1 Monday, 1 December 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 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 there was one short preliminary
12 matter to be raised by the Prosecution.
13 MS. BIBLES: Good morning, Your Honour. Thank you. The
14 Prosecution has received a revised English translation for P470, which
15 was originally 65 ter 03687. The document was admitted through
16 Witness Dorothea Hanson on 7 November 2012 and was used again with
17 Witness Mijanovic on 25 November 2014, when an issue arose regarding the
18 translation. See transcript 28830 to 28834, specifically T28833. The
19 revised translation has been uploaded into e-court under doc
20 ID 022374700-ET. It appears the Defence has no objection to the revised
21 translation, so we would request that the court officer be instructed to
22 replace the current translation with the revised version. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles. The Chamber was copied on an
24 e-mail sent by Mr. Djurdjevic to Ms. Stewart that the Defence has
25 objection to the revised English translation.
1 Therefore, Madam Registrar, you are instructed to replace the
2 existing translation by the one newly provided under the number as just
3 mentioned by Ms. Bibles. And that's it.
4 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Bilbija.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by
9 the solemn declaration that you've given at the beginning of your
10 testimony. Mr. Ivetic will now continue his examination-in-chief.
11 Mr. Ivetic.
12 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: SIMO BILBIJA [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Doctor.
17 A. [In English] Good morning.
18 Q. I would like to start off where we left off, and I'd like to call
19 up D832 and I'd like to look at page 8 in both languages and paragraph 9
20 of your written statement.
21 In paragraph 9, sir, you talk of the medical treatment for a
22 little girl from Gorazde. What role, if any, did General Mladic and the
23 VRS Main Staff play in this event?
24 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I remember. In this case, General Mladic's
25 role was manifested, as far as I can remember, at the moment when the
1 girl's treatment was already over; that is to say, she stayed in hospital
2 even once her medical treatment was completed. As for the role of
3 General Mladic, it had to do with the moment when the girl was supposed
4 to be returned to her parents. So there were several contacts between
5 the hospital and the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, until
6 finally this return was organised - I don't remember exactly when or how
7 that happened. I just remember that we said good-bye to the girl because
8 she had really become everyone's pet at the hospital.
9 MR. IVETIC: And if we could stay on the same page in the Serbian
10 and go to the next page in the English, I'd like to look at --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic --
12 MR. IVETIC: Yeah.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- could you establish a time-frame for this
15 MR. IVETIC:
16 Q. Doctor, do you recall what the time-frame was for this incident
17 involving Minka Zivojevic of Gorazde, at least a year?
18 A. I think that was 1992. I don't remember exactly. I cannot
19 remember the date when this occurred. I think it was summertime.
20 Q. And do you recall for approximately how long this individual had
21 stayed at the hospital after her initial treatment?
22 A. Well, I'd say perhaps even longer than a month, because the girl
23 was already doing fine but she just stayed there and became friends with
24 everybody at the hospital. The nurses were very kind to her because
25 there weren't really any other children there. She was staying at the
1 ward where I worked, so in a way this little girl became attached to me
2 as well.
3 Q. And now if we could turn to the next page in the English, I'd
4 like to look at paragraph 11 of your statement. And here you talk about
5 what you saw from the helicopter, these fires. What exactly did you
6 learn about who had started the fires and for what reason?
7 A. Did I understand you correctly? Are we speaking about the night,
8 the night, Srebrenica, flying?
9 Q. Yes, we are.
10 A. That night the General personally ordered me to go to Srebrenica
11 where something had happened. A Canadian soldier, when the garbage was
12 being burned, he set his own uniform on fire and sustained burns in that
13 way. Two helicopters came to pick me up at the football stadium in
14 Sokolac and I went to Srebrenica that way. From the helicopter we saw
15 fire in several places. It was about 11.00 in the evening. We saw
16 several fires in the dark. I asked the soldiers in the helicopter what
17 all of that was, and they told me that these were fires that the
18 population of Srebrenica were starting on hilltops so that aircraft
19 throwing packages of humanitarian aid could orientate themselves and know
20 where they should drop them from these planes. When we landed at the
21 football stadium in Srebrenica, I think we exchanged a few words on that
22 topic there as well and got the same answer.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. That soldier who had suffered the burns had already received
25 first aid and had already been taken care of in that way. So he was just
1 put into the helicopter and we returned.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, same question: Time-frame? And could
3 you also further explore with whom he had a conversation when he had
5 MR. IVETIC:
6 Q. Doctor, you've heard the comments of the Presiding Judge. Could
7 you offer any assistance as to the time-frame?
8 A. Yes. I think it was in the autumn of 1992. Now the conversation
9 at the stadium, who it took place with, again these were uniformed men
10 from UNPROFOR. I don't remember there was anyone there who spoke
12 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to --
13 JUDGE ORIE: What was then the language you used for your
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] English.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
17 MR. IVETIC: And I'd now like to look at paragraphs 16 through 17
18 on page 4 in both languages.
19 Q. Here you discuss a medivac evacuation of persons from Srebrenica.
20 First I want to ask you: Were these persons civilians or soldiers that
21 were being evacuated?
22 A. As for this evacuation from Srebrenica, everyone wore civilian
23 clothing, but some of the persons who had boarded the helicopter were
24 wounded persons and these wounds had been sustained quite a while ago.
25 So their medical treatment had already been well underway. They
1 themselves said that they were soldiers.
2 Q. Okay. And in relation to the order that you received from
3 General Mladic in relation to participating in this medevac as indicated
4 at the last sentence in paragraph 17, were such types of orders from
5 General Mladic, were they out of the ordinary? Extraordinary?
6 A. General Mladic sometimes, rarely, was in a position to issue
7 orders to me directly as regards our work. He never missed the
8 opportunity to underline the following to us: That we should strictly
9 behave in accordance with the rules of our profession and that we should
10 take good care, if it has to do with the wounded of the other side or
11 civilians, et cetera, persons of a different religion and so on, that no
12 one should feel that they have not been given full treatment or full
14 Q. And lastly, Doctor, this medevac operation from Srebrenica in
15 April of 1993, approximately how many persons were evacuated in the
16 course of that operation?
17 A. The evacuation took place with two helicopters. A large number
18 of people boarded these helicopters. We knew that exactly then, I don't
19 know exactly, but I think about 20 people could be taken in a single
20 helicopter. They took these people to Tuzla, and during that time we
21 would be waiting there and during the day I think there would be four
23 Q. Thank you, Doctor, for answering my questions.
24 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that completes the direct examination.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
1 Before I give an opportunity to Mr. Zec to cross-examine the
2 witness, could you tell us, you said four trips, 20 people on board of a
3 helicopter. Were all of those 80, were they all soldiers or were some of
4 them soldiers?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just some of them were soldiers and
6 I would say a smaller number at that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have a question too. Were these four trips by
9 each helicopter?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Four times for both helicopters
11 because they fly together, in pairs.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: So there would be about 160 people?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say that that would be an
14 appropriate estimate --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- remembering all the people who
17 were waiting there and so on.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And I thank my colleague for correcting my having
20 ignored that there were two helicopters rather than one. His math is
21 better than mine.
22 Mr. Zec, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
23 MR. ZEC: Yes, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilbija, you'll now be cross-examined by
25 Mr. Zec, you'll find him to your right. Mr. Zec is counsel for the
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
5 Q. And good morning, Mr. Bilbija.
6 A. [In English] Good morning.
7 Q. You told us in your statement about your employment before the
8 war. At this time, Mr. Bilbija, you were a reserve officer in the JNA
9 with the rank of captain; correct?
10 A. [Interpretation] That's right.
11 Q. In paragraph 7 you say you transferred to Sokolac at the end of
12 May 1992 and that you were admitted into active military service with the
13 rank of major. As of 1992, you were active officer within VJ, the
14 Yugoslav army; correct?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And your service with VJ was terminated in 1998. At that time
17 you held the rank of lieutenant-colonel; correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. In paragraph 6 you talk about your discussions with
20 General Mladic regarding your deployment to Benkovac and then you say you
21 went to Sipo in 1992. So in April 1992 when you moved to Bosnia, you
22 discussed with General Mladic transport of weapons; correct?
23 A. Could you please repeat that question.
24 Q. You already told us in your statement about your discussions with
25 General Mladic regarding your deployment to Benkovac and then you said in
1 April 1992 you went to Sipo during the Kupres operations. So my question
2 is: When you talked to General Mladic in April 1992, you discussed with
3 him transport of weapons; correct?
4 A. I do recall such a conversation.
5 MR. ZEC: Can we have P352 and we need page 163 in both
6 languages. And for the B/C/S version we will need transcript of the
7 notebook, not the handwritten version.
8 Q. Mr. Bilbija, in front of you -- on the screen in front of you
9 it's coming, it's a notebook of General Mladic. And we will be looking
10 at the entry dated 3 April 1992. And it says:
11 "Dr. Simo Bilbija:
12 "I expected you to call me concerning the vehicle given for
13 transport of weapons."
14 So this was what you discussed with General Mladic; correct?
15 A. I talked to General Mladic many times. What you are showing me
16 now doesn't jog my memory at all. I don't remember any of this, but what
17 I do remember is that I always talked to him about medical matters,
18 surgery, the treatment of wounded persons. I cannot recall what this is,
19 this that you have been speaking about.
20 Q. Well, having an opportunity to see this entry, does this refresh
21 your memory about your discussions with General Mladic regarding
22 transport of weapons?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, I think the witness answered the question
25 MR. ZEC: I'll move on. Thank you.
1 Q. In paragraph 16, you say you were involved in evacuations of
2 wounded from Srebrenica to Tuzla in April 1993. You did not provide any
3 context, but this Chamber has received evidence about the events in the
4 Eastern Bosnia in -- leading up to April 1993, including evidence about
5 VRS combat operations in the area, forcing many civilians to flee towards
6 Srebrenica. And in March 1993, many of these civilians held
7 General Morillon, commander of UNPROFOR in Srebrenica, asking him for
8 help and this was when General Morillon asked his headquarters to
9 negotiate an agreement to take by helicopter those who were most
10 seriously injured, to take them out.
11 MR. ZEC: And this can be found in P317, paragraphs 176 through
13 Q. Mr. Bilbija, were you aware of these events leading up to your
14 involvement in the evacuations in April 1993?
15 A. I would like to ask you to repeat the question. Was I aware
16 of -- informed about what was going on or what?
17 Q. Yes, correct. Did you know -- were you aware about the events in
18 the area of Eastern Bosnia, including Srebrenica, in the period leading
19 up to your involvement in these evacuations in April 1993?
20 A. Yes, I was aware of what was going on in the manner and to the
21 extent of general information, public information. We knew that
22 Srebrenica was in encirclement, we knew that negotiations were underway
23 to find a solution for that situation. But as for the actual medevac
24 action, I learned about it only at the point in time when I received an
25 order to go there. Is that sufficient?
1 Q. And during this period, including the period of the time of your
2 visit, were you aware of the conditions in Srebrenica and that there
3 was --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue with that, could we more
5 systematically go to what you put to the witness, Mr. Zec.
