1 Tuesday, 8 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 Mr. Usher, Mr. Usher, one preliminary matter -- let me first
7 invite Madam Registrar to call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. We all see what happens
11 if you want to go too fast.
12 The Defence announced that there was a preliminary matter to be
13 raised. Or it was the Prosecution.
14 MR. TRALDI: It's very brief, Mr. President. And so the witness
15 could probably be brought in while I'm reading it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I have a short matter to deal with as well.
17 MR. TRALDI: The Prosecution has received the B/C/S translation
18 for P6607, MFI, that's 65 ter 30856.
19 JUDGE ORIE: May I interrupt you?
20 MR. TRALDI: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It was exactly the same matter as I had. So the
22 witness can be brought into the courtroom.
23 Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. TRALDI: Unless you'd rather, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: No. You started, so it's --
1 MR. TRALDI: The translation has been uploaded into e-court under
2 doc ID R014-7186 B/C/S, and the Prosecution would request that this
3 translation be attached and the document admitted into evidence. It was
4 used with Witness Veljovic.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the Chamber hereby requests the Registry to
6 attach doc ID R014-7186 B/C/S to Exhibit P6607 and P6607 is admitted into
8 Mr. Traldi, any -- anything for the Chamber to expect in relation
9 to the video that was shown yesterday or -- there was a disclosure issue.
10 MR. TRALDI: No, Mr. President, I don't intend to use the video.
11 Regarding the video itself, we haven't reviewed fully what people are
12 saying during the course of the video yet. As a result, I'd reserve the
13 right to tender additional excerpts later for context, if necessary. I
14 will be asking some questions about that incident this morning.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. TRALDI: But not using the video.
17 JUDGE ORIE: One of the matters that came to my mind is when
18 I looked at the video and when I heard the sound, I wondered whether the
19 sound was already there with the video, because it seemed not to,
20 especially the explosions and what sounds of small arms fire. Of course,
21 the last you can't verify but the first, it seemed not to correspond
22 fully. I don't know where the sound comes from and whether it's
23 original, "yes" or "no."
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE ORIE: I leave that to the parties for the time being.
1 Good morning, Mr. Rasevic. Before we continue, I would like to
2 remind you --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that you're still bound
5 by the solemn declaration you've given yesterday at the beginning of your
6 testimony. Mr. Traldi will now continue his cross-examination.
7 WITNESS: BLASKO RASEVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
10 MR. TRALDI:
11 Q. Good morning, sir.
12 A. Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Prosecutor.
13 Q. I want to return now to the topic of civilians in Sedrenik and
14 pick up from one of your answers yesterday.
15 At transcript page 23612, you were asked:
16 "And what you were concerned about happened, didn't it? VRS
17 forces did fire at and hit civilians in Sedrenik."
18 And you answered:
19 "While I was with the company at Mrkovici, such things did not
20 happen. Not once at least that I know of. Later on, I did hear that a
21 girl was wounded or killed. I don't know what. But I'm terribly sorry.
22 I'm sorry for the life of every child or person. But I really don't know
23 anything about that as I wasn't there at the time."
24 Do I understand that your evidence is that the girl who was
25 wounded or killed was shot after you left the 3rd Company at Mrkovici?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. At that time, I wasn't there and I cannot
2 say anything about that incident or that case.
3 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 13730? And this will be a
4 United Nations weekly summary dated 18 to 24 June 1994.
5 Q. And that's during the time that you were at Spicasta Stijena,
7 A. At that time, yes, I was still commander of the Mrkovici company.
8 MR. TRALDI: I understand there is a released B/C/S version in
9 the system but we have two Englishes on our screen at the moment.
10 JUDGE ORIE: In e-court we have a -- yes. We now have the B/C/S
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. So looking at 20 June -- the third point, 20 June, and the first
14 subpoint below it is:
15 "1 x BiH civilian killed by SA fire, Sedrenik area."
16 So this document is reporting that a civilian in the Sedrenik
17 area was hit and killed by VRS fire, correct?
18 A. This is how the document reads.
19 Q. So I'd put to you that civilians in Sedrenik were also hit by VRS
20 fire during your time in the company.
21 A. I was never informed about this case. I heard about this later
22 through the media. Whether that civilian was killed by VRS fire, it
23 could reasonably have been killed by the Muslim forces. At that time it
24 was much easier to hit from their positions rather than from
25 Spicasta Stijena because there was a great difference in elevation. So I
1 cannot say whether it was or was not.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rasevic, if you don't know, fine. But then to
3 explain how likely it is that the others did it and not your troops is
4 speculation, is opinion, and is not knowledge about facts. If you say
5 the report doesn't say -- doesn't give any details, that, again, I think
6 that's fair to say, but then to start speculating how much easier it was
7 for the one party than for the other party is just speculation.
8 Please proceed.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I would tender this document.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 13730 receives number P6642, Your
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
15 In view of the comment of the witness, Mr. Traldi, is there --
16 are there any further details available on this incident which we only
17 see here in a summary, weekly summary. Are there any other reports which
18 shed more light on the circumstances?
19 MR. TRALDI: We could look into it, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Judge Moloto has a question for you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Rasevic, you say you heard about this incident
23 from the media. What actually did you hear? Did it report that a BiH
24 civilian was killed by fire from the VRS? Well, what did -- what did the
25 report say?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's exactly how it
2 was. At the time the Muslim or BiH media reported on a daily basis on
3 many casualties, among others, about this, that by the VRS.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop you. Forget about the other
5 incidents. I'm talking about this incident only. Was it reported that
6 it was done by the VRS?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is exactly how they reported,
8 the BiH media, TV.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: As commander, did you then try to investigate, to
10 find the truth?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By all means, I walked the defence
12 line, I discussed and interviewed my men asking whether any of them did
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: What was the result of the investigation?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Result was that nobody fired at
16 civilians, that there was a skirmish between the trenches, Borovi [phoen]
17 III, and another trench up there in the woods.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you have a military written report about the
19 incident from those you inquired from?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Isn't it procedure that when matters are
22 investigated they are recorded in writing and reported to the commands?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I reported to my superior
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, in writing. Do you have a report in written
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, I reported in writing.
3 I kept a log, but what happened with that, I don't know. After I left,
4 I jotted down every incident, every skirmish, every exchange of fire,
5 I reported in writing to my superior command.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yesterday, when you talked about this incident you
7 seemed to be surprised to hear of this kind of incident. Am I wrong?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. You're not erring in
9 this. There were incidents but there was no direct fire aimed at
10 civilians. If you allow me, how to put it, we did not prevent the
11 civilians from cutting down trees because for firewood. I did not
12 prevent them in that. If in such a case there were -- there was an
13 exchange of fire, it could have been possible.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just hold it there. Let me quote to you
15 what you said yesterday, which was quoted to you just this morning. You
17 "While I was with the company at Mrkovici, such things did not
19 So according to you, this kind of incident didn't happen while
20 you were there. And then you say:
21 "Not once, at least that I know of. Later on, I did hear that a
22 girl was wounded or killed."
23 This does not accord with what you have just told us, that you
24 did investigate this incident. Do you agree with that? You couldn't
25 have investigated if it didn't happen in your time. One of the two
1 cannot be correct.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I asked the men, the
3 fighters, asked them, "Did you by any chance fire at civilians?"
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, let me stop you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the response was --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop you there.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- "Well, there was a skirmish" --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not answering my question. If you did
9 investigate any such incident, you wouldn't say nothing of the sort
10 happened during our time. Is it not so?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 Yes, Mr. Traldi.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. Mr. Rasevic, in response to one of Judge Moloto's questions he
19 asked about incidents where civilians were hit by sniper fire and you
20 said there were incidents. About how many were you aware of?
21 A. I cannot claim or state about those. I heard about this case
22 concerning this girl. I don't know whether it was true. I heard about
23 it. And this case that we discussed just a minute ago. But how this
24 incident happened, this is something I cannot state with any clarity or
1 Q. Then, sir, I want to return to the video.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could we get an answer to the question of
3 Mr. Traldi? You explained to us that you do not know the details, but
4 the question was when you said that these incidents happened, how many
5 you are aware of. One? Two? Ten? 20? That was the question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean incidents at
7 Spicasta Stijena?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, to my knowledge, serious
10 attacks numbered ten-odd. Every day, exchange of fire was common. There
11 would be a rifle, grenades coming from the other side.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rasevic, again we are talking about civilians
13 being hit by fire from Spicasta Stijena. We are talking about incidents,
14 not about combat. How many of such incidents you are aware of?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know about this case that we
16 discussed, that a civilian was wounded. How, I don't know. And I heard
17 about this case concerning the girl. I just heard it later on.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So altogether, two? Or is it one because it -- I'm
19 not aware that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This one that I know of. I do not
21 know about this other incident about which I only heard.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, although you told us that through the media
23 that you learned that you were blamed again and again for this kind of
24 incidents. Isn't this what you told us?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you, during the day I did
1 not know that this incident had happened. Only in the evening, once
2 I heard news on the media, I heard that one man had been wounded.
3 Initially I heard he was wounded, and then --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. You are constantly giving
5 answers to questions that are not put to you. You told us that you were
6 blamed again and again in the media about this type of incidents, and you
7 said you only learned about these one or two, I leave that alone, cases.
8 If that's your evidence, fine, then -- but I just put it to you that you
9 told us a minute ago that you were frequently blamed for -- in the media
10 for this type of incidents.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, they blamed us
12 throughout the war that we attacked relentlessly which does not
13 correspond to the truth, and this is what I said, this is the context in
14 which I said that. I'm not just talking about this particular incident
15 but throughout the war they blamed us.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. So just to make sure I understand your last answer, you regularly
19 read reports that civilians had been injured by fire from
20 Spicasta Stijena and other locations, correct?
21 A. I did not read reports. I just heard about it in the media.
22 Serbian television, Bosnia-Herzegovina television, and other televisions
23 available to me. I'm not going to say never, but there were very few
24 days when they did not report that Mrkovici killed and maimed and wounded
25 this or that many people.
1 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I renew my request to tender the
2 document. The witness has heard about this specific incident.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 MR. TRALDI: I think it may have been given a number but not
5 formally admitted yet.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The document has been assigned number P6642, I
7 would just [indiscernible].
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. Sir, to conclude, I want to return to the video Mr. Stojanovic
11 showed you. I'm not going to show it again, but I want to summarise your
12 evidence to make sure we have it clear. Do you recall the video?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At the time the video began, you were 200 metres behind the front
15 line in your company's command, correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. You couldn't see what was happening at the beginning of the
18 video, but once the explosions started you ran outside and you could see;
19 is that right?
20 A. That's right, yes, exactly.
21 Q. The ABiH soldiers who were attacking Spicasta Stijena were part
22 of a unit called Black Swans or "Crni Labudovi"; correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. The ABiH held the position only overnight, they did not advance
25 any further, and you took it back the next morning. That's correct too,
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. And one trench was blown up completely, right?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 30939? This is a daily combat
6 report from the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated 19 September 1994. And,
7 Your Honours, it's only partially translated. We located it over night,
8 but the part I'm interested in is translated.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the Defence is able to read the remainder
10 of the document -- Mr. Stojanovic, if you consider there to be important
11 information for the Chamber, then you should ask for a translation of the
12 whole of the document because I see on the non-translated part already
13 reference to Grdonj and Spicasta Stijena, so I'm not saying that that is
14 relevant but I see those names already under item 1, aggressor.
15 MR. TRALDI: We're happy to put in a request, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. But if we look at point 2, labelled "Our Forces," it says in
19 pertinent part:
20 "At Sarajevo battlefield, on the day of 18/9/1994, have been
21 executing combat actions in order to occupy Spicasta Stijena and
22 Mala Kula. For these tasks, forces were engaged comprising one platoon
23 from the 120th BBR, Crni Labudovi," and then it lists some other units.
24 Where we read Crni Labudovi, that's the Black Swans unit you
25 identified in the video, right?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Beginning of the next paragraph reads:
3 "Upon commencement of action, 120 BBR," and again that was
4 identified above as that Black Swans unit, "have captured a part of
5 Spicasta Stijena."
6 That's what you testified happened in the video you were
7 describing, correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. It next says:
10 "The unit PTDO MUP Bosna had executed the attack right of
11 Spicasta Stijena and the same have, upon commencement of attack,
12 destroyed one trench."
