1 Monday, 21 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 in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please 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.
11 The Chamber was informed that the Prosecution had a preliminary
12 matter to raise.
13 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President, and good morning. If we could
14 briefly go into private session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
16 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Could the witness be
10 escorted into the courtroom.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Simovic. Before you give
13 evidence, the rules require that you make a solemn declaration, the text
14 of which is now handed out to you. May I invite to you make that solemn
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: VESELINKO SIMOVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Simovic. Please be seated.
21 Mr. Simovic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Ivetic. Mr. Ivetic,
22 and you'll find him to your left, is a member of the Mladic Defence team.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
1 Q. Good morning, sir.
2 A. Good morning.
3 MR. IVETIC: If I can have in e-court the document with the
4 65 ter number 1D01656. And while we are waiting, perhaps a clean hard
5 copy can be given to the witness, with the assistance of the usher. And
6 now we have the first page up in e-court.
7 Q. Sir, can you look at the signature on this first page of this
8 statement and tell me if you recognise it.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Whose signature is it?
11 A. Mine.
12 MR. IVETIC: If we can now turn to the last page of the statement
13 in both versions.
14 Q. Can you tell us whose signature this is?
15 A. Mine.
16 Q. Sir, after signing this statement for the Defence team of
17 General Mladic, did you have occasion to review the same in the Serbian
18 language in order to verify if there were any corrections necessary?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And did you in proofing advise me of certain clarifications or
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. IVETIC: If we could first turn to page 2 of the statement in
24 both languages, and I'd like to focus on paragraph 2.
25 Q. When talking of the wedding party that was attacked in Sarajevo,
1 did have you any clarifications you wished to make there?
2 A. Yes. What is written here is that members of a Serb wedding
3 party were killed. It was one member of a Serb wedding party that was
4 killed, not several, as is written here.
5 Q. And if we could look at paragraph 5 on the same page, do you have
6 any clarifications that you'd like to make in respect to this paragraph?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Go ahead and tell us what those clarifications are.
9 A. Well, some words have been inserted here, and therefore this
10 paragraph becomes senseless. As far as I know, in April 1992 or
11 thereabouts, the Crisis Staff was formed in the Foca municipality. The
12 Muslims from Donje Polje near Foca were the first to fire at the Serbian
14 I would kindly ask Their Honours for the following. I mean,
15 these refugees who were here, what followed, you see this which
16 continues, it continues, and it says, persons arrived in Foca. They were
17 refugees from Konjic and Sarajevo; i.e., from those areas that had a
18 predominantly Muslim population. If "as a result" is to be taken out,
19 when Muslims from Donje Polje who were the first to open fire at the
20 Serbian population, refugees from Konjic and Sarajevo, and that's 200
21 kilometres away from Foca, and that is impossible. So it all doesn't
22 make sense.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Halfway the answer I heard I would kindly ask Their
24 Honours. Was that text spoken by our interpreters or was it by the
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness. The witness
2 addressed the Court directly.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then that's clear.
4 MR. IVETIC:
5 Q. And just so we could be clear, sir, are you saying then, if
6 I understand line 15 of page 4 correctly, you would like the words "as a
7 result" to be removed from this paragraph?
8 A. Yes. "As a result," yes, that should be deleted.
9 MR. IVETIC: If we could turn to the next page in both languages.
10 And if we could focus on paragraph number 12 and Mr. Malis.
11 Q. What would you like to say about this paragraph to clarify the
13 A. This is what it says there. I remember that one time a military
14 police officer, Malis, who was a military police commander from the VRS
15 came to Foca.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
17 witness. Other microphones are on and there is too much background
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please slowly repeat your answer?
20 And could all unnecessary microphones be switched off.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember that one time a military
22 police officer, Malis, who was a military police commander from the VRS,
23 came to Foca. All of this is put the other way around, these words.
24 Malis was appointed commander of the military police of the Army of
25 Republika Srpska when the army was being established. He did not come
1 from Sarajevo. He came to Foca. He became commander of the military
2 police there and he stayed on there, whereas what is written here is:
3 "I did not see him but I heard that he came in order to resolve the issue
4 of those individuals," that's to say that he was there and he stayed and
5 he didn't go anywhere. And here, if it says "I remember that one time
6 Malis came," et cetera, Malis was appointed a military police officer of
7 the VRS in Foca. He came there and stayed on.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Q. And, sir, apart from these clarifications that we've gone through
10 in court today, do you otherwise stand by everything that is recorded in
11 your written statement as being accurate and not needing any correction?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if I were to ask you questions based on the same topics as
14 contained in your written statement today, would your answers to those
15 questions be the same in substance as we find in your written statement?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And given that today you have taken the solemn declaration to
18 tell the truth, would those answers, as recorded in your statement, be
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, the Defence would move at this time
22 that 1D01656 be admitted into evidence.
23 MR. TRALDI: No objections, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Witness, could you tell us what
25 Mr. Mladic is charged with in the indictment in relation to Foca?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The general is charged with the
2 commission of some crimes in Foca, and I'm not aware of that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: What crimes? Could you tell us? Which ones
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But in your statement we read that you are not
7 familiar with the circumstances of incidents charged, but if you do not
8 know what the incidents are, how could you tell us that you're unfamiliar
9 with it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because in Foca, in my opinion,
11 sir, there weren't any crimes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Have you ever heard of people being detained in
13 KP Dom?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So you may have some knowledge on detention, which
16 is relevant for this case.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, from about people
18 who were detained at the KP Dom, people who were detained were persons
19 who were taken prisoner in war operations.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you have an opinion about what happened in
21 KP Dom.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, on what basis did you say that you have
24 no knowledge about these incidents, if you do not know what the incidents
25 are? Did anyone tell you or did you read the indictment?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Mr. President, I'm a soldier.
2 I just did what a serving soldier is supposed to do. Documents were not
3 accessible to me and I could not read that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So your statement that you have no knowledge or
5 you're unfamiliar with the circumstances is, if you again -- if you have
6 no knowledge about what they are, is a rather senseless statement, isn't
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand the question
9 very well.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you say I'm not familiar with the
11 circumstances of the incidents, that is a rather senseless statement if
12 you do not know what the incidents were, isn't it? That's my question,
13 whether you agree with me.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what kind of incidents
15 we are talking about.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Nevertheless, in your statement, you say that
17 you're not familiar with the circumstances of those incidents. Now, if
18 you do not know what incidents we are talking about, then that doesn't
19 make much sense, not to know about something you do not know what it is.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Those incidents --
21 those incidents, I mean.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1656 receives number D583, Your
25 JUDGE ORIE: D583 is admitted.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours. At this time I would read
3 a public summary of the statement, the purpose of which has been
4 explained to the witness during proofing.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. IVETIC: The witness's statement details that even before
7 April 1992, barricades were set up in Foca town. In Muslim villages, the
8 posting of guards was widespread and the guards moved around villages and
9 could be seen carrying guns. Fearing that preparations were underway to
10 wipe out the Serbian population from the area, the local Serbs organised
11 themselves locally through the Territorial Defence to defend their homes.
12 The Muslims were the first to fire at the Serbian population from
13 Donje Polje.
14 Before the establishment of the VRS, all the people organised
15 themselves in accordance with Territorial Defence principles and the Foca
16 Crisis Staff had de facto power.
17 In addition to the tactical group in Foca, the witness says there
18 were various armed groups and individuals that were not under anyone's
19 control. They operated independently and clashed with people in Foca.
20 The witness know that is a VRS military police commander came to
21 Foca to try and resolve the issue of these individuals. The witness
22 never received an unlawful order nor heard of any such orders and that
23 completes the summary.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. If you have any further questions to the
25 witness, please put them.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Sir, now I'd like to go through other parts of your statement.
3 MR. IVETIC: If we can turn to page 2 in both languages, I would
4 like to start with paragraph number 4.
5 Q. Sir, in this paragraph, you say:
6 "I knew something evil was afoot, that things would no longer be
7 the same. There were opinions that preparations were under way to wipe
8 out the Serbian population from the area."
9 What was the bases of these conclusions or concerns that you had?
10 A. Yes. That's what I said. That is my opinion. I spent a lot of
11 time in Sarajevo over that last year, practically I spent every weekend
12 in Sarajevo. I saw Green Berets walking about town, in a state, based on
13 the rule of law, the Patriotic League, the speech of Sulejman Ugljanin in
14 at a rally in Foca saying that he would come to Foca with 50.000 fierce
15 Sandzakli and resolve the matter.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not catch the next
18 A. We were not organised --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could you resume from where you said that you --
20 when you talked about the speech indicating that 50.000 fierce
21 Sandzaklije would come to Foca and resolve the matter. Could you repeat
22 from there on your answer?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour. At
24 the rally in Foca, this was a SDA rally in Foca, Sulejman Ugljanin,
25 president of the SDA for Sandzak, said he would bring in 50.000 fierce
1 Sandzakli to resolve the matter, that Foca of 1942 would not be repeated.
2 All of these things that I'm talking about now were noticed in a big
3 village, predominantly Muslim populated. I as a citizen of the then
4 Yugoslavia, I just wore blue jeans and I stated that because that's what
5 I thought. We had nothing, we just had a T-shirt on, and they have
6 paramilitary formations, Green Berets, the Patriotic League, they have
7 50.000 Sandzakli. They have guards around the town of Foca. And that's
8 why I said if war were to break out, and I hoped that war would not break
9 out, we would not be left. We could not survive.
10 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, if we can take you -- look together at
11 paragraph 7 of your statement, should be on the same page in both
12 versions, here you identify that you joined the 5th Battalion on or about
13 15 April 1992. Was this 5th Battalion part of the VRS or some other
14 formation at the time that you joined?
15 A. The 5th Battalion was within the Territorial Defence.
16 Q. And did that 5th Battalion later become part of the VRS?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, at the time that you were a member of the
19 Territorial Defence or later the VRS, were you ever instructed on the
20 laws of war and how to deal with civilians and prisoners of war?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
23 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I believe we had this issue Friday as
24 well. This is a witness who is testifying as an exception to the
25 agreement that only witnesses who had previously testified would be
1 called before the summer recess because of late disclosure of all the
2 Defence statements. Perhaps I've missed it, but is the instruction on
3 the law of war covered in the witness's statement?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic?
5 MR. IVETIC: Well, yes, I do think it arises out of paragraph 13
6 where he says I never saw or heard anything unlawful was done in the
7 formation that he joined, so I think for that paragraph to have meaning
8 we do have to ascertain what the witness was told, if he was instructed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: But instructions and what happens are two different
10 things, would you agree?
11 MR. IVETIC: I don't understand what you mean by what happens,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if I say that I never committed a traffic
14 offence, it doesn't say anything about my training as a driver. Of
15 course, you can link everything to everything but at least it's not clear
16 that this is part of the -- that this is part of the statement.
17 Mr. Traldi, it seems not to be so dramatic as to invite
18 Mr. Ivetic to stop at this moment, but I do understand that you wanted to
19 put on the record that Mr. Ivetic's opinion about what is covered by the
20 statement and your opinion are quite different.
21 MR. TRALDI: I think that's an accurate characterisation,
22 Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
25 Q. Sir, at the time that you were a member of the Territorial
1 Defence or later the VRS, were you ever instructed on the laws of war and
2 how to deal with civilians and prisoners of war?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what is it that you were instructed?
5 A. Every unit of the Territorial Defence and later on of the Army of
6 Republika Srpska had this order that was standing up there, and every
7 soldier could read it and it was read many times before a lineup of
8 soldiers and this is how it read, I quote -- maybe I'm not going to quote
9 it exactly verbatim because it was 20 years ago, but I will quote at
10 least some of the words from that order.
11 "I hereby order all officers, NCOs, and soldiers of
12 Republika Srpska to behave in accordance with the Geneva Conventions."
13 And then underneath it said:
14 "I hereby forbid the torching and destruction of movable and
15 immovable property."
16 Number 2:
17 "The maltreatment of the civilian population.
18 "Enemy soldiers and the wounded should be assisted. Soldiers who
19 are taken prisoner should be treated with dignity."