6 Mr. Zec also mentioned VRS combat operations forcing many
7 civilians to flee towards Srebrenica. Were you aware of that at the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time I knew what we could
10 find out from the media. There were no information -- there was no
11 information that would be official information. That's something that I
12 didn't receive about what was happening there. Better said, I was not
13 aware of the details of the situation.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Were you aware of VRS operations resulting in
15 civilians fleeing to Srebrenica? Official, unofficial, media, were you
16 aware of these things happening? And if so, by what source?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We knew but the source of
18 information was mostly the news that was broadcast on TV.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you were aware of VRS combat operations
20 resulting in civilians fleeing to Srebrenica?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we knew that combat actions
22 were going on.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilbija, you are an intelligent man. Is there
24 any reason why you leave out always half of what I ask you? I asked you
25 about VRS operations resulting in civilians fleeing. And then you say:
1 Yes, of course we were aware, we knew about operations. You leave out
2 half of what I put to you. You did exactly the same with one of the
3 previous questions of Mr. Zec. You confirm half of it and what --
4 another part which may be important as well, you just leave it out. Were
5 you aware of VRS operations? You said "yes." Were you aware of that
6 resulting in civilians fleeing?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Why didn't you answer right in the beginning:
9 I was aware of the operations, I learned from the media that it happened,
10 but I was not aware of civilians fleeing? The answer is so simple from
11 what I understand now.
12 Mr. Zec, please proceed.
13 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Bilbija, you said you went to Srebrenica, and were you aware
15 during the period before your trip to Srebrenica or the time when you
16 were there about the conditions in town, that there was a growing number
17 of civilians who were either killed or injured by VRS shelling of the
18 town? Were you aware of that?
19 A. I hope that with my answer to this question I will also satisfy
20 the Presiding Judge regarding the previous remarks regarding my answers.
21 So we knew that combat actions were going on. As for the fact that a
22 large number of civilians from the surrounding area had sought refuge in
23 Srebrenica, that was something that we had just heard of from
24 conversations amongst ourselves. Once I personally came to Srebrenica,
25 then I could see for myself that the stories that we had heard were true.
1 I saw many people there.
2 JUDGE ORIE: So you answered to one of the previous questions
3 was: I knew that many civilians had gone to Srebrenica, where you just
4 said that you were not aware of civilians fleeing to Srebrenica. Now,
5 you've left out again part of the question. You are talking about combat
6 operations. Were you aware of any shelling on the town of Srebrenica?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot confirm that I knew that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, did you know it or not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I didn't know.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Fine.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you permit me just to complete
12 my answer to this question. Once I came to Srebrenica --
13 MR. ZEC:
14 Q. Mr. Bilbija, my question --
15 JUDGE ORIE: The witness may complete his answer, as he
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the course of the day during the
18 evacuation, I was with a young colleague of mine who had spent months in
19 Srebrenica together with those civilians, treating the wounded, and I
20 spoke with him in detail during the time the helicopters took to go to
21 Tuzla and come back. So I asked him: How did you manage? What did you
22 do? How did you do the surgeries? And it was a peer-to-peer kind of
23 contact. During this conversation, the need arose for us to go to the
24 hospital. It wasn't a need, actually, it was just collegial curiosity,
25 his desire to show me where he was working. And as we were going to the
1 hospital he showed me one place in the street where a shell had struck.
2 So I saw a place where some sort of explosion left some sort of trail.
3 He told me: See, look, this is where a shell fell.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so you say shelling --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is how I found out.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- one shell is the only thing you know that fell
7 without any further details as when, but that's all you know about
8 shelling of the town of Srebrenica?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what I saw.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you hear anything? Did he -- did someone
11 tell you that it was not the only shell that fell, that many had fallen
12 or that a few had fallen and when it was? Did you hear anything further?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When he showed me that, the
14 colleague said that there had been several shells. We didn't really
15 discuss that in detail. He said that there were a number of them in town
16 and then we continued our conversation on a different topic.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
18 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Can we have 65 ter 12949.
20 Q. And, Mr. Bilbija, coming on the screen will be UNPROFOR letter to
21 Dr. Karadzic on 12 April 1993. It is in English but I'm going to read
22 for you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently the witness also understands English.
24 Do you understand English? So therefore we leave it to you
25 whether you --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do understand it, yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: So we -- you can read what Mr. Zec says on the
3 transcript which is on your screen.
4 Mr. Zec, please proceed.
5 MR. ZEC: Yes. Thank you.
6 And we need paragraph 1, which is on the next page.
7 Q. And paragraph 1 starts with:
8 "Despite the promise of the pursuit of a political solution to
9 the problem of Srebrenica, which I was given by General Mladic, I have
10 received the following report from my people from Srebrenica ...
11 "The latest casualty estimate in Srebrenica is 35 dead and
12 68 wounded but these are only those who had approached the hospital. MSF
13 doctors report 10 of the wounded are likely to die in the next 24 hours.
14 We believe there are other wounded in private homes and additional dead
15 were not taken to hospital.
16 "I personally have seen and counted 14 dead including 7 bodies on
17 the road in front of the schoolhouse used as a refugee centre, where it
18 appears most casualties occurred. 2 of the 7 bodies I saw in front of
19 the hospital were children and one was decapitated."
20 Paragraph 2, towards the end it says:
21 "Even if there was some provocation of fire, this targeting of
22 civilians is very hard to believe, let alone to ... justify."
23 So, Mr. Bilbija, this incident and the shelling which also I
24 believe you referred to earlier to Judge Orie's question, so were you
25 aware of this shelling causing this many casualties during the course of
1 one day in April 1993?
2 A. No, I didn't know about this.
3 MR. ZEC: Mr. President, I tender this document.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 12949 receives number P6958,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
8 MR. ZEC:
9 Q. Mr. Bilbija, during your visit to Srebrenica did you see or hear
10 about hundreds and hundreds of people living on the street, having
11 nowhere to go? Did you?
12 A. During my visit to Srebrenica, which lasted that whole day, we
13 spent the time at the football-pitch where the triage was being carried
14 out of those who were brought and transported to the pitch in order to be
15 boarded to the helicopters. And --
16 Q. Mr. Bilbija, people were living on the street, having nowhere to
17 go. Did you see them while going to the health centre?
18 A. Yes, this is exactly what I was going to tell you. We went to
19 the health centre and you could observe many people in town, but I
20 couldn't get the impression that these people were living on the street.
21 There were many people on the windows of the buildings which were
22 immediately next to the football-pitch, where the process of boarding was
23 going on. Once we came to the medical centre we saw people in the yard
24 of the health centre. The doctor who was a local doctor who had brought
25 me there introduced me to some of these people.
1 Q. And in the health centre, did you see or did the doctor tell you
2 about the conditions they were working in, no equipment, no water, no
3 clean sheets, no space to put all the people who needed medical help?
4 Did you know about that?
5 A. Are you asking me if I knew that before I came or whether I found
6 that out when I arrived? What are you asking me?
7 Q. When you were there and talking to the doctor.
8 A. Yes, this is what I wanted to say. He took me to visit and took
9 me through the whole medical centre, introducing me to some members of
10 the medical centre staff on the way. This was interesting for me to see,
11 that's why we came, because I was interested in seeing it. I asked him
12 to go there. I wanted to find out how he managed, what did he do, did he
13 have the supplies. So he was explaining to me how he worked. Because
14 during those few months - I don't know how long that period was that
15 Srebrenica was encircled - he was the only doctor who was able to carry
16 out any kind of surgical interventions. As far as his skill and training
17 and technical and material capacities that were at his disposal in the
18 medical centre --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm waiting now for approximately ten lines
20 for you to answer the question: Did you find out about a lack of
21 equipment, no water, no clean sheets, did you find out about that? And
22 if Mr. Zec would like to know whether -- how you found out or whether
23 there was sometimes water or not, he'll ask you. But was there a lack of
24 supplies, equipment? Was there no water? Were there no clean sheets?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was the situation
1 according to what the doctor said. He explained it more in terms of
2 occasional shortage of water, shortage of medical supplies. I don't
3 recall that we ever mentioned sheets. His medical centre, objectively
4 speaking, and as far as my impression goes, it just looked like any
5 medical centre on the other side, on my side. It was nothing special.
6 He said that he received things from doctors from Doctors Without
7 Borders. And that there was some supplies from humanitarian air-drops
8 and that there was a depot of equipment, and then from that depot he gave
9 me a present. He gave me a stethoscope.
10 MR. ZEC:
11 Q. I'm going now to show you a video of Srebrenica at the time --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, can I just get
13 clarification of something you talked about earlier. You talked of
14 seeing many people on the windows. I'm not quite sure I understand what
15 you mean by that. Could you please explain a little more what you mean
16 by that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I came to Srebrenica we knew
18 that there was a large number of civilians there and --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop you. Just what did you mean by "many
20 people on the windows"? I know you saw many people when you came to
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I wanted to say was that the
23 evacuation from Srebrenica had attracted a lot of attention. People were
24 curious. Some people were standing around the football-pitch and
25 watching --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just let me stop you -- let me stop you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and then in the neighbouring
3 buildings people were standing at the windows.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. That's much better. Standing at the
5 windows outside the buildings? If you can say in words rather than nod
6 your head for the record.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were looking through the
8 windows at the football-pitch, and you could see two or three persons at
9 each of the windows.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Through the windows. So they're inside the
11 buildings, looking --
12 THE WITNESS: Inside the building, looking out.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, sir.
14 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Now I'm going to show you a video of Srebrenica at the time, and
16 perhaps you will be able to recognise some of the images.
17 MR. ZEC: The video is 65 ter 22852A. The videotape has ERN
18 number V000-7050-1-A. It is 6 minutes and 30 seconds long.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. ZEC: Mr. President, we have provided the B/C/S transcript --
21 translations of the video to the interpreters.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. ZEC: And we also have asked the CLSS to confirm the accuracy
24 of the transcript, which they kindly did. So I suggest we play the video
25 only once with the translation.
1 JUDGE ORIE: That is fine. Time-frame for the video, source of
2 the video?
3 MR. ZEC: So the tape I identified, that is how long the tape is,
4 6 minutes and 30 seconds, and --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I mean with time-frame, when was it
6 recorded, was it broadcasted? Is it a private recording? What is it we
7 are looking at, apart from it being a video.
8 MR. ZEC: It was a journalist who was in Srebrenica in the period
9 late March/early April 1993 and he recorded that video.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Let's look at it.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 "Tony Birtley: My first recollection is arriving at a village
13 near Srebrenica just to be totally engulfed by hundreds and hundreds of
14 people. I thought I was standing in a movie and I kept expecting
15 somebody to say: Okay, cut. And all these people with these drawn,
16 haunted faces, and they all got expressionless faces, it's like life had
17 drained out of them. Life is ebbing away. There was very little caring
18 by the so-called authorities following your arrival. Nobody cared for
19 the refugees. They were left for days on the street. No one cared
20 anything about them. They arrived, you know, we followed a family
21 through and they had been walking for something like 17 hours. You know,
22 the mother carrying a little boy who had been wounded by shrapnel in the
23 hand. He had been wounded at the same time as his father. They came,
24 they didn't know where they were going, they had no relatives and no
1 "Where does this man recommend they can sleep? Where does this
2 man recommend they can go?
3 "Unknown man: I don't know where. This town has 60.000 refugees
4 and there's only room for 10.000. Have you seen how many people are
5 sleeping on the street?
6 "Tony Birtley: We helped them carry the sacks. I mean, it was a
7 very, very small gesture, but this woman was toiling under two great
8 sacks, and I must admit, I found one sack very difficult and she had two
9 of them. And it struck me that I can't believe that these people, their
10 people, and they didn't want to know. And then the father, he was
11 treated in the hospital, and it was very tragic to see the little boy on
12 the couch and the father on the couch and they'd both been wounded.
13 And -- but actually, when treatment's finished, they're out because they
14 can't have a space in the sought-after wards, because you can only have
15 room for so many. And it was never intended to be a hospital, more a
16 clinic. It's not a place where you can get the best possible treatment.
