1 Monday, 30 March 2015
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 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is the case number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, Judge Fluegge is
12 not with us this morning. Travelling, he met some obstacles. That's the
13 reason why he's not back. We expect him to be back tomorrow. For this
14 reason, we'll continue to sit Rule 15 bis as we had decided to do last
15 Friday, Judge Fluegge being unable. Judge Moloto and I considered it in
16 the interests of justice to continue to hear the case.
17 Then could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
18 Meanwhile, I use the time for a few short matters or at least
19 one. The first one deals with a map which was introduced through
20 Witness Jevdjevic. It's D909. During the testimony of that witness a
21 map was marketed by the witness, uploaded into e-court, and then admitted
22 into evidence as Exhibit D909. The Chamber hereby clarifies that the
23 actual map as opposed to the scanned copy forms part of the exhibit and
24 accordingly the Registry should retain custody over it.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Pelemis.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pelemis, before we continue, I'd like to remind
4 you that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at
5 the beginning of your testimony, that you'll speak the truth, the whole
6 truth, and nothing but the truth. Mr. McCloskey will now continue his
8 Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 WITNESS: MILORAD PELEMIS [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pelemis.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Before the weekend, my colleague, Mr. Lukic, pointed out a
16 mistake I had made in a question. I want to clear that up for you and
17 for us. At page 33796, I asked you:
18 "Well, you know Erdemovic testified that you issued the orders
19 for them to go kill people so -- and you weren't interested?"
20 And you answered:
21 "I never issued that order to Erdemovic."
22 And in that question, that was not completely correct. Let me
23 clear that up and read to you what Erdemovic has actually testified to so
24 you're not misled. And on page 13756 of his testimony in this case, he
25 said, line 6:
1 "As I've said already, Brano Gojkovic came to our rooms where we
2 slept and he told me and Franc Kos and Zoran Gorenje to get ready, that
3 we were going on a mission, that Pelemis had ordered it."
4 And he went to say that at the Branjevo farm he received orders
5 to kill from Brano Gojkovic. So -- but I do want you to know that it is
6 our position that the mission that Erdemovic says you ordered through
7 Gojkovic, it's our position that when you did issue that order, you knew
8 that it was an issue -- an order to kill people. And I take it you still
9 deny that?
10 A. I again deny that I could have issued that order, especially
11 since we are talking about Brano Gojkovic, a private who has no authority
12 to command Erdemovic and Franc. Even if I had been there, certainly that
13 sequence of issuing orders would not have been right.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The only thing that was asked, whether you do deny
15 that you gave such an order. Whether you could have done it or whether
16 it should have been done, that's a different question. Please stick very
17 much to the question as put to you by Mr. McCloskey.
18 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And I take it if you say, "I couldn't have given
21 that order," that you actually want to say, "I did not give that order."
22 Is that how we have to understand your testimony?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. And you also had challenged the number of victims at the Branjevo
2 farm, and I wanted to try to clear that up. At P01 --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I don't believe we need to put this on
4 e-court, it's very short.
5 Q. At P01673, the testimony at the hearing, Rule 61, in 1996,
6 Erdemovic said that:
7 "On the 16th sometime about 1 -- somewhere about 1200, I do not
8 know. I estimate that the number according to the arrivals of the buses,
9 civilians killed."
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, if we could go to P01987. It should be
11 e-court page 41 and page 45 in the B/C/S.
12 Q. This is a report -- from a report by an investigator named
13 Dusan Janc who has assembled all the numbers of people taken out of the
14 graves at Branjevo farm and those that had been forensically connected to
15 secondary graves from Branjevo farm.
16 And after this many years, many -- many, if not all, the graves
17 associated with Branjevo farm have been exhumed, and by DNA analysis
18 individuals have been identified and counted. And we can see from this
19 report - e-court page 41 in English, B/C/S page 45 - that when -- and I
20 can say as we're waiting for that to come up, that when the grave was
21 first exhumed in 1996, 140 bodies were found. And over the next many
22 years, many secondary graves connected to that grave were found. And the
23 total, as we can see from the B/C/S on your side of the page, and this is
24 called Branjevo Pilica, was 1.751. And if -- you may know that Erdemovic
25 also testified that there were approximately 500 Muslim men being kept at
1 the cultural centre in Pilica that were also executed. And we have
2 evidence in this case that they too were buried at the Branjevo farm.
3 So if you add in that estimate -- both those estimates of
4 Erdemovic, 500 at Pilica and 1.000 to 1200 at the farm, you get almost
5 very close to the actual number that some 18 years later after the work
6 started we now have. So if that's correct, you'd have to admit that
7 Erdemovic was very good in his estimates, wasn't he?
8 A. I cannot tell precisely now either about Erdemovic or the other
9 five in Sarajevo who claimed the number was lower. But if these are the
10 statistics and they are correct, I have to agree that this is the number
11 of bodies. Now, whether the six men from the 10th Detachment executed
12 all of them or not, I can't tell, but I can't believe that six men could
13 have executed so many.
14 Q. Well, did you know that they had help from people, as described
15 by Erdemovic, that were from Bratunac, a unit that came and helped them?
16 A. From the statements of the young men who gave evidence in
17 Sarajevo, I know that some of them were also involved. I also asked in
18 February to May 1996, but they didn't know who these men were.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, where exactly are we -- are you
20 referring to the denial of the numbers, et cetera, what are we talking
21 about in terms of the statement of the witness?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have the exact reference, but I think
23 he'll agree he said that he didn't think the numbers were very high.
24 JUDGE ORIE: When did he say that?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, that was in his testimony the previous day.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, then I must have missed that. Yes. Then I'll
2 check that, because it's -- because there is -- in itself, there is not
3 much use, someone who has no direct knowledge, to go through the evidence
4 which is before the Chamber and then ask the witness to evaluate more or
5 less what is true or what is not true. That's -- if he has any personal
6 knowledge, that's fine. If he analyses the evidential materials, then he
7 can easily leave it to the Chamber.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
9 Could we go to D320 now.
10 Q. And I'm going back briefly, Mr. Pelemis, to the 11 July period,
11 and what you should see is an order. And I think we can see from the --
12 from this original Serbian, is that your signature or someone else's for
14 A. Franc Kos signed for me.
15 Q. All right. And is this an authentic document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And we see number 19 on this list, a Zoran Obrenovic.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And there was a mistake last week when I mentioned the nickname
20 of the person that slit the Muslim's throat. It was a mistake in the
21 transcripts which was cleared up by Mr. Stojanovic in Erdemovic's
22 testimony at page 13741, when he said:
23 "The incident with the killing of a male that you talked about by
24 a man named Maljic," M-a-l-j-i-c, "had already occurred before
25 General Mladic arrived; is that correct?"
1 And he said:
3 So the nickname that we are talking about is for Zoran Obrenovic
4 and it's a well-known nickname for him named Maljic; correct?
5 A. Maljic, yes.
6 Q. And that's Zoran Obrenovic's nickname?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that's the man that slit the throat of the Muslim on your
9 orders in Srebrenica; correct?
10 A. That's not the man, because that man was at the command of the
11 division in the Dom and he wasn't present at the centre. And I repeat, I
12 did not order the murder of that civilian.
13 Q. Okay. Let's go to another subject. I'm sure you'll acknowledge
14 an operation that you and your unit went on in June of 1995 through the
15 tunnel into Srebrenica town. Did you do that?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And let's go to P1585. And the second page. Go
18 to the next page, please. Page 3 in the B/C/S. And in the English, the
19 centre of the page, if we could blow that up.
20 Q. This is the UNPROFOR report on your mission.
21 "A group of unknown strength set up firing positions on two
22 locations" --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where are we reading, Mr. McCloskey?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: The right in the middle, the big middle paragraph
25 under "Reconstruction of events."
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. "... (where the launch tubes were found). They fired their
4 projectile simultaneously into Srebrenica. One man was injured when the
5 projectile struck his house. After the attack, personnel of the firing
6 teams retreated to the mine entrance under cover of mortar fire.
7 19 grenades were fired from the vicinity of the mine entrance. It is not
8 sure whether another mortar from outside the enclave delivered supporting
9 fire. The people fled from their house in Vitlovac near the mine
10 entrance in the direction of Srebrenica. They probably surprised some of
11 the people of the raid group who were waiting near the mine entrance.
12 They were shot with an M," it's unclear, "killing the woman and injuring
13 the man. The raid group probably retreated through the mine."
14 So your entrance into the mine, fired Zoljas into the town, and
15 you killed a woman on your way out.
16 A. We did not go into Srebrenica in order to fire at it. Instead,
17 we targeted the police station, the command of the brigade, and the
18 communications centre; that is to say, the post office. After the
19 completion of the operation, nobody reported to me that they had noticed
20 even one person in the street, and I don't understand how this woman came
21 to be killed. The order was, during our movement, pay special attention
22 not to fire at civilian houses. We targeted insulations of the
23 28th Division and the military authorities in Srebrenica.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, the first -- or, as a matter of
25 fact, the second line of your quote says:
1 "They fired their projectile."
2 May I take it that everyone agrees that it says "projectiles,"
3 the S is not very visible, but ...
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you very much, Mr. President, for
5 catching that.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I might also add, somewhere you said that
7 people fled. It's "two people fled," this man and that woman.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 32371.
11 Q. Can you tell us what was the purpose of this mission into
13 A. The purpose and the objective was -- since the forces of the
14 28th Division of the Muslim army kept making incursions from the area,
15 killing civilians and people around Srebrenica, the order had come that
16 we have to fire at their command in order to reduce these raids and the
17 killing of civilians in the area.
18 Q. And do you recognise the handwriting in this document? This came
19 to us from the state court.
20 A. Yes, my handwriting.
21 Q. And what is this that you're doing here?
22 A. This is about the sabotage operations that we carried out. It
23 says "Franc Kos, leader." The second member is Drazen Erdemovic,
24 Mladen Filipovic, Matija Marinovic, and Aris Leferis. That is the usual
25 composition of the 10th Sabotage Detachment.
1 Q. Well, we see there is various names, Orkan, and they are dated --
2 you've written in December 1994. And then there is one that's illegible
3 from 1995, and then there is 20 February 1995. Are these different
4 operations or ... and we can look at the next page as well.
5 A. Yes, can we go to the next page. This is not very legible. This
6 is better. Yes, this is a conventional coding of sabotage actions and
7 their participants.
8 Q. And we see the top here, "Regional Water Supply ..."
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And this document, when did you draft it? When did you draw it
12 A. Sometime after the war. After the signing of the Dayton Accords.
13 I analysed everything based on the documentation in the archives of the
14 10th Sabotage Unit.
15 Q. Where did you get the archives of the 10th Sabotage Unit?
16 A. No, this was taken from me, from my apartment, when the state
17 security services of Serbia searched my apartment.
18 Q. I thought you'd just said you'd drafted this after the war based
19 on the archives of the 10th Sabotage Detachment. My question was: Where
20 did you have access to the archives of the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
21 A. Those documents were in the 10th Sabotage Detachment when I was
22 its commander. And I wrote this during my change-over, when I was
23 removed from my position. But all the archives were in the command of
24 the 10th Sabotage Detachment. What is missing here is financial reports,
25 i.e., how much compensation each of the members received, and the report
1 of the group commander on the success of each of the actions. So that
2 would be it.
3 Q. So this water-supply, what city was that water supply for?
4 A. That was the regional water-supply for Tuzla. However, because
5 of the civilians at the reception, it was decided not to blow up the
6 water-supply itself but the bridge leading to the water-supply in order
7 to avoid casualties and substantial damage.
