1 Monday, 23 June 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 The Chamber was informed that the OTP wanted to raise a
12 preliminary matter.
13 MR. SHIN: Yes, Mr. President, there is once matter. But I
14 should have been clear that -- clearer that we should wait until we're in
15 private session for me to raise that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then perhaps we even move into closed session
17 for a short while.
18 [Closed session]
11 Pages 22778-22780 redacted. Closed session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 Being in open session, I first now repeat the announcement we
14 made in the closed session that we'll not sit on the 25th of July. That
15 is the last day before the summer recess, as it was scheduled. And the
16 Chamber also sees that Mr. Mladic is back in court and is -- is happy to
17 see that he recovered from his illness.
18 Mr. Stojanovic, are you ready to examine the witness?
19 Mr. Skrba, you'll now first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic.
20 Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for the Defence.
21 Before you do so, Mr. Stojanovic, Mr. Skrba, it's -- it's quite
22 many days ago that you were here for the last time, but I would like to
23 remind you that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given
24 at the beginning of your appearance before this Court.
25 Yes, please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 WITNESS: MILOS SKRBA [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Skrba.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Here we are in the courtroom after quite a while, so I would like
8 to ask you to say for the record your full name.
9 A. My name is Milos Skrba.
10 Q. Will you tell the Court whether there was a time after your
11 conversations with the Defence team of General Mladic when you gave our
12 team a written statement.
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we call up
15 in e-court 1D1604. This is a 65 ter number. First we need the first
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you give the right number, Mr. Stojanovic,
19 because it may concern another witness?
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll repeat, Your Honours.
21 65 ter 1D0604.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin.
23 MR. SHIN: Yes. I will step forward and attempt to assist my
24 counsel here, my fellow counsel. I believe the correct number may be
25 1D01611, but I will leave it to my learned friend to check.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Maybe we've created some
2 confusion. So let us look at this document together. I believe we now
3 have it.
4 I will repeat the number that I have, 65 ter, unless I am
5 confused: 1D01604.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- I'm looking at Annex B to your motion,
7 Mr. Stojanovic. There I find a number, which is the number mentioned by
8 Mr. Shin. Now whether that's the right number or not is a different
9 matter, but let's have a look.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ORIE: The number you are calling is the number uploaded as
12 the statement of Mr. Batinic, so therefore I suggest that you find a
13 better number.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we should try 1D1611, as Mr. Shin
16 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, Mr. Shin took the risk of interference,
17 but he might have the -- quoted the right number.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's right. It's possible.
19 If this is the statement of the previous witness, then we have a typo in
20 our notes, and I apologise.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have it on the screen right now.
22 JUDGE ORIE: There it is. Let's move on with 1D01611, which is
23 now on our screens.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, now you see your statement before you.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. These personal details next to your name, father's name, date of
3 birth, are they correct? And is the signature on this page yours?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 Could we look at the last page now.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any way that you would upload an English
8 version which really gives the father's names as we find it in the
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We shall do that, Your Honours,
12 Q. Witness, you see the last page now of this written statement.
13 Could you tell us, is this again your signature?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Thank you. Today when you gave the solemn declaration stating
16 that you would tell the truth, do you stand by this statement and was it
17 given to the best of your recollection?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours I would then like
21 to tender 65 ter 01611.
22 MR. SHIN: No objection.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1611 receives number D524,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
2 Witness, could I ask you whether you're father's name is Simo?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
7 suggest the accompanying documents to be admitted as well,
8 65 ter 1D02042.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we -- you would continue to list them and as
10 soon as there's any objection, we'll hear there Mr. Shin once you've
11 given the number.
12 Next one would be, Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The next number would be
14 65 ter 1D02043; then 1D02044; 65 ter 1D02045; 1D02046; and, finally,
16 MR. SHIN: No objections, Your Honour.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please assign numbers.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D2042 receives number D525.
20 Document 1D2043 receives number D526.
21 Document 1D2044 receives number D527.
22 Document 1D2045 receives number D528.
23 Document 1D2046 receives number D529.
24 And document 1D2047 receives number D530 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: D525 up and including D530 [Realtime transcript read
1 in error "D550"] are admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. With your leave,
4 Your Honours, I should like to present a brief summary of this witness's
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Witness Milos Skrba lived and
8 worked in Sarajevo in the neighbourhood of Pofalici before the war. He
9 left his home in fear of daily inspections by the Green Berets. That
10 decision proved to be right because in May 1992 a massacre was
11 perpetrated followed by an exodus of the Serbian population from
12 Pofalici. He joined the VRS close to Petrovici village where he had
13 fled. He assumed the duties of the deputy commander of a company in the
14 2nd Battalion of the Sarajevo Motorised Brigade and after the commander
15 got killed in the summer of 1992, he took over the duties of company
16 commander in the sector of the road Lukavica-Pale.
17 The witness maintains that his company did not have heavy
18 artillery, that he never received either written or oral orders from the
19 battalion commander to open fire on civilian targets. He personally
20 never issued such an order to his subordinate units.
21 He also speaks about humanitarian convoys that passed unhindered
22 through the territory controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska.
23 Concerning the incident marked in our indictment as G-18, Markale
24 II. He says that in August 1995 he was in Studenkovici village, and he's
25 certain that there were no 120-millimetre mortars in that area.
1 Concerning the incident marked in our indictment as F-1. The
2 witness testifies that the feature known as Baba Stijena in the defence
3 area of his company and claims that throughout 1992 or later his company
4 did not have sniper weapons, nor did it ever fire from these positions.
5 Finally, he says that from their positions above Sirokaca they
6 did not have optic visibility of the Sirokaca neighbourhood because at
7 the foot of their positions they could not see the terrain in the
8 Zagrici Street.
9 That is all at this moment, Your Honours.
10 With your leave I should like to put several questions to the
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we continue, Mr. Stojanovic, I'd like
13 to state that page 10, line 1, reads as if I would have said D525 up to
14 and including D550 where in my recollection I said 530, but whatever I
15 said, even if it's correctly recorded, then I meant to say 530.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Q. Witness, in your statement you mentioned events relative to the
19 movement of humanitarian convoys through -- who moved through the area
20 controlled by the army of Republika Srpska. What territory did you have
21 in mind?
22 A. That was the only road in the eastern part of Sarajevo from Pale
23 onto Serbia and to Mostar. That was the only road, the only entry and
24 exit from the eastern part of Sarajevo which was inhabited by civilians,
25 where the VRS were deployed. In other words, the -- both the civilian
1 and military lives took place in that area. Convoys passed through there
2 every day. There was no other road that they could take.
3 Q. When it comes to those humanitarian convoys, were they headed
4 towards the part of Sarajevo which was under the control of the Army of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In which part of the territory of Sarajevo did they enter the
8 part of Sarajevo which was under the control of the BiH army?
9 A. They entered near the airport and in Grbavica. There was a
10 bridge there, the Fraternity and Unity Bridge, where the humanitarian
11 convoys entered -- actually, that what's it was called before.
12 Q. Throughout the war at any moment as an officer in your company,
13 did you receive an order to either ban the movement of those convoys or
14 to hinder their passage through the area that you controlled?
15 A. In the territory that we controlled, our instruction was to allow
16 all the vehicles carrying humanitarian aid to pass through our territory.
17 We did not even control them. There was a police check-point, a military
18 police check-point where they were checked, but what I'm say something is
19 that all the convoys could pass freely through our territory and they
20 regularly did so. As a matter of fact, I'm talking about that part of
21 that road which was under our control.
22 Q. Thank you. In your statement you also mentioned certain events
23 that took place in May 1992 in Pofalici. What would be your personal
24 knowledge of what happened in May 1992 and involved the Serbian
1 A. There was a major exodus of the population because Muslim forces
2 had attacked the majority Serbian population. I wasn't there. I left a
3 bit before on the 4th of April. I had resided there and I saw that the
4 situation was very hard in that part. I had some relatives and friends
5 there who were Serbs, and as you can see from my statement I was right.
6 They faired very badly, they walked for several dozens of kilometres.
7 The situation was beyond words. The words escape me. I can't describe
8 it. I want wasn't there but I heard it from my neighbours who had fled
9 that the situation was really hard.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
11 call up D526. I believe that I've got the right number. Unfortunately,
12 we don't have the right document. Let's do it another way. 1D02044,
13 that's the 65 ter number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Just for the record, this is D527, Your Honours.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the right document.
16 Thank you very much.
17 Q. Witness, could you please look at the map. Can you recognise the
18 area that was controlled by your company?
19 A. I believe that the -- it is well marked in this map from one end
20 to the next and you can see that the area is wooded and rather
21 inaccessible. And when it comes to sniper fire, you can see that it was
22 next to impossible to open sniper fire from there.
23 Q. Will you tell the Chamber whether the positions of your company
24 were next to the road that you mentioned?
25 A. Yes, as you can see it on the map. But our positions were along
1 the road.
2 Q. When it comes to the positions of your company, did they come
3 under infantry sniper and artillery attacks during the war?
4 A. I didn't understand your question. What did you ask me?
5 Q. I apologise. Were you exposed by artillery, sniper, and infantry
6 fire by the BiH army?
7 A. Yes, we did, very often.
8 Q. During the war from 1992 up to 1995, did your positions move
9 forward or did you retreat from the lines that are marked here?
10 A. We reached the line in 1992 and we never moved from there before
11 1995. We were deployed there all the time.
12 Q. Did you have protective fences between the trenches and the
13 positions of your company?
14 A. We had protective fences on the road itself and also between the
15 trenches. We were not able to communicate -- or if there hadn't been
16 those fences and protective measures installed, we would not have been
17 able to communicate or deliver food to our fighters.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I'd like to ask the usher to
19 provide the witness with a blue pencil and I would like to ask the
20 witness to put a circle around the feature that is known as Baba Stijena.
21 A. I apologise. It is in the direction of Trebevic. This curve is
22 what is known as Baba Stijena.
23 Q. Could you please put letters BS next to that little blue circle
24 that you just drew.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Could you please try and mark to the best of your recollection as
2 you look -- as you're looking at this map, could you please tell us where
3 Zagrici Street is? If you can find it, could you please encircle it.
4 A. It is below Sirokaca. I'll try to mark it. It is not very
5 clear. However, I would assume that it is somewhere around here.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you also see the word Zagrici on the map?
7 A. Well, not very clearly, but I would assume that this is the
8 street. If the map can be zoomed in, it would be better.
9 Q. Unfortunately, we can't do anything because we would lose your
10 previous markings.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just for the record, a blue
12 circle in the central part of the image is next to the word "Zagrici."
13 Q. And now before you make an additional marking, are you familiar
14 with the area known as Palez?
15 A. Yes, it is the southern part of Trebevic. From the first blue
16 dot, the entire southern slope of Trebevic is covered in shrub. Very
17 stoney, very inaccessible. So there were no war operations going on
18 there ever because the area is hardly accessible.
