1 Monday, 7 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 No preliminaries. We wait for the witness to enter the
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Maksimovic. Before we continue,
14 I'd like to --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you are still bound by
17 the solemn declaration you have given at the beginning of your testimony.
18 Ms. Bibles will now continue her cross-examination.
19 WITNESS: SINISA MAKSIMOVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Bibles: [Continued]
23 Q. Sir, on Friday you agreed to review a statement for us.
24 MS. BIBLES: And I'd ask that 65 ter 30888 be brought to our
25 screen. We can start on page 8 in English and 9 on B/C/S.
1 Q. Sir, this was a lengthy statement that you were given before you
2 left. Did you have an opportunity to review it this weekend?
3 A. Yes, I did go through it. I read it from first to last page.
4 Q. I'm going to direct your attention to a few points picking up
5 with where we left on Friday. You can see -- I see that you have the
6 statement in front of you. You can also see it on the screen in front of
8 We see at the bottom of page 8 in English and page 9 in B/C/S a
9 discussion of the shooting of Ziko Krajisnik that we looked at on Friday.
10 MS. BIBLES: If we could now turn to page 9 and the top of page 9
11 in English.
12 Q. We see at the very first line a soldier shouts:
13 "People, what is this - we have our prisoners in Sarajevo."
14 Were there Serbs being held prisoner in Sarajevo at this time?
15 A. To tell you honestly, I could neither confirm nor deny since I
16 was a soldier at the time who had been given a task to perform together
17 with his unit. Perhaps there may have been or not. I really don't know.
18 Q. A few paragraphs later Mr. Koblar describes that he was next
19 taken to Blazuj to the military police barracks. Do you know whether
20 this was standard practice for prisoners?
21 A. I think I encountered prisoners for the first time at the time.
22 Therefore, I don't know what standard practice was. I told you last time
23 that when we captured those ABiH soldiers, my unit handed them over to
24 the military police and we went about our next task. Perhaps it was
25 practice to have POWs moved to the barracks. Perhaps.
1 Q. And at -- you testified as well on Friday regarding taking three
2 prisoners, ABiH prisoners. As we go down the page, we see that Brne
3 mentions to officers at the military police barracks that prisoners had
4 been killed, and the officer said:
5 "Told Brne that they had three more prisoners from Golo Brdo
6 including a Serb."
7 Would it make sense that those were the prisoners that you had
8 referred to in your testimony?
9 A. Most possibly. I really don't know, as I said, because I went
10 together with my unit towards the Obeljak and Stupnik hills to the right.
11 Therefore, all of this that I could read in the statement is something
12 I'm not familiar with. I can see that the statement was drafted very
13 carefully with much detail and a lot of sound descriptions, but I can't
14 tell you precisely whether they were the prisoners.
15 Q. Did you ever hear whether your prisoners, like Mr. Koblar, were
16 eventually taken to Kula?
17 A. I think I learned that when I returned from the school.
18 Something to the effect that Koblar had run away and that he was at Kula.
19 I heard that from some people at Mrkovici when I assumed my duty as
20 platoon commander [as interpreted] there. In one of the conversations I
21 had I realised it was the same man we were talking about.
22 Q. And with respect to that, just to clarify the order, you
23 understood that he was taken to Kula and then he escaped from Kula?
24 A. I knew that by the time I arrived at Mrkovici after my training.
25 I took part in that operation and then I went to Banja Luka for further
1 education and then I was transferred to the Mrkovici unit. Then I
2 learned that he had been there and fled.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Page 3, line 17, it should
4 be "company commander" instead of "platoon commander."
5 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
6 Q. Now you, having read the entire statement, if you go to the end,
7 you would agree that we read that Mr. Koblar escapes from Kula in
8 February 1994. Is that consistent with your recollection?
9 A. In terms of date and time, I really don't know.
10 Q. Mr. Maksimovic, a few moments ago you testified that the
11 statement is very detailed. Having read the entire statement now, I'll
12 ask you again what I asked on Friday, and that is: Do you have any
13 reason to dispute the account of the murder of Zika Krajisnik as it was
14 provided in Mr. Koblar's statement?
15 A. I have no reason to dispute it or to say anything positive, so to
16 speak, about this statement. It does strike me as strange that he could
17 recall so much detail, describing the people, their height, weight, and
18 looks, being constantly under stress and mistreated psychologically and
19 physically. That is what was a bit unclear to me in all of it. My only
20 conclusion is that he must have been in very good physical and mental
21 state as he was drafting this and throughout his imprisonment. The
22 person in question must be highly intelligent, I presume. The
23 presumption is that when one is in difficult surroundings, that person
24 cannot describe people, events, and movements in such a good way. I'm
25 not trying to say that I doubt what he stated in his statement but that
1 he is pretty --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you are drawing all kind of semi-psychological
3 conclusions on the statement which was not the question. The question
4 was whether you have any specific reason to doubt. But then I think that
5 Ms. Bibles meant to say any knowledge you have which would shed a
6 different light, rather than your psychological insight in the condition
7 of someone who's in detention.
8 Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
9 MS. BIBLES: We'll shift -- we'll finish my questioning in a
10 different direction now.
11 Q. And I'd like to -- we'll go to an interview that you gave with
12 "Javnost" at the end of this. But to -- just to make sure that -- that
13 we're going down the right direction here, is it accurate to say that
14 there was times with -- when you spoke with the media or with the public
15 regarding your work with the VRS?
16 A. During the war there was an interview taken at Spicasta Stijena.
17 I remember that.
18 Q. Is it accurate that you and others received guidance as to how to
19 communicate with the media or with the public, and you received this from
20 the Main Staff through the chain of command?
21 A. I cannot remember whether there were some specific instructions,
22 but I think I conducted myself in a soldierly way at the time. I can't
23 recall precisely whether any instructions had been received.
24 Q. Let's see if we can refresh your memory.
25 MS. BIBLES: If we could see 65 ter 30892.
1 Q. And, sir, this is a document containing guidance regarding public
2 information. And, sir, now that the B/C/S version has come up, I'd ask
3 you to look in the upper -- I believe it's the left-hand corner of this
4 document. We see here a military post code for Igman Brigade listed as
5 7066. Was that the correct military postal code for the Igman Brigade?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The first paragraph of this document describes that this is a
8 VRS Main Staff document which is being passed on in its entirety. Is it
9 true that before reaching the brigade level a document like this would
10 have been disseminated versus the SRK Corps command?
11 A. I'm sorry, I missed a part of the question. What -- is what
13 Q. If this document had come from the Main Staff to the brigade
14 level, would it also have gone to the SRK corps level first before it
15 came to the brigade level?
16 A. Yes, I think so.
17 MS. BIBLES: And we could now turn to page 2 in the B/C/S --
18 actually, in both.
19 Q. I'll have you look at the stamp and the signature and see if you
20 can tell us if this is the correct indicia of an authentic Igman Brigade
22 A. Do you have in mind -- oh, yes. Yes. There is a signature,
23 assistant commander for religious affairs and morale, as well as the
24 stamp of the military post.
25 Q. Would dissemination of instructions like this have been the
1 responsibility of that officer?
2 A. I believe so.
3 Q. Now, looking at the date of this, I recognise that it is the
4 20th of November of 1994, and I recognise that you were with the
5 1st Romanija Brigade on that date. Do you recall receiving a similar
7 A. I cannot remember. Different documents arrived. Now, whether
8 this one was among them is something I can't say. It probably was. If
9 it came from the corps command and it went down to the brigade command,
10 it was probably distributed further down to the commanders or battalions
11 and companies.
12 Q. Would you have followed this type of guidance when speaking with
13 the public or with the media?
14 A. Well, if it was an order, then of course. If it contained
15 express orders by superiors, as company commander I would of course have
16 to abide by it.
17 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 30892.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30892 receives number P6632,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
22 MS. BIBLES: If we could bring up 65 ter 30858 now.
23 Q. While this is coming up, I'll ask you whether in late 1994 when
24 you went back to the Igman Brigade you were the company commander at
25 Golo Brdo?
1 A. My initial appointment with the Igman Brigade upon my arrival
2 from the 1st Romanija Brigade was commander of the sabotage and
3 reconnaissance platoon and commander for recruit training. After that,
4 perhaps a month or two later, I became commander of the company.
5 Q. Were you in that position in July of 1995?
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. BIBLES: Now if we could leave the B/C/S version at this page
8 and turn to page 4 in the English.
9 Q. I'll ask you, sir, in the B/C/S, to look at the third column
10 towards the bottom right and see if you recognise your name. And, sir,
11 this article refers to, in the initial stages, as the Muslim road of
12 life. Do you know what that refers to?
13 A. It's probably the road via Igman.
14 Q. Do you know why it would be referred to as the road of life, the
15 Muslim road of life?
16 A. Because -- probably because it was the only route they could use
17 to go in and out of Sarajevo.
18 Q. Mr. Maksimovic, I see that you had an opportunity to look at the
19 screen here. You're quoted as saying:
20 "Serbian fighters can block the road at any moment and cut off
21 and completely close the Muslim Sarajevo in the basin."
22 First, were you accurately quoted here? Are those your actual
24 A. Honestly, I don't remember it all. I don't even remember the
25 interview very well. Let me just add, if I may, something about
1 journalists and press agencies.
2 Q. If --
3 A. I think they over blow things out of -- always blow things out of
5 Q. If we could just look at your statement itself. Although you may
6 or may not recall the exact words that you used, would you agree that the
7 statement as it was drafted here was completely true?
8 A. Yes. In my statement I conveyed what I remember about the period
9 in the best possible way I knew how.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maksimovic. I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles.
12 Mr. Stojanovic, any questions in re-examination?
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a few, Your Honours.
14 While this document is still on the screen, I would like to pose
15 a few questions about it.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Maksimovic, in the document - and you can
18 have a look - we see your words purportedly. There one can read that you
19 assert that Serb fighters can completely block the road at any time and
20 completely cut off and close the Muslim Sarajevo in the basin. My
21 question is: To the best of your recollection, was this a realistic
22 assessment of the abilities of the VRS at the time?
23 A. Given the fact that we controlled that part of the road, I think
24 it is. I think we would have been able to do so.
25 Q. While occupying the duties you held, did you ever receive any
1 kind of order from your superior command to cut off this so-called route
2 of life to Sarajevo?
3 A. No.
4 Q. This road of life via Igman, did it have direct connection to the
5 tunnel under the runway, direct access?
6 A. Probably, but we didn't control that part of the route from my
7 position. From there we could see about 1 kilometre of the road that we
8 could cover by fire. Since all communication between Sarajevo and the
9 rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina went along that route, it probably included
10 the tunnel as well.
11 Q. At the time did you have operational information or personal
12 knowledge about whether Sarajevo was fully encircled by the VRS?
13 A. It would have been had that route been cut off. If we had
14 physically sealed it, it would have been the case. But that route was
15 even used by the rapid intervention forces to bring in their weapons and
16 the assets they placed in ABiH-controlled territory. In co-ordination
17 with them, they attacked us. I saw that myself. It happened several
18 days before the air strikes. They transported heavy assets and howitzers
19 and placed them somewhere at Igman, and I personally experienced the
20 bombing as well as the shelling, the bombing by NATO aircraft and the
21 shelling by the howitzers themselves.