20 There were other orders too, but Your Honours I cannot remember
21 now. It's been 20 years after all.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, you identify a Dragan Nikolic Intervention Unit.
23 Can you please tell us what this unit was?
24 A. This is a unit that the Territorial Defence established as the
25 military police. Its aim was to protect the Serb and Muslim population
1 during war operations.
2 Q. And why was this unit called the Dragan Nikolic Intervention
3 Unit? Who was Dragan Nikolic?
4 A. Dragan Nikolic was the first commander of that unit, and he was
5 killed in the clashes with the Muslim forces in Foca.
6 Q. And you have been recorded as saying this was a unit of the
7 Territorial Defence established as a military police with the aim to
8 protect the Serb and Muslim population during war operations. How was
9 that aim to be accomplished?
10 A. I did not quite understand this question.
11 Q. Okay. How did the Dragan Nikolic Intervention Unit act to try to
12 protect the Serb and Muslim population?
13 A. Well, they came, I mean if somebody would report that there had
14 been maltreatment of the Serb population, they acted in accordance with
15 the law. They took them to the KP Dom regardless of who this was, a Serb
16 or a Muslim or a Croat, regardless of religion.
17 Q. Now, in paragraphs 7 to 8 of your statement, you talk about
18 paramilitaries. Where did these paramilitaries come from?
19 A. Well, as far as I can remember, a paramilitary formation of about
20 70 men arrived in -- from Serbia, they called themselves the
21 Black Eagles. There was this other unit that came from Montenegro
22 consisting of about 35 men. Many people came at the time, but I remember
23 these units very well, these two.
24 Q. What were these various paramilitary units doing in Foca town?
25 A. I'm going to present my opinion. They brought shame and disgrace
1 to the honest combatants of Foca.
2 Q. And at paragraph 9 of your statement --
3 MR. IVETIC: The next page in English.
4 Q. -- you talk about how they provoked incidents and came into
5 conflict with the civilian population. What can you tell us about the
6 interactions between the paramilitaries and the civilian authorities in
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, there may and translation issue but
9 I didn't see any reference to "civilian population."
10 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. I apologise. It says "population."
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
12 MR. IVETIC:
13 Q. Sir, what can you tell us about the interactions between the
14 paramilitaries and the civilian authorities in Foca?
15 A. Very bad.
16 Q. Did you yourself have any personal encounters with the
17 paramilitaries, and if so, can you explain the circumstances?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
19 MR. TRALDI: This too I think goes beyond the witness's
20 statement. Also, it was not contained in any proofing note or anything.
21 And based on our agreement and the limited exception we've granted in
22 this case, I'm just concerned that a necessity to recall the witness may
23 arise if this line of questioning is going to go into much detail.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: I believe it arises out of paragraph 11. Let me
1 rephrase my question to make it clear.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. In paragraph 11 of your statement, sir, you say about these
5 undisciplined volunteers that could not be brought under control:
6 "They were told that they had to place themselves under control
7 but they refused this."
8 Were you present when this was communicated to these individuals?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you explain first the circumstances of how you came to be
11 present when this was communicated to these group of undisciplined
12 volunteers or paramilitaries?
13 A. I was about 20 kilometres away from Foca. I was summoned there
14 by the commander of the 5th Battalion. He told me, and I quote, "Simovic
15 take ten men with you, go into town, report to the commander of the
16 military police, and you will receive instructions there. The criminals
17 from Belgrade seem to have started causing problems again." I took ten
18 soldiers with me. I went there, reported to the military police, and
19 about 50 of us soldiers went to that area where they were stationed. The
20 military police commander said, "If you don't place yourself under our
21 control, you have two hours to leave. To get lost." And they did not
22 like it, they said that they had come here to fight for the Serb people,
23 one of them in the front ranks was saying something, and I said to him
24 because I was standing, there "you came here not to fight but to loot, to
25 rob people. And the orders that I had received were that we should kill
1 them if they filed obey. They saw this group of 50 soldiers positioned a
2 bit further up, and I was standing there right in front of them. They
3 said, "We will leave, we will not work according to your rules, we will
4 leave but we will come back. You killed one of our soldiers and we will
5 avenge him." And then I quote myself, I said, "Leave, and if you come
6 again, we will be here waiting for you."
7 Q. And lastly I'd like to focus on paragraph --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I ask, you were ordered to kill
9 them if they would not obey. You didn't fulfil that order, is that how I
10 have to understand your testimony?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not obey this order because
12 the order was that if they refused to leave the town, we were to kill
13 them, but if they left, obviously the order did not apply any longer.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. IVETIC:
16 Q. I'd like to focus on paragraph 12 where you've identified a
17 military police officer, Malis. Can you give us some details about what
18 he did to try to resolve the issue of these individuals?
19 A. On the 30th of June 1992, the Foca Brigade of the VRS was
20 established. Up until that time we only had the Territorial Defence.
21 Mr. Malis was appointed the commander of the military police, and
22 Dragan Nikolic Detachment received new tasks. I know but I did not see
23 for myself that it was his task to deal with those cases. And after that
24 time, in June, July, I can't recall the exact time, another formation
25 arrived in the town of Foca, probably with the same goal as the previous
1 ones. He was there waiting for them and he told them that they should
2 not be in Foca and that they had only enough time to pack their things
3 and go. I know that they fired on his car and three of those men were
4 arrested and taken to the KP Dom. And now as to seven or eight other
5 people who were there, they disappeared, they just fled, and they never
6 came back into town again.
7 Q. Sir, on behalf of my client and team I thank you for answering my
8 questions. That completes the direct examination.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
10 Mr. Traldi before you start your cross-examination, I'd like to
11 put a few short questions to the witness.
12 Witness, do you have any knowledge where you said you only had
13 blue jeans and nothing else, did you have any knowledge about Serbs being
14 armed and weapons being distributed among Serbs in the Foca area?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't quite understand your
16 question, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You said I was in blue jeans, we had nothing, and
18 that's -- you explained that in the context of the organisation, the
19 military organisation, of the Muslims. My question to you is: Do you
20 have any knowledge about the distribution of weapons among the Serbs
21 and/or Serbs being armed?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: My second question is: Have you ever arrested
24 someone as a prisoner of war? You or your unit?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us the details?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the course of many combat
3 operations, we fought the enemy soldiers on many occasions, and we would
4 sometimes capture them.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What did you do with them?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have already said, we had the
7 standing order that the prisoners of war, those should be treated with
8 dignity regardless of the fact that they were the enemy. That's what I
9 had said. The Supreme Command issued this order. We had to treat them
10 in line with the Geneva Conventions.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us one example of a person being
12 taken prisoner of war and what you did with them -- with him?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm a soldier. We
14 would capture their soldiers -- well, it is my estimates more or less --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I stop you there. I'm asking for one specific
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you're asking me about what
18 happened when we would capture them. My duty, when an enemy soldier was
19 captured, was to treat them properly.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I stop you again. I'm asking for you for one
21 specific example, where, who, when.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine. I do apologise. Let me give
23 you an example. There was a clash at Treskavica. We had to take an
24 elevation which was of great strategic importance for both sides. We
25 captured about 18 Muslim fighters.
1 JUDGE ORIE: When was that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometime in 1993, 1994. I think it
3 was in late 1993.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Now, do you have any example of 1992?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Have you ever visited KP Dom in Foca? In, well
7 let's say, in April, May, June, 1992?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any personal knowledge about who were
10 detained there? And I'm asking about personal knowledge.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: So you couldn't tell us exactly who, then, were
13 detained there, whether these were prisoners of war, whether they were
14 criminals, whether they were --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I don't know what happened in
16 KP Dom. As a soldier, I did not have the right to even go there.
17 I think that for the most part, the soldiers who fired on us were
18 imprisoned there.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm interested in your personal knowledge.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about the KP
21 Dom in Foca.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
23 Mr. Traldi, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
24 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed. Mr. Simovic, you'll now be
1 cross-examined by Mr. Traldi. Mr. Traldi is counsel for the Prosecution.
2 You'll find him to your right.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
4 Q. Good morning, sir.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. You're a member of a war veterans association, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Have you held a position in that association?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What position?
11 A. I'm the president of the war veterans association in one of the
12 local boards in Foca.
13 Q. You signed your statement on the 8th of June this year. Where
14 did you sign it?
15 A. In the veterans association.
16 Q. Was anyone else there, aside from members of the Defence team?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who was that?
19 A. The secretary. She works there at the veterans association.
20 Q. I have a couple of questions about the evidence that you've just
21 provided this morning. Did you inform the Defence that you had personal
22 interactions with members of paramilitary forces in Foca?
23 A. I did not quite understand the question.
24 Q. I'll rephrase. Did you inform any member of the Defence team
25 that you, yourself, had personally interacted with members of Serb
1 paramilitary forces, met with them and told them to leave, as you
2 described this morning?
3 A. I don't remember.
4 Q. As to that meeting that you testified about this morning, when
5 did it take place? At what point in 1992?
6 A. It happened in front of the sports hall in Foca because this
7 paramilitary unit was stationed in the Foca secondary school. We came
8 there and we conveyed this order that they should leave.
9 Q. Sir, perhaps the question was unclear in some way but I asked you
10 at what point in 1992, what month, if you know, that meeting occurred,
11 not where it occurred. So do you recall what month in 1992 that meeting
12 took place?
13 A. No. It's been 20 years, sir. And some things got a bit mixed up
14 in my mind.
15 Q. You said the paramilitaries had brought shame and disgrace on
16 honest combatants in Foca. How did they do that?
17 MR. TRALDI: And that was at temporary transcript page 14.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, we called them the dogs of
19 war. They did not have any ideals. They had nothing. Their main
20 objective was to make money. I consider them as criminals. Well, it was
21 not just me. They actually were criminals. They simply wanted to make
22 money, and they did not care about the means. They maltreated the
23 population, not only Muslims. They maltreated Serbs as well. And then
24 we had had enough and they had to leave.
25 Q. Now, at temporary transcript page 7 today, lines 7 and 8, you
2 "... in Foca, in my opinion, sir, there weren't any crimes."
3 Is what you're saying now that in fact there were crimes
4 committed in 1992 in Foca?
5 A. I was talking about those criminals robbing and maltreating, not
6 only the Muslims but the Serbs as well. Their main goal was to get hold
7 of some money and nothing else.
8 Q. So just to be perfectly clear and precise, you don't stand by
9 your evidence that there were no crimes committed by armed Serb forces in
10 Foca in 1992. You're now testifying there were crimes, right?
11 MR. IVETIC: Can we get a reference for that? I think it
12 misstates the prior evidence of this witness.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you perhaps literally put to the witness the
14 portion you're referring to, Mr. Traldi.
15 MR. TRALDI: I think I just referred to it and he said in my --
16 in Foca in 1992 in my opinion there were no crimes, which I would submit
17 is -- covers crimes by all sorts of people. It's at transcript page 7,
18 lines 7 and 8, Mr. President, you asked him about his knowledge of the
19 incidents charged in the indictment and the specific language he used
20 was: "Because in Foca, in my opinion, sir, there weren't any crimes."
21 So I'm putting to him that his now is inconsistent with that testimony.
22 MR. IVETIC: And he's expanding it by talking now about other
23 crimes apart from those that were charged in the indictment which was the
24 subject of Your Honour's interchange with the witness.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the statement of the witness was of a rather
1 general nature, although the question was focused on crimes in the
2 indictment that -- but that's the reason I take it why you want to
3 clarify it.
4 MR. TRALDI: That's right, Mr. President. And given that the
5 witness also testified he wasn't aware what crimes were charged in the
6 indictment, I didn't understand that it was possible his answer could
7 have been limited to those crimes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, you're allowed to explore
9 the matter. Please proceed.
10 MR. TRALDI:
11 Q. So, to reiterate my question, your evidence now is there were
12 crimes committed by armed Serb forces in 1992 in Foca, correct?