19 Q. Can you now place a circle around that general area, the area of
20 Palez as you described it?
21 A. You mean -- shall I use the pen?
22 Q. Yes, please.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And now in the middle can you put a letter P.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you, Witness.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could you again perhaps even spell
3 the name of the area starting with a P which was marked last by the
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. As I can see
6 on page 15, line 22, and I will spell it: P-a-l-e-z, the last letter is
7 Z and it is pronounced Palez. Thank you.
8 Q. And just one more question about this document. To the best of
9 your recollection, the distance between the area as you marked it on the
10 map saying that it is called Baba Stijena to Zagrici Street as the crow
11 flies, what is that distance?
12 A. It must be over a thousand metres. I really can't tell you
13 exactly. Our visibility was up to the forest. There is a cemetery there
14 and that was about 800 metres. We could not see any further than that.
15 And there was a cemetery and there were popular trees and other trees.
16 However, as I'm looking at the map, I would say that the distance must be
17 over a thousand metres. Maybe even 1500 metres.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, we have a map before us with a
19 scale. I mean, if the witness would say 2 kilometres, that wouldn't
20 change anything on this map, where it is -- I would say, approximately
21 7-, 800 metres. Now, of course, you have to calculate the difference in
22 altitude. But why not do this in the most accurate way, not relying on a
23 vague impression of someone, but just to focus on what is given as
24 detailed information?
25 And I have another question for you, and also for Mr. Shin, was
1 there any dispute about where this street which was by the way not marked
2 by the witness with a circle but with a dot, Zagrici Street, is there any
3 dispute about where that is.
4 MR. SHIN: Mr. President, we're just -- because of the scale of
5 this map, we're checking to confirm that that's exactly where it is, but
6 it should be a specific location. There shouldn't be a dispute about
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's another matter. Whether we are
9 interested in streets or whether we are interested in houses in those
10 streets, and isn't it true that we have gone through that in extreme
11 detail with -- during the Prosecution's case.
12 Mr. Stojanovic, therefore, if there's any challenge to what was
13 told to us by the witness in the Prosecution's case, then please focus on
14 what that witness said and challenge that rather than to give us a street
15 which may be 100 metres long or 200 metres long and not giving us any
16 further accurate details.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The reason
19 behind that question was the witness's statement or rather the statement
20 of a Prosecution expert who measured the distances. We will have an
21 expert to testify about that as well.
22 Q. When it comes to Baba Stijena, Witness, did there come a moment
23 in 1993 -- or rather 1992, when you had sniper weapons and sharpshooters?
24 A. No, we did not have either a sniper rifles or sharpshooters to
25 handle them.
1 Q. Did you have a possibility to have positions on Baba Stijena from
2 which you could open artillery -- infantry fire?
3 A. The Baba Stijena feature was a very steep rock and it was
4 impossible to have any positions or trenches or features there. To the
5 left -- to the right from that feature we did have trenches from which we
6 opened fire, but Baba Stijena was -- did not lend itself to any defence
7 positions being created there.
8 Q. Witness, thank you. I have no further questions to you. I will
9 hand you over to my colleagues from the Prosecution.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe this is a
11 good moment to tender this map into evidence with the markings made by
12 the witness.
13 JUDGE ORIE: That's D527 but now again marked by the witness
14 would receive, Madam Registrar, number?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Number D531, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D531 is admitted into evidence.
17 And before we start the cross-examination --
18 Witness, could you tell us, you said you were sniped at in your
19 positions. From where were you sniped at?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if you see the map in
21 front of you. There was some house there is, some civilian features from
22 where they were shooting. There is a part behind this called Debelo Brdo
23 which was under their control. It was a wooded area, it was close by, so
24 they could fire from there. Because in 1992 the road was not protected,
25 then every day we were exposed to these things and we had a lot of
1 casualties, both civilians and troops.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Debelo Brdo not being on this map? Or is it?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it's not. But I know, more
4 or less, by looking at the map where it is. It's above Cicin Han and you
5 can see this green belt. That's Debelo Brdo.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think we have seen maps where Debelo Brdo is
7 indicated. One second, please.
8 You said that it was hardly possible to use your positions as
9 positions from where you could open sniper fire. You remember that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
11 JUDGE ORIE: What exactly was the reason that you couldn't do
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because the optical visibility was
14 poor. These forces were well dug in and it was difficult to see them,
15 and we couldn't do much with snipers either. We were a defence unit. We
16 just waited for an attack. We never executed any attacks ourselves. We
17 were permanently in defensive positions.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, there is a difference between not using
19 sniping fire and not being in a position from where you could have used
20 sniper fire.
21 Now, which of the two is it: That you didn't do it; or that you
22 couldn't because of the position?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't do it and we couldn't
24 because of our position. So for these two reasons we didn't have
25 snipers, we never had them, we never asked for them, and we were never
1 assigned any.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, can you explain to me how can you be sniped at
3 and not be in a position to open sniper fire irrespective of whether you
4 did it or not?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were not the type of unit. And
6 we also had no interest in chasing anyone around in the woods. But it
7 was in their interest to cut off the road that we were using at any cost.
8 So they used all available means, including snipers, to prevent the
9 passage of traffic, of goods, people, along that road.
10 JUDGE ORIE: But my question is: What you need for sniper fire
11 is a line of sight between the position from where you fire and the
13 Could you explain to me how in one direction you could; and in
14 the reverse direction, you couldn't.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It all depends on the intention of
16 the parties, what they intended and what they wanted. That's the only
17 difference. The difference is in the intent of one side, what it wants
18 to do to the other. And that's why they used it. We didn't have that
19 intention. We didn't have anything to fire at on that side because,
20 really, they didn't also -- they actually had two or three parts where
21 they would cut off the road near Baba Stijena and here in the woods where
22 there would be people passing, so they didn't really have any other room
23 where they could cut it off. So we had to build protective barriers. We
24 had to use planks to build up the cover and different things.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You've given an answer although have not answered my
1 question. But let's leave it to that for the time being.
2 Mr. Shin, are you ready to cross-examine the witness.
3 MR. SHIN: Yes, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Skrba, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Shin.
5 You'll find Mr. Shin to your right. Mr. Shin is counsel for the
7 Please proceed.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Shin:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Skrba.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. I'd like to begin with some questions about your position in the
13 In your statement --
14 MR. SHIN: Paragraph 6, Your Honours.
15 Q. -- you explain that you were in the 2nd Infantry Company at the
16 2nd Battalion of the 1st Smbr. Now, you were appointed company commander
17 in summer of 1992. Could you tell us what your rank was when you were
18 company commander?
19 A. I was a second-lieutenant in the reserves. I wasn't an active
20 commissioned officer. I was a non-commissioned officer.
21 Q. And just to clarify one point. Before you were made company
22 commander, you were the deputy company commander. Could you tell us when
23 you became deputy company commander?
24 A. I became deputy company commander in May 1992.
25 Q. Was that the first post that you held in the army?
1 A. How do you mean, "post"?
2 Q. Was that the first position -- did you have a position before you
3 were made deputy company commander?
4 A. Yeah, I was the deputy, but before that I didn't have any other
6 Q. Now in your statement, that's paragraph 15, you note that you
7 were "in the command of the 2nd Infantry Battalion." Could you explain
8 that phrase? What -- was that a different position from company
10 A. Yes. Later in late 1993 where -- I didn't put that down here. I
11 transferred to the battalion command, and I became assistant logistics
12 commander. This was in 1994/1995.
13 Q. Okay. Maybe just to clarify that, you mentioned late 1993 as
14 well as 1994/1995. When was it that you were actually taking this post
15 in the battalion command?
16 A. Sometime in 1993, late 1993, until the end of 1995.
17 Q. Okay. Did your rank change or did you just change position?
18 A. My rank changed as well.
19 Q. What rank did you hold?
20 A. Lieutenant.
21 Q. Okay. I'd like to ask you some questions about your company. So
22 this is now going back to the time when you were a company commander.
23 How many platoons were in your company?
24 A. Three platoons.
25 Q. And how many soldiers total was that under your command?
1 A. We had about 160. It depends. It varied. There were a lot of
2 troops wounded, killed, especially in 1992.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. SHIN: Mr. President, I note the time. I'm not sure if I
5 should break now or continue.
6 JUDGE ORIE: If this is a suitable --
7 MR. SHIN: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- moment for you, we'll take the break now.
9 MR. SHIN: Now would be a good time, thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break, and we'll resume at ten minutes
13 to 11.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for the witness to be brought
17 into the courtroom, first of all, I put on the record, Mr. Shin, that you
18 most likely have received a hard copy of the request you earlier asked
20 MR. SHIN: Yes, I have, Mr. President. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could I ask the attention for the
22 following. On the 11th of June, and I'll speak about P3059, on 11th of
23 June the Chamber asked the Prosecution to verify the accuracy of the
24 English translation of Exhibit P3059. On the 17th of June the
25 Prosecution informed the Chamber and the Defence through an informal
1 communication that it is has uploaded the revised translation to e-court
2 under doc ID number 0528-8804-00-ET and requested that this document
3 replace the existing English translation, and the Chamber would like to
4 hear the Defence's position on the new version.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, if you are ready, you may continue.
7 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Skrba, just before the break, we were discussing your company
9 when you were company commander in 1992 and 1993. You had just told us
10 that you had 160 men under your command, approximately. You had
11 explained that a little bit as well.
12 Now continuing on this topic, as company commander you issued
13 orders to your platoons with the expectation that they would be followed;
14 correct? That's simply the principle of command and control.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And as the company commander, the leader of the company, you were
17 responsible for the safety of your men; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Your men in fact looked to you for that, as their commander.
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And this is a responsibility you took very seriously, of course;
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now part of ensuring the safety of your men, that's situational
25 awareness; meaning, awareness of where your enemy is, awareness of where
1 the VRS units are, and also awareness of units in the field. Would that
2 be right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And as part of that situational awareness, you would also need to
5 know the activities of your fellow VRS units at a minimum to avoid any
6 inadvertent fire that some armies call friendly fire?
7 A. Would you please repeat the question? It's not clear to me.
8 Q. Let me put it this way. Part of situational awareness, as we've
9 discussed it, is knowing what the activities of your fellow VRS units in
10 your area; understanding that. That's part of situational awareness,
11 isn't it?
12 A. It should be. And in most cases we did know that, but not
13 always. We had these natural barriers that would prevent us from knowing
14 exactly what was happening.
15 Q. Okay. Maybe we'll get into some of that, but for now let me ask
16 you this: To ensure the safety of your men, if your unit needed support
17 from other VRS units, you would naturally ask for that; correct?
18 A. Yes, from the battalion command.
19 Q. From the battalion command. Okay. Now let's turn to your
20 company's zone of responsibility.
21 MR. SHIN: If we could have D527 on the screen, please.
22 Q. And while we're waiting for that to come up, Mr. Skrba, you will
23 recognise it as the document we've just looked at. And --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And we can -- we can see -- I'm sorry, were you going to say
2 A. I wanted to say that when we're talking about the company, the
3 company comprised the reserve troops. And -- just for you -- it to be
4 more clear: These were not professional trained soldiers. These were
5 reserve forces which for the most part were older men, 40 years old and
6 up. Middle-aged men.
7 Q. So this map shows your zone of -- your company's zone of
8 responsibility. And just for -- for reference --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let's take a look at the right side of that. You've drawn a red
11 arrow. That red arrow, that marks the right side of your zone of
12 responsibility; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. For future reference let's just note that that red arrow begins
15 just above the letter K in a place called Knjeginac. Now -- and we may
16 refer to that precise point later.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Which unit was to your left, to the left of the zone of
19 responsibility of the 2nd Company?
