1 Tuesday, 5 May 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Since no preliminaries were announced, the witness may be
12 escorted in the courtroom.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, there was greeting again. This really
16 is the last warning. If you do it again, you'll be removed from the
17 courtroom. Is that clear to you? And this is valid not only for today.
18 We are not going to repeat it every day. You just should following the
20 No speaking aloud, Mr. Mladic.
21 Good morning, Mr. Trkulja. Before we continue, I'd like to
22 remind you that --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- that you're still bound by the solemn declaration
25 you've given yesterday at the beginning of your testimony that you'll
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 Mr. Stojanovic will now continue his examination-in-chief.
3 WITNESS: NEDELJKO TRKULJA [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic: [Continued]
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Yesterday we left it off with a document relative to the system
9 of work and drafting reports.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to calling up
12 Q. Colonel, you'll see a document before you. I believe that it is
13 on the screen now. Please look at it and look at the heading where it
14 says: "Main Staff, Army of Republika Srpska." The date is 11 July 1995.
15 In other words, 11 July 1995.
16 We will come back to this page, but I would first like to look at
17 the last page of the same document. In the lower left corner, Colonel,
18 there are initials, NT-PM, would you please explain the Trial Chamber the
19 meaning of these initials?
20 A. NT, that's me. And PM, I can't remember. I believe that those
21 are the initials of the typists who typed the document. Whoever drafted
22 a report or any other document was supposed to place his initials on it.
23 Q. Does that mean that you drafted this report?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. And now let's go back to the first page. On the
1 11th of July, 1995, who was this document sent to?
2 A. Not only on that date but every day documents were sent to the
3 president of Republika Srpska and corps commanders for information.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And now let's look at
6 paragraph 6 on page 3 of both B/C/S and English versions of this
7 document. Paragraph 6. And now in the English version, can we go to the
8 following page because I will draw the witness's attention to the next
9 passage in this paragraph.
10 Q. It says here, under (b): "The situation in the corps," and it is
11 the Drina Corps.
12 It says:
13 "... the main forces are being used to mount a persistent defence
14 and part of the forces are involved in offensive operations around ...
15 Srebrenica enclave. In the course of the day, our forces entered the
16 town of Srebrenica. We will forward you an interim report on the results
17 achieved and on other details relating to the offensive operations
18 carried out in the Srebrenica enclave."
19 Further on, there is reference to combat and casualties.
20 My question to you, sir, is this: What was the source of your
21 information when you drafted this report and sent it to the president of
22 the republic?
23 A. All that was based on the reports of corps commands, one of them
24 being a report by the Drina Corps. I summarised these reports which came
25 on three or four pages. I summarised those reports into one or two
1 paragraphs and I drafted my own report.
2 Q. Colonel, were you allowed to include into such a report
3 information that you did not receive from the Drina Corps but from
4 elsewhere, from another source?
5 A. No. First and foremost, we could not obtain any other
6 information from anywhere. Secondly, the only information we had were
7 reports from the corps.
8 Q. When you were drafting this report, where were you physically?
9 A. At that moment - when I say, "at that moment," I mean on that
10 date - we were all in a shelter. However many -- we were at the command
11 post prior to that and after that, that would be done in the barracks.
12 Q. You say here, and I quote:
13 "We will forward you an interim report on the results achieved
14 and on other details relating to the offensive."
15 What would such an interim report be based on?
16 A. If the Drina Corps submitted an interim report, then we could
17 draft our own interim report. If they didn't do that, then we couldn't
18 do anything.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And now I'd like to call up
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering the last document we have seen
22 on the screen?
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I will tender
24 both documents because I think they make up a whole and I thank you for
25 your intervention.
1 Q. Colonel, now we have a document in front of us. Again the date
2 is 11 July 1995. It was sent to the Main Staff by the command of the
3 Drina Corps. Its title is: "Interim combat report." Look at bullet
4 point 3:
5 "A decision for the upcoming [sic] operations, consolidate combat
6 disposition along the lines reached and secure the success achieved.
7 After the necessary regrouping, continue the attack with the objective of
8 defeating the enemy completely in the Srebrenica enclave."
9 When it comes to the content of the interim combat report as you
10 see it in front of you, does it reflect the common practice, i.e., that
11 such information about the continuation of engagement would be submitted
12 to the Main Staff?
13 A. We did not have such cases before so I wouldn't use the word
14 "common practice." I suppose that the president was particularly
15 informed about this, that this information was included into the regular
16 combat report on the following day.
17 Q. Do you remember ever having seen or forwarded this information
18 received by the Drina Corps that night between the 11th and 12th of
19 July to the president of the republic?
20 A. No. As far as I can remember, mind you, it was 20 years ago,
21 I -- I don't think so. I don't think I did. That's what I believe.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to
24 tender 65 ter 1D02986 and 1D02987.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, 1D02986 would receive number?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1043, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And 1D02987 would receive.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1044.
4 JUDGE ORIE: D1043 and D1044 are admitted into evidence.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. Colonel, could you please tell us whether you remember that night
8 between 11 and 12, which officers were present at the Main Staff of the
9 Army of Republika Srpska?
10 A. Yes, I can remember that. General Miletic was there. I was
11 there. Colonel Sladojevic. And there was a pilot whose name was either
12 Pajic or Pejic. He was there only briefly and that's why his name
13 escapes me. And the encoder whose name was Tihomir. And Gvero used to
14 pop in every now and then around that time.
15 Q. Around that time, from the 10th until the 20th of July 1995, did
16 you see General Mladic? Did you have any encounters with him at the
17 command of the Main Staff?
18 A. No.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could you just repeat exactly what
20 your question was because in the English version, we get "from the 10th
21 until the," what day of July?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Until the 20th July 1995.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your intervention,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Colonel, could you please tell us whether you remember that
4 around the time you received a specific order to leave the command post
5 in Crna Rijeka?
6 A. I don't understand your question somehow. Since the forces had
7 been broked up -- broken up and they were roaming around, we had to
8 secure the command post at night. I received my task from Miletic on the
9 16th in the evening, and the task was to go to the area of responsibility
10 of the Zvornik Brigade on the 17th.
11 Q. When was that in the evening of the 16th of July?
12 A. It was late afternoon, early evening. I can't remember the time.
13 It was either 1700 or 1600 hours. Sladojevic and I received an order to
14 go to the command of the Drina Corps and an officer was supposed to take
15 us to where we wanted to go.
16 Q. Let me stop you there and let me ask you something really
17 important. To the best of your recollection, what was the exact wording
18 of the order? What was your task?
19 A. In essence, it was to inspect the front line to and to raise the
20 security and vigilance of the combatants on the front line in order to
21 prevent or reduce losses. There were a lot of groups that were
22 infiltrating from Srebrenica and those men were simply roaming our --
23 positions behind our back. That was the essence of the order.
24 Q. You mentioned the name of Colonel Sladojevic as a person who was
25 supposed to share that task with you. What was Colonel Sladojevic's
1 position in the Main Staff?
2 A. He had just joined the Main Staff. He was a member of the
3 operations organ together with Miletic.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please take a look
6 at P1513. Could we please focus on the first paragraph of this document.
7 Q. Colonel, it is entitled: "Interim combat report." It is sent by
8 the command of the Zvornik Brigade on the 16th of July, 1995, to the
9 command of the Drina Corps.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And could we please take a look
11 at the very bottom of this document. Could we see who the author of the
12 document is. And then we're going to go back to paragraph 1. In the
13 English version, could we please move on to the next page.
14 Q. So it is signed by?
15 A. Vinko Pandurevic.
16 Q. According to the stamp that is here, it was sent at 1810 on the
17 16th of July, and then there is this abbreviation RPT at 2005. And then
18 what is handwritten is that due to a bad relay line, the telegram was
19 repeated several times. However, now let us look at paragraph 1.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so.
21 Witness, and it's at the bottom, it says "Komandant" and then "P
22 potpukovnik." Do you know what the "P" stands for?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lieutenant-colonel, potpukovnik.
24 Vinko Pandurevic was a lieutenant-colonel then.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now I understood that potpukovnik is a
1 lieutenant-colonel, but there is an another P and then a dot before that.
2 Do you know what that stands for?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a typo --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- because it really makes no
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In the first paragraph of this report, that is to say, on the
11 16th of July, 1995, Pandurevic says, it says, inter alia, that the units
12 of the 2nd Corps of the BH Army of -- fired almost 1.000 projectiles of
13 varying calibre, parts of the Srebrenica 28th Infantry Battalion together
14 with previously infiltrated groups carried out a synchronised attack
15 against the 4th pb, our positions, weapons, and other equipment from the
16 Planinci and Potocari areas, using their numerical advantage they
17 surrounded the 4th pb. Counting soldiers and civilians, armed and
18 unarmed, together about 7.000. There were examples of attacking and
19 jumping on tanks and self-propelled guns so that by throwing themselves
20 on them, they captured three of our 76-millimetre self-propelled guns.
21 By continuous pressure from the front, they managed to seize three of our
22 trenches in the Poljana area and link up part of their forces with the
23 others in the wider area of Baljkovici.
24 Please let us look at paragraph 3 now.
25 It's in the middle, Colonel.
1 "In order to prevent losses in our own ranks, I have decided in
2 view of the situation to open a corridor along the line of the three lost
3 trenches for the civilian population and there were about 5.000 of them.
4 I have agreed on a method of evacuation with the enemy side and this is
5 now going forward."
6 There is my question: On the 16th of July, 1995, when you
7 received this report to go to the area of the Zvornik Brigade, did you
8 have any information such as those contained in this combat report?
9 A. I have to be a bit more extensive with regard to this question.
10 This report was never forwarded to the Main Staff by the
11 Drina Corps. That's one thing. When I set out, we had no idea
12 whatsoever about this situation. I did and no one else did at the
13 command post. I first read this report in 2007 when this gentleman gave
14 it to me when I attended the trial. And Pandurevic sent it to his corps
15 and it seems that that's where it ended, because Milos did not have that.
16 I mean, we were there at the command post. This never reached us, none
17 of this. And that's why we had -- I mean, raising alertness and
18 vigilance, I personally was convinced, because I was there -- I mean, it
19 wasn't him. It wasn't he that was there at the command post in that
20 area. It was Obrenovic.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic, may I put one question at this
23 You said, Witness, you referred to a certain Milos. What is his
24 full name?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean Obrenovic?
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I ask you whom you are referring to when you say
2 "because Milos did not have that."
3 You don't understand that. I read the --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Miletic not Milos. Bad
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I read in the transcript:
7 "The first I read this report in 2007 when this gentleman gave it
8 to me when I attended the trial. And Pandurevic sent it to his corps and
9 it seems that that's where it ended, because Milos did not have that."