13 A. I do apologise. Your Honour, Mr. Prosecutor, I perhaps
14 misunderstood you. You were asking me about whether there were any
15 crimes, and you were not asking me about offences, criminal offences. If
16 you say criminal offence, what I mean by that is if you burn a house, if
17 you slap somebody, and I think that they were going around slapping
18 people, torching houses, I did not see that, I heard that from other
19 citizens. I perhaps misunderstood you. You asked me whether there any
20 crimes in 1992. I perhaps just misunderstood you. You did not ask me
21 about criminal offences. A criminal offence for me is a mistreating an
22 enemy soldier, torch a house, slap somebody during the war regardless of
23 their religion. I consider that to be a criminal offence. And I'm sure
24 that there were such offences committed.
25 Q. [Microphone not activated] And as I understood your evidence a
1 moment ago --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Microphone, Mr. Traldi.
3 MR. TRALDI: Thank you. I apologise, Your Honours.
4 Q. As I understood your evidence a moment ago, you're aware that
5 such offences were committed by Serb forces in Foca, correct?
6 MR. IVETIC: Again, Your Honour, it misstates the prior testimony
7 of this witness. Can I get a ruling on that objection, finally?
8 MR. TRALDI: I don't think that's correct.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you understand English, Witness? Do you
10 understand the English language?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please take off your ear-phones for a
14 Mr. Ivetic, could you further explain in what respect it
15 misstates the evidence?
16 MR. IVETIC: Twice now, the Prosecution counsel has said that
17 this witness has linked crimes to Serb forces. Which is not what this --
18 the witness has said. I'd asked for a ruling on that objection --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Okay. That's --
20 MR. IVETIC: -- and that's it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now it's clear. I understood the reference to the
22 repeated mentioning of Serb paramilitary forces, which are Serb forces,
23 Mr. Ivetic. If you don't --
24 MR. IVETIC: If you change -- if it's Serb paramilitary, then
25 it's Serb paramilitary. If it's Serb forces, that's changing it to mean
1 something different, more general, because Serb forces can also mean
2 other things.
3 MR. TRALDI: No. No. Serb paramilitary --
4 JUDGE ORIE: That -- that objection is denied. We understand the
5 explanation of the witness was Serb military forces.
6 Mr. Traldi, it would have been advisable to continue to use that
7 wording, but Serb paramilitary forces are still Serb forces.
8 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, you see my -- you see the point
9 of my objection.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. IVETIC: Now Your Honour has just said Serb military forces
12 in line 16 --
13 JUDGE ORIE: If I --
14 MR. IVETIC: -- which is an entirely different matter.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If I --
16 MR. IVETIC: You did. You just said it. There is a chance of
17 confusion, that's why I'm asking for the Prosecution to be very precise
18 and stick to what is the evidence of this witness.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I meant to say that those were armed forces
20 when I said military forces. I think I misstated the question put by
21 Mr. Traldi earlier. He had talked about armed forces.
22 Mr. Traldi, it would be advisable to connect your question to
23 what the witness said, and I apologise for having used the word
24 "military" where I intended to use the word armed. Please proceed.
25 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, could --
1 JUDGE ORIE: It's time for the break anyhow.
2 Witness, "Svedok," Witness, we will take a break of 20 minutes.
3 We would like to see you back after the break. You may follow the usher.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 5 minutes to 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
10 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Just to return to the last question I was asking before the
12 break, sir, it's correct, isn't it, that it is not your opinion that no
13 crimes were committed in Foca, but that you are personally aware that
14 Serb paramilitary forces committed crimes against non-Serbs in Foca;
15 that's right, isn't it?
16 A. No. I don't know about crimes. What I do know is that criminal
17 acts, criminal offences, were committed, but crimes are a different
18 matter. They were robbing people, they would enter a house, rob
19 everything and then set it on fire. That's a criminal offence, as far as
20 I'm concerned, and it is up to this Tribunal to decide whether it was
21 also a crime or not.
22 Q. I'll move on and I won't insist on the terminology for the
24 Turning to another point from your testimony this morning, you
25 testified about a speech which claimed -- in which it was claimed that
1 50.000 people from Sandzak were going to be sent to Foca. Now I just
2 have one question about this. That never happened, did it?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now I want to turn to the structure of your own forces. You
5 state in paragraph 13 of your statement --
6 MR. TRALDI: D583.
7 Q. -- that your commander was Marko Kovac. He was the commander of
8 the Foca Tactical Group, right?
9 A. Well, sir, I know that Marko Kovac was the commander of the
10 Foca Brigade which was part of the Republika Srpska army. Now, as for
11 this tactical group, I don't really know what it means. I don't know
12 what it was established. What I do know is that Marko Kovac was the
13 commander of the Foca Brigade which was established -- I know that
14 because I'm a member of the war veterans association. It was established
15 in June 1992.
16 Q. So he became your commander in June of 1992, right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And by that time, you'd already transferred into the
19 Dragan Nikolic Intervention Unit, right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You say in paragraph 13 that Colonel Kovac was your commander.
22 Now, your unit's immediate commander was Brane Cosovic, right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. But your unit received orders from Colonel Kovac, right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And Colonel Kovac reported on your detachment's activities to his
2 superior command, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I want to look at just one example of such a report.
5 MR. TRALDI: If we could have 65 ter 30982.
6 Q. Now, what we are seeing here is a report from Colonel Kovac dated
7 the 2nd of August 1992. And -- which is -- appears to have been sent to
8 the Herzegovina Corps command from the Foca Tactical Group, and it says
9 it was received by a radio link and also refers to the information centre
10 Trebinje. Looking at --
11 MR. IVETIC: That was going to be my point. It appears to be
12 coming from the centre for information in Trebinje rather than from the
13 tactical group.
14 MR. TRALDI: Actually, it says this is a regular Foca Tactical
15 Group report received by radio link. It says it comes from
16 Colonel Kovac. And, Your Honour, we saw this on another document last
17 week, P6680. It's also the case with P2835, 2839, and 2842 which have
18 all been admitted, so it appears from the documents in the record that
19 this was not an uncommon channel of communications for the Foca Tactical
20 Group. But I'd submit based on what we see here as well as the fact that
21 the document comes from the Herzegovina Corps collection that it's pretty
22 clear who it's being sent to and who it's being sent from.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It seems that the Trebinje reference is a reference
24 to what seems to be a transfer by whatever technical means, whereas the
25 content may be not exactly the same; that is, the origin of this specific
1 copy may be -- but let me just have a look -- yes. No, it's not only
2 the -- I see that it's also Trebinje on the top of the page.
3 MR. TRALDI: In terms of technical means it is a does say it was
4 received by radio link. It gives a date and a time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Well, apparently you can interpret the
6 origin in various ways and we -- you may proceed, Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. Looking at point 2, sir, Colonel Kovac is reporting that:
9 "Special Detachments Dragan Nikolic, Zaga, and Elez freed Rogoj
10 inflicting heavily losses on the Ustashas. The remaining TG units
11 repelled the Ustasha attack."
12 Then it reports "losses on our side."
13 "And the Dragan Nikolic Detachment" -- that's your detachment,
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. He uses Ustashas to describe enemy forces. Was that common in
17 your units?
18 A. I am sorry, I did not quite understand your question.
19 Q. I'll rephrase. Colonel Kovac uses the word "Ustashas" to
20 describe enemy forces. Was that commonly used in your unit and the other
21 units with which your unit cooperated, to your knowledge?
22 A. The only thing that I do know is that we called the enemy
23 soldiers Ustashas.
24 Q. Now, he refers to Rogoj. The Rogoj pass is an important
25 strategic feature, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it's important, among other things, to control over the route
3 from Sarajevo to Foca?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He's reporting that your detachment took part in this action.
6 Did you also take part in it yourself?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And I take it to -- from your answer to Mr. President's question
9 earlier, to the best of your knowledge your detachment did not take any
10 prisoners during this operation; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 30982.
13 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30982 receives number P6684, Your
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. TRALDI:
19 Q. Now, I want to ask you now a few questions about the detachment.
20 Where was your detachment headquartered?
21 A. In a room in the Zelengora Hotel in Foca.
22 Q. What neighbourhood was that in?
23 A. It was in the centre of the town.
24 Q. Now, Radomir Kovac was a member of your unit, correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. His nickname was Klanfa?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In the last document, we saw that your unit engaged in operations
4 together with the Zaga detachment. Its commander was Dragomir Kunarac,
6 A. I know only his nickname, Zaga, I don't know his full name.
7 Q. Now, that detachment included some fighters from Montenegro,
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. It was based at a house called 16 Ulica Osmana Dikica.
11 I apologise for my pronunciation but hopefully it shows up correctly for
12 you. That's correct, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you ever there yourself?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Kunarac has been convicted at this Tribunal for crimes
17 in Foca including crimes against women committed at that house. Were you
18 aware of that?
19 A. At that moment, I did not know what this unit called Zaga was
20 doing. None of the superiors knew [Realtime transcript read in error
21 "this appears new"], but it did turn out that this man was sentenced
22 before this Tribunal. I don't know what sentence he received but I would
23 like, if you allow me, to express my opinion of that.
24 Q. All I'd asked was whether you were aware that he'd been
25 convicted. And I take it from your answer, you were. It's clear from
1 the last document, that his unit, like yours, was receiving orders from
2 Colonel Kovac, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So this wasn't one of the detachments that wasn't under anyone's
5 control? This was a detachment that was under the control of the
6 Foca Brigade or the Foca Tactical Group, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. We also just saw in the same document that your unit engaged in
9 operations together with the Elez Battalion, that's a battalion commanded
10 by Pero Elez, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That's the Miljevina Battalion or the 7th Battalion, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And one of his men was Radovan Stankovic, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. His nickname was Rasa?
17 A. I didn't know his nickname.
18 Q. Did you know him?
19 A. By sight only.
20 Q. Now, are you aware that Mr. Stankovic has been convicted in
21 Bosnia of crimes in Foca, including crimes against women committed at a
22 place called Karaman's house in Miljevina?
23 A. I don't know about any crimes in Miljevina. I do know that he
24 was sentenced before this Court.
25 Q. And Mr. Kovac, who we mentioned earlier, from your unit, he lived
1 in the Lepa Brena Block of apartments in Foca, right?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it Dragomir or is it Marko?
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. Sorry, Radomir Kovac from your unit --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: From --
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. -- he lived in the Lepa Brena apartments in Foca, right?
8 A. Somewhere there, around the centre. I'm not sure where they
9 lived but somewhere around the centre.
10 Q. And were you ever at the place where he lived in 1992?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And you're aware, too, aren't you, that Mr. Kovac has been
13 convicted before this Tribunal of crimes in Foca including crimes against
14 women committed in his apartment, right?
15 A. I did not know about these crimes. Most probably they were
16 committed but our superiors didn't know about that, most probably. That
17 is something that was strictly prohibited to us as soldiers. This Kovac
18 returned to town, and I said that I would never have let him go, had
19 I been asked, that they had not sentenced had him to a strict enough
20 sentence. I mean, knowing our superiors. I mean, what he did disgraced
21 me as a soldier, disgraced my officers, my commanders. I said that to
22 him personally, to his face. He is in town. I said, if I were your
23 judge, you would have been on the electric chair and I wouldn't have
24 pressed the button once but several times. I can tell you that no
25 superiors knew about his crimes, say not 70 but 95 per cent of all
1 soldiers were --
2 Q. I think the last part of your answer may not have been recorded,
3 95 per cent of all soldiers were what, sir?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Nothing else was said.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to say that soldiers
6 like he brought disgrace on all the honourable soldiers of the town of
7 Foca and our officers, they did not respect the command. Had I been
8 asked, I told him that to his face, and I can square here before God,
9 I said to him, "You fared well. Had I been your judge, I would have
10 taken you to the electric chair and I would have pressed the button three
11 times, not once," because he brought disgrace upon me as a warrior. He
12 did not follow the orders of our superior officers, and he brought shame
13 and disgrace on all the honourable combatants of the Army of Republika
14 Srpska and the general. Such combatants like Kovac. It wasn't just like
15 that that he was sentenced before this Court. But knowing our superiors,
16 how rigorous they were in terms of such measures, this must have been
17 done secretly. Knowing Commander Branimir Cosovic, had we know about
18 these crimes I swear by God before this Court, I would have been his
19 judge and executioner even if I'd never leave prison after that.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Sir, I can see you have strong feelings about Mr. Kovac's crimes.