17 And even the surgeon who I got to know quite well was very honest about
18 that. You would come in there, you would have an operation very quickly.
19 Your limb would come off, you would have your stomach sewn back in,
20 shrapnel taken out as quickly as possible. If you were quite ill, you
21 would stay in one of the wards and the wards are abysmal.
22 "What the video cannot convey is the stench of unwashed sheets,
23 unwashed bodies, of wounds becoming infected. I mean, they would always
24 come and get -- they wanted to show me everything that was going on. Me,
25 I was a way of telling the world the first time -- for the first time
1 that everything they've said over ham radio is true. So whatever
2 happened in the town they would say: 'Get Tony, get Tony.' And they'd
3 call me into casualty.
4 "All these little girls, there's about five or six little girls
5 who've been hit by a shell and this little boy as well. And there was
6 two screaming, although they had very small injuries. But there was the
7 10-year-old girl who was lying and she had, you know, what I've heard so
8 many times in Srebrenica and Sarajevo as well, what they call the 'death
9 look.' Her eyes are going blank. And they had been hit, they were out
10 playing the south end of town. And later on we went to their home and
11 one of them heard that her 4-year-old sister had been killed, she was
12 killed instantly. And the mother was distraught and was weeping and
13 wailing. And it -- like, you know, normal scenes, I think, in Bosnia.
14 It's normality, that's the terrifying thing about it.
15 "The medevac by helicopter was something that there was great
16 uncertainty about, particularly by the Bosnian authorities. They didn't
17 believe for one moment the Serbs would allow helicopters in and out of
18 here, despite the fact that General Morillon was very, very confident.
19 After the helicopters took off with their first batch of wounded, within,
20 I don't know, two minutes, a shell. And it was artillery shell because
21 you could hear that one coming in. You get a, shhhh, huge bang.
22 "UN soldier: Roger. I have more incoming, more incoming. Over.
23 "Tony Birtley: The majority of shrapnel sprayed to the south and
24 that's why the two Canadian soldiers were wounded because they were
25 further south. When this huge, confused scene was going on in the
1 hospital of patching up the Canadian soldiers, lying quietly on a bench
2 was this 5-year-old little boy who had been badly injured in a southern
3 part of town in a separate incident by a Serbian mortar and it was hoped
4 that he would be evacuated with the Canadian soldier. But as he went
5 back down to the soccer field, the soccer field was shelled again. So
6 the French colonel who had come in with the helicopters decided that
7 there would be a medevac, but no landing on the soccer field, so they had
8 to be winched up. But before the Canadian soldiers had been winched up,
9 the baby had died in the arms of one of the Canadian soldiers.
10 "It just seemed to me that it's a great injustice in some
11 respects to these people that although we will put on helicopter flights
12 when it's dangerous to evacuate UN soldiers, we're not prepared to do
13 that for a 5-year-old boy who's an innocent victim. And it's a most
14 tragic scene, you know, a father taking a little boy wrapped up in his
15 golden plastic covering to keep him warm, sobbing uncontrollably, and his
16 sobs and his weeping was drowned out by the blades of the helicopters as
17 they winched up the Canadian soldiers and went off. And it seemed to sum
18 up a lot about Srebrenica and Bosnia, that basically these people, you
19 know, they come second."
20 MR. ZEC:
21 Q. Mr. Bilbija, this was the reality of Srebrenica and the
22 conditions in which people were living there; correct?
23 A. This footage does not show that day when I was in Srebrenica,
24 that is not that day. This could have been some other day. The day that
25 I spent in Srebrenica was quiet, sunny, everything was going on in a
1 planned manner as far as the transport was concerned. There were no
2 incidents, there were no explosions. I wasn't -- I wasn't following
3 whether the date of the film refers to that date. Is that what the film
4 is trying to say?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you say it was not on the day you were
6 there, how do you know?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I see in the footage --
8 actually, two Canadian soldiers who had been wounded are mentioned and
9 there is this wounded child that is dying in his father's arms, but none
10 of that could have happened without me knowing about it then.
11 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, I think that Mr. Zec asked primarily
12 about the situation of people living on the streets, which was shown in
13 the beginning of the footage. Could you please focus on that and tell us
14 whether you consider it equally impossible that those shots were recorded
15 on the day you were there?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no doubt. I believe,
17 actually, that it is impossible that this footage was taken on that day
18 because the stadium and the medical centre are only a few hundred metres
19 away from each other. The multitude of people, those scenes correspond
20 to my memory. I already said that I saw a lot of people in the yard of
21 the medical centre, but there were no explosions, especially not wounded
22 UNPROFOR soldiers or this child, no.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first focus on the images you saw about people
24 in the street. You said, well, you saw them in the courtyard of the
25 hospital but what we saw on the video, whatever it is, seems not to be
1 the courtyard of a hospital but seems to be a street in which people are
2 more or less living; that is, they have fires, they have tables, they
3 have chairs, sitting there, doing all kind of everyday activities. Let's
4 focus on that first.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is precisely what I've already
6 answered, Mr. President. I saw a lot of people, but I did not see what I
7 see in the footage here, those fires, all of that -- I mean, we've all
8 seen it now, but I didn't see it then. It's true that we took this
9 vehicle and went through.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You just stop me, you don't want me
12 to continue; right?
13 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered the question what you saw on the
14 footage was not what you saw at that point in time in town when you went
15 from the stadium to --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear.
18 I think we should take a break first, Mr. Zec.
19 We take a break. We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes. You
20 may follow the usher.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, you were speaking aloud. Did I hear you
23 well that you mentioned the name of the Prosecutor who is cross-examining
24 this witness? You may answer that question now. Did you use that name,
25 speaking aloud? A yes or a no, please.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said "Zec." Zec is a last name
2 in our parts and I asked the lawyer whether Mr. Zec --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, I just asked you --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You won't allow me to speak.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No, I want you to answer my question and you have
6 done so. You apparently have loudly spoken, pronouncing the name of
7 Mr. Zec. We'll --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Zec. I pronounced it Zec --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Would you now please -- please stop speaking. We'll
10 consider -- we'll consider what the consequence of loudly pronouncing the
11 name of the Prosecutor who is cross-examining the witness, what
12 consequences that may have. You'll hear from us after the break. We'll
13 take a break and we'll resume at 11.00.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: We don't have to wait until after the break. Could
16 Mr. Mladic be removed from the courtroom until the end of the testimony
17 of this witness because he continued to speak aloud when it was perfectly
18 clear that not only in general terms he is not allowed to do so, but
19 under the specific circumstances it's even more serious.
20 [The accused withdrew]
21 We take a break. Mr. Mladic is not to be taken into the
22 courtroom after the break.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilbija, we'll continue. By the way, in the
2 absence of Mr. Mladic we'll continue.
3 Mr. Zec will now continue his cross-examination.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Bilbija, the shelling of the UNPROFOR that we saw on the
7 video, that was one of the Serb attempts to obstruct the process of
8 evacuations; right?
9 MR. IVETIC: I object as to the foundation of the question. The
10 witness has very clearly identified in detail that this was not the
11 occasion that he was involved in, so I'd like to hear from the
12 Prosecution as to their position that this is April of 1993.
13 MR. ZEC: I will --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec.
15 MR. ZEC: I will reformulate my question.
16 Q. Mr. Bilbija, were you aware of the Serb attempts to obstruct the
17 process of evacuations?
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I will object as it is unspecific and
19 generic and calls for speculation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The witness may answer the question.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. ZEC:
23 Q. Mr. Bilbija --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilbija, could you please answer that question,
25 whether you were aware of Serb attempts to obstruct the process of
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I was not aware of such
3 attempts because that part of the evacuation that I took part in myself
4 proceeded in an unhindered fashion, and as I've already said, I had
5 received orders from my superiors how to work, how to behave, and I've
6 already spoken about that too. In addition to that, I was not the only
7 person in that group of Serb officers who arrived in Srebrenica on that
9 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 09358. And this is a UN report
10 about the events of 24 March 1993.
11 Q. Again, it will be in English but I will read for you.
12 MR. ZEC: 65 ter 09358. And also there is a B/C/S translation of
13 this document.
14 Q. In paragraph 1 it says:
15 "The helicopter mission to evacuate wounded from Srebrenica was
16 scheduled to begin at 0845 hrs local time on 24 March 93 following full
17 clearance from Dr. Karadzic ..."
18 Paragraph 2:
19 "Tuzla airfield was shelled (15 impacts) ... but no damage to
20 helicopters or injuries were sustained. The mission was confirmed ... at
21 0800 hrs and the first wave of Pumas flew to Zvornik for the agreed
22 inspection of cargo. The Serb inspectors were totally obstructive ..."
23 In paragraph 3 it says:
24 "So that the process of -- that the evacuation should not fail
25 because of these difficulties, the Landing Zone group were flown back to
1 Tuzla in 2 lifts by one of the Pumas, while the remaining 3 aircraft now
2 'cleared' flew on to Srebrenica, arriving at ... 1130 ... at the same
3 time 12 shells impacted in the area of the PTT building in
4 Srebrenica ..."
5 A few lines below:
6 "The helicopters took off at 1158 ... and at 1203 hrs 4 rounds
7 impacted ... followed shortly by a further 6 rounds which wounded
8 2 UN personnel (Canadian) and 1 civilian. One of the Canadians sustained
9 serious head wounds."
10 Paragraph 4, at the end it says:
11 "Protests were lodged throughout the day to the Serb authorities
12 on account of both the shelling and the deliberate contravention of the
13 agreement by the inspectors at Zvornik."
14 So this was the reality, Mr. Bilbija, the Serb side by
15 obstructing the process of evacuation while the UNPROFOR was trying to
16 enforce it. Were you aware of that?
17 MR. IVETIC: Objection, Your Honours. It's a compound question,
18 mixing and matching facts from different incidents without clearly
19 differentiating between the two. Again I ask: Is it the Prosecutor's
20 position that this is the incident where the gentleman was involved in
21 the medevac because in the statement it says April of 1993, and now we've
22 dealt with two exhibits dealing with a different time-period which has
23 not been correctly established on the record.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, could you please clarify the issue as far
25 as the month is concerned, whether we are talking about various events,
1 and could you please make a distinction between what happened in Zvornik
2 and what happened in Srebrenica and not put them in one question. You
3 may proceed.
4 MR. ZEC:
5 Q. Mr. Bilbija --
6 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, I'm a little bit unclear because this in
7 my question is related to the whole process of evacuations leading up to
8 the witness's involvement. So that was my question --
9 JUDGE ORIE: But okay --
10 MR. ZEC: -- whether he was aware of this.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then you should be clear that whether the witness is
12 aware of what is described in this document as obstruction preceding the
13 evacuation in which he participated, if that's your question, then we
14 have clearly split the two events and the witness -- were you aware of
15 what is described in this document as of an obstructive nature preceding
16 the evacuation in which you participated?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Next question, please.
19 MR. ZEC:
20 Q. So were you aware that this was happening shortly before you got
21 involved in this process?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness says he isn't aware of it, so
23 therefore whether it was briefly before or long before is not a question
24 which the witness could answer because he did not know that it happened.
25 Next question, please.
1 MR. ZEC: I will move on, but I will then tender the video and
2 the document into evidence.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could you take them one by one, first the
4 video, Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Video 65 ter number 22852A receives number P6959,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please check the 65 ter number. Is it
8 really 22852?