22 Before that there had been an ABiH offensive. Its intensity did
23 not come even close to the intensity of attack carried out by the rapid
24 intervention forces.
25 Q. Do you have information that the Republika Srpska Army suffered
1 casualties from rapid intervention forces?
2 A. Two men in my unit were injured, my command post was hit, it was
3 by chance that I survived. And in the morning at 4.00 or 5.00 a.m. when
4 this happened I was alone at the command post.
5 Q. You describe that in your statement, so let's not waste time on
6 that. Just one question: Having regard of what was written in the
7 article, you are quoted as saying:
8 "We can see them running across the road. These are special
9 groups. They wear bullet-proof vests, but not even double ones will help
11 My question: How frequent were those groups passing across the
12 road in front of your line that you held?
13 A. Well, I couldn't specify because of the passage of time how
14 frequent, but I do remember I could seem them several times. Probably
15 special units traverse that area because not even in our army, not all
16 soldiers carried the same kind of weapons. And from what we could see,
17 they carried good equipment, bullet-proof vests, so they must have been
18 some special units.
19 Q. Did you at any time -- now being a trained officer, did you
20 receive from your superiors -- did you receive any illegal order to act
21 in an unlawful manner during those war operations?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Mr. Maksimovic, thank you very much for your assistance.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
25 Has the re-examination triggered any need for further questions?
1 MS. BIBLES: No, Your Honour. It did, however, remind me that I
2 did not tender 30858 which I would do at this time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30858 receives number P6633,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: P6633 is admitted.
7 Mr. Maksimovic, since the Bench has no further questions for you
8 either, this means that we are at the end of your testimony. I'd like to
9 thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for having answered all
10 the questions that were put to you both by the parties and by the Bench,
11 and I wish you a safe return home again. You may follow the usher.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles.
15 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, if I could take the opportunity. We
16 had an issue with the translation on P6631. That has been revised and
17 uploaded. We ask for permission for this revised version to replace the
18 English translation currently in place.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And any number available for Madam Registrar?
20 MS. BIBLES: I believe it's doc ID Y017-8927-1 ET.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Bibles, could you please check if the number
22 on the screen is correct.
23 MS. BIBLES: Thank you. It should be "8927-1" as opposed to
24 "81." Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, you have located the document?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. And it's --
2 JUDGE ORIE: You may replace the old translation by the new
3 version uploaded and just referred to by Ms. Bibles.
4 If there is any issue with the new translation, Mr. Stojanovic,
5 you have an opportunity to raise the matter within the next 48 hours.
6 Is the Defence ready to call its next witness?
7 MR. TRALDI: Pardon me, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. TRALDI: There is one preliminary matter related to the next
10 witness and I wonder if we might address it before the witness is brought
12 JUDGE ORIE: We can do so. We can deal with it in open session?
13 MR. TRALDI: Yes, we can.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Traldi, please proceed.
15 MR. TRALDI: Mr. President, this morning we received an updated
16 exhibit list for the next witness, Mr. Rasevic, which included one video
17 identified with 65 ter 1D02992. I'd just ask initially for an
18 explanation as to the late notice as to the video and separately as to
19 its omission from the Defence Rule 65 ter lists filed in April and May.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Whom to address? Mr. Stojanovic.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is correct what
22 my learned friend said. In discussions and proofing with the witness for
23 his testimony, at one point I received information from the witness that
24 he had occasion to see a video-clip on the internet showing
25 ABiH [indiscernible] about an operation that they executed against the
1 positions held by the witness's unit. Yesterday morning we searched the
2 internet, we found that video-clip, and immediately notified the
3 Prosecution thereof.
4 And last night during another proofing session with the witness,
5 he confirmed that this was that video and we decided to use two periods
6 of one minute each concerning their attack on Spicasta Stijena.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
8 MR. TRALDI: A --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Recently became aware of it apparently is the
11 MR. TRALDI: Just to correct one matter that Mr. Stojanovic
12 raised in his submission. What he said at lines 23 and 24 of temporary
13 transcript page 13 suggest that we were notified of this video yesterday
14 morning. Instead, we were only notified of it at 9.00 this morning, and
15 we were only notified of the source of the video at or around 9.30 when
16 the surrogate sheet was released in e-court. What that means in practice
17 is we haven't been able to view the full video from which they have
18 selected excerpts yet because, as came up last week in the context of
19 Colonel Radojcic's testimony, we don't have YouTube access -- or at least
20 most of us don't have YouTube access at the Tribunal.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I heard Mr. Stojanovic -- Stojanovic
23 "Yesterday morning we searched the internet. We found that video
24 clip," it doesn't say when he found it but ...
25 MR. TRALDI: It does say immediately after that they immediately
1 notified us so --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. TRALDI: -- perhaps I simply want to make clear --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic --
5 MR. TRALDI: -- it happened this morning at 9.00.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- why was there no notification yesterday when you
7 found the video?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] As I state, it's reflected in
9 the transfer. Last night we met again with the witness to check with him
10 whether that was the video that he referred to, and at 9.00 p.m. last
11 night we finished that meeting, he confirmed, and then I probably because
12 of technical reasons or because of inability to load it up on to the
13 system the notification arrived only this morning. That's my
14 prescription. If --
15 JUDGE ORIE: If there was a fair chance if you located a video
16 which you think is the video the witness talked about, then you should
17 give immediately notice - perhaps not by saying, We are going to use
18 this, but by saying, We found a video which we may want to use after
19 verification with the witness. You should not have waited. That's the
20 simple message.
21 Mr. Traldi, I suggest that we just proceed and if you need
22 further time, I don't know how long the video is, perhaps Mr. Stojanovic
23 could tell us.
24 How long is the video, Mr. Stojanovic?
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Two excerpts
1 from a video-clip which lasts slightly over 19 minutes. And those two
2 excerpts are slightly longer than one minute each, so that would bring
3 the total to two and a half minutes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And may I take it that you did not make these
5 excerpts this morning so that yesterday you started working already
6 finding excerpts. Another reason why you should have informed Mr. Traldi
7 right away.
8 Mr. Traldi.
9 MR. TRALDI: Just related to the video. We can tell from the
10 description in e-court what location it purports to be of, and from
11 Mr. Stojanovic's comments just now, we have information about how the
12 Defence located it. There doesn't appear in the excerpts that we've been
13 provided with to be any sort of chronological information as to what
14 point in the war it was happening, and we haven't received a proofing
15 note to that effect. So if the Defence intends to rely on it about any
16 period, I'd appreciate if we'd be told at the very least at the break.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, are you able to tell Mr. Traldi when
18 that video was -- is covering what period of time?
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Last night we received
20 information from the witness that to the best of his recollection - and
21 this is what I'm going to ask him about - is that it was -- it concerned
22 the summer of 1994.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We'll see.
24 Mr. Traldi, you raised the matter. I do not hear any special
25 relief you were asking for at this moment. Perhaps you'll reserve your
1 right to ask for more time if viewing the video would necessitate you to
2 ask for that.
3 MR. TRALDI: That's right, Mr. President. I just may ask for
4 specific relief later today depending on how the examination develops.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then is the Defence ready to call its
6 next witness, Mr. Stojanovic?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I think so, Your Honours. By
8 your leave, I would like to ask Mr. Usher to distribute summary witness
9 statements before -- to the interpretation booths before the witness
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, for the next time if you would give
13 it already before court. We don't have to wait for the usher to rush
14 around and deliver all the statements which he could have done before
15 court, saving quite a bit of time. But we'll apparently wait. And at
16 the same time consider this to be time used by the Defence.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Witness. Before you give evidence the
19 rules require that you --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That you undertake the solemn declaration. The text
22 is now handed out to you. I would like to invite you to make that solemn
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: BLASKO RASEVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, please be seated.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You'll
6 find him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
8 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning to you, sir.
10 A. Good morning, Mr. Stojanovic.
11 Q. First, please give your information about your name and surname
12 for the record.
13 A. My name is Blasko Rasevic, son of Jovo.
14 Q. Thank you. That would be enough. The next thing I would like to
15 ask you about is did you at one point give a statement to the Defence of
16 General Mladic in writing?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's please see document --
19 65 ter document 1D01637. Let's take a look at page 1.
20 Q. Mr. Rasevic, is the information on your date of birth, name of
21 your father, et cetera, are they correct? And is this your signature?
22 A. Yes, this date is correct.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now let's go to the last page of
25 this document, please.
1 Q. Is this your signature, Mr. Rasevic, on this document?
2 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now, Your Honours, let us focus
5 now on paragraph 15 of this statement.
6 Q. [Indiscernible] during proofing, did you inform us that there is
7 a typing error in this name and that the name of the person that you
8 referred to was not Vojo, with a V, but with a B, Bojo?
9 A. That's correct. It slipped through my attention as well.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's take a look at
11 paragraph 28 of this statement, please.
12 Q. Here mention is made of the same person, mentioning Vojo, whereas
13 his correct name is Bojo, with a B; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now let's go to paragraph 24 of
16 that statement.
17 Q. Where you pointed out another typo for our benefit. You stated
18 that the -- the boy referred to in paragraph 24 named as Jezic, whereas
19 his real name is Jesic, with an S; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Now that we've gone through the corrections concerning those two
22 spelling errors referring to persons that you mentioned, if asked the
23 same questions now that you've given this solemn declaration in this
24 courtroom, would you have given the same answers as stated here in your
1 A. Yes, I would have given the same answers.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I move to tender
4 into evidence this witness statement by Rasevic, Blasko, which is 1D1 --
5 01637 as specified in the 65 ter list.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
7 Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1637 receives number D551,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D551 is admitted.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Also, Your Honours, I propose
12 that the corresponding exhibit be tendered into evidence showing -- it is
13 a map showing the positions of his unit which is 65 ter 1D02098.
14 MR. TRALDI: No objection, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D2098 receives number D552,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D552 is admitted.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your permission,
20 Your Honours, I would like to read out the summary of Blasko Rasevic's
22 Witness Blasko Rasevic, until the outbreak of war incidents in
23 Sarajevo, had worked as a bus driver at the GSP Sarajevo. At the end of
24 1991 and the beginning of 1992, on several occasions at different
25 locations his bus was stopped, the bus that you use to move citizens
1 about, and passengers, and he himself were asked to show ID documents by
2 paramilitary units which carried different kinds of weapons, about whom
3 he learned they were part of the Patriotic League and Green Berets.
4 Seeing that interethnic relations were being more and more
5 strained, he decided to take his family outside his home and went to his
6 parents' house in the village of Mrkovici on the 4th of April, 1992. The
7 inhabitants of the village self-organised to defend themselves and he
8 became a platoon commander. Later on he became company commander, the
9 Mrkovici Company commander, which duty he carries out until the
10 August of 1994 when he was transferred to the Hresa Battalion command.
11 He claims that his unit, while he was its commander, executed and
12 received only defensive duties. He never received nor he issued an order
13 to target civilians or civilian facilities.