22 I just have two specific questions about the answer you've just provided.
23 The first one, you testified earlier that paramilitaries had brought
24 shame and disgrace on the honourable VRS combatants in Foca municipality.
25 It wasn't just paramilitaries. It was also some of the members of the
1 VRS who brought disgrace on the others by committing crimes, right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And second, I appreciate your opinion of Commander Cosovic, but
4 you don't personally know what he was or wasn't aware of about
5 Mr. Kovac's crimes in 1992, do you?
6 A. No, but knowing the gentleman, my commander, knowing how many
7 times he told us that we should not do anything wrong in terms of the
8 code of war, I cannot say anything. But I did not notice, but I did not
9 see, because knowing my commander, knowing his character, knowing my
10 officers, knowing my generals, had we known, again, I swear before God, I
11 believe in God -- and I believe in God, and he served his sentence, the
12 one that The Hague Tribunal imposed on him, and there must have been a
13 reason for that. Had I known, had we known about what happened -- I'm
14 sorry, I got carried away by my emotions, but he will face the judgement
15 of God, like everyone else. He fared the way he did here on earth and
16 now how he will fare before the face of God, let that be.
17 Q. He wasn't punished during the war by his commanders, was he?
18 A. Well, sir, Mr. Prosecutor, I said just now that we in the unit
19 did not know what he was committing these crimes.
20 Q. In fact, I mentioned several people convicted after the war from
21 VRS units in Foca. None of them were punished during the war for the
22 crimes they had committed either by their commanders or by the military
23 courts, were they?
24 A. I do apologise. Could you just explain this question to me?
25 Q. Sure. And I'll make it a little bit more specific. I mentioned
1 Mr. Stankovic, Mr. Kunarac, Mr. Kovac. They were all convicted after the
2 war. They were all members of VRS units in Foca during the war. None of
3 them were punished during the war either by their commanders or by the
4 military courts for the crimes they committed; that's right, isn't it?
5 A. Yes. Had we known that they had done this -- well, it probably
6 hadn't reached our superiors. However, had it reached them, because
7 I mean for somebody to do something like this, of course they would have
8 to do it in secret, because mistreating the civilian population was
9 strictly forbidden. That order was hanging on the wall. They violated
10 that. I did not know, and I believe that my commander didn't know
11 either. I believe that my superiors did not know about that either.
12 They were rigorous. These people must have done this in secret. That's
13 why I said that people like this, what do I call them? I mean in public
14 here before this Court, these soulless beings, they brought disgrace on
15 me, on the Army of Republika Srpska. As for these three men that I see
16 here, you cannot say that all the fighters from Foca and that our command
17 are the same like these three. I beg your pardon. I mean, I said what
18 I said. I said this to the public prosecutor. I apologise to the Judges
19 if they misunderstood this.
20 Q. Aside from them, no other members of your unit were punished
21 during the war for wrongful facts they may have committed against
22 Muslims, were they?
23 A. These three were not punished. Again I'm saying we did not know.
24 We did not know about their offences. Believe me, we punished soldiers
25 when we knew about the violations of orders, say as far as the cease-fire
1 was concerned. Sometimes they would be sentenced to two months,
2 whatever, for this kind of crime. They would have been held accountable
3 by our command, had our command known about this.
4 Q. Now, I want to turn now to a different topic.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Traldi, may I put one question in relation to
6 this topic you have dealt with.
7 Mr. Witness, I would like to take you back to your evidence about
8 Mr. Kunarac, on page 31, line 20 and 21. You said:
9 "At that moment I did not know what this unit called Zaga was
11 And I understood the next sentence to be none of his superiors
12 knew. It is wrongly recorded, but this is what I heard. Do I repeat
13 your answer correctly? None of his superiors knew?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When I said -- well, I'm
15 sorry, I beg your pardon.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let me put --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Didn't know then.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let me put my question to you: How do you know
19 that no -- none of the superiors of Mr. Kunarac know -- knew about crimes
20 committed by him?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If any of our superiors knew that
22 he had done that, then he's the same. But our superiors strictly
23 prohibited that kind of thing, and that is why I don't believe that any
24 one of our superiors knew. Well, I cannot say. I was not present during
25 these conversations, but I cannot say that anyone of our superior
1 officers knew about what Kunarac did, in my view.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Thank you very much for that
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just one more question: Do you know of anybody
5 who was punished by your superiors for any crimes that he might have
6 committed? Just say "yes" or "no."
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. I want to turn now to the topic of prisoners. You mentioned, at
11 temporary transcript page 19, that your unit had taken a number of
12 prisoners during an operation on Treskavica in 1993; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where did you bring them?
15 A. We took them to the command. This happened while we were in
16 action, on the ground. I think 22 soldiers were taken prisoner, and they
17 were brought in. We told the military police that they were taken
18 prisoner, and according to establishment, you are supposed to let the
19 military police know so that they would meet these prisoners who are then
20 taken to the KP Dom. The orders I had was that I should inform the
21 military police if I take a prisoner of war and then I hand these
22 prisoners of war over to the military police and then they do their job.
23 Q. You testified that you hadn't taken prisoners during operations
24 in Foca. Was there a similar standing order that if prisoners were taken
25 they would be taken to the military police and then taken to the KP Dom
1 in Foca?
2 A. Not the military police, but all units that take a soldier
3 prisoner were duty-bound to hand this person over to the military police,
4 and then the military police would take that person to the KP Dom or some
5 other institution where these POWs were.
6 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence from both Prosecution and
7 Defence witnesses that detainees at KP Dom also included elderly people,
8 women and children. That's true, isn't it?
9 A. I did not enter the KP Dom. I mean, we were strictly prohibited
10 from getting close to the KP Dom let alone entering the KP Dom. I'm a
11 soldier and I was supposed to carry out the orders of my superiors. To
12 go to the KP Dom to see who was there, I really don't know. If there
13 were some people -- well, I did not take them prisoner, and I don't
14 belive that we could have taken old men to the KP Dom. I claim that all
15 the persons that we took prisoner, I and my unit, that happened during
16 war operations. I joined later, when the town had fallen. I don't know
17 about these elderly people.
18 Q. Well, let's look at 65 ter 14066. Now, this is a list of
19 prisoners of war of Muslim ethnicity being released from KP Dom Foca to
20 be exchanged for captured Serbs. It's dated the 8th of December 1992.
21 I'd ask you to just familiarise yourself with the list for a moment and
22 please say "yes" when you've done so.
23 A. I've read it.
24 Q. Now, the people being exchanged in this group, looking at the
25 years of birth, are all over 50 years old at the time, right?
1 A. I don't know these people. Now, who brought them, I don't know.
2 Q. You do see the years of birth and agree with me that at the time
3 they're all recorded to be over 50 years old, though, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And do you see below that, where it says approved by the
6 commander of TG Foca, Mr. Kovac, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that's the stamp for the military post for the Foca Tactical
9 Group, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the witness has shown no knowledge of
13 the persons in the document or the document, so I don't think that the
14 bases for introducing this document through this witness has been met.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Would there be any problem in having it admitted
16 from the bar table, Mr. Ivetic? Which is often done if the witness has
17 testified about matters.
18 MR. IVETIC: I believe if the Prosecution wishes to tender
19 documents through the bar table, the procedure to be followed is to a
20 file a submission to allow the Defence to respond. I would ask that that
21 be the way it's done. It was part of your guidance.
22 MR. TRALDI: My understanding is a little bit different, which is
23 that particularly where a document impeaches evidence directly given by
24 the witness, for instance, in this case his belief that the people in
25 KP Dom Foca were all fighters, then the document can be admitted during
1 cross-examination. This was done during the Prosecution case as well.
2 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honours, the Prosecution is misstating the
3 document. First line of the document says "prisoners of war." To be a
4 prisoner of war, one has to be a fighter, so this document does not
5 impeach the witness. It's a mischaracterisation of the highest order.
6 MR. TRALDI: My submission is that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 is unlikely to have been composed entirely of men over the age of 50 and
8 the ages are suggestive. That's why I focused on them in my questioning.
9 MR. IVETIC: So, Your Honours, it's not impeaching the witness.
10 It's not presented for that purpose. It's presented for the purpose of
11 presenting the Prosecution's argument.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, would you agree that your recollection
13 might also relate to documents which are directly linked to the substance
14 of the testimony of the witness, even if it not impeaches him directly?
15 MR. TRALDI: I would, and I'd argue -- one way of being directly
16 linked, I'd submit, is being indicative of impeachment.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied.
18 Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 14066 receives number P6685,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: P6685 is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. IVETIC: Can we get a ruling from this Chamber: Is it your
23 position that documents are that are indicative of impeachment can be
24 submitted from the bar table by either party?
25 JUDGE ORIE: You don't get a ruling on that. The document was
1 tendered, both parties have presented their views on the matter, and the
2 objection is denied.
3 MR. IVETIC: Can I get the reasons on the record then for the
4 objection being denied?
5 JUDGE ORIE: We will consider your request, Mr. Ivetic.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. Now I want to turn now to some questions about the municipality
9 of Foca itself. Foca was a Muslim-majority municipality before the war,
11 A. [No interpretation]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, the interpreters have difficulties in
16 hearing you. Could you come a bit closer to the microphone? And repeat
17 your answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour. To
19 the best of my knowledge in 1991 according to the census, 51 of the --
20 per cent of the population was the Muslim population and 49 per cent was
21 the Serb population.
22 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 02559 B? This is an excerpt
23 from the census. Once it's come up I'll ask for page 2 in the B/C/S. In
24 the English, as we've done in previous instances, we've only translated
25 the column headings rather than asking CLSS to translate the numbers. If
1 we could zoom in at the middle of the page on the heading, "Foca," and
2 I wonder if for ease of reading we might have just the B/C/S version up.
3 Q. Now, do you see the heading, "Foca"?
4 JUDGE ORIE: A little bit further up as well, please, so that we
5 can read the headings of the columns. Yes, there we are.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. So now at the bottom of your screen, do you see the word "Foca"?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if you look straight across to the right, you see that's line
10 24, correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. TRALDI: If we could turn to page 3 and stay on line 24. And
13 we will again need the column headings.
14 Q. On the left side, we see Ukupno, roughly total 40.513 of which
15 20.790 are Muslims, 18.315 Serbs, and relatively small numbers of others.
16 So that's consistent with your recollection that the municipality was
17 about 51 per cent Muslim at the time, right?
18 A. I'm sorry if I got my numbers wrong. My opinion was that 51 per
19 cent were Muslims and 49 per cent Serbs. Maybe I made a mistake, but I
20 don't know about these percentages, 23, 18, that's 48.52. That would be
21 my mental math.
22 Q. I wasn't asking you to do mental math at the moment, sir. What
23 I was suggesting to you, in fact, was that the numbers here are
24 consistent with your recollection and that they are pretty much what you
25 described, 51 per cent Muslims and 49 per cent others. That's right,
1 isn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I would tender this excerpt.
4 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 02559B receives number P6686, Your
8 JUDGE ORIE: P6686 is admitted.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. Now, did you notice at any point that most of the Muslims had
11 left Foca?
12 A. Well, I was not there when the town was taken. My unit joined in
13 at a later stage. I think that a part of the town was liberated,
14 I think, in late March, if I recollect. I know that the Muslim forces in
15 Foca were very strong and most of those forces, when they clashed with
16 our forces, when they realised that they would lose the fight, as we the
17 fighters say, they withdrew towards Ustikolina where there was a Muslim
18 majority population. Quite a few of the honest Muslims were there -- or
19 rather, quite a few of the honest Muslims and their families remained in
20 the town of Foca after their forces withdrew.
21 Q. Now, even the great majority of the -- of what you're terming
22 honest Muslims left Foca during the war, didn't they?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you don't mention that in your statement, do you?
25 A. You mean here?
1 Q. Yes, there.
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that Serb leaders in
4 Foca -- like Miroslav Stanic, he was the president of the Crisis Staff
5 and then later the war commission, right?