13 Your testimony is that the destruction of a trench happened in
14 the incident you saw and it was fortified more strongly afterwards,
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And looking at the bottom of the page, it says -- well,
18 immediately afterwards, it says:
19 "By the nightfall units occupied Spicasta Stijena."
20 And it's right that the ABiH occupied Spicasta Stijena overnight
21 on that one occasion, correct?
22 A. Well, yes, part of Spicasta Stijena. Part was not -- it was
23 not -- the Spicasta Stijena was not completely under their control but
24 just that part where this trench that had been hit was destroyed.
25 Q. So I'd put to you that this is the incident that you described
1 yesterday and the report clearly dates it as having happened on the 18th
2 of September 1994. I'd put to you that you are mistaken about the date,
3 and the incident you described is the same as the one Mr. Gengo testified
4 about, the one described in this report, and occurred in September of
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure what the witness is
8 JUDGE ORIE: The interpreters do not know what exactly your
9 answer is, Witness. Could you tell us whether you agree with Mr. Traldi
10 that you may be mistaken as far as the date is concerned.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is quite possible because I
12 don't have the date itself in any of my notes. That was something that
13 was left behind at the company when I left. It's quite possible that it
14 happened then, at the time when Gengo said it happened and the time where
15 it is reported that we see here, because this was a report to the
16 battalion commander, so I can then confirm that that's how it was.
17 Because for some other reasons, thinking of when Sinisa and I took turns,
18 at the command in August, he -- it was his wedding, and then -- so I was
19 trying to figure out based on that, but it's quite possible seeing what
20 it says here that it was at this time.
21 MR. TRALDI:
22 Q. Now, your testimony was that you were at the company command when
23 that happened but it sounds like your evidence is you'd become
24 Mr. Gengo's deputy in the battalion command at that point; is that right?
25 A. Yes, sir. However, very frequently, as the Mrkovici Company was
1 vulnerable in that section where it suffered the greatest number of
2 attacks, I was there a lot of the time, and we also had a forward command
3 post there, a battalion forward command post, and I spent a lot of time
5 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, that completes my examination.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: I'm reminded that I've neglected to tender the
8 document 30939. I'd ask that it be marked for identification until we've
9 got a complete translation.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30939 receives number P6643, Your
13 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
14 Mr. Stojanovic, any further questions for the witness?
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, just a few.
16 Could we have in e-court P6641, page 2 of this document, please?
17 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] While we're waiting for it to come up, let me
19 just say that it's a document used by the Prosecution from the command of
20 the 2nd Romanija Brigade dated the 29th, 1992, and I would like to refer
21 you to item 4, Mr. Rasevic.
22 Yesterday you were referred to this part, and especially the part
23 where it says:
24 "I have decided by applying various offensive combat actions,
25 extend the attack along the following axis: Krusevo village, Dolovi
1 village, Olovo and Ponijerak village..."
2 And then if I'm reading this correctly:
3 "Donji Drecelj village, Paklenik, Grabovica village."
4 Can you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. My question is this: Where is Olovo in relation to Sarajevo?
7 A. Well, Olovo is to the north-west of Sarajevo, some 50 to 60
8 kilometres away.
9 Q. Do you know where the villages of Krusevo, Dolovi, and Ponijerak
11 A. No, I don't. I know the main highway, Sarajevo-Olovo and so on,
12 but I have heard of Krusevo because I have a lot of neighbours who were
13 from that area, but I don't know exactly where it is.
14 Q. How far is Krusevo village from vary?
15 A. Well, Krusevo is also about 60 kilometres, like Olovo, perhaps a
16 kilometre or two closer or further, I don't know.
17 Q. Thank you. The next question is this: When --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue there, you read to the witness at
19 least that's how it is on the record, Grabovica village. Now, the
20 English version says Grahovica with an H rather than with a B, and
21 looking at the original I think it's not perfectly clear whether it's an
22 H or whether it's a B. But I just wanted to put on the record that what
23 you are recorded to have read is not consistent with the English
24 translation of a rather unclear B/C/S original. Please proceed.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance,
1 Your Honour.
2 Q. The next thing I would like to ask you, Mr. Rasevic: While you
3 were in the Mrkovici Company, were there several attacks on
4 Spicasta Stijena and were there several times when Spicasta Stijena was
5 captured by the BH Army for brief periods at least?
6 A. Yes, certainly. There were several attacks and there was some
7 capturing, once or twice, but that would last for an hour or two. So it
8 was only on that one night that they actually held it, the entire night.
9 But what usually happened is they would start shooting or a shell would
10 fall, then these men would withdraw and then I would return there and
11 someone with me.
12 Q. Your positions, and I mean the fortifications, trenches and
13 communication trenches, did they run along the ridge, the ridges Krs I
14 Krs II, Krs III of the Spicasta Stijena feature or were they placed
16 A. Well, they were a bit closer to our position because had they
17 been on the very lip of the ridge, it would have been -- they would have
18 been far easier targets. However, they were a bit withdrawn from there
19 and, yes, we had these communication trenches and reserve communication
20 trenches, reserve trenches and so on.
21 Q. These trenches, were they dug out or were they built up,
22 constructed features?
23 A. Well, the trenches were dug in and where it was impossible to dig
24 them in because of the ground that was rock, then we would construct some
25 kind of screen. There would be construction. A lot of stones or rocks
1 would be piled up, one on the other.
2 Q. Thank you. I will conclude with another question about this. In
3 terms of the time of this incident, what were you guided by when you
4 determined what time this happened? What was -- what were your
5 considerations? What were you -- what was your meaning?
6 A. Well, it was a takeover between me -- well, the takeover of
7 duties between me and Sinisa Maksimovic as commanders of this company. I
8 know this took a couple of days. So I thought that this happened before
9 he got married. Now, I mention his wedding again. But most probably, as
10 I don't have the date noted down, it happened as Gengo said, on the 18th
11 of September because these reports were sent to the command. So that's
12 how it must have been. That's all that I was guided by.
13 Q. Do you remember -- do you remember whether during this operation
14 that was filmed on that video, on that occasion was the position of your
15 unit also captured, the Mala Kula feature?
16 A. No, no. That was not at that time. Mala Kula was captured on
17 the 29th of January 1993.
18 Q. And you also spoke about this in your statement, correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Rasevic, thank you. I have
21 no further questions for you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rasevic, there's one issue which I'd like to
25 have perfectly clear. That's the reason why I revisit it because
1 Mr. Stojanovic did so as well.
2 Yesterday, we looked at this video. We saw soldiers moving
3 mainly on the left side of the screen, and more on the right side of the
4 screen we saw at certain points in time explosions, flashes. You could
5 see the light of that. Could you tell us where we saw that light, these
6 explosions, were these your fortifications or trenches, whatever you call
8 A. Flashes could be clearly seen when they struck our trench, the
9 trench that they destroyed.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We could clearly see them. I didn't ask whether we
11 could clearly see them. But what we saw, those flashes, those flashes
12 were in the location where your trenches were?
13 A. No. Other than these, these were below our trenches, below our
14 trenches, and then if we were to see this again, we would see that all
15 these three trenches at Spicasta Stijena were attacked at the same time.
16 Here they were only filming the one that was being captured, whereas all
17 the three were being attacked, the one on the right which was called Krs
18 I --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. I want to see it again.
20 Could we play that video again, especially the -- I think it was the
21 first of the two videos, there were two portions, and is it possible to
22 play it again. And when I say "stop," could we then stop the movement.
23 I'm sorry for not having the number available.
24 MR. TRALDI: For the record, I think it's D553, MFI.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see Mr. Ivetic is --
1 MR. IVETIC: I'm trying to get the computer to co-operate with
2 me, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- applying --
4 MR. IVETIC: It will take about a minute or two to get the
5 computer up and running for the video to be played.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the 65 ter number, if that would be helpful
8 for Mr. Ivetic, is 1D2992.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps meanwhile I ask a question.
10 Did you find this video yourself on the internet, Witness?
11 A. No, I didn't, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Where did you get it from?
13 A. Some friends of mine who saw it told me about it. It's been a
14 while already, maybe some ten years or so, that it's been on YouTube.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Have the parties verified in any way whether this
16 appears on YouTube and from what sources or?
17 MR. TRALDI: I can say I've verified that it appears on YouTube,
18 but that's the extent of the verification I've been able to do.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That sounds -- that's either the start-up or
20 the very end. There we are.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we stop already here, right away.
23 Witness, what you see on your screen now, we see the -- what
24 seems to be two rocky formations, one a little bit more to the left, one
25 a little bit further back to the right. Can you describe where your
1 fortifications can be seen here?
2 A. Your Honour, our fortification, our trench, was on the right-hand
3 side. It's a bit in the back of this peak.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Is that approximately at the location where the tree
5 with most green is located? There's one tree which apparently is more
6 green than the other ones. Is that approximately --
7 A. Yes. That's exactly where it is. Not approximately but
8 precisely there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know who --
10 A. And right of it we can see some dried up trees.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know who is controlling the mouse. Could
12 you try to follow the one -- I see there the tree with the most, you see
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. And could you then guide the person who is
16 controlling the mouse to where your trenches were. Is it further down?
17 Is it --
18 A. Lower down, at the base of the tree.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Is that --
20 A. Behind the tree.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Behind the tree?
22 A. Behind the tree, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: What we see is still what looks a bit like a rocky
24 formation with a few black spots. Is that approximately where your
25 fortification can be seen? Where the mouse is now? Where the pointer is
2 A. Yes. That's the so-called Krs III peak of Spicasta Stijena.
3 That's what it's called. And it is practically in the rock.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was this a kind of a built-up trench or
5 fortification or was it a dug-in trench or fortification?
6 A. This is a dug-in trench from this other side, from our side.
7 There is a high rock there and we built the trench into this rock, and
8 there were also firing openings there, and we covered it and so on. So
9 this was a reconnaissance trench, an observation trench.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And did you make fire openings in that same trench?
11 A. Yes, yes. The so-called fire slits. There would be no trench
12 without it. You can't leave a trench without these.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we move on with the video at this
14 moment. What we saw at this moment was at 00.20. That's what we looked
16 [Video-clip played]
17 JUDGE ORIE: One stop. Could we go back for just two or three
19 [Video-clip played]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could we stop when we saw the big flash. That last
21 flash we saw, is that a flash which is approximately where your trenches
23 A. Yes. Exactly.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And that was the trench we saw a minute ago and you
25 said that was heavily damaged. Is that well understood?
1 A. Yes. That's the trench.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I have no further questions in relation
3 to this.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The last portion was at 00.32.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I think we saw the flash a split second
6 before that. I have no further questions. Have the questions by the
7 Bench triggered any further questions by the parties?
8 MR. TRALDI: Not for us, Your Honour.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, but perhaps we
10 could then tender this document and remove the MFI indication if the
11 Prosecution agrees, that's D553.
12 MR. TRALDI: We would ask for a little bit of time to investigate
13 the source, Mr. President. I understand the images have to be part of
14 the record to understand what the witness was referring to, but in terms
15 of the other content we may wish to make additional submissions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We leave it for the time being MFI'd, but the
17 Prosecution will revisit the matter within the next week?
18 MR. TRALDI: We will do our very best to do that, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you're unable to do so, please come with a
20 report why you aren't able to do so.
21 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then this concludes your evidence, Mr. Rasevic.
23 You've answered the questions that were put to you by the parties
24 and by the Bench. I thank you for that. I thank you for coming to
25 The Hague and I wish you a safe return home again.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break. May I take it that the Prosecution
4 is -- the Defence is ready to call its next witness after the break,
5 Mr. Ivetic?
6 MR. IVETIC: We are, Your Honours. And that's
7 Colonel Dragicevic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will take the break and resume at 10
9 minutes to 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could the next witness be escorted into the
14 Meanwhile, I address the following matter. I said a few words
15 about the Chamber being informed about an agreed schedule of witnesses.