14 ABiH attacked the positions of his unit on several occasions.
15 Sniping caused the most victims in his units, and such attacks
16 constituted cease-fire violations. He could spot firing positions of
17 ABiH from his positions which ABiH used to open mortar fire. Those
18 positions were by the physical training school, then the Kosevsko Brdo
19 tunnel, the Kosevo stadium, school-yard of Nemjan Vladkovic school, and
20 inside the perimeter of the Kosevo Hospital. He also informed that enemy
21 mortars were placed on trailers, vehicle trailers, to hide the firing
22 positions. They would be placed behind schools, buildings, kindergarten,
23 and hospitals. He personally saw on several occasions such vehicles
24 coming from the direction of Sedrenik and going in the direction of his
25 unit's positions.
1 Your Honours, that would be the summary of this witness's
2 statement. And maybe this would be the right time to break and after the
3 break I would have several questions to ask of this witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you need for those questions,
5 Mr. Stojanovic?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Up to 10 minutes, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Up to 10 minutes. Then we'll take the 10 minutes
8 after the break.
9 We'll take a break, Witness, a break of 20 minutes. We'd like to
10 see you back after the break. You may now follow the usher.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be brought
17 Mr. Stojanovic, isn't it true that last week on Friday you
18 provided a provisional suggested list to the Prosecution. We have seen
19 that list, then in court later it was announced that you had reached an
20 agreement with the Prosecution on how to proceed with what witnesses, and
21 then Mr. Lukic asked -- here he announced that they worked hard on this
22 issue and that he thought that had reached an agreement. And, he said:
23 "Your Honours, would you like me just to send you a list or do
24 you want me to ..."
25 Then I said:
1 "If you are in agreement, then the Chamber is -- it's unlikely
2 that the Chamber would intervene in any way and then we would like to
3 receive a list."
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE ORIE: We never received that list.
6 So next time if you announce lists to be sent, it would be
7 appreciated if you do so, so that we -- and when I say "you" I'm
8 addressing the Defence because it was Mr. Lukic who more or less promised
10 Let's proceed. You said you would need another 10 mention.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Can we please have the following document in e-court -- actually,
14 I think it's before us. For the record, I wanted to say that it is D551.
15 Q. Mr. Rasevic, please focus on paragraph 22 of your statement as I
16 will have a few questions. Therein in paragraph 22 -- 26, you say that
17 your unit had no artillery. Do you see that?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. When you say "my unit," what do you have in mind specifically?
20 Which unit?
21 A. I had my company in mind.
22 Q. Thank you. You go on to say that behind my unit's position some
23 2 or 3 kilometres away there was an artillery position with
24 122-millimetre mortars?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. My question is: Which unit did these mortars belong to?
2 A. It was a mortar battery belonging to the Hresa Battalion, and
3 they were commanded by the battalion commander.
4 Q. Did you as company commander have the possibility to request
5 support directly from the mortar unit?
6 A. No, I did not have that possibility. I could only go via my
7 superior command. I couldn't insist upon it or request it.
8 Q. Thank you. During the proofing yesterday, did you at some point
9 in time draw my attention to the fact that there was a video footage of
10 attacks on your unit's positions?
11 A. Yes, there is footage. Anyone can see it on YouTube. I think it
12 was in late July or early August when it happened, when the special units
13 of the army of the so-called Bosnia-Herzegovina -- actually, the
14 so-called Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were called Black Swans,
15 attacked the so-called Spicasta Stijena, although we never referred to it
16 as such. But we had three trenches there.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour,
18 could we have a look at an excerpt?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: July of what year, Mr. Witness? You said, "July
20 or early August." Of what year?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Late July or beginning of
22 August 1994. I apologise.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Can we
25 have a look at the excerpt from the footage on YouTube, starting with
1 5 minutes to 6 minutes and 14 seconds.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We have not received any
3 transcript in case there is an audio recording.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any text we should look at, Mr. Stojanovic,
5 or we should listen to?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. There is some
7 text but we did not want to draw your attention to it because it is in
8 the margins of what is going on and is not important for what we want to
9 show. I think we should play it only once and that pertains to both
10 excerpts we want to show.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We can do that. May I take it that you have
12 provided the Prosecution with a version with audio included? Even if
13 it's only in the margin.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We forwarded the two excerpts to
15 them and we are preparing the text to the extent possible because not all
16 of it is audible in the background.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You only forwarded two excerpts, not the whole of
18 the video?
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We are preparing the entire
20 footage. It is being re-recorded, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Re-recorded.
22 MR. TRALDI: I --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, where are we? I mean, YouTube as a
24 source and internet as a source is -- should be looked at in a very
25 critical way. Did you receive, meanwhile, the whole of the excerpt or
1 were you able to verify whether it's the entirety from what is on
3 MR. TRALDI: Not yet, Mr. President. We have staff members
4 looking into the matter now. What I understood from the Defence at the
5 break is -- I should say first, perhaps, we have received a version of
6 these excerpts that does have audio, to answer Your Honour's first
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. TRALDI: But what I understood at the break is that the
10 Defence is trying to locate their -- or is in the process of locating
11 their downloaded full version of the video which is about 19 or 20
12 minutes long and is in the process of providing us with it, but we
13 haven't received it yet.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Did the Defence provide you at least with the exact
15 cite location where they copied it from?
16 MR. TRALDI: The surrogate sheet in e-court includes what we
17 believe to be the address from which they downloaded. Though for
18 completeness, it might be good -- I see Mr. Stojanovic nodding so I take
19 it --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
21 MR. TRALDI: -- that that's confirmed.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So we'll leave it in your hands at this moment to
23 further explore the details, background of this video. Let's have a look
24 at the first excerpt.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 JUDGE ORIE: And let's now look at the second.
2 Mr. Stojanovic --
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour,
4 just a few questions about the first excerpt or should we move on to the
5 second immediately?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, now, we do not hear anything now, not even the
7 explosions, which is -- even if you do not rely on any text spoken, it
8 might be relevant for the Chamber to listen at any explosions. As you
9 may remember at an earlier video, the sound was, although not spoken
10 text, pretty relevant. So could we look at it again but now with at
11 least with the audio, although no need to translate, but just to be able
12 to listen at any sound of explosions.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Understood, Your Honour.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now we will look at and listen to the second
17 But if you first want to put questions to the witness,
18 Mr. Stojanovic, you have an opportunity to do so.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, just a few
21 Q. Mr. Rasevic, do you recognise the footage?
22 A. Yes, I recognise the footage and I recognise the feature shown.
23 Q. Is this the footage you indicated yesterday when we talked?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Which feature is this? In what area where the attack occurred?
1 A. What we could see is part of Spicasta Stijena called Krs III.
2 That was the most dominant feature. And what we will see in the next few
3 moments is the attack on Krs I and Krs II, a few hundred metres away.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
6 that we see the next excerpt with the audio starting at 12 minutes,
7 20 seconds, to 13 minutes, 39 seconds.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness first describe where he was when
9 this happened and describe a bit more in detail what we see, if he has --
10 were you personally a witness of this event, Witness?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time I was at the company
12 command in the background of this feature some 200 metres away.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you see from there what we see on this video?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not straight away. But when the
15 first explosion occurred, I ran outside because I knew where the sound
16 came from and then I did see it, of course.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now the camera which is recording all this, is
18 that behind your lines facing enemy positions?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the camera was placed on the
20 other side, from Sedrenik, from the supermarket there. There was a hole
21 and a mosque can be found there now. It was right next to the Sedrenik.
22 That is where the market was, the shop, and they filmed it from there.
23 It was done by a TV crew, the BH TV. Or so the people we can hear say
24 when they are preparing for the attack.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, so this picture is taken to say from the --
1 from the city side, not from the Mrkovici side.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, exactly.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now the soldiers we see moving around a little
4 bit left of where most of the explosion seems to -- seem to take place,
5 what soldiers are they? Are they your soldiers or are they, as you
6 called them, the so-called Army of the BiH soldiers?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They are the Black Swans soldiers
8 belonging to the ABiH. They were the people who reached the outcrop and
9 sneaked up behind our -- sneaked up to our positions and attacked them.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I saw some - and I'll repeat - I said I saw
11 some explosions approximately at the level of where they were, just below
12 the highest point. Do you -- did you also see that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
14 JUDGE ORIE: All -- and those explosions were apparently from
15 projectiles that were fired by whom?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The largest explosion we saw was
17 caused by a hand-held rocket launcher. One could see them carrying it,
18 the Black Swans, that is. There were several smaller explosions by
19 hand-grenades, offensive, defensive type, et cetera, but the largest two
20 or three were caused by the hand-held rocket launchers which are light to
21 carry. All sabotage units have them when trying to take fortifications,
22 for example.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But if you're talking about hand-grenades, who was
24 throwing them?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You could see that there were
1 several of them there. And perhaps one or two of them had hand-held
2 rocket launchers. The rest had infantry weapons --
3 JUDGE ORIE: No.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and hand-grenades.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. You talked about
6 hand-grenades exploding. Who had thrown those hand-grenades which
7 exploded there?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since they came up from their side,
9 our soldiers threw hand-grenades from their trenches defending
11 JUDGE ORIE: So we -- the explosions we see there are
12 hand-grenades exploding amidst the -- as you call them, the Black Swans
13 trying to climb up to the ridge?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since our trench was hit by
15 hand-held rocket launchers, our soldiers had a supply of hand-grenades.
16 They were always there because it wasn't the first time the positions
17 were attacked, and they responded, trying to see where the attackers were
18 coming from. They threw hand-grenades to thwart their approach but the
19 enemy continued and they had to withdraw.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, again, you said you were - and let me
21 just take you back to exactly what you said in this respect - you said
22 you were at the company command at the background of this feature. Am I
23 right in understanding that if we look at the picture we see that you are
24 further back, so not the camera position, but rather 200 -- 200 metres
25 further away from the camera position?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wasn't 200 metres
2 away from the camera. I didn't see the camera.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No, I said 200 metres further away from the camera.
4 The camera shows us explosions, soldiers. Do I understand that you were
5 200 metres behind those soldiers and those explosions?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Initial when the first
7 detonation occurred and then --
8 JUDGE ORIE: And then you said you came out of your command post.
9 You went outside. And you said then you could see everything. Could you
10 see what happened because your command was behind the ridge, if I
11 understand you well? Did you then approach the ridge to better be able
12 to see it or ...?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, between my command post and
14 the -- and the feature which was attacked, there was a backup or reserve
15 command post which I approached immediately. We had reserve weapons
16 there. One machine-gun was there. And then I could see everything
17 unfolding as it was on the palm of my hand. And then I issued orders to
18 withdraw to the backup trenches that we had dug there so that we could
19 save the lives of our men.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let me stop you there for a second. So you
21 withdrew from the front trenches to backup trenches a little bit further
22 back. Now, from those front trenches, could you see what happened just
23 below the ridge or couldn't you see it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We could not see that from those
25 trenches, but they made a lot of noise, crying out, screaming, starting
1 issuing threats, and bursts into the first trench that we saw. But
2 stopped there, did not advance further, because they knew what was
3 waiting for them there. And then from that side they tried to capture,
4 as you will be able to see in the next video excerpt.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. But what we therefore see on this video, that
6 is, soldiers, exploding hand-grenades, which was just below the feature,
7 you couldn't see that, if I understand you well?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the moment when it was
9 unfolding, I, of course, could not see. I saw my men throwing
10 hand-grenades. Of course, this was beyond the ridge on the other side.