8 Q. Why would you blow up a water-supply in the first place for a
9 civilian town? And I -- I'm -- of course, there is military in the town
10 as well.
11 A. I don't know what my superior command in the intelligence
12 administration knew. Can you hear me? I could not discuss what the
13 administration knew and why the regional water-supply was important at
14 all. I also couldn't discuss, nor anybody could, when the television
15 building in Belgrade was bombed in 1999.
16 Q. Let's go to the next page.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just seek clarification of the last answer.
18 The bombing of the television building in Belgrade, bombing by --
19 you mean by NATO?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, why couldn't you discuss that? I mean, you're
22 not asked to discuss it, but what is it that makes you think that you
23 could not discuss that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was in a position of the
25 person who had received the order to bomb the television building. I was
1 in that position. I got an order to blow up the regional water-supply on
2 a condition that civilian casualties were avoided. The action was not
3 carried out after all. I really don't see why this water-supply should
4 appear as a problem. That never materialised.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you say you got an order to blow up the
6 regional water-supply, avoiding civilian casualties, and you didn't do
7 it. Is that -- so apparently you were in a discussion -- in a position
8 to form your own opinion on whether this was legal or not.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely. Every action, not just
10 that one. If an action targeting military targets put civilians in
11 jeopardy, then such an action would be aborted. It happened on a number
12 of occasions.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, this seems to be not exactly the same as
14 what you told us before, that you were not in a position to discuss these
15 kind of matters. Do you remember how your superiors reacted when you
16 apparently did not, as you said, follow the order?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing. There was a little house
18 next to the water-supply, there were civilians there, possibly refugees.
19 That's what we told them. There was no comment. The only reaction we
20 received was: All right, then.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Why then blow up the bridge? I mean, what was the
22 purpose. If you're ordered to blow up a water-supply and then you end up
23 blowing up a bridge, why was that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because that road was used by
25 military units.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You had not received an order to destruct the --
2 that road? To destroy that road?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but there is always an order
4 which says: If the primary target cannot be destroyed, then there is a
5 secondary target that has to be taken into consideration as a possible
6 target. And again, I'm talking about military facilities, not civilian
7 facilities or civilians.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So you specifically were instructed or ordered to
9 blow up the bridge if you couldn't blow up the water-supply?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the order was to blow up the
11 water-supply. In case that was not feasible, a minor target was
12 designated in order to inflict some damage on the Army of
14 JUDGE ORIE: Was that order given in writing?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nothing in writing.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. All right. We see in front of us under number 9, the Srebrenica
19 tunnel incursion of June of 1995. And these are your notes still, are
20 they not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And we've seen from the UN report that you managed to hit
23 civilian structures when you fired your rockets or your RPGs or your
24 Zoljas, whatever they were. What were they that you fired in -- into the
1 A. I can see that one house was hit. It was a Zolja, a
2 64-millimetre Zolja.
3 Q. And we can see here that you went into the town and your action
4 caused panic and disarray among the civilian population; is that right?
5 A. Not civilian population but the command of the 28th Division and
6 Brigade, and this was a warning to them not to make anymore incursions
7 and stop killing Serbs around Srebrenica.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, if you say "and we can see here," I
9 think from what I read nothing says that there was the -- "panic and
10 disarray was among the civilian population." So you should clearly
11 distinguish between what we see, as you put it to the witness, and what
12 may be the position of the Prosecution although which we cannot see on
13 the document. We should, in order to avoid any confusion, be clear on
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Sir, you fired your Zoljas into the town, into an inhabited
18 village, striking a house. The purpose of this was to scare the
19 daylights out of the civilians and cause panic and disarray among the
20 civilians, among the military, among everyone, wasn't it?
21 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. 50 people passed through Vidikovac between
22 Muslim houses. It was never our goal, it was never our intention to kill
23 a single civilian. If that had been our intention, we could have killed
24 all the people in the settlement. We entered through a settlement where
25 there were at least 300 or 400 people and we came back the same way.
1 Nobody was harmed. We targeted those facilities which were mapped out
2 for us, we knew what they were. If a single Zolja missed its target at
3 3.00 in the morning, it's a different story. I don't know who may have
4 fired it and how that happened, but it was not intentionally.
5 Q. So the Zolja was fired by accident, is that what you're saying,
6 not intentionally?
7 A. That Zolja was fired with an intention to strike one of the three
8 or four targets that I mentioned.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I'd offer this 65 ter 32371 into evidence.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7272, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. And let's go on to another subject and let's see your statement.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's D978. It should be page 2 in both
17 Q. We can see here in paragraph 2 that you say:
18 "From 20 May until August 1992, I was in an independent company
19 which held positions towards Kladanj."
20 And then you say:
21 "In August 1992, an assault detachment was formed based in
22 Vlasenica and I was in that detachment until March 1993," and it goes on.
23 Where were you located in this independent company say that you
24 were in from 20 May until August?
25 A. The Independent Company Pelemisi had 90 men, and it was deployed
1 on the front line in the direction of Kladanj. Our defence line was 4 or
2 5 kilometres long. We were the only village in Kladanj municipality
3 which remained standing where civilians had not been killed and where the
4 houses had not be torched.
5 Q. And to be clear, what village was that that you were talking
6 about defending?
7 A. The village was Pelemisi, 1 kilometre away from the Tuzla-Kladanj
9 Q. And so when you described your independent company, it was the
10 Independent Company Pelemisi which had 90 men?
11 A. Correct. It belonged to the 1st Birac Brigade Sekovici.
12 Q. And who was the commander of that unit?
13 A. You mean the company or the Birac Brigade?
14 Q. The Pelemisi Unit.
15 A. From the 24th of May until sometime around the 20th of August -
16 i.e., for two months - I was its commander.
17 Q. And during that time-period who was the commander of the Birac
19 A. I believe that it was Svetozar Andric.
20 Q. All right. And let's go to a map, 65 ter 32342. And so can you
21 describe this -- the village of Pelemisi? First of all, was it your
22 family village in some way?
23 A. Yes. The village had some 30 houses and it was on the front
24 line; i.e., the front line past through the first couple of houses. My
25 whole family lived there. My mother herself lived on the front line, a
1 couple hundred metres from the trench. We were attacked some five or six
2 times, and before the 1st August we'd had several dozens of killed.
3 Q. All right. And I just want to orient us a bit with this. This
4 is a map, it's from 1992.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps we could blow up the Serbian map just a
6 little bit. And unfortunately, we didn't get the English title of the
8 Q. Can you read the title of the map, the Cyrillic? Or what it
10 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is there in the English version, although
11 the English version does not -- I don't get it on my screen.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Can you read that Cyrillic title on the map?
14 A. "Deployment of troops on both sides, as at 1st November, 1992."
15 Q. Okay. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this is the bigger map, and I want to go to
17 another 65 ter that will give us a bit of a blow up which is 32343. And
18 if we could just use the Serbian map for the full screen and blow that up
19 if we can. A little bit more, please.
20 Q. You'll agree with me that in the centre of this map with a red
21 flag, it says the -- it's the Birac Infantry Brigade Sekovici?
22 A. Correct, yes.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And is it possible to blow it up a bit more. One
24 more, please. Okay. Thank you.
25 Q. Can you see Pelemisi in there? It should be -- it's right
1 between the blue and the red lines. The --
2 A. Yes, I can see that.
3 Q. Could you circle that for us?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be provided with a pen so as to
5 circle it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. All right. And a bit to the right of this, beyond the red lines,
9 we see Trnovo. Is Pelemisi considered in the general Trnovo area?
10 A. No. Before the war, Trnovo belonged to Sekovici and Pelemisi
11 belonged to Kladanj.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd like to offer this map into evidence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P7273, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. And while you were in command of this 90-person unit, did you
19 hold Muslim prisoners at Pelemisi? In the Pelemisi village or the
20 immediate vicinity of Pelemisi?
21 A. Sometime in June, the chief of the police station in Kladanj,
22 Stanimir Pelemis, and some of my relatives, since four police officers
23 were taken prisoner in Kladanj on the 23rd of May, before the conflict
24 ended, on the 24th and the 25th, when the Muslims occupied all the Serb
25 villages and all the Serbs fled, we did not have any place to accommodate
1 people and we sent them to Sekovici. Stanimir Pelemis and the relatives
2 of those who went missing from Kladanj, some 28 of them all together,
3 addressed the police station in Vlasenica and brought some six or seven
4 women and four or five men for exchange. I could not turn them down and
5 I gave them a possibility to carry out the exchange.
6 I know that on two occasions they sent Muslim women to Kladanj to
7 talk about the exchange, but it all fell through. And then I told
8 Radenko Zoranovic, since his brother and two relatives were among them,
9 and I told him if the exchange failed to return all the Muslim people
10 where they had come from. I know that the Muslim women were returned to
11 Vlasenica and the men stayed in Trnovo and joined the battalion.
12 On the 20th August, I left the area. And after that, I did not
13 have any authority nor did I know what was going on.
14 I just need to say something else. In the month of July, from
15 the direction of Vlasenica, sometime during the night two buses arrived
16 and brought Muslims, and those people from Trnovo and Pelemis escorted
17 those 120 people who went in the direction of Kladanj. After that, I
18 called the commander, Commander Andric, and I told him to warn those
19 people from Vlasenica to stop bringing people across the line, across my
20 line, because there was also a highway leading from Vlasenica to Kladanj.
21 This is all I know about the event.
22 Q. So your commander, Andric, was also aware that there were women
23 at Pelemisi at this point?
24 A. Well, I don't know whether he did. I believe that all that was
25 organised along the police line, that the Sekovici police station was
1 involved. Those were all policemen. Since I was never in Kladanj, I did
2 not know what it was all about. And they were arrested one day before
3 the operation started, and then they tried to exchange them. That never
4 materialised. And in 1997, we found them in the village of Bretelovici
5 [phoen] near Kladanj. They had all been killed.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Can I just ask a clarification, what does that mean
7 "to bring someone for exchange"? Is that you offer your own people for
8 exchange or is it that you bring persons from the opposite side and
9 suggest that they should be exchanged for your own people? What does it
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The policemen who left Kladanj and
12 found themselves in Vlasenica offered Muslims to be exchanged for the
13 Serbs who had remained in Kladanj. That's how I understood the whole
14 thing. Your Honour, we did not have any conditions. We did not have
15 even a single cellar, let alone a prison. They lived normally in a
16 place --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, you just can release them, isn't it? I
18 mean, to bring civilians for exchange means that you offered them whereas
19 they may have wished otherwise.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm only saying that they brought
21 people who said that they wanted the civilians to cross over to the
22 territory of the BiH Army. They wanted to benefit from that, to exchange
23 the Serb civilians who had remained in Kladanj.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, "exchange" means you want something in return
25 from those who you are offering. If people want to move out, why is
1 there any need for exchange? Just release civilians. Because you
2 shouldn't detain them or put them in a position where they were dependent
3 on whether or not there would be any exchange.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I had been asked, I would not
5 have brought them over. I would not have done that. But those were
6 relatives and friends of those who had stayed behind. This is what they
7 tried. And I told them that if they couldn't do it, if they could not
8 speed things along, that they should be returned to Vlasenica because
9 they were a burden for a village on the front line. I did not have food
10 for my own people, let alone others.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Was -- your own people, did they deserve food and
12 others not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. What I'm saying is that even
14 my people did not have enough. At the same time, whatever my people had,
15 they had as well. At that time, we did not have any logistics support.