16 We only received the provisional list. We asked for the list upon which
17 the parties had agreed. We had not received it. Then we got it. Now
18 I do understand that the order has been changed since then again. And
19 it's thanks to Madam Registrar that the Chamber knows about it. I do
20 understand that she was informed this morning, but the Chamber staff was
21 not informed about the newest change, and I am fearful for the day where
22 even when the witness enters the courtroom, the Chamber would not know
23 who it is who will be examined. Next time any change in the schedule
24 should not only be communicated with the Prosecution and with the
25 Registry but preferably also to Chamber staff. We still have to play a
1 role in the proceedings here.
2 Mr. Weber.
3 MR. WEBER: Good morning, Your Honours.
4 Your Honour, I just wanted to raise with the Chamber before the
5 witness comes in that the witness has --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We hear you. Perhaps you're ear phones are
7 not --
8 MR. WEBER: That the witness did previously receive a 90(E)
9 admonishment and we do believe it is proper for this witness to receive
11 JUDGE ORIE: It always depends on the questions that are put to
12 him, and we have a standing practice that the Defence should be very
13 alert on it. But we leave it in the hands of the Defence to start with,
14 whether a 90(E) caution will be given, and if the Chamber itself sees any
15 reason halfway, it can still do so.
16 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honours, the 90(E) was given in the
17 Karadzic case. I do not anticipate that my questions will raise its need
18 but I leave it to Your Honours to be diligent.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll carefully follow the course of the
21 MR. IVETIC: And I do have to add that I believe the revised
22 witness schedule was sent to Chambers -- at least the e-mail that
23 I received was copied to the Mladic case Chambers --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. If that's the case --
25 MR. IVETIC: -- as of 9.00 this morning.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- of course I have to apologise. Then my staff
2 might expect a similar critical note. We will find out.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Dragicevic, sorry not to pay proper attention to
5 you entering the courtroom.
6 Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you make a
7 solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and
8 nothing but the truth. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: LUKA DRAGICEVIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Dragicevic. Please be seated.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Dragicevic, you'll first be examined by
16 Mr. Ivetic. Mr. Ivetic is a member of the Defence team of Mr. Mladic.
17 Mr. Ivetic, you may proceed.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
20 Q. Good day, Colonel.
21 A. Good day. Good day to everybody.
22 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to begin by calling up
23 65 ter number 1D0168. A hard copy of the same was provided to
24 Prosecution counsel and then given to the usher. And if we could have
25 that in front of the witness, it might assist in terms of the speed of
1 the examination.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ivetic, could you just check whether the
3 number is correctly recorded?
4 MR. IVETIC: I apologise, I must have misspoken. It's 1D01618.
5 And thank Your Honour for bringing that to my attention.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have anything on the screen. That may
7 be -- now it is there.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, sir, first I would ask you to take a look at the first page
10 and tell us if you recognise the signature on that first page.
11 A. Yes, that's my signature.
12 Q. Did you in fact give a written statement to the Defence team of
13 General Ratko Mladic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And subsequent to signing this document, did you have occasion to
16 review the same during proofing the other day in order to verify if there
17 were any necessary corrections?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. IVETIC: I would at this time like to look at paragraph 2
20 which is to be found on page 2 in both versions of the statement.
21 Q. Sir, where in paragraph 2 you are recorded as saying:
22 "Before the Drina Corps was established, we were not visited by
23 anyone and we could not go anywhere."
24 Is that accurate and correct?
25 A. It is correct in its entirety, if we mean land communications or
1 roads because all of them were not safe. It was not safe to move around,
2 and very few dared take those roads. So whoever was supposed to come and
3 visit us would do so very rarely. I remember that General Mladic,
4 risking too much, visited my brigade once but he flew on a helicopter.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. IVETIC: Now, if we can turn to paragraph 10, which is to be
7 found on page 4 of both versions of the document. And actually it will
8 be -- the relevant part will be I think on page 5 of both documents.
10 Q. And where you are recorded as saying:
11 "It is my belief that even now in 2002 the Sarajevo airport has
12 no competence over air traffic in the BH air space."
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Ivetic, I think you misspoke. You said 2002
14 but I read 2012.
15 MR. IVETIC: 2012. Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, do you have any clarification you wish to make to this
17 section of paragraph 10?
18 A. Well, the clarification is this: I'm sure that as at 2012
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have air traffic control, control of its air
20 space, and I do believe that this still holds today but I'm not certain.
21 So -- which means that they have not established control over air
22 traffic -- control over air traffic.
23 MR. IVETIC: Now I would like to take a look at paragraph 23,
24 which is to be found on page 6 in both languages.
25 Q. Sir, in this paragraph, you outline the various ABiH units which
1 were present in the theatre of war where the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was.
2 Are all the ABiH units identified here or are there any forces missing?
3 A. 31st Division of the ABiH with its headquarters at Gorazde is
4 missing from this -- correction, 81st.
5 Q. Okay. Apart from these corrections and clarifications that we
6 have now gone through, do you stand by everything that you have written
7 in your statement as being accurate to the best of your knowledge?
8 A. I do believe this is accurate and I stand by it.
9 Q. And if I were to ask you questions today based on the material
10 contained in your statement, would your answers be the same in substance
11 as contained in the statement?
12 A. In essence, these would be the same.
13 Q. And having taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth, would
14 those answers to my questions be truthful as contained in your written
16 A. Of course. I will always speak the truth.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I at this time move pursuant to
18 Rule 92 ter to introduce 65 ter number 1D1618 into evidence along with
19 the one associated exhibit, 65 ter number 1D02315.
20 MR. WEBER: No objections.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we go to the last page of the statement?
22 MR. IVETIC: Absolutely. That should be page 12 in the English.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, can you confirm that this is your
24 signature on that page?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is my signature.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, do I understand that the objections
3 raised in your response such as what kind of maps were used or -- that
4 you do not further object? I remember an observation about I think it
5 was paragraph 41.
6 MR. WEBER: You're correct, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Map showing deployment on both sides.
8 MR. WEBER: The -- we leave it to the Defence if they want to
9 further explore it, but with respect to the content --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. WEBER: -- of the statement we have no objections.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you assign numbers first to
13 the statement, second to the associated exhibit?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Statement document 1D1618 receives number D554.
15 And document 1D2315 receives number D555, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D554 and D555 are admitted.
17 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 At this time I would like to read a public summary of the witness
19 statement. The procedure has been explained to the witness during
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
22 MR. IVETIC: Colonel Dragicevic was a lieutenant-colonel in the
23 JNA airforce in 1992, when the war broke out, stationed at Rajlovac in
24 Sarajevo. He joined the VRS in July of 1992, being first assigned as the
25 Chief of Staff of the Visegrad Brigade and later brigade commander. In
1 1993, he was named chief of staff of the Visegrad tactical group and
2 served until November 1994 at which time he was named the assistant
3 commander for morale, for religious, and legal affairs in the
4 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
5 Colonel Dragicevic's testimony covers harassment of JNA personnel
6 in 1991 in Sarajevo by Juka Prazina and other persons that later became
7 the embryo of the Muslim armed forces. He describes briefings in the JNA
8 that told of Muslim and Croat personnel being trained by the BH
9 Ministry of Interior and the ZNG, as well as a training centre of the
10 Patriotic League established at Igman. Colonel Dragicevic states that
11 not a single member of the JNA was dismissed from duty due to their
12 ethnicity. Slovenes and Croats left first voluntarily and then Bosnian
13 Muslims left en masse in March and April 1992, especially when it was
14 clear the JNA would pull out of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 The witness recalls fire being opened at night on the JNA from
16 Butmir settlement on the south side of the airport. Meetings with
17 representatives of that settlement revealed that the Sandzaklije Muslims
18 from Serbia were responsible, firing mortars mounted to vehicles. The
19 witness also recalls attacks upon the withdrawing JNA by the SDA and the
20 HDZ, such as the attack on the JNA army command in Sarajevo and the JNA
21 columns withdrawing from Sarajevo and Tuzla.
22 In the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, the strategy was to defend the
23 living space of the Serbian people and to protect itself and the other
24 loyal citizens in the area of Sarajevo and Romanija. The ABiH
25 outnumbered the SRK 3 times to 1. The SRK fired only on registered enemy
1 firing positions that caused casualties among VRS soldiers or civilians.
2 The SRK forbade action against UNPROFOR. The ABiH often fired
3 upon the SRK from near UNPROFOR installations. Colonel Dragicevic does
4 not know of a single case or war crime committed in the area of
5 responsibility of the SRK during the time period that he was a member of
6 the SRK command. He recalls that the Main Staff of the VRS asked for the
7 Markale I incident to be investigated by a mixed military commission
8 including VRS representatives but that this was refused by the Muslims as
9 was the offer made by the Serb side for Sarajevo to be an open city.
10 The witness states there was no siege to speak of in Sarajevo,
11 especially when the ABiH constructed a tunnel under the airport. The SRK
12 blockaded the ABiH 1st Corps and not the city itself.
13 That concludes the public summary of the statement.
14 With Your Honours leave, I would now have some follow-up
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please put the questions to the witness.
17 MR. IVETIC:
18 Q. Sir, if we could first take a look at paragraph 5 --
19 MR. IVETIC: Which is to be found at pages 2 and 3 of both
20 versions of the statement, and I'd like to focus on the last sentence in
21 that paragraph which can be found on the next page in both versions.
22 Q. -- here you mention being officially informed that a training
23 centre of the Patriotic League was established at Igman. What was this
24 league's affiliation?
25 A. Patriotic League was a military formation of the Party of
1 Democratic Action or the SDA.
2 Q. Now, are you familiar with another group known as the
3 Green Berets?
4 A. Yes, of course. This was a police force of the SDA. They were
6 Q. Now I'd like to turn to paragraph 11 of your statement.
7 MR. IVETIC: And this is to be found on page 4 of both versions.
8 Q. Sir, here you talk about the so-called Sandzaklije shooting from
9 Butmir on the JNA with mortars mounted on vehicles and that
10 representatives of the settlement told you about this. Can you give us
11 more information about who is the source of this information?
12 A. We held meetings with representatives of this sizeable,
13 predominantly Muslim inhabited settlement, and we discussed with the
14 local community representatives. I remember a prominent businessman,
15 Celanovic. Mostly we met at his home and sometimes in the local
16 community premises. The information about vehicle mounted mortars was
17 provided by them to us. The goal of those talks was not open fire at one
18 another, to avoid unnecessary loss of life. They were interested in
19 that. However, when I noticed that they'd dug trenches facing towards
20 the air control building and the landing strip, I asked them why have you
21 dug your trenches facing us? Why don't you dig in trenches which would
22 prevent those Sandzaklije from entering your settlement? They promised
23 they would do so but never came through with that promise.
24 Q. And what was the ethnicity of these local representatives that
25 you met with?
1 A. They were all Muslims.
2 Q. How often did this fire upon the JNA from the Butmir settlement
4 A. Every evening. Every evening after sunset, they would start
5 firing from that settlement at our positions. First of all, the building
6 of air control and our units, which were deployed in the area of the
7 Butmir or Sarajevo airport.
8 MR. IVETIC: Next I would like to turn to paragraph 15, which
9 should be on the same page in both versions.
10 Q. And here you make mention that:
11 "We did not trust the international community because of the role
12 it played in the events in Dobrovoljacka Street."
13 Can you please identify for us what events at Dobrovoljacka
14 street you are speaking of?
15 A. I refer to the massacre committed by the military and police of
16 the SDA, Patriotic League, and Green Berets respectively. They attacked
17 the staff of the 2nd Army District command who, in agreement with
18 representatives of the civilian authorities headed by
19 President Izetbegovic and General Mackenzie's, were forming a line, about
20 to abandon their erstwhile headquarters, the neighbourhood of Bistrik,
21 because they could not survive any longer there because there were daily
22 attacks at the command headquarters building and loss of life of
23 soldiers. At that point, many people lost their lives on the trucks,
24 without any combat posture on their side. Many were wounded. And more
25 than 100 were held prisoner. There were some Muslims among them;
1 specifically, there was a woman who was a civilian working at the
2 headquarters and an officer. Maybe there were more, but I'm sure about
3 one who was a Muslim who also lost his life there.