10 Was that Miletic you were referring to?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miletic. Miletic.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification.
13 MS. HASAN: Just if I may, one point -- another point of
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MS. HASAN: At line -- transcript page 10, so 9 to 10, lines 25
17 and 1, counsel posed the question and referred to "when you received this
18 report to go to the area of the Zvornik Brigade." It's not clear whether
19 counsel's referring to a report or if that's a reference to the order
20 that the witness spoke about earlier.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say page 10, line 25, ma'am?
22 MS. HASAN: It's page 9, line 25 --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MS. HASAN: -- and it goes on to page 10, line 1.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, if you could clarify this issue with
1 the witness, that would be appreciated.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think that,
3 again, we have this practical misunderstanding.
4 Q. That evening, did you get a report from General Miletic that
5 evening or an order to go to the area of the Zvornik Brigade on the next
7 A. Just an order. I already said that this report never arrived at
8 the command of the Main Staff. I first saw it in 2007, and I can
9 guarantee that Miletic had never seen it.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now take a look at
13 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for that --
14 Could you explain why you can guarantee that Miletic had never
15 seen it? He may have seen it in your absence. He may have seen it one
16 or two days later. Is there -- what makes you so certain that he never
17 saw it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, all these reports are
19 gathered in one place. And then when I go, I take all the reports at
20 Miletic's so that I could review my map of the armoured units, et cetera.
21 I mean, there was no such report in that place where they're all put
23 JUDGE ORIE: And that is why you assume or conclude that he has
24 never seen it?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that basis, because when I'm
1 absent I'm not there. Then I have to take all these reports and then I
2 have to take a look at this and to review my own working map. There was
3 no report like this there.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered my question. You didn't find it
5 where you would expect it to be if it would have come to his attention.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Colonel, sir, now have you this document before you. It's a
10 document of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. The date is
11 the 16th of July, 1995. And, again, I would like to ask that we move to
12 the last page and then we will go back. In the lower left-hand corner,
13 we see initials again, NT. And my question shall be whether these
14 initials confirm that you wrote this report as well?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now let us go back to the first page for a moment.
17 Who is this report sent to dated the 16th of July? Is this the
18 usual procedure that you have already spoken about?
19 A. All the time while I was at the front, this is the procedure that
20 was applied. That is to say, it was sent to the president of the
21 republic and CC'd to the commands of the corps.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear
23 Mr. Stojanovic's question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, the interpreters did not hear your
25 question. Could you please repeat it.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at
2 paragraph 6 of this report.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we move to another page, I have a question
4 with respect to paragraph -- page 1.
5 You said, Mr. Trkulja, that that was sent to the president of the
6 RS and the corps commands. Please look at the last entry. I see there:
7 "VRS GS, IKM-2." What stands that for?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Forward command post of the
9 Main Staff.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That means not only to the commands of the corps
11 but also to the forward command post of the Main Staff.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I can move on now?
15 I beg your pardon.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Another question. If it went to the Main Staff,
17 the forward command post of the Main Staff, does it mean Mr. Mladic would
18 have been aware of it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the forward command post was
20 near Bihac, I cannot it, I mean, define this.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't understand what you mean by "define."
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, whether -- I mean, where,
23 which forward command post it went to. What forward command posts these
24 are. That is what I cannot ...
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: But were these reports also sent to the Main Staff
1 for the attention of Mr. Mladic; do you know?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember whether the
3 Main Staff had a forward command post there or whether that was the
4 forward command post of the Drina Corps, and I know that there was a
5 forward command post near Bihac because that's where Manojlo Milovanovic
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document says the forward command post of the
8 Main Staff, but that's not my last question. My last question is: Do
9 these documents that -- the kind of reports that you drafted, did they
10 also be -- got sent to Mr. Mladic for his information or action?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These reports were only there for
12 the sake of information about the situation in the theatre of war.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not my question. My question is: Were
14 they sent to Mr. Mladic also?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't define whether that was the
16 theatre of war of the Drina Corps, whether this was the forward command
17 post of the Drina Corps or whether it was the forward command post of the
18 Main Staff.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, again you're not answering my question. I'm
20 not asking you to define that forward command post. I'm asking whether
21 these reports were sent to Mr. Mladic as well. You can either say yes or
22 no, or if you don't know, you say you don't know. But, you know, you
23 were the author of these documents.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You don't know. I'll tell you why I'm asking you
1 these questions because yesterday -- yesterday you were emphatic that
2 these reports never went to Mr. Mladic. You said he never saw them.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that about regular reports.
4 Those that we wrote all the time. This is a very specific individual
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, you didn't make that exception yesterday.
7 You said the reports that you drafted he never saw.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the bulk of them.
9 This is an exception which I didn't remember. I have only remembered it
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I leave it at that point. Okay, that's fine.
12 You may proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to put a follow-up question.
15 You said a minute ago it is unclear if it was the forward command
16 post of the Main Staff or the Drina Corps. If you read that, it is very
17 clear that it is written "VRS GS, IKM-2." Is it possible that this
18 refers to the Drina Corps?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say something about the
20 witness who was supposed to come after me. He is versed in these things.
21 A communications guy. He was the one who did that. He is the best
22 suited to explain this because these guys were the ones who established
23 communication and they knew who the communication was between. So you
24 should ask him.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are sitting in front of me as a witness in
1 this trial. You told -- you just told us that this could be the forward
2 command post of the Main Staff or of the Drina Corps. Are you serious
3 about that? It is clearly stated: "VRS GS," which, in my understanding,
4 stands for Main Staff of the VRS. Correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And it is written there "IKM-2." What is IKM-2
7 of the Main Staff?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, yes, yes. It's a
9 forward command post, but I've told you that there was another forward
10 command post near Bihac as well.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, you said that, near Bihac. And that
12 might be the reason why we see here the number 2. Which one is it? I'm
13 asking you as a member of the Main Staff.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it's number 2 forward
15 command post, because number 2 man was there, Manojlo, near Bihac.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And could I then ask you where forward command
18 post 1 was located?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure. Whatever I were to
20 say now would be mere speculation.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So you say the other one was in Bihac but you don't
22 know where the first one was.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know the
24 sector. I know that it wasn't in Bihac, but where exactly it was near
25 Bihac, I don't know. It was in the western theatre of war. I don't know
1 its exact position. It was a long time ago, 20 years. I can't remember.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Where, then, approximately?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I had anything to say, I would,
4 but I'm not sure about anything. Nothing's certain.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, what comes to your mind even though it's not
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that the command
8 activities took place at the forward command post of the Drina Corps.
9 That's what I think.
10 JUDGE ORIE: But I'm talking about forward command post number 2
11 of the VRS Main Staff. And as a matter of fact, I'm asking -- we started
12 with number 2 and I now asked where number 1 was, VRS Main Staff forward
13 command post.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since none of the chiefs of army
15 branches was engaged at forward command post 1, so I don't think it
16 existed. I suppose that all the command activities took place at the
17 command post of the Drina Corps. Nobody was engaged at the forward
18 command post 1. There were people at the forward command post 2.
19 JUDGE ORIE: How do you know that no one was at the forward
20 command post number 1?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that my colleagues went with
22 Manojlo and only four of us were -- stayed there.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Stayed where?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the command post in the shelter.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And that was the command post, not a forward command
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it was the command post.
3 And when it comes to forward command post 1, I don't think so. Nobody
4 was engaged there.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Did it exist?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have my doubts about that.
7 Since -- serious doubts. Because none of the Command Staff were -- was
8 engaged there. I suppose everything went through the forward command
9 post of the Drina Corps. All the activities took place there.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 We left it off with the document on the screen. I'd like to look
13 at paragraph 6, please.
14 Q. In this report, which was sent to the addressees that you had an
15 opportunity to see a while ago, under 6 (a) it says that the enemy in
16 front of the 1st zvbk regrouped large forces and used them early in the
17 morning in a strong artillery and infantry attack on our unit's sector
18 along the Baljkovicka Reka-Pandurica axis. They were co-ordinating with
19 the forces pulling out from the former Srebrenica enclave. They were
20 able to breakthrough the defence and capture three trenches notice
21 Baljkovici village sector, create a corridor and so on and so forth.
22 Colonel, when it comes to this type of information about the
23 situation in the zone of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, would it
24 be considered dramatic, would it call for a need to look at the situation
25 on the front line?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Before you answer the question. Ms. Hasan.
2 MS. HASAN: That's a leading question. He can be asked about
3 more generally the same thing without suggesting to him whether it's
4 dramatic or not.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It also asks for opinion. Could you please rephrase
6 your question, Mr. Stojanovic.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Colonel, in military terms, you, as an officer of the Main Staff,
9 would such information imply a need for additional information as to what
10 was going on in the zone of one of your brigades?
11 A. Yes, this is dramatic. I went there. We'll come to that later.
12 However, the report portrays the situation even more dramatic than it
13 actually was.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The second phrasing of your question was as leading
15 as the first one. Would you try to understand what proper court practice
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Colonel, when did you embark on the mission that you had received
20 from Miletic the previous evening?
21 A. On the 17th, in the morning hours. Sladojevic and I -- myself
22 got into a Puch, there was a driver who drove it, and we went to
23 Vlasenica and we stopped in front of the command of the Drina Corps.
24 Q. I'll stop you here for a moment.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like to
1 tender 1D02989 into evidence.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1045, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. What happened when you arrived in front of the command of the
7 Drina Corps in Vlasenica?
8 A. We pulled over and a colonel asked us what was going on. They
9 already knew that they were supposed to give us an officer who would
10 accompany us to the Zvornik Brigade and to the front line. A major -
11 whose family name I can't remember - joined us and went with us.
12 Q. Would you please describe the further course of your activities
13 and your movement towards Zvornik?
14 A. We were on our way to Zvornik, and when we got close to the
15 Konjevic Polje cross-road, Sladojevic said: There's so much talk about
16 Srebrenica, why don't we go and see what is going on there. And instead
17 of proceeding towards Zvornik we diverted towards Bratunac and we entered
18 Srebrenica. And there's not much there, just one street. We drove along
19 that street to its end, we turned around, the driver turned around, and
20 then we returned.
21 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber about your perception of
22 Srebrenica at the moment when you passed through -- through it.
23 A. As we were passing through Srebrenica, we drove slowly and there
24 were people there, they returned to their houses. They were cleaning
25 their front yards. Nothing special was going on. There were throwing
1 out garbage from their houses. That was all.
2 Q. Did you stop in Srebrenica anywhere?
3 A. No. We never even got out of the vehicle.
4 Q. After that, where did you go?
5 A. We went to Zvornik, to the command post of the Zvornik Brigade.
6 A captain was there waiting for us. I don't know whether he was an
7 active-duty officer or reserve officer. The major exchanged a few words
8 with him. I told him that I wanted to go to Crni Vrh and I didn't know
9 the way. We needed somebody to take us there. They appointed somebody.