6 A. I did not understand your question.
7 Q. And that's because I think I interrupted myself. Miroslav Stanic
8 was the president of the Crisis Staff in Foca and then later the war
9 commission, right?
10 A. Yes. He was the president of the Crisis Staff.
11 Q. And Petko Cancar, he was another of the Serb leaders in Foca,
13 A. Yes, he did have a post or a function of some sort, but I don't
14 know which. They were civilians, we were soldiers.
15 Q. Mr. Stanic -- you say they were civilians, we were soldiers,
16 during the period that it was Territorial Defence forces in Foca,
17 Mr. Stanic was involved with those forces, right?
18 A. I think that Miroslav Stanic was the president of the Crisis
19 Staff in Foca.
20 Q. Once the VRS units were created, he and the other civilian
21 authorities, they were civilians, you were soldiers, right?
22 A. Yes. Well, I'm not sure. I don't know what function they had at
23 the time because I never saw them in my vicinity.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not understand the
25 last portion of the answer.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. Sir, could you perhaps repeat your answer for the benefit of the
4 A. I was in the war. I fought as a Republika Srpska soldier. Now
5 as to what role they played in the effort to establish the army, I don't
6 know. The only thing I know is that Miroslav Stanic was the president of
7 the Crisis Staff. I know Petko Cancar. But we soldiers, we did not care
8 about their functions. At least I did not. I do know about
9 Miroslav Stanic. I remember that.
10 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that Serb leaders in Foca,
11 including those two, openly discussed the departure of the great
12 majority, almost all of the Muslims from Foca municipality. So Muslims
13 continued leaving, including what you described as honest Muslims, long
14 after the takeover in April, right?
15 A. I have to apologise to this honourable Court. I did not say that
16 these two made the Muslims leave Foca, as the Prosecutor put it to me, if
17 I understand correctly.
18 Q. Perhaps there was a translation issue and so I'll suggest I'll
19 just repeat my question, if that's acceptable.
20 What I said was: The Chamber has received evidence from other
21 witnesses, and from documents, that Serb leaders in Foca, including
22 Mr. Stanic and Mr. Cancar, openly discussed the departure of the great
23 majority, almost all, of the Muslims from Foca municipality. What they
24 discussed happened, didn't it? Muslims continued leaving, including what
25 you described as honest Muslims, long after April 1992?
1 A. As far as I know, many Muslims expressed their wish to leave the
2 town voluntarily. Everybody could leave. Serbs, Muslims alike. In my
3 opinion, based on my conversations, I don't know whether they decided to
4 go. The only thing I know is they wanted to be reunited with their
5 families. It was a war. Some people had to move. They wanted to join
6 them. They simply expressed their desire to be reunited with their
7 family because many -- families because many of the people were fighting
8 on the other side, and then when they left, nobody knew what the outcome
9 of the battle would be. We won in the end, the Serbs won, but many of
10 their units fled into the area controlled by the Muslim fighters. Some
11 of them stayed.
12 I know that they expressed their desire to leave. I know that
13 buses were made ready. I was sitting there with a -- some friends of
14 mine, Muslims. I know that many of them survived, thank God, and they
15 said that they wanted to go because they wanted to join their families.
16 They were all over the place. There was a war going on. It was chaos.
17 I know that transportation was made ready for them. I know that because
18 I was there. Nobody forced them to go. Serbs could go too. Muslims.
19 Whoever. We did not mistreat them. We treated them nicely. We even
20 provided them with an escort as they left. We did not force them to go.
21 I swear before God the Serb and Muslim children played together. Some of
22 our lads were killed and perhaps in fear of revenge -- because many of
23 our soldiers, many of our lads, had been killed, but nobody, as far as I
24 know, there was this group of individuals who were convicted, and if
25 I had any knowledge, I would share it with you, I would say it now in
1 court, and it's not all the soldiers in the VRS, all the officers, who
2 should be tarred with this brush.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I'm looking at the clock. We are one
4 hour since we restarted.
5 MR. TRALDI: I think it's a good time for the break,
6 Mr. President. I'll be under my estimate, so I'll be just 10 or 15
7 minutes when we resume.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we will take a break of 20 minutes. And we
9 would like see you back after that.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at quarter past 12.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.57 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be brought
15 in, Mr. Ivetic, just in order to assist you, I read to you the guidance
16 the Chamber gave on the 29th of October 2012.
17 "However, the Chamber clarifies that a document's probative value
18 may also be established by having a witness testify about events
19 described in a certain document. If the content of a document used
20 during a witness's examination is sufficiently linked to the content of
21 that witness's testimony, the document may be appropriately tendered and
22 admitted with that witness even if the witness is unfamiliar with the
23 specific document."
24 Now, the witness gave his testimony about that he couldn't
25 believe that elderly would be detained in KP Dom, and I leave it alone
1 whether the dates of birth of these witnesses are such that you could say
2 it impeaches or does not impeach, but the link is sufficiently
3 established with the testimony of the witness. That's what -- at least
4 the guidance of the Chamber was at the time and still is.
5 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honours, where I have a problem is you
6 asked if the same objection would apply to the document be it tendered
7 under the bar table. Your Honours gave a guidance for the Prosecution to
8 file their bar table submissions at the close of the Prosecution's --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic --
10 MR. IVETIC: -- case in chief. To reopen the Prosecution's case
11 in chief to allow documents to come in through the bar table during the
12 Defence case is, I believe, contrary to that guidance.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I'm going to interrupt you. It is
14 tendering a document. And if I say from the bar table, I meant to say
15 that the witness may have no personal knowledge about the document, and
16 that expression was often used when it came to tendering of a document
17 where the witness couldn't say himself anything about it and that is not
18 the same as being part of a bar table motion, a bar table motion which is
19 then not directly linked to any specific portion of the evidence given by
20 a witness. But if my -- the use of my words have confused you, then my
21 apologies for it.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Sir, I want to pick up where we were discussing immediately
1 before the break. Now, you said both Muslims and Serbs were able to
2 leave Foca. In fact, the people who did leave were overwhelmingly
3 Muslims, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that there were guards
6 around Muslim houses in Foca town at that time, Serb guards. Were you
7 aware of that?
8 A. No.
9 Q. The Chamber has already received evidence that women, children
10 and elderly people from Muslim villages were brought into Foca and held
11 in detention centres also with armed guards. Were you aware of that?
12 MR. IVETIC: I believe that misstates the evidence. If we can
13 have a reference for it. I believe "detention centres" is the critical
15 JUDGE ORIE: Reception centres, Mr. Traldi.
16 MR. TRALDI: I think Mr. Ivetic has a specific witness's term in
17 mind. I think different witnesses have used different terminology
18 including during the Prosecution case, but I won't insist on the term.
19 I'll rephrase if that suits the Chamber and Mr. Ivetic.
20 Q. The Chamber has received evidence that women, children, and
21 elderly people from Muslim villages were brought into Foca and held in
22 buildings with armed guards around them. Were you aware of that?
23 A. Could you be more specific in your question? Where? What? I
24 know about the guards that you were talking about. I know that we
25 received orders to establish check-points in areas with Muslim majority,
1 and there was a curfew at that check-point, after 8.00 no one was allowed
2 to enter those parts of the town under arms. Maybe the -- that's the
3 cause of confusion. I know about this check-point in the part of the
4 town where I lived.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. Listen carefully to the
6 question. Women, children and elderly people brought into Foca and held
7 in buildings. A check-point is not a building. A building with armed
8 guards around them. And that's also not curfew. A building. Could you
9 please answer whether you were aware of that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on what I know, I can say
11 that some inhabitants demanded from the command and from the military
12 police -- since this will be a lengthy explanation and I do apologise for
13 that. The territory of the municipality of Foca is one of the largest
14 municipalities, in terms of its surface area.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. If you would please first
16 answer the question. If there is any further explanation needed, then
17 Mr. Traldi will ask for it. Again, were you aware of the persons
18 I referred to being brought to Foca and being held in buildings with
19 armed guards?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please, Mr. Traldi, please proceed.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. The Chamber has also received evidence that crimes were committed
24 against the people in those buildings. I take it you weren't aware of
25 that either?
1 A. The only thing I do know is that Muslim residents -- well, the
2 military police, I really cannot explain this briefly. If you want to
3 hear my answer and if you want to get an accurate answer, I cannot give
4 you a "yes" or "no" answer.
5 JUDGE ORIE: A simple: Are you aware of any crimes committed
6 against people in those buildings? And at this moment, if you say,
7 "Well, I was not aware of any such crimes being committed in those
8 buildings," then at the end of your testimony, if there is anything you'd
9 like to add, you will have an opportunity to do so.
10 Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the problem comes in in that what are
12 those buildings when the witness's answer --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. IVETIC: -- previously was not knowing about what buildings
15 are being talked about. That's at line 10.
16 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, he doesn't know that people
17 were even held in buildings.
18 To that extent, Mr. Traldi, it may --
19 MR. TRALDI: That's why I included the words "I take it you
20 weren't aware of that" in my question, Mr. President, and I expected the
21 answer to be very brief.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you don't know about the persons, the
23 elderly, children, being kept in buildings being guarded, then Mr. Traldi
24 assumed that you would not know about any crimes committed under such
25 circumstances. Was he right?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. Now, I put to you that all of those things could explain, could
5 make someone feel, they had to leave, couldn't they? Certainly having
6 armed guards around your house, that could make someone feel they had to
7 leave, couldn't it?
8 A. I never saw any armed guards around any of the buildings. Based
9 on your question, I can conclude that there were some buildings, but if
10 you say that armed guards were stationed around houses, armed soldiers,
11 I just don't understand it, so was it a building or was it a house?
12 Based on what you said, it would seem that there were guards in front of
13 all of the Muslim houses. That's the way I understand your question,
14 that that's what your implying, that there were armed guards in front of
15 the houses, Muslim houses.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you're asking first for an opinion,
17 second on what, for the witness, is a hypothetical situation. That might
18 not greatly assist the Chamber.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Let me put it this way, then: You don't know why, really, any of
22 the Muslims who you say requested to leave Foca, you don't know why they
23 made such a request, do you?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And they had to make such a request, and had to leave in the
1 buses you said were provided, with the escort you said was provided,
2 because there were check-points on the roads like you described, right?
3 MR. IVETIC: Objection, calls for speculation and does not follow
4 from the evidence of the witness. If the witness says he doesn't know
5 then to make this statement is really just presenting arguments.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's not, as a matter of fact -- Mr. Traldi,
7 perhaps at -- may I take it that that such a request had to be made, that
8 that is to some extent based on the evidence the Chamber heard before,
9 and that you put all this to the witness. Could you phrase it in such a
10 way that that's clear to everyone?
11 MR. TRALDI: I think "had" perhaps may have been the problem and
12 I should have phrased that a little bit differently, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Give it a try.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. Sir, it was only possible to leave in the buses you said were
16 provided to the Muslims with the escort you said was provided to the
17 Muslims because, as you said, there were military check-points on the
18 roads. That's right, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, but they left under escort because many of us, and our
20 superiors, definitely, were concerned about the things that might happen
21 to them because many of our lads had been killed and someone may have
22 wanted to exact revenge, firing a round from the woods on the bus. And
23 that's why --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, again, whether they may have good reasons
25 or not, the question was whether it was only possible to leave in those
1 buses, that you couldn't leave in another way.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if they wanted to, they could
3 leave any which way they wanted, but there were no cars, there was no
4 fuel, it was -- there was a war going on.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So you could leave not using the transportation
6 provided, transportation by bus?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But --
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's an answer.
9 Please, Mr. Traldi.
10 If Mr. Traldi has any follow-up questions, he'll put them to you.
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. I have two. First earlier this page you testified, I just want
13 to make sure I understand it, that when these Muslims left in the buses,
14 you believed that they might be in danger, those buses might be shot at,
15 even as they were leaving the municipality, and that's why an escort was
16 provided, right?