4 Q. Now, sir, if you could briefly tell us if there were any other
5 factors or incidents that were the bases of your conclusion that the
6 international community could not be trusted?
7 A. Well, at this point in time, and this was a dominant event and
8 none of us could accept and understand that such a criminal act would be
9 committed, a massacre, a crime, without any reaction whatsoever on the
10 part of those who were conducting or leading the negotiations of the two
11 sides, in other words the UNPROFOR, and my private view, when I was in
12 Sarajevo, and I observed these things, it was my impression that as soon
13 as members of UNPROFOR arrived in Bosnia, in some part of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the conflict would flare up there. So it was all of
15 our view that UNPROFOR took the enemy side by virtue of the fact that
16 absolutely no response whatsoever happened after this crime in Sarajevo.
17 Q. Do you have any other specific incidents that you'd like to again
18 just briefly make reference to as we are pressed for time?
19 A. During the war, I had several occasions to actually conclude that
20 we were correct in our conclusion. In fact I worked and I was appointed
21 by the commander of the Main Staff to be the VRS representative in the
22 Gorazde sector and to liaise with UNPROFOR and the enemy side on the
23 issues of maintaining peace and other agreements, such as anti-sniping --
24 the anti-sniping agreement and so forth.
25 And when the Serbian army was supposed to withdraw, and we had
1 already withdrawn some one and a half kilometres, and that too was
2 unusual that only one side would have to withdraw, however, we accepted
3 that as a fact. And then a British brigade arrived, the personnel was
4 rather young, and they were supposed to impose themselves between the two
5 warring sides. I remember the commander's name, rather first name, his
6 name was David. When he arrived for these talks, and of course he was
7 supposed to talk with me because I was in charge of co-operation with
8 them, he told me that they were neutral, that he was -- that he wanted to
9 make sure that none of his soldiers was killed, and he asked me what our
10 view was on that, and I said, "Well, there wouldn't be any problem as
11 long as you kept neutral. As long as you're neutral, we will not pose
12 any problems." We, the Serbs who were there in the Gorazde sector.
13 He accepted that and on the next day he brought his men. I was
14 at the head of the column. He was behind me and it seemed as if I was
15 actually leading his army. This was some 50 metres away from our defence
16 line. And at one point after some 100 metres or so, I turned around and
17 I realised that all of his soldiers had their rifles pointed at our
18 soldiers, and then I wondered, I asked him, "Well, what is this? What is
19 going on? Aren't you abiding by our agreement? You promised you would
20 be neutral." And then he said, "Well, you know, this is how we were
21 briefed. You would eat young kids and you're very dangerous," and so on.
22 Well, I said, "Sir, but we have an agreement and we are abiding by it."
23 And then he said, "Well, we are not sure that our soldiers would be
24 safe." And then I said, "Well, I am not going to lead an army where my
25 soldiers would have -- watch me bringing in a foreign unit that was in a
1 combat posture against them." Then I said -- then he said -- well, when
2 I said that I would deploy them, then they actually put their rifles away
3 and abandoned the combat posture. There were a lot of other examples
4 like this. When I was at the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, I also had
5 occasion to see where they took civilians, alleged civilians, they would
6 take them across the runway, the airport runway, only so these men would
7 then get armed and cross Igman. Another example would be the tunnel
8 under the runway, and UNPROFOR was responsible for this.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You were asked by Mr. Ivetic to briefly make
10 reference rather than to tell us for ages matters which apparently were
11 feeding your lack of trust. I do understand that you profoundly
12 mistrusted UNPROFOR. Could you just point at --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I did not have a profound
14 distrust. What happened was that they were the ones who actually made me
15 feel this way because in the beginning they made as if they were neutral.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't say who caused you to have that mistrust
17 but it appears from your words that, and as you just confirmed a second
18 ago, that they made you feel this way. That's fine. But you talked
19 about the tunnel, and crossing to Igman, three or four sentences to
21 Did you want to add anything which we found already in the
22 statement; that is, that apparently you considered that the UNPROFOR was
23 not neutral in letting ABiH soldiers in and out through the tunnel? Is
24 that what you -- do you want to add anything to what is in your statement
25 in this respect?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just want to say that as time
2 went by, and especially when I was actually in a position to work with
3 them directly, I arrived at the conclusion that my initial impression was
4 correct. There were a number of instances that confirmed this conduct of
5 theirs. As the war progressed, they were taking more and more the side
6 of our enemy -- of our opponent, opposing side.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Q. I'd like to move to another topic, paragraph 16 of your
11 MR. IVETIC: This is to be found at page 5 of both versions.
12 Q. What could you tell us about the manner in which the SRK passed
13 along orders about adherence to the international laws of war down the
15 A. Well, there were various manners, and the responsible officers
16 from the company commander level, battalion commander and their
17 assistants for morale, battalion commanders and their assistants for
18 morale, directly trained their soldiers, and we did this usually during
19 periods of cease-fire or truces, more often than not it was in winter
20 months, February or March, and we conducted training. But it was
21 impossible to train all our soldiers, but the lower level commanders had
22 the duty to convey to every single fighter the things they learned at
23 their training courses. As for morale, the area of morale, I was the one
24 who instructed them. As for the legal affairs, there was an assistant
25 for legal matters. He was a lawyer. And in the various brigades, the
1 assistants for morale, legal, and religious affairs, these people were
2 also trained. There were lawyers or -- had the similar background.
3 Now, it was impossible to do this training for the entire -- for
4 all the troops because they were deployed in various areas. However, we
5 prepared various booklets that were adapted to the level -- the education
6 level of the simple soldiers, the privates, so that they would be able to
7 actually understand what the purpose of these courses was.
8 Q. What can you tell us, moving on to another area, what can you
9 tell us as to any problems between the local, political leaders on the
10 one hand and the VRS on the other hand, beginning first in your time
11 period in Visegrad?
12 A. Well, that was actually the first time when I saw that those
13 people who knew least about the military and about the war were the ones
14 who most wanted to become commanders. So these political structures
15 actually attempted, especially in the beginning, but less so as time went
16 on, to put forward their proposals and insist on them without actually
17 having any responsibility for their implementation. They -- some
18 commanders would just do as they were asked, they did not oppose that,
19 but I took a different position. I was very strict. They tried the same
20 thing when they came to meet with me, these local political leaders, but
21 then I explained that that would not hold, that when a commander issued
22 his order that was his final word, and because of this lack of knowledge
23 they believed and felt that they were our superiors, that they were above
24 us in this crisis situation, the wartime conditions. So I had problems
25 with these local leaders because they tried in various ways to stand up
1 to me but I did not -- I did not allow them to interfere in my work and
2 I did not get involved in what they did, and most of the commanders that
3 I knew did the same.
4 Q. Last question: What can you tell us about the same topic in
5 relation to your time spent at the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
6 A. Well, I believe that as time went on, in the third year of the
7 war already, the influence was not as strong. I assumed that these
8 political circles understood that they shouldn't interfere in things that
9 they knew nothing about. I believe that Commander Milosevic had an even
10 more intelligent position, if I can put it that way. I did as I did, but
11 his position was, you know, just let them talk, and do their talking, and
12 we will do our job. So he didn't want to stand up to them directly. He
13 didn't want to oppose them directly. As I sit here in retrospect I think
14 it was probably a smarter, that position was probably smarter of his
15 although it wasn't fully a military stance.
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel, for your answers to my questions.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I pass the witness.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
19 Mr. Weber, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
20 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Dragicevic, you'll now be cross-examined by
22 Mr. Weber. Mr. Weber is counsel for the Prosecution. You'll find him to
23 your right.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Weber:
25 Q. Good morning, Colonel Dragicevic.
1 A. [In English] Good morning.
2 Q. Sir, do you understand English?
3 A. Well, no, except these few phrases such as, "okay," "good
4 morning," and so on.
5 Q. Okay. Today, at temporary transcript page 26, you mentioned that
6 General Mladic visited the Visegrad brigade and he flew there on a
7 helicopter. Could you please tell us when this was?
8 A. I think it was in August 1992, and he exposed had himself to a
9 tremendous risk. But that was the only way, the only quick way and safe
10 way, travelling by helicopter. This is in parenthesis.
11 Q. Sir, today if you could listen to my questions. I'll try to be
12 very specific. We appreciate what you've already said. There is no need
13 to repeat it. Where did he visit you? Just asking for the location.
14 A. At the Visegrad Brigade command.
15 Q. That was located inside the town of Visegrad, correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What settlement in Visegrad was that command located in?
18 A. Well, nowadays it's a neighbourhood of the town itself but -
19 nowadays - but in the past it was a settlement right next to a town where
20 there was an elementary school before the war.
21 Q. And what was the settlement called?
22 A. I don't really know for certain. I know that it's Vojvoda
23 Putnika Street nowadays. That's what it's called. But I don't really
24 know what it was called. It was on the right bank of the Drina River and
25 it was part of the town.
1 Q. Today, at temporary transcript page 33, you stated that you were
2 appointed by the commander of the Main Staff to be the VRS representative
3 in the Gorazde sector and to liaise with UNPROFOR. Is it correct that
4 General Mladic appointed you to this position?
5 A. The order came from the Main Staff of the VRS, and I believe
6 General Mladic himself, but I'm not quite certain. But it did come from
7 the command of the Main Staff of the VRS.
8 Q. Thank you for those clarifications, Colonel. I'd now like to
9 turn to your statement in this case and I believe you have a copy of it
10 in front of you.
11 MR. WEBER: If the Court Officer could please call up
12 Exhibit D554. If we could please go to the first page.
13 Q. Colonel, today I'm going to start by going through your statement
14 in general terms. I just want to make sure that I understand it. The
15 cover page of your statement indicates that you were interviewed on four
16 separate dates. Were you interviewed by both Mr. Sasa Lukic and
17 Mr. Zorko on each of these days?
18 A. No. I believe that on one occasion both of them were there, and
19 then the other three occasions they would alternate, one or the other.
20 Q. Which date were they both there?
21 A. I believe on the first meeting we had, the first interview, they
22 were together. But I'm not sure. I didn't really pay attention to that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, you're pointing at dates.
24 Is there any specific reasons why the cover page in English
25 doesn't contain dates and why the B/C/S version does?
1 MR. IVETIC: I actually just noticed that, Your Honours. I don't
2 know. I could be -- I think these may be the batches that were first --
3 well, actually, I don't know. I really don't know.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, if I find out in a second, I'm a bit
5 surprised that those responsible for drafting and translating this have
6 not noticed it.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
8 MR. WEBER:
9 Q. Where did these interviews take place?
10 A. In Belgrade. I apologise, actually. I just noticed that this
11 was in 2013. The first interview was in Visegrad.
12 Q. Then were the other three after that in Belgrade?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was anyone else present during any of these interviews besides
15 Mr. Lukic and Mr. Zorko?
16 A. In Visegrad, there was a man present but he didn't take any part
17 in it. It was Mr. Dundjer.
18 MR. WEBER: And then if we could please go to the next page of
19 the statement in both versions.
20 Q. Colonel, I'm just going to go through the parts of the statement
21 to make sure I understand how it's organised. The first two paragraphs
22 of your statement relate to your military career, correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. I'm not going to go through your entire 30 year military career,
25 but I do have a few specific questions. First, could you tell us whether
1 there was any period of time between 1972 and 2002 where you were not a
2 member of the armed forces in the former Yugoslavia?
3 A. Can you please clarify the question? I'm not sure I understood
4 it properly.
5 Q. I'll try to make it more simple. Between 1972 and 2002, were you
6 always an active member of the military?
7 A. Yes. I was an active member of the military throughout that
9 Q. At the end of the first paragraph, you indicate that you lived in
10 Sarajevo until May 1992 in the Breka settlement, is it correct that this
11 is located in the area of Rajlovac?
12 A. No, no. This is in Sarajevo, right above the Kosevo hospital.
13 Q. Okay. In May 1992, when did you leave Sarajevo?
14 A. I left Sarajevo on the 9th or 10th of May 1992. If you mean when
15 I actually left for good from Sarajevo or do you mean the town of -- the
16 city of Sarajevo and my home when I left my house? What do you mean
18 Q. Maybe this will be clear from the next question I have. In
19 reviewing your statement, there was only one period where I cannot work
20 out where you were at and where you were assigned. This period was
21 between mid-May and mid-July 1992. Could you please tell us where you
22 were during that time period?