20 A. The 3rd Company. It was also part of the 2nd Battalion, our
22 Q. And would it be correct to the left of the 3rd Company then was
23 also the 6th Company?
24 A. We didn't have six companies. Our battalion had four companies.
25 Q. Are you sure about that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. We may get into that a little later on. What unit was to
3 the left of the 3rd Company then?
4 A. It was the so-called -- well, it was a different company. It was
5 the 1st Company and the 4th Company.
6 Q. Which of those two was directly to the left of the 3rd Company?
7 A. I think that it was the 4th Company.
8 Q. Mr. Skrba, do you know somebody named Captain Predrag Trapara?
9 A. I am familiar with the name, but he was not in our battalion. He
10 was in a different battalion, not in ours.
11 Q. Are you talking about throughout the war or only a very limited
12 time during the war?
13 A. He was never in our battalion during the entire period of the
15 Q. So if I were to tell that you that he was the commander of the
16 5th Company in the 2nd Battalion, you don't think that's correct?
17 A. Well, he was the commander of a company, but this other battalion
18 during the war, we were the 3rd Battalion, and they were the
19 2nd Battalion, and then for some reason we switched and that's why you're
20 mixing this up. The 1st and the 2nd battalion. At the beginning of the
21 war, they were the 2nd Battalion and we were the 3rd Battalion and later
22 it was changed so then we became the 2nd battalion and they the 3rd. And
23 then it's possible that there were five or more companies in that other
24 battalion, but because I didn't have anything to do with them physically,
25 I don't know. It was a completely separate unit. We had nothing to do
1 with them. It was a different section of the territory than us.
2 Q. Okay. Maybe just one question so that at least with respect to
3 your company we're clear: Who was your battalion commander?
4 A. Captain First Class Blagoje Kovacevic was the commander of my
6 Q. Was that during the entire period of the war?
7 A. No, not at the beginning, at the very beginning in 1992. Because
8 we were part of the 1st Romanija Brigade, so until the
9 1st Sarajevo Brigade was formed.
10 Q. So after that, who was the commander of your battalion?
11 A. For a very short period of time, it was Dragan Vucetic. I don't
12 know if this is mentioned anywhere.
13 Q. Dragan Vucetic. And that was a short period of time. And after
15 A. And then Blagota Kovacevic came afterwards. Blagoje Kovacevic.
16 In late 1992.
17 Q. And then was he the commander until the end of the war?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Let's turn back to this map now to your zone of
20 responsibility. Which unit was to your immediate right?
21 A. The Pale unit, but I don't know anything about the establishment.
22 It was a unit from Pale, a company. I didn't communicate with them, so I
23 don't know.
24 Q. Was that part of your battalion?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Which battalion was it part of?
2 A. It was a Pale unit. I don't have the information. I never
3 asked. I wasn't really interested.
4 Q. Okay. We'll continue on here.
5 Now, you assert in your statement - that's paragraph 7 - that the
6 Muslim units facing your company "also had their positions behind the
7 lines exclusively in civilian facilities and houses."
8 Now we'll get more into that issue, but for now I'd just like to
9 focus on where your company was situated on the line -- on your zone of
10 responsibility. In the Karadzic trial - that's transcript 29191 - when
11 you were asked where you got this information about where the Muslim
12 units were situated, you said:
13 "We saw it ourselves."
14 Do you recall that?
15 A. Perhaps. We were close together. And then during firing I could
16 see where the fire came from, the fortified bunkers or from the woods.
17 We kept evaluating where the firing was coming from because they kept
18 changing their positions, and we would observe that. You had to know
19 where the firing was coming from. You -- you had to know that.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the very last
21 part of the sentence.
22 MR. SHIN:
23 Q. Mr. Skrba, could you please repeat the last part of your
24 sentence. The translators were unable to catch that.
25 A. We had to know where they fired from, from different weaponry,
1 because we were guarding the feature, the road. Whenever they fired we
2 would locate the origin of the fire, and because we were close together,
3 their trenches and our trenches, we could see their cross-trenches. We
4 could see where they were located, their cross-trenches and trenches.
5 Q. And in fact, in your Karadzic testimony, you went on to say:
6 "Those positions," meaning the Muslim positions, "were so close
7 that they could be observed from our locations. Our positions were
8 better in tactical terms than theirs."
9 You stand by your testimony in the Karadzic case; is that
11 A. Well, I wouldn't say that. I don't know whose positions were
12 better because their positions were in the forest, whereas we were
13 practically on the open road like clay pigeons almost, so we were forced
14 to create barriers, shields, and we dug trenches. We did all sorts of
15 things to protect ourselves.
16 Q. Mr. Skrba, in your Karadzic testimony, you said that your
17 positions, your company's positions were better in tactical terms than
18 those of the Muslim units facing you. Are you changing your testimony
20 A. I'm not changing my testimony, but I'm -- believe that in some
21 way we had more favourable positions because we were on higher ground, on
22 the road; whereas, they were in the forest. Tactically our position was
23 better because we were on the road, while they were in the forest. But
24 as far as combat activities are concerned, they were in a better
1 Q. But you acknowledge you were in better tactical positions?
2 A. In some situations, yes.
3 Q. In your statement for the Karadzic case, this is what you said -
4 that will be paragraph 19 of that document, and if we need it, I'll refer
5 to it:
6 "Our positions were tactically better than the Muslim positions
7 and we could have, had we wanted, destroyed them by throwing rocks at
8 them let alone by using weapons."
9 You stand by that correct?
10 A. Yes, yes, I stand by that. That's the position that I described
11 a moment ago. Our position was better than theirs.
12 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to ask you a little bit about the equipment
13 that your company had, about the weapons that your company had.
14 Now, in the Karadzic case you testified that your company had
15 rifles, including automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now I want to ask you about a few other pieces of -- some other
19 weapons. Did your company also have M53 machine-guns?
20 A. Very few. Yes, but very few.
21 Q. Did your company also have M84 machine-guns?
22 A. At the beginning, no. Later, towards the end of the year, we
23 received a couple of M84 machine-guns.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, I'd like to go back to the M53 where the
25 witness said they had them but very few.
1 How many did you have?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Three.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And for the M84, how many?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two beginning with 1993. At the
5 beginning, we didn't have them.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
7 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Skrba, do we understand you correctly that your company did
9 not have any mortars?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Are you aware that there were other infantry companies in the
12 1st Smbr that did have mortars. Were you aware of that?
13 A. I wasn't aware. But the battalion command must be aware, because
14 they decided which unit, where, should have mortars.
15 Q. And now that you've told us that you were a staff officer on the
16 battalion command from late 1993, you, too, were aware of that, were you
18 A. Well, it was the job of operative officers. My job was
19 logistics; supplies, food, et cetera.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, witness, witness, could you please answer
21 the question. Not who should be aware; whether you were aware or not.
22 Do I have to understand your answer to be you were not aware?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew about 82--millimetre
24 mortars, yes, I did know.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then your previous answer was evasive. To say
1 others should know about it where you are specifically asked whether you
2 were aware of mortars, your answer should have been yes, I was aware of
3 82-millimetre mortars.
4 Could you please keep in mind that telling who should know is not
5 an answer to whether you knew and apparently you were aware.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
7 MR. SHIN:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, regarding your position in the battalion command,
9 as assistant commander for logistics, that is a position that deals with
10 the resupply of ammunition to the battalion. Is that not correct?
11 A. Yes. Among other things.
12 Q. Yes, among other things. So during the over two years that were
13 in the battalion command as assistant commander for logistics, you saw
14 that there were 82-millimetre mortar shells and 60-millimetre mortar
15 shells that were being sent to units in the battalion; isn't that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now --
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. -- going back to your company and the weapons that your company
21 had, did it have any Osa?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did it have any Zoljas?
24 A. We had only hand held launchers, RVs.
25 THE INTERPRETER: We did not hear the rest of the answer.
1 MR. SHIN:
2 Q. Yeah, I'm sorry, Mr. Skrba, the translators were unable to hear
3 the remainder of your answer, so if you could please repeat your answer.
4 A. In the early days we had so-called RVs, hand-held launchers, and
5 grenades for the infantry.
6 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to move onto a different topic.
7 MR. SHIN: And for this, I'd like to pull up a different map.
8 Could I please have D526. I think I have the correct number for that.
9 Q. Now while we're waiting for this to come up, Mr. Skrba, in your
10 statement, that's paragraph 15, you describe the location of "an
11 82-millimetre mortar in August of 1995." And you also refer to a map
12 that you marked to show the location of this mortar. Now, do you
13 recognise this to be that map which you had marked to show where this
14 82-millimetre was? And I'm speaking now of that red circle?
15 A. Yes, I marked it, and that's the positions called Mala Kula,
16 Little Tower. It was at the foot of that hill which is called Kula, and
17 on top of that hill there were mortars. I don't know how many, but there
18 were some.
19 Q. Okay. Now, recalling where you had marked on the previous map
20 the right side of your company's zone of responsibility with a red arrow
21 beginning just above the letter K in Knjeginac, could you please tell
22 this Chamber whether this 82-millimetre mortar position was in your zone
23 of responsibility?
24 A. I don't know in whose area of responsibility that -- hill was.
25 I'm not sure it was in our area. It was certainly in the area of the
1 battalion. There was a company covering that area, but I didn't have any
2 connection or contact with them. We were directly reporting to the
3 battalion command.
4 Q. Mr. Skrba, just to clarify one thing here, you said that you're
5 not sure whether this was in your zone of responsibility. Does that mean
6 you think it was possible that it was?
7 A. I think it wasn't because we had no contact with them. They were
8 subordinated to the battalion command. Since we had no contact, no
9 links, it means that we had no jurisdiction over them, or any contact
10 with them.
11 Q. Right. But it's at least very close to your zone of
13 A. Looking at the map, it seems relatively close. But if you ever
14 actually go there, you will see that it's quite a distance. Along this
15 winding road, there would be about 2, 3 kilometres to those positions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Skrba, comparing your marking on D527 with two
17 arrows explaining what your zone of responsibility was, this marking on
18 this map squarely falls within the area marked by the two arrows. So
19 before we spend a lot of other time on -- would you agree with that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. But I just have to
21 explain to you what kind of terrain it is. If you know that, you will
22 agree with me that it's not our area.
23 It's a cliff. It's very steep. And from the area where my
24 company was, you can't reach them on foot or any other way. And my unit
25 had no business on that hill. That hillock is a part of the slopes of
1 Mount Trebevic, and physically, we are cut off from it by natural
2 barriers, although it looks very close. On the map it looks very close.
3 And it seems like it's in our area of responsibility, but on the ground
4 it looks completely different. A completely different situation.
5 JUDGE ORIE: The markings were yours.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
7 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, you've told this Court that all you knew about
9 the unit that possessed these 82-millimetre mortars was that it was a
10 company in your battalion. Did we understand that correctly?
11 A. You didn't understand me correctly. I don't know if it was a
12 platoon or a company. I don't even know exactly how many mortars there
13 were. I just know that some existed.