10 Q. Could you please tell us whether you entered the building of the
11 Zvornik Brigade command?
12 A. No. We were standing in front of the building, and we dealt with
13 all the issues there.
14 Q. Do you know who took you to the Crni Vrh sector from the command
15 of the Zvornik Brigade?
16 A. I can't remember the name. I didn't know the way, and that's why
17 we were accompanied to Vlasenica and to the brigade command by some
18 people who were familiar with the area. They took us where Sladojevic
19 and I had planned to go.
20 Q. To the best of your recollection, when was it on the 17th of
21 July, 1995, when you arrived in the Crni Vrh sector?
22 A. That was late in the afternoon, or early evening. Major
23 Obrenovic turned up. He reported to me. That's why I am saying that the
24 reports that were previously sent, on the previous day, things were
25 overly dramatised because the situation was not nearly as dramatic as
1 described in the reports. Because they were in a ditch. They had not
2 managed to break through.
3 Q. How long did you stay there?
4 A. Lazic appeared from the Drina Corps, and Obrenovic reported to
5 him as well. And night fell and he took us to a monastery where we were
6 supposed to spend the night. I don't know the name of the monastery but
7 it wasn't that far from Crni Vrh.
8 Q. On that occasion, in a report that you received from Obrenovic,
9 were there any references to the casualties on both sides?
10 A. At that time, he did not have any specific information. He knew
11 that the self-propelling guns crews were injured but he couldn't tell me
12 any numbers. That's why I am telling you that this report overly
13 dramatises the situation on -- on the ground. The front line had not
14 been broken through.
15 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber how far is the monastery
16 from the place where you spoke to Major Obrenovic?
17 A. As far as I can remember - and mind you, I don't know the area -
18 I believe that it was about 4 kilometres away. It is very difficult to
19 assess because the road was not very good and the vehicle could not
20 travel fast.
21 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I believe that this is the time for our
22 first break. We will continue. In any case, I'm going to put another
23 question to you after the break.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this
25 is the time for a break and then I will continue.
1 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you need after the break,
2 Mr. Stojanovic?
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have another
4 document. I believe that I will need about 15 minutes or so.
5 JUDGE ORIE: 15 minutes, that's okay.
6 Witness, we'll take a break. We'd like to see you back in
7 20 minutes. You may now follow the usher.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for the witness, it was
14 announced that there was a preliminary from the Prosecution, Defence, a
15 translation to be uploaded? To be replaced.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I can deal can it now or at the
18 beginning of my cross.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If you can do it -- if it is just announcing which
20 new translation should replace which one, then we can deal with it in
21 half a second.
22 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour. We've received a final revised
23 translation for P1655. This was admitted through RM316 on the 2nd of
24 July, 2013, transcript page 13661. The revised translation is uploaded
25 under doc ID 0086-9331-1 ET. And we'd request that the Court Officer be
1 instructed to replace the English translation.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'll do that perhaps later today.
4 Mr. Stojanovic, if you're ready, please proceed.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Q. Colonel, sir, if you remember, we stopped at the moment when you
7 said that you spent the night between the 17th and 18th in that
8 monastery. I'm just asking you whether you remember who it was that
9 spent the night there at that monastery?
10 A. I'm sure about Lazic. I, Sladojevic, Vasic, and --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear who else.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's been quite a while.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat. You mentioned Lazic. You,
14 yourself, Sladojevic, Vasic -- and did you --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say Vasic. The major from
16 the Vlasenica Corps -- no, the Drina Corps.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. The next day, where did you go from the monastery?
20 A. We had breakfast there and we returned to the same place from
21 where we had left the previous evening when we went to the monastery, so
22 it was that place by Crni Vrh.
23 Q. On that day, on that morning, who did you have contact with as
24 for the Zvornik Brigade?
25 A. I'm sure that Pandurevic was -- actually, Lazic went on with us
1 and there were some other officers. I didn't know most of them. I'm
2 mentioning the ones that I did know. I, Sladojevic, the major, then
3 Lazic. Pandurevic, I saw him there, and there were others. As far as I
4 remember, it was a large group, quite large.
5 Q. Who informed you then about the situation -- about the situation
6 in the defence area of the Zvornik Brigade?
7 A. That morning, no one. The previous day, Obrenovic informed us
8 about everything. We were there -- and I didn't bring my spectacles that
9 day. That was a mistake. The younger ones could see better. That was
10 an omission on my part. The column was passing, the one that was at the
11 ditch. That was that only activity.
12 Q. At that moment was there any fighting?
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, if the witness says that
15 Mr. Obrenovic informed about everything, then it may not be easy for the
16 Chamber to understand exactly what this information was. Could even be
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Now I would like to ask you to tell us, to the best of your
21 recollection, what kind of information you received that afternoon from
22 Mr. Obrenovic.
23 A. Obrenovic informed us that there had been fighting there in front
24 of Crni Vrh and that he happened to be nearby. He had three tanks. He's
25 a tank man anyway. And he managed to push back the enemy --
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end
2 of the sentence.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So everything happened, happened
4 only through combat activities. And then he explained to me that through
5 the Motorola - there weren't mobile phones then - he established contact
6 with the leader of that group and that they agreed that they would open
7 the front and that they would let them go. And that's why I said that
8 this was a report that was sent --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear part of it
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This report was dramatised. The
12 situation was quite different.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, two times the interpreters now had to tell
14 us that you didn't -- that they were unable to hear everything you said.
15 So would you both slow down and speak up.
16 Mr. Stojanovic, it's your witness. You're best in a position to
17 see what still needs to be clarified or what is not of such relevance
18 that you would revisit it.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm following
21 the transcript.
22 Q. Colonel, for the transcript, for the record, you said at one
23 moment that from that report, you had the opportunity to receive
24 information about communication with the enemy side regarding the
25 possibility of opening this corridor. I'm just asking you to tell us,
1 for the record, how this communication took place? Through what kind of
2 communications equipment?
3 A. I said a moment ago Motorola. That's how contact was
4 established. Obrenovic and the leader of that group that was in the
5 ditch, and they agreed that they would open it, that they would de-mine,
6 that they would allow two platoons, and then they would pass there. It
7 was only the 17th when he said that to me. They de-mined that. They
8 withdrew the platoons, and it was only the next day, around 10.00, that
9 the pullout started.
10 Q. Tell us, on that occasion, did you have any information
11 concerning the possible existence of POWs?
12 A. There were no POWs --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot understand what
14 the witness is saying. Could he please slow down. Could all other
15 microphones be switched off. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you resume from when -- could you
17 resume from where you said: "There were no POWs ..." Could you resume
18 from there.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Stojanovic is again invited to switch off
20 his microphone while the witness is answering.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no POWs. This was
22 happening at one moment, combat, tanks, they withdrew. They stopped and
23 communication started when there was a separation between the forces.
24 That's the explanation that Obrenovic gave me. And they agreed that they
25 would let them go. These two platoons would leave the position and it
1 was agreed that the pullout would happen the next day. And I was present
2 with those officers that I mentioned a moment ago, and that's when they
3 were pulling out, the following day. It started the next day at 10.00.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. When did you return from the sector of Crni Vrh to the Main Staff
6 of the Army of Republika Srpska in Crna Rijeka?
7 A. Well, I can say approximately now that it was more than two
8 hours. It lasted for two hours. Even longer than that. I cannot be
9 precise now. I cannot say, 12, 13, I know that it was during the day,
10 that it was past midday.
11 Q. Upon returning to Crna Rijeka, when you returned to the
12 Main Staff who did you find there, as far as officers are concerned?
13 A. The only one at the command post in Crna Rijeka was
14 General Miletic, no one else. I told him about the entire situation,
15 what happened, how it happened, and how it ended.
16 Q. Did you ever take a written report about going to the area of the
17 Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. I did not submit a report and no one asked me for a report.
19 Q. As for your information and observations in the area of the
20 Zvornik Brigade, did you ever report to General Mladic about that?
21 A. I did not. I couldn't have because I did not have any
22 communications equipment.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now take a look at
24 document 65 ter 04028.
25 JUDGE ORIE: While we are we are waiting for that,
1 Mr. Stojanovic, one question for the witness.
2 You're telling us what Obrenovic said on the morning of the
3 18th of July, 1995. No word was said about persons that were detained or
4 had been detained?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, sir, Obrenovic spoke to me
6 on the 17th in the evening. On the 18th, I already knew. There was not
7 a single word about POWs, detainees, there were no such people. We were
8 out in the open, all of us. There was no one there. No camp, no
10 JUDGE ORIE: And you hadn't heard anything about larger numbers
11 of people being detained and people that would have died --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- after having been captured?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, Your Honour, the only people
15 who were suppressed in combat were in the ditch and it was agreed that
16 they would be released once the front line was open. Nothing else.
17 There was nothing else on either of the two sides.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Also not on what had happened on the days before? I
19 mean, I can imagine that if you have a small number of people that you --
20 which are still alive, that you take some action. But not a word about
21 what had happened the days before? In terms of detention and possibly
22 persons having died even after having been captured?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Before I continue using this document, just one question:
3 Colonel, did Colonel Lazic return together with you? What happened to
4 Colonel Lazic, to the best of your recollection?
5 A. It was a long time ago. I really can't define -- no, he was not
6 with us in the vehicle. I don't know whether he got into any other
7 vehicle and when. There were the three of us in the vehicle. We left
8 the major behind and we proceeded in our vehicle.
9 Q. Thank you. And now please look at the document in front of you.
10 It is a document by the Main Staff of the VRS issued on the 17th of July,
11 1995. Its title is: "Integration operations to crush lagging Muslim
12 forces." It is an order.
13 At the bottom, you can see that it was authored by Commander
14 Colonel General Ratko Mladic. Under 1 it says:
15 "Send three officers (Colonels Nedeljko Trkulja, Milovan
16 Stankovic, and Bogdan Sladojevic) from the Main Staff of the Army of
17 Republika Srpska to the command of the 1st zpbr to assist in the joining
18 of the VRS and MUP forces, the planning and co-ordination of combat
19 operations to block, crush, and destroy lagging Muslim forces in the
20 wider areas of Kamenica and Cerska."
21 Under 2 it says:
22 "The team from the VRS GS shall assess the situation on the
23 brigade's front line and in the rear, the available forces, and hear out
24 the proposal and opinion of the commander of the 1st zpbr. On this
25 basis, they are to draw up a plan together with the brigade commander to
1 comb the terrain, to block, crush, and destroy the struggling parts of
2 armed Muslim groups in the general area of Kamenica, Cerska, and Udrc."