9 THE REGISTRAR: 22852A.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
12 Now the document which is on our screen, Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 9358 receives number P6960,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
16 Mr. Zec, is it the Prosecution's position that the video we
17 looked at was depicting the evacuation in which this witness
18 participated, that is, in April, or that it is depicting what happened in
19 the month of March?
20 MR. ZEC: Correct, Your Honour. So this is before his
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. ZEC: This is happening in March 1993.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then of course the relevance of questions "is this
25 what you saw," then it was not entirely clear, as a matter of fact. The
1 witness said this was not what he saw, but it should have been made clear
2 to him whether this was similar to what he saw because it's your position
3 that it's not the moment that the witness was in Srebrenica and you
4 should have clearly identified that in your questions. But it's clear
5 now so let's move on.
6 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. In paragraph 17 you say that General Mladic ordered you to go to
8 Srebrenica and to do the task given to you to the best of your abilities.
9 And you also say in paragraph 18 that you promised to send a book to a
10 doctor in Srebrenica through ICRC. So shortly after this and your visit
11 to Srebrenica, General Mladic ordered to ban access to Srebrenica to all
12 international organisations. Were you aware of it?
13 MR. IVETIC: Can we have a basis for this question in time and
14 fact instead of just a generic question. There's a lot of time-period
15 between after this witness left Srebrenica. I'd like to know the basis
16 of this question.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Ivetic, if there would have been a clear
18 time-frame in paragraph 18 of the statement, then it would have made
19 sense. But since there is not, the question is phrased in a rather
20 general way and we can further -- oh, no, I'm sorry, 17 [overlapping
21 speakers] --
22 MR. IVETIC: Paragraph 17 does say April of 1993, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's right, and in the beginning of 18 it says
24 during one of the pauses between the flights. Now let me just -- you're
25 perfectly right, Mr. Ivetic. Apologies for that.
1 Yes, are you aware at all of General Mladic ordering to ban
2 access to Srebrenica to all international organisations after the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I am not aware of any such
5 order. Are we going to talk about the book now and international
7 JUDGE ORIE: No. We are talking about what Mr. Zec puts to you
8 as questions.
9 Mr. Zec, if you would have any specifics which might refresh the
10 memory of the witness, then of course you have an opportunity to raise
11 that. Please proceed.
12 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
13 Can we have 65 ter 31679. And this is a document issued by the
14 intelligence and security department of the Drina Corps in May 1993.
15 Q. It was sent to all Drina Corps units and it says:
16 "Pursuant to the oral order of Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic,
17 commander of the VRS Main Staff, all convoys of UNPROFOR, the ICRC, and
18 other international organisations are hereby banned from entering or
19 leaving the territory of Srebrenica and Zepa."
20 So the reality is, Mr. Bilbija, General Mladic banned access to
21 Srebrenica about a month after your visit there; right?
22 A. This is the first time I hear of this, what you've been saying,
23 and I don't know how I could know about that in the first place. Why
24 would I know?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, whether you should or whether you could is
1 a different matter. We are primarily interested in whether you knew; the
2 answer is clearly no.
3 Next question, please.
4 MR. ZEC: I tender this document, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31679 receives number P6961,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
9 MR. ZEC:
10 Q. You told us in your statement about your contacts with
11 General Mladic, starting from the time when you were in Croatia. And we
12 saw some of it in the notebook that I showed to you earlier. Did you
13 ever write to General Mladic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you ever send him a letter and books?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 02308.
18 Q. And I'm going to show you a letter that was found in 2008 in
19 premises belonging to General Mladic. The letter was found in an
20 envelope which you can see on the screen.
21 MR. ZEC: Can we have next page in B/C/S.
22 Q. So this is the other side of the envelope.
23 MR. ZEC: Can we have next page in both languages.
24 Q. So this is the letter and you -- if you look over, you will see
25 that it refers to two books about bees that were sent through
1 Stojan Maricic.
2 MR. ZEC: Can we have next page in the B/C/S.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Malcic, Malcic, Stojan Malcic.
4 MR. ZEC:
5 Q. Thank you. And you see at the end it says: "Yours, Simo."
6 So I take it you recognise this letter, yes?
7 A. Of course, yes.
8 Q. And this is the letter that you sent to General Mladic, talking
9 about the books that you sent to him; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. ZEC: Can we see the beginning of the letter, so in B/C/S we
12 need page before.
13 Q. At the beginning of the letter you say:
14 "Dear boss:
15 "Our last meeting left a strong impression on me, I guess because
16 we spent a lot of time alone together, undisturbed by these difficulties.
17 I am happy to realise that your spirit has remained strong despite all
18 the troubles ..."
19 Mr. Bilbija, the troubles you were referring to were the
20 indictment by this Tribunal and the arrest warrant for General Mladic;
22 A. The letter is dated the 2nd of September, 1996. It is correct, I
23 did write it. Now I have to go back to this time when I wrote it to
24 know -- but I don't think that - how do I put this? - yes, what did I
25 write? "Trouble"? No, I don't think that I thought of The Hague
1 Tribunal when I was referring to this trouble. When did that start, when
2 was the indictment established? I don't know.
3 Q. This Tribunal has indicted General Mladic and requested his
4 arrest in 1995. On 11 July 1996, following the failure to surrender the
5 accused by the authorities of Serbia and Republika Srpska, the
6 Trial Chamber issued an international arrest warrant, sent to all states
7 and to the NATO forces in Bosnia, the IFOR. So that's the background of
8 the indictment and the arrest warrant. So it's clear that what you said
9 in this letter in September 1996, you were referring to the indictment
10 and the arrest warrant; correct?
11 MR. IVETIC: I object to the form of the question. It's not at
12 all clear. Counsel is presenting his version of events. The witness is
13 entitled to testify as to what his recollections are of this letter.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, now that's what we call a leading question and
15 that's allowed in cross-examination.
16 Could you tell us whether, as it was put to you by Mr. Zec,
17 whether it was the arrest warrant that was on your mind when referring to
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe just in part. I believe that
20 what I meant by that was all the trouble that had befallen our people,
21 him included. Would that do?
22 JUDGE ORIE: But if you say "in part," it means that that was
23 included as well but not exclusively the difficulties and you described
24 what other difficulties you refer to. Is that well understood?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that you interpreted this
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Next question, please, Mr. Zec.
4 MR. ZEC:
5 Q. Towards the end of the letter - in B/C/S it's towards the end of
6 this page - you say:
7 "It is difficult to put everything into one short letter ... my
8 family, friends, and everyone who would like ... to know how much they
9 love and support you. I would also like to take this opportunity to send
10 my greetings to the high-ranking ..."
11 In B/C/S we should go to the next page.
12 "... high-ranking Serbian officers in the Main Staff and convey
13 to them my best wishes."
14 And again, this is your support to a man indicted by this
15 Tribunal; yes?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. As you sit today in that witness box, do you still share the same
18 feelings of love and support towards General Mladic?
19 A. That is why I'm sitting here.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. ZEC: I tender this document. And I don't have any further
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2308 receives number P6962,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you're on your feet. Is it still about
2 the exhibit? No, no, then the exhibit is admitted into evidence.
3 Mr. Ivetic, any further questions?
4 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, just briefly.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
6 Q. Sir, I'd like to focus now on the medevac evacuation that you
7 participated in April of 1993 from Srebrenica. Mr. Zec asked about
8 conditions in Srebrenica. Now, when you arrived, what kind of condition
9 of the people did you expect going there and what kind of condition did
10 you find there in terms of their nourishment?
11 A. It seems to me that in the testimony up until now this has been
12 dealt with fully, how I saw all of this in Srebrenica. My general
13 impression was that it wasn't as terrible as it had been portrayed. As
14 for this question regarding food, I am not in a position to answer
15 because I did not really deal with that -- actually, in addition to the
16 medical work, I asked my colleague about whether they received food
17 supplies and so on, and he said they did. If you perhaps mean whether I
18 saw people who were very thin, very skinny, no. They looked like others
19 on all sides in this war. But this is just superficial, a superficial
20 assessment on my part.
21 Q. Thank you. I understand that. Earlier today at temporary
22 transcript page 18, lines 2 through 4, in talking about the medical
23 centre in Srebrenica you said:
24 "His medical centre, objectively speaking, and as far as my
25 impression goes, it just looked like any medical centre on the other
1 side, on my side. It was nothing special."
2 Could you please describe for us what other medical centres you
3 were comparing when comparing the one in Srebrenica?
4 A. When I said what you just said I said, I meant the health
5 centres, the medical centres in similar small towns all over Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina that I had the opportunity to go into up until that point.
7 In war conditions, all of them were not well supplied and the hygienic
8 conditions were difficult, but it did seem to work somehow.
9 What I wanted to say was that when we entered the medical centre
10 in Srebrenica, my colleague took me around, he showed me things. The
11 patients' rooms had a number of empty beds and the reason for that was
12 that those people who were lying in that bed at that point were at the
13 football-pitch waiting to be boarded on to the helicopters. And all he
14 said to me was that: Well, I wish you knew how crowded it could get here
15 sometimes, which I knew, I knew what the situation was from other places
16 when the wounded and the injured were being brought in in the middle of
17 war. Is this sufficient?
18 Q. Almost. Just one more clarification, sir. You said compared to
19 other places that you had been, medical centres in similar small towns
20 all over Bosnia. On whose territory were those medical centres located
21 during the war that you're talking about, that you're comparing with
23 A. These were the hospital where I worked in Sokolac, the medical
24 centre in Sokolac, the hospital in Pale, the hospital in Zica, in
25 Kasindol, in Han Pijesak, in Srebrenica, I'm sorry -- Srebrenica,
1 actually, I meant to say in Bratunac. I mean, it's clear that we are
2 talking about Srebrenica already. The hospital in Bratunac, in Zvornik,
3 the hospital in Bijeljina, the hospital in Brcko, Prijedor. And there
4 were also a number of field hospitals too, but I assume that that is not
5 part of your question.
6 Q. Thank you. I think you've clarified sufficiently for us to get
7 an idea of the comparison you're making. Now during your
8 cross-examination --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Can I --
10 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- take it that the parties agree that all the
12 locations mentioned were Serb-controlled territory apart from Srebrenica.
13 MR. IVETIC: I definitely can stipulate that. I don't know about
14 the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec?
16 I mean, the comparison is with what the witness found in
17 Serb-controlled hospitals.
18 MR. IVETIC: That's my understanding, yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you, Witness, could --
20 THE WITNESS: "Da."
21 JUDGE ORIE: The witness has confirmed it so there's no need for
22 stipulation further.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Now, sir, during your cross-examination you mentioned -- or
1 actually, you were asked about the lack of medical supplies in Srebrenica
2 and you mentioned that you had been told about medical supplies being
3 dropped from the air in Srebrenica. Did the doctor from Srebrenica tell
4 you of any problems relating to those medical supplies dropped from the
5 air which complicated the ability of their use for medical treatment?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could you give us a page and line
8 MR. IVETIC: One moment.
9 MR. ZEC: I did not go into this topic in my cross as far as I
11 MR. IVETIC: You did not ask about medical supplies in
12 Srebrenica? Is that the Prosecution's position, that you did not ask
13 about the lack of medical supplies in Srebrenica hospital?