16 Sekovici is a very poor municipality. Whatever stock we had was used
17 very quickly. The point that I'm making is that my own people did not
18 have enough to eat.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And as you added to that, therefore the others were
20 a burden.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even a single mouth on top of all
22 of us was a burden. I made numerous attempts to move out my own people
23 from Pelemisi, especially the old and infirm. Everybody relied on me for
24 sustenance, and I did not have enough. Sekovici was a poor municipality.
25 I begged around to see if somebody could give me flour, salt, and other
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey. Or if I say so, then
3 I haven't looked at the clock. We'll take a break first.
4 We would like to see you back in 20 minutes. You may follow the
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We are waiting for the witness to enter the
11 courtroom. Perhaps I use the time for D920, which was marked for
12 identification on the 2nd of March pending a translation. On the 10th of
13 March, the Defence e-mailed the Chamber and the Prosecution and advised
14 that a translation had been uploaded into e-court, and the Chamber would
15 like to hear from the Prosecution whether it has any objections.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE ORIE: And would not be surprised if it received that
18 information after the next break.
19 Meanwhile, Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Pelemis, on page 18 of the temporary transcript, I asked:
22 "And while you were in command of the 90-person unit, did you
23 hold Muslim prisoners in Pelemisi? Or in the Pelemisi village or the
24 immediate vicinity of Pelemisi?"
25 And you went on a bit and then said:
1 "... some 28 of them all together, addressed the police station
2 in Vlasenica and brought some six or seven women and four or five men for
3 exchange. I could not turn them down and I gave them a possibility to
4 carry out the exchange."
5 And how long did those six or seven women and four or five men
6 stay in Pelemisi?
7 A. I think the women stayed for two months and the men stayed
8 longer. They didn't want to go back to Vlasenica. They stayed at
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he said
11 about the battalion.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. You need to repeat what you said about the battalion, if
14 anything. The interpreters didn't catch it.
15 A. Yes. Later when the situation calmed down, the company became
16 part of the Trnovo Battalion. I believe that's what it was called.
17 Q. All right. Tell me the name of one or more of the women or
19 A. I don't know any names. Believe me, I really can't remember.
20 Q. You don't even know a first name of any of them?
21 A. No. No, really, I don't remember. Look, I wasn't dealing with
22 it. All I wanted was to make sure that they were safe while there, that
23 they have enough food and medicine. I had other problems because to the
24 right of me, in a 4-kilometre line it was all empty, they were attacking,
25 50 men per shift, up to 200 men in total. I had to deal with that.
1 Q. So as commander it was your duty to protect these females?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And what was the age range of these females?
4 A. If I remember well, there were two or three elderly women, there
5 were three or four young ones. The age range was 20-something to 70.
6 Q. How about 16 years old? Was there a 16-year-old?
7 A. No, there was only one child, 2 or 3 years old, that stayed
8 behind. The mother didn't want to come back for the child.
9 Q. Were some of these women, when they were in Pelemisi, raped
10 repeatedly by you and your troops?
11 A. No. Except one man came from another unit and we turned him over
12 to a different unit, I believe Pekic's company, while we were away on a
13 field mission, and we found out about what he did only when we came back.
14 And all we could do was turn him over.
15 Q. So while you were away on a field mission someone came in and
16 raped some of these women?
17 A. One, I believe. The one that we knew about complained, then we
18 found him and arrested him and turned him over to Trnovo. He was not
19 from our unit.
20 Q. So what was the name of the woman that reported she'd been raped
21 while in your protection?
22 A. I don't know exactly. I don't remember. Stanimir Pelemis was in
23 charge. He was the chief of the police station in Kladanj, and he was in
24 charge of them, he took care of them and was preparing the exchange.
25 Q. Did he rape her repeatedly?
1 A. As far as I recall, I believe it was only once. I know that my
2 men gave him a good beating, and that's why I remember that.
3 Q. Which one of your men was guarding the place where the woman, the
4 victim, was, inhabited?
5 A. I believe these were not young men. His name was Momir, I think.
6 Q. He was -- Momir was one of your men?
7 A. No, he was in the Pelemis Company, Momir Pelemis, and he reported
8 it together with them.
9 Q. Which one of your men was responsible for securing the residence
10 where the victim stayed while you were away?
11 A. I believe no one, because they were all away in the field holding
12 the line near the motorway for two ways. We were making ambushes.
13 Q. So you had six or seven women that you were responsible -- held
14 in a residence surrounded by soldiers and you had no one protecting them;
15 is that right?
16 A. No, I was not responsible directly for them. But I let the
17 police station chief to bring them to the exchange. They were in a
18 facility not together with army troops but among other civilians. It was
19 a regular house owned by a man who was a tradesman, and that's where they
20 slept, in the middle of the settlement.
21 Q. Well, I won't dwell on this but who was the man who owned the
22 house? And we understand it's your namesake village, it's a tiny
23 village, so tell us who -- who owned the house at that time?
24 A. Could it be Radan? Not a young man. And it's been 25 years, I
25 can't remember. Radan, I believe.
1 Q. The house is still there in Pelemisi, isn't it?
2 A. No, it was razed to the ground back in 1993. Like all the
4 Q. The Muslim troops overran the village and -- and then?
5 A. They took it five times.
6 Q. What's Radan's full name?
7 A. Pelemis, I believe.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 11377. This is part of a
10 Security Council report. It's an annex referred to as the "Annex to the
11 Final Report of the United Nations Commission of Experts, established
12 pursuant to the Security Council Resolution 780 of 1992." I'd like to go
13 to page 2 in both languages.
14 And we see that this is an annex of rape and sexual assault by
15 Cherif Bassiouni. It's dated 27 May 1994.
16 And if we could go to page 34 in the English, page 77 in the
17 B/C/S. And if we could blow up paragraph 139, entitled "Kladanj."
18 Q. And there is a brief description in the beginning of it,
19 describing where it is and the prewar population of 16.028. According to
20 the 1991 census, Muslims were the majority with 77.3 per cent of the
21 population. Serbs comprised 23.9 per cent.
22 And then I'll read out:
23 "According to one woman from Vlasenica, she and 42 other men,
24 women, and children were taken from Susica camp in Vlasenica on
25 10 August 1992. They were told they were to be exchanged in Tuzla.
1 However, the women and children were put into a room in a house in
2 Pelemis, Kladanj. There were about 15 women and 10 men in the basement
3 of the house. There, seven girls, ages 14 to 16, were raped two or three
4 times a week, sometimes during the day. No other women were mistreated."
5 Were you aware of this?
6 A. No, the number you cited really has nothing to do with what
7 happened while I was there. I said that there were seven to eight women
8 and there was one three-year-old child. I know about one rape and I told
9 you what I did about it and how I dealt with it.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 32355.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could I just ask for a clarification before we go
13 Sir, you said this 3-year-old child's mother didn't want to come
14 back for her. What became of the 3-year-old child finally?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The child was later returned. We
16 took her back one and a half years later.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: To where?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the place near Tuzla where the
19 exchange took place.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: To whom did you hand the child?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On our side, a family was keeping
22 her. And then after a year, when an exchange took place near Tuzla, the
23 child was probably taken back to the mother. I know that the child is
24 with her mother now and everything ended well.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not answering my question. My question is
1 to whom was the child handed when he or she was returned?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the mother, personally.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what's the name of the family that looked
4 after the child for the year and a half?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vucinovic.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what was the mother's name to whom the child
7 was handed? You should know that one.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: How do you then know that the child was handed to
10 the mother?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was told by Jerko Vucinovic, who
12 was captured in 1995, and then the mother and child came to visit him in
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have no personal knowledge of this?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, what do you want to do with the
19 expert report?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think I'll -- I don't need to enter it into
21 evidence, Your Honour, at this point.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see that numbers are referred to which are
23 not part of what is uploaded into e-court. I see number 278 at the end
24 of this Kladanj paragraph, whereas the title is 277. Is that the
25 statement of the person or what does it refer to?
1 You see, it looks as if these are footnotes but I don't find them
2 in the document as uploaded. And this, by the way, appears to be an
3 annex to the report of experts. Or an annex to something else. But ...
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I believe I'd stated it was an annex, in my
5 question, of the expert report.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course. This is very much of a summary,
7 and if there is any way you could get hold of what is apparently here
8 278, then perhaps we might have a look at it or it depends on what it
9 tells us.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, we'll look a bit further.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Especially because, of course, this report, and I
12 take it that you to some extent rely on it to the extent that you have
13 read parts of it, it's not in evidence, but, of course, it may make a
14 difference on who took a statement, if there is a statement, whether that
15 statement supports what is summarised here rather than to just take for
16 granted what is summarised.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're getting to some more information,
18 Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then if you come to that, then we'll wait for
20 that. I'm always a bit impatient perhaps now and then.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: No problem. Could we go to 65 ter 32355.
23 Q. Sir, this is a report of an organisation called ICMP, the
24 International Commission for Missing Persons. It's a "Summary Excavation
25 Report" is what it says in English, and it says: "Excavations at
1 Pelemisi, Sekovici, BiH, from 16 to 23 August 2004." And I'm not going
2 to go through all of that, but I do want to show you another -- a brief
3 map and ask you a couple of questions based on some of the information
4 that is in this report. It's 65 ter 32345.
5 And as we're waiting for this map to come up, I can tell you that
6 this report is the report of the exhumation of two mass graves. And this
7 map is a 1:25.000 scale, so as we can see at the bottom each square is
8 1 kilometre. We can see Pelemisi there. Does that look like the -- your
10 A. The village, yes.
11 Q. And I can tell you that in the green -- the little green dot at
12 the map co-ordinates 34TCQ227, et cetera, which is within about a
13 kilometre of the village of Pelemisi, there was a exhumation where
14 49 people were recovered there, with six women, the youngest being
15 16 years old. The other exhumation for the northern co-ordinate had at
16 least nine people in it, men. These were Muslim women and a girl. Are
17 these the six females you spoke about, to your knowledge?
18 A. When it comes to the mass graves, I made some inquiries with my
19 men who had been on the line as to what had happened. Sometime near
20 September or October, they noticed buses coming in the night. They
21 reported it to the superior command, requesting the command to prevent
22 those paramilitaries from Vlasenica arriving. I really don't know who
23 was buried in the mass graves.
24 Before the 22 August, when I was the Pelemisi Company commander,
25 nobody was killed because I would not allow something like that to
1 happen. But I am fully prepared to co-operate with the prosecutor's
2 office of the BiH court in their investigation as to who did that and
4 Q. Well, you were the commander of the Pelemisi Detachment in
5 October of 1992, weren't you?
6 A. No.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 32372. And for the purposes
8 of these questions, Your Honours, I don't believe it's necessary to offer
9 any of this material into evidence. I think it's clear what it is and
10 what I'm asking about, unless the Court would like it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the map in itself, we don't need that. I
12 don't know yet what all this material is, so I have difficulties in --
13 it's up to you finally, Mr. McCloskey, to tender it or not to tender it.
14 If you tender it, we include it with all its details in the evaluation of
15 the evidence. If you don't do it, then everything we know is what you
16 read from it.
17 And we take it that if something is read, Mr. Lukic, that if
18 there is no objection, that it reflects what the document tells us.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, on second thought, I -- at the end I will
20 reconsider that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I'm almost to the end, Mr. President. Thank
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. As you've acknowledged, the Muslims overran your positions, and
2 we believe this is a recovered document. Though -- you can see that this
3 is a document from the Pelemisi Detachment, your name typed into it, and
4 a signature. That's your signature, isn't it? We can blow it up a bit
5 if you want to see it more.