3 My question: Colonel Trkulja, did you have this order by
4 General Mladic in your hands at any point in time?
5 A. Counsel, sir, this order, when it was drafted, I was already on
6 my field mission.
7 Secondly, this order was never implemented. When I returned, I
8 reported verbally to Miletic. Therefore, all the problems that are
9 listed here had already been resolved, and this was not necessary at all.
10 There was no need for this.
11 Q. Thank you. Let me finish with the following question: Colonel,
12 sir, during those war years, did you have any opportunity to participate
13 in preparations and making proposals for decisions and orders that
14 Ratko Mladic was supposed to issue as the commander of the VRS
15 Main Staff? Do you know anything about that process? Were you ever a
16 part of that process?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Colonel, sir, thank you for these answers.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to
20 tender 65 ter 04028 into evidence.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D1046, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
24 Before we continue, I briefly would like to instruct
25 Mr. Registrar to replace the current translation for P1655 by the newly
1 uploaded one known under doc ID number 0086-9331-1 ET. And if there's
2 any problem with the newly uploaded translation, the Defence may revisit
3 the matter within the next 24 hours.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have a question with respect to the document
5 which is still on our screen, D1046.
6 Mr. Trkulja, we see here an order. To whom was this order
7 issued? I see at the top: "To the Drina Corps Command, for
8 information." But who was the real addressee of the order who had to
9 carry out the details of this order?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was to be received by General
11 Miletic. I suppose he did receive it. I was already on my field
12 mission. And when I returned, as I've already told you, whatever is
13 mentioned in here had already been resolved. So that order never
14 actually was implemented. There was no need for it at all.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We'll come to that later. I would like to know
16 where can I find the addressee of this order? Who should carry out the
17 task issued?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was supposed to do it. But this
19 was never given to me.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was not sent to you. I see there 1st Zvornik
21 Infantry Brigade --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- 1st Bratunac Brigade, Milici Brigade, and the
24 67th Communications Regiment. Are these the addressees of the order to
25 carry out the task listed here?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was supposed to do that.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the first paragraph, I read:
3 "Send three officers," including you, "from the Main Staff of the
4 VRS to the command of the 1st Zvornik Brigade to assist in the joining of
5 the VRS and MUP," and so on.
6 Who should send you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miletic.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Miletic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, General Miletic. There was
10 nobody else. He was the most senior officer at the command post.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it -- is this -- please have a look on this
12 document. Was that addressed to the command post of the Main Staff?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We were not at the forward
14 command post. We were at our permanent command post.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I see you're not able to identify who is the real
16 addressee of this order to send you to the command of the 1st Zvornik
18 Another question. You several times said everything had been
19 resolved at that time. What do you mean by that? What was resolved?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The main forces that were in the
21 rear of the Zvornik Brigade crossed the front line and went in the
22 direction of Tuzla.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You mean the main forces of the Army of
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And how do I have to understand in paragraph 1 of
2 this document "the joining of the VRS and MUP forces"? What was that
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, just bear with me, please.
5 This was written because they didn't know that I was already on a field
6 mission, that things had already been agreed and resolved, that the
7 burning issue had already been dealt with. This would have been done and
8 implemented if those forces had remained behind the lines of the
9 Zvornik Brigade. Since they left, a new group was never set up. None of
10 the things mentioned in the order were ever implemented.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How do you know that, that there was no
12 co-operation or resubordination of the VRS and the MUP forces? What is
13 the source of your knowledge?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was supposed to be
15 the one to regulate that. Since the matter was resolved, I never went to
16 the Zvornik Brigade again at that time because there was no need for
17 that. That order was never implemented. It never took off the ground,
18 as it were.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How -- what is the source of your knowledge that
20 such a co-operation whatsoever was never carried out?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about that short period
22 of time I was supposed to participate in that together with Sladojevic
23 and the late Stankovic. We didn't. There was no need.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few follow-up questions as well. And for
1 the first question, I'm also asking the special attention of the parties
2 because there may be an ambiguity in the text of this document.
3 When my colleague, Judge Fluegge, read a second ago to whom the
4 order was addressed, he read: "To the Drina Corps, for information." I
5 asked myself whether it is to the Drina Corps for information and then a
6 few other brigades are mentioned, or whether it is to the Drina Corps,
7 for information, then the following brigades that are mentioned, and I'm
8 specifically paying attention to the comma after the abbreviation for
9 Drina Corps, DK.
10 Witness, having listened to this and having looked at the
11 document, do you consider it a possibility that the Drina Corps was the
12 addressee of this very urgent order?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They received it just for
14 information purposes because they had to know who was supposed to carry
15 that out, I was supposed to be the one, and that they wouldn't be engaged
16 because the team consisting of Sladojevic and myself, we would be in
17 charge of that and those units were to report to me. Everything had been
18 resolved and that order was never implemented. It never took off the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If I understand you well, the Main Staff of
21 the VRS is issuing an order to that same Main Staff, or to you, that you
22 should send yourself to do something. Is that how I have to understand
23 this order?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Not me personally. It was
25 sent to Miletic. And Miletic, in his turn, was supposed to give me that
1 task, tell me what to do, in other words.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now where do you find, then, again, where do you
3 finds that Miletic is the one who should execute this order?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miletic was the most senior officer
5 at the command post. Whatever was received, he was supposed to receive
6 it, and he was supposed to convey orders to the rest of us who were
7 there. He was the one who was supposed to tell us what to do.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have another question. You said everything
9 had been dealt with, had been resolved already.
10 Now I see in paragraph 5 of this order, I see that the terrain
11 still had to be cleared up. Was that done already immediately? That
12 takes a while, isn't it, because you needed the competent municipal
13 organ, manpower should be provided from the civilian protection to clear
14 up the terrain. Was that all done already? Was there no need to do that
15 any further?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, when this was drafted, the
17 situation was unknown. On the 17th, most of the forces left. After
18 that, nobody had to be engaged. Not the civilian protection, not the
19 police. I was not required to form a group consisting of those units
20 because the main issue had been resolved. The forces that were behind
21 the lines of the Zvornik Brigade had crossed over to the other side, and
22 that was it. That was the end of it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber received evidence that in the departure
24 or in the moving out of members of the armed forces of BiH, that a lot
25 may have died when moving out and were still in the terrain. Were you --
1 was that something you knew or do you say that was not the case?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the operation of pullout on
3 the 18th, not a single bullet was fired from any piece of weapon on
4 either side. There were casualties, there were dead, but at the time,
5 that was not known. Those people had been killed during combat one or
6 two days before. Only later would the information become known. I'm
7 talking about the 17 and the 18. On the 18, not a single bullet was
8 fired, nobody was captured. The -- two militaries were separated. On
9 the one hand there were the 5.000 soldiers and on the other side there
10 was the VRS.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I'm asking you this because in the order
12 it -- apparently there seems to be a need to clear up the terrain. You
13 said everything had been resolved, although I didn't hear anything about
14 the clearing up of the terrain already being done.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've told you, the order came too
16 late because the bulk of the issues facing the Zvornik Brigade had been
17 resolved. After that, there was no need to set up a unit because most of
18 the Muslim soldiers had already crossed over. That order was simply
19 belated. It became moot. It was never implemented.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you're emphasising that those who were
21 still alive had moved out and there was no need to do anything with them.
22 My question is about those who were -- who stayed behind and were not
23 alive anymore, whether there was any need to clear up the terrain as this
24 order says has to be done.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't participate in that. When
1 the column left, we left as well. I don't know whether the Zvornik
2 Brigade picked up the dead, whether they cleared the terrain or not. I
3 don't know. I don't know anything about that because I did not
4 participate in any of those activities, and none of that ever reached us
5 in any of the reports, so I really was not in a position to know what
6 they did after we left.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Earlier you said there was no need for
8 anything to be -- still to be done, and now you're telling me that you
9 did not participate in such activities of which you do not know whether
10 it still had to be done. But I'll leave it to that.
11 You'll now be further cross-examined by Ms. Hasan. You find
12 Ms. Hasan to your right. Ms. Hasan is counsel for the Prosecution.
13 Carefully listen to her questions and answer them in a decent speed of
14 speech and loudly, clearly speaking.
15 Ms. Hasan.
16 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honour. Before I begin, I will be
17 using an intercept which we have a revised translation for. It's P1330,
18 admitted on the 2nd of May, 2013. There is one word in the intercept
19 that has been changed. And the revised translation has been uploaded
20 under doc ID 0321-5958-ET.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And you want me to instruct Mr. Registrar --
22 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- to replace the current translation by the newly
24 uploaded one. Could you tell us what triggered the change? And is the
25 Defence aware of it?
1 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour. We sent an e-mail to the Defence
2 yesterday, the 4th of May. And what triggered the need for it is I had
3 reviewed the intercept and the wording of it didn't seem right, and I
4 requested that they review it. And --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, no problems with it?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Mr. Registrar, you're hereby instructed to replace the current
9 English translation of P1330 by the newly uploaded one, uploaded under
10 doc ID 0321-5958-ET.
11 Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
12 Cross-examination by Ms. Hasan:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Trkulja.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Yesterday you testified about the reporting procedure to the
16 Supreme Commander Dr. Karadzic and you were asked about that and you were
17 asked questions by Judge Orie and today you were also asked about that,
18 about General Mladic's knowledge of such reports, of the content of those
19 reports that went to the Supreme Commander. And this can be found at
20 transcript pages 35074 and 35075 of yesterday's transcript.
21 And you responded yesterday that he was not informed but that he
22 could have gone downstairs at the command post the next day to look at
23 such reports if he had wanted to. And today, in looking at the
24 16 July report to the Supreme Commander, you mentioned that that may have
25 been an exception, a report that did -- what -- that was brought to
1 General Mladic's attention.
2 Now, Judge Orie asked a similar question to General Milovanovic
3 in this case. And this is at transcript page 16963, starting at line 14.
4 I'm going to read you the question and General Milovanovic's response.
5 So Judge Orie asks:
6 "Now, even if General Mladic did not sign that report to the
7 Supreme Command on every day, would he still be aware of the content of
8 what was reported to the Supreme Command?"
9 General Milovanovic says:
10 "Yes. As I've already told you once, whenever there were any
11 changes or wherever there were developments in the military, I would
12 report to him on the -- and them as soon as I met him. Those reports
13 that I sent to the Supreme Command would end up on his desk as well as
14 the reports by the subordinate commands, if it was my assessment that he
15 should be put in the picture. I didn't send him all of the reports
16 because he would have ended up with piles of paper. I made a selection,
17 and I only sent him those things that I thought he should be made aware
19 If you bear with me, he goes on at transcript page 16964,
20 starting at line 7, and he says:
21 "For example, if General Mladic was not in the Main Staff, if he
22 was not in his command post, the staff would continue to function as if
23 he had been there. However, I could not wait for General Mladic to
24 return for him to look at the report to sign it, and to send it to the
25 Supreme Command. It had to be there by midnight. If General Mladic
1 turned up in the morning during the regular meeting, he and the entire
2 staff would be informed about the reports that had arrived from the units
3 and what the Supreme Command received as our report."