14 MR. ZEC: I was thinking this was more focused on the way the
15 air-drops, but I will leave it --
16 MR. IVETIC: It goes directly towards an element that arose out
17 of their cross-examination --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
19 MR. IVETIC: -- the availability of supplies to the hospital in
20 Srebrenica, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- there are two elements -- as a matter of
22 fact, there are three elements: Supplies, medical supplies, and the way
23 in which they were transported to their destination. These are the three
24 elements. Because I wanted to verify exactly what the witness has said,
25 I asked you primarily, Mr. Ivetic, for a reference, and in view of the
1 objection by Mr. Zec I would like --
2 MR. IVETIC: Page 18 --
3 JUDGE ORIE: One second --
4 MR. IVETIC: Page 18 --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 18 --
6 MR. IVETIC: -- lines 5 through 8, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: 18, 5 to 8. And then in respect of the
8 cross-examination you referred to is --
9 MR. IVETIC: Beginning at temporary transcript 17, line 24, the
10 witness is responding to Mr. Zec's question about lack of military
11 supplies -- lack of medical supplies and what the doctor told him in
12 Srebrenica. And now I'm going back to that to find out more information.
13 JUDGE ORIE: One second. One second.
14 Yes, that's 18. Then we have -- one second, please.
15 Yes, you say starting at -- yes, at 24. There is about --
16 cross-examination dealt with medical supplies and being provided with
17 things from Doctors Without Borders, and that there was some supplies
18 from humanitarian air-drops. So both the type of support, being medical,
19 and the transportation through air-drops was dealt with. Therefore, the
20 objection by Mr. Zec is denied.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. IVETIC:
23 Q. Doctor, did the doctor from Srebrenica tell you of any
24 difficulties encountered with the humanitarian supplies from air-drops
25 which complicated their use at the medical facility?
1 A. Yes, the doctor told me -- well, we discussed a number of things
2 but as far as air-drops are concerned, the doctor said that sometimes it
3 would happen that the packages with medical supplies would unfortunately
4 be opened by the population who were waiting for the packages. And the
5 contents would be unpacked and that would destroy the sterile conditions
6 of the material. And even though the day was difficult and tense and
7 complicated, we did spend a long time together so we kind of even joked a
8 little bit in that situation. I asked him: Why would they open sterile
9 medical supplies? And the young colleague said: Well, you know, our
10 people, they believed that in the packets that were marked with the red
11 cross signs there were coffee and tobacco for the doctors. So the
12 equipment, the material, was not destroyed completely.
13 In a way he was describing anecdotes and he was showing me the
14 supplies that he had that he was using. In spite of his quite moderate
15 surgical experience, he came to Srebrenica after a short time which he
16 spent specialising in pathology at the faculty of medicine in Sarajevo.
17 So because of the circumstances, he was forced to provide surgical
18 treatment, and in view of the situation, I believe that he did a very
19 good job. I promised him a book then on war-time surgery, which I sent
20 him later and so on.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I'd like to focus on the time-period that
22 Mr. Zec was asking about, March of 1993, and I'd like to ask you, sir:
23 Do you know if at that time, March of 1993, Srebrenica had been declared
24 a safe area and been demilitarised or not, if you know?
25 A. We did know at the time that this was something that was ongoing
1 and that Srebrenica was declared a demilitarised safe area, yes.
2 MR. IVETIC: And can the -- is the Prosecution willing to
3 stipulate that that occurred in April of 1993, the 19th of April,
4 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution number 824 -- pardon me, 819?
5 And we can get back to that.
6 Q. Now, sir, I have one other area to ask about, that's the letter
7 that was shown to you which you authored in September of 1996.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you not waiting for an answer from the
10 MR. IVETIC: I don't think they can respond right away. I would
11 like to give them time to research, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at the same time we are close to the end of the
13 testimony of this witness --
14 MR. IVETIC: Agreed.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- so therefore I think -- but I hardly could
16 imagine that if there's a Security Council Resolution which deals with
17 the matter, that there would be any dispute about it. So let's --
18 Mr. Zec.
19 MR. ZEC: I refer to paragraph 72 of the indictment, which --
20 this has been dealt with.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. So there's a stipulation. There's no
22 dispute about that.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
25 Q. Now, sir, in relation to the letter and the time-period and the
1 troubles that General Mladic was undergoing, do you recall when it was
2 that General Mladic was removed from his position by the Republika Srpska
3 president in relation to your letter?
4 A. I don't recall that, no.
5 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Doctor, again, I thank you on behalf of my
6 client, General Mladic, and the rest of the team for answering my
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that completes the re-direct
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
11 Before I give an opportunity to Mr. Zec, I have one -- I'm
12 puzzled by your observations about the sterility of the material that
13 arrived, where the packages were opened by the local population because
14 they thought there would be coffee in it. Do you remember your testimony
15 in this respect? I'm just seeking to --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I remember. Your Honour, this
17 was not my observation. It was the observation of the local doctor.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You're right in correcting me. Now, I tried to
19 understand how that works. If I open a package in which there is sterile
20 material such as syringes, I take it, or whatever other surgical
21 equipment, I have little knowledge about medical matters but usually
22 they're packed in plastic, they are sealed so that you can see what the
23 content is, whether it's syringes, whether it's anything else. So I
24 wondered how by opening a package, seeing that there is medical equipment
25 in there as I described, syringes, scalpels - how do you call them? - the
1 lancets, for example, how would you then continue and further open that
2 in the expectation that there would be coffee in it? I try to understand
3 what happened. Do you have -- did he explain to you how the sterility
4 was lost despite the fact that, as far as I know, it's usually
5 discernible that it's medical equipment rather than coffee in those
6 sealed elements.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already said that this topic that
8 we're talking about was something that made all of us laugh, me, him,
9 everybody who was around us. It was my impression that that was the
10 reason why he told it, because by that time we had already developed a
11 very positive atmosphere in our mutual contact. He didn't say that
12 everything that had been in the air-drop was unpacked and destroyed, he
13 didn't say that. He just said that some things were opened quickly by
14 those people, unpacked, and then it wouldn't be usable anymore.
15 On the other hand, if we remember the video from earlier, you
16 remember that they showed some moments where surgery was being carried
17 out, we could see a little bit of that. The reporter who was speaking in
18 the footage said that you could -- that the footage does not convey the
19 stench of dirty sheets, wounds getting infected and so on. When you try
20 to imagine that whole atmosphere, then the fact that two or three
21 scalpels or a pack of sterile garments were unpacked is not that serious.
22 Some things that we use that are unpacked -- once they're unpacked
23 because they're no longer sterile, they cannot be used anymore according
24 to our rules. However, in the situation which prevailed there, sometimes
25 you had to work with things that were not 100 per cent sure, if you
1 understand me. I hope that you understand me.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I think I do understand you.
3 One more question. We -- quite a lot of attention was paid to
4 the March operation for evacuation. Now, we do understand you were not
5 involved in that. Were you aware of that taking place and were you aware
6 of which of your colleagues was involved in that evacuation? Because
7 what we saw on our screens seemed, at least gave the impression, that
8 patients were transported to the helicopters and -- are you -- do you
9 know anything about this earlier attempt to evacuate which then
10 apparently faced some trouble?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about the earlier
12 attempt at evacuation, so I'm surprised all the more because I was at the
13 Main Staff hospital from where doctors would most probably have been
14 recruited, doctors like myself. I didn't hear about that at all. I
15 didn't hear about anything that we saw in the footage.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that answers my question.
17 Mr. Zec, any further questions?
18 MR. ZEC: No, Mr. President, only to put on the record that the
19 Security Council Resolution that Mr. Ivetic was referring to is
20 Exhibit P22 in this case and also would like to put on the record that an
21 agreement to demilitarise Srebrenica is P5 in this case. In paragraph 3
22 you will see there it's a discussion that two doctors from each side be
23 involved in evacuations.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That gives the documentary background of the events
25 we heard about.
1 Mr. Bilbija, this concludes your evidence. I would like to thank
2 you very much for coming to The Hague --
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- and for having the patience to stay over the
5 weekend and conclude your testimony today. I wish you -- yes, for coming
6 to The Hague I would like to thank you but also for having answered all
7 the questions that were put to you, that were put to you by the parties,
8 that were put to you by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ORIE: I think it would be best to take the break now,
14 although it's a little bit less than one hour, but to take the break and
15 resume at quarter past 12.00. As usual, Mr. Mladic, being removed from
16 the courtroom, is welcome again after the break.
17 Mr. Ivetic or Mr. Lukic, it was confirmed to the Chamber that
18 Mr. Mladic had an opportunity to follow the proceedings in the cell where
19 he was through a video link.
20 We take the break and resume at quarter past 12.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 11.53 a.m.
22 [The accused entered court]
23 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber was informed that there was a
25 preliminary matter to be raised by the Prosecution. Does it take a lot
1 of time?
2 MS. BIBLES: No, Your Honour, and we could probably do it while
3 the witness is being escorted in.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I was just thinking about. Yes,
6 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, during the
7 testimony of Witness Corokalo on the -- specifically on the 18th of
8 November, the witness was shown an article from "Vreme," V-r-e-m-e,
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MS. BIBLES: That was P6925 MFI'd. The Defence asked the
12 Prosecution to stipulate that "Vreme" is published and distributed in
13 Serbia. The Prosecution makes that stipulation. The Prosecution further
14 notes that the article in question originated from "Vreme International."
15 The Prosecution and Defence agree that Vreme --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please slow down.
17 MS. BIBLES: I'm trying to rush too much.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We are now at "Vreme International." Yes?
19 MS. BIBLES: That "Vreme International" is published in Austria
20 and circulated internationally. Thank you.
21 MR. IVETIC: And I agree, that was the discussion I had with
22 counsel from the Prosecution earlier this morning.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then this stipulation is hereby on the record.
24 We'll wait for the witness to be escorted into the courtroom.
25 Mr. Stojanovic, I see the lectern is close to you, so you'll
1 examine the witness.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you want to take the witness
5 immediately to his statement. Perhaps you could already give the number
6 so that everyone is prepared.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The number is 1D01677.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
10 Mr. Cvijic, good afternoon. Before you give evidence, the Rules
11 require that you make a solemn declaration. The text is handed out to
12 you now. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: ZARKO CVIJIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Cvijic.
18 Mr. Cvijic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You'll find
19 Mr. Stojanovic to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, could you please repeat the
21 65 ter number.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. 1D01677.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, good day. Could you please, as slowly
3 as possible, tell us your correct first and last name.
4 A. My name is Zarko Cvijic.
5 Q. Mr. Cvijic, at any point did you give a statement, a written
6 statement, to General Mladic's Defence?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
9 have document that we referred to earlier, the 65 ter document 1D01677,
10 in e-court, please.
11 Q. Witness, could you please look at the screen in front of you,
12 where you will see the text and can you please tell us if the signature
13 on this page is your signature?
14 A. Yes, it is my signature.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at the last page
17 of this document, please.
18 Q. Mr. Cvijic, these two signatures that we see on the page and also
19 the date that you can see on this page, are they written in your hand?
20 A. Yes, these are my signatures as well as the date, the
21 13th of June, 2014.
22 Q. Thank you. Today after you have given the solemn declaration
23 that you will speak the truth here in this courtroom today, would you
24 stand by your written statement and do you say that it is correct,
25 truthful, and given according to your best recollection?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
4 tender the witness's statement into evidence, the Witness Cvijic Zarko,
5 his statement which has the 65 ter number 1D01677.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that the witness understood your questions
7 to be that the statement as written down reflects what he said, that it's
8 truthful, and that he would give the same answers if -- in substance if
9 questioned again.
10 Is that what you confirm, Witness?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...?
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1677 receives number D833,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I assume that there are no objections. Admitted
18 into evidence.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave I
21 would like to read the summary of the statement of Witness Cvijic.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Have you explained to the witness the purpose of
23 reading it, Mr. Stojanovic?