14 Q. Okay. Now I'm going to ask you specifically about the time that
15 you were now in the battalion command. So late 1993 to the end of the
16 war. At that point when you were at the battalion command, did you learn
17 which unit this was; and did you learn whether it was a company or a
19 A. I wasn't interested. I never asked and nobody ever told me.
20 Q. So you were at the battalion command. And as you've told us, you
21 were resupplying 82-millimetre shells. But you never knew what this unit
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'll move on.
25 Now I want to focus a little bit more on what you were talking
1 about, the precise location of this 82-millimetre mortar.
2 During your Karadzic testimony you were asked about this. And
3 we'll be going over some of that again. But first as we look at this
4 map, that yellow map that we see sort of arching in a loop over that
5 82-millimetre mortar position, just to be clear that's the Lukavica-Pale
6 road; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you were asked where this red circle was in relation to that
9 road, and you testified:
10 "Well, it is close to the Velesici road where you go up and
12 And that's transcript 29195. And you go on to say that on this
14 "It seems that it is not close to the road but it is close to the
15 white road."
16 First of all that part of your testimony from the Karadzic case,
17 do you stand by that?
18 A. I don't think this is correct. First of all, Velesici is on the
19 other side of Sarajevo.
20 Q. Okay.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The other side of the Miljacka river, that is.
22 MR. SHIN:
23 Q. Okay. So maybe there was an error in the Karadzic testimony.
24 Let's take a look at a different map to help us find the precise location
25 of these mortars.
1 MR. SHIN: If we could please have 65 ter 30795.
2 Q. And while we're waiting for that to come up, Mr. Skrba, now
3 this -- well, it's up now so I can ask you. First --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, could we first try to clarify it, what the
5 witness said on page 37, line 11.
6 Mr. Skrba, Mr. Shin took you back to the Karadzic testimony and
8 "When you were asked, the red circle where that was in relation
9 to the road, that you testified:
10 'Well, it is close to the,'" and then it's unclear, "'road where
11 you go up and down."
12 Now, what is road where you go up and down. Does it have a name
13 or how do you refer to that road?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On this map that I have before me
15 right now, I marked it, and that's this section. This winding part of
16 the road leads to the very top of Mount Trebevic. And there is a village
17 there called Medjusi and it's exactly marked Studenkovici village and
18 Medjusi village as well as Blizaci. From this cross-roads 30 to 50
19 metres away there were mortars, close to the winding section of the road.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One second, one second. The winding section
21 of that road. Do you refer to it by any name or is it just the winding
22 section of the road?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It leads to the top of
24 Mount Trebevic. It's just a winding part of the road. It has no name.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
1 MR. SHIN: All right. Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. So, Mr. Skrba, when you were saying that that red circle
3 indicating the 82-millimetre mortars was close to a winding road, are you
4 referring then to the road that connects Studenkovici to the
5 Lukavica-Pale road? I think you've already said yes; is that correct?
6 Mr. Skrba, do you understand English?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The answer by witness
8 "yes" was simply a statement of understanding the question and not the
9 answer to the question because the interpretation was not finished.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't understand what you
12 MR. SHIN: Thank you. I -- my mistake.
13 Q. My question was -- well, basically when you said that the
14 82-millimetre mortars were near the road going up and down, just so we're
15 clear you're referring to the road that connects Studenkovici to that
16 yellow road, the Lukavica-Pale road?
17 A. Again, you didn't quite understand me. This winding road leads
18 to the top of Mount Trebevic. It's the main road. And this other part
19 forks off to Studenkovici village. You see the cross-roads. There is a
20 fork there, one side is the Studenkovici village, the other side leads to
21 the top of Trebevic. From this cross-roads, at a distance of 30 to 50
22 metres there were 82-millimetre mortars.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, Witness.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Shin. At the very end of the answer, we got
25 to it.
1 MR. SHIN: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
3 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Now, the red -- these red lines that you've marked on this map
5 during your Karadzic testimony, these mark what you described as earth or
6 dirt roads that you travelled along when you saw that mortar position; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in the Karadzic case, and this would be T29197, you were also
10 asked whether these earth roads that you've marked in red were under SRK
11 control during the duration of the conflict. You testified that these
12 were "roads in our territory where you could move freely." You stand by
13 your testimony in the Karadzic case; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Indeed, when you were asked further what kinds of vehicles could
16 move freely along these roads, you testified that "passenger vehicles"
17 could. And you stand by that as well; correct?
18 A. For the most part, passenger vehicles. Yes, I stand by that.
19 This winding road could not take any heavy freight vehicles.
20 Q. But you also agreed with the Prosecutor during your Karadzic
21 testimony that you could drive a jeep along those roads. And you stand
22 by that; correct?
23 A. Yes. A jeep is a relatively small car.
24 Q. Okay. I'd like to move onto a different topic so we don't need
25 this map now.
1 In your statement, Mr. Skrba, and that's paragraph 1, you say
2 that you went to the village of Petrovici in April 1992. And after you
3 got there, you say in paragraph 3 that "the local population
4 self-organised and went out on the outskirts of this Serbian village in
5 order to defend their houses." And then you refer to a map where you
6 marked this line of defence. Let's take a look at that map.
7 MR. SHIN: If we could please have D525. And if we could move to
8 the right side where Trebevic appears and magnify that a little, I'd be
9 grateful. Maybe include a little bit more south of where -- what we have
10 right now.
11 JUDGE ORIE: A little bit more down --
12 MR. SHIN: Yes. Thank you.
13 Q. Now, just -- yes. We can see the red line now just to the left
14 and slightly above the word Trebevic, and this is what you marked -- so
15 that we're clear, this is what you marked to show that line of defence in
16 that village; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now you were asked also to make further marks on this map during
19 your Karadzic testimony.
20 MR. SHIN: So I would ask if we could please have 65 ter 7 --
21 30784. And while we're waiting for that, Your Honours, I had neglected
22 to tender 65 ter 30795, the previous map.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30795 receives number P6597.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P6597 is admitted.
1 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Witness, we have --
3 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise. The number has six digits, and it
4 should have five. There's no such number in e-court.
5 MR. SHIN: Okay, I'm sorry. I probably misspoke. The map that
6 I'm requesting is 65 ter 30784. And when we have the map up, perhaps we
7 could just blow it up so that we have the full map on the screen but not
8 go to any further detail than that. We do need to look at the full map.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, do you recognise this as the same map that we
10 just saw but with further markings on it that you made during your
11 Karadzic testimony?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that's your signature and the date of 22nd October 2012 in
14 the lower right-hand corner; correct?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Now, at the very bottom just above the letter S in Sarajevo
17 there's a P. You see that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you put that -- you put that there to mark the location of
20 the village of Petrovici; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, the red line that we see, not that original line of defence
23 line but this additional red marking starting to -- from the right around
24 the middle of the map from the right of a village called Miljevici
25 winding its way down towards the P that you marked to show the road
1 connecting Miljevici to Petrovici; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And on this map we can see it passes by the villages Miljevici
4 and Gojkovici, Kozarevici and then to Petrovici which again is marked by
5 that P. You see those [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrba.
8 MR. SHIN: Could we please tender 65 ter 30784.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30784 receives number P6598,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: P6598 is admitted.
13 MR. SHIN:
14 Q. Now in order have a better view on Petrovici as well as to see
15 some other features, I'd like to turn to a different map again and again
16 this is one that you saw during your Karadzic testimony.
17 MR. SHIN: Could I please have 65 ter 30782.
18 And while that's coming up, Your Honours, you will recognise this
19 map as another map detail from page e-court 54, the Prosecution
20 Exhibit P3.
21 Q. Now once again, Mr. Skrba, you recognise in the lower right-hand
22 corner your signature and -- and the date; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. At the bottom part of this map, we see part -- we most of the
25 Cyrillic letters 1st Smbr. And above the letter M, we see the word
1 Petrovici. Have you found that?
2 A. Yes, I can see that.
3 Q. Now, on this map in the upper left we see the village of
4 Miljevici just under the triangular base of the flag with a number 3 on
5 it. Have you found that?
6 A. I can see Miljevici, yes.
7 Q. Now looking at these maps it's clear, isn't it, that in order to
8 go to Petrovici from the north you would have to go past Miljevici, you'd
9 have to go past Gojkovici, you'd have to go past Kozarevici; correct?
10 A. There is a lower Miljevici and there's also upper Miljevici, and
11 I arrived in upper Miljevici. You can see it in the map. We'd go
12 through Stanarici but we do not go to Kozarevici because it's below the
13 road, so I go straight to Petrovici. So I have to go through the
14 cross-roads between Kozarevici and Stanarici. Maybe I can do the
15 markings for you, but if not you can follow the black line.
16 Q. Well, let's try it this way. Mr. Skrba, are you saying that
17 there is a village called Donje Miljevici which is south of Kozarevici?
18 A. What you see is Miljevici on this map is Donje Miljevici, whereas
19 a -- a furthermore up to the north, and you can't see it on the map,
20 there is a place called Gornji Miljevici which means that there are two
21 villages by the same name. I had to go through Gornji Miljevici to
22 Stanarici and I do not go to Kozarevici at all.
23 Q. Okay, we'll keep this simple. Basically, your statement says
24 that the defence line was on the outskirts of Petrovici but in fact the
25 line that you drew, which we can recall now was next to Miljevici on this
1 map, it's really quite far away, isn't it? It's not on the outskirts of
2 Petrovici as you say.
3 A. I don't remember that I said at the outskirts of Petrovici. I
4 knew I said that it was on the outskirts of the Serbian villages closer
5 to Trebevic and that was an area predominantly inhabited by the Serbs,
6 from Miljevici to Knjeginac on the left-hand side. And from that line
7 towards Trebevic it was an area mostly populated by the Serbs. At the
8 beginning of 1992 in April, that's where we organised our patrols and
9 defence lines and things like that.
10 Q. Well, in any case your defence line is not on the outskirts of
11 Petrovici; that's correct?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Before we leave this map, just for completeness, in the centre of
14 this map we see a -- what looks like a small triangle and then we see
15 what appears to be "82 mm." Is this again a marking showing where these
16 82-millimetre mortars were?
17 A. You mean the markings that I made?
18 Q. Yes, that's right.
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Okay, thank you.
21 MR. SHIN: We would tender this map, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do, I just have a question. At line
23 45 -- page 45, line 1, Mr. Shin you asked the question:
24 "In any case, your defence line is not on the outskirts of
25 Petrovici; that's correct?"
1 He says no. I just want to know, is it no it's not correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not correct that the line was
3 on the outskirts of Petrovici.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was on the outskirts of
6 Miljevici and you can see that on the map.
7 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, I would just for completeness refer
8 you to paragraph 3 once again where the witness has stated his position
9 regarding Petrovici and this line of defence on the outskirts of this
10 Serbian village.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number to be assigned to this
12 extract of P3.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document receives number P6599, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P6599 is admitted.
15 MR. SHIN:
16 Q. I'd like to move onto another topic, Mr. Skrba. Your company,
17 it's clear it was in the 1st Smbr; correct.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So as a company that would mean, of course, that it was a
20 subordinate unit of the 1st Smbr?