11 There was a steep slope that I couldn't see from my viewpoint, them
13 JUDGE ORIE: So what we see on the video you couldn't see?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. That's correct.
15 I -- I could not see that with my own eyes. I only saw the smoke and the
16 detonations and explosions up there. I could see my men withdrawing to
17 the reserve trench, and I could see them occupying the outcrop or Krs III
18 trench, the one that we saw on the video.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on and look.
20 Yes, Judge Fluegge has one or more questions for you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to understand the situation there. How
22 often did you observe any fighting at the -- at that location, what we
23 saw on the screen a minute ago?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean throughout my appointment
25 as company commander there?
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were many attacks on
3 that feature, on that section. I personally took part in fending them
4 off. And on several occasions, that feature was not really captured but
5 it would be abandoned by our men because they were afraid but -- and we
6 would retake it no -- with no problems. But on that particular occasion
7 it was tricky. It was really close.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. That's all.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the record.
10 Let's take another excerpt from 20 seconds [as interpreted] to
11 13 minutes, 39 seconds.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Rasevic, the feature that you can see in the centre of the
15 screen, now this frozen frame, what was the name of that feature?
16 A. That's Krs or outcrop III on Spicasta Stijena as they called it.
17 Q. Now please tell me: During this attack, did ABiH army members
18 succeed in capturing that part of Spicasta Stijena?
19 A. Yes, they did.
20 Q. Could you please tell me whether the VRS managed to recapture
21 those positions at one point?
22 A. Yes. As I just said, my army withdrew to a reserve or backup
23 trench. There was one beyond this position. And there were two others
24 to the right-hand side, two other trenches, which we held. And over
25 night we secured them. We had brought in reinforcements until the
1 morning. They spent the night in that particular trench. They started
2 digging up to the trench. But we opened -- fired every 15, 20 minutes.
3 We would toss a grenade in that direction to stop them from digging the
4 trench further. And the next morning, the next day, we brought in our
5 teams. They could not hold that position for long. There was no chance
6 of them. That's first.
7 Second, we could not let them capture those positions because
8 this was the gateway.
9 Q. I will ask you about this. Asked by His Honour Fluegge, you said
10 that during your tenure as a company commander, this was one of the many
11 attacks by the ABiH?
12 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. My question is: What was the reason why those attacks were so
14 frequent to that -- on that particular position of VRS?
15 A. My company, to our misfortune, occupied a strategically important
16 position. And therefore, these are the dominant peaks. A ridge is a
17 dominant feature. If they broke through this ridge, Spicasta Stijena,
18 which was held by Mrkovici Company, they would have dominated that part
19 of Sarajevo held by VRS units: Kosevo, Jagodina, Ilijas, Ilidza,
20 Hadzici. Everything else would be encircled. Beyond this ridge, there
21 is a road between Vogosca and Semizovac and Hresa and Romanija. That
22 road is 250 metres from this ridge. So had this fallen, our families
23 would have been in jeopardy. Our families, women, children, elderly,
24 they would have to move away. And in terms of military advantage, had
25 they captured this, they would have dominated all these localities that I
2 Q. With respect to this feature, could you please place the Grdonj
3 hill from this location?
4 A. It was south to this. From this feature, our line then goes to
5 the little fortress, or Mala Tvrdjava, and Grdonj hill is before this
6 little fortress.
7 Q. Grdonj hill, is it higher; that is, a greater elevation than the
8 Spicasta Stijena?
9 A. Yes, it is. If I'm not mistaken this is 895 and Grdonj is
10 906 metres.
11 Q. Did ABiH members hold Grdonj throughout the war?
12 A. Yes, throughout the war. We could not -- we were never there.
13 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Rasevic. I have no further questions
14 for you.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would move --
16 mark for identification those two excerpts from the video which are
17 65 ter documents 1D02992. And once we've submitted the whole video to
18 the Prosecution, then you will rule on that.
19 MR. TRALDI: I don't have any objection to them being marked for
20 identification only.
21 JUDGE ORIE: They will be marked for identification.
22 Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D2992 receives number D553,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: D553 is marked for identification.
1 I have a few more questions for you, Witness.
2 You told us that at this occasion you recaptured the feature.
3 Did it ever happen that the feature was for a longer period of time -
4 that is, more than one or two days - under the control of the armed
5 forces of BiH?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Never. Your Honours, it never
7 occurred. The longest that they held to it was this time. They were
8 there for 12 or 15 hours. They spent the night there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now you emphasised the strategic importance of
10 the feature. Did you have sufficient sight over the parts of Sarajevo
11 you mentioned from there?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, well, we could see very well
13 Sedrenik, Zlatiste, the barracks, or part of it, not the whole of it.
14 Then Streliste, to the left-hand side, Grca Brdo and that would be it
15 that we could see from that vantage point.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So from the positions you were holding you could
17 see, as you said, Sedrenik, Streliste, and I think you earlier mentioned
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we could see Kosevo
20 from the Mala Tvrdjava, or small fortress. This is another position.
21 This is opposite to this. We could not see Kosevo from this particular
22 position, from this particular feature.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But could you see Sedrenik from this particular
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And it was not extremely dangerous to observe what
2 happened down there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course it was dangerous.
4 Well -- but soldiers had different means of protecting their positions,
5 firing holes, bulwarks. Of course it was dangerous.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you said you made such fortifications
7 which allowed you still to look down and observe what happened below the
8 feature. Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, from those trenches
10 and fortifications, we could not see what happened directly below us
11 because these are vertical cliffs. They had their own shelters and
12 dwelling places. But we could -- what we could see was a bit further
13 afield. And up to 1993 we could monitor their lines because they were
14 further away. But using cease-fires, they gained ground, and at one
15 point we no longer could see all of their positions directly.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now you talked about their lines up to 1993. Were
17 their lines between the feature and Sedrenik or were their lines further
18 afield behind Sedrenik seen from your position?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were north of Sedrenik.
20 Their lines were not at Sedrenik. Their lines stretched along the hill
21 through Poglugov Dol in seven growths. There is a hill which we called
22 Poglugov Brijeg, and the 887 hill, they held position. And then from
23 Poglugov Brijeg, they opened sniping fire and two or three of our
24 fighters were sniped at and wounded and hit from those positions.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier you said from those trenches and
1 fortifications we could not see what happened directly below us.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And then later you say you could see -- what we
4 could see was a bit further afield. And you said up to 1993 you could
5 even monitor their lines, and their lines were closer -- were not in
6 Sedrenik but closer to your positions. Does that mean that during all
7 those times you would have a view, perhaps not always on their lines but
8 at least on Sedrenik, from your shelters and your fortifications?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, their lines never were at
11 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that. But does that mean that since up
12 to 1993 you could even see their lines that you always could have a look
13 at Sedrenik from your fortification which was even further away than the
14 lines of the ABiH?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes. That was
16 south -- further towards south from the lines of the ABiH.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I have no further questions in this
19 Mr. Traldi, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
20 MR. TRALDI: I am, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Witness, you'll now be cross-examined by
22 Mr. Traldi. You'll find him to your right. And Mr. Traldi is counsel
23 for the Prosecution.
24 Please proceed.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
1 Q. Good morning, sir.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Sir, I want to start with a couple of brief questions about
4 background events in March 1992. First, in paragraph 12 of your
5 statement, you mentioned the death of Nikola Gardovic. And you say you
6 heard about this at Mr. Gardovic's funeral; is that correct?
7 A. Just a moment, please. I do not understand the question. Could
8 you please repeat it.
9 Q. Of course.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you're looking at the screen, apparently.
11 What are you looking at at this moment? Are you reading the English?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This paragraph 12 appeared on the
13 screen this very minute. I see the killing of Gardovic, et cetera.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have something different on our screen.
15 There we are.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. And you heard about this event at his funeral; correct?
19 A. You mean the event of the killing of Gardovic?
20 Q. I do.
21 A. No. I heard about this event in the media on TV on the very --
22 on the very night that he had been killed on Bascarsija.
23 Q. But you have no personal knowledge as how he died or who killed
24 him, do you?
25 A. No, except for what I saw from the media. At that time it was
1 still a -- former Bosnia-Herzegovina or former Yugoslavia at the time.
2 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 10710.
3 Q. As it comes up, sir, your evidence in your statement is that
4 barricades were set up after this by the Serbian population and that it
5 was spontaneous; is that your evidence?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Now, we see on page 1 that this is a letter from the
8 Ministry of Internal Affairs, public security service, in Sarajevo. And
9 it says we are forwarding you the list of employees of the SR BH MUP who
10 took part in the activities related to the setting up of barracks in the
11 region of Sarajevo in early March of 1992.
12 MR. TRALDI: If we could turn to page 5 in both languages.
13 Q. At the top of the page in English and in the middle of the page
14 in B/C/S, we read:
15 "In Crisis Staff of SDS, among others, the following persons were
17 And the first two it mentions are Mandic, Momcilo, and Stanisic,
18 Mico. Do you see those names, sir?
19 A. Yes, I can see them.
20 Q. The Chamber has received evidence that both of these men would be
21 senior officials in the Bosnian Serb police when it was created shortly
22 thereafter, and that Mr. Mandic was a high official in the Bosnian MUP at
23 this time. Are you aware of that?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I understood
1 this correctly, this is erroneous that Mico Stanisic at that time was a
2 high-level official of MUP of Bosnian Serbs.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You're supposed not to give evidence,
4 Mr. Stojanovic. You can test that evidence and bring to the attention of
5 the witness. This is inappropriate to do.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: If I could perhaps address my learned friend's
8 concern. When I asked -- what I said was the Chamber has received
9 evidence that these men would be senior officials in the Bosnian Serb
10 police when it was created shortly after this, and that Mr. Mandic was a
11 high official in the BH MUP at this time. And so I think the concern
12 that Mr. Stojanovic raised does not arise from my question.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yeah, that's something
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So therefore two reasons why you should have
16 remained seated: First, because you didn't carefully listen to the
17 question. Second, your response was inappropriate.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Sir, just to briefly summarise my question: Are you aware that
21 Mr. Mandic and Mr. Stanisic would both become senior officials in the
22 Bosnian police soon after this?
23 A. I did not know that at the time because I did not deal with
24 politics. It was foreign to me. Well, later on, when all these things
25 happened, then I learned of those people. I could not specify who was
1 minister, who was assistant minister though.
2 Q. I put to you that what we see here indicates that Bosnian Serb
3 officials and members of the SDS Crisis Staff were involved in setting up
4 the barricades. I understand that what you've just said is you weren't
5 aware of things like that at the time. Is that something you became
6 aware of afterwards?