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Witness Zarko Cvijic, in
2 July 1992, when he was 18 years old, went to do his regular military
3 service, and after having been trained as a military policeman he was
4 sent to the 65th Protection Regiment of the Main Staff of the Army of
5 Republika Srpska, where it was decided that he would be one of the
6 escorts and members of the personal security detail of the commander of
7 the Main Staff of the VRS, General Mladic.
8 He spent a bit over a year carrying out these duties. In his
9 statement he speaks about his personal observations and impressions about
10 the nature and personality of General Mladic during the period while he
11 was close to him and around him almost every day.
12 He refers to a particular situation showing the attitude of
13 General Mladic towards the non-Serb population; namely, he encountered a
14 convoy of civilians who were moving from Srebrenica towards Tuzla
15 escorted by blue helmets. Having noticed in the convoy a military-aged
16 able-bodied man who was extremely frightened, he addressed him with a few
17 ordinary questions, telling him not to be afraid and to continue his
18 journey freely. He also showed his care and concern towards his
19 subordinates in his personal attitude towards the witness too, asking
20 that he should not be reassigned, which is what the witness wanted;
21 rather, he kept him in his -- on his own security detail and soon
22 afterwards sent him to train as an officer in Banja Luka.
23 After completing his education, the witness assumed the rank of a
24 second lieutenant and took over the duty of commander of a platoon of
25 military police all the way up until the 13th of September, 1994, when he
1 was wounded in both legs at the Nisici plateau.
2 His assessment of General Mladic is that General Mladic is an
3 honest man, an officer who never drew any advantage out of the war, and
4 he also speaks of him as a very gentle man with a very stern exterior
6 Your Honours, that would be the statement, and with your leave I
7 would like to put a few questions to the witness.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Proceed as you suggest, Mr. Stojanovic.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Cvijic, during your proofing before you appeared before this
11 Court, I've asked you and now I'm asking you once again to tell us more
12 about your service. I will deal with this through questions. To the
13 best of your recollection, when did you arrive in the 65th Regiment and
14 until when were you part of General Mladic's security detail?
15 A. I arrived in the 65th Regiment sometime in 1992. That was the
16 month of August 1992. After two months in the regiment, I was selected
17 to provide security for General Mladic and I spent about a year on his
18 security detail, that is to say, until the 1st of September, 1993.
19 Q. Thank you. From the 1st of September, 1993, you were sent out
20 for continuing your education, so could you please tell the Court --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, nothing in the first question or in
22 its answer is not yet in the statement. So would you please put
23 additional questions rather than to ask the same as we find already in
24 the statement. Please proceed.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Then allow me
1 just to draw the witness's attention to a paragraph for which I am
2 actually asking this.
3 Q. Could you focus on paragraph 6 of your statement, D833 is its
4 number now. Witness, in that paragraph of your statement you say that
5 you served as General Mladic's security detail for a little over a year
6 and my question is: Can you give us the date when you went out for your
7 further education? And it was my understanding that that was the
8 1st of September, 1993. Thank you.
9 Then yet again I'm going to indicate paragraph 14 of your
11 Please let us take a look at paragraph 14 of your statement. And
12 you say there that you stayed for ten months in officers' training
13 school, and then I'm asking you when you returned after your education to
14 the 65th Regiment.
15 A. I completed the military school on the 30th of June, 1993.
16 That's the exact date. And then I was returned to serve in the
17 protection regiment again.
18 Q. Could you please repeat once again the date, the 30th of June
19 which year?
20 A. 1993.
21 Q. And you said that you were sent out to school on the
22 1st of September?
23 A. 1992.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm lost, Mr. Stojanovic. I thought the witness
1 had served for a little over a year with General Mladic, from August 1992
2 to September 1993. Now he says he went to school again, leaving the
3 service in June 1993, which is the time when he's supposed to be still
4 with Mr. Mladic.
5 Are you able to explain that, sir?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the date when I
7 became part of General Mladic's security detail. I don't remember the
8 date in terms of the beginning. I do know that I stayed there until
9 September 1993, roughly. I don't remember these dates. From
10 September 1992 until the 30th of June, 1993, I trained at the military
11 school in Banja Luka.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you to focus, please, on the time
14 and tell us once again. You say in September 1992 you came to the
15 65th Protection Regiment, at the end of August/beginning of September?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You say that you went to school in September 1993?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. How long did this education last, this training?
20 A. Ten months.
21 Q. So when did you return then, what year was it?
22 A. The 30th of June, 1994.
23 Q. Thank you. That's what we wanted to clarify. And I'm not going
24 to ask you about these dates any longer.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, by the way, I stand corrected, the
1 beginning of the time was clear from the statement; however, the last
2 moment or the -- when he left his duty as General Mladic's security
3 was -- was not clear in the statement. So I stand corrected from my
4 previous observation. Please proceed, and I think everything has been
5 clarified by now as far as dates are concerned. So please put your next
6 question to the witness.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Now I'd just like to ask you briefly about paragraph 10 of your
9 statement. There's a reference to this convoy for transporting
10 civilians. Could you tell the Chamber, to best of your recollection,
11 where did this actually happen in physical terms?
12 A. In physical terms it was the area between Bratunac and Milici and
13 then further on towards Sekovici at the crossroads to Zvornik.
14 Q. Do you perhaps know what the name of the place is, this
15 crossroads or a settlement if there is one there?
16 A. I think it's Konjevic Polje.
17 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to draw your attention to paragraph 13
18 of your statement. I would like to ask you to tell us how you
19 experienced these reasons why General Mladic practically stopped the
20 order of the commander of the 65th Regiment, Mr. Savcic, that is to say,
21 stopped your transfer to Krajina, your reassignment?
22 A. Well, as that was happening straight away and when I was told
23 that I should stay where I was, it wasn't very clear to me. But after a
24 while General Mladic asked me to come to his office and he explained to
25 me why it was that he did that. Primarily for my sake because I was
1 young then and because of my personal safety. He said I was safer there
2 than in any other unit.
3 Q. Mr. Cvijic, thank you for these answers. At this point in time
4 we have no further questions for you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
6 Ms. Edgerton, is the Prosecution ready to cross-examine the
8 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cvijic, you'll now be cross-examined by
10 Ms. Edgerton. You'll find her to your right. Ms. Edgerton is counsel
11 for the Prosecution.
12 Please proceed, Ms. Edgerton.
13 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
14 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Cvijic. Can you understand me?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Just before we get in depth into the
19 cross-examination, I just wanted to point out to my colleagues, it
20 appears to be an error in the translation of paragraph 10 of the
21 witness's statement that I noticed when I heard my colleague
22 Mr. Stojanovic refer to the man mentioned in paragraph 10 as a
23 military-aged man. Those words are missing from the English translation
24 but they appear in the B/C/S. You may want to take care of that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think then we need a corrected version of the
1 translation to be uploaded if it's missing in the English because we
2 might consult it later.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Cvijic, I also want to ask you about the things you spoke
5 about in paragraph 10 and paragraph 11 of your statement. And maybe it
6 would be an idea while we do that for you to have that on the computer
7 screen in front of you.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Oh, we have it. Good. Thank you.
9 Q. So you said when you were there with General Mladic and you saw
10 this convoy, you were in Serb-held territory probably around
11 Konjevic Polje; right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And that's the area of responsibility or that was the area of
14 responsibility at the time of the Drina Corps; right?
15 A. I think the answer is yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, this convoy that you talked about that you said
17 in your statement was brimming with civilian passengers, I want to ask
18 you about that word. When you use that word "brimming," you mean that
19 the convoy vehicles were packed to the point of overflowing, don't you?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Edgerton, the paragraph 11 that I have
22 doesn't talk of civilian passengers, it just talks of passengers.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Ah, I -- indeed, at paragraph 10, first sentence,
24 refers to the convoy being organised to transport civilians --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MS. EDGERTON: -- from Srebrenica and Zepa.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MS. EDGERTON:
4 Q. Now, these civilians in the convoy, they were fleeing horrible
5 conditions in Srebrenica at that time, weren't they?
6 A. Yes, I think so.
7 Q. Because the town of Srebrenica was just crammed with refugees at
8 that time, wasn't it?
9 A. I think so. I wasn't there. I don't know.
10 Q. Well, do you know that they had no real food and that's one of
11 the reasons why they were fleeing?
12 A. Well, I think that was one of the reasons too why they were
13 moving out of Srebrenica.
14 Q. And they were also moving out of Srebrenica because their
15 villages had been shelled by attacks from the VRS; right?
16 A. Probably. I don't know.
17 Q. And in fact, Srebrenica had been shelled and was being shelled
18 and that's one of the reasons why they were fleeing; right?
19 A. I don't know whether it was shelled or not. I was a soldier in
20 military service. I don't know what was going on there.
21 Q. So are you saying that you don't know about the concerted
22 military advance by forces of your army against the area of Srebrenica at
23 that time?
24 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
25 Q. But it was, Mr. Cvijic, exactly this advance, this offensive,
1 that created the refugee situation that you just agreed to; isn't that
2 the case?
3 A. That is probably correct. I told you where I happened to be at
4 that point in time and what happened. As for what the reason was for the
5 withdrawal of those civilians, I don't know.
6 Q. Now, this convoy that you talked about, you would remember that
7 there were no men on the trucks, other than an extremely small number,
8 wouldn't you?
9 A. Yes, there were practically no men.
10 Q. And Bosnian Serb army forces were checking every single one of
11 those trucks as they crossed through the area looking for men of military
12 age, weren't they?
13 A. There was a check-point there. They were doing spot-checks. I
14 don't know if they were looking for somebody or I don't know what they
15 were doing, but in any case they were searching the buses and the trucks.
16 Q. Well, in point of fact, they were looking for men of military --
17 men of fighting age, weren't they? Because there weren't supposed to be
18 men of fighting age on any one of those trucks; isn't that the case?
19 A. That is probably so, yes.
20 Q. And in fact, the men of fighting age in Srebrenica were being
21 held back at the insistence of your Commander-in-Chief, General Mladic;
22 that's what was going on, wasn't it?
23 A. No, nobody was being held back.
24 Q. Mr. Cvijic, you just agreed that there weren't supposed to be men
25 of fighting age on any one of those trucks, and now you've just said
1 nobody was being held back.
2 A. I told you nobody was being held back. The soldiers at the
3 check-points - I don't know how - noticed one man among the women in the
4 bus. And we happened to be there with General Mladic, I was there too.
5 When we arrived, the convoy had already been stopped. Two soldiers
6 brought the man that they had noticed, they brought him to
7 General Mladic. I was standing nearby and I could hear every word. The
8 man was frightened. He was saying that he wasn't the type for war, that
9 he didn't carry weapons, and so on. And then General Mladic told him
10 that he shouldn't be afraid, that he could go back to the bus from which
11 he was taken, and he could continue with his journey. And that's exactly
12 what the man did.
13 Q. Mr. Cvijic, on the 26th of March, 1993, General Mladic attended a
14 meeting with other military commanders. He attended a meeting with
15 Wahlgren, he was with Morillon, and General Mladic struck a deal and the
16 deal was that a convoy was to leave Srebrenica, evacuating women,
17 children, and only some of the elderly. And that's at P346, English
18 page 172 and B/C/S page 177. And, in fact, Mr. Cvijic, your own army
19 recorded that there were only 48 men on that convoy. I'll let you have a
21 MS. EDGERTON: Could we see 65 ter number 09727.
22 Q. And then I'll ask you a question. This is a Drina Corps command
23 combat report to the VRS Main Staff on 29 March 1993. Now, can you read
24 okay, Mr. Cvijic, because I want you to have a look at paragraph 4 in
25 both languages. Now, that paragraph says:
1 "Convoy of refugees, which left Srebrenica this morning, went to
2 Tuzla via Bratunac, Zvornik, and Memici. The convoy consisted of 19 big
3 vehicles and two small vehicles, which transported 2.140 people, of which
4 884 were women, 1.208 children, and 48 elderly men."