4 You don't dispute what General Milovanovic has testified to, do
6 A. Partly. Contesting just one part. And I stand by what I said
7 yesterday. You can check and see that Ratko Mladic did not sign a single
8 report. Milovanovic did not take any of them to him. They were encoded
9 and then carried to him by couriers who were dispatched by me. When the
10 report was encoded that piece of paper returned to me. If what
11 Milovanovic is saying is true, then you would have Ratko Mladic's
12 signatures everywhere, and still there are none.
13 Q. Let me be clear because I didn't read to you what General
14 Milovanovic had testified just before being asked that question. He had
15 said that such reports were not signed by General Mladic because it would
16 have been too much of a burden to have him sign that every day at that
17 late time of day, and so it would be his responsibility to sign those
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just ask for clarification in the meantime.
20 Sir, at page 41, lines 11, you say:
21 "Milovanovic did not take any of them to him. They were encoded
22 and then carried to him by couriers who were dispatched by me."
23 What do you -- who is the "him" you are referring to whom encoded
24 reports were taken by courier?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would write a report. I would
1 send it to Milovanovic so that he would sign it. Once he signs it, then
2 the courier would arrive and he would take it to the encoder, the
3 communications man who would encode it and send to the president of the
4 republic and CC it to the corps. That's what happened every day.
5 Now what Milovanovic said, it is possible that it's only correct
6 when there is some extreme, extraordinary thing taking place. The rest
7 is not correct. What is correct is what I'm saying and that can be
8 checked. You can see that Mladic didn't sign that anywhere and that did
9 not reach him at all. If he is interested, he would go down to the ops
10 centre, he can read whichever report he wants to read.
11 MS. HASAN:
12 Q. Witness, and it may have been that I didn't give you the context
13 of what Milovanovic had said, but let's be clear, Milovanovic did not say
14 that Mladic was signing these reports. What he was saying is that he
15 signed these reports which went to the Supreme Commander but that he left
16 a copy of these reports and any other underlying reports from the corps
17 as he saw necessary to General -- on General Mladic's desk. That's what
18 General Milovanovic is saying. Do you dispute that?
19 A. I do dispute that because I dictate it so that it's typed up. It
20 is typed in one copy. So then if it's just one copy, there cannot one
21 that is left and another one that is taken away. It is from that copy
22 that the encoder sends that on, encoding it, and also there's a
23 confirmation of that on the back. There were never two copies. So the
24 reports did not arrive to Mladic.
25 Q. Okay, Mr. Trkulja, let's move on. Now you had been asked
1 yesterday about the Krivaja 95 operation. And this is at transcript
2 page 35072 and 35073, where you said that you didn't personally
3 participate in it and you were not acquainted with the Krivaja 95
4 operation. You did not have any information about it. You didn't even
5 know its name.
6 Let's leave aside the name of the operation, Krivaja 95. Were
7 you aware of plans in 1995 to attack the Srebrenica enclave and take it
9 A. No.
10 MS. HASAN: Let's take a look at D00298.
11 Q. I just want to correct my -- my question. I don't know if I had
12 misspoken or if it's transcribed differently but what I meant to say is
13 where you -- were you aware of plans in 1995 to attack the Srebrenica
14 enclave and to eventually take it over? Is your answer still no?
15 A. Yes. No.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, your reference to the transcript pages of
17 yesterday disappeared, if I see it well, from the today's transcript.
18 Could you please repeat the numbers.
19 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour. Transcript pages 35072 to 35073.
20 And Your Honour I can direct you, if you're looking at that, it's
21 lines -- on 35072 lines 18 to 19 and on the next page, lines 20 to 22.
22 Thereabouts are his answers.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I found it. Thank you.
24 MS. HASAN:
25 Q. So, Witness, this is a 15 May 1995 urgent order from the
1 deputy commander at the time, Colonel Radislav Krstic, to the commands of
2 various units. And we can flip to the very last pages of this document
3 so you can see that. You see that there?
4 A. I do.
5 MS. HASAN: If we go back to the first page, please.
6 Q. What this is, it's an order, as it says in the heading, to
7 stabilize defence around Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves and establish
8 conditions for the liberation of the enclaves. In other words, these are
9 Krstic's order to create the necessary conditions for attacking
10 Srebrenica and Zepa. Now, you were at the Main Staff command during this
11 time-period, weren't you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you understood that there -- that this was a preliminary
14 order to create a platform for military operations to actually take the
15 Srebrenica enclave? I mean, you were familiar with this order?
16 A. No. That can be seen here. It would have been in the report of
17 the 15th had I been familiar with it. This is just some preparation.
18 Q. So let's move on to next day, 16 May 1995, and look at P2098.
19 What this is, is a regular combat report that goes from the Drina Corps
20 to the Main Staff where you were at. And, again, this is from Krstic,
21 and let's focus on item 2. You'll see here it says:
22 "All Drina Corps units are in full combat readiness and
23 successfully holding the lines reached. We are continuing with the
24 preparations for stabilisation of defence around the enclaves of
25 Srebrenica and Zepa in accordance with your order. We are currently
1 unable to implement your order to fully close off the enclaves and carry
2 out the [sic] attacks against them because we do not have sufficient
3 forces, but we are continuing to take specific measures to uncover enemy
4 groups in the gap, detect their combat support and ... of the forward
5 line of defence."
6 Now clearly Krstic here is referring to his ability to implement
7 Main Staff orders; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And he goes on in the next paragraph to report that the Vlasenica
10 Light Infantry Brigade searched the terrain along the Lisina-Glogic axis
11 and it was observed that a strong enemy group was staying in this sector.
12 And I'm going to get back to this.
13 MS. HASAN: For now, if we can turn to page 2 in the English --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so.
15 Witness, at the heading of this document, I see that IKM-1 of the
16 GS VRS is mentioned. You earlier told us that you thought that the
17 forward command post 1 didn't exist at the time. Any comment on the
18 reference to IKM-1 GS VRS here, which is apparently -- or at least the
19 word "Zvornik" is added? You're still convinced that it didn't exist at
20 that time?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 MS. HASAN: Your --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe that's what's written, but,
24 yes, when I went to Zvornik, there was no one there except for a duty
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And why would you think that the Drina Corps
2 command would send a document to the first forward command post of the
3 Main Staff of the VRS if it didn't exist? Do you have any explanation
4 for that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Why it was sent to Zvornik, I have
6 no explanation for that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was there personally on the 17th.
9 There was no one there at that command except for one duty officer.
10 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, if I may, it's our understanding that
11 this forward command post related to the Spreca operation what was going
12 on at that time in May 1995 and that there is --
13 JUDGE ORIE: There's a month --
14 MS. HASAN: -- a possible difference in July that the forward
15 command post was elsewhere.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that there's a month of time
17 difference here, and I do understand that the Prosecution interprets in
18 its own way, that it's not necessarily at the same location.
19 You could put that to the witness if you want to, but I leave
20 that to you, whether you want to do it.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MS. HASAN:
23 Q. Mr. Trkulja, you were aware of the Spreca operation, weren't you?
24 This is the operation --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And can you just very briefly, in just a couple of sentences,
2 tell us what that involved.
3 A. Well, that was some attack. I cannot remember exactly, the exact
4 location. I know that I sent a tank company from the protection regiment
5 to that area. It's been a very long time. I cannot remember all the
6 details, and I know that it was my duty to send ten tanks, the tank
7 company, to that area, and I did that. Now I don't know ...
8 Q. As far as you recall, then, sir, was this not an operation that
9 dealt with the ABiH military operations that were taking place along the
10 East Bosnia Corps and the Drina Corps boundary in March 1995 and that
11 this operation related to the VRS's counter-attack which engaged
12 significant forces of the Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. Possibly. I cannot remember the details now, but it's possible.
14 Because the forces were grouped, and I said that I took part in that. I
15 mean, I transferred from Han Pijesak, this tank company, about ten tanks.
16 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I note the time.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's time for a break.
18 Witness, you may follow the usher. We'd like to see you back in
19 20 minutes, because we'll take a break. And we'll resume at quarter past
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.19 p.m.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
1 MS. HASAN:
2 Q. We just left off looking at this Drina Corps report to the
3 Main Staff, and I turned your attention to item 2 which talked about
4 Krstic's information he was unable to implement the Main Staff order to
5 fully close off the enclaves and carry out attacks against them.
6 MS. HASAN: Now if we turn to next page in the English and page 3
7 in the B/C/S. Actually, can I ask for page 3 in the English as well.
8 Under item 8, under the heading: "Conclusions, anticipated
9 developments, and decision for forthcoming operations," it reads about
10 three to four lines from the bottom, Krstic decides: "Continue" -- turn
11 one more page in the English, please.
12 JUDGE ORIE: The last line, at least, starts with "continue." I
13 don't know whether that's ...
14 MS. HASAN:
15 Q. So we see here in the second line he's -- decides:
16 "Continue with the preparations to fully close off the enclaves
17 and use the available MUP forces in the Drina Corps zone of operations to
18 control the territory deep within."
19 Do you see that there at the end of item 8?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So isn't it the case, sir, that you at the Main Staff and the
22 Main Staff understood that Krstic was implementing orders from the
23 Main Staff, plans to attack the enclave?
24 A. Well, that's clear.
25 MS. HASAN: Let's go back very briefly to page 3. One more page,
1 please, in the English. And I'll just find the reference in the B/C/S.
2 So under item 2, it would be at the top of the page in the English and I
3 think we're going to have to turn one page back in the B/C/S to be able
4 to see the specific sentence.
5 Q. It reads just at the bottom there of the page, sir:
6 "In the zone of operations, ZO, of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade,
7 preparations are being carried out to continue operations in accordance
8 with Spreca 95 plan."
9 And, sir, that was the operation we had discussed earlier; right?
10 A. Well, yes, but that was a lot earlier. Earlier than this period.
11 There is this time distance between Spreca and what happened in
13 Q. That's fine, sir. I'm addressing your comments that you were not
14 aware of any plans in preparations for the attack on the Srebrenica
15 enclave. You said you had no knowledge of Krivaja 95 or any knowledge of
16 those plans.
17 MS. HASAN: So let's move, then, to 65 ter 05698.
18 Q. What you see on your screen is the Main Staff's report to the
19 president of Republika Srpska, reporting on events taking place on the
20 16th of May, 1995, the same day -- the same date as the previous report
21 we looked at from the Drina Corps.