23 A. This period. At this time, in this period, as I was an officer
24 in Rajlovac, I was assigned to the Butmir airport to be the battalion
25 commander. There was a military section of the airport. And I remained
1 there until the 9th or the 10th of May 1992 as a member of the centre,
2 whereas my training centre had already moved out of Rajlovac and left for
3 Belgrade, Batajnica, and Sombor. So about ten of us officers from the
4 training centre -- the airforce training centre in Rajlovac left Sarajevo
5 and were assigned to a new training centre, a new location of the
6 training centre which for more specifically meant that I went to be
7 Zarkovo near Belgrade.
8 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I see that we are approaching a break.
9 It's actually a good moment for a break time, if that --
10 JUDGE ORIE: It's close to the time when we need the break. If
11 this is a suitable moment, we will take the break now.
12 Witness, we would like to see you back in 20 minutes. We take a
13 break. You may follow the usher.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 11.49 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.11 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be brought
20 into the courtroom.
21 Mr. Ivetic, as far as updating Chamber and Chamber staff, this
22 morning, at 3 minutes past 9.00, a message was sent to I would say
23 everyone involved, including Chamber staff, about witness scheduling for
24 the next two weeks. Seven minutes later, a new list of witnesses for
25 this week was sent to Madam Registrar, but to Madam Registrar only, and
1 she was kind enough to inform Chambers staff. I don't know when the
2 Prosecution received this information about the change of witnesses this
3 week because I think the main difference being that Mr. Kecmanovic and
4 Mr. Sehovac were reversed in order.
5 MR. IVETIC: I can report I spoke with Ms. Bibles on Saturday.
6 MR. GROOME: I don't know the precise -- I think Ms. Bibles was
7 told orally and we received the list from Madam Registrar as well, which
8 we are grateful.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Ivetic, it's a different matter to speak to
11 Ms. Bibles or to inform what you said earlier today, to inform the
12 Chamber staff in writing.
13 MR. IVETIC: Yes. It is my understanding -- I thought we were
14 talking about this list which was sent at 9.03 which is the e-mail that
15 I referenced in my prior comments --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. IVETIC: -- which was sent to Chamber but now I see we're
18 talking about the -- this week.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I was talking about this week and about a recent
20 change. If that change would have been known already last Friday and
21 discussed with Ms. Bibles, because the order of Mr. Sehovac and Mr. --
22 one of the other witnesses was reversed --
23 MR. IVETIC: Kecmanovic.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yeah, Kecmanovic. Then if that would have been
25 known already on Friday and discussed with Ms. Bibles on Friday --
1 MR. IVETIC: Saturday. Saturday, 4.00.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Saturday. Then the Chamber would have liked to be
3 informed already not only today but even yesterday about this matter.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Weber, if you're ready you may proceed.
6 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. Colonel Dragicevic, before the break, you mentioned that there
8 was a new training centre near Belgrade in Zarkovo. Did volunteers from
9 Serbia receive training at this location?
10 A. It was the airforce and air defence training centre. Who was
11 trained there were cadets who had been trained at Rajlovac but were
12 transferred and resumed their schooling at the new location, Zarkovo,
13 Sombor, but as per a summary curriculum because immediate threat of war
14 had obtained. And for us in Sarajevo, the war had already started and
15 that was the cause for us transferring there.
16 Q. How long were you stationed at this training centre?
17 A. You mean me personally?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. I was -- stayed there from the 10th or 11th May 1992 until my
20 departure to Visegrad, to the VRS. In the meantime, since I attended
21 command staff academy at the time, I used that period, I was invited, to
22 attend command staff academy courses. That took part at Batajnica.
23 Q. Sir, if you could listen to my questions carefully, please. You
24 actually answered my question, I think, in the first sentence of your
1 JUDGE ORIE: At least if we know when he went to the Visegrad
2 that would be great --
3 MR. WEBER: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- but perhaps that's in the statement.
5 MR. WEBER:
6 Q. Well, that was going to be my next question, what His Honour just
7 asked. When was it exactly that you left for the Visegrad Brigade?
8 A. I departed Belgrade on the 18th of July 1992, and I arrived on
9 the 19th July 1992. I'd planned to arrive on the 18th. However,
10 communication was disrupted between Visegrad and Uzice by the Muslim
11 forces so I could not arrive on the same day.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I'm going to stop you. Why not just answer the
13 questions? Why say by whom you were stopped, what the weather was,
14 whether you had had a good breakfast that day? The question simply was:
15 When was it exactly that you left for the Visegrad Brigade.
16 Now I saw in your statement that you said you were appointed
17 brigade commander -- no. You first post in the VRS was that of chief of
18 staff of the Visegrad Brigade and you had become a member on the 19th of
19 July. Did you leave 19th of July to take up that job in the
20 Visegrad Brigade?
21 Yes, you arrived on the 18th. You left -- you left on the 18th,
22 you arrived on the 19th. That was the only thing we asked you, Mr. Weber
23 asked you. Could you please in all your next answers limit yourself to
24 what is asked and leave out any other circumstances. If Mr. Weber is
25 interested in it, he'll certainly ask you about it. Please proceed.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise but I promised and
2 solemnly declared that I shall tell the whole truth and I'm trying to
3 abide by my words.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The whole truth on matters that are asked. Please
6 MR. WEBER:
7 Q. You did not hold any positions in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
8 between mid-May 1992 and the 22nd of November 1994, correct?
9 A. That's correct. I did not hold any posts in the
10 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
11 Q. I'd like to return to your statement that is before you. And in
12 paragraph 3 of your statement, you reference your previous appearance in
13 the Milosevic case. In this paragraph, you indicate that you are
14 providing amendments or clarifications. Do I understand correctly that
15 the rest of your statement relates to matters that were discussed with
16 you during your previous testimony in the Milosevic case?
17 A. I did not fully understand what you are asking me about.
18 Q. Is the content of your statement in this case after paragraph 3
19 related to matters that you had previously discussed in the Milosevic
21 A. I cannot recall what I spoke about in the Milosevic case, but
22 I do abide by and stand by paragraph 4 and the rest of the statement. It
23 is what I spoke on both occasions is the truth.
24 Q. Now, it appears that your statement in the Karadzic case, which
25 you signed on 9 December 2012, was used as a basis for the creation of
1 your statement in the present case, the Mladic case. Am I correct in
2 thinking that?
3 A. Yes. But I gave this statement on the basis of the counsel's
4 questions, and it's almost the same as in the case of President Karadzic.
5 Q. I'd now like to direct your attention to paragraphs 4 to 15 and
6 18 to 21 of your statement in this case. Take your time if you need to.
7 My question is: Do I understand correctly that these paragraphs concern
8 events leading up to the war, specifically between 1991 and early May
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you ever deployed to Slovenia or Croatia as a member of the
13 A. No. I was never deployed there, but I frequently visited those
14 territories to carry out missions when I was in Kraljevo at the airforce
15 squadron because we use the airfields and airports in those territories.
16 Q. Sir, please listen to my questions carefully and we will try to
17 get this done in five hours. Do I understand correctly that paragraph 16
18 is a general paragraph related to the regulations that applied in the VRS
19 between 1992 and 1995?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We will return to paragraph 16 but I'd like to continue on right
22 now to the next paragraph. Is it correct that paragraph 17 concerns your
23 role as assistant commander for moral, religious, and legal affairs in
24 the SRK between 22 November 1994 and 1996?
25 A. Until the end of the war. As long as the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
2 Q. Yes. You still served in this position during the year 1996,
4 A. Yes. As long as Sarajevo-Romanija Corps existed, I held the post
5 of assistant commander for morale, legal, and religious affairs.
6 Q. I'd now like to direct your attention to the first sentence at
7 paragraph 22.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber you apparently have left the paragraphs,
9 what was it, 4 to 15? 4 to 15. Yes. In paragraph 8, there seems to be
10 a -- well, a translation error or a transcription error. I think in the
11 English version it says 1992 whereas the original says 1991.
12 Any explanation for -- Mr. Ivetic?
13 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, I'm not the one who translates
14 the documents, so that is --
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, but you read them as I do. I didn't translate
16 them either. Nevertheless, I found this rather disturbing mistake. If
17 you read it for one second in the English and if you know a tiny little
18 bit of the history you would immediately be surprised by 1992, but I do
19 understand that you're not -- you didn't translate. Who did translate?
20 MR. IVETIC: Based upon the footer of the document, it appears
22 JUDGE ORIE: CLSS. Then the CLSS should review and -- or at
23 least the parties should carefully consider whether there are any other
24 matters to be corrected.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. WEBER:
2 Q. Colonel, in the first sentence of paragraph 22, I would just like
3 clarify with you that you're stating that 99 per cent of the Army of
4 Republika Srpska were of Serb ethnicity. Is this right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Directing your attention to paragraph 23, this paragraph begins:
7 "When I arrived in the SRK..." Do I understand correctly that the
8 information you provide from paragraph 23 until the end of your
9 statement, which is paragraph 43, relates to your time in the SRK between
10 late November 1994 until the end of the war?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel, for those clarifications.
13 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 30897.
14 Q. Colonel, in my review of the two statements, the one in this case
15 and the one in the Karadzic case, I see that some of the wording has been
16 changed and some of the evidence that you provided in the Karadzic
17 Chamber was removed. It appears the first 42 paragraphs of your
18 statements in both cases are essentially the same. Before you is an
19 excerpt of your Karadzic statement which contains the last six paragraphs
20 of your statement in that case.
21 MR. WEBER: For the record, so the Chamber is aware, paragraph 45
22 of the Karadzic statement is similar to paragraph 43 in the present case.
23 Q. Before I ask you more detailed questions about these additional
24 paragraphs, could you please review them. And if it will assist you,
25 I do have a hard copy present.
1 MR. WEBER: If the Court Officer could please hand it to the
3 Q. Colonel, is it correct that these additional paragraphs were part
4 of your statement in the Karadzic case?
5 A. From which to which paragraph? Which is the first one, which is
6 the last one? Or you mean used to be in the previous statement and now
7 it's there? I did not understand correctly which paragraphs you
9 Q. Sir, the paragraphs that I've handed to you are the additional
10 paragraphs that appeared in your Karadzic statement which do not appear
11 in your Mladic statement except for one of them. My question simply to
12 you now is: Is it correct that those paragraphs were in your Karadzic
14 A. That's correct. But in this statement, for today's testimony,
15 I provided my statement on the basis of questions put to me by
16 General Mladic's Defence counsel. In essence, they are the same. The
17 essence of both are the same -- is the same.
18 Q. I'd like to focus on these additional paragraphs. Now, aside
19 from paragraph 45, do these additional paragraphs relate to the taking of
20 UN peacekeepers as hostages in 1995?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, would it be most practical if you'd just
22 asked the witness read them again and to see whether -- he said it's all
23 the same, he answered the questions - and apparently you were interested
24 in this, to see whether he stands by those -- the statement in this
25 respect? So that we have --
1 MR. WEBER: I'm happy to proceed. However, I do have additional
2 questions, though.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay, but then at least we have a starting
5 MR. IVETIC: Can I have a reference for the use of the term
6 "hostage"? I don't see it in the version I have.
7 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I --
8 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, I think it would have -- no, let me be
9 clear, Mr. Weber, you used the term.
10 MR. WEBER: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you would have avoided that, because it doesn't
12 say it anywhere, then you would have avoided also this intervention which
13 is not -- I mean, doesn't make that much of a difference on how you call
14 things. That should be clear to you as well, Mr. Ivetic. Let's move on.
15 Could the witness read paragraph 43 and 44 of his Karadzic
17 Could we go one page back.
18 Witness, could you carefully read 43 -- one page back in the
19 B/C/S original.
20 Could you start reading at the bottom of the page and tell us
21 when you are done?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read the entire paragraph 43.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We are now on the next page. Could you continue to
24 read 43 and then 44 and tell us when -- once you've done that.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've finished.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you stand by what is recorded in paragraph 43 and
2 44 of this statement?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
5 MR. WEBER:
6 Q. Is it correct that these paragraphs relate to the taking of UN
7 members as hostages in 1995?