6 A. No, this is not my signature. However, I did issue such
7 certificates. I can give you an explanation. On the 1st of September, I
8 was appointed the commander of the assault detachment. I was in
9 Vlasenica. These are certificates for my men. They wanted to resort to
10 my influence when they addressed the authorities in Vlasenica and
11 elsewhere for the allocation of apartments, because their houses had been
12 destroyed in bombing.
13 On the 23rd of October, Pelemisi Detachment was a company, not a
14 detachment, and I was the commander of the assault detachment. And here
15 I am saying that I put my signature on the certificates because my name
16 would be their ticket to obtaining places to live.
17 Q. So this is your signature?
18 A. No, no. This is not my signature. I am saying that this
19 particular signature is not mine, but I did sign certificates of this
20 nature for my family and others. I am not denying that I issued
21 certificates of this kind because I tried to help everybody who needed
22 accommodation, but this is not the way I sign my name. Maybe somebody
23 tried to falsify my signature if they needed a house. But I'm not
24 denying that I signed such documents for my father, my uncle, and others
25 from the village because they had lost everything in the village and they
1 needed accommodation somewhere in the territory of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. So you're pretending you're the detachment commander in having
3 this kind of document?
4 A. No, I was the commander of the assault detachment. Maybe it's
5 not clear from this particular document --
6 Q. But, sir, what's very clear --
7 A. -- but from the 1st of September --
8 Q. What's very clear from this document is that this is from the
9 Pelemisi Detachment, we see that right at the top, and right at the
10 bottom it says "Detachment Commander, Milorad Pelemis." So are you
11 saying, this document, you're pretending to be the Pelemisi Detachment?
12 We've heard of the assault position.
13 A. No, I can't pretend. Everybody knew that I was the commander of
14 the assault detachment in Vlasenica. I handed over my duties on the
15 20th of August. This is not my signature. Somebody misused my
16 signature. But I did issue certificates of this kind when people needed
17 accommodation. This is not my signature.
18 If I had been offered this document to sign, I would have signed
19 it to help those people who did not have a roof over their head. My
20 mother, for example, lived 100 metres away from the front lines. She had
21 spent six months living in a cellar. Why would not -- why wouldn't I
22 have signed a document for my mother? I don't mind if somebody would
23 have signed -- forged my signature on my mother's document. What should
24 I have done, leave my mother in the cellar to starve or to be raped by
25 Muslims when they arrived?
1 Q. Tell me, if you were going to help your mother or other Serbs,
2 why wouldn't you write such a certificate with your actual position,
3 which I take was a promotion from this position? Why would you have to
4 fake it to your own people?
5 A. I'm saying that this is not my signature. It's a fake signature.
6 When I sign such a document, I signed it as the commander of the assault
7 detachment, and I stand by every such document. And this was signed by
8 somebody else because Boro Milosevic needed a house. If I had been given
9 this document to sign, I would have signed it. I repeat: I would have
10 because I wanted people to be accommodated.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, could I ask you a few questions about
12 when we started this whole exercise about who was in what position in
14 Witness, you said you made some inquiries with the men who had
15 been on the line as to what happened to those which were found in the
16 mass graves. You said:
17 "... they noticed buses coming in the night. They reported it to
18 the superior command ..."
19 Which superior command they reported the arrival of buses coming
20 in the night?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say that I had said that.
22 When the mass graves were opened in 2004, I spoke to the commanders of
23 the platoons and detachments, those who were on the line at that time,
24 and they told me that at that time vehicles would arrive from Vlasenica
25 during the night. There were police officers on those buses, and they
1 executed people from Vlasenica.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They asked for help --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please slow down and continue.
5 So: "... and they executed people from Vlasenica," and could you
6 please resume from there? Who asked for help?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our commanders and those people who
8 were on the line asked the superior command for help. They wanted them
9 to prevent the Vlasenica police from doing such things behind our line.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The question was: Which was the superior command
11 they, as you said, reported -- they reported to? Which was that superior
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The police station in Sekovici and
14 the command of the 1st Birac Brigade in Sekovici.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you said you made some inquiries with your men
16 who had been on the line. So as a matter of fact, you were the superior
17 command at that moment, not the police, wasn't it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, why do you then say "my men" if they were not
20 your men, if I understand you well?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were people who had --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The witness should slow down.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please slow down. The interpreters are
24 unable to follow you.
25 So "those were people who had," and could you resume from there.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who had been in the war with me
2 from day one. They started by defending our village from the enemy.
3 They will always be my brothers, they will always be my men. These are
4 primarily my relatives from the village. I consider them my brethren, I
5 consider them my men. They were the first line up.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Who was their superior command, if it weren't you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The battalion in Trnovo and the
8 command in Sekovici. That was the line, the Pelemisi Detachment reports
9 to the Trnovo Battalion, and the Trnovo Battalion reports to the Sekovici
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did they report in writing?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. It was the battalion
13 command that drafted its reports in writing. I am not familiar with
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you don't know, that's good enough.
16 What did you do with that information once you had received that after
17 the exhumation?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the exhumation, I spoke to
19 the investigators who were involved with the case. I told them that I
20 was willing to share with them all I knew and I had learned from the
21 people who were there and perhaps could offer some information about the
22 mass graves that had been discovered.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Investigators from what authority?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And was any statement taken from you?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They said that they would
2 send me an official invitation to come to Belgrade for an interview.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The Bosnia and Herzegovina investigators inviting
4 you to come to Belgrade. Were you living in Serbia at that time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You did not understand me. I've
6 lived in Serbia since 1982, but I told the investigators in Bosnia that I
7 was willing to help them shed light on those crimes and to tell them what
8 I learned from my men who were on the line at the time, which was in
9 autumn 1992.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Were you then invited and did you speak with them?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was told that I would be
12 informed about everything and that they would talk to me.
13 JUDGE ORIE: But it never happened. Is that what I have to
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We spoke some two years ago, and
16 then they said that they would come to Belgrade ex officio and that they
17 would talk to me. I'm still at their disposal.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Two years ago. I missed perhaps the information.
19 Do the parties have any information about when the exhumation
20 took place? It's my recollection that a date far back was used.
21 Do you -- perhaps the witness. Do you remember when that
22 exhumation took place which caused you to make further inquiries?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was shown a document just a while
24 ago, and I could see that the year was 2004. That's when the exhumation
25 took place. There was a document on the screen just a little while ago.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And that's also your recollection, that it happened
2 in 2004?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. If I had not seen the year on
4 the document, I would have completely forgotten.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And you said you'd talked to them two years ago,
6 that is, in 2013. What did you -- when did you offer your assistance to
7 the investigators?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, two years ago.
9 JUDGE ORIE: But you knew about it since most likely 2004,
10 because you said when the exhumation had taken place, you further
11 inquired into the matter and you heard all kind of things from what you
12 called your men. When was that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was immediately after the
14 exhumation. I wanted to know whether any of them had participated in
15 that. They categorically denied. And they said that the people involved
16 were from Vlasenica, from the police and some paramilitaries.
17 JUDGE ORIE: My question now is: Approximately some nine or ten
18 years elapsed since you inquired and since, as you said, you had spoken
19 to these investigators. My earlier question was: What did you do with
20 that information, and you said you talked to investigators. But do I now
21 understand that you talked after nine or ten years to investigators
22 rather than immediately after you found out?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not immediately after that. There
24 was no need because I heard from my people that had not participated in
25 that. I was not in a position to conduct an investigation in Bosnia from
2 JUDGE ORIE: You heard meanwhile that the police in Vlasenica was
3 responsible for those killings. That's what you told us. Didn't you
4 consider that relevant to bring to the attention of the investigators?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have not been in Bosnia for over
6 ten years. I don't know how I could help the investigators from
7 Belgrade. I spoke to them indirectly through my lawyers. I offered them
8 my services with regard to those two graves. The most important thing
9 for me, Your Honour, was that nobody from the Pelemis Company who was on
10 the line didn't participate in that crime. Your Honour, I'm unemployed,
11 I don't have any means to participate in any investigation, let alone an
12 investigation taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina given that I am in
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you can take the phone, call to whomever,
15 and say, "I have additional information. I learned that the Vlasenica
16 police committed those killings for which in 2004 human remains were
17 exhumed." Is that -- you don't need that much money for that, one phone
18 call, and apparently you had all the means to inquire with your men.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is where the company
20 members were at the time. I don't know who exactly from Vlasenica did
21 it. I don't know their names. They only told me that they were the
22 police and paramilitaries. I don't know what else I could say about the
23 perpetrators of the crime. I can only tell the investigators who was on
24 the line, who has some information, who may have been eye-witnesses of
25 whatever. That's the extent of my assistance to the investigators.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But what then triggered after nine or ten years to
2 speak with these investigators where for nine or ten years you considered
3 it totally useless to do that? Why then two years ago you ... what
4 happened that you got in touch with them, what happened that you started
5 offering your assistance?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing. I spoke to a lawyer from
7 Republika Srpska and he told me that if I wished to do so, I could convey
8 what I know about that crime. He gave me a number that I could call. I
9 did call it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What triggered you to be in touch with a
11 lawyer from Republika Srpska? What happened that triggered that advice?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if somebody says that there
13 was a grave in Pelemisi, it wasn't. It was between the villages of
14 Trnovo and Pelemisi in the mountains there. Well, just so that nobody
15 could say this was done in Pelemisi by the Pelemisi men. That was what
16 prompted me to do that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: But you knew that for nine or ten years already.
18 What then triggered you to go and see a lawyer in Republika Srpska after
19 having had this knowledge for nine or ten years?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not go to Republika Srpska.
21 The lawyer was in Belgrade.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You talked about a lawyer from Republika Srpska.
23 Even if you didn't see him in Republika Srpska, that's deviating from
24 what's the core of my question. What triggered you to consult a lawyer
25 from Republika Srpska?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The lawyer was there on official
2 business. We talked. I asked him whether I would be able to shed some
3 light on that crime because the mass graves had been found there. He
4 gave me a number and told me to call them because they would probably
5 want to interview me.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So if I understand you well, you just happened to
7 see a Republika Srpska lawyer in Belgrade, which you happened to have a
8 conversation with, and then you told him something which you knew already
9 for nine or ten years, and then he advised you that they would probably
10 want to interview you. Has it got anything to do with your name being
11 mentioned in proceedings in Republika Srpska which would have triggered
12 that you felt that you might have been targeted by the investigators
13 yourself and that for that reason you consulted a lawyer? Is that what
14 may have happened?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not exactly. I know that some
16 other people from Vlasenica tried to blame me to no avail, and that's the
17 part that --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that triggered you to have a conversation
19 with that lawyer. Is that well understood?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, more or less so.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Why didn't you give this answer two pages earlier?
22 Why didn't you immediately tell, "I consulted that lawyer because others
23 had mentioned my name in this context and that caused me to see this
24 lawyer," instead of saying, "I just happened to meet a lawyer and we had
25 a conversation," where apparently, if I understand you well, you sought
1 to consult that lawyer because - and there is nothing wrong with that -
2 your name had been mentioned by others who blamed you for all kind of
3 things? Why didn't you give that answer immediately?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not seek lawyers. I just
5 happened to talk to a lawyer who was in Belgrade. I talked to him and he
6 gave me advice as to what I could do in legal terms.
7 JUDGE ORIE: How did you learn that you were blamed for anything?
8 Who told you that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some lads from Vlasenica who were
10 interrogated. The investigators put questions about me as to where I was
11 at the time, which unit I commanded, and so on and so forth.