7 A. No. I was never made aware of this. I hear of this for the
8 first time from you. I really wasn't aware of it.
9 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I see it may be time for the break.
10 Before we take it, I'd tender this document.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 10710 seize number P6634, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: P6634 is admitted.
14 Witness, we'll take a break and we'd like to see you back in
15 20 minutes.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.53 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.13 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be escorted
21 into the courtroom, I didn't hear any negative responses by the parties
22 on the suggested change in the times a few days late September/early
23 October; that is, to start at 9.00 so as to ensure that we still would
24 have morning sessions when other cases need additional time. Therefore,
25 the Chamber will confirm through the Registry that we agree for those few
1 days in sitting starting at 9.00 in the morning.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE ORIE: And that would be Courtroom III.
4 Mr. Traldi.
5 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Sir, you were a member of the Serbian Democratic Party when it
7 was established in 1990; correct?
8 A. Yes, correct.
9 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 30878. This is a
10 confirmation -- or this will be a confirmation signed by Radovan Karadzic
11 and dated the 21st of July, 1992.
12 Q. Now, looking at the list of names on the document, you recognise
13 all five of those names; correct?
14 A. I see four names and I know all four.
15 Q. And you see your own name at number 4?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this document is a list of members being appointed to the war
18 commission of the Serbian municipality of Sarajevo centre; correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. I can see it.
20 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30878 receives number P6635,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. And just one more brief area regarding political matters, sir.
2 Once the conflict began, you heard that one of the goals of the
3 Bosnian Serb leadership was to divide Sarajevo; correct?
4 A. At first that was not the goal of Bosnian Serbs. First of all,
5 we were not in favour of a war and we were all thrown into it. I went to
6 Mrkovici on the 4th of April, 1992. I was out of the information loop
7 because problems were so great and I had no time to deal with anything
8 other than to save my men.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I stop you there, Witness. First of all, the
10 question is, if you would have carefully listened to it, said, "Once the
11 conflict began," so there is no reason to further explore whether you
12 wanted that or not, but once the conflict began did you hear that one of
13 the goals of the Bosnian Serb leadership was to divide Sarajevo. Did you
14 hear that or did you not hear that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't hear about
16 that at the time.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 Did you hear it at any later stage, then?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Later on there was some mention of
20 it during the war. When people realised that we could no longer live
21 together, then the idea of splitting Sarajevo up in two came up.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If Mr. Traldi wants an explanation, he'll ask for
23 it. So the answer is you later learned about it.
24 Mr. Traldi, please proceed.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. And to follow up --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. To follow up on your answer, sir, you said:
4 "People realised that we could no longer live together."
5 Did you also learn that one of the goals of the leadership was
6 separate Muslim and Serb territories?
7 A. It appeared later. It wasn't one of the goals at first. Later
8 on it became a goal and the territory was split.
9 Q. You say it wasn't one of the goals at first. A moment ago you
10 said you were out of the information loop at first. So would I be
11 correct that what you mean to say is you heard about it later on?
12 A. Well, much later, when it fell through -- well, we thought that
13 there were combat incidents and we took up territory awaiting a political
14 settlement. We didn't know what it would turn out to be as soldiers. We
15 were in the trenches. Only later this realisation came about that no
16 agreement would be possible, and so on and so forth.
17 Q. Sir, I want to turn then to your military career very briefly.
18 You first war platoon commander; correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. You became a platoon commander before the VRS was created; right?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. At that time when you first became a platoon commander, what was
23 the name of the company in which you were a platoon commander?
24 A. We founded the company. It consisted of the villagers,
25 volunteers who reported. It was called the Mrkovici Company or the
1 company of Mrkovici, and that name stayed with us throughout the war.
2 Q. At that time was your company part -- and I'm speaking of April
3 1992, was your company part of a larger armed formation?
4 A. Yes. We were attached to the Hresa Battalion which had been
5 established at the time.
6 Q. And the first commander of your company was Bojo Dragec; right?
7 A. The first commander of our unit was Veseljko Dragec. Bojo --
8 actually, I commanded the first platoon and Bojo commanded the second
9 platoon. Then we were joined by a group of people from Barice to the
10 left of us and we used them to establish the third platoon commanded by
11 Milovan --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness kindly
13 repeat the last name. We did not hear it.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. Sir, I think you've been asked to repeat the name of the
16 commander of the third platoon.
17 A. The commander of the third platoon was Milovan Baricanin.
18 Q. Now, when the VRS was formed you became a platoon commander in
19 the Hresa Battalion of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade of the VRS;
21 A. Yes. Immediately upon establishment of the VRS, we fell under
22 the command of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade.
23 Q. You said your company was called the Mrkovici Company. The
24 companies in the 2nd Romanija Brigade had not just names but numbers;
25 correct? 1st Company, 2nd Company, 3rd Company?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. What is the number of your company?
3 A. At the beginning when we were made part of the
4 Romanija Light Brigade, we were the 3rd Company of the -- what I think at
5 the time was the 5th Battalion, the Hresa Battalion.
6 Q. And when you were platoon commander, did you also become deputy
7 commander of the company?
8 A. Yes. Automatically per establishment the 1st Platoon commander
9 was also deputy company commander.
10 Q. And you later in January 1993 became company commander; right?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. As a platoon commander and a company commander, it was your
13 responsibility to know what SRK units in the vicinity of your area of
14 responsibility were doing; right?
15 A. Well, it was my responsibility to know, of course. I was
16 responsible for the area of responsibility of my company and those
17 immediately ...
18 Q. I think the end of your answer may not have been translated. You
19 said you were also responsible for the companies immediately adjoining
20 your company?
21 A. No. I was responsible for my company. And of course I was
22 interested in what the formations to my left and right were and how they
24 Q. You mention in your statement that your battalion, that's the
25 Hresa Battalion, was transferred to the 1st Romanija Brigade. That was
1 around the beginning of September 1992; correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Four battalions were transferred to the 1st Romanija Brigade at
4 that time; correct?
5 A. I am not sure, but I'm certain that mine did.
6 Q. And at that time the 1st Romanija Brigade's commander was
7 Dragomir Milosevic; wasn't it?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, we said you became commander of your company in
10 January 1993. You held that position until sometime in 1994; right?
11 A. Yes, right.
12 Q. And the company commander who replaced you was Sinisa Maksimovic?
13 A. True. Correct.
14 Q. And when you stopped being company commander, you became deputy
15 commander of the Hresa Battalion under Slavko Gengo; right?
16 A. Yes, correct.
17 Q. And you say in paragraph 21 of your statement you were deputy
18 commander of that battalion beginning in August 1994; right?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. After you became his deputy commander, your battalion joined the
21 3rd Sarajevo Brigade and you were assigned to the Kosevo Battalion of the
22 3rd Sarajevo Brigade; right?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. And your brigade commander in that brigade was Dragan Josipovic;
25 wasn't it?
1 A. Yes, Dragan Josipovic.
2 Q. Like the companies in the Hresa Battalion, the battalions in the
3 3rd Sarajevo Brigade had numbers. Was the Kosevo Brigade the 1st, 2nd,
4 3rd, or 4th Battalion of the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade?
5 A. When the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade was established -- actually, the
6 Kosevo Battalion was never part of the 1st Sarajevo Brigade. When the
7 3rd Sarajevo Brigade was established, it consisted of the small brigades
8 like the Light Kosevo and Light Vogosca Brigades, and they later had
10 Q. And what I'd asked was the Kosevo Battalion, I take it from your
11 answer that grew out of the Kosevo Light Brigade, what was the number of
12 that battalion in the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade?
13 A. Please do not hold me to every word. I think it was the
14 1st Battalion, but I'm not certain.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The 5th Battalion.
16 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 30884. This is an undated
17 report on the combat readiness of the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade.
18 Q. As it comes up, sir, you mentioned the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade and
19 you described how it was established. Around when was the
20 3rd Sarajevo Brigade established?
21 A. The 3rd Sarajevo Brigade was established sometime in 1993. We,
22 my battalion, was attached to it in late 1994 or early 1995. I speak of
23 the Hresa Battalion. The 3rd Sarajevo Unit was established sometime in
25 Q. Did you hear about a truce in early 1995?
1 A. Of course I did.
2 Q. Looking at --
3 MR. TRALDI: If we could have page 2 in both languages. And
4 looking under point number 2, "Combat Readiness."
5 Q. At the end of the first paragraph and sort in the middle of this
6 section, we see:
7 "The enemy activities have been considerably reduced after the
8 truce was reached and lately they have been reduced to a minimum."
9 That's consistent with the document being from early 1995; right?
10 A. Possibly.
11 MR. TRALDI: Turning to page 5 in the B/C/S and page 6 in the
13 Q. We see here a list of artillery weapons held by the
14 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade. And I'd ask that you take a moment to
15 familiarise yourself with the list in front of you. Which of these types
16 of weapons did your battalion have?
17 A. You mean the Kosevo Battalion at the time?
18 Q. Yes, I do.
19 A. I'm not sure. I didn't deal with this. All these pieces are
20 artillery pieces. I was doing a completely different type of work at the
21 time. So I'm not sure. I can't tell you with any certainty.
22 Q. So directing your attention to point 20, briefly. Are you aware
23 how many of the 22, 120-millimetre mortars in the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade
24 the Kosevo Battalion had?
25 A. I don't know about the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade. There is no way I
1 could know. As for the Kosevo Brigade, I know that there were two
2 120-millimetre pieces in the Kosevo Battalion. As for the 3rd Sarajevo,
3 I don't know, I can't say.
4 Q. And directing your attention to point 23.
5 MR. TRALDI: I think we might have to go to the next page in the
6 English, for that.
7 Q. That AB-100 kilogramme launcher, was that in your battalion or
8 was that in another battalion of the brigade?
9 A. Yes, I don't know. I've never seen it.
10 MR. TRALDI: Turning to page 8 in the English, we now see a list
11 of infantry weapons held by the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade. And also to page 6
12 in the B/C/S.
13 Q. Directing your attention first to point 8, do you know how many
14 of those 17, 7.9-millimetre sniper rifles the Kosevo Battalion had?
15 A. In the Kosevo Battalion, I didn't see a single sniper rifle. I
16 saw them having carbines with optical sights mounted. They were hunting
17 carbines with mounted sights. As for a standard issue, real automatic
18 rifle, I didn't see any -- I mean, sniper rifle.
19 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document 65 ter 30884.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30884 receives number P6636,
22 Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: P6636 is admitted.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. I'm going to move on now from the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade and go
1 back to your time in the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade at the beginning
2 of the conflict. Now, by June 1992 there were more than 3.000 men in the
3 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade; correct?
4 A. I don't know of such figures, but there were many who belonged to
6 MR. TRALDI: Well, could we have 65 ter 30880.
7 Q. Now, this document is -- emanates from the command of the
8 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, and we can see it's signed by
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Krstic. As of June 1992 or the 27th of June he was
10 the commander of your brigade; correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And the document reflects that as of that point there were
13 approximately 3400 soldiers in the brigade. Do you see that?