8 A. UNPROFOR members were captured as prisoners of war.
9 Q. Are you aware that General Mladic is charged with taking UN
10 members as hostages in this case?
11 A. I do not know that there are charges against General Mladic for
12 taking those UNPROFOR members as hostages.
13 Q. Before going through some additional parts of these paragraphs, I
14 have a few questions related to your earlier testimony in the
15 Dragomir Milosevic case. Sir, if you could just listen to me here.
16 There is no need to look at the statement right now.
17 At transcript page 4055 to -56 of your Milosevic testimony --
18 MR. WEBER: This is at 65 ter 30896, e-court pages 87 and 88.
19 Q. -- you were asked:
20 "Q. Do you know anything about UN hostages? Personnel of
21 UNPROFOR being taken hostage by the SRK forces -- by the SRK or forces of
22 the SRK on the 26th of May 1995? At this exact time? Do you know
23 anything about that subject?"
24 Your answer was:
25 "I know that there were hostages or rather that UNPROFOR members
1 were in military terms captured, and this was done on orders by the
2 superior command."
3 Do you stand by this previous testimony regarding your knowledge
4 of UN personnel being captured?
5 A. I stand by the fact that my knowledge reflects the fact that they
6 were captured, UN UNPROFOR personnel, as -- captured as prisoners of war
7 because in our assessment they placed themselves on the side of our
9 Q. Okay. Well, in the Milosevic case, at transcript page 4058, you
10 were asked:
11 "Q. Colonel, were the UNPROFOR hostages ever mistreated, to your
12 knowledge, of course?"
13 You answered:
14 "As far as I know, they weren't. At least I don't know of any
15 one of them being hurt. They may only have suffered some psychological
16 consequences as a result of fear, but I have no knowledge of that."
17 Do you stand by this testimony regarding your awareness of how
18 the UN members were treated?
19 A. I stand by it, yes.
20 MR. WEBER: If we could go to the next page.
21 Q. At transcript page 4059 in the Milosevic case, you were asked the
23 "Q. Was the taking of the UN hostages consistent with the
24 international laws of war?"
25 You answered:
1 "No. It was not in accordance with that."
2 The next question:
3 "Was there any referral made by any commander, including the
4 corps commander of the SRK, to investigate that, the taking of UN
5 hostages as a possible violation of the international laws of war?"
6 You answered:
7 "The corps commander carried out the order he received from his
8 superior officer in relation to these activities."
9 The next question appears interrupted, but the transcript says,
10 "was." It appears that you continued your previous answer:
11 "In other words, it was not him who gave this order but rather
12 carried the order received from his superior officer."
13 The next question:
14 "My question again, did any commander, including the corps
15 command of the SRK, initiate any steps to commence an investigation of
16 the taking of the UN hostages as a possible violation of the
17 international laws of war?"
18 You answered:
19 "Not that I know of."
20 Do you stand by this testimony?
21 A. I do, but I know for a fact that there is a difference between
22 the hostage -- the status of hostage and the status of prisoner of war.
23 In this case, as far as I know, members of the UNPROFOR were prisoners of
24 war and not hostages.
25 Q. Sir, that is a distinction that you're making now, and I'm not
1 looking to have a fine legal argument with you about this. What I'd like
2 to know --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could I nevertheless -- it was read to you, the
4 question that was put to you at the time:
5 "Was the taking of the UN hostages consistent with the
6 international laws of war?"
7 Your answer was:
8 "No. It was not in accordance with that."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, taking of hostages is
10 not in keeping with it, but taking prisoners of war, that is in
11 accordance with the international laws of war.
12 JUDGE ORIE: At the time the question was not whether taking
13 hostages in general is consistent with the international laws of war, but
14 whether the taking of the UN hostages was consistent with the
15 international laws of war. So there is this clear, and that also the
16 context is one, in which the starting point are the facts of depriving UN
17 persons from their liberty, as you explained in your Karadzic statement
18 as well. So I just want to put to you that that is how one could read
19 your statement, that it was about these events and that you'd considered
20 them, these events, not to be consistent, not in accordance with
21 international laws of war. I just put it to you so that you have an
22 opportunity to --
23 MR. IVETIC: And might I point out to Your Honour, the first
24 answer the witness on that page and the question posed on the prior page
25 for the full context of the answer that was given.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that the witness didn't know everything, he
2 heard from the media.
3 Now --
4 MR. IVETIC: And the prior question that that was an answer to a
5 specific situation.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I've seen it. It was all read to the witness, isn't
8 MR. IVETIC: In fact, I don't think it was.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers].
10 MR. IVETIC: That part was not.
11 JUDGE ORIE: What part exactly then are you?
12 MR. IVETIC: It's going to be transcript page 4058 --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. IVETIC: -- 24 through 25, going on to page 1 -- line 1 of
15 the last page. I don't think that part was read.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we see page 4058.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you for full context, Mr. Weber, read whatever
18 Mr. Ivetic considers relevant too?
19 MR. WEBER:
20 Q. Well, sir, it was discussed for a while during your Milosevic
21 testimony. Could you just tell us, the different ways in which --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- I invited to you read a certain portion,
23 Mr. Weber --
24 MR. WEBER: Well --
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- and not to continue as if I've not asked you to
1 do so.
2 MR. WEBER: That's fine, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please. Please proceed.
4 MR. WEBER:
5 Q. Sir, the transcript before us reflects that you gave an answer:
6 "I heard about that in the media but I myself didn't see anything
7 like that. It could possibly be the case but then again it may not.
8 I personally didn't see it."
9 Was this your testimony in the Milosevic case?
10 A. If you mean in relation to the term "hostages"? Is that what
11 you're asking?
12 Q. I'm asking you what are you referring to?
13 A. Well, I can't read anything here, nor do I have any insight into
14 the overall situation, but I know that on that occasion, too, I made a
15 distinction and I believe that I said that at the outset, the term
16 "hostages" and the distinction between a hostage and a prisoner of war.
17 And I believe that I said that at the beginning and I didn't feel it was
18 necessary to reiterate it all the time.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 MR. WEBER: If I could have the previous page for the witness to
21 see the question.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. WEBER:
24 Q. The question that was posed to you was the following:
25 "Q. To your knowledge, were they -- were any of the hostages
1 chained to targets, potential targets, within VRS territory? Do you have
2 any knowledge of that?"
3 And it was -- this was the question [sic] that you responded:
4 "I heard about that in the media, but I'm -- I myself didn't see
5 anything like that. It could possibly be the case but then again it may
6 not. I personally didn't see that. Didn't see it."
7 Is it correct that this was in reference to whether or not the
8 hostages were chained to targets or potential targets within VRS
10 A. Well, the question that was put to me then was whether UNPROFOR
11 members were chained to, I don't know what you said, poles or some other
12 installations or features, and I said that I learned of something like
13 that from the media but that I didn't know of it personally.
14 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I'm going to move on unless there was
15 another portion that you wanted me to read.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
17 MR. WEBER: Okay.
18 Q. Sir, at the beginning of paragraph 43, the additional paragraph
19 43 in the Karadzic case, you state:
20 "I know that members of UNPROFOR were captured in the military
21 sense and that this was done on the orders of the superior command. By
22 superior command, I mean the VRS Main Staff."
23 First of all, it is correct that in your position in the SRK, you
24 were aware of the fact that UNPROFOR members were captured on the orders
25 of the VRS Main Staff.
1 A. I learned of that later at the meetings of the Sarajevo-Romanija
2 Corps command, where an analysis was performed of the events preceding
3 it, and at that meeting it was said that the order to capture UNPROFOR
4 members had come from the Main Staff of the VRS. And here, what I said
5 here was just a clarification of my own statement.
6 Q. Did you decide not to include --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I rise to seek your guidance. At
9 temporary transcript page 52, line 7 through 8 --
10 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please, one second. 52 you said, 7 to
12 MR. IVETIC: Lines 7 through 8. Your Honour asked the witness --
13 JUDGE ORIE: One second, one second. Yes.
14 MR. IVETIC: You asked the witness to read the entirety of 43 and
15 44 of this statement and asked if he stood by them. Now we are only
16 having portions of the same read and asked for, so the record is
17 incomplete as to what the witness stands behind. So I don't know if --
18 whether Mr. Weber is going to be tendering this statement or not, but
19 I think for the record to be clear, the witness now has reviewed the
20 entirety of those paragraphs and stands behind them but the rest of us or
21 the record won't know what that means, what text is contained in there
22 unless it's read into the record in its full or is admitted in written
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
25 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, one, I am planning to tender the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's do that right away so that's been done.
2 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon?
4 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No.
6 Madam Registrar, the number of the excerpt of the Karadzic
7 statement, specifically paragraph 43 and 44, would receive number?
8 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I actually ask that paragraphs -- the
9 remaining additional paragraphs, 43 through I believe it's 48, be
10 admitted. I'm not going to [Overlapping speakers] questions on --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the witness -- okay. Perhaps then we
12 better wait and see whether the other paragraphs, whether the witness
13 stands by them as well because until now we've only heard about 43 and
15 MR. WEBER:
16 Q. Colonel, did you decide not to include these paragraphs in your
17 current statement because you knew this information could be considered
18 unfavourable to General Mladic?
19 A. No. I already answered that question. The questions that I was
20 asked by the Defence counsel, I answered, and that was my statement.
21 I didn't have before me my earlier statement in the Karadzic case.
22 Therefore, my knowledge is the same but depending on what questions I am
23 asked I answer them as they are asked. It wasn't me who drafted this
24 statement. It was the result of the questions and the answers that
25 I gave to those questions.
1 MR. WEBER: Could we please have the next page of the statement
2 on the screen? If we could actually please go one more page in the B/C/S
4 Q. Sir, if you could just please quickly read paragraphs 46 through
5 48 and confirm if these paragraphs are accurate from your Karadzic
7 A. 46, 47, and 48?
8 Q. Do you stand by these paragraphs from your Karadzic statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. I'd like to go to paragraph 48. In this paragraph you
11 refer to being shown an issue of "Srpski Borac" which you edited, and the
12 issue contained an interview with Radovan Karadzic related to the
13 UNPROFOR soldiers hostage but made them prisoners of war. Is it correct
14 that "Srpski Borac" was a VRS publication that was distributed throughout
15 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
16 A. It isn't correct. It was a paper of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
17 and it was primarily meant for the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps fighters. We
18 sought, and this was one of the ways to inform the lowest levels, the
19 privates, on the situation, so we decided to issue a paper of this
20 nature. It was supposed to be issued even earlier but we were prevented
21 by that because an offensive had begun, and I believe we started this in
22 August 1995 only.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, do you mean to say that it was not
24 distributed throughout the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. On the contrary, it was meant
1 for the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps members.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So the answer to the question was yes. The
3 question was is it correct that "Srpski Borac" was a VRS publication that
4 was distributed throughout the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps? And I do now
5 understand, after having listened to seven or eight lines of your answer,
6 that instead of what you said, the simple answer to that question is yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a paper of the
8 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, whereas VRS is a broader term. There were other
9 corps and other units. But this paper was meant primarily for members of
10 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was the question. That was the question.
12 So the answer still is yes. When I'm mistaken, I'll be corrected by my
13 colleagues. I'm open for that.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: So you say it was not a VRS publication but it was
16 distributed throughout the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. That is how I have
17 to understand your answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat it. This paper was
19 issued by the organ that I led. In other words, at the command of the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. And it was meant primarily for members of the
21 VRS who were members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
23 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution would tender the additional
24 paragraphs into evidence, they are 65 ter 30897.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30897 receives number P6644, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: P6644 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 03541, page
7 3 of the B/C/S original and page 1 of the English translation.
8 Q. Colonel, coming up before you will be a copy of the Srpski Borac
9 newspaper which you referred to in your Karadzic statement. The date of
10 this issue is 2 August 1995. Directing your attention to the box on
11 the -- which I believe is not yet up.
12 MR. WEBER: Could I please have page 3 of the B/C/S original?
13 Q. Directing your attention to the box on the left side of the page
14 before you, is it correct that you were the publisher of this material?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. The command of the Sarajevo Corps and the
16 department that I led were the publishers of this paper.