12 JUDGE ORIE: When were they interviewed?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some two, three, or four years ago.
14 I can't remember. Within the last three years.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So shortly before you had this conversation with a
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you pay the lawyer for his services, advising
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You got it for free?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: What's the name of that lawyer?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Golic.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And do you happen to know why he was in Belgrade
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was involved in a civil case.
3 He represented a company in Republika Srpska or something of that kind.
4 I did not ask too many questions. And he is from Vlasenica.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Did you contact him or did he contact you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He contacted me through friends.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And for what reason?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He suggested that we just meet up
9 since he was coming to Belgrade, and we went to a cafe and sat together.
10 But we know each other from back during the war. We knew each other only
11 superficially, though, not very well.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Are we close to break time? I'm not --
14 JUDGE ORIE: We are close to break time, and I do acknowledge
15 that when you said that you were close to the time you would finish that
16 I took -- that I postponed that moment by my questions.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nope, I -- if I could just offer that document
18 into evidence. It is 65 ter 32372.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7274, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I have another document or two and a very
23 short video-clip, and so I think I should be done in ten minutes if ...
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we could continue for another ten minutes
25 which would give you an opportunity to know all of the cross-examination
1 before you start the re-examination, but I'm quite willing to take the
2 break now immediately and perhaps you want to consult with Mr. Mladic.
3 MR. LUKIC: I don't know how my colleague would like to proceed.
4 It's his --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. LUKIC: And I don't --
7 JUDGE ORIE: And that's one. And second, Mr. McCloskey --
8 MR. LUKIC: I don't mind to continue [overlapping speakers] --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ten minutes of Mr. McCloskey is not necessarily
10 always ten minutes.
11 Mr. McCloskey, shall we continue -- shouldn't we continue after
12 the break?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's continue after the break.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: That way I'll try to un-McCloskey-ise my
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was nevertheless happy with the ten minutes
18 announced and I would encourage you to make it really ten minutes.
19 We take a break and we will resume at quarter past midday, after
20 the witness has left the courtroom.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Recess taken at 11.53 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.20 p.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: There was a matter to be raised by the parties but
25 not immediately, if I understand well.
1 MR. TIEGER: That's correct, Mr. President. I understand the
2 Defence also had something to raise. Mr. Registrar suggested that we
3 both wait until after the witness concluded his testimony.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And there was one outstanding -- I think it was
5 about the D920, whether there were any objections to the new translation.
6 MR. TIEGER: That was one of the issues. Since the Court raised
7 it now, I can tell you that we have no objection to the translation
8 itself. However, we, despite our efforts, have been unable to find the
9 point during his testimony when the witness discussed the actual document
10 and would therefore ask the Defence for the page reference with respect
11 to that particular document.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that you'll provide that, Mr. Lukic,
14 to the Prosecution.
15 Meanwhile, Mr. McCloskey, your ten minutes have started, I think.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Sir, you'd just said back, I believe page 40 to 41:
18 "Some other people from Vlasenica tried to blame me."
19 Blame you for what?
20 A. In relation to those graves that were found in Kladanj, behind
22 Q. Give me the names of the people that you believe have blamed you
23 for the crimes associated with the graves.
24 A. I don't want to give the names. I'll tell the investigators.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, would you please answer the question that was
1 put to you by Mr. McCloskey. If there is any specific reasons why you
2 don't want to give those names in a public session, you can ask for
3 private session, but you are -- you have to answer that question.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not 100 per cent certain about
5 all of them. When I get some certainty, I will provide their names. I'm
6 not sure at this moment that some of those people tried to shift the buck
7 onto me.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, we are not going to wait until you have your
9 certainty as you wish to seek it. The names you are aware of, even
10 though you are not certain yet, we'd like to hear them.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I have only one name, a man
12 called Kraljevic from Vlasenica, whom I know only slightly. I heard that
13 he had given a statement and that he wants to shift responsibility to me.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You say: "When I get some certainty I'll provide
15 their names," so apparently you have more names on your mind. Could you
16 give us the other names, even though not being certain, but what you are
17 aware of at this moment as the names of persons that may have blamed you
18 for something.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you now. I remember
20 now only the name of this Kraljevic who tried to shift some
21 responsibility onto me. But when I go back home, I'll try to get all the
22 names. Because I really don't know people from Vlasenica. We don't have
23 good contacts at all. For instance, from 1993 to this day, my mother got
24 housing only three months ago. Until now, she lived in community
25 housing. And she got an apartment now only because she had suffered a
1 stroke. If I had any contacts there, I would have secured an apartment
2 at least ten years ago.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's -- however important it may be, it's not
4 directly related to my questions. I offered to you that you could give
5 the names in private session or at least that we would consider that if
6 you would have asked for it. You preferred not to do that. I repeat
7 that if any of the other names, and you told us about names, in the
8 plural, that if you would like to move into private session to give the
9 other names, that we would consider that.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no need. For now I know
11 only the name of Mico Kraljevic. I cannot allow myself to make a
12 mistake. There was a lot of talk. But about this one name, I heard
13 about him from many different people. I tried even to discuss it with
14 him, but he avoids seeing me. I am sure that he tried to shift some
15 blame onto me.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could I read part of one of your previous answers.
17 You said:
18 "I'm not a hundred per cent certain about all of them. When I
19 get some certainty, I will provide their names," in the plural.
20 Your most recent answer that you don't remember the other names
21 at least requires some explanation in view of your previous answer. If
22 you want to give that, you can do it now. Otherwise, I'll invite
23 Mr. McCloskey to proceed.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Honestly, Judge, I'm sure about
25 this man. As for the rest, you know, it's he says, she says. I would
1 like to run my own checks. I don't want to blame falsely other people.
2 I'm certain about this one and I invited him to come and talk to me. As
3 for others, I don't know. For now I have only one name.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You say "I don't want to blame falsely other
5 people." If you have no names, you couldn't even do that. I asked you
6 for an explanation. The explanation you've given is on the record.
7 Mr. McCloskey may proceed.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Are you refusing to give us names of such people, particularly
10 Muslim names, so that you are free to intimidate them or greater in case
11 a case against you comes to trial?
12 A. I don't understand. What Muslims? I don't understand the
14 Q. You're not aware that any Muslims have made any allegations
15 against you regarding the killings and rapings in Pelemisi?
16 A. No. I really have no contact with them, and I don't know anyone
17 who would know me from Vlasenica.
18 Q. So all these years, from 1992, with all the statements and all
19 the reports, you're not aware of any Muslims that have said anything
20 against you regarding the crimes in the summer and fall of 1992 in
22 A. No.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I would like to offer into
24 evidence, given this involved testimony of the excavation, the short
25 summary excavation report, which is 65 ter 32355.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we will get a B/C/S translation.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You read the mind, at least, of the Registrar.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We will mark it for identification.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI P7275, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Marked for identification.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would also like to enter into evidence
11 65 ter 32345, and that would be the map that identifies the co-ordinates
12 of the mass grave within -- one of them within the kilometre of Pelemisi.
13 That's the co-ordinates provided in the report.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the number would be?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7276, Your Honours.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And --
17 JUDGE ORIE: And that is the map. Is that the one marked -- no,
18 that's not the one marked by the witness. No. The --
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: The one marked is already in evidence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is already in evidence. With his markings?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it's only the one with the markings.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, Exhibit P7276 is admitted into
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And lastly as a document into evidence, the brief
1 segment of the annex of the Bassiouni report, 65 ter 11377, and we will
2 continue to look if -- see if there is more information on that
3 particular incident that's within the main body of the report.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the brief segment has been uploaded as
5 such? Because it's a lengthy document, the whole of the annex, and we
6 only need ... then we'll reserve a number for the page -- or Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: We would object, Your Honour, to admission of part of
8 this report since there is no way for us at this moment to check anything
9 on that. There is no names, there is nothing. So if there is some
10 follow-up documentation, we can consider it. But right now to have just
11 this paragraph into evidence, what can we do with that? There is
12 somebody taking some statements from somebody. And allegedly --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
14 MR. LUKIC: -- condensed --
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- I was only at the point that I said we have dealt
16 with only one page. So the first question I put was whether the single
17 page had been uploaded, and then of course we would consider whether it's
18 ready for admission, yes or no. And you may have noticed that the
19 Chamber, by asking for an explanation of what looks as footnotes, had
20 thoughts which go in the same direction as you have.
21 What we could do is to reserve a number and then leave it to the
22 parties later to exchange views on admission. And perhaps that is better
23 done once you have clarified the footnote issue, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. That's a good idea. I'm --
25 JUDGE ORIE: And then the Defence would know what material
1 underlying the report exists and on what the report relies. I think
2 there were two footnotes in the relevant paragraph. And we'd just
3 reserve a number for the time being and then further hear the parties on
4 admissibility of that portion and possibly any underlying documents.
5 Mr. Registrar, the number reserved for an extract still to be
6 made from this annex of the UN report of experts would be?
7 THE REGISTRAR: P7277, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Is reserved for this purpose.
9 Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
11 Q. And, Mr. Pelemis, do you recall attending a one-year anniversary
12 of the 10th Sabotage Detachment in Vlasenica? General Krstic attended,
13 Vujadin Popovic attended, and others.
14 A. I do.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: This will be the last exhibit. It's
16 65 ter 26123C. Janet can play that for us. And there should be
17 subtitles, so we should only play it once. I may ask it be stopped a
18 couple of times.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, subtitles are in English?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And do they -- is it comment or is it the --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be dialogue.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It should be a dialogue. And then of course whether
24 the subtitles accurately interpret what is said has not been verified
25 then yet.
1 Therefore, since there are subtitles and therefore there is a
2 kind of an interpretation, Mr. Lukic, I would like you to carefully look
3 at whether you have any concerns about the accuracy of the English text
4 below, and then at this moment we'll just rely on what is written there
5 up till the moment that we hear from you. And then if it's -- if it will
6 be admitted, it's part of the evidence.
7 Do you have a transcription of the footage if you would tender
8 this later?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. And the booths have it. And I know
10 Mr. Lukic can contact Mr. Stojanovic. This has been -- this transcript
11 and this footage has been around for quite a while.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then let's look at it and see whether we can
13 do with one round of playing it.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. Who are these fellas?
17 A. These are members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We stopped at 13.7 seconds.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. And can you identify the -- we're at 26.1 now. Can you identify
24 the individuals in this frame? If you could begin with the person first
25 in the frame with the moustache.
1 A. I remember his name was Savo, and he was doing bureaucratic work
2 in the unit. On the left of him is General Krstic, and after Krstic
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's continue.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We stopped at 26.1.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. We -- you may be able to hear, we can see from the English
9 subtitles that this is a promotion to the rank of reserve infantry
10 sergeant to Drazen Erdemovic; is that correct?
11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, the B/C/S has not gotten to that point
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Then we continue to play it from
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Stopping at 1:00.8.
17 Q. So was that correct? Was the announcement of a promotion for
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's continue.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. Can you tell who that is at 1:08.6?
24 A. Second-Lieutenant Franc Kos.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: So we're at 02:28.1.
2 Q. And we've just heard General Krstic pass on the acclaim for you
3 from the commander, and that would have been General Ratko Mladic;
5 A. Yes. Krstic was representing the commander at that time, because
6 everybody was engaged in Western Krajina, so Krstic came on behalf of the
7 command to participate in our celebration.