17 A. No. I did not say that. Some people wanted to go to Pljevlja.
18 It's 75 kilometres through the woods from Foca to Pljevlja, and we were
19 concerned. It was our fear that as they travelled through the woods,
20 somebody that we could not see could do something that we didn't want to
21 happen. They could have shot at the buses and do somethings that we did
22 not want to happen. That's why they had military escort. In order to be
23 able to travel safely. Because God forbid that something should happen.
24 Many of our lads had been killed, as I said, and somebody could have --
25 from the woods, and if they had escort our soldiers would do something,
1 they would capture this person, and that person would be held
2 responsible. This is why they were under escort. Not because we didn't
3 love them. Some people left on the buses and they were able to come
4 back, and I am able to sit down and have a cup of coffee with them. I'm
5 happy to see that they made it through.
6 Q. Sir, I think you may have misunderstood my question. I think
7 you've answered it in the end, but I hadn't asked about whether you loved
8 the Muslims or who you had coffee with after the war. Simply for you to
9 confirm, as you did, the reasons that a military escort was provided.
10 So the second follow-up question I had was it wasn't, in fact,
11 possible to leave in other ways, right? You said they could leave any
12 way they wanted but not in cars, there was no gas, there were no cars.
13 This was the way out, right?
14 A. Well, for Muslims who wanted to leave the town, that's what they
15 thought. And I share that opinion right now. If you leave on foot, you
16 could pass through the check-points, the fighters would let you through,
17 but you could always come across some crazy guys, but they knew that if
18 they had the escort of those proper fighters, they knew that they would
19 be safe. And if you head out of the town where the Serb forces was
20 stationed, well, you can come across a maniac who would shoot you just
21 because you were a Muslim, and that's why they had escort on the route to
22 Pljevlja, in order to avoid those consequences that we really did not
23 want to see, women, children, honest people who just wanted to be
24 reunited with their families on the opposite side. We didn't want them
25 to be shot by somebody firing from the woods. This is something that we
1 didn't want to happen.
2 Q. And after those people had left, Foca was renamed Srbinje, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And calling it Srbinje of course labels it a Serb place, right?
5 A. No. Not really, sir. How should I explain it? Some poets
6 invented that. You have Trebinje, Ljubina, Nevesinje, these are all
7 towns in Herzegovina and that's why some poet came up with this idea that
8 Srbinje sounds better than Foca. Every time people ask me where I'm
9 from, I always say I'm from Foca. So Srbinje, Ljubina, Nevesinje,
10 Trebinje. It's just a poetry, just to have a rhyme. Foca was called
11 Foca for centuries and nothing has changed. Nothing has improved in our
12 town after it was remained Srbinje. For me, it's Foca. It's just those
13 poetic souls who came up with that.
14 Q. One of those poetic souls was the president of the Crisis Staff,
15 Mr. Stanic, right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the Chamber has seen evidence that Momcilo Krajisnik, the
18 president of the assembly, also started referring to Foca as Srbinje.
19 Was he a poetic soul?
20 A. Well, I don't know Momcilo Krajisnik. He was a politician.
21 Well, I just don't know. I don't know whether he was a poetic soul or
22 not. But for Stanic, I do. For him, a sparrow was more important and
23 stronger than any hawk.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, that is completes my examination.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
1 Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: I have a few questions, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
5 Q. Sir, you were asked at temporary transcript page 27 if 50.000
6 Sandzaklije, fierce Sandzaklije came, and you said no. But did some
7 Sandzaklije come to Foca; that is, people claiming to be Sandzaklije?
8 A. I did not see any Sandzakli men in Foca. I know that they
9 attended the rally, the SDA rally in Foca. During the war, while the
10 fighting was going on, I did not come across any Sandzakli men. I did
11 come across many of their radical movements. They may have included
12 Sandzakli people.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, you were asked about Zaga being convicted. Did
14 Zaga and his unit get the same instruction on laws of war and treatment
15 of civilians that your unit did, which you testified about today?
16 A. Yes. Every combatant, I claim that with full responsibility,
17 could have read the order. It was hanging there at every command. A
18 thousand times they could have read it. I've said this already and I'm
19 telling you yet again: The court has sentenced you and it was too mild a
20 sentence, and I don't need to repeat what I said. How I would have dealt
21 with him. But may I say, none of the members of the Army of Republika
22 Srpska, once they got under this command, they never received orders from
23 their superior officers or commanders or generals to do that kind of
24 thing. I mean really I shouldn't be repeating this time and again, but
25 had I been his judge, he would have been killed by an electric chair and
1 I would have pressed the button three times.
2 Q. Now, sir, you said every combatant could have read the order. It
3 was hanging there at every command. Whose order was hanging at every
5 A. The signature was general of the Army of Republika Srpska. The
6 officer who would be reading this in front of a lineup of soldiers would
7 have said this is what was ordered by the general of the Army of
8 Republika Srpska, Ratko Mladic.
9 MR. IVETIC: And I'd like to call up P6685.
10 Q. Sir, you were shown this document by the Prosecution and you were
11 asked if these men all appeared to be over the age of 50 years. The
12 first question I have for you: Were there soldiers in the VRS in Foca
13 that were over the age of 50 years?
14 A. Yes. I am just going to say one thing to answer this question to
15 the public prosecutor: May God spare each and every country of any war.
16 Sir, if somebody wants to carry a rifle, he can do that at the age of 80,
17 too. My first commander Dragan Nikolic was killed bay soldier who was 73
18 years old. He fired at him. He walked into a house, he saw this old
19 man, and this old man shot him. The young man who wanted to get him out
20 was also killed by this 73 year old man.
21 You did not -- well, I mean, I did not want to interrupt the
22 Presiding Judge. Even a woman of 80 can carry a rifle if she wants to.
23 So I was not allowed to explain that, that anyone could have carried a
24 rifle. Dragan Nikolic, I state this publicly, he was killed by a soldier
25 who was 73 years old.
1 Q. Thank you. And when you captured enemy prisoners of war in
2 combat, did you know the ages of the fighters at that time?
3 A. It's not for me to question witnesses and to put questions to
4 witnesses. That is done by other formations. I am supposed to act in
5 accordance with the orders of my superiors. You know, in war, when you
6 take someone prisoner, well, that is something that causes great fear,
7 and I always treat these people fairly. I say that nobody is going to
8 touch him once he gets -- once I bring him to the police. Well, then it
9 is the police who take them over. Now, our command decides whether they
10 will be taken to a prison or somewhere else. Most probably into this
11 institution where POWs were being put up.
12 Q. Now, according to your understanding of the Yugoslav All People's
13 Defence, what were the ages for call-up of citizens for military duty?
14 What were the age ranges?
15 A. Well, according to military formation, since did I my military
16 service in the old Yugoslav army, it was from 18 to 50 that they could be
17 called up. I'm not sure. 18 to 50, reserve duty in the army of
18 Yugoslavia. I mean, I'm talking about this old system that I knew.
19 I mean this new one, I never got to know it any way. So from the age of
20 18, sorry. 18 to 50, yes. People of that age could be called up.
21 Q. Now, you mentioned check-points. What was the -- of -- what was
22 the purpose of check-points? Was it to keep people out or to keep people
24 A. Well, no. Check-points were there because there were some Muslim
25 settlements and then these criminals would go there, these criminals from
1 Belgrade, most of them were criminals, and they tried to get in in order
2 to gain some kind of benefit. Then the Crisis Staff in Foca decided to
3 set up these check-points, and then after 7.30 no one was allowed to pass
4 by these check-points. During the day we could act rapidly, but then at
5 night-time -- well, once one of these criminals from Belgrade tried to
6 pass by there and the young men wouldn't let him, and then he wanted to
7 pass by nevertheless and then they killed him. He got killed because he
8 wanted to pass by the check-point.
9 Q. And when you say one of these criminals from Belgrade, whom are
10 you talking about, what entity or formation did that individual belong
12 A. Well, this was the units that I talked about a moment ago. They
13 have no unit. They were dogs of war. Dogs as we called them. They did
14 not have a unit. They did not have any ideals. They had nothing. They
15 just wanted to earn German marks in that way. They weren't interested in
16 anything else.
17 Q. Now, you were asked about crimes at buildings in Foca against
18 Muslims. What was the procedure of your unit of military police for
19 responding to complaints by Muslims of mistreatment in Foca?
20 A. Well, the task of our unit was to appear on the spot if anyone
21 reported anything, to see who it was that mistreated these citizens,
22 when, at what time, where, and of course we would arrest such a person.
23 Q. And during the course of the war, did your military police unit,
24 the Dragan Nikolic Intervention Unit, respond to such complaints from
25 Muslim residents of Foca?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Sir, again on behalf of my client and the rest of the team
3 I thank you for your testimony.
4 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours I have no further questions in
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, any need for further questions?
9 MR. TRALDI: Just very briefly arising out of the redirect,
10 Mr. President.
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
12 Q. Sir, at temporary transcript page 59, you were recorded to say
13 that Dragan Nikolic was your commander. Were you recorded correctly?
14 A. Dragan Nikolic was the commander, the first commander of the
15 military police in the Territorial Defence. He wasn't my commander
16 because he got killed. But I was trying to say, well, maybe I misspoke.
17 Maybe I misspoke. My --
18 Q. That answers my question, sir.
19 MR. TRALDI: And that's all I had.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
21 Mr. Simovic, this concludes your testimony. I'd like to thank
22 you very much for coming to The Hague and for having answered all the
23 questions that were put to you by the parties and by the Bench, and
24 I wish you a safe return home again. You may follow the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But before I do so, there is only one thing. In
2 response to one of the questions of Mr. Ivetic, you said, well, this was
3 exactly the thing I wanted to explain. Earlier I had given you a promise
4 that I would give you an opportunity to add whatever you'd like to add if
5 it's related to the questions. Now, has that been covered by your answer
6 to Mr. Ivetic's question or is there anything else you think you were
7 unable to say while being stopped and therefore you'd like to tell us
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No. I just wanted to answer
10 that question that was put by the gentleman, the public prosecutor. Well
11 I've just answered so --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's fine.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Again, we wish you a safe return home. Please
15 follow the usher.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is the Defence ready to call its next witness?
19 MR. IVETIC: We are, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And that would be?
21 MR. IVETIC: Mr. Nenad Deronjic.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness be -- yes, Mr. Traldi?
23 MR. TRALDI: With the witness having been excused, I'd just ask
24 for the same courtesy, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's hereby given.
1 MR. TRALDI: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Next witness being Mr. Nenad Deronjic. No
3 protective measures, scheduled for 30 minutes in chief and --
4 MR. IVETIC: We had sent an e-mail saying it was closer to 50
5 minutes with three additional documents, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Does that change in any way the assessment or
7 the -- the two hours and 30 minutes the Prosecution has asked for?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Not really, Mr. President. In fact, I hope in
9 studying all the material to be quite a bit less than that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's appreciated. Let's wait until the witness
11 comes in.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Deronjic. Before you give
14 evidence, the rules require that you make a solemn declaration. May
15 I invite to you make that solemn declaration of which the text is now
16 handed out to you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: NENAD DERONJIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Deronjic. Please be seated.
22 Mr. Deronjic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Ivetic. You'll
23 find had him to your left. Mr. Ivetic is a member of the Defence team
24 for Mr. Mladic. Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
2 Q. Good day, sir.
3 A. Good day.
4 MR. IVETIC: I would like to start by calling up 1D0168 in
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Ivetic, is it perhaps 1638?
7 MR. IVETIC: 1638, yes. I apologise if I misspoke.
8 Q. Sir, do you recognise the signature on the first page of the
9 Serbian original of this statement?
10 A. Yes. That is my signature on this statement.
11 MR. IVETIC: And if we can turn to the last page of the document
12 in e-court.
13 Q. And again, sir, the question I pose: What can you tell us about
14 the signature on this page of the document? Whose is it?
15 A. I also confirm that this signature on the last page is my
16 page [as interpreted], and this is the date that I wrote there.
17 Q. Now, subsequent to signing this statement, did you have occasion
18 to review the same and read it in the Serbian language so as to check its
20 A. This statement -- well, I didn't read it immediately after
21 signing it. However, before I came here to The Hague, I read it in
22 detail and I established certain things; namely, where there should be
23 additional clarifications and additions in general.