22 Now, if we turn to page 4 in the English and page 4 in the B/C/S,
23 please, we will see that it's in the name of Miletic. And just above
24 that, sir, do you see the initials NT?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't understand the
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand the question.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The question is whether you see the initials there,
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, I do.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. If you would speak into the microphone
7 when giving an answer. Because I heard "vidim" before but the
8 interpreters can't hear it if you're not speaking into the microphone.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. HASAN:
11 Q. And that would mean, then, that you drafted this report to --
12 that went to the Supreme Commander; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So let's go back, then, to page 3 in the English and 3 in the
15 B/C/S and look at item 6, where there is a report on what's occurring in
16 the Drina Corps zone.
17 And under b, letter b, situation in the corps, and this is your
19 "Preparations are continuing for stabilising the defence around
20 the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa. During the day, the Vlasenica Light
21 Infantry Brigade reconnoitred and searched the terrain on the
22 Lisina-Glogic axis and observed that an enemy group had been in that
24 Now this reference that you put here to Srebrenica and Zepa and
25 the activities there, that was taken from the Drina Corps report that we
1 just examined. Isn't that the case?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So, in fact, then, sir, you were fully aware of the plan that the
4 Drina Corps was implementing, plans of the Main Staff, to make
5 preparations for the attack on the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Well, sir, you would have reviewed, didn't you, the Drina Corps
8 report we just looked at which set out that there were plans to fully
9 close off the enclaves and attack them, and you drafted this report that
10 went to the Supreme Command, reporting on that activity. How is it that
11 you claim now that you have no knowledge?
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam --
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the
15 Prosecutor to give us a reference regarding the question as to where in
16 the Drina Corps document it says that there are plans to enclose or to
17 close off the enclaves.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think we saw it in the previous document. Is
19 that ...
20 MS. HASAN: That's correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at it again.
22 MS. HASAN: Yes, we can go back. So this is P2098. Under item 2
23 it says -- Krstic writes:
24 "We are continuing with the preparations for the stabilisation of
25 defence around the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa in accordance with
1 your order. We are currently unable to implement your order to fully
2 close off the enclaves and carry out the attacks against them because we
3 do not have sufficient forces."
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any comment now? I
5 mean, do you withdraw your objection?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this seems to me
7 that this is the same as proposed by the content of the question with
8 regard to the preparations and the objective of those preparations.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't your objection, was it? Let me just
10 have a look.
11 The question was about plans to fully close off the enclaves, and
12 your objection was "give us a reference regarding the question as to
13 where in the Drina Corps document it says that there are plans to enclose
14 or to close off the enclaves."
15 Now, have you seen it, now that it's in the document,
16 Mr. Stojanovic? Even an order was given which was not -- which they were
17 not able to implement.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Microphone, Mr. --
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, under 2, in B/C/S,
22 I'm reading, that's why I asked for a reference.
23 "We are continuing with the plans to stabilise the defence around
24 the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa within the spirit of your order."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then it continues:
1 "We are currently unable to implement your order to fully close
2 off the enclaves and carry out attacks against them because we do not
3 have sufficient forces."
4 If you give an order, would that not be that there's a plan to do
5 what you ordered?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is to be assumed that
7 there is a plan. However, the question was: Did you know about that
8 plan, were you aware of it? And that was the purpose of my objection and
9 my explanation that the two did not seem to be identical.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Your objection was that the Prosecution should tell
11 you where those words, the words you used, are found in that document.
12 It was a frivolous objection, and I deny it.
13 Please proceed.
14 MS. HASAN:
15 Q. So, Witness, I'm going to go back to my question. We just looked
16 at this Drina Corps report which talks about this order from the
17 Main Staff to close off the enclaves and attack them. How is that you
18 claim you had no knowledge of these operations?
19 A. Madam Prosecutor, there are two parts to this.
20 One part is preparations. The second part is implementation.
21 During preparations, there was a group who was involved in that. The
22 others didn't know anything about the plan that was being drafted.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you knew about the plans,
24 the plans that apparently appear in the reports you're involved in.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it comes to those plans and
1 their drafting, as far as I know, nobody in the Main Staff was aware of
2 them. None of my colleagues.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't understand the end of
4 the answer.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the last part of your answer.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When plans are drafted -- none of
7 my colleagues in the Main Staff participated in the drafting of any plans
8 related to Srebrenica. And as for the report, this is just a summarised
9 version of a Drina Corps report. That doesn't mean that the organs of
10 the Main Staff were aware of the plans and their nature.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, I leave it to you whether you want to
12 further draw the attention of the witness to -- whether you asked him
13 whether he knew about it or whether you asked that others knew about it.
14 Because you are explaining us now that others may not have known
15 about it. You didn't say that you didn't know about those plans, did
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't. And from my contacts
18 with my colleagues, chiefs of other arms, they didn't either.
19 MS. HASAN:
20 Q. Now, Witness, you don't contest that General Mladic knew about
21 these plans; that General Mladic, in fact, ordered them?
22 A. I'm not contesting anything. I'm not claiming anything. I was
23 not present. Therefore, I'm in no position to speak from the position
24 that I was in. I can't say anything. I can't claim anything.
25 MS. HASAN: Could we take a look at P01087 briefly. It's the map
1 book, the Srebrenica Court Binder. And if we can look at page 24. If we
2 could rotate that. Thank you.
3 Q. Now, you see at the top there it says: "Decision of the
4 Drina Corps commander for active combat operations." On the top
5 right-hand corner: "Military secret, strictly confidential, Krivaja 95."
6 And on the left-hand side, sir, it says: "I approve, Commander
7 Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic," and then his signature.
8 So General Mladic clearly approved and ordered these plans in
9 preparation for and the attack on the Srebrenica enclave; correct?
10 Would you please speak into the microphone.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise. Approved. And
13 can you clearly see that it was drafted by General Krstic.
14 MS. HASAN: Your Honours, I'll then tender 65 ter 05698.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P7369, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
18 MS. HASAN: And unless there are other questions from
19 Your Honours on that topic, I'm going to move on now to a different area.
20 Q. Witness, between 14 and 17 July, over 5.000 Muslim prisoners had
21 been killed in Zvornik. You were aware of that, weren't you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. In fact, sir, you were intimately aware about what was happening
24 and not only were you aware, you were a direct participant. Now, the day
25 before you left to Zvornik with Sladojevic, and that would have been the
1 16th of July, you went to the Drina Corps command in Vlasenica looking
2 for Ljubisa Beara and you were delivering a message to Beara, orders that
3 came from higher up, an order that the remaining Muslims in the Zvornik
4 area, the remaining Muslim prisoners there, had to be executed. That's
5 the truth, isn't it?
6 A. This is not the truth at all. I never saw Beara. The only truth
7 is what I told you. When I set out from Han Pijesak, I never entered the
8 building of the Drina Corps, madam. I was standing by the parking lot,
9 the major got in and we proceeded. This is the only truth. Please,
10 leave me be.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, putting many propositions to a witness
12 and then asking him whether that's the truth may lead to answers like:
13 This is not the truth at all, I never saw Beara. Which, of course,
14 covers part of what you said.
15 Did you go with Sladojevic on the 16th of July to the Drina Corps
16 command in Vlasenica?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was standing by the corps
18 building for perhaps two or three minutes, in the parking lot there.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So you went to the premises of the Drina Corps
20 command. Were you looking for Ljubisa Beara?
21 No -- no loud speaking, Mr. Mladic.
22 Were you looking for Mr. Beara?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, I did not. I did
24 not look for him. That was not my task. I told you what my task was. I
25 said that at the very beginning. Okay, okay.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, just listen to every detail of my question.
2 Did you see Mr. Beara?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Had you received an order from the higher up -- had
5 you received any order which you were expected to convey to Mr. Beara?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
9 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Trkulja, you went and you testified earlier today that you
11 went to Zvornik with Sladojevic on the morning of the 17th. Now I'm not
12 talking about when you went to Vlasenica to the Drina Corps command on
13 the 17th of July. I'm putting it to you that you went there on the 16th
14 of July, the day before. Isn't that the case? As well as the 17th.
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. In fact, you told Sladojevic that you had been in the field the
17 day before you had left with him on the mission we have been discussing
18 to go to Zvornik, to the Baljkovica area. Isn't that true?
19 A. No. The truth and nothing but the truth is what I told you, in
20 every detail. Crna Rijeka, Vlasenica, the Drina Corps command, we were
21 joined by the major that I told you about --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you've answered the question.
23 Next question, please, Ms. Hasan.
24 MS. HASAN: Could we look at 65 ter 32529. And this is
25 Sladojevic's testimony in the Popovic case, 27th of August, 2007. I'd
1 asked for e-court page 16.
2 Q. Mr. Trkulja, I just want to draw your attention to what he
3 testified to before this Tribunal. And at line 7 -- sorry.
4 MS. HASAN: Is this page 16? Yes.
5 Q. Now, at line 7:
6 "I'm just asking you" -- this is the question put to him:
7 "I'm just asking, did Colonel Trkulja tell you he had gone
8 somewhere before, on the 16th?
9 "A. Yes, but he didn't tell me where. He had told me he had
10 been somewhere.
11 "Q. Did he say that he'd been out in the field? I think that's
12 the word you used last time you told us about this.
13 "A. Yes. That's right. He had been out in the field, correct."
14 So do you contest here what Sladojevic testified to?
15 A. I contest that part because it is incorrect.
16 MS. HASAN: So let's look at P1330. This is an under-seal
17 document so it should not be broadcast. And it's an intercept of a
18 communication that took place at 1111 hours in the morning.
19 Q. And it's between Colonel -- as you see there, Colonel Ljubo
20 Beara, Cerovic, and X. Now, we believe that X is the security officer of
21 the Zvornik Brigade, Milorad Trbic, who was at that time the duty
22 officer, at that time, the 16th of July, at the Zvornik Brigade.
23 Do you know Colonel Cerovic of the Drina Corps?
24 A. By sight.
25 Q. He -- and you're aware that he was the assistant commander for
1 moral, legal, and religious affairs?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now if we look at the content of this communication, Cerovic
4 first informs X and then Beara that triage has to be done on the
5 prisoners. So I'm just going to read it.
6 "Cerovic: Hey, listen to me, triage has to be done today who ...
8 "X: Yes.
9 "Cerovic" -- there's some distorted modulation and he is not
11 "X: To do triage.
12 "Cerovic: Triage has to be done on prisoners.
13 "X: Colonel Beara is right here by me.
14 "Cerovic: Give me Beara.
15 "X: Go ahead.
16 "Beara: Yes?
17 "Cerovic: Ljubo.
18 "Beara: I hear you.
19 "Cerovic: Hello, Cerovic, hello, Cerovic speaking.
20 "Beara: I hear you.
21 "Cerovic: Trkulja was here with me just now and he was looking
22 for you. I don't know.