21 A. Yes -- no. It was subordinated to the 2nd Battalion, to the
22 command of the 2nd Battalion, and the battalion command was subordinated
23 to the 1st Motorised Brigade, which was a Sarajevo brigade.
24 Q. Okay. In your statement, paragraph 16, you say:
25 "In my company there were no sharpshooters throughout 1992 as
1 well as in December of 1992 or during the entire period of the war."
2 Let's look at this further. Now you refer to sniper fire from
3 ABiH positions at several points in your statement. And, for example,
4 that's paragraphs 8, 9, and 16. You've also spoken about that a little
5 bit during your direct examination here, and you explain that your unit
6 came under fire from -- under sniper fire from ABiH positions. Is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, did you know a -- can you -- first of all, can you tell us
10 if you knew where the 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion was deployed?
12 A. On my left wing, approximately. To my left. Perhaps a kilometre
13 and a half away from us. So perhaps even more than that.
14 Q. Now, did you know a platoon commander in that company named
15 Slobodan Tusevljak?
16 A. I think that you're confusing battalions. Tusevljak was in the
17 same battalion as Predrag Trapara. He was not in my battalion at all.
18 Q. Okay. But you knew -- you knew this Slobodan Tusevljak, platoon
19 commander. Now did you know that as a platoon commander he had sent --
20 well, let me rephrase that.
21 As a platoon commander in May of 1992 there with a sniper in his
22 unit sent to him by his battalion commander to neutralise ABiH sniper
23 fire. Were you aware of that?
24 A. Let me tell you, I met Slobodan Tusevljak after the war. I
25 didn't know him during the war. I didn't know which platoon he was a
1 member of. I don't -- I didn't know what his position was in the defence
2 of Sarajevo.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, would you please answer the question. The
4 question was whether you were aware of a sniper sent to the unit under
5 the command of -- could you please assist me, Mr. Shin.
6 MR. SHIN: Yes, commander of the battalion.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Sent by his battalion commander to neutralize
8 ABiH sniper fire. So it's not about all the other things you told us but
9 whether you were aware of this sniper being sent to neutralise ABiH
10 sniper fire.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't know that. I told you
12 that I didn't even know the man, let alone where he was or what his
13 position was. I only met him after the war when everything was over.
14 MR. SHIN:
15 Q. Well, Mr. Skrba, let's try to approach this a different way.
16 Would you agree that a battalion command sending a sniper to a platoon,
17 that that is one effective way of countering sniper fire from your enemy?
18 A. Not according to me. I don't know. There are different schools
19 of thought. In my view, that wouldn't be the case.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, I'm looking at the clock. I'd suggest we
21 take the break now.
22 MR. SHIN: Okay. Yes. I'm sorry, I'd missed the time.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break, and we resume at ten minutes
1 past 12.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.52 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.14 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be brought
5 into the courtroom, I would briefly pay attention to Exhibit D505.
6 On Friday the 13th of June, the Chamber instructed the Registry
7 to attach the B/C/S translation uploaded into e-court under document
8 number ID 1D09-2433 to Exhibit D505, and admitted D505 into evidence. At
9 the same time, the Chamber requested that if the Prosecution had any
10 objections to this translation, it should inform the Chamber within the
11 next two working days.
12 On that same day the Prosecution, by means of an e-mail, informed
13 the Chamber and the Defence that it has no objection to the translation
14 of D505 as it is now in e-court. And that is hereby put on the record.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, you may proceed.
17 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Skrba, just before the break we were discussing what would be
19 an effective way of countering sniper fire. Now, I had asked you whether
20 sniper fire is an effective way of countering sniper fire, and you said
21 that you -- you said not according to me. I don't know. Let me try this
22 a different way. Is sniper fire, in your view, an ineffective way of
23 responding to sniper fire?
24 A. Let me tell you, I'm not a trained officer, so I cannot comment
25 upon the different ways of countering sniper fire. I can only talk from
1 experience. There are people out there who are active-duty officers who
2 are much better versed in that, and they can tell you what the most
3 appropriate way would be.
4 Q. Mr. Skrba, you were a company commander with 160 lives, lives of
5 your men, their safety in your hands. During 1992 and 1993, you've also
6 told us that your unit was under sniper fire from the ABiH side. Are you
7 telling us that sniper fire is not an effective way of responding to
8 sniper fire?
9 A. We did not have snipers, which is why I don't know. I don't know
10 how to explain that to you. I did not have an opportunity to learn
11 whether that way would be effective or not because we never had snipers.
12 We responded to their fires with what we had, automatic rifles,
13 semi-automatic rifles, machine-guns. That's how we countered the enemy
14 sniper fire. That's the only thing I can say about that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, as a response to the question you put
16 before the break, whether it be would an effective way of count sniper
17 fire from the enemy, the witness explained, had a clear view on the
18 matter, although at the same time he said he didn't know, that there were
19 different schools, et cetera, et cetera. You're asking for an opinion,
20 as a matter of fact. The witness is giving pretty confusing answers.
21 And when asked whether it would be ineffective, he said he wouldn't know.
22 So let's proceed and let's stick to the facts.
23 MR. SHIN: I'll move on, Mr. President.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, given the fact that your unit was under sniper
25 fire, did it -- did you ever think about asking your battalion command
1 whether you could have snipers?
2 A. No, it never occurred to us. The reason was that there was no
3 line of visibility, and we didn't know what to aim at.
4 Q. Let's move onto a document which you have seen before.
5 MR. SHIN: Could I please have Prosecution 672. I'm sorry,
6 that's P672.
7 Q. Mr. Skrba, while we're waiting for that to come up, maybe I'll
8 start to explain what it is. It's, again, a document that you've seen
9 before during your Karadzic testimony. It's dated the 29th of
10 October 1993. And it's from the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade to the
11 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. In this document, the brigade commander is
12 informing the corps command that the brigade is in possession of rifles
13 with optical sight, semi-automatic rifles with optical sights,
14 machine-guns with optical sights, sniper rifles --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should slow down, Mr. Shin.
16 MR. SHIN: I'm sorry, should I -- I'll just check.
17 Q. Sniper rifles, rifles with passive infrared sights, and sniper
18 rifle silencers. You see that?
19 A. Yes, I can see that.
20 Q. Now, we see here all together some 30 rifles listed among this
21 equipment. Do you accept that your brigade, the
22 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade, had these weapons as indicated?
23 A. Most probably that was the case, but I don't know. I cannot
24 speak on behalf of the brigade. I wouldn't know what they had or didn't
1 Q. So you didn't come into this -- into knowledge about this
2 equipment even when you were in the battalion command immediately
3 underneath the brigade?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Let's move onto a different topic and we won't need that
6 document now.
7 Mr. Skrba, as an infantry company commander, would it be right
8 that you were able to call for support from mortars?
9 A. Yes, I could do that. Well -- and I did it.
10 Q. And who was it that you called for this mortar support?
11 A. I called the operative duty officer in the battalion command
12 because the commander was the only one who could make any decisions on
13 mortar fire.
14 Q. Now, when was it that you called for this support?
15 A. Whenever I thought that I was under major attacks. That my
16 situation was dire. When I suffered losses. And when it went on for a
17 long time. Sometimes it went on for two or three hours because they
18 wanted to break through at all costs in order to cut the road in two.
19 Q. Would you be able to tell us how many times in 1993 you called
20 for this mortar support?
21 A. I did not count the times, but it was several times.
22 Q. Was it also several times in 1992?
23 A. Yes, it was. Those were the two most difficult years, when the
24 road was not secured. After that, we constructed all sorts of fences
25 obstacles to cover us so they could not open infantry fire. The only way
1 they could target us was by artillery. If they heard the movement of a
2 heavy lorry or a heavy vehicle, they would fire a mortar shell.
3 Q. Now, let me ask you next when you received the support from these
4 mortars, where were these mortars located?
5 A. Those mortars were at the place where I showed you and where I
6 made a marking.
7 Q. Can you tell us now back to these 82-millimetre mortars -- well,
8 first of all, let me do it this way. You've told us now that there was
9 more than one mortar there. You've also mentioned the word "platoon" in
10 the context of mortars. And you've also told us that in late 1993 until
11 the end of the war you were the assistant commander for logistics
12 including among your tasks the resupply of mortar shells. Can you tell
13 us how many 82-millimetre mortars there were at that position?
14 A. I can't say. I was the assistant commander and below me there
15 was the platoon commander, the detachment commander in charge of mortars,
16 and they were the ones who approached the platoon commander for -- in
17 charge of logistics to resupply them with shells. They did not ask that
18 from me which is why I did not have an insight into those requirements,
19 nor do I know what the count of the mortars was.
20 Q. But you've used the word "platoon" in the context of the
21 82-millimetre mortars. Are you aware that normally a platoon of
22 82-millimetre mortars would include three mortars?
23 A. I'm telling you, I don't know. I was never in that position. I
24 don't know how they were deployed and how many there were. I really
25 don't know much about mortars, and that's why I am asking you to skip
1 that topic because I really can't share with you any of the details or a
2 description of a mortar or its fire. I -- I really don't know.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's not for you to suggest to the Prosecution
4 what questions they should ask and what questions they should skip.
5 Now, if you give short answers, can you tell us how many
6 82-millimetre mortars there were? Just say: I can't tell you. Then
7 that's it. And so give brief answers and let Mr. Shin ask what he
8 considers relevant to ask.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm going to move onto a
11 different topic, and for this if we could please go into private session.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 22831-22834 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
20 MR. SHIN:
21 Q. Mr. Skrba, I'd like to move onto another topic now.
22 In your statement at paragraph 16, you discuss a feature called
23 Baba Stijena and we've heard a little bit about that already today.
24 Now I'd like to take this step by step so that there's no
25 confusion. In your Karadzic testimony, and that's at transcript page
1 29190, you acknowledge that Baba Stijena was always under the control of
2 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps? You stand by that testimony, correct.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Indeed at your statement at paragraph 16, you say:
5 "The Baba Stijena feature was in my zone of responsibility."
6 And we've seen that earlier on a map; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now during your Karadzic testimony, this is transcript 29189, you
9 also acknowledge that Baba Stijena had an excellent view over that part
10 of Sarajevo. You stand by that as well; correct?
11 A. Of one part of Sarajevo.
12 Q. Right. But it did have an excellent view over the part of
13 Sarajevo that was to the north?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In your statement, that's paragraph 16, you made reference to a
16 photo that you indicate shows Baba Stijena. But I'd like to show you a
17 different photograph. It's, in fact, one that you've seen before during
18 your Karadzic testimony.
19 MR. SHIN: Could I please have P2429 brought to the screen.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, during your Karadzic testimony you recognised
21 this location depicted here as Baba Stijena. You stand by that; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And, in fact, you recognised what's depicted here as an SRK
24 position on Baba Stijena; correct?
25 A. It's one of the trenches on the left side of Baba Stijena. This
1 is the actual summit, that is the top of that elevation, actually.
2 Q. So this position that we're looking at right now, that is a
3 position that your company held; would that be right?
4 A. Yes. If you would like me to explain it a little bit, the image
5 shows the road used by vehicles. On the left-hand side where you can see
6 this building, that was where the trench was. And a little bit farther
7 down is Babina Stijena, that rock. And then on the side, you cannot see
8 it here, there is also a trench because this road was being guarded. On
9 the image you can see clearly the road. This was the main road leaving
10 the eastern part of Sarajevo.