24 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to look at page 2 in both languages and
25 paragraph 3 with you. And now that we have that on the screen, I'd like
1 to ask you, sir, do you have any corrections or clarifications that you'd
2 like to make to paragraph 3?
3 A. Yes. In paragraph 3, I have a few clarifications. So may
4 I clarify that?
5 Q. Yes, please go ahead, sir.
6 A. This is it. In paragraph 3, it says that before the conflict
7 broke out in Srebrenica in 1992, I was transferred to the Bratunac police
8 station where I also worked as a policeman during the war up until 1996.
9 However, from the 21st of July 1995, until 1996, I worked at the police
10 station of Srebrenica. So this was not included here, and that is
11 correct, for sure.
12 Q. And as a follow-up question, is there any UN certification
13 process that police had to go through after the conclusion of the war?
14 A. Yes. All police officials, all active duty policemen who worked
15 in the MUP of Republika Srpska after the war had to go through certain
16 checks of the international police, that is to say the IPTF.
17 Q. And were you certified under that process?
18 A. Yes. Of course. I was certified, and I have certain
19 certificates certifying that.
20 Q. Now if you can look at paragraph 6 --
21 MR. IVETIC: Which is on the same page in the English and is on
22 the fourth page in the Serbian. And I just -- there we go. Third page
23 I apologise. The third page in the Serbian.
24 Q. Here at paragraph 11, you say -- when you say, "I do not know
25 where they are located now but I know they were archived at the police
1 station in Bratunac," what is it that you are referring to?
2 If it helps -- I apologise. In paragraph 6 you're talking about
3 check-points, about the check-point in Konjevic Polje. Do you have any
4 corrections you wish to make as to this check-point in Konjevic Polje?
5 A. As for paragraph 6, I have some corrections as follows. At the
6 check-point in Konjevic Polje, it was not the 2nd Company of the
7 Special Police unit of the Zvornik security services centre. Rather,
8 this work was done by police officials of PS Bratunac because
9 Konjevic Polje belonged territorially to the municipality of Bratunac so
10 that would be it. So it was not the 2nd Company of the PJP but rather it
11 was the police officials from Bratunac.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, if I -- and I know Mr. Ivetic is aware
15 of this problem, but if we can try to ask the witness, when referring to
16 his unit, to keep the initials PJP because there's a translation issue
17 that makes it very difficult to distinguish between other units, if we --
18 if we go into the full name of it.
19 MR. IVETIC: That's understood by myself and Mr. McCloskey.
20 Q. Sir, when referring to your 2nd Company of the separate police
21 unit or "posebna jedinica policije" of the Zvornik police station, could
22 you please refer to them by the acronym PJP, or in B/C/S PJP?
23 A. All right. I'll be using that expression, PJP.
24 MR. IVETIC: Now, if we can look at page -- the next page in
25 English and also in Serbian, and paragraph 11, which is on this page.
1 Q. Here you say:
2 "I do not know where they are located now, but I know that they
3 were archived at the police station in Bratunac."
4 What are you referring to in this paragraph?
5 A. This paragraph has to do with patrol orders. These were reports
6 that we wrote every day when we would complete our work and that we would
7 bring to the police station in Bratunac. These were daily reports as to
8 how many vehicles and persons were checked and whether there were any
9 problems at that check-point on that day during that shift.
10 MR. IVETIC: And if we can look at paragraph 20 on this page,
11 which should not be broadcast, page 4 in the English and page 5 in the
13 Q. Can you please explain for us in more detail what you meant to
14 say here about why the difference in dates for the document that is
15 referenced not being unusual?
16 A. As far as appointments are concerned, for police work, that is to
17 say the work that I carried out at the public security station in
18 Srebrenica, the appointment could have been on the basis of an order or a
19 dispatch from the chief of the Public Security Services centre, whereas
20 employment papers are something that I could get later on. That's what
21 happens to this day. The order is important, that -- so that it could be
22 carried out immediately, whereas the appointment follows later.
23 Q. Okay. Now, apart from the clarifications and corrections that we
24 have gone through now, do you stand by everything else that is written in
25 your statement as being accurate?
1 A. Yes. Except for these changes and clarifications. I accept the
2 rest of the statement and it is correct.
3 Q. And if I were to ask you today questions based on these same
4 topics as contained in your written statement, would your answers to
5 those questions be the same in substance as to what is recorded in your
7 A. Yes. The answers would be the same in substance as those
8 provided in this statement.
9 Q. Now, you've taken the solemn declaration today to tell the truth.
10 Would those answers as contained in your written statement be truthful?
11 A. Yes. The answers are truthful.
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would tender 1D1638 under seal at
13 this time due to I believe two paragraphs that I'm not sure whether the
14 information contained therein relates to matters that were in private
15 session with a protected witness.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1638 receives number D584,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D584 is admitted under seal.
20 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Ivetic, may I put one question in relation to
22 this statement to the witness?
23 MR. IVETIC: Absolutely.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you were asked earlier if you had the
25 occasion to review this statement and read it in the Serbian language.
1 Then you said:
2 "This statement -- well, I didn't read it immediately after
3 signing it."
4 I would like to know did you read it before signing it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I signed that statement and
6 later, because of some work obligations, I did not have time to read it,
7 but just before I came to The Hague, I read it in detail and that's how
8 I realised that some of these clarifications were needed in certain
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that not a quite unusual way to sign something
11 without reading the text?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. But I was busy at the
13 time. I had these work obligations. I signed the statement. I didn't
14 read it immediately. But I did subsequently. As I've already told you,
15 before I left for The Hague, I read it in detail and realised that these
16 clarifications were needed.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Ivetic.
19 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
20 Your Honours, at this time I would read a public summary of
21 the --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Just one second. Could I ask you -- Judge Fluegge
23 may have a few more questions on this issue.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just briefly, can you tell me where and under
25 what circumstances you signed this statement?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I signed that statement in
2 Bratunac. That is to say, during working hours while I was on duty.
3 I signed it in a catering establishment in the presence of Nenad Petrusic
4 who provided that statement to me. I didn't stay there for a very long
5 time. It was very brief because I was really very busy. I had these
6 work obligations. I didn't read it and signed it and that's that.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Petrusic visited you there. Did he
8 indicate that he will come?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not quite understand what you
10 said. What do you mean by that, that he will come?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He visited you at the police station, at the
12 catering unit. Did you expect him to come? Was there -- did he call you
13 before or how did that come about?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He called me. He phoned me. When
15 he arrived, he phoned me and he said that I should come to this cafe
16 actually, that I should take that statement and sign it and that's that.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What cafe?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's a coffee bar, you know,
19 Nap [phoen]. That's where we met. He said that he would be there. So
20 I was working then. This was during working hours. I came there for
21 five or ten minutes, signed that, and things followed as I've already
22 explained to you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I've two follow-up questions in this respect. Did
25 you ever see a draft of the statement or was it the first time at that
1 moment, although not having time to read it, that you saw it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the first time, but I was
3 interviewed on three occasions by him in my house. And based on those
4 conversations, he put together this statement that he gave me to sign.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did Mr. Petrusic accept that you had no time
6 and that you would just sign or did he insist on you reading it before
7 you would sign it?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he accepted that. He knew
9 that I didn't have enough time. He didn't have enough time either,
10 probably, and I was in a big hurry and that's how it was done.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And you had confidence that the statement which you
12 had not read, that it would reflect the interviews that had taken place?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I trusted him, of course,
14 because we had met on three occasions before that and we discussed this
15 statement and everything related to it already.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
17 Mr. Ivetic, I think I interrupted you when were you about to
18 start reading the summary, but perhaps you better do that after the
20 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break, Witness, and we would like to see
22 you back in 20 minutes from now. Would you please follow the usher.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 1.17 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.37 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We are waiting for the witness to be brought into
3 the courtroom.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Deronjic, we will first hear Mr. Ivetic reading
6 a summary of your testimony.
7 Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 The witness is a professional policeman who worked in the police
10 station in Bratunac and later the police station in Srebrenica before
11 transferring to the border police. He was also a member of the
12 2nd Company of the PJP from the Zvornik police station -- I'm told there
13 is a problem with the translation, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Has it been fixed? Then please --
15 MR. IVETIC: I'm told it's good.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then please continue.
17 MR. IVETIC: The witness is a professional policeman who worked
18 in the police station in Bratunac and later the police station in
19 Srebrenica before transferring to the border police. He was also a
20 member of the 2nd Company of the PJP from the Zvornik police station as
21 were others from the Bratunac police station.
22 In early July 1995, the witness mostly worked as a member of the
23 Bratunac police station at a check-point at Konjevic Polje at the
24 intersection of the roads leading to Vlasenica and Zvornik. On 11 July
25 1995, the witness was discharging his duties at that location and left at
1 8.00 a.m., 12 July 1995, having finished his shift.
2 Thereafter, he was activated as part of the 2nd Company of the
3 PJP and told to be on stand-by due to the situation in Srebrenica. At
4 1500 hours, 12 July 1995, he and other members of that PJP company were
5 sent to Srebrenica to patrol the town and protect property from looting,
6 while the SJB Srebrenica was being set up. He stayed as part of the PJP
7 in Srebrenica eight days. The witness was officially transferred to a
8 full time -- as an employee of the newly set up SJB Srebrenica on 21 July
9 1995. The witness refutes the testimony of Momir Nikolic that he was
10 present at the check-point at Konjevic Polje on 13 July 1995, given that
11 he was discharging different duties as a member of the PJP in Srebrenica
12 town during that time.
13 And that completes the summary.
14 JUDGE ORIE: If you have any further questions for the witness,
15 please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, if we can look at paragraph 23 of your statement.
18 MR. IVETIC: And it's the next page in both languages, and that
19 page also should not be broadcast.
20 Q. Here, in this paragraph 23, what do you mean when you say it was
21 generally known that Momir Nikolic told a number of untruths about you
22 and others?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have the English on the right-hand of the
25 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
1 Q. Sir, could you answer the question and tell us what it is that
2 you meant when you said it is generally known in Bratunac that in his
3 testimony Momir Nikolic told a number of untruths concerning not only me
4 but other people who lived in the Bratunac area?
5 A. Well, as for Momir Nikolic, as I have already stated, it is
6 general knowledge in Bratunac. Based on my contacts with some people in
7 Bratunac, I can say that Momir Nikolic said a number of untruths or
8 rather lies not only about me but about some other people who lived or
9 live in the Bratunac area.
10 Q. And do you know any specifics or is it just general knowledge?
11 A. Well, I don't have any specifics. This is just some general
12 information that I received based on my conversations with some people in
14 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness has no further specifics, Mr. Ivetic,
15 I think we can move on.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just ask one question, Mr. Ivetic, if you
17 don't mind.
18 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know of any reason why Mr. Nikolic would
20 tell lies about you and other people?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I really don't know. It is
22 my opinion that he told lies about me and other people in order to get a
23 more beneficial position for himself, to protect himself, and to acquit
24 himself of some of the accusations against him and some of the things
25 that he did.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. IVETIC:
3 Q. I'd like to now ask --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm just wondering. You said you have no
5 further specifics. You were talking about lies. Is this -- the one you
6 responded to, is that the only one or is -- are there other lies about
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the lie that I know of
9 specifically is the thing that he told about me being there while
10 I wasn't there, but some people told me that he also lied about them.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But there are no other lies about you that you
12 could specify?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any other knowledge of
14 any other lies.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
17 Q. Now I'd like to ask you some more questions. First, could you
18 tell us about the PJP? Who are called up as members of the PJP?
19 A. No. As regards the PJP of the secure -- public security service
20 in Zvornik, all the police officers in the police stations at the level
21 of the centre were there, which means that the Zvornik police station, or
22 the police officers who did their regular police work there, were members
23 of the platoons of the Special Police units, the PJP. So they were all
24 involved in the six companies, two people from one station, four people
25 from another station, and so on.
1 Q. And was engagement in the PJP a full-time permanent engagement or
2 was it temporary?