14 A. I see it.
15 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I would tender this document.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30880 receives number P6637,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: 6637 is admitted.
20 MR. TRALDI: Can 65 ter 30879 be brought to the screen.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, is there any dispute about these
22 numbers? I mean, the witness doesn't know. Is it contested? Have you
23 sought to agree on these matters?
24 MR. TRALDI: We have not communicated with the Defence about the
25 specific strength of each brigade, but we're -- I imagine we're happy to
1 do that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course I'm asking myself if the witness
3 can't tell us anything, you produce a document, if the -- if there is no
4 dispute about the document then it may be that the Defence would agree
5 with you.
6 MR. TRALDI: We'll try to do that more further in advance in the
7 future, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
9 Yes, I can imagine that for this witness it was a bit problematic
10 but please proceed.
11 MR. TRALDI: Now this document -- this is a 26 May report also
12 from the 2nd Motorised Brigade, the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade.
13 Q. Before Colonel Krstic was the commander, was there a commander of
14 the 2nd Romanija Brigade named Colonel Veljko Bosanac?
15 A. I'm not aware of that.
16 Q. Do you see in the bottom right-hand corner of page 1 in the
17 B/C/S --
18 MR. TRALDI: And we'd have to turn to page 2 in the English, also
19 in the bottom right.
20 Q. -- it reads:
21 "On behalf of the commander Veljko Bosanac."
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I see it. I see it. But I don't know the man, so I don't
24 know if he was or wasn't.
25 MR. TRALDI: Turning back to page 1 in the English.
1 Q. I want to direct your attention to point 1. And that describes
2 small-scale clashes on the territory of Rogatica municipality, where two
3 members of the Serbian Army were killed. And then it reads:
4 "In the course of the day, in co-operation with the local
5 population and the public security station, on a number of locations they
6 observed Muslim population move out in various directions, especially
7 from the territory of the Sokolac municipality towards the Olovo
9 Did I read that correctly?
10 JUDGE ORIE: The answer is yes, Mr. Traldi. Unless there would
11 be a translation issue, of course, it's a useless question. At least
12 everyone who can read can answer it.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. And, sir, this Chamber has received evidence that the
16 2nd Romanija Brigade was also active outside of the immediate area of
17 Sarajevo in the summer of 1992 including, for instance, in Sokolac
18 municipality. That's right, isn't it?
19 A. Well, I really cannot say anything about that, either affirmative
20 or in the negative, because my area of responsibility was Mrkovici at the
21 time and what was going on there. Whether there were or there were not
22 any operations up there, I don't know about that at the time. I never
23 knew about that at the time.
24 Q. And, sir, were you aware of events in Hresa at the time in your
25 battalion's area of responsibility?
1 A. In Hresa?
2 Q. Yeah.
3 A. Well, nothing special was going on in Hresa. Up there we had the
4 battalion command -- well, initially was somewhere else and then it was
5 moved to Hresa because we'd objected to it being too far away.
6 Q. And I asked, sir, because the Chamber has also received
7 evidence --
8 MR. TRALDI: I'd refer Your Honours to, for instance, RM79 and
10 Q. -- that non-Serb [Realtime transcript read in error "municipality
11 citizens"] civilians were transported from other municipalities [Realtime
12 transcript read in error "military police"] to Hresa from which they had
13 to walk across the confrontation lines into Sarajevo. Now, those lines
14 would have been in your battalion's territory; right?
15 A. Well, yes, those lines were within the area of responsibility of
16 our battalion. And later on, I did hear that buses would come to the
17 so-called Zecja Glava, and there people -- civilians would disembark and
18 go to Sarajevo. This is what I heard about later on but not at the time.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, could you please have a look at page 55,
20 line 2. It may well be that it will be corrected but it could create
21 some confusion.
22 MR. TRALDI: I think perhaps, Mr. President, my pace was off,
23 where I was recorded to say "that" I'm sure I meant "in that respect" or
24 "in that regard," but --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let me have a look.
1 MR. TRALDI: But those two, RM79 and RM111, are two of the
2 witnesses who provide evidence on that issue.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I read the following on the transcript:
4 "Non-Serb municipality citizens were transported from other
5 military police to Hresa."
6 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, Mr. President, I was looking at line 2 and
7 you're referring to lines 3 and 4.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, then I have --
9 MR. TRALDI: My mistake.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- a different line numbering, but could you please
11 correct that.
12 MR. TRALDI: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: What did you say?
14 MR. TRALDI: I meant to say "non-Serb citizens from other
15 municipalities were transported to Hresa."
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
17 MR. TRALDI: And before I move on, I'd tender this document.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30879 receives number P6638,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: P6638 is admitted.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. Sir, you mentioned you'd heard about buses of Muslim civilians
24 being brought to Hresa, and you mentioned specifically -- I'm afraid I'm
25 going to pronounce this very badly, but Zecja Glava; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 MR. TRALDI: I'm going to ask now that we look at just one
3 example of buses of non-Serbs being taken towards Sarajevo. Can we have
4 65 ter 30881. This is a document coming from the command of the
5 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade and dated the 5th of August, 1992. And it
6 purports to be signed for Colonel Krstic.
7 Q. He was your command at that time; correct?
8 A. Yes, yes. At that time he was still my commander.
9 Q. And it reads in the pertinent part:
10 "Take charge of the bus carrying Muslim people, escort it, and
11 deport it to Sarajevo. These people are being deported from Parzevici
12 village, Sokolac municipality, at the explicit request of the Muslims."
13 Is that the sort of event that you heard about: Civilians being
14 taken in buses to your battalion's area and then walking into Sarajevo?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. They were transferred. Whether these were
16 those people or some others, I don't know. I later on heard that from
17 those villages people at their own request were bussed, brought to the
18 line of separation, and there they walked away very close to Sarajevo,
19 Sarajevo begins there, and they moved into Sarajevo. I do remember those
20 things. But I heard about those things. I never saw with my own eyes
21 any such events.
22 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender 65 ter 30881.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30881 receives number P6639,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P6639 is admitted.
2 MR. TRALDI:
3 Q. And, sir, I want to move on now from the 2nd Romanija Brigade to
4 your time in the 1st Romanija Brigade. Now in your company you had
5 rifles with optical sights mounted on them; correct?
6 A. Yes, sir. Hunting rifles or hunting carbines with optical
8 Q. And those had a range up to a kilometre?
9 A. Thereabouts.
10 Q. You say in paragraph 26 of your statement that your unit had no
11 artillery. So my question is: Are you speaking of your company in the
12 1st Romanija Motorised Brigade when you say that?
13 A. Yes, yes, that's correct. That was my unit. I was a company
14 commander at the time.
15 Q. Did the Hresa Battalion in which your company was have
16 7.9-millimetre sniper rifles at the time it was transferred from the
17 2nd Romanija Brigade into the 1st?
18 A. I never saw such sniper rifles along my front line. I can say
19 that because it was my duty to walk the line, visit the trenches every
20 day, the fortifications as well, and I did not see such rifles, such
21 snipers anywhere along our front line.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, the question was not whether you saw sniper
23 rifles. The question was whether your company had 7.9-millimetre sniper
24 rifles at the time it was transferred to the 2nd Romanija Brigade. That
25 was the question. Could you please answer that question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, no, it did not, at
2 least to my knowledge that there were any. I had no knowledge that there
3 were any.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. And turning from your company to your battalion, did the
7 Hresa Battalion have 7.9-millimetre sniper rifles at that time?
8 A. No. That fact is unknown to me. I cannot say that there were.
9 It is unknown to me, therefore.
10 MR. TRALDI: Could we have P6603.
11 Q. Now, on the first page this appears to be a document sent to the
12 1st Romanija Brigade command and to the SRK command. And in the middle
13 of the page we see the heading: "Overview of Weapons." Do you see that?
14 A. You mean 004496 -- 6559? Do you mean that?
15 Q. I mean this document. And if you look at -- well --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness is reading the ERN number on top
17 of it.
18 MR. TRALDI: I understand that --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. TRALDI: -- Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. And, sir, just to direct your attention a little bit further down
24 you can see some underlined text after the first paragraph; correct?
25 A. Yes, I can see that.
1 Q. And that reads: "Overview of Weapons;" right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Turning to the second page --
4 MR. TRALDI: In both languages.
5 Q. -- you see the heading towards the bottom of the page in English,
6 towards the top of the page in B/C/S: "Hresa Battalion"?
7 A. Yes, I can see that. Yes.
8 Q. Now, the second note here refers to five sniper rifles,
9 7.9-millimetres. So the Hresa Battalion did have sniper rifles; right?
10 A. It is unknown to me. Maybe they may have had them, but it is
11 unknown to me.
12 Q. Below that we see references to automatic rifles and
13 semiautomatic rifles. Did your company have either of those types of
15 A. There were automatic and semiautomatic rifles, yes.
16 Q. And below those we see references to four different types of
17 machine-guns. What type of machine-guns did your company have?
18 A. We had M-72, and then we had the so-called Garonja, M-52. They
19 were for scrap metal but we had them. That's as far as light
20 machine-guns went.
21 MR. TRALDI: Could we turn --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was it.
23 MR. TRALDI: Could we turn to page 3 in the English only.
24 Q. I'm interested in the last three points before the heading:
25 "Overview of Vehicles," three mortars, 60-millimetres. Now your company
1 had 60-millimetre mortars; right?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Nine mortars, 82-millimetre. Your company also had 82-millimetre
4 mortars, didn't it?
5 A. My company had two mortars, 82-millimetre mortars.
6 Q. And three mortars, 120-millimetres. So elements of your
7 battalion had 120-millimetre mortars; right?
8 A. That's correct. These are battalion-level mortars.
9 Q. Did you already have those 60-millimetre mortars when you and
10 others initially set up your platoon?
11 A. We received those 60-millimetre mortars. We obtained them
12 sometime -- well, on the 8th of June I recall when we suffered a heavy
13 attack. I never found out where those mortars came from but they saved
14 the day, on the 8th of June, 1992.
15 Q. And did you receive them from another company or battalion in the
17 A. From the battalion. They were sent from the battalion.
18 Q. And the 84-millimetre mortars -- sorry, the 82-millimetre mortars
19 listed here, your company also received those at some point; correct?
20 A. Well, they were given to us at some point in time and then they
21 were sent to a detachment of mortars within the battalion.
22 Q. And it says three 60-millimetre mortars and nine 82-millimetre
23 mortars. Just for the record to be absolutely clear, those weren't all
24 held by your company, were they?
25 A. No, no, they weren't. Three 60-millimetre mortars were held by
1 my company all the time. Those two 82-millimetre mortars were there from
2 the 8th of June until the 30th of June. There was another vicious attack
3 by Juka's men. And after that, a battery within the battalion -- a
4 mortar battery was established, whereas those three 60-millimetre mortars
5 were within my company throughout the time.
6 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I -- I notice we're just a few minutes
7 shy of the break. I'm about to turn to a different topic. And for
8 continuity, I wonder if we might break five minutes early.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We can take an early break.
10 Can the witness first be escorted out of the courtroom.
11 We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break and will resume at 25 minutes past
15 --- Recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.26 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to come in,
18 there was an issue pending about confidentiality of certain documents.