11 Q. Mr. Skrba, you keep using the word "trench," but what we see in
12 front of us is a brick or concrete structure; isn't that right?
13 A. It's a shelter for the soldiers. But the earth that you see is
14 the trench and this is a shelter where people could -- the men could seek
15 shelter during the day. Not everyone was in the trench. Perhaps two or
16 three would be -- or one of them would be on guard duty and the others,
17 two or three of them, would be resting in the building. That's how it
19 Q. Okay. Mr. Skrba, we have your description of what we're seeing
20 here. But just so the Court can understand exactly what this is, I'm
21 going to play five seconds from a video.
22 MR. SHIN: And that would be 65 ter 22509K, K for Kilo.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 "... western intervention against them, but Serb..."
25 MR. SHIN:
1 Q. Okay. That was a very fast five seconds, but I think we could
2 see that location clearly.
3 MR. SHIN: Could we just play it one more time, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
5 [Video-clip played]
6 "... playing a waiting game" --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, may I take it that you're not relying on
8 any text spoken --
9 MR. SHIN: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- but just on what we see.
11 MR. SHIN: Yes, it's simply what we see.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 "... waiting for the next attack, even for Western intervention
15 against them, but Serbs..."
16 MR. SHIN:
17 Q. Now, we could see that from that position -- especially in that
18 very first shot, we could see that you could look down to the city from
19 that position and that accords with what you told us about being able to
20 see a part of Sarajevo from there; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now in your Karadzic testimony, you also said that that part of
23 the road was exposed, and I believe you've explained that here as well;
24 is that right?
25 A. Well, you can see that part of town really well. The entire part
1 in the footage, that is the Djure Djakovica Street. And when the weather
2 is nice, you can see it really well; specifically, this part that you can
3 see in the footage, it's Djure Djakovica Street. That's the street where
4 I was born. That was the name of it before the war. I don't know what
5 the name of it is now. Since I was born in Sarajevo I know the city
6 pretty well.
7 Q. Mr. Skrba, my question to you was that part of the road was
8 exposed; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it's because of that that you said that it was under constant
11 sniper and mortar fire?
12 A. I don't know which position. You mean the street or that part of
14 Q. That part of Baba Stijena that we were looking at. That was an
15 exposed position and it was under sniper and mortar fire; would that be
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Now you had also testified in the Karadzic case that:
19 "People, especially civilians, were often wounded or killed in
20 that part between Baba Stijena and Kuce."
21 And that's at transcript 21990.
22 Now that area that we saw, would you include that as an area
23 where people were often wounded or killed?
24 A. Well, I'm sorry that the image is not a bit broader. You can see
25 next to this trench along some 50, 60, or even 70 metres there is a kind
1 of bank. This area was not wooded. It was open facing the other side,
2 and this is where we had the heaviest losses; human casualties as well as
3 damaged vehicles. This is a -- an area that is some 50, 60, or 70 metres
4 long. It was open. There was only the -- the barrier, the short fence,
5 the low fence, that goes along the length of the road.
6 Q. Now, in your Karadzic testimony, Mr. Skrba, you also indicated
7 that if the SRK forces at Baba Stijena came under sniper fire from the
8 ABiH side they would return fire, and what you said was they would return
9 fire "when people's lives were threatened, only on those occasions.
10 That's when fire was returned." Do you stand by that part of your
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Now, in light of the constant fire that you've described and
14 you're assertion that people were often wounded or killed, it's pretty
15 clear that people's lives were, in that area, constantly threatened.
16 Wouldn't that be right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you've told us that the ABiH positions were "exclusively in
19 civilian facilities and houses."
20 So it would be right, wouldn't it, from what you've told us that
21 when you constantly returned fire, it was on these places that were
22 exclusively civilian facilities and houses?
23 A. From the houses, there were no -- there was no population there.
24 Everybody had moved out. So there were only the forces there that were
25 shooting at our positions and fortifications. Generally in that area,
1 there are houses that are below these positions and the whole population
2 from there had moved out. There were no civilians.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No one asked you about civilians. Did anyone?
4 Apparently it's of some concern to you. But the question was that when
5 you were fired at from, as you had explained, from houses, that you would
6 fire back at those, and to that extent I have to correct myself, that you
7 would fire back on those sources of fire which, as you said, were
8 exclusively civilian facilities and houses.
9 So the question is whether you would fire back at what you
10 described as the source of fire, civilian facilities and houses?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In some instances, we did; and in
12 others, we did not. But these civilian features were within the combat
13 zone. There were no civilians there. You must understand, they were
14 some 100 metres away from our line, something like that. I mean, within
15 the line of fire. There was about 150 metres distance between our lines.
16 There was nobody in those houses. Sniper shooting happened at different
17 times of the day. Sometimes it was in the morning, in the afternoon, in
18 the early evening. It wasn't at regular intervals, but it was kind of an
19 intermittent, unpredictable. And that's why this photograph shows very
20 well this embankment. We wouldn't have bothered to build them unless we
21 wanted to protect the traffic and people passing down that road.
22 MR. SHIN:
23 Q. So, Mr. Skrba, when you were asserting in your statement that
24 ABiH positions were exclusively in civilian facilities and houses, you
25 didn't mean to imply by that that there were any civilian there is. Is
1 that right? Is that the way we should understand that?
2 A. Yes, there were no civilians there.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a digression.
4 It would be correct if Mr. Shin would indicate where in the witness's
5 statement he said exclusively civilian areas. Could he please indicate
6 the paragraph?
7 MR. SHIN: Yes, I'd be happy to do that. It's in what -- the
8 document that is now D524, paragraph 7, the last sentence, and I'll read
9 it in its totality: "These Muslim units also had their positions behind
10 the lines exclusively in civilian facilities and houses."
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] All right, Your Honour. We just
12 had a problem in the translation, in the semantics. But it's clear to me
13 now what this is about.
14 JUDGE ORIE: But if the original doesn't say "exclusively
15 civilian facilities and houses," then, of course, it needs to be
17 What does the original say, they, Mr. Stojanovic.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The original said the units in
19 the depth had its positions exclusively in civilian facilities and
20 houses. In the depth. This is actually what I was thinking of and I
21 thought that we had a problem there, but we do not.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it opens an interesting new aspect.
23 Witness, you said you fired at 100 metres where the enemy was.
24 Mr. Stojanovic - but it has to be verified - says that in the
25 original of your statement that you say that these Muslims units had
1 their positions behind the lines. Is that in depth?
2 Well, I'm still puzzled by it. I leave it to the parties,
3 whether behind the lines is 5 metres or it could also be 200 or 500
4 metres, whether it is in the depth, what that all would mean.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
6 MR. SHIN:
7 Q. Mr. Skrba, I'd like to go a little bit further on this sentence.
8 Now, you have just told us that were talking about fire from ABiH
9 positions which were about 100 metres away from you. That's what you
10 were returning fire to; is that correct?
11 You'll have to say yes or no for the transcript to catch that. I
12 saw that you nodded your head.
13 A. Yes. Solely and exclusively at those features and areas from
14 where their fire came from. So exclusively at those buildings and the
16 Q. So you fired back where their fire came from. Can we understand
17 from that that you never received fire from the Muslim units in their
18 depth, behind that front line?
19 A. We did. We were exposed to artillery fire and mortars and other
20 weapons that had that kind of range.
21 Q. Now, you told us that you returned fire when lives were in
22 danger. So did you return fire to those artillery -- to those artillery
23 and mortar positions?
24 A. No, we didn't. How could we? Because our rifles did not have
25 that range. It was from deep within the territory and that was out of
1 range of the infantry weapons that we had.
2 Q. Mr. Skrba, you've already explained to us that you could call in
3 fire from an 82 -- from several 82-millimetre mortars. Is that how you
4 responded to fire in these positions in depth?
5 A. We would inform the battalion command and then at the level of
6 the battalion or the brigade - I don't know which - the decision would be
7 made whether there would be returned fire or not. If the incoming fire
8 was quite strong, heavy, then I guess they would respond. Otherwise,
9 they would not.
10 Q. But just so we're clear, the fire from the 82-millimetre mortars
11 was to these ABiH units in depth. That's correct; right?
12 A. No. Specifically about the mortars, that was exclusively for the
13 defence, meaning when their units attacked our positions, then we would
14 use mortars. Actually, the command would use them for purposes of
16 Q. And for the -- are you telling us that these mortars never fired
17 in depth in the -- in the positions behind where the Muslim front line
19 A. No. We would then report that we were exposed to fire. Then the
20 battalion command would report to the brigade. They had units within the
21 brigade that could fire at such targets. We didn't have the proper
22 weapons for that.
23 Q. Okay. Let me take this in stages.
24 First, you said that there were units within the brigade that
25 could fire at such targets. So what we're telling us is that the brigade
1 fired on these targets, not your company; is that correct?
2 A. Well, the company did not have artillery weapons. I've told you
3 that. Somebody with appropriate weapons would have to do that. And what
4 they opened fire with when they opened fire, I don't know.
5 Q. I think you're following what I'm asking here, Mr. Skrba. So
6 your company did not have artillery weapons. The brigade did have
7 artillery weapons. You've told us that. So it was the brigade that was
8 firing at these ABiH positions in depth, the ones that -- as we've now
9 had clarified were exclusively in civilian facilities and homes.
10 A. How am I supposed to tell you if I don't know if they opened fire
11 or not? How can I tell you if I don't know whether fired or not?
12 Q. Mr. Skrba, you have told this Court that you called in
13 82-millimetre mortar fire on several occasions in 1992 and in 1993 when
14 you were company commander. Are you telling me that you would call in
15 this 82-millimetre mortar fire and then not pay any attention to whether
16 the fire had actually taken place or not?
17 A. I'm sorry, I told you in which cases we called it in. In defence
18 actions, when attacked, we would call our command to call in artillery
19 support. In other cases, we wouldn't know what was going on or where the
20 mortars were located. We were just an infantry company standing on the
21 line and waiting to see what's going to happen.
22 Q. You were an infantry company that called in 82-millimetre mortar
23 fire through your battalion command. You don't know whether any of that
24 fire went into -- in the depth behind the Muslim lines. Is that -- is
25 that what you're telling this Court?
1 A. I'm telling you I don't know whether they fired behind the lines.
2 I know they fired sometimes in front of us, ahead of us, to protect us.
3 But they needed -- they didn't have any need to fire behind the lines.
4 Q. You've told us that the positions of the ABiH unit across from
5 you were 100 metres from -- from your company. Would you, as an infantry
6 company commander, you have called in 82-millimetre mortars at a target
7 100 metres away from your men?
8 A. I think I would. And that's how they did open fire.
9 Q. You don't think that that's too close to your own positions?
10 A. I don't think that's too close. I think it's a good distance and
11 you can fire successfully.
12 Q. Let's go back to the other part of this. Now you've told that
13 the Muslim units were firing from their positions in depth at -- at your
14 unit. Now you've told us that the brigade didn't return fire. Are you
15 telling us that nobody returned fire when it came from positions in
17 A. You are refusing to understand what I'm saying about the
18 hierarchy of command.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you may further explain if you have the
20 feeling that Mr. Shin didn't understand you well, but "refusing to
21 understand" is not the language we expect from a witness.