3 A. It was for temporary and special tasks.
4 Q. When a policeman such as yourself was called up into the PJP in
5 1992 to 1995, did you continue to perform your regular duties at the
6 police station in addition to your duties within the PJP?
7 A. When we were engaged in the PJP, we were given special tasks from
8 the Security Services Centre, which meant that we no longer did our
9 regular work in police stations, the kind of work that we usually did as
10 police officers.
11 Q. Where would you receive your pay during the time that you were
12 engaged as a PJP member performing PJP duties?
13 A. I received my salary from the MUP of Republika Srpska, through
14 the Bratunac police station for a while, and later on, when I moved to
15 the police station in Srebrenica, I received my salary from the
16 Srebrenica police station while I was in PJP.
17 Q. Okay. Would you still report to the station commander during
18 this time period when you were activated in the PJP, or to someone else?
19 A. While we were engaged in the PJP, we did not submit any reports
20 because we were accompanied by the company commanders. I'm talking about
21 PJP companies.
22 Q. And what was your experience, how long could a PJP activation or
23 engagement last, how many days?
24 A. Seven, ten to fifteen days. On occasion, we would be involved in
25 combat for 15 days in the field.
1 Q. And during the time period 1992 through 1995, what was the most
2 frequent assignment that was the reason for one to be activated into the
4 A. Most often the assignments given to the PJP members was to hold
5 the lines, combat lines. We were at Treskavica, Bandijerka and so on.
6 Q. Now, you said earlier today that while working at the check-point
7 at Konjevic Polje, you were fulfilling duties as a Bratunac police
8 station policeman. Just to be clear, I want you to tell us at what time
9 in July of 1995 were you called up or activated and engaged as a PJP
11 A. I was activated on the 12th of July 1995, as a member of the PJP.
12 Q. And when after the 12th of July 1995, did that activation or
13 engagement in the PJP end?
14 A. It ended with the activities in Srebrenica on the 20th of July
16 Q. During the eight days that were you at Srebrenica as a member of
17 the 2nd Company of the Zvornik PJP, where were you billeted to sleep?
18 A. While we were in Srebrenica, performing those tasks, we were
19 billeted in the Srebrenica police station, and for a while we slept in
20 buildings referred as miner's buildings which are further up from the
21 police station.
22 Q. And where did you obtain your food during that time period, those
23 eight days?
24 A. Food would be delivered to us, or rather throughout the time when
25 we were involved in PJP, we would have food provided to us.
1 Q. During that time period, those eight days in Srebrenica, was
2 there any functioning mode of public transportation in Srebrenica town,
3 where you were at?
4 A. No. There was no public transport at that time.
5 Q. What was the way that you would move about or transport from the
6 police station to the duty post and back?
7 A. We would go from the police station to our duty post on foot.
8 I'm talking about the various sectors and check-points.
9 Q. And where were you assigned for duty on the 12th and 13th of July
10 1995 in Srebrenica, for instance? What -- what part of town?
11 A. On the 12th of July, I was in the 1st sector, which covers the
12 town itself, from the hotel to the culture hall, the department store,
13 the municipal building, and the police station itself.
14 Q. Did you at any time leave Srebrenica town during the period of 12
15 to 20 July 1995?
16 A. No. I never left Srebrenica in that period. In fact, I did not
17 reach the check-point on the road to Bratunac, which is located at the
18 football pitch.
19 Q. Now, in paragraph 17 of your statement --
20 MR. IVETIC: And this page should not be broadcast. It's page 4
21 in English, page 5 in Serbian, and I'll wait for that to come up.
22 Q. -- you say that your task was to try and protect property from
23 various groups which came in there to loot the abandoned property. Who
24 or what are you talking about, these groups?
25 A. To be more specific, those were not groups. Those were
1 individuals. You have inhabitants of Srebrenica, civilians, women, who
2 went to their homes, and there were also some armed individuals.
3 Q. Okay. And now I'd like to turn to paragraph 11 of your
5 MR. IVETIC: Which should be on the prior page in both versions.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask for a clarification of the last answer
7 of the witness.
8 MR. IVETIC: Of course.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, in your statement, you are talking about
10 various groups which came there in order to loot the abandoned property.
11 Now you are talking about inhabitants of Srebrenica, civilians, women,
12 who went to their homes. And there were also some armed individuals. I
13 don't understand this answer. Can you clarify that, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can explain. For instance,
15 if somebody comes in to loot property, they would be driving a tractor
16 and they never go alone because they have to load lots of stuff so you
17 would have three or four people.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your task was to protect property from various
19 groups. Who referred to various groups? Your superiors who tasked you
20 with protecting property? Or was it your assumption that these groups
21 would appear?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it probably came from our
23 superiors, and it did transpire. This was the task that we were given
24 when we arrived in Srebrenica but those were not organised group of any
25 sort. This did not require us to perform any other activities or
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What did you mean by "it did transpire"? Did
3 such groups appear on the scene?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were no organised
5 groups. What I'm trying to say is if you say a group, you can mean three
6 or four people on a tractor coming in to loot, to take a couple of bigger
7 things. So it's a group. You cannot take out a refrigerator or some
8 other larger items from a house on your own.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Witness, the word "group" or "various groups"
10 appears in your statement. These are your words, if they are your words.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I said, but this
12 was the task that we were given. Those were our orders. And it said
13 specifically "groups," but I'm telling you I did not see any groups. We
14 received this order from our superiors, our task was to deal with those
15 groups, and this is what I quoted, the order, in my statement.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you just a minute ago said, "And it did
17 transpire." What transpired?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I've already said, I did
19 not see any organised groups doing those things. There were civilians,
20 they were residents of Srebrenica who had come back, and there were those
21 people who would come in on small tractors, four or five of them. Now, I
22 don't know if you can really refer to them as groups. But that's what
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you saying that the residents of Srebrenica
25 who came back were looting private property?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were cases of them
2 doing that because their apartments had been destroyed, their stuff had
3 been taken, and then they had to enter other people's houses in order to
4 do that.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Ivetic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I have one more question in this respect.
7 Witness, you then did see armed men looting?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I did see them on some
9 occasions, and there was a case that turned out to be a problem. I saw a
10 man with some calves. He had a rifle.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered my question.
12 Now, what did you then do? Did you arrest him? Did you round
13 them up? Did you give them to your superiors? What did you do?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well to be quite frank we did not
15 arrest him. We did not do anything because we had a problem. He trained
16 his rifle on us and he had chambered around. In order to avoid problems
17 we just let him pass.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So you're there as armed police officers to protect
19 the property of others, and then you say, well, they were using their
20 arms so we didn't do anything? Is that really your testimony about the
21 way in which you performed your task or did not perform your task?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this was the only case. We
23 simply wanted to avoid trouble. We didn't want to shoot to kill this
24 person. We knew that that man had cattle before the war and we simply
25 let him go. It was the only thing to do, really.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So it happened you saw -- during all those days you
2 saw only one person involved in looting which you then decided not to
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were other cases too, but
5 I can't really remember all that, but I'm sure there were other cases,
6 where we would seize the property, the goods, and we would put it in
7 special warehouses. Some of it was stored in the police station and some
8 of it was stored in the department store where there was a warehouse
9 where all those seized objects were stored.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Did you make a document in which you described what
11 you had seized and was that given to your superior command so as to
12 report on your activities?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We did not produce any
14 documents. We handed the items to whoever was on duty in the warehouse
15 and then they made a list of all the items that were handed over.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And what did you do with those who had committed
17 that looting? Did you arrest them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We did not arrest them. We
19 just seized the items.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: It may be helpful, especially since we are almost
24 over, if we could get the ethnicity of the people who are coming back.
25 It's all very potentially misleading.
1 MR. IVETIC:
2 Q. Sir, you've heard Mr. McCloskey's question. Are you able to
3 provide any information as to the ethnicity of the people that were
4 coming back to Srebrenica town during the time period you were patrolling
5 there, those eight days?
6 A. The persons coming back to Srebrenica, who were in Srebrenica at
7 the time, were of Serb ethnicity.
8 Q. Thank you. Now --
9 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, do you have more questions on that
11 JUDGE ORIE: No I have no further questions. No.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. I'd like to look at paragraph 11 of your statement. You mention
15 a duty logbook that deputy commander Nedeljkovic was in charge of. What
16 station this a logbook of?
17 A. This duty logbook or roster of personnel with the schedule was in
18 the public security station in Bratunac.
19 MR. IVETIC: At this time I'd like to call up 65 ter number
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document is not in e-court.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC: Then we will go with the Defence version of the
24 same. One moment. Can we try it again, 31002?
25 Q. Sir, do you recognise the document that is on the screen, and if
1 so, could you identify it for us?
2 A. Yes. I do recognise this document. It is a list of personnel
3 employed in the Bratunac police station, with the date. It's in the
4 upper portion. We are talking about July 1995. This is where you
5 entered the activities of police officers, the duty that they performed
6 in that period, the tasks that they did.
7 Q. Now, looking at the English, since that's the easier one to read,
8 we see certain notations such as the acronyms "PR" and "BD". What is the
9 different -- what is the meaning of these two and what is their
11 A. Those acronyms refer to these things. PR means on stand-by, and
12 BD means that on that day, this police officer was doing combat duty.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. IVETIC: And if we can go to the second page in the English,
15 and it should still be the same page in the B/C/S.
16 Q. Entry number 36 on this document appears to relate to you.
17 MR. IVETIC: And if we could scroll over to the column that is
18 for the 10th, and the 11th of July and zoom-in on that in the B/C/S
19 original perhaps.
20 Q. Sir, there is another acronym in Cyrillic for those two dates
21 filled in for you. Could you please read into the record what is in
22 Cyrillic for those two dates, the 10th and the 11th of July 1995?
23 A. 10th and 11th of July, KP, from 8 to 8, that's the 10th, and the
24 11th it says, again, from 8 to 8, KP. Konjevic Polje.
25 Q. And is that what -- what does the KP stand for, just so we are
2 A. KP stands for Konjevic Polje, the check-point at Konjevic Polje.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And below the time frame, from 8 to 8, there is
4 something else written. Can you explain what that is?
5 MR. IVETIC: Perhaps try to zoom in on those two boxes maybe.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's not very legible.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you see that now, entry 36?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is probably the time
9 spent at check-point 24. I assume that it means 24 hours. That's what
10 it seems to me. I think that's 24.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
13 Q. And if we look --
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President, just to confirm that is
15 our own reading of this document as well. And I know the English
16 translation has question marks, but our people that are good at this
17 agree with that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It would then read, KP 08-08, underlined, and then
19 is that what you're referring to?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, 24, 24, and below that, 24.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. And is it then the understanding that it
22 would be both times, 08-08, 24, or is it the second time any different?
23 I do not know, Mr. Ivetic, whether you have any interpretation of
24 what we see here.
25 MR. IVETIC: I think that's what it appears to say. The English
1 of course does not have that, which is why I was going through these
2 entries, and this was -- the B/C/S came from the Prosecution. That's why
3 we had a Defence version. The version used in Karadzic did not have the
4 B/C/S original, and Mr. McCloskey was kind enough to provide that for us.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So therefore both parties understand it to be
6 08, 08 underlined and then 24.
7 MR. IVETIC: With a KP in Cyrillic above it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, with KP in Cyrillic above it.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
11 Your Honours, I see we are past the point for today. Should
12 we --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. IVETIC: -- stop?
15 JUDGE ORIE: You're right.
16 Mr. Ivetic, may I take it that you need tomorrow another 15 to 20
17 minutes? Is that --
18 MR. IVETIC: Approximately 15, closer to 15.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
20 Mr. Deronjic, we will adjourn for the day. We would like to see
21 you back tomorrow morning at 9.30, and I instruct you that you should not
22 speak or communicate in whatever way with whatever person about your
23 testimony, testimony given today or testimony still to be given tomorrow.
24 If that is clear to you, you may follow the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow,
3 Tuesday, the 22nd of July, 9.30 in the morning in this same courtroom, I.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.17 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day of July,
6 2014, at 9.30 a.m.