8 Q. So in October of 1995, when Krstic passes on these words from
9 General Mladic, all the Muslims had been dead and buried at the Branjevo
10 farm for many months; correct?
11 A. Well, three or four months, yes.
12 Q. And this would have been something that General Mladic would have
13 been fully aware of in October 1995?
14 A. I don't know what General Mladic was aware of.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing further, Mr. President. And I would like
16 this segment in. We can -- it's a bit longer than it is here, but
17 this -- I think this will do it and we'll get that set up so we have a
18 good number for it.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No speaking aloud, Mr. Mladic.
20 Apparently Mr. Mladic wants to consult with counsel, which he can
21 do at inaudible volume. And we'll wait to start with the re-examination
22 until the consultation has been completed.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. LUKIC: Bear with me, Your Honours, for half a minute.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We will.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, this is number 26123C. If we
2 could get a number for that, I think we'd be in good shape.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm always a bit concerned in portions were
4 not played in court and are nevertheless in evidence. Could you tell us
5 what is left out, Mr. McCloskey?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: There is only 45 seconds left. If that comes
7 within my ten minutes, we can play it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm afraid that verifying it another way would
9 take far more time. So let's have a look at the last 45 seconds.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. Starting on the far left of the frame, that's Svetozar Kosoric,
13 chief of intel for the Drina Corps?
14 A. No, Kosoric was in the radio intelligence section of the
15 Drina Corps.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, I thought that when we would look at the
17 last 45 seconds that there would be no further questions about it. But
18 if you want to identify persons, leave it to that. That's okay, as far
19 as I'm concerned.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Certain people I can't resist, Mr. President.
21 Q. Can you tell us the next one that's in this photograph, the
22 second person from the left?
23 JUDGE ORIE: You mean the person in the second row?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: He looks like he's standing behind the --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's Popovic, the security man
2 from the Drina Corps.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. And we had stopped at 02:44.7. And
4 we can continue.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then, let me see whether a number was already -- no,
7 no number was yet assigned.
8 Mr. Registrar, 26123C would receive number?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7278, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
11 Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: May I?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may proceed.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pelemis, good day.
17 A. Good day.
18 MR. LUKIC: If we can have D320 on our screens, please.
19 Q. [Interpretation] The Prosecutor asked you today about this
20 document. You said it was signed Franc Kos. This is an order to march.
21 How many groups do you see on that list and who are the leaders of the
23 A. I see three groups. Group one, that's first squad,
24 Second-Lieutenant Franc Kos. It has seven men. The second group,
25 Drazen Erdemovic.
1 Q. Just speak slowly.
2 A. Second group, Drazen Erdemovic. It has ten men. And
3 the third combat group, a squad, Luka Jokic, sergeant, about ten men.
4 Q. Did you remove Drazen Erdemovic's rank?
5 A. I never gave it to him, so it was not up to me to remove it. It
6 was the personnel administration of the Main Staff that did that.
7 Q. On the 10th of July, 1995, when the relevant events took place,
8 was Drazen Erdemovic a sergeant as it says in the document or not, as he
10 A. He signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence, i.e., the
11 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, and that's where he was given
12 his rank. This was one rank, and then he was promoted as we could see in
13 the video-clip and he became a staff sergeant. But if you are asking me
14 specifically about the 10th of June, he was sergeant by rank.
15 Q. Did you say "June" or "July"?
16 A. July. I'm looking at the document. It was issued on the 10th of
17 July, 1995.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now I'd like to call up P1585.
19 Q. I would like to jog your memory about something. This is a
20 report by DutchBat staff.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We are interested in page 2. I
22 apologise. It should be page 3 in B/C/S.
23 Q. Look at the title, "Reconstruction of Events." As you heard, a
24 woman was killed and a man was wounded.
25 I would also like to show you another document about that, P1588.
1 We can see that this was sent by the intelligence administration of the
2 sector for intelligence and security of the Main Staff of the Army of
3 Republika Srpska on 21 June 1995. This is an order for the engagement of
4 the 10th Sabotage Detachment.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In B/C/S, we are on a good page. And
6 in English, we need to go to the next page. We're interested in bullet
7 point 6.
8 Q. It says, under 6:
9 "In carrying out the task, strictly adhere to the following:"
10 The first entry:
11 "There should be no danger to UNPROFOR members;"
12 The second entry:
13 "Avoid causing casualties among women and children;"
14 And this relates to what operation?
15 A. The passage through Sase mine and fire opened on the targets of
16 the 28th Division on the 23rd of June, 1995.
17 Q. Were men kept abreast of those items in the order?
18 A. Yes. Before they entered the mine in Sase, I read them to my
20 Q. Under 3, I can see in the case of wounding or death of any
21 detachment member, their bodies have to be salvaged at all costs. No
22 member of ours should fall into the enemy hands.
23 A. That was a rule for every unit. Even if five died, we had to
24 salvage their bodies, all of them.
25 Q. We were shown the maps of Pelemisi and the area around it. I
1 believe that something was not recorded precisely on page 16, line 25,
2 where you mentioned the number of dead in defence. When you were in
3 charge of the defence of Pelemisi village, how many people got killed?
4 A. 49 or 50, between the 24th of May and the 20th of August. And
5 that concerns all the fighters in my units and those who arrived to help
6 us. All in all, about 50 got killed during that period of time.
7 Q. On transcript page 20, line 12, you started saying something
8 about the people who were accommodated in the village who had been
9 brought there to be exchanged. You said that you did not have any
10 conditions in place. You didn't even have -- and the rest of your answer
11 was not recorded.
12 A. We did not have any logistics support. This is what I meant to
14 Q. Did you have cells where people could be kept in that village?
15 A. No, we just had simple houses and they were all inhabited by the
16 local population.
17 Q. In other words, those people who had been brought there, were
18 they accommodated in empty houses or were -- did they join the Serbs
19 living in them?
20 A. I believe that that guy lived there and then he moved in with his
21 brother, so those people were accommodated in his house.
22 Q. And how long did the people stay there?
23 A. Perhaps 15 or 20 days while I was there. Or perhaps up to a
24 month. And then after all the exchange attempts failed, they were taken
25 back to Vlasenica. At that time in Kladanj, we had 220 Serbs in various
1 camps, and we didn't know what was happening to them. And that attempt
2 to exchange those people and save them, that was what the former police
3 station in Kladanj was in charge of.
4 Q. And those people who were accommodated in that house, who
5 provided food for them?
6 A. Well, one day it was one house and the other it was another. As
7 they got friendlier with the people, they would provide for them, and the
8 military did the same at the time. Everybody made do as they could.
9 Q. And now I'm going to have another intervention on the transcript.
10 It doesn't mean anything to you when I say page 23, line 23. You said
11 50 men in a shift. A total of -- how many men did you have in total?
12 A. No, if I say that we had 90 people in the list, 45 would be in
13 positions and 45 would be resting either for two hours or seven hours,
14 which means that the line was 5 kilometres long and it was manned by
15 45 men at the time, and that means that defence opportunities were slim.
16 That's why I was on the line 24/7, to keep vigil, to keep my men awake,
17 and to make sure that we were not surprised by the enemy.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I would like to return to the previous
19 subject which you have apparently concluded.
20 You answered questions about a number, if I understand it well, a
21 considerable number of persons who would be -- who were to be exchanged,
22 and then you were asked where they were accommodated, whether it was in
23 empty houses, and whether they did join the Serbs living in those houses.
24 And then your answer was:
25 "I believed that that guy lived there and then he moved in with
1 his brother, so those people were accommodated in his house."
2 Do I understand that that guy who lived there, was that a Muslim?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he was a Serb.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Now, the person who moved in, therefore,
5 being his brother, was a Serb as well?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I understood that the people we were talking
8 about were Muslims to be exchanged, so I'm a bit surprised by those
9 answers, first of all, because you're referring only to one person where
10 we are talking about many more; and second, that I do not understand if
11 asked about accommodation of those persons who were there to be
12 exchanged, how that would be Serbs. Do you have an answer to the two
13 questions; first of all, that you were talking only about the
14 accommodation of one person, and second, how a Serb could be among those
15 to be exchanged? Perhaps you start with the first question.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me clarify. When the six or
17 seven women were brought to Pelemisi to be exchanged, a man, who was a
18 Serb, who was the owner of a house, abandoned his house and gave it to
19 the people who were supposed to be exchanged, and he was the one who
20 moved in with his brother to the house adjacent to his own house. He
21 left the house because he didn't want to be a man among the women, but he
22 was the one who help them clean the house and all the hygiene
23 requirements and things like that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I think that clarifies the second question
25 I had as well. So that is clear now.
1 One other question is: They wanted to move to the other side of
2 the confrontation line, those women?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They wanted to either go home
4 and it was left to us to exchange them one-for-one. But the main purpose
5 of the police station in doing that was to learn about the lot of the 220
6 people, our own Serbs, that I mentioned, because nothing was known about
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So these women, as a matter of fact, as you
9 explain it, were dependent on whether there would be an exchange, whether
10 the other party would agree to such an exchange. And if not, they
11 couldn't go where they wanted to go; isn't it?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Muslim side declined to
13 agree to the exchange.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And these women had to pay the price for that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. As far as I know, they were
16 allowed to go back to Vlasenica, or rather, the driver, Radenko Zoranovic
17 and another lad took them back to Vlasenica.
18 JUDGE ORIE: But I do understand that they stayed for two months
19 in a place waiting for the outcome of the -- the outcome of the talks for
20 an exchange?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not receive the
22 interpretation of your question, or rather, I only received the
23 interpretation of half of it.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I will repeat it. I said: But I do understand that
25 they stayed for two months in a place, and I meant that house, waiting
1 for the outcome of the talks, the negotiations, for an exchange?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Have you considered to just let them go to the other
4 side, if that's what they wished?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was later decided in
6 consultations with Stanimir to take them back to Vlasenica because when
7 our men saw that nothing would come out of all that, that's what they
8 offered them as a solution and they agreed to go back home.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did you offer them to go to the other side without
10 an exchange just because they wished to go there?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when our men learned that
12 there would be no use of them, they told them that they could go either
13 to the Kladanj or to Vlasenica and then they chose to go back to
14 Vlasenica. Your Honour, I had three or four prisoners, and later they
15 strung me along for months, and eventually what happened was that I made
16 a decision and let them go. First we talked for two or three months and
17 then they didn't want to exchange those soldiers for our men.
18 JUDGE ORIE: These three or four prisoners you are talking about,
19 who were they?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were members of the BiH Army.
21 One was taken prisoner in Kalesija, the other in Olovo, one in Zvornik.
22 They are still alive and they work in the Federation of Bosnia and
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you this because you apparently make a
25 comparison between a situation where six civilian females are waiting for
1 the results of an exchange negotiation, and the other situation where you
2 are talking about prisoners of war. Do you have any explanation as why
3 you compare the two, which suggests that their situation is to some
4 extent the same?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I'm saying is that the other
6 side didn't want to talk to us. I also mention that I myself had three
7 prisoners, soldiers of the BiH Army, and I offered to exchange them for
8 just one member of the Serbian army and they declined that. So I was
9 simply forced to let them go.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. If we can go back to D320,
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pelemis, we shall go back to that document
14 listing men involved in the march of your unit. After the operation,
15 after the entry into Srebrenica, where were your men deployed? Who
16 stayed? Who moved on?