23 "Beara: Yes.
24 "Cerovic: So he told me ... he got instructions [sic] from
1 "Beara: Yes.
2 "Cerovic: To do triage on those --
3 "Beara: I don't want to talk about it on the phone.
4 "Cerovic: Okay.
5 "Beara: Okay, take care.
6 "Cerovic: Cheers."
7 So, Mr. Trkulja, do you know of any other officers in the
8 Main Staff and the Drina Corps called Trkulja besides yourself?
9 A. No. But this is not correct. I never received or conveyed any
10 instructions. There was only Miletic in the Main Staff, and he had
11 absolutely nothing to do with all that.
12 Q. According to Cerovic in this intercept, you were with him at
13 Vlasenica sometime before 1111 on the morning of 16 July. And now I'm
14 going to show you the Zvornik Brigade's duty officer log-book.
15 MS. HASAN: And this is Exhibit P01501.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, could we first ask the witness whether he
17 denies that he met on the 16th Mr. Cerovic in Vlasenica?
18 Do you deny that you have spoken to him at that point in time at
19 that location?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I deny that. You can see where I
21 was, when I went to the Zvornik Brigade, and when I was in Crni Vrh.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation as why he is then not
23 telling -- not giving the right information to Beara?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation as to why he would tell
1 Beara that you were looking for him?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no explanation at all. I
3 arrived there to get a man who would take me to the Zvornik Brigade. I
4 didn't need either Beara or Cerovic. I just needed somebody to accompany
5 me on my mission. As soon as we arrived there, after two or three
6 minutes, while we were standing in the parking lot, he came up. Now,
7 these are really strange stories. I don't know where they come from and
9 JUDGE ORIE: Was that on the 16th of July?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received the task on 16th of
11 July. I was at the command post. Therefore, I could not be in several
12 places at the same time.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, a day is long, Mr. -- you said: "I arrived
14 there to get a man ..." When you said "I arrived there," what did you
15 mean by "there"? Where did you arrive to get a man?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant in front of the command of
17 the Drina Corps. I was waiting for an officer to come out and accompany
19 JUDGE ORIE: In what village?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was in Vlasenica.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
22 MS. HASAN:
23 Q. I wanted to show you the Zvornik Brigade duty officer log-book.
24 MS. HASAN: It's Exhibit P01501. And if we could have pages 80
25 and 81 both displayed on the screen.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the number.
2 MS. HASAN: P1501, please.
3 Q. And if you just look about halfway down the page in the B/C/S at
4 1115 --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could we wait until we have the English version on
6 our screens as well.
7 Please proceed.
8 MS. HASAN: So 1115 hours -- and in the English could we scroll a
9 little bit to the left so we can see what's marked in red and actually
10 make just -- let's see the whole page, the original whole page.
11 Q. It's from -- so this is the notebook from the 16th of
12 July notations made by Milorad Trbic. And at 1115, just three minutes
13 after the time of the intercepted communication, it reads:
14 "It was reported from Zlatar that a triage of wounded and
15 prisoners must be carried out (it was reported to Beara)."
16 Sir, what's -- what was -- what was Zlatar? What was that a
17 code-name for?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. You didn't know that Zlatar was the code-name for the Drina Corps
20 command at Vlasenica?
21 A. I didn't know.
22 Q. Now, we've seen the intercept and we've seen a notation in the
23 Zvornik Brigade duty officer notebook where Trbic has recorded what has
24 been said, and they both refer to triage. What is meant by "triage"?
25 A. I know that that expression is used in the medical corps. I
1 don't know about the rest.
2 Q. Well, are we talking about medical officers here?
3 A. We are not. But what this person meant by "triage," I don't
5 Q. And I take it that you weren't aware of any medical triage that
6 took place, that was performed, on Muslim prisoners?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, sir, the only prisoners that were alive on the morning of
9 the 16th were about 1.500 to 2.000 Muslims who were detained at the Kula
10 school and at the Pilica Dom.
11 Now, there wasn't a screening process for these or any sort of
12 medical triage conducted on these prisoners or those who had been
13 executed in the previous days, and I put it to you, then, that the term
14 "triage," as it is used here, meant execution, didn't it?
15 A. I mean, I don't know. Are we to assume something? I was not
16 following this, who used the word "triage," what that person meant, I
17 don't know.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Trkulja, it's our position that this is a criminal
19 order and that this criminal order was passed on by you from the superior
20 commands to be delivered to Beara and that, in fact, the remaining
21 prisoners who were alive were subsequently executed.
22 Now you did learn, didn't you, that prisoners who had been held
23 at the Kula school and the Pilica Dom were killed?
24 A. Madam, at the very beginning of the trial, I said at the command
25 post there was Miletic, I, Sladojevic, and a major. Not a single one was
1 in a position or was able to write an order or to order anything.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The question was a different one, Witness. The
3 question was whether you had learned that prisoners who had been held at
4 the Kula school and the Pilica Dom were killed, whether you learned that.
5 Did you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not learn that and my
7 colleagues didn't. The chiefs of arms and services --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the last part of your answer? You
10 said: "The chiefs of arms and services," and what did you then say?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't know.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
13 MS. HASAN:
14 Q. Who are these chiefs of arms and services that you are telling
15 the Court today did not know?
16 A. Sladojevic.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the rest.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you, again, re-start your answer where you
19 said about chiefs of arms and services, you said: "Sladojevic." Could
20 you resume from there, clearly speaking into the microphone.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He and I were the only ones there
22 as chiefs of arms and services. And at the IKM there was Manojlo, the
23 chief of engineering, artillery. They didn't know either although they
24 were near Bihac.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end
2 JUDGE ORIE: Again the last part of your answer was not heard by
3 the interpreters. Could you resume from where you said: "They didn't
4 know either although they were near Bihac." What did you say after that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Next question, please.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MS. HASAN:
9 Q. How about General Tolimir? He was there on the 16th of July?
10 A. He was not at the command post.
11 Q. Witness, now, in that intercept we just looked at, Beara
12 interrupted Cerovic when he was talking about doing triage, and Beara
14 "I don't want to talk about it on the phone."
15 Do you have an explanation why Beara would not want to talk about
16 triage on the phone?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Now, moving on to the 17th -- sorry. Moving on to the evening of
19 the 16th of July. This is when you receive the order, you say, from
20 Miletic. That was a verbal order, right, at that time?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You received that order while you were in the operations room of
23 the Main Staff command?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you were informed as part of that mission that column of
1 Muslims were moving in the direction of Tuzla and that --
2 A. No.
3 Q. You were not told that you had to go investigate the front line
4 because Muslims had weakened that line and were breaking through?
5 A. I've already said what the task was: To raise security and
6 vigilance at the front line. I had no idea that there was a column. I
7 mean, I was moving in a vehicle with three officers, and we had pistols.
8 I had no idea, and it so happened that we entered a combat area. We had
9 not been informed at all what was going on there.
10 Q. Well, sir, I'm going to show you what Sladojevic testified to and
11 what he says was the information that was received in relation to this
13 MS. HASAN: So 65 ter 32529, please; e-court page 13.
14 Q. And if we just look down the page, and Sladojevic testifies at
15 line 17 that he got the actual order in the morning at around 7.30. And
16 he goes on at the end of his answer:
17 "That was on the 17th of July."
18 And if we can just skip the page to the next one, and it says:
19 "When did you get hints" -- sorry, at line 2 he is asked:
20 "When did you get hints from General Trkulja that there would be
22 "A. On the 16th, there was talk that something had happened in
23 the Zvornik area, but I think the information arrived from the Supreme
24 Command, not from the Drina Corps. I can't be sure, however. It was
25 just a rumour. We didn't see any papers or documents confirming that."
1 And he's asked to give more information on what was the problem
2 that was rumoured to have happened, or what information he got.
3 And his answer, at line 11:
4 "We got information that a column of Muslims had been allowed
5 through on the Urdc-Crni Vrh axis towards Tuzla, and that they had passed
6 through the area of defence of the Zvornik Brigade.
7 "Q. Who received the order to go to the Zvornik?
8 "A. I got it orally. As for Colonel Trkulja, I don't know
9 whether he received it orally or in writing, but he didn't show it to me
11 So, Mr. Trkulja, it seems as -- as Sladojevic puts it, that, in
12 fact, you had received more information than you purport to have here
13 today. You were told that there was a column of Muslims and that they
14 had broken through the axis, the defence of the Zvornik Brigade, towards
15 Tuzla. That's correct, isn't it.
16 A. No. What I said was correct. When we were arriving, there was
17 combat going on and they were in a ditch when we arrived. Sladojevic got
18 it wrong there. He went one day back. He is not the one who issued --
19 who was issued the task. I was the one who was issued the task.
20 THE INTERPRETER: And interpreter's note: We did not understand
21 the rest.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see that so many things do not
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, tell us what you know rather than to tell
25 us whether something tallies or not.
1 And could you repeat the last part of your answer, because the
2 interpreters, again, couldn't hear it. So would you resume from: "I was
3 the one who was issued the task." Could you resume from there.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. And Sladojevic, I mean, what
5 he said here, he got it wrong. He got the period of time wrong. He
6 changed the dates and he didn't have that knowledge yet because that
7 hadn't happened when we left, and he was speaking about the column and
8 the passing. That is totally incorrect. When we arrived there, we
9 observed that. Not Sladojevic when he -- and that's why there are so
10 many errors in his reporting.
11 MS. HASAN:
12 Q. Just one brief question before the break. So you're saying, in
13 fact, that you only -- that -- that the breakthrough of the Muslim column
14 only happened on the 17th of July, the day that you went to Baljkovica?
15 A. No. The 17th of July, when I arrived there, then an agreement
16 was reached. And then on the 18th, at 10.00, the column started getting
17 out. It was no breakthrough. The army was withdrawn from the front line
18 and a free area was created so that they could pass there. That was on
19 the 18th, from 10.00 until 12-something that column passed.
20 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, it would be a good time to take the
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's a good time for a break.
23 We'll take a break of 20 minutes. We'd like to see you back
24 after the break, Mr. Trkulja. And we will resume at 20 minutes to 2.00.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Recess taken at 1.17 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Ms. Hasan.
5 No loud speaking, Mr. Mladic.
6 MS. HASAN:
7 Q. Mr. Trkulja, we had just -- I had just shown you what Sladojevic
8 had said about the information he received, that column of Muslims had
9 been allowed through the Zvornik defence. And I'd like to now show you
11 MS. HASAN: This should not be broadcast.
12 Q. This is -- what will show up on your screen, sir, is an
13 intercepted --
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar informs me that is not recorded as
16 confidential. Any reason why you don't want to have it broadcasted?