22 Please proceed with your answer.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise if I misspoke. But I
24 wanted to explain to you the establishment. We, as company commanders,
25 are subordinated to battalions, and battalions are subordinated to the
1 brigade. And when we ask the battalion for support, namely that these
2 mortars should fire in front of us, we get it.
3 As for artillery fire behind the lines and the use of ammunition,
4 et cetera, I really couldn't say anything about that, nor do I know
5 anything. I don't have any detailed information because I was never in
6 my life even close to an artillery weapon, let alone knowing something
7 about it.
8 Whether they really fired elsewhere, it was only up to the
9 command. I know nothing about it. That's what I wanted to make clear.
10 The artillery that existed in the brigade was commanded only by the
11 commander of the brigade. And also these batteries, artillery units, had
12 their own chiefs, whether they were commanding officers or commanders,
13 or... we had nothing, no connection to artillery. And the Prosecutor
14 keeps asking me about the artillery, on and on.
15 I really don't know anything about it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: But could I ask you the following then.
17 You explained in your statement where from what kind of weapons
18 the -- the Muslim units had, and I took it that that -- well, you're
19 nodding no. Please tell me what's wrong in what I just said.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What's wrong is this claim that I
21 stated something about behind Muslim lines. There was only once when it
22 was close to my position when I heard artillery fire. I didn't see it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I read to you paragraph 7 of your statement:
24 "The Muslim units on the opposite side had different kinds of
25 weapon, all types of infantry weapons, hand-held launchers, as well as
1 mortars, which were located between Sirokaca and Suk Bunar."
2 Therefore, that's what I refer to. That you explain to us what
3 kind of units the Muslim units had not at 100 metres from your positions
4 but as you described it between Sirokaca and Suk Bunar, which is at a
5 considerable distance from Baba Stijena. First of all, let's verify the
6 latter one. Is that a distance from Baba Stijena?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's closer than that that
8 street - what's its name, where there were snipers? - it's closer to
9 Baba Stijena than the place of that incident we discussed a moment ago,
10 Sirokaca. So it's closer to Baba Stijena, where I mentioned the mortars
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, on the map it looks as being between these two
13 places at approximately the same distance as Sirokaca.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is in between. But it's closer
15 to the location of the mortars than the other incident.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So you have detailed knowledge about where these
17 mortars were. If you say it was not here but it was there, it was
18 closer, it was -- so you have detailed knowledge about that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat: I only heard shells
20 fired from that location and hitting our positions. But it concerns only
21 that sector where the mortars were. I heard them without seeing them.
22 It's -- it's from that sector that they fired at us.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And asking for artillery support, what did you tell
24 them what to do? You would say, Please fire at 100 metres from our
25 positions but leave all the rest alone which is further in depth? Is --
1 well, as you told us now, that you knew where the mortar fire came from.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard it. And I'm saying again
3 the same thing: I heard where the shells were fired from. I didn't see
4 them. I cannot comment on the rest.
5 If we asked for support, we asked support to fire on infantry
6 units, not on their artillery weapons because we didn't know where
7 exactly they were. If we had known, we might have asked our artillery to
8 fire on their artillery. But we didn't.
9 Also, I don't know whether our command decided on their own to do
10 some reconnaissance and find out those locations. But -- but I don't
11 know that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
13 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Now just a little while ago, Mr. Skrba, you said -- in regards to
15 mortars, you said:
16 "I don't have any detailed information because I was never in my
17 life even close to an artillery weapon, let alone knowing something about
19 Mr. Skrba, are you telling this Court that you called in through
20 your battalion command fire from 82-millimetre mortars without knowing
21 anything about these mortars, without knowing anything about their
22 destructive capabilities?
23 A. You can believe it or not. We really didn't. We knew that there
24 is a thing called 82-millimetre mortars. But what the shell looks like
25 and how you fire from that weapon, I really didn't know that.
1 Q. Did you know the destructive power of an 82-millimetre mortar?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And, nevertheless, you called in fire on a number of occasions in
4 1992 and 1993 through -- you called in fire from 82-millimetre mortars
5 through your battalion command.
6 A. Yes, we called it in. Because they were really of great help to
8 MR. SHIN: I think we may be at the time for the break,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I have one additional question.
11 So you called for 82-millimetre mortar fire, not -- not knowing
12 what the destructive power was and also unable to tell your command where
13 they should fire at. Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We monitored that part of the road,
15 and we knew, approximately, from which trig points the Muslim army was
16 firing. They didn't always fire simultaneously from all points. Once it
17 would be one trig point. Another time from another. And our command had
18 certain co-ordinates of their positions.
19 But we would indicate a sector. We would say Baba Stijena, and
20 they knew exactly which -- where to fire. I didn't give them the exact
21 co-ordinates. There were people, gunners, technicians, experts who knew
22 how to calculate these things. When I asked our command, platoon
23 commander would sometimes ask for it, they would just indicate close to
24 the feature called number 8, osmica, or some other point, and the
25 commander would know what to do.
1 I'll give you another example. Kugina Kuca, the cross-roads of
2 Zlatiste. We would just indicate the place from which they were firing.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that's far in the depth, isn't it? That's
4 not 100 metres from your positions but that's far further away, isn't it?
5 The osmica -- what else did you -- the cross-roads of -- is that all at
6 100 metres from the road?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. 100, 200 metres, max.
8 Debelo Brdo was 200 metres from us. It's the road leading from Sirokaca
9 to Zlatiste, and we would locate where they would be firing from on that
10 section of the road. If you had map, you can see it in that sector if
11 there were civilian houses. While you're looking at the map, I can
12 explain what it looks like. Where these features are, where these
13 locations are, and then I can show you on a picture or on a map.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The various positions mentioned, the Chamber would
15 like to find them exactly on the maps so that we better understand the
16 testimony of the witness. But we'll take a break first.
17 We'll take a break and we'll resume at 20 minutes to 2.00.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: But only after the witness has left the courtroom.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Recess taken at 1.22 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.41 p.m.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be escorted
25 in the courtroom, I would like to ask specific attention for the witness
1 statement Stevan Valjevic, GRM301.
2 On 12th of May the Defence filed a 92 ter motion for two
3 statements by Stevan Valjevic; one the original Karadzic statement, annex
4 A to the motion, and a supplemental statement of 2014. Now the original
5 Karadzic statement found in annex A of the motion differs from that which
6 is found in e-court under Rule -- under 65 ter number 1D02530 and the
7 Chamber would very much like to receive an explanation by the Defence for
8 the reasons for there being two different versions of and inform the
9 Chamber then which version it intends to tender in court, and if the
10 Prosecution would like to add anything to that we'd like to hear that as
11 well but not now because we'll now first continue the cross-examination
12 of Mr. Skrba.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
14 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Just one housekeeping matter first. The Prosecution would tender
16 that brief video-clip, 65 ter 22509K for Kilo.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 22509K receives number P6600,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. SHIN: In addition, I would just note based on Your Honours'
22 request just before the break that for reference to some of the places
23 that we heard, you may wish to refer to P3, e-court page 76. That
24 addresses the location of Suk Bunar and Sirokaca and we will endeavour to
25 have additional information about the other locations.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Those two were not difficult --
2 MR. SHIN: Okay, I'm sorry.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Shin, it were the other ones.
4 MR. SHIN: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. SHIN: I -- Your Honours are way ahead of me.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Otherwise --
8 MR. SHIN: We'll continue to look on those others, then.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I would not have asked any questions about them
10 because that --
11 MR. SHIN: Yes, of course, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- supposes that I found on the map.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. SHIN:
15 Q. Mr. Skrba, just before we took the break, you had told us that
16 the way the 82-millimetre mortar fire was called in is that:
17 "We would indicate a sector. We would say Baba Stijena, and they
18 knew exactly which -- where to fire. I didn't give them the exact
20 First of all, so that we're clear, when you say "they," who are
21 you talking about? Who is the "they" who knew where to fire?
22 A. Those who handled the mortars.
23 Q. Do you know where the people -- first of all, the people who
24 handled the mortar, are you talking about the individual soldiers who
25 actually fired the mortar?
1 A. Well, not literally. I don't know how this system worked
2 exactly, but we would call the command and the command would order them.
3 They would say, At Baba Stijena, we need such and such support, and then
4 those people, at the mortars, they would have some co-ordinates or
5 something and they would provide support where we needed it.
6 Q. Okay. But in any event, as you're describing now, this is -- the
7 actual selection of the targeting was being done at higher level command
8 than your company?
9 A. Yes, yes. They -- they commanded those who fired.
10 Q. Okay. I'm going to move on to another topic now. Mr. Skrba, in
11 your statement, and this is paragraph 15, referring to a map where you
12 marked the location of that 82-millimetre mortar that we discussed
13 earlier -- actually, I should say "mortars" in the plural. You say:
14 "That is the only place on that road where there was mortar
15 position. I claim that at that or other positions in the vicinity there
16 were no 120-millimetre mortars."
17 So you have discussed 120-millimetre mortars. I'll have to do
18 the same. Now in the Karadzic trial, at transcript page 29198 -- I'm
19 sorry, I did that again. I did that fast. I'll slow down. 29198. You
20 were asked what time-period those sentences which I've just read out
21 refer to, and those sentences appeared in your Karadzic statement as
22 well. You said:
23 "The period 1992 to 1993, and then periodically until the end of
24 the war."
25 Now, first of all, do you stand by this testimony in Karadzic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, when you say there that there were no 120-millimetre mortars
3 in that vicinity periodically until the end of the war, what does that
4 mean, "periodically"? How often did you go by there?
5 A. It depended on the situation. Let me just first explain this
6 place, Studenkovici village, which is mentioned in this case. It's a
7 small village, very difficult to access. You can travel there only in
8 the summer. It's only three or four houses, so you can picture it more
9 clearly. During the war, refugees lived there. Nowadays nobody lives
10 there. In that village, an uncle of mine who had fled Sarajevo lived,
11 and I had more family there.
12 Q. Mr. Skrba --
13 A. There were the Trivkovic --
14 Q. -- I'm sorry --
15 A. -- Laskanovic families --
16 Q. If I could, I'm sorry, if I could interrupt you there. Now, it
17 may be appropriate for you to give us some of this information. But
18 my -- let's just go back to my question and let me be clear about this.
19 When you say "periodically," how often does that mean? You can
20 explain, if necessary, but how often does that mean?
21 A. For a month or two, I visited that uncle, and I saw there were no
22 mortars there nor had there ever been any. Because he fled Sarajevo --
23 JUDGE ORIE: How often, was the question. Once, five times, ten
24 times, twenty times? Approximately.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean in a month or over a year.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it depends. Tell us how frequently --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometimes I would go twice in one
3 month; sometimes once in two months. Depended on whether I was needed.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So, on average, ten times a year. Is that how I
5 have to understand it, approximately?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin.
8 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Skrba, you -- you keep referring to Studenkovici. But let's
10 discuss Palez. You've already told the Court a little bit about Palez
11 earlier today.