17 Q. You approved of what went into this publication, correct?
18 A. Well, the paper had its editor-in-chief. It had its various
19 editors. And of course I had some influence over it by virtue of my
20 function, but as this is a newspaper and the editors were journalists,
21 they did the job as professionals, and I tried to accomplish certain
22 objectives via texts published in this magazine that were attuned or
23 adapted to the simple private of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
24 Q. Sir, you really haven't answered my question. Did you approve of
25 what went into this publication?
1 A. No. That wasn't my task. My task was to actually get certain
2 objectives accomplished, and that was the job of the editor-in-chief. He
3 was in charge of the jobs that you are asking about.
4 Q. Is it correct that this newspaper was published at the Lukavica
5 barracks, at the SRK corps command?
6 A. No. That's not correct. This paper was published in Lukavica
7 but at the faculty that was in Lukavica, because there were copying
8 machines and machines that could produce the paper of this type and we
9 didn't have that at the command.
10 Q. Okay.
11 MR. WEBER: Could we please go to the next page in the B/C/S and
12 English versions?
13 Q. Colonel, on this page the interview of Radovan Karadzic begins.
14 Before the question and answer during the interview, there is a box with
15 a few bullet points. The last bullet point states:
16 "Gorazde will fall even without a charge, like a ripe pear. We
17 could have returned four cannons and avoid the crisis around Sarajevo,
18 but we wanted to show the UN soldiers tied to the Serbian depots and warn
19 the world what will happen to those who go against Serbs."
20 Whose words are these? Are these the magazines or those of
21 Radovan Karadzic?
22 A. No, no, these are the words of President Karadzic because the
23 journalist interviewed him about the events that appear in this text.
24 Now, whether these were his words, apparently they were, because that's
25 what it says there, and this was done by professionals. They were
2 Q. We see that the interviewer is described or referred to as Borac.
3 Is this a particular person or do you know who conducted this interview?
4 A. Well, these are technical matters that have to do with these
5 publications. Where it says Borac, what is meant by that is the paper
6 itself. And of course, there would always be an editor present, a
7 journalist, and a photographer. I don't know exactly who was in this
8 particular team who interviewed him but there were at least three members
9 of the team present.
10 Q. Sir, it's okay if you don't know, but if you could just please
11 tell me if you know, yes, no, in -- we can go through this rather
13 JUDGE ORIE: The simple answer would have been, it is not a
14 particular person. I do not know who conducted the interview, because
15 that's the gist of your answer.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have page 7 of both
19 Q. On this page of the interview, it appears to be where
20 Radovan Karadzic discusses the UN members that were captured. There is a
21 discussion of Muslim offences which is something I will discuss with you
22 about a little bit later. Right now I'd like to focus on the passage
23 that states:
24 "We did not want to avoid the crisis around Sarajevo. We could
25 return four cannons but we did not want to do that. We did not want to
1 allow the west to ride on the low intensity war that does not disturb
2 their public but do exhaust the Serbs in Republika Srpska,
3 Serbian Krajina, and ultimately the Serbs in Yugoslavia. Therefore, we
4 have consciously resorted to the fierce military response and the crisis
5 with POW, or hostages as they call them in the west. And that is why the
6 images on TV were drastic. Many mothers in European metropolises started
7 thinking why should their sons be tied up to Serbian depots and NATO
8 bombardment targets. That brought us considerable advantage, even more
9 so because we treated our prisoners correctly."
10 Colonel, is it correct that the SRK's own publication actually
11 promoted the taking of UN hostages?
12 A. That's absurd. This is a statement by Mr. Karadzic, the
13 president, and he knows why he said what he said and what his objectives
14 were, knowing who this publication was meant for.
15 Q. Well, sir, this is a publication which you were a publisher. Is
16 it correct you were aware of its contents?
17 A. Well, I keep saying that I was at my press centre, that the press
18 centre that was part of my department was issued with certain objectives,
19 and we told them why we wanted to publish a publication of this sort --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, Witness --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and as professional journalists
22 they were much better placed to --
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- the simple question was were you aware of its
24 contents? All the rest is answer to questions that are not put to you.
25 Were you aware of the contents?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was, but --
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- I don't know exactly when. It
4 depends on how much time I had to read it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's a simple answer. And if Mr. Weber
6 wants to know when, then he'll ask you.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
8 MR. WEBER:
9 Q. Do you agree with what Radovan Karadzic stated?
10 A. I don't agree with the essence that you are drawing from this
11 text, but I assume what was on President Karadzic's mind and what his
12 objectives were and I agree with those. This was meant for the ordinary
13 private, a member of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
14 Q. What did you believe his objectives to be?
15 A. Well, obviously, after the completion of a very large enemy
16 offensive, which had -- which resulted in the victory of the
17 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the VRS, obviously there was a degree of
18 euphoria here and propaganda which was quite natural for this kind of
19 publication. It is the point of the newspapers and any newspaper.
20 Q. Did you ever express any disagreement with the capturing of UN
21 members to your superiors?
22 A. No, I never expressed my dissatisfaction or objections to
23 capturing of UNPROFOR personnel because I knew that it was allowed under
24 international rules of law and it had become apparent for a long time
25 that not all but some UNPROFOR personnel and their commands placed
1 themselves at the service of NATO and by extension our enemy, and --
2 which was at that point ABiH.
3 Q. Are you really saying that tying UN members to targets is in
4 accordance with the international laws of war?
5 JUDGE ORIE: You have not asked that question yet, so let's first
6 ask the question, Mr. Weber.
7 MR. WEBER:
8 Q. Are you saying that tying international peacekeepers to targets
9 is in accordance with international laws of war?
10 A. I do not state, I know that this is not in keeping with
11 international law of war. But it is only from the media that I learned
12 that several UNPROFOR personnel were tied to lamp posts or army depots.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you say I learned from the media, do you
14 mean that you learned it from the medium you were involved in yourself,
15 where you said journalists did interview Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Karadzic
16 apparently referred to UNPROFOR members being tied to depots, you say,
17 "Well, I don't know whether it happened or whether he said that." Is
18 that your evidence? Then we can move on.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw that on TV much before the
20 first issue of that newspaper was published.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So you had seen it in the media, not only you
22 learned it but you had seen it in the media. Is that --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, TV showed such footage.
24 I saw that on TV. Whether those were credible, truthful, whether this
25 was so or not, I do not know. But what I do know is that I saw it on TV.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And you know that in your -- in the publication you
2 were involved in, it was later on referred to by -- in an interview which
3 was taken by journalists in which the words of Mr. Karadzic are recorded.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand the gist of
5 your question.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we take a break of 20 minutes.
7 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom?
8 No loud speaking.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 1.14 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.35 p.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, please proceed.
15 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. I want to take you back to specifically what you said in the
17 Milosevic case. The question put to you was the following:
18 "Q. Was the taking of the UN hostages consistent with the
19 international laws of war?"
20 Your answer was:
21 "No. It was not in accordance with that."
22 Do you acknowledge that this is what you said in the Milosevic
24 A. Yes. Those are my words today and in any other occasion, and
25 including that particular case.
1 Q. This is a simple question. The taking of UN hostages was a
2 violation of the international laws of war as you stated in the Milosevic
3 case, "yes" or "no"?
4 A. The term "hostage" and "hostage-taking" constitutes a violation
5 of international of laws of war.
6 Q. Now, you've tried to conflate today the notion of prisoners of
7 war with the notion of hostage taking of international peacekeepers.
8 With respect to prisoners of war, it is also a violation of international
9 law to tie them to military targets, correct?
10 A. Prisoners of war or taking members of UNPROFOR as prisoners did
11 not run counter to international laws of war, whereas taking of hostages
12 is a violation of international laws of war.
13 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question. It's a violation of international
14 law, isn't it, to tie prisoners of war to military targets?
15 A. All prisoners of war, whoever they belong to, if used as
16 hostages, that contravenes international laws of war.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just seek clarification of that answer.
18 Do you mean that if you tie a prisoner of war to a military
19 target, that you use him as a hostage?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not know what you mean by
21 military target.
22 JUDGE ORIE: A military depot. Let's keep it very practical.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already provided an answer to
24 that. I do believe that this contravenes international laws of war.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
1 MR. WEBER: I'd now like to return to the interview of
2 Radovan Karadzic that we have been looking at. Could the Prosecution
3 please have page 5 of the B/C/S and page 4 of the English translation.
4 Q. I want to go through that few other passages of this interview
5 with you, and then I will have a question. At the end of Mr. Karadzic's
6 answer at the top of the page of the right column before you --
7 MR. WEBER: And, Your Honours, this is at the top of the page in
8 the English translation.
9 Q. -- he states:
10 "In one more favourable for Muslims option we would accept
11 reconstruction of the city in two entities, in two regimes. In the event
12 that they do not accept that, we will be forced to take the entire
13 Sarajevo just like the Jews took the entire Jerusalem."
14 Before I go to move on to the next part of the interview, can you
15 confirm that you see this passage?
16 A. I can see it.
17 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have the next page in
18 both versions.
19 Q. Directing your attention to the second paragraph in the left
20 column, this is just below the middle of the page in the translation, in
21 this paragraph, Karadzic states:
22 "We need every inch in Serbian Sarajevo. We even claim rights on
23 the centre of Sarajevo, say, the entire left bank of Miljacka river."
24 Do you see this passage before we move on to the next one?
25 A. I can't see that paragraph. Something completely different is
1 being shown to me.
2 Q. Do you see the question on this page that starts: "One of the
3 six goals of our state is the city of Sarajevo"?
4 A. I can see that, but it is not legible below.
5 MR. IVETIC: If I can assist, it's -- on the left hand column,
6 it's the part that's in bold approximately at three-quarters of the page,
7 correct, where the pointer is now. That is the question that Mr. Weber
8 has just referenced. The prior question relates to the area that is not
9 as legible and it goes on to the next column.
10 MR. WEBER: I'm sorry I had the wrong column. If we could --
11 Q. If I could direct your attention, then, to the part of the answer
12 to this question, which I believe is in the right-hand column, the one
13 that says:
14 "We need every inch in Serbian Sarajevo. We even claim rights on
15 the centre of Sarajevo, say, the entire left bank of the Miljacka River."
16 Do you see that passage?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we perhaps zoom in a bit on there?
18 That's a little bit -- yes, there.
19 You see it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
21 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have the next page in
22 both versions.
23 Q. I believe this is in the bottom part of the right-hand column, in
24 the B/C/S version, which is toward the bottom of the page of the
25 translation. Do you see the section that states:
1 "We won't remove our capital anywhere from Sarajevo, and if
2 Muslims do not have the sense to give us the left bank of the Miljacka
3 with surrounding municipalities that we control now, then I believe it
4 will be similar with Sarajevo. Muslims will disturb us from their part
5 of the town and we will eventually seize it entirely."
6 Do you see this part?
7 A. There is no such text in front of me.
8 Q. Do you see the -- the phrase, "To keep every street"? Which I
9 believe is in bold.
10 A. Yes, I can see that.
11 Q. And below that, do you then see --
12 A. I can see that.
13 Q. -- what I referred to? Do you see what I referred to?
14 A. Now I'm going to read it. I can see that, yes.
15 Q. In paragraph 41 of your statement in this case, which is admitted
16 as D554, you state the following:
17 "I have never heard of any VRS plans to take any part of the city
18 that was under BH Army control, and certainly not by laying siege to it."
19 We have just looked at some statements from the Supreme Commander
20 of the VRS, Radovan Karadzic, which were contained in the SRK's own
21 publication. In these statements it appears he discussed dividing
22 Sarajevo in two and if the Muslims do not agree, taking the entire city.
23 My question: Is it correct that your statement in this case is not
24 entirely accurate because you did hear of plans to divide the city of
25 Sarajevo and take the city in its entirety if the forces opposing you did
1 not agree with this division?
2 A. Now, of course I stand by what I stated in my statement because
3 this here goes about orders of the VRS, and this is a newspaper article
4 which serves no other purpose but to inform the public, and this is the
5 context in which it has to be viewed. Or to achieve certain results
6 concerning the situation on the ground, because at that time there were
7 talks about agreements, divisions, from the very beginning, during the
8 war, and at that point.