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, this was a translation that we just
19 replaced, and out of an abundance of caution, I would suggest we don't
20 broadcast it now and I can explain the basis for why this should now be a
21 confidential exhibit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll wait for your explanation and we'll then
23 consider whether it should be public again.
24 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
25 Q. So, Witness, this is an intercepted communication from the
1 16th of July, 1995, at 1615 hours. Communication between the duty
2 officer in the Main Staff and General Mladic, who was inaudible. Now
3 it's our position that at this time General Mladic was in Belgrade.
4 And so we're now -- what's recorded here is just the side of the
5 duty officer. Do you know who the duty officer at the Main Staff was on
6 that day?
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. So he says:
9 "Good day, General, sir.
10 "Well, it's like this. I've just sent a telegram to Toso. Well,
11 the president called a short while ago and said that he had been informed
12 by Karisik that Pandurevic has arranged for the Muslims to pass over to
13 that territory. Since I have no communication with him, I asked the duty
14 officer to put me in touch with him urgently, to send me a telegram with
15 that information, and not to do anything without authorisation until he
16 receives our answer. Now" --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should slow down.
18 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
19 Q. "Now I'm waiting for them to call me because Pandurevic hasn't
20 called for the last four ...
21 "Yes, of course. No, but there are both fighters and civilians.
22 "Nobody is playing around, that's just the information we got. I
23 spoke to Krsto down there. He says it's going well, but I -- he didn't
24 say how far they have got, but he says it's going well."
25 And the conversation goes on.
1 So this is -- we're hearing just -- we have recorded here just
2 the side of the duty officer speaking, and he is clearly informing
3 General Mladic that information has arrived, that the president has
4 called, and that Pandurevic has arranged for the Muslims to pass over to
5 that territory and that he's urgently trying to reach Pandurevic to get
6 more information.
7 And it's because the Main Staff was so concerned about what was
8 going on and what they were hearing, that they decided to send not one,
9 not two, but three colonels from the Main Staff to look into this and
10 find out what was going on in Baljkovica, what was Pandurevic doing.
11 Isn't that the case?
12 A. No. The distance is two days.
13 Q. We're going to come back to your chronology, Mr. Trkulja, but for
14 the time being, while we still have this intercept on our screens, could
15 you identify for us who -- do you know who Toso is?
16 A. General Tolimir.
17 Q. And how about Karisik who is referred to in this intercept?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Karisik.
20 A. I've said I don't know.
21 Q. Now, you've answered my earlier question saying: "No. The
22 distance is two days," and I want clarification on that. Because you're
23 claiming here today that you were not aware when you went on this mission
24 that Muslims were breaking through the Zvornik's [sic] defence lines. Do
25 you -- is that -- you still maintain that?
1 A. Madam Prosecutor, it's not that they were not breaking through.
2 They were in a ditch and they were still in the territory of the Zvornik
3 Brigade when I arrived there. It was only on the following day, the
4 18th, at 10.00, that they started getting out. That is the pure truth.
5 And all of these talks and whatever, all of this is just -- all of that
6 is just guess-work.
7 JUDGE ORIE: When you're talking again and again by the Muslims
8 in the ditch, what number should I think of that you saw in the ditch?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see them, but on the basis
10 of information from Obrenovic there were 5.000.
11 JUDGE ORIE: 5.000 in a ditch.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MS. HASAN:
15 Q. When Sladojevic was asked in the Popovic case to sum up basically
16 what your discussions were with him en route to Zvornik, he said --
17 MS. HASAN: And we can pull this up, 65 ter 32529, e-court
18 page 53, please.
19 Q. And I'll read this out to you, starting at line 1:
20 "Q. And during the course of that journey, did Colonel Trkulja
21 tell you what orders he had received?
22 "A. Yes, orally. We talked in the Puch and I concluded that we
23 should take measures in the Zvornik Brigade to find out why it had been
24 so easy for that column to get through."
25 Now, Sladojevic understood that that was the purpose of why you
1 went to Zvornik, to find out why it was so easy that that column passed
2 through. Wasn't that the purpose of your mission, as he put it?
3 A. No, it seems that something has happened to his memory as well.
4 I did not know, because we found those people in the ditch. Didn't know
5 that there had been fighting before that. Columns, what do you mean? Do
6 you really think that we would have chosen to take a Puch to go to a line
7 of combat? We didn't know. And I have been saying time and again what I
8 have said is the pure truth. And now these telegrams and whatever, all
9 of that is sheer guess-work. Sladojevic, I really wonder at him.
10 Just -- I don't know. I made a mistake in taking him in the first place.
11 Q. The duty officer is misinforming General Mladic about what is
12 happening? Is that your position?
13 A. Let's summarise this, yes? None of that had happened yet on the
14 16th, nothing.
15 Q. Can you remind us, sir, who General Miletic was?
16 A. Chief of the operations administration.
17 Q. And you said that General Miletic was around on the 16th of
18 July when you received the order. Milovanovic was not present; is that
20 A. Milovanovic was at the forward post number 2 towards Bihac. I
21 don't know the exact location.
22 Q. Now, General Miletic, he would have received this order that he
23 gave you from somebody else; right? He wouldn't have issued that order
24 of his own accord?
25 A. I can't say either. The task was to raise the level of security
1 on the front line of the Zvornik Brigade. He knew that. I knew that.
2 This is as much as we both knew until the moment when we actually reached
3 that line.
4 Q. Do you recall, sir, testifying in the Popovic trial?
5 A. Miletic?
6 Q. Yes, that would have been the trial of General Miletic too. And
7 I'm going to take you back to your testimony.
8 A. Well, I remember.
9 Q. And this was on 10 September 2007.
10 MS. HASAN: 65 ter 32519, e-court page 60.
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 MS. HASAN:
13 Q. If we look at line 4, you were -- this question was put to you:
14 "You said a moment ago that General Miletic sent you to Zvornik.
15 Could we say that General Miletic, in fact, conveyed to you an order that
16 only the commander, General Mladic, could have issued?
17 "A. Most probably."
18 Mr. Trkulja, did you tell the truth during that trial and do you
19 stand by your testimony?
20 A. I stand by my testimony. I never confirmed anything. I never
21 denied it either. I said "most probably." I never claimed anything and
22 I still don't claim anything. What I'm saying is that that may have been
23 the case. I don't know.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, "most probably" means more than "it may have
25 been the case." It means it's likely the case. Do you stand by that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stand by that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Please proceed.
4 MS. HASAN:
5 Q. And you've known -- you knew Dragomir Keserovic for a very long
6 time, didn't you? You served with him in Macedonia?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And Dragomir Keserovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic, who was the
9 chief of the section for military police affairs in the Main Staff, now
10 on the night of 16 July, he received an order from General Mladic to lead
11 forces in their combing of the terrain to find lagging Muslim groups.
12 And he testified in this case, and I'm going to read to you a portion of
13 that testimony.
14 MS. HASAN: This is transcript page 12859, starting line 4.
15 Q. He says -- basically he's read back testimony he gave in the
16 Tolimir case and his testimony in the Tolimir case was:
17 "I did hear Sladojevic and also Trkulja, both of the colonels,
18 and another one, Stankovic. I heard Mladic say that Sladojevic, Trkulja,
19 and Stankovic will go to the Zvornik Brigade, assess the situation, and
20 see if they need assistance."
21 And he's asked:
22 "Do you stand by that statement?"
23 He answers: "Yes."
24 "Q. So you actually heard Mladic say this then?
25 "A. Yes. I heard General Mladic say that Sladojevic, Trkulja,
1 and Stankovic were to go there. What I'm uncertain of, though, is
2 whether he was addressing Miletic in order for him to issue an order to
3 them or if he spoke to them directly. But I think Sladojevic could hear
4 it as well, given the fact that Trkulja and Stankovic were not present."
5 So, sir, you were not there when General Mladic issued this order
6 or were you there?
7 A. Madam Prosecutor, you saw the telegram that was dispatched on the
8 17th. I suppose that Keserovic read that. Neither Sladojevic nor I did
9 it. We were at the command post. There's no chance that we would have
10 either seen or heard Mladic. I suppose that he read that telegram
11 containing the order, according to which I and Sladojevic and --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please focus your answer on the
13 question. The question was whether or not you were there when General
14 Mladic issued this order. Were you or were you not?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That answers the question.
17 Please proceed.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Neither I nor Keserovic were there.
19 MS. HASAN:
20 Q. Now, you -- Keserovic says that this order was made on the
21 evening of the 16th of July. And I'd just like to ask you, at this
22 point, Sladojevic has described you as a kind of deputy to General
23 Mladic. Were you a close associate of General Mladic at that time?
24 A. I was the chief of armoured units. I was subordinated to General
25 Manojlo Milovanovic. General Mladic has -- had his assistants, Gvero and
1 the others. Let me not mention all of their names, Tolimir, Djukic,
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put one question to the witness.
4 A minute ago, Mr. Trkulja, you said: "Neither I nor Keserovic
5 were there," meaning present when General Mladic mentioned that three
6 colonels had to go to the front line. How do you know that Mr. Keserovic
7 was not there?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because Mladic sent that telegram.
9 Mladic wasn't there. Where was Keserovic supposed to be? I didn't see
10 him. Nobody from the staff saw him. Keserovic didn't see him.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the last
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you repeat the last answer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever is in his statement was
16 what he read in the telegram. It is not that he heard it from Mladic.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you saying that Mr. Keserovic was not telling
18 the truth when he testified?
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter does not understand the
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat your answer. The
22 interpreters didn't understand you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a product of his imagination.
24 He said it just to make himself seem more important. There were so many
25 steps between him and General Mladic.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, are you saying that, testifying under
2 oath, he didn't tell the truth when he said:
3 "I heard Mladic say that Sladojevic, Trkulja, and Stankovic will
4 go to the Zvornik Brigade, assess the situation, and see if they need
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What you said is correct. He was
7 not telling the truth. In that telegram it says clearly who was supposed
8 to go.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How do you know that -- putting aside the
10 telegram, that he was not present when Mladic said that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, and most importantly,
12 he was not at the command post. The three, four or five men whom I
13 mentioned were there. Nobody else. So whatever I hear from somebody
14 else, whatever somebody tries to say about that, I know immediately that
15 he is not telling the truth.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I heard that. Thank you.
17 MS. HASAN:
18 Q. Sladojevic told the OTP when he was interviewed in 2000 that
19 General Miletic told you - and we can put this on the screen if needed -
20 that you were to find out whether Pandurevic was responsible for that,
21 and he's referring to the passage of the column, and if he was
22 responsible, that he should be replaced. If he was responsible, he says,
23 he should be replaced right away.
24 Is that what Miletic told you? Was Sladojevic telling the truth?
25 A. Sladojevic was telling a blatant lie. An absolute lie. I