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, Mr. Mladic, no speaking aloud. No
6 speaking aloud.
7 Your question, please, Ms. Edgerton.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Cvijic, the men weren't allowed -- the men of military age
10 weren't allowed to go out of Srebrenica because they were intended to be
11 killed; isn't that the case?
12 A. I don't know that.
16 MS. EDGERTON: 65 ter number 22229A. 22229A. We have it. Thank
20 involving Drina Corps command officers, General Zivanovic and Colonel
21 Prstojevic, and one of them, the second one, they made the conclusion
22 based on the information they were hearing involved General Mladic. Now,
23 have a look down at the second one, the second conversation on this list.
24 It says:
25 "... we learned the text of General Mladic's order that says:
1 During the course of the day seize Potocari village (north of
2 Srebrenica). Bosnian Serb forces around Srebrenica are to initiate
3 attacks in order to enter the town today or tomorrow. Upon entering" the
4 town "everyone who has weapons is to be killed. Civilians and wounded
5 are to be taken out of the town ..."
6 It's crystal clear from what you see was being discussed on the
7 eve of --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, no speaking aloud again. If you want to
9 consult, please do it, but not audible for anyone in this courtroom. And
10 then it's best to take off your earphones -- Mr. Mladic, if you take off
11 your earphones, then you better hear what counsel are telling you.
12 That's better.
13 No, no further comments. No further comments.
14 Mr. Mladic, you are -- you continue to speak aloud when I ordered
15 you not to do so. You knew this morning what happened before.
16 We turn into closed session for a second.
17 [Closed session]
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Ms. Edgerton.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Cvijic, looking at that conversation that took place -- the
8 summary of the conversation that took place at 9.30 in the morning on the
9 16th of April, it's crystal clear that what was being discussed was
10 General Mladic's plan to enter the town and kill everybody who has a
11 weapon; right?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection. The quote is wrong.
14 I point to page 61, line 25 of today's draft transcript, where the
15 Prosecutor says, paraphrasing the alleged intercept, about the killing of
16 militarily able-bodied men. In the original B/C/S text, it does not say
17 that. With your leave, I would like to read what it says in the B/C/S
18 version, which is completely contrary from what is quoted by the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, if I read the document on the screen,
21 it talks -- certainly in the second one but perhaps the first one as
22 well, it is about men with weapons that are to be killed.
23 MS. EDGERTON: That's correct, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, that's not the same as men of military
1 MS. EDGERTON: Well, no. With respect, of course, Your Honour,
2 it's not the same. I was simply asking the question at pages 61,
3 lines 25, to 62, line 2, and it was later when I called up the document,
4 I then asked a further question about -- relating to the text of the
5 document. And you see that at page 63, lines -- although I'm listed as
6 Mr. Elderkin, which is why I didn't see myself, page 63, lines 21 to
7 page 64. And there I did, with respect, correctly paraphrase the
8 document. The first point that my friend --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MS. EDGERTON: -- has risen on is, in my submission, simply not
11 an appropriate objection.
12 JUDGE ORIE: When putting the content to the witness in -- on
13 page 63, Mr. Stojanovic, I think Ms. Edgerton quoted well that it was
14 about men with weapons. If that is understood -- everyone, by the way,
15 with weapons. If that is well understood, then do you still stick to
16 your objection?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour,
18 but it would be fair to the witness because the question was fairly long,
19 it consisted of a number of elements which could possibly then lead the
20 witness to be confused.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Edgerton, I noticed that a couple of times
22 indeed your questions are composite or least introduction to a question
23 is composite. Would you please try to take matters step by step. Please
25 MS. EDGERTON: Understood, Your Honour. Perhaps I could
1 abbreviate the question that I asked at page 63.
2 Q. Mr. Cvijic, do you see that this intercept discusses
3 General Mladic's plan to enter Srebrenica and kill everybody who has a
5 A. That is what it says here, but I don't see that that was the
7 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment, Your Honours.
8 Your Honours, I have nothing further. I'd simply like to tender
9 the last two exhibits that I omitted to tender, the first one being 9727.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document 9727 receives number P6963,
12 Your Honours.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no objection to this
14 document, and we stand by our earlier objection in relation to the
15 intercept and that's in line with our objections to these types of
16 documents. (redacted)
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton.
11 Page 29094 redacted.
20 JUDGE ORIE: P6964 is marked for identification.
21 Ms. Edgerton, if there are any further submissions on the matter,
22 then I see that the first and the second intercept seems to be very
23 similar, and I wondered whether -- although where one is at 9.00 and the
24 other one is 9.30, to what extent there is overlap and to what extent
25 these really are two different intercepts. Perhaps you could pay
1 attention to that as well.
2 MS. EDGERTON: In our further submissions, absolutely. Thank
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: I think I've forgotten, and my colleagues remind me
7 of that, that P6963 is admitted into evidence.
8 Ms. Edgerton, no further questions?
9 MS. EDGERTON: No. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, any questions in re-examination?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a couple of questions.
12 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Cvijic, during the year that you were in
14 General Mladic's detail, did you at any point in time happen to be in a
15 situation to see or to hear any order by General Mladic directed at
16 subordinates that would refer to the killing of soldiers or civilians of
17 the other side?
18 A. No, we were not able to hear or see any document or report or
20 Q. Did you ever have the opportunity to hear the name or the last
21 name of any high-ranking officer -- actually, the name of
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Prstojevic?
23 A. Yes, I did hear that officer's surname.
24 Q. Mr. Cvijic, you were asked about the convoy that you talked
25 about. While you were with General Mladic at that particular occasion,
1 was it ever said or was anyone directed that somebody should be taken off
2 or separated from that convoy?
3 A. No.
4 Q. The check-point that you're talking about, was it manned by the
5 army or the police?
6 A. I think that it was the military police of the Army of
7 Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Thank you. I'm going to end with this question: Was that the
9 period when combat was going around -- going on around Srebrenica and the
10 surrounding area?
11 A. I didn't understand you.
12 Q. In that period, the spring of 1993, were you aware of fierce
13 fighting that was going on around Srebrenica, did you know about that?
14 A. No, I'm not aware that any fighting was being conducted around
15 that area, any fighting.
16 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Cvijic. The Defence of General Mladic
17 thanks you and we have no further questions for you.
18 A. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
20 Judge Moloto has one or more questions for you.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, do you know why during the check-point of the
23 convoy that man was brought to Mr. Mladic by the soldiers?
24 A. Well, perhaps during the check they noticed that this man was
25 youngish, perhaps he was, say, in his 40s, up to the age of 50. The
1 reason why he was brought in, I don't know. That I don't know.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know why he was scared when he was talking
3 to Mr. Mladic?
4 A. Well, the very idea of General Mladic. I don't know why he was
5 frightened. Most of our troops were frightened when General Mladic would
6 arrive for an inspection.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you also frightened when Mr. Mladic came into
8 your company?
9 A. Well, at first, during the first days of my service on the
10 security detail of General Mladic, I didn't feel very comfortable when he
11 was near me, when he would pass by me, when I stood there; however, as
12 time went by, I noticed that he was a completely different person. I
13 think that General Mladic is a good, honourable, sincere man.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: But in the first few days you were not scared, you
15 were just uncomfortable?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: And -- but this particular man who was being
18 brought out of the convoy was scared?
19 A. That's what it looked like.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: And General Mladic said to him he mustn't be
21 scared, he must go back into the bus?
22 A. That's right.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you say you don't understand why he was called
24 to Mr. Mladic?
25 A. I don't know.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, any further questions? If not,
3 Mr. Cvijic, this concludes your testimony. I would like to thank you
4 very much for coming to The Hague, a long way to The Hague, and for
5 having answered all the questions that were put to you, put to you by the
6 parties, put to you by the Bench, and wish you a safe return home again.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I'm briefly addressing you. The events
11 of this morning, of course, are not what we expect to happen. The next
12 witness, if I understand well, will be examined by Mr. Zec in
13 cross-examination. We have decided that Mr. Mladic can be present during
14 the examination of that witness, but you'll understand in view of what
15 happened this morning that one word spoken aloud will result in exactly
16 the same as what happened this morning already twice. And I would like
17 you to make that clear to Mr. Mladic. Of course he always -- if he can't
18 control himself, he can waive his right to be present, but we do not
19 allow anything as happened this morning and that should be clear to him.
20 At the same time, we would accept that he is present during the
21 examination of the next witness.
22 MR. LUKIC: Do you want me to respond or only to transfer your
23 message to Mr. Mladic?
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think that is the first thing. Of course if you
25 want to make any submissions on what happened this morning at any moment,
1 of course you're free to do so, but at this moment I'm not seeking a
2 response. At this moment I'm just informing you that the Chamber decided
3 to allow Mr. Mladic to be present but under these very strict conditions.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, this morning Mr. Mladic only inquired,
5 mentioning the name of my learned friend from the other side --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: -- whether he was from our area and he was asking
8 Mr. Stojanovic --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- the personal -- that, first of all, is not
10 the point. Second, any reference to a person who is functioning in a
11 role in this courtroom to be discussed aloud with counsel is
12 unacceptable, let that be perfectly clear. Speaking aloud in itself is
13 not permitted by this Chamber, as you know and as Mr. Mladic knows, and
14 often we have not taken immediate action if it nevertheless happens. But
15 if it is about one of the persons in a role functioning in this
16 courtroom, it certainly is inadmissible and that's the reason why we said
17 we would consider what to do. And then Mr. Mladic continued to speak
18 aloud where it was clear that him that he should not do that and those
19 were the circumstances under which he was sent out the first time this
20 morning. And I want you to make clear to Mr. Mladic that if he behaves
21 in the same way, that the same will happen again, but that nevertheless
22 we allow him to be present during the examination of the next witness.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break and we will resume at quarter to
2 --- Recess taken at 1.22 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before the witness enters the courtroom, I do
5 understand that the translation issue has been resolved which doesn't
6 mean that -- of two documents which were associated exhibits where there
7 were no translations but the translations are there, but I do understand
8 that it was not the only reason why the Prosecution may object to
10 MR. ZEC: Correct, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So then the translation issue is dealt with and
12 whatever remains, we'll hear about that later.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: I'm afraid that our side didn't understand what you
17 were referring to.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think that there were two associated exhibits
19 where no translations were uploaded which now are uploaded.
20 MR. LUKIC: Which witness?
21 JUDGE ORIE: With the next witness.
22 MR. LUKIC: The next witness.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just check. It is the -- there are
24 statements of March -- let me just have a look. Yes, there were
25 statements of 2006 and there was a -- two statements of 2006, March and
1 May, which were announced as associated exhibits where there were no
2 translations earlier uploaded, but as I understand they are uploaded now.
3 That was what I was referring to.
4 MR. LUKIC: I didn't know about the --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Another matter is --
6 MR. LUKIC: -- the objections at all, we were not aware, so that
7 is why we did not understand.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, that one of the
9 members of Chambers staff was in touch with Defence last Friday regarding
10 the translations and noted that they both now are uploaded, so it was not
11 an objection by the Prosecution but it was noticed by the Chamber.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was noticed by the Prosecution in the response
13 to your 92 ter motion.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I missed that, I made a mistake. But at least it
15 was an issue and it has been resolved, at least that issue, not
16 everything yet.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just -- is there anything -- I would have
19 expected the witness to enter the courtroom already for a while.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Milojica.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
24 make a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you. May I
25 invite you to make that solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: RATKO MILOJICA
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Milojica.