19 Could the parties tell the Chamber when we could receive further
20 information on it?
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I believe Mr. Weber will deal with that
23 tomorrow if that's amenable to the Court. He's researching it.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could we also hear from the Defence by tomorrow.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
1 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Sir, I want to turn now to discussing the positions you held in
3 the 3rd Company of the Hresa Battalion. Was your company's area of
4 responsibility roughly consistent throughout the war?
5 A. Yes, it was the same throughout the war except from slight
6 modifications towards the very end of the war.
7 Q. One of the areas in your company's position -- one of your
8 company's positions that's been discussed today is Spicasta Stijena.
9 That was in your company's area of responsibility; right?
10 A. That's correct, yes.
11 Q. At transcript page 33, you testified that the ABiH once captured
12 that position and held it overnight; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Now Slavko Gengo would have been your superior in the
15 Hresa Battalion; right?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Now, the Chamber has received similar evidence from Mr. Gengo,
18 who testified at transcript page 21635 [Realtime transcript read in
19 error "12635"], that the VRS held Spicasta Stijena except for one evening
20 on the 18th of September, 1994. Does that refresh your recollection as
21 to the one evening that your forces did not hold that position?
22 A. Well, that would be one of the those attacks when they -- when
23 people were scared in their trench, they received heavy fire, and they
24 withdrew. I remember that occasion. They entered that trench, those
25 ABiH lads, they spent the night there. They had set up their
1 communication facilities which we found in the morning when we retook the
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, could you please check the page
4 reference you earlier gave.
5 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President. I think I have been
6 recorded to say "12635" when I said or at least meant to say "21635."
7 JUDGE ORIE: That was my recollection as well. That's the reason
8 why I addressed the matter.
9 MR. TRALDI: I'm grateful, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. Now, you suggested just now -- actually, your answer didn't quite
13 respond to my question. Mr. Gengo testified that there was only one
14 evening on the 18th of September, 1994, that this location fell under
15 ABiH control, and I asked: Does that refresh your recollection as, to be
16 more clear, the date of the one evening that Spicasta Stijena fell under
17 ABiH control?
18 A. What we saw on the video, that would be that. Yes. This was the
19 other case or another case. I don't know whether -- whether Mr. Gengo
20 discussed that with respect to Spicasta Stijena. This was the second
21 time when combat operations were not of that intensity but we -- but our
22 men withdrew from that trench, maybe they were scared or not, but we
23 retook that position in the morning and I took personally part in
24 regaining that position.
25 Q. When you said, "What we saw on the video, that would be that,"
1 are you referring to the one evening that Spicasta Stijena fell under
2 ABiH control?
3 A. About that, well, I do say that they spent a night there. But
4 this date doesn't ring a bell. I remember there were skirmishes on
5 several occasions, but this was not the date which pertains to the events
6 that we saw depicted on that video.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could we try to clarify that.
8 Mr. Gengo testified about Spicasta Stijena to be under ABiH
9 control one evening only, and you referred to ABiH spending one night -
10 the only time that happened - on the Spicasta Stijena feature. What --
11 the two sound very much the same. Nevertheless, you say that the date
12 from the event you saw on the video was not the 18th of September. Is
13 that what you're telling us?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly that. What we saw on the
15 video took place earlier, maybe up to two months or a month and a half.
16 This happened towards the end of July, maybe the beginning of August.
17 JUDGE ORIE: How are you so well able to know exactly which event
18 was to be seen on this video?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because at that time I was handing
20 over to Sinisa Maksimovic the position of company commander around those
21 days. At that time Sinisa was supposed to get married in August and this
22 happened before Sinisa got married. Sinisa was not around when this
23 happened. He arrived the day after and he, together with me, took part
24 in recapturing that position, and this is why I state that this would be
25 sometime towards the end of July and beginning of August because that was
1 the time when I was handing over my duty as company commander to Sinisa.
2 JUDGE ORIE: But how could you tell us exactly which event it
3 was? I mean, from a long distance we see a video on which we hear some
4 shooting. We see a few explosions. Was the situation in late July
5 compared to the 18th of September so different? Was it not about
6 shooting? Was it not about hand-grenades? Was it not about explosions?
7 I mean, how are you able to distinguish between two events which seem to
8 be approximately about the same things happening?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, out of the innumerable
10 attacks on Spicasta Stijena, on no other occasion was that trench III
11 been so devastated as it was on that occasion which we saw on the video.
12 There was skirmishes, there was exchange of light fire, but I remember
13 that occasion because the trench was blown up completely. And then when
14 we recaptured that position, we later on fortified it much -- to be much
15 stronger than before.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do we therefore see on this video your trench being
17 so heavily damaged?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, our trench. This is our
19 trench, trench number III on this outcrop we called Krs. It had never
20 been damaged so heavily. It would be abandoned or captured by -- for
21 half an hour or two hours, but it was never damaged so extensively as it
22 was during that attack which we saw.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you do see it being damaged on the video.
24 Is it one of the explosions that hits your trenches?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were not just one, there were
1 several explosions, a number of them. And a rocket propelled hand-held
2 grenades are a very serious and damaging weapon.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Which means, if I understand you well, that your
4 trenches were visible from the Sedrenik side from where it was filmed, as
5 you said?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That's exactly how it
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. And just to pick up on that last question, your trenches then
11 would have been right at the top of the ridge; correct?
12 A. At the top of this outcrop of this rock, of this craggy terrain.
13 It's a chain. Edge of a cliff, if I have to put it that way.
14 Q. And we've been discussing the dates. You mentioned just now that
15 you remembered this because it happened around the time that you handed
16 command over to Mr. Maksimovic; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct, yes.
18 Q. Now in paragraph 29 of your statement for the Karadzic case --
19 MR. TRALDI: That's 1D02097.
20 Q. -- you said you were commander of this company on the front
21 lines, "From 31 January, 1993, until September, 1994." Now, is it
22 possible that -- I know you've suggested that the date was earlier today,
23 first, I'd put to you that your memory as to the dates is somewhat
24 uncertain; correct?
25 A. No. It's correct that I assumed duty in 31st January, 1993. I
1 never disputed that. On the 30th of January the company commander was
2 killed and I replaced him. Maybe September 1994 was a lapse. Maybe it
3 was August. And I was transferred to the battalion. So from the
4 1st of January, 1993, I was company commander. From that day onwards.
5 Q. So I'm not sure I understand your evidence in that answer. It
6 appears your evidence is maybe it was August, maybe it was September that
7 you handed over command to Mr. Maksimovic; is that right?
8 A. I handed over command to Maksimovic in late July or beginning of
9 August 1993. Sorry, 1994. It was a slip of the tongue in terms of date.
10 So late July, early August 1994. Of course the hand-over didn't take a
11 day or an hour, but some longer time. He had just arrived from training
12 and it took a while until he visited the positions, and so on.
13 Q. And so your position is that the statement you gave in the
14 Karadzic case is incorrect in this regard; is that right?
15 A. The part up to September was incorrect and the rest is accurate.
16 There must have been a slip of the tongue. I don't know what else. But
17 that's it.
18 Q. And let's turn to some questions about Spicasta Stijena itself.
19 Now, you'd agree from your positions on Spicasta Stijena you had a good
20 view over Sarajevo; correct?
21 A. Well, a part of Sarajevo. Not all of it.
22 Q. Which part do you mean, specifically?
23 A. From Sedrenik via the Jajce Barracks, a small part of Bascarsija,
24 the upper part, and on towards Sirokaca. That's it.
25 Q. You mentioned some other areas that you could see from the
1 trenches visible on the video in response to His Honour's question this
2 morning. Am I correct that you could see from different positions in
3 Spicasta Stijena both the areas that you mentioned to Judge Orie earlier
4 and the areas that you've mentioned in response to my question just now?
5 A. As for my answer to His Honour, perhaps that is what I missed
6 out. That is around Sedrenik. There was Zlatiste, so it's all close to
7 Zlatiste. Zlatiste, Grca Brdo, so that's it. Yes. Streliste or the
8 shooting range. That's all part of Sedrenik or immediately next to it.
9 As for the rest, well, one could see pretty far.
10 Q. And you could see far because your position was elevated; right?
11 A. Sorry, what kind of fire you have in mind?
12 Q. Perhaps I spoke unclearly. You could --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
14 MR. TRALDI: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Isn't it true that there are photographs in evidence
16 taken from Spicasta Stijene at least? I didn't hear of any dispute
17 about -- the only issue being where the positions were not what you could
18 see from the feature of Spicasta Stijena itself? We have evidence of
20 MR. TRALDI: We certainly have photographs of the position, yes,
21 Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And therefore to ask for a description which
23 is very difficult if there is some visualisation of that. Either put it
24 to the witness or rely on there being no dispute that that was a picture
25 taken from Spicasta Stijena. I mean, what else would we get from a
1 description, streets, neighbourhoods?
2 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, the witness has been able to confirm
3 this proposition generally in his previous testimony which is all I was
4 seeking to elicit.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's then proceed.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Now, you mentioned Sedrenik a couple of times. That was directly
8 across the confrontation lines from your position; right?
9 A. It is difficult to explain. I mean, let me repeat: Sedrenik was
10 not a line. There were no ABiH positions there. Their positions were to
11 the north at Sedam Suma, seven groves, that is where they had positions.
12 However, they received supplies through Sedrenik and reinforcements.
13 Anything they needed went via Sedrenik and via Zlatiste. So there were
14 no Bosnian line -- Bosnian Army lines at Sedrenik.
15 Q. And it was inhabited by Muslim civilians; right?
16 A. Yes. Yes, Muslims lived there.
17 Q. To help us understand your company's positions a little bit more
18 concretely --
19 MR. TRALDI: Can we have Exhibit D552. This should be the map
20 marked by the witness. Yes.
21 Q. Sir, I take it you recognise this map?
22 A. Yes, I suppose I do.
23 Q. I understand the red line on this map reflects your company's
24 positions. Did your company hold positions along the entire extent of
25 the line or at various intervals?
1 A. My company held the entirety of this line.
2 Q. And Mr. Maksimovic testified last Friday, and he testified that
3 your company's positions essentially comprised a series of trenches.
4 There was not significant depth to your company's positions, was there?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Now, only a few locations on this map are specifically
7 identified. So to assist us, I'm going to ask the usher to assist you to
8 make some markings with a pen. And for clarity, I'll describe what I'm
9 asking you to mark before telling you what to write to reflect that
11 JUDGE ORIE: What colour would you use, Mr. Traldi? Because we
12 have red markings already on this map.
13 MR. TRALDI: I'd suggest blue to distinguish it from the red,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. And before we start, if you need a minute to familiarise yourself
18 or re-familiarise yourself with the map, please say so.
19 A. All of it is familiar.
20 Q. Now, could you please locate the area of Spicasta Stijena. And
21 when you've located it, please simply say "yes."
22 A. Yes, here -- what did I do? Very well.
23 Q. Now, if you would, I'd ask you to circle the area that you
24 believe to reflect Spicasta Stijena.