17 A. Which day?
18 Q. On the 12th, when it ended.
19 A. Sometime around 10.00 on the 12th, I received orders from the
20 Drina Corps that my activities related to the resubordination to the
21 Drina Corps shall stop at 1200 hours. Then I called the administration
22 in Crna Rijeka, and the duty officer told me Salapura was absent and that
23 he would inquire what to do next. A little bit later, he called me up
24 and said that the unit should take furlough for a few days and then
25 gather in Bijeljina in order to go to the area of the Herzegovina Corps
1 in Kalesija.
2 When we were in Srebrenica, we lined up next to the warehouse of
3 the Red Cross, and I told my men, "Now we are going along the axis
4 Srebrenica-Zeleni Jadar-Milici, et cetera. We shall lay down our
5 equipment and you are all free to go until the 12th of July when we all
6 need to assemble in the barracks."
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be told to slow down.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you should slow down for the interpreters.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Just a moment. What we have on the record is that you told them
11 they were free until the 12th of July.
12 A. Until the 22nd.
13 Q. Go on, but please slow down.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to the form of the question. Go on,
15 what? We could go on forever.
16 MR. LUKIC: I was just interrupting the witness to correct this
17 date, when he was talking about the 22nd of July, when they had the task
18 to assemble in the barracks. As of 12th, he has to continue, who was
19 where. I asked who was where after the 12th. That was my initial
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see what your original question was. The
22 question was:
23 "Where were your men deployed? Who stayed? Who moved on?"
24 And then you interrupted him. He was in the midst of answering
25 that question, although you could have perhaps taken him back more
1 quickly to who had stayed and who moved on rather than to let the witness
2 explain exactly by what route, et cetera, et cetera. So if you could
3 take control again.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But in view of the interruption, there was nothing
6 wrong with saying, "please go on." But please give some more guidance to
7 the witness.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Pelemis, tell us, do you know who went where after the 12th?
10 A. To the best of my knowledge, all the men on this list, the 26 we
11 see here, most of them had left on the evening of the 12th to Bijeljina,
12 to Vlasenica. They went on furlough. When Dragan Todorovic tried to
13 organise the funeral and the departure for Trebinje, a little later he
14 found three or four or five men who were available to go to the funeral.
15 And the four or five men who stayed were sent to the villages around
16 Srebrenica to collect food and equipment for the house. That's what I
17 was told.
18 Why, for instance, the 16th? On the 16th only this crew was
19 there. They had come back from the funeral or they had returned from
20 their trips to villages where they collected food. But 80 per cent of
21 the men did take furlough as they had been told.
22 Q. On the 16th, the men who went to Branjevo, did they go -- did
23 they belong to one squad? How did they come to form this group?
24 A. Looking from here, Franc Kos, 1st Platoon, 1st Squad;
25 Brano Gojkovic, 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon; Drazen Erdemovic, 1st Squad of
1 the 1st Platoon; Goronja, 2nd Squad of the 2nd Platoon; Stanko Savanovic,
2 he was from the 3rd Squad of the 2nd Platoon; Vlastimir Golijan, 1st
3 Squad, 1st Platoon. So they were gathered from different groups.
4 MR. LUKIC: I can see it's the break time, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How much time would you still need, Mr. Lukic?
6 MR. LUKIC: I think I should finish in the next 15 minutes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: 15 minutes.
8 MR. LUKIC: 15.
9 JUDGE ORIE: 15. Mr. McCloskey, not knowing what the 15 minutes
10 will be about, but as far as you can estimate now?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one very short clarification on something.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I think we should not yet release the
13 next witness. We should start with the next witness after the conclusion
14 of this testimony.
15 We'll take a break, Witness. You may follow the usher and we'll
16 resume at 20 minutes to 2.00.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take the break.
19 --- Recess taken at 1.20 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. If we can have on our
24 screens P1673, please. It's a statement by -- actually, yeah, testimony
25 of Drazen Erdemovic in Rule 61 proceeding. I'll need to start from
1 page 9, line 20, please.
2 Q. [Interpretation] I will ask you something about your knowledge as
3 to the allegations of Drazen Erdemovic. From line 20. I will read in
4 English, so you will get the correct interpretation.
5 [In English] "Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I now would like to turn your
6 attention to 16th of July and ask you whether on that day you and other
7 soldiers in your unit received orders to participate in a special
9 And there is --
10 MR. LUKIC: We need next page, line 10, because there was some
11 discussion in between.
12 Q. The question continues at line 1:
13 "Did you receive orders at all that day from anybody in relation
14 to a task or a mission that ultimately you went on?
15 "A. Yes.
16 "Q. From whom did you receive that orders?
17 "A. From the group commander, Brano Gojkovic."
18 Line 7:
19 "Q. Did he normally give your unit orders to perform certain
20 missions or was this an exception?
21 "A. Yes, it was an exception."
22 [Interpretation] Mr. Pelemis, let me ask you this: According to
23 you in the group that included Franc Kos and Drazen Erdemovic, to the
24 best of your knowledge, could that group be commanded by Brano Gojkovic?
25 A. Never.
1 Q. To the best of your knowledge, who should be in command of that
2 group which included Franc Kos and Drazen Erdemovic?
3 A. In keeping with our hierarchy, Franc Kos was in charge of
5 Q. Thank you. Let us now see further on, from line 18 onwards. The
6 question goes:
7 [In English] "Q. In response to the orders" --
8 I quote:
9 "In response to the orders that you received on 16 July,
10 Mr. Erdemovic, where did you go next?
11 "A. We went to Zvornik, and Brano Gojkovic and the driver
12 reported to a lieutenant-colonel whose name I do not know."
13 MR. LUKIC: Then we'll have to go to the next page. Line 9 and
15 "Q. After there were some conversations between Brano and
16 lieutenant-colonel, what happened next?
17 "A. They told us to sit in the car and to accompany the vehicle
18 with the lieutenant-colonel and the two military policemen. We went from
19 Zvornik in the direction of Bijeljina, and on the road we stopped at a
20 farm that was at a place called Pilica."
21 Then we need the next page, line 10, please. The end of the --
22 that row, it starts "After ..." so it's:
23 "Q. After you arrived at that farm, Mr. Erdemovic, did you
24 receive additional orders from your superiors?
25 "A. I personally did not, but I heard when Brano and the
1 lieutenant-colonel were talking, saying that buses would be coming to the
3 "Q. In relation to those buses, did you receive any additional
5 "A. Afterwards when the lieutenant-colonel left, Brano said that
6 buses would be coming with Muslims from Srebrenica.
7 "Q. Did he say what you and the members of your unit were
8 supposed to do regarding those Muslims from Srebrenica?
9 "A. Yes.
10 "Q. What did he say?
11 "A. That we have to execute those people, to shoot them.
12 "Q. When you say 'he' told you you had to shoot them, for the
13 record, who was that, if you could identify him by name?
14 "A. Brano Gojkovic."
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pelemis, from what you know, who gave the
16 orders to move, who approved the issuing of equipment, and who was the
17 commander of the group when receiving orders in Zvornik?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a three-part question. And
20 also the foundation. You know from what?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could you lay a foundation for the
22 knowledge of the witness, and that may perhaps be different for the
23 various questions, and split them up.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You've told us that Brano Gojkovic, in your view, could not
1 command that group that included Franc Kos and Drazen Erdemovic. You've
2 told us that, in your opinion, that group could only be commanded by
3 Franc Kos. Do you know who issued the order for that group to move, that
4 group that was made up of different squads of your detachment?
5 A. From Dragan Todorovic, the logistics man of the
6 10th Sabotage Detachment who was in the unit on the 16th, I learned that
7 the vehicle and the equipment normally issued to one squad was taken over
8 by Second-Lieutenant Franc Kos and that their assignment was to go to the
9 command of the Zvornik Brigade to receive further orders.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just understand what the equipment was,
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The standard equipment for one
13 infantry squad: A case of ammunition, one machine-gun, and eight
14 automatic rifles.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: Can we have -- we tried yesterday to see something on
17 the video P1147, and it was video. I'll try to replace it by one still
18 from that video. It's 1D5380. So if we can have that one on our
19 screens, please. Can we enlarge just the picture, please.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, as we were watching the video, you
21 told us that you saw that the man had been wounded in the back. Although
22 the quality of the video is not perfect, would you say that the
23 blood-stain is visible on this man's back?
24 A. Yes, I stand by my assertion that the man was wounded in the
1 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether that was on the basis of
2 you identifying a blood-stain on the back of that person as is shown to
3 us now in the photograph. That was the question. Not whether you still
4 think that he was shot in the back.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I believe that he was hit in
6 the back, and I base that on the blood-stain or blood-stains on his back.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. If he had been shot in the chest, would he still have wounds in
9 the back?
10 A. Yes. Those would be entry/exit wounds.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
12 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- of course if you want to continue like this, use
14 your time as you wish, but of course if I'm shot in the chest, whether
15 there is a bullet-hole in my back, you couldn't tell. The bullet could
16 have stopped, the bullet could have deviated. There are many, many, many
17 possible explanations which usually are dealt with by experts who have
18 carefully examined the body so therefore --
19 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] -- yesterday this witness
20 said: I am not sure because -- this is what I conclude from the photo,
21 and he --
22 JUDGE ORIE: You ask him now if he had been shot in the chest,
23 would he still have wounds in the back. There is no way that this
24 witness could answer that question. If you would have asked him if
25 you're shot in the chest, does that necessarily mean that there is no
1 bullet-hole on the back? That's a different question, still for an
2 expert, but I think that many who have often dealt with these kind of
3 matters, even if not full experts, could come up with an answer as the
4 witness gave us. But let's try to remain serious for ourselves.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Mr. President. Still, I would offer this
7 photo into evidence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: It's a still from the video.
9 MR. LUKIC: It's the same video, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can the witness, before it goes into evidence --
12 MR. LUKIC: Actually, I can tell you this still is made by the
13 Prosecution, and it was introduced in Tolimir case.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's in this case, too. It's in the still book.
16 MR. LUKIC: Maybe.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: P01148.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore most need to have it in evidence if
19 that's --
20 MR. LUKIC: Absolutely no need.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So let's proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: But before it goes away from the screen, could the
24 witness identify to us the blood-stain that is on the back and how we
25 determine what is the back?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the middle of the back ...
2 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, somebody has to help the witness with a
3 pen. He pressed the screen and it was just blown up.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The witness marked the photograph, and I take it
5 that you want to tender that, Mr. Lukic?
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D979, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Still from a video marked by the witness admitted
10 into evidence.
11 Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I've just been informed, I was -- we were
13 wrong about that. This was not -- it was in the Tolimir book, not in the
14 Mladic book. So -- but we now have it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We have it now, so please proceed.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours. And the second part of
17 Judge Moloto's question, how it is visible that this person is on --
18 lying on his stomach, it's much better visible from the video, and
19 yesterday we saw it that he's --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are looking at this exhibit now. I am aware of
21 that. I'm asking about this exhibit.
22 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, if you want to ask the witness so he can answer
23 that part of the question.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I did ask the question.
25 Do you want me to repeat it, sir? How do you determine that this
1 person is lying on his tummy?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can see in the photo that
3 he is on his stomach.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you see?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see blood-stains in the
6 middle of the back, which indicates that he was wounded in the back.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're answering a different question. You did
8 tell us that he's got blood-stains on the back. I'm asking you how do
9 determine that that is his back. You can't say it's his back because
10 it's got blood-stains.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my view, as I'm looking at this
12 photo, I think that the man is lying on his stomach.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That's everything.
14 Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And I just have another
16 topic and I'll hopefully finish soon.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But it means that the next witness can be
18 excused anyhow that's -- because we'll not start his testimony today.