6 Mr. Milojica, you'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You find
7 Mr. Lukic to your left. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
8 And could the usher assist in having the earphones rightly on --
9 if you put them on the top of your head, they don't fall off. Yes.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Milojica.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. For the record, could you please slowly state your name and
17 A. My name is Ratko Milojica.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 65 ter 1D4968 on
19 our screens.
20 Q. Mr. Milojica, did you provide a statement to the members of the
21 Defence team of Mr. Karadzic?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. LUKIC: Can we see the last page, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Milojica, on this document can you recognise
25 the signature?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Whose signature is that before you?
3 A. My own.
4 Q. Have you checked whether this statement correctly reflects what
5 you said to the members of Mr. Karadzic's Defence?
6 A. Yes, my statement.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
8 be asked to come closer to the microphone. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please come closer to the
10 microphone so that the interpreters can hear you better.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: Just to check where I stopped.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Whether the witness has given -- whether it's -- the
14 statement correctly reflects what he said. Yes.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. What is contained in this statement, is it all correct and true,
17 Mr. Milojica?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I will have to pause a bit between question and answer so that we
20 would make it possible for the interpreters to interpret what we're
21 saying into English and French.
22 If I were to put the same questions to you today, as the members
23 of the Karadzic Defence did and you provided answers to those questions,
24 would your answers be the same today?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. LUKIC: At this moment, Your Honours, we would offer this
2 statement into evidence.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
4 Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D4968 receives number D834,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
8 MR. LUKIC: I will read the statement summary of this witness and
9 I will not have questions for this witness.
10 Ratko Milojica was a member of the VRS and he has deployed -- he
11 was deployed in the 343 Prijedor Motorised Brigade.
12 On the 22nd of May, 1992, he was on leave and went to Prijedor
13 with his neighbour Rade Lukic and half-brother Radovan Milojica to return
14 to the army. However, they were told that they were not required for two
15 more days and to return home.
16 The three men were picked up in a car driven by Milenko Lulic
17 with Sinisa Mijatovic and Nedjeljko Antunovic as passengers. They
18 planned to travel to Ljubija via Hambarine. Lulic and Mijatovic just
19 responded to a call-up. Two out of six passengers had their weapons with
20 them. Their military equipment was in the boot of the car.
21 At the check-point in Hambarine, Ratko Milojica noted that there
22 was an anti-tank hedgehog barriers, sandbags, which created a parapet on
23 which an M53 light machine-gun was placed with a civilian standing next
24 to it. All the people at the check-point were armed.
25 The men in the car were asked for their identity papers and the
1 boot of the car was searched. The uniforms in the boot of the car were
2 thrown on the ground, stamped upon; their military IDs and rifles were
3 taken, and at this point, fire from the light machine-gun was opened upon
4 them and the other people at the check-point joined in. They fired for
5 approximately five minutes. Milenko Lulic attempted to run from the
6 check-point but was shot as he did so. The others remained in the car
7 whilst being shot at but were then ordered to get out of the car.
8 Following this, the men were mistreated, kicked, threatened at knife
9 point and shot at.
10 At one point of time Mr. Milojica lost his consciousness. He was
11 transported to Prijedor by the ambulance but has no recollection of that.
12 Later he found out that Radovan Milojica and Rade Lukic were killed at
13 that check-point and that other three men had survived but were all
14 seriously wounded in the attack.
15 To summarise, this was an attack on the civilian car at Hambarine
16 check-point in connection with Prijedor municipality. That was a
17 statement summary, Your Honours, and I don't have questions.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
19 Mr. Zec, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
20 MR. ZEC: Yes, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Milojica, you'll now be cross-examined by
22 Mr. Zec. You'll find him to your right. Mr. Zec is counsel for the
24 You may proceed.
25 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Milojica.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. On the night of 7 to 8 November 1992, the local Catholic priest
5 of Donja Ravska near Prijedor, Ivan Grgic, was murdered; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Soldiers came to the priest's house, grabbed him, dragged him to
8 Ljubija mine, shot him, and left his body there; correct?
9 A. It's not that soldiers came and grabbed him.
10 Q. In fact, you were one of these soldiers; correct?
11 A. Yes, I was in the vehicle. I was going to the doctor's.
12 Ivica Pavlovic got him out and said that he was supposed to bring him to
13 the command. That's what I said in my first statement, too, when I was
15 Q. And you blamed Ivica Pavlovic, a local Croat, for this murder;
17 A. It's not that I blamed him. He himself admitted that he had done
19 Q. Ivica Pavlovic died shortly after he confessed to the murder;
21 A. Yes, he allegedly committed suicide.
22 Q. You were never tried for this murder; correct?
23 A. Well, the lawyer explained to me that I gave this statement as a
25 Q. But you never were -- you were never tried? There was never a
1 trial for this murder; correct?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Are you now saying that you were tried for this murder? Because
4 that's not what you said last time when you were here.
5 MR. LUKIC: I would --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that there was a
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Page 80, line 13 to 15, there was a question and it
10 was answered: "You were never tried? There was never a trial for this
11 murder; correct?" "No." So I don't see the point of the next question.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Mr. Zec, I do understand that when you asked the witness whether
14 he was never tried, he said "no," which of course is always a bit of a
15 dubious -- "no, there was no trial"; or "no, I was tried." So therefore,
16 Mr. Lukic, that creates always the confusion and should be verified such
17 an answer. And just now --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the "no" can also refer to "correct."
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Could you tell us, was there ever a trial -- were you ever tried
21 for this murder, yes or no?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, that makes the next question superfluous.
24 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. ZEC:
2 Q. And you said that you were interviewed about this murder by the
3 investigative judge of the Banja Luka military court. That was in 1993;
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I just wondered, following the
7 questions - and I'm addressing you as well, Mr. Zec - whether a 90(E)
8 warning would be appropriate?
9 MR. ZEC: And my apologies for that. I should have said that at
10 the beginning, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'll read to you Rule 90(E) of the Rules of
12 Procedure and Evidence, which is:
13 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
14 incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to
15 answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used
16 as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
17 offence other than false testimony."
18 Which means that if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate
19 yourself, you may ask that you don't have to answer that question. That
20 should be clear to you because you're talking about -- at least the
21 questions are about being involved in a murder. That's the reason why I
22 bring this to your attention.
23 Mr. Zec, please proceed.
24 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Can we have 65 ter 31697 on the screen. And this is a record of
1 interview dated 21 October 1993.
2 Can we focus at the lower part of the first page in B/C/S and in
3 English it's 2 -- page 2.
4 Q. Mr. Milojica, you see your name and the last name. Towards the
5 bottom it says:
6 "Ratko Milojica, Ratko, son of Mile and Milka Milojica."
7 Do you see it?
8 A. I see that here, here on the left; right?
9 Q. And below that there's a signature. That's your signature;
11 A. Yes, my signature.
12 MR. ZEC: Can we now turn to page 3 in both languages.
13 Q. And it says:
14 "Between 7 and October -- between 7 and 8 November 1992,
15 Boro Milojica, my cousin, Ranko Karan, aka Roca, and I were in my house
16 in the village of Tisova. We were sitting and drinking a little and then
17 we agreed to go to the priest, Ivan Grgic, in Gornja Ravska. We knew,
18 because it was publicly discussed, that the priest had been the main
19 supplier of weapons for the HDZ and that he had arranged for Croats to go
20 over to the Croatian army. We wanted to intimidate him and make him tell
21 us where he was hiding the weapons and to whom he had given them. It was
22 about 24 hours when we set off from my house in a ... car driven by
23 Boro Milojica. On the way to Gornja Ravska we met Ivica Pavlovic who
24 joined us when we told him where we were going."
25 This is what we told the investigative judge. Do you accept this
2 A. I do not accept that because I've already stated at that trial
3 that this is not my statement. It is my signature, but when they were
4 asking me questions, they were typing something, writing something. I
5 didn't understand any of this. We were all threatened. We were
6 threatened to be court-martialed, this and that, and it's obvious that I
7 never even read this statement.
8 Q. I just read to you what is recorded. Do you accept that this --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, what do you mean by "do you accept that"?
10 Because it could be that: Do you accept that this is how it is recorded?
11 Or do you mean: Do you accept that this is what you said? The witness
12 has answered that question. So the acceptance is an unclear -- results
13 in an unclear question. Could you please rephrase it.
14 MR. ZEC:
15 Q. So as you sit now in that chair, is this your memory as to what
16 happened that night? Before you set to go to the priest's house?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Then tell us, what is your memory now?
19 A. Well, I said that during the first trial here, that I had set out
20 to the doctor's and -- towards Ljubija and that Pavlovic Ivica is someone
21 we encountered on the way and he said that he had to bring in the priest,
22 that he received orders from the command telling him that he had to bring
23 him in.
24 Q. I will now read you the second paragraph and tell me whether you
25 agree with the second portion.
1 "Upon arrival in Donja Ravska we drove the car past" --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, it reads "Gornja Ravska," not "Donja."
3 MR. ZEC: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. ZEC:
6 Q. "Upon arrival in Gornja Ravska, we drove the car past the
7 priest's house. Boro, Ivica, and Roca went back to the priest's house,
8 and I stayed by the car. When I saw that the priest had opened the door,
9 I joined them and we all entered the house. We sat down with the priest
10 and asked him where the weapons were and where he had put them.
11 Boro Milojica asked the questions. The priest Grgic kept saying he knew
12 nothing. Then Ranko Karan searched the priest's house and found
13 300 Deutschemarks and 100 Swiss francs under the pillow ..."
14 So do you accept this portion, that this is what you told the
15 investigative judge in 1993?
16 A. No, I do not accept that.
17 Q. I will go on.
18 "After that we told the priest Grgic to come with us, saying that
19 we were taking him to Ljubija for questioning. We wanted to frighten him
20 so that he would tell us who his collaborators were who supplied him with
21 weapons. When we arrived at the Ljubija mine, we went to Kipe - a part
22 of the Ljubija mine - and took the priest out of the car. Roca ordered
23 him to lie down, and when he did Roca asked him: 'Where are the
24 weapons?' and hit him twice. Then the priest said: 'I don't know - I
25 will tell you' ..."
1 Do you accept this part as to what happened when you got the
2 priest at the Ljubija mine?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, the previous portion you asked the witness
4 whether this is what he said. Now -- and let's try to avoid whatever
5 confusion, now you're asking whether this is what happened. Did you --
6 isn't the proper order to first ask the witness whether this is what he
7 said or not and then perhaps follow-up with another question.
8 MR. ZEC:
9 Q. So, Mr. Milojica, you heard Judge Orie's question. So is this
10 you what you said to the investigative judge in 1993?
11 A. No, I did not state that at all.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Zec, I'm looking at the clock. I know that
13 we are in the middle of a quotation, but nevertheless, I think we should
14 adjourn for the day because otherwise we might go well beyond our
16 Witness, we'll adjourn for the day and we'd like to see you back
17 tomorrow morning at 9.30 in this same courtroom, but before you leave I
18 instruct you that you should not speak with anyone or communicate in
19 whatever way with whomever about your testimony, whether that is
20 testimony you've given today or whether that's testimony still to be
21 given tomorrow. Is that clear to you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then you may follow the usher and we would like to
24 see you back tomorrow.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow,
2 Tuesday, the 2nd of December, 9.30 in the morning, in this same
3 courtroom, I.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of
6 December, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.