25 A. It's not what I think. I know it's Spicasta Stijena. This is
1 the trench we saw, Spicasta Stijena -- sorry, Spicasta Stijena I is here
2 and Spicasta Stijena II is here, containing the three trenches all
3 together that were at Spicasta Stijena.
4 Q. And could you circle the area of Spicasta Stijena, please.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Next can you locate the area we've been discussing, Sedrenik, on
7 the map. And when you've located it, please say "yes."
8 A. I can't. It is further down the map. We would need to go to
9 that part.
10 Q. Can you just simply draw an arrow pointing towards it or where it
11 would be from Spicasta Stijena?
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. And looking at the area near the word "Grdonj," looking above it
14 we see a small triangle near your positions. Is that where the peak of
15 Grdonj would have been?
16 A. This is in front of our positions, this part down here at Grdonj.
17 And here -- bear with me. This is Mala Tvrdjava. The triangle itself,
18 well, the line is in front of it, whereas it should have been behind it,
19 the red line. The triangle is elevation 8 -- 906 --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 896.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And trig point 906 is in front.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. And could you just write a letter M next to --
24 JUDGE ORIE: No.
25 MR. TRALDI: --
1 Q. -- this small fortress for Mala --
2 JUDGE ORIE: I'm now getting confused because I do not see 896.
3 I see 895.
4 You see that, Witness?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 895. That is Spicasta Stijena.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we also see 906.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 906. That is Grdonj in front of
10 Mala Tvrdjava. Mala Tvrdjava is in the background and this is our
11 defensive trench.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And now you told us that the trench as you
13 marked it earlier in red is at the wrong position; is that correct?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is no trench. It's a line --
15 sorry, I probably did something wrong. We never held a line in front of
16 the topographic marking. This is Mala Tvrdjava, unless it is
17 something -- is it something else? No.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you mark where you said is Mala Tvrdjava with
19 putting a circle around it and add to it MT.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] MT.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. TRALDI: Mr. President, I'd just tender this map as marked by
25 the witness.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Map marked by the witness now in blue, previously
2 marked in the red, receives number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Number P6640, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P6640 is admitted.
5 MR. TRALDI: And could we have Exhibit P3, page 30.
6 Q. As this zooms in, sir, one of the positions we just mentioned was
7 Grdonj. Can you see the letters "Grdonj" in the top left-hand corner of
8 this photograph?
9 A. I see it.
10 Q. And --
11 A. Yes, there is something --
12 Q. -- now --
13 A. -- up on the hill. Yes, there seems to be a construction, a
15 Q. Grdonj is a barren feature; correct?
16 A. Yes, correct.
17 Q. So it lacks substantial cover; is that right?
18 A. Right. There were trenches on the other side, just below this it
19 seems to have been constructed in the meantime. But there was -- there
20 were some trees ...
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: We did not hear the
22 end of the witness's answer. He trailed off.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last part of your
24 answer. Are you --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At Grdonj, there were some trees in
1 front of us because as far as we could go that is where the forest was.
2 Now it is better forested to a certain extent, but this was the part that
3 we defended and they had their trenches. Their line was on the other
4 side of Grdonj and at the foot of Spicasta Stijena and then further
5 afield towards Velika Tvrdjava.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. I want to turn now from the area of Grdonj to the area of
8 Sedrenik. We can also see that in this picture; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now during your time in the 3rd Company, you could see Muslim
11 civilians in Sedrenik from the positions that you've just marked from
12 your lines; correct?
13 A. Well, yes, yes, we could see people. It looks different now.
14 There are many new houses and one wouldn't even recognise it now, but
15 there were our neighbours who worked their fields there. We didn't chase
16 them away or anything.
17 Q. In fact, sometimes your soldiers would speak to them; right?
18 A. True. Yes, true. Always or often they talked and they would
19 respond saying that the next day another group would come and that they
20 should take care. So that's what they talked.
21 Q. And your fighters would warn them not to cut grass or gather hay
22 in good visibility; right?
23 A. Correct. Correct. Precisely so. Because someone might have a
24 thought and kill an innocent person or wound.
25 Q. And what you were concerned about happened, didn't it? VRS
1 forces did fire at and hit civilians in Sedrenik.
2 A. While I was with the company at Mrkovici, such things did not
3 happen. Not once, at least that I know of. Later on, I did hear that a
4 girl was wounded or killed. I don't know what. But I'm terribly sorry.
5 I'm sorry for the life of every child or person. But I really don't know
6 anything about that as I wasn't there at the time.
7 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 13730.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could I meanwhile ask for a clarification.
9 When you say your soldiers would speak to them, would that mean
10 shouting at a distance?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, there wasn't
12 much of a distance. And the people knew each other. Those people who
13 hail from Sedrenik knew our men. And then someone from higher up would
14 say, Don't do this or that. Watch out. Don't mow in high visibility,
15 and so on. And near the forest, the trenches were separated by stretches
16 of up to 10 metres. So people talked. And they, too, warned our people
17 that the next day or the day after that there would be a new shift of
18 people from Sandzak and that they should take great care. So that's how
19 things went.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, perhaps I was a bit confused because the
21 question started with civilians. Would you say that the conversation was
22 with the ones at the trenches at the other side of the line of separation
23 or went it further also with civilians a little bit further down?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's exactly that,
25 Your Honour. Well, with civilians who lived down there. You see, where
1 there are house, there used to be meadows, but there is no construction
2 in the meantime. With those civilians, they would talk, warning them
3 about making hay or cutting grass. And of course they spoke to those in
4 the trenches, because they were in very close proximity to one another.
5 JUDGE ORIE: They did both.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
8 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President. And just to repeat for
9 the record the 65 ter number that I'd asked for is 13730.
10 Q. Sir, as it comes up, this is a United Nations weekly summary
11 dated 18 to 24 June, 1994. If I could direct your attention to the third
12 point, 20 June, 1994. The first note under it says:
13 "1 x BiH civilian killed by SA fire ..."
14 And we may have a mismatch between the English and the B/C/S
16 MR. TRALDI: So I'd suggest I move on and we'll double-check it
17 over the course of the evening. I'll have a few minutes left tomorrow
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed as you suggest.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Then, sir, we'll return to Sedrenik tomorrow morning. But I want
22 to turn now to a different topic. And that will be mobile mortars.
23 A. [Overlapping speakers]
24 Q. And you discuss in your statement receiving fire from mobile
25 mortars used by the ABiH. Now, the way a mobile mortar would operate
1 would be to fire and then to flee and take cover; correct?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. They'd fire a small number of shells, one or two or three, and
4 then move away; right?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And consequently it is very difficult for you to target these
7 mortars when you are under threat from them; right?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. And, in fact, there wouldn't be no point -- and you didn't engage
10 them; correct?
11 A. We did not. We did not target those mobile targets.
12 Q. And the time it would have taken to target them, that's partially
13 because to target a position you would have to get in touch with your
14 superior command to make decisions whether to engage; right?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, the 1st Romanija Brigade in which you served sometimes
17 received orders to carry out offensive operations; correct?
18 A. This is not known to me. I received orders from my battalion
19 commander. I was not privy to those other orders.
20 MR. TRALDI: Well, could the Prosecution please have P6543.
21 Q. This will be a recommendation for decoration for the
22 1st Romanija Infantry Brigade sent by Dragomir Milosevic.
23 MR. TRALDI: If we could turn to page 2 in both languages.
24 Q. There is a long paragraph beginning with a reference to the dates
25 14 April to 20 April, 1992. Do you see that paragraph? In the B/C/S it
1 starts about five lines from the top of the page. Do you see that, sir?
2 I think -- I think you're reading the paragraph. But for the record, you
3 have to indicate "yes" that you have seen it if you have.
4 A. Yes, but I'm going through the paragraph to see whether it refers
5 to -- to my company or battalion. Yes, I do see what you made reference
7 Q. So for the moment I'm asking about your brigade. And in about
8 the middle of the paragraph, it reads:
9 "Through its constant combat activities, the brigade defended
10 Vrace and Grbavica I. And on offensive operations on 5 June it
11 occupied" -- the translation is a little unclear on the name, I think, it
12 says "Soping, i.e., Grbavica II."
13 So the 1st Romanija Brigade carried out offensive operations;
15 A. Yes, that's so. I found that portion.
16 MR. TRALDI: And could the Prosecution have 65 ter 28615.
17 Q. The 2nd Romanija Brigade in which you were a part for several
18 months in 1992 also sometimes carried out offensive operations, didn't
20 A. I don't know. Let me see what it's all about.
21 Q. Well, this document from Colonel Krstic dated 20 September, 1992,
22 is labelled "Order for Attack." Do you see that language?
23 A. It's pretty illegible but I do see it in writing.
24 Q. And turning to the top of page 2 in both languages we see at
25 point 4 Colonel Krstic orders:
1 "I have decided by applying various offensive combat actions,
2 extend the attack along the following axis ..."
3 And then it lists various villages. So the 2nd Romanija Brigade
4 also carried out offensive operations; correct?
5 A. Most probably. I don't know anything about this. This is a
6 completely different area. It's far away from my lines. I didn't know
7 these things were happening over there.
8 Q. Sir --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
10 MR. TRALDI:
11 Q. -- in your statement -- before we finish for the day, in your
12 statement your evidence was that your company did not carry out offensive
13 operations but both brigades you were part of did carry out offensive
14 operations, didn't they? Sorry, both brigades you were part of in 1992?
15 A. Yes, but my company did or my battalion took part in those
16 actions. We were kept busy by maintaining that line and holding our
17 positions. They most probably did carry out those assaults or offensive
18 operations. Well, initially that. I seem to see that this is from 1992.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I think we should stop for the day.
20 But before we do so, you are recorded, Witness, as having said:
21 "Yes, but my company did or my battalion took part in those
23 Did you intend to say that your company and your battalion took
24 part in those actions, those offensive operations that were ordered
25 through the brigades, or did you intend to say that your company and your
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I stated that they did
3 not --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It may be interpretation, but my
6 company never took part, neither did my battalion.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That is -- that is understood.
8 Witness, we adjourn for the day. I would like to see you back
9 tomorrow morning. It will not take very long tomorrow morning.
10 I take it, Mr. Traldi, I think you've got approximately 20
11 minutes left for tomorrow.
12 MR. TRALDI: I think I might have even less than that --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Even less than that.
14 MR. TRALDI: -- in terms of remaining material.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So we most likely will conclude your testimony
16 relatively early tomorrow morning. We would like to see you back at
17 9.30. But I first would like to instruct you that you should not speak
18 with anyone or communicate in whatever way with whomever about your
19 testimony, whether that is testimony you gave today or that is testimony
20 still to be given tomorrow.
21 Is that clear to you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is clear, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then you may follow the usher.
24 Mr. Traldi.
25 MR. TRALDI: Mr. President, I apologise for trying the Court's
1 patience, but for efficiency I'd just tender the document now.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28615 receives number P6641,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P6641 is admitted.
6 We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the 8th
7 of July, 2014, in this same courtroom, I, at 9.30 in the morning.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day
10 of July, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.