19 MR. LUKIC: My colleague Ivetic will inform our case manager, so
20 it will be done. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Can we have on our screens 1D5378, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Earlier today, Mr. Pelemis, you mentioned a
23 person called Stanimir Pelemis.
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. We can see his statement here. He gave it to the CSB Zvornik.
1 He spoke about attacks against Pelemisi village.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the English version, please.
3 MR. LUKIC: There is no English translation. We need next page
4 from this statement, please.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you then first identify with the witness what
6 it is, what we're looking at at this moment?
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you -- sorry. Can we go back, please.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first see whether the witness has -- have you
9 seen this document before, Witness?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then please introduce the document, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: I will. Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] This is a statement provided on the 11th of
14 July, 1994, by Stanimir Pelemis, son of Stevan, mother's name Danica. He
15 talks about war crimes, the war crimes that happened in Jelacici and
16 Pelemisi and he provides a statement. Earlier today you told us that the
17 village had been attacked five times or, rather, that it had fallen five
18 times; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. LUKIC: Can we see the next page of this document.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who answered this "yes"?
22 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said "yes."
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We can see a list of names here. It says the first attack on the
1 Serbian village of Pelemisi happened on the Easter of 1993. The village
2 was set on fire. All the 35 households were set on fire. The second
3 time the village was attacked was in March 1994. On that occasion, the
4 following persons were killed. What follows is a list of ten names. The
5 third time the Serbian village of Pelemisi was attacked was on the 20th
6 of April, 1994, on Easter, from the direction of Stanova and from the
7 direction of Kladanj.
8 Among the persons whose names you see here, did you know anybody
10 A. I knew Milos Pepic, under number 1. Nenad Vidovic, under 2.
11 Miroljub, under number 5. I personally knew persons under number 1 and 2
12 and 4 in the second batch.
13 Q. Please tell us their names.
14 A. Milos Pepic from Pepici, who was my neighbour, his head was cut
15 off. We found the head some 200 metres away from the body. Nenad
16 Vidovic was a PE teacher, retired. Miroljub Milicic was from Popovici.
17 He was a forest worker. Ljubisa Radojcic from Sekovici was a driver.
18 These are the people who I can remember as I sit here today.
19 Q. Thank you. When it comes to your 10th Sabotage Detachment, were
20 there any members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment who participated in the
21 attacks against Pelemisi?
22 A. On the 18th of April, 1993, Zijad Zigic and Franc Kos
23 participated in the attack.
24 Q. As members of what units at the time?
25 A. The assault units of the 2nd Tuzla Brigade.
1 Q. Of what army?
2 A. The BiH Army.
3 Q. Were you aware of the fact when they joined your unit, the
4 10th Sabotage Detachment?
5 A. Yes, they admitted that to me as soon as I joined the
6 10th Sabotage Detachment. I never held it against them. I did not hate
7 them. I really tried to help them as much as I could when they were in
8 my unit. I am still friends with Zijad Zigic. And let me just tell you
9 that on that occasion they killed a 70 -- or Stojan Vucinovic, who was my
10 kum. They set him on fire. And to this very day, we have not managed to
11 put two bones in his body together. They set him in fire in a haystack.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I am just wondering how this arises from
13 cross-examination. I notice that the witness sometimes, not solicited to
14 do that, gave some information on matters not asked to him which deal
15 with it. I also noticed that at least the statement, paragraph 5, deals
16 with this matter. So therefore it could have been easily elicited in
18 I let it go for a while, but I take it, Mr. Lukic, that you'll
19 move on soon and --
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes. I just have one more question --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please put that question to the witness.
22 MR. LUKIC:
23 Q. Mr. Pelemis, could you just tell us how many members of your
24 family were killed during the war?
25 A. 11, both on my wife's side and my own side.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pelemis. This is all we had for you. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before I give an opportunity for further questions
3 by the Prosecution.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pelemis, what could you tell us about the
6 suspicions that were raised and what activity is ongoing in the courts of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina against you?
8 A. Nothing. If I get invited by the court, I am fully prepared to
9 go there to prove my innocence. I personally never killed a man nor did
10 I ever order anybody else to do it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You're willing to go there if they would like to ask
12 questions to you? Or if they want to treat you as a suspect, you're
13 willing to go and to defend yourself?
14 A. Absolutely. Certainly, yes. I know that I am innocent and I am
15 perfectly willing to prove my innocence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: But if there is a warrant of arrest against you, why
17 would you then not go?
18 A. I will talk to the lawyers about that, and I will consult with
19 them to see what I'm supposed to do. In legal terms, that is.
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, you told us that you were willing to go. You
21 don't need a lawyer to say, "I want to go." Apparently you're not at
22 this moment yet ready to go, isn't it?
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
25 MR. LUKIC: -- it's not true that he does not need a lawyer to
1 decide whether to go or not. I would not agree with you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Lukic, I am not in a debate with you.
3 Every suspect or accused --
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- can make up his mind himself whether he wants to
6 go or not. And if he wants to see a lawyer to find out, of course you
7 can do that. But to make up your mind as to whether to go, I asked the
8 witness, "Are you willing to go?" You said, "Yes." And then I said,
9 "Why don't you go," and then you said, "I have to see a lawyer." So your
10 willingness is conditional. And that's exactly the reason, Mr. Lukic,
11 why I consider your intervention inappropriate.
12 So your willingness is conditional.
13 A. This will be my first time before a court. I don't know what I'm
14 supposed to do. I don't know what charges I'm supposed to fight, whether
15 they are false charges. This will not be a 50 euro damages case. I need
16 a lawyer because I may be facing some false accusations, something that
17 will have a huge impact on my life.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You said, "I want to go there and prove my
19 innocence." That's usually against false accusations, isn't it?
20 Otherwise, there is no need -- if you're innocent, then there is no need
21 to prove your -- to prove that innocence. I mean, you'd told us you
22 would go there and prove your innocence. Of course, you only have to
23 prove your innocence, apart from whether you have to do that in a court,
24 if someone accuses you falsely. Otherwise, there is no evidence and
25 there is no need to prove any innocence.
1 A. I know what I did. I know that there is nothing I should fear.
2 I am afraid of false statements, false witnesses, of the things that
3 happen in Sarajevo. I can't be certain about any of that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And that is why, until now, you are not willing to
5 go there, isn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: -- to be able to lead this discussion, we have to
10 know domestic laws. There is agreement in between Bosnia and Serbia.
11 He's there, he's in Serbia. According to that agreement, whether he was
12 in Bosnia or in Serbia, he's there. So --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic -- Mr. Lukic --
14 MR. LUKIC: -- he can be summoned any time --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the only thing I know is that the Defence
16 brought to our attention a statement in which the witness clearly
17 expresses his concerns as having to appear before a court in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, isn't it? And I leave it to that. If you want at any point
19 in time for purposes of credibility of this witness put anything to our
20 attention, you have an opportunity to do so but not in the context of my
21 questioning of the witness on this matter. That's as simple as it is.
22 MR. LUKIC: As a citizen --
23 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it to that.
24 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, as a citizen of Serbia --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
1 MR. LUKIC: -- he cannot be tried in Bosnia. He has to be tried
2 in Serbia according to that agreement.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, again, if there is no problem, if he only
4 can be tried in Serbia, because that's what you're telling us --
5 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, because --
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- why would you worry about --
7 MR. LUKIC: -- he cannot be extradited from Serbia to Bosnia.
8 There is agreement between those two states.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Therefore, I'm stopping this, Mr. Lukic. If
10 at any other point in time you want to pursue this matter, you can do
11 that, but not as part of the examination of this witness, this witness
12 who told us that he is willing to appear before the court which brings
13 charges against him.
14 MR. LUKIC: Because he's not legally educated. He does not know.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, let's stop it.
16 Any further questions, Mr. McCloskey?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. This should hopefully be very brief.
18 Further Cross-examination by McCloskey:
19 Q. You said on page 56, in talking about Erdemovic -- actually, it's
20 at page 57, line 1:
21 "He signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence, i.e., the
22 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska, and that's where he was given his
23 rank and then he was promoted, as we see in the video-clip, that he
24 became the second-lieutenant."
25 Did you say that, that we saw from the video-clip he had become a
1 second-lieutenant or was it some other rank?
2 A. I said staff sergeant.
3 Q. All right. So that --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is just a -- an important miscue for the
5 record. We'll get that sorted out. It's a mistranslation, actually.
6 And I have nothing else.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Mr. Pelemis, this concludes your evidence in this court. I would
9 like to thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for
10 having answered all the questions that were put to you, put to you by the
11 parties, put to you by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic and Mr. McCloskey, if any of you think
16 that the answers of the witness in relation to whether he has to fear
17 anything from being prosecuted wherever, if any documentation - be it
18 legislation, be it information about the case - apparently initiated by
19 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Chamber, of course if there's
20 any need for you, will look at those materials if you think that it would
21 clarify answers the witness has given specifically about his willingness
22 to appear before a court where he is indicted or at least where an arrest
23 warrant was issued against him.
24 Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I -- as you will recall, I
1 guess it was Thursday and the witness had stated he had given a statement
2 to the office of the prosecutor in the state court. We have been in
3 touch with the state court to see what we could get, if anything. I do
4 have some information. I actually just received it this morning.
5 And given your -- what you've just requested, I -- it appears to
6 be -- and I don't know, because I haven't had even a chance to really
7 understand what it is, but a letter from a lawyer that may be -- may have
8 represented this man back in 2010, and it appears to be some sort of
9 statement in what we believe in his handwriting.
10 So it appears as if a lawyer sent a -- some sort of statement
11 from this witness and -- to the state court in Bosnia. Because I am just
12 not sure what it is, I did not engage the witness with it. But given
13 your specific question --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think it would be appropriate to first share
15 that information with Mr. Lukic. And if there is any further reason to
16 bring this to the attention of the Court, parties have an opportunity to
17 do so, especially in relation to my questions which were directly related
18 to his willingness, I think, as he said, to prove his innocence, and
19 that's usually what you do before a court. I leave it to that for the
20 time being.
21 My apologies to all those assisting.
22 You have an opportunity to consult after we have adjourned.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We -- yes, Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, there was that one issue that you had
1 delayed for the witness. I don't know if you want to do it now. It was
2 a dead-line you had set for the Defence to respond on some things today.
3 I can do it via e-mail if that's easier.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps that's easier --
5 MR. IVETIC: That's fine.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- and it would not be a further burden on those who
7 are assisting us at this moment.
8 MR. IVETIC: I'll do that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We went already far beyond the time I should have
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, can I just make -- just so your
12 words don't get twisted in the future. You've just made a comment that
13 one may -- "I think, as he said, to prove his innocence, and that's
14 usually what you do before a court," and I know what you meant, that that
15 was an opportunity for a person that may choose to prove his innocence,
16 but it shouldn't be ever twisted to mean a person has a burden to prove
17 their innocence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think I emphasized that already earlier. But
19 some people who are charged before a court take the position that they'll
20 defend themselves by proving their innocence, whereas it goes without
21 saying that that's not what you have to do. But of course, you are not
22 forbidden to do that. But even if you have not proven your innocence and
23 if the prosecution has not proven your guilt, then you still should be
24 acquitted despite the fact that you have not proven your innocence
25 because that's not required for an acquittal. Is this understood by
1 everyone sufficiently so as to avoid any confusion for the future?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely. And I appreciate that. Thank you,
3 Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We adjourn for the day and will resume
5 tomorrow, the 31st of March, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom,
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.26 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 31st day
9 of March, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.