9 Q. Sir, first of all, the answer that you just gave isn't accurate,
10 is it? You said that this publication, its purpose was to inform members
11 of the SRK at the lower ranks, not the public; is that right?
12 A. Well, not public but members of the corps. But in that period
13 there was talk about exchange of territories, Ilijas for Gorazde
14 specifically, et cetera, which led to confusion, and this is why I --
15 this question was asked, and president knows why he provided exactly the
16 answer he provided. But I do stand by what I stated in my statement, and
17 I do believe that this is -- and I think this is accurate and true.
18 Q. Sir, Radovan Karadzic was the Supreme Commander of the VRS, and
19 he's saying this in a publication that was to be distributed to the SRK.
20 I put it to you that his words are inconsistent with what you said in
21 your statement.
22 A. I did not consult with the president when I made -- provided my
23 statements. I stand by my statement. It is true that I never saw
24 personally any order whereby plans of the VRS would be detailed out with
25 the aim of capturing Sarajevo.
1 Q. Sir, I put it to you that your -- that this publication,
2 something that you published, is inconsistent with your own statement in
3 this respect.
4 A. Well, my statement is my statement. This statement is by the
5 president of the Republic of Srpska. He knows why he issued such a
6 statement, and I know why I issued my statement and I stand by it. I
7 cannot apply censorship to what president of the republic as
8 Supreme Commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska did.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Fluegge has a question.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for my personal clarification, your words
11 are, I quote: "I have never heard of any VRS plans." This is not in
12 relation to any orders but plans. This is slightly different.
13 Mr. Karadzic was the Supreme Commander of the VRS, and if he is telling
14 the soldiers of the SRK what he wants to do, is that not a VRS plan? And
15 if you say you have never heard of it, it means -- and this is really
16 different. You never heard of it. Didn't you read it at that time?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I probably read this, but I still
18 maintain it is a completely different thing to have a specific concrete
19 plan of a VRS and another thing is giving a statement to a publication, a
20 newspaper. This is how I see things.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, please move on.
22 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution would tender 65 ter 03541 into
24 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
25 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03541 receives number P6645, Your
3 JUDGE ORIE: P6645 is admitted.
4 MR. WEBER:
5 Q. Colonel, I'm now going to try to get through a couple shorter
6 matters before the end of the day.
7 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have Exhibit P2185.
8 Q. Appearing before you are the 1988 JNA regulations on the
9 application of international laws of war. These regulations were
10 previously shown to you during your Milosevic testimony. During your
11 previous testimony, at transcript page 3972, you were asked the following
13 "Q. Sir, these are regulations from the JNA from 1988 on the
14 application of international laws of war in the armed forces of the SFRY.
15 Did these rules continue to apply when the VRS was formed in May of 1992
16 and when you were a member of the VRS? Did these rules continue to
18 You answered:
19 "As far as I can remember, yes."
20 A. My answer today is yes.
21 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have Exhibit P2184 for
22 the witness, page 2 of the B/C/S original and page 1 of the English
23 translation, please.
24 Q. This is the order on the application of the rules of
25 international laws of war in the army of the Serbian Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was also shown to you previously in the
2 Milosevic case. This order is from the SR BiH Official Gazette and
3 according to the end of the order, it became effective on the date of its
4 publication, which was on 13 June 1992.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May? Not May?
6 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour, the order is dated 13 May 1992 but
7 I believe the effective date would be the -- according to the text, the
8 date of its publication.
9 Q. I want to draw your attention to paragraph 2, which indicates
10 that commanders of all units are responsible for the application of
11 international rules of war.
12 MR. WEBER: If we could zoom out, please. And have the next page
13 in -- page 2 in the B/C/S.
14 Q. And I want to focus on the part that states:
15 "It is the duty of the competent superior officer to initiate
16 proceedings for legal sanctions against individuals who violate the rules
17 of the international law of war."
18 Is it correct that this order was in place during the entire time
19 that you were a commanding officer in the VRS?
20 A. I assumed duty in the VRS on the 19th of July 1992 and this was
21 enacted on the 13th of May 1992. Yes -- in other words, yes.
22 Q. According to this order, is it correct that all officers were
23 obligated to initiate proceedings in the event of a violation of the
24 international laws of war?
25 A. I think you said all commanders but I can't follow everything.
1 You said all commanders.
2 Q. I'll repeat my question: According to this order, is it correct
3 that all officers were obligated to initiate proceedings in the event of
4 a violation of the international laws of war?
5 A. All officers were duty-bound to report such cases of violation of
6 international laws of war, whereas proceedings were initiated by those
7 who are authorised to do so, to process such received reports, forward it
8 to the competent organs, first of all Prosecution service, and also to
9 report to superior officers about that.
10 Q. So a simple answer to my question would have been "yes," right?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, you left out in your quote superior
12 officers and that may create a problem because --
13 MR. WEBER: Okay.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- at -- the witness in the -- at the very end --
15 yes, "competent superior officers." That's what it reads. So therefore
16 if you change it, then don't be surprised that the witness dwells upon --
17 MR. WEBER: All right.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- the matter. Please proceed.
19 MR. WEBER:
20 Q. So is it correct that all competent superior officers would have
21 been required to initiate -- would be duty-bound to initiate proceedings,
22 competent superior officers, for example, being the commanders, the
23 deputy commanders, and members of their staffs; is that correct?
24 A. Well, I've already said they were obligated to report such
25 instances to their superior officer. In other words that should reach
1 the level where it could be explained and then forwarded for proceedings.
2 Now if you consider that that is initiating proceedings, then the
3 answer would be yes.
4 Q. This obligation applied to you during your time as the chief of
5 staff and then brigade commander of an infantry brigade, as the chief of
6 staff of tactical group Visegrad, and lastly when you were an assistant
7 commander at the corps level of the SRK, correct?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Is it correct that despite regulations on the application of
10 international laws of war in the VRS, that members of the VRS did not
11 follow them? One example would be the taking of hostages, right?
12 MR. IVETIC: Object. Compound question.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please split it up, Mr. Weber?
14 MR. WEBER: Okay.
15 Q. Despite there being regulations regarding the application of the
16 international laws of war in the VRS, is it correct that members of the
17 VRS did not follow them with one example being the taking of UN hostages?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you are just repeating the question,
19 Mr. Weber. That's not splitting it up, isn't it?
20 MR. WEBER:
21 Q. Despite regulations on the application of the international laws
22 of war in the VRS, is it correct that members of the VRS did not follow
24 A. Well, a question phrased in those terms doesn't make any sense.
25 Now, you're putting all VRS members at the same level. There were
1 probably some members of the VRS who did not abide by this, whether that
2 was because of ignorance or for some other reasons I wouldn't know.
3 However, in most cases, and for the most part, the VRS actually honoured
4 the rules of the international law and that is a fact, and that is
6 Q. Well, one example of a violation of international laws of war
7 would have been the Main Staff when they ordered the taking of UN
8 hostages, correct?
9 A. I've never heard or seen any instance where anyone from the Main
10 Staff of the VRS ordered that UNPROFOR members be taken as hostages.
11 However, I did hear - and I've already said this - that there was an
12 order for UNPROFOR members to be taken prisoner and disarmed. However,
13 the security organs were obligated to prepare those men in -- to tell
14 them that this was just for -- as a measure of prevention in order to
15 protect our civilians and our fighters from NATO bombing.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I stop you there because you're repeating what is
17 already in your statement.
18 Mr. Weber, it doesn't harm the Prosecution if it listened
19 carefully to the answers to the questions and then take that into
20 consideration when formulating a new question rather than to read it from
21 what you have prepared.
22 MR. WEBER: We have asked this enough. I'm going to move on to
23 something else.
24 Q. I want to now discuss your assignment and duties as an assistant
25 commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs in the command of the
1 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. In this assignment, is it correct that you were
2 directly subordinate to Dragomir Milosevic?
3 A. Yes, I was directly the assistant commander of the
4 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. General Dragomir Milosevic's subordinate.
5 Q. Is it correct that you are not a lawyer?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. You had a military education and did not have any training in
8 legal matters, right?
9 A. That's not right. Already as cadets in military schools, we
10 underwent training that had to do with certain legal issues. And
11 throughout my military career, we received more and more knowledge in
12 this field. However, at the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, in my department,
13 there was a lawyer who dealt with technical matters that had to do with
15 Q. Is it correct that you also had an assistant by the name of
16 Captain Novak Bajic?
17 A. No, that's not correct. My assistant for legal affairs was
18 Captain Milenko Kuzmanovic at the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
19 Q. Is it correct that Captain Novak Bajic was part of your sector?
20 A. I'm not quite certain, but I think that he was an assistant for
21 morale at the Ilijas Brigade. I'm not certain precisely what function he
22 performed, but I am pretty sure that he was in the morale section.
23 Q. Is it correct that you would provide written information and
24 issue work guidelines to subordinates within your sector of the SRK
1 A. I provided both information and guidelines to subordinate units,
2 at the corps commands. In other words, from brigade level down.
3 However, in the military sense I was not their superior but, rather, it
4 was in the technical or professional aspect. I was charged with
5 subordinate organs that dealt with morale and legal affairs, but I wasn't
6 their immediate superior. I was only an immediate superior to the
7 members of my department within the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
8 Q. Did you issue work guidelines to the members of your department
9 within the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
10 A. Of course, I issued both guidelines and orders to them.
11 Q. Is it correct that part of your task in the SRK command was to
12 strengthen the combat morale of soldiers and officers in order to build
13 up their own beliefs?
14 A. It is correct that I was responsible primarily for activities
15 that had to do with the build-up of combat morale within the
16 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. In other words, I was the top officer dealing
17 with those matters within the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
18 Q. Could you explain to us how often you interacted with
19 General Gvero of the Main Staff?
20 A. Not very frequently, because we weren't on those terms but of
21 course he was my superior officer by function. In other words, on the
22 issues relating to morale, religion, and legal affairs, and of course
23 I reported to him and I received certain guidelines or information from
24 him that I then forwarded on, as instructed. Or if he left some room for
25 me to amend those, then I did that too. Of course, it all depended on
1 the instructions I received from him.
2 Q. Is it correct that General Milosevic abided by the decisions of
3 the VRS Main Staff?
4 A. As far as I know, yes.
5 Q. Is it correct that General Milosevic never took any actions or
6 decisions that went outside the lines of what was ordered by the VRS
7 Main Staff?
8 A. As far as I know, he never issued an order that was in
9 contravention of orders from the superior command. I've never seen an
10 order of that nature.
11 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 30926 for
12 the witness.
13 Q. Colonel, before you are VRS Main Staff sector for moral guidance,
14 religious, and legal affairs directions and some currents issues
15 regarding public information. The directions are dated 19 November 1994
16 and they are addressed to the assistant commanders for moral guidance,
17 religious, and legal affairs including the assistant commander in the
18 SRK. Is it correct that these directions would have applied to you?
19 A. Well, as you could notice, I arrived at the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command after this date. This was -- this is
21 dated 19 November 1994. I don't know. Perhaps if I read this and
22 familiarised myself with the content, perhaps I could help, but at the
23 time, I hadn't been at the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps; in other words,
24 I hadn't assumed the duties -- the duty of assistant commander for
25 morale, religious, and legal affairs.
1 Q. I understand that --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
3 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I can break whenever you want. Is
4 that --
5 JUDGE ORIE: We will break now.
6 MR. WEBER: Okay.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That's an offer I cannot resist, Mr. Weber.
8 Mr. Dragicevic, we will adjourn for the day and we would like to
9 see you back tomorrow morning, 9.30, in this same courtroom. Before you
10 leave this courtroom, I instruct you that you should not speak or
11 communicate in whatever way with whomever about your testimony, whether
12 that is testimony you've given today or whether it's testimony still to
13 be given in the days to follow. If that's clear to you, you may follow
14 the usher.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's clear, and thank you.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow,
18 Wednesday, the 9th of July, in this same courtroom, I, at 9.30 in the
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of July,
22 2014, at 9.30 a.m.