you were there, and so
2 as not to go even deeper in the topic, but you are aware of the
3 discussion by Colonel Jelacic, Slobodan, who was assistant commander for
4 morale and religious affairs, he stood by all that was contained in the
5 report provided by General Mladic. Having all that in mind, was it your
6 view that the situation in the VRS was precisely as General Mladic had
7 put it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. During your service with the VRS between November 1993 and until
10 the end of the war, did you ever receive any kind of direct or indirect
11 knowledge that General Mladic was in any way involved in the difficult,
12 ugly, and tragic events concerning Srebrenica?
13 A. Until the present day, I have never obtained any kind of
14 knowledge of that kind, including the time of my service. Later on,
15 after I retired, I no longer researched or inquired about the matter,
16 since it was out of my hands. I didn't inquire about General Mladic or
17 anyone else in terms of those who were assigned responsibility for the
18 atrocities which took place in Srebrenica. It was outside the area of
19 the corps where I served, and I simply didn't need to know.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this may
21 be a good time to tender 65 ter 07463 in this case.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
23 MS. HASAN: No, Mr. President. I have no objections, except to
24 correct the record which at transcript page 66, line 19, may have
25 correctly or incorrectly, I don't know, recorded Mr. Stojanovic as saying
1 that this document was used during the proofing of this witness. And it
2 was not -- at least not for this testimony, for today's testimony.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This was -- at least it's not evidence from
4 the witness but it was an assumption, I took it.
5 Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 07463 receives number D438,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
9 Mr. Stojanovic, exactly the author of the document is who? You
10 said is ...
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] According to our information,
12 which we received from this witness, and according to what was stated in
13 the 2nd of February interview, and as was mentioned in the proofing, the
14 author of it was Novica Simic, commander of the East Bosnia Corps.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Does that appear anywhere from the document itself?
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. It was not
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the witness also told us that nothing was said
19 about a coup or whatever. Is it the position of the Defence that this is
20 a false report of what happened during that meeting? Or what is it? I
21 have some difficulties in understanding exactly what it is used for
22 because the witness said nothing was said about the coup, nothing
23 unpleasant. However, I have not read the whole of the document, but if
24 you read some parts of it, then I wouldn't be pleased if I would be
25 criticised in this way.
1 What's the -- what's the position of the Defence on this
2 document? Does it accurately reflect what happened during the meeting or
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] It is our belief that it
5 accurately reflects what took place at the meeting held at the corps
6 command on 6th May 1995.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And, at the same time, the witness, in many respects
8 contradicts what happened there, where he said, I think, he was present.
9 Now, which of the two? Is it the testimony of the witness which
10 we have to rely on or on the document?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness was present and in
12 his interview of 2 February he said that, according to his recollection,
13 this document accurately reflects most of what he can remember of the
14 meeting. The sentence quoted as having been ascribed to Novica Simic was
15 that he informed the supreme commander that in this corps, there had
16 never been any kind of coup orientations.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that --
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] -- having said this, I'd like to
21 thank the witness and we have no further questions of him. I was told by
22 the Prosecution that there will be no need for re-direct. Thus I may
23 have overstepped my time-limit.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's first -- I got the impression that the
25 Prosecution did not fully agree with that.
1 Ms. Hasan.
2 MS. HASAN: There must have been some misunderstanding. There is
3 it some re-direct to be done.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And how much time do you assess would you need?
5 MS. HASAN: Reasonably I would say I should be done within
6 30 minutes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then that's the first thing to do tomorrow
9 Mr. Todorovic, we adjourn for the day. We need still some time
10 tomorrow to conclude your testimony. Before you leave this courtroom,
11 I'd like to instruct you that you should not speak with anyone about your
12 testimony, whether that is testimony already given today or still to be
13 given tomorrow. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning, 9.30, in
14 this same courtroom, III.
15 You may follow the usher.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Before we adjourn, I'd like to put clearly on the
18 record that when I earlier today said that the Chamber was unpleasantly
19 surprised by the new schedule and that we were not consulted on it, and
20 that we were not amused, that the Registry is not in any way to be blamed
21 for that but it's, rather, internal communication, perhaps within the
22 Chamber. So, therefore, this should not be misunderstood. We,
23 nevertheless, will try to resolve the issue in relation to which I made
24 these observations.
25 We adjourn for the day, and we'll resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the
1 26th of November, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, III.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.20 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
4 November, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.