12 Now I'd like to show you a map which you've seen before. But
13 before I do that, in your Karadzic testimony you were asked about the
14 location of Palez and you were asked about that in particular in regard
15 to where your zone of responsibility was or at least the zone of
16 responsibility of your company.
17 You were asked by the Prosecution -- well, you were shown two
18 maps first, I should say, and we'll look at those. But the Prosecution
19 asked you:
20 "Well, it's clear when we compare the previous map to this map
21 that Palez is exactly within your zone of responsibility. Do you agree
22 with that?"
23 And your answer was:
25 Do you stand by that testimony in the Karadzic trial?
1 A. Yes. But I have to explain specific situations.
2 I marked Palez a moment ago. It's a southern slope of
3 Mount Trebevic. Palez is not just a populated area. It is a -- the
4 whole area of that slope of the mountain covered in underbrush. It's
5 part of a hill.
6 Q. Okay. So you told the Prosecution that it was in your area of
8 Now, you were asked again during your Karadzic testimony, later
9 you were asked whether:
10 "Witness, do you accept that Palez did fall within your area of
12 And you answered:
13 "Until 1993, though, because later I'm not sure about it, no."
14 So at least until 1993, it was within your area of
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, the references are to T29200 for the
18 first question, and 2 -- 29203 for the second.
19 Q. Now let's take a look at two maps. First, if we could look
20 briefly at the map that you marked with your zone of responsibility.
21 MR. SHIN: That's D527.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, you were quick again with the numbers.
23 Could you please read page 79 and see. The first one, isn't it 29.000
24 and the second is in the 22.000. There may be a confusion between 2s and
25 9s. Could you slowly repeat what you had in mind.
1 MR. SHIN: Of course, Mr. President, and my apologies again for
2 going quickly on the numbers.
3 The second reference is T29203.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 If I could please have D527.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, you'll recognise this map because this is where
8 you marked the zone of responsibility of your company.
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. SHIN: My screen appears not to be working but --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: So is mine.
12 MR. SHIN: Okay. We have it now. Thank you.
13 Q. And let's note again where Knjeginac is on this map.
14 MR. SHIN: Now, can we please turn to another map, P6599, and
15 we've seen that earlier today as well.
16 Q. Now, immediately -- I'm sorry, if I could just have a moment,
17 please. Yes, at the top centre of the map, Mr. Skrba, immediately to the
18 left of the word Knjeginac, we see the word Palez. Have you found that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And just because it will be relevant shortly, if you look a
21 little bit to the left and further below in small letters under
22 Miljevici, just outside of this rectangle, do you see the word
23 Prljevo Brdo?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. SHIN: Now, I'd like to turn to a document. Could I please
1 have 65 ter 30648.
2 Q. Mr. Skrba, this is a document that you've seen before. And while
3 we're waiting for it to come up, let me just say that it's a document
4 from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Command, dated the 9th of May, 1995, and
5 we see that in the upper left hand corner. In the upper right-hand
6 corner we see that it relates to an operation called Talas 2. Turning
7 briefly to the last page of each of English and B/C/S we see that it's
8 signed by General Milosevic. Do you see that, Mr. Skrba?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, if we could please turn bark to the first page of both
11 English and the B/C/S and, Mr. Skrba, I'm going to direct your attention
12 to paragraph 2. Now, at the very end of that paragraph, we see that the
13 objectives of this operation include:
14 [As read] "Place a major part of Stari Grad under fire control
15 with the objective of ultimate victory."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Turning then to paragraph 4, English page 2, and B/C/S page 1, we
19 see the paragraph begins: "I have decided ..."
20 And in the bottom third of this paragraph, we see the following:
21 "Creating a more favourable tactical position for the corps's forces for
22 ultimately crushing the enemy's defensive power and for placing a major
23 part of Stari Grad under fire control."
24 Now, Mr. Skrba, do you know where Stari Grad is?
25 A. Stari Grad is in the old part of the city of Sarajevo. It is
1 also known as Carsija. It is the northern part or, rather, the eastern
2 part of Sarajevo. As you wish.
3 Q. And it's perhaps also known as Carsija because it includes the
4 area Bascarsija; correct.
5 A. It's one and the same. Carsija is shortened version of its name,
7 Q. And Stari Grad also basically goes right up to Markale market;
9 A. I don't know exactly where its borders are, but I would say that
10 that would be about there. Stari Grad is the old part of the city,
11 whereas Markale and that part are in the centre, and I don't know whether
12 those parts belong to Stari Grad or to the centre.
13 Q. Well, we have other evidence on this.
14 Mr. Skrba, let's go back to this document. Now, turning to
15 paragraph 5.1, that's English page 3 and B/C/S page 2, this is paragraph
16 5.1. Now about five lines from the bottom of that paragraph, we see a
17 reference to:
18 "Barrage fire and support from 82-millimetre mortars" -- well, it
19 says MB, "and 120-millimetre MB."
20 And then it states:
21 "Everything shall be and planned out by the deputy chief of
22 artillery, Major Savo Simic and chief of 1st Smbr artillery."
23 Have you found that, Mr. Skrba?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, Major Savo Simic, as this document shows, he is at the
1 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Command; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you're aware that Major Simic was, in fact, the artillery
4 chief of your brigade until late 1994; correct?
5 A. I didn't know that. I don't know.
6 Q. Okay. [Microphone not activated].
7 A. I know that he was an artillery man but I don't know. I didn't
8 know who he belonged to, whether he belonged to the corps or to the
9 brigade. I didn't know that.
10 Q. Okay. Let's -- we'll continue on this with this then
12 Turning then to paragraph 6, which is at the bottom of English
13 page 4 and B/C/S page 3, we read:
14 "Forces carrying out combat operations in the Debelo Brdo sector
15 are supported by an 82 MB platoon and a 120-millimetre battery from the
16 sector of Trebevic-Palez ..."
17 Have you found that?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: What paragraph?
19 MR. SHIN: It's paragraph 6, Your Honour. So the very bottom of
20 the page.
21 Q. Have you found that, Mr. Skrba?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And one more reference here. Continuing on down to
24 paragraph 7.1a, that's English page 5 and B/C/S page 4, we see that it
25 states -- and again this ask paragraph 7.1a, for Alpha, we see that it
2 "First Smbr and SRK DIO units shall be approved the following for
3 the execution of the offensive operations."
4 And a bit later we see references to "100 shells for the
5 82-millimetre, 100 shells for the 120-millimetre mortar."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, maybe a quick question here: As a former infantry company
9 commander, do you understand what the letters DIO mean?
10 A. It's one part. This means that some of the men will be approved
11 from the 1st Motorised Brigade. This operation was planned at the corps
12 level, but it was to be implemented by some of the troops of the
13 1st Motorised Brigade.
14 Q. If you don't know this, that's fine. Mr. Skrba, are you aware of
15 what a diverzantsko-izvidacki-odred is?
16 A. No -- yes.
17 Q. Okay. And for the recorder let me spell that,
18 d-i-v-e-r-z-a-n-t-s-k-o - i-z-v-i-d-a-c-k-i.
19 Now, Mr. Skrba, looking at this document do you accept that it
20 shows that the SRK had active 120-millimetre mortars in the Palez area?
21 A. I think and I still claim that 120-millimetre mortars -- mortar
22 was never deployed in Palez. I told you that there were 82-millimetre
23 mortars there, but I claim that there were never 120-millimetre mortars
24 in the territory of that hill known as Palez.
25 Q. Okay. We'll return to your position on this, but we'll look at
1 another document first.
2 Could I please tender this document, 65 ter 30648.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30648 receives number P6601,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: P6601 is admitted.
7 MR. SHIN:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba -- well, I'm sorry, if I could please ask first to
9 have document 30873 brought to the screen?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Shin says 30783.
11 MR. SHIN: I'm sorry, it's 30 -- I believe I said 30873, but I'm
12 apparently mistaken. Oh, I'm sorry. Is it actually -- I'm sorry, it's
13 actually 30783. My apologies.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, this is also a Sarajevo-Romanija Corps document.
15 Now we see at the second page, if we could turn to that briefly, we see
16 that it's signed by Major Savo Simic. Do you see that, Mr. Skrba?
17 A. Yes, I can see that.
18 Q. And we have just seen him in the previous document. We see that
19 he's identified here as a desk officer in the artillery organ. In the
20 last few lines of this page, just above the signature, we see from the
21 instructions following numbers 3 and 5 that these instructions relate to
22 activities around the time-period 11th of May, 1995, to 15th of May,
23 1995. In other words, in the days immediately after the previous
24 document we've seen. Have you -- you see that, Mr. Skrba? Have you --
25 you've found that, Mr. Skrba, those two sentences, numbers 3 and 5?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. Now, on the first page, if we could please turn back to the first
3 page in both English and B/C/S, under item 1B for Bravo it says:
4 "Fire support for the 3/1 Smbr and SRK DIO ... carrying out B/D.
5 At Debelo Brdo and Vranjace shall be realised using 120-millimetre mortar
6 battery (4 artillery pieces) from the Palez area; 82-millimetre MB
7 platoon from Prljavo Brdo area...."
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, I do. I think that this is a mistake. 82-millimetre
10 mortars were along Palez actually in the place that I marked, whereas the
11 120-millimetre mortars were on Prljevo Brdo. Hence, the mistake. The
12 whole document is wrong and the whole order is wrong as a result of this.
13 This must be a typo or something.
14 Q. Mr. Skrba, would you accept that Captain Predrag Trapara
15 testified here that there were three 82-millimetre mortars at Prljevo
17 A. There were several mortars on Prljavo Brdo. I don't know how
18 many. I know that they were there. I don't know how many. Perhaps
19 Predrag knows it better than I do, because it was in the area of
20 responsibility of his own 4th Company.
21 Q. Now looking at the information in this document and looking at
22 the dates here, you would agree that this document does appear to be
23 related to the previous document by General Milosevic that we just saw;
25 A. I think so.
1 Q. And maybe just for completeness here, Mr. Skrba, this b/d, that
2 means "borbena dejstva" or combat activities; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, on the basis of this document from Major Savo Simic, do you
5 accept that there was a 120-millimetre mortar battery with four barrels
6 at the Palez area at the time that this document was drafted?
7 A. [In English] No.
8 MR. SHIN: Mr. President, I'm not sure if I should continue. I'm
9 unfortunately not able to finish in the next few minutes but probably
10 won't need much time at the beginning of the next session.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'd rather do it at the beginning of the next
12 session --
13 MR. SHIN: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- that is tomorrow morning. How much time you'd
15 think you'd you still need, Mr. Shin?
16 MR. SHIN: I would estimate about ten minutes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: About ten minutes, yes.
18 MR. SHIN: [Overlapping speakers]...
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll finish then tomorrow morning.
20 Before we adjourn, Mr. Skrba, I would like to instruct you that
21 you should not speak with anyone about your testimony, whether that is
22 testimony you've given today or even earlier and testimony still to be
23 given tomorrow. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.30 in
24 this same courtroom. You may now follow the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: We will adjourn for the day and we'll resume
3 tomorrow, Tuesday, the 24th of June, in this same courtroom, I, at 9.30
4 in the morning.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of June,
7 2014, at 9.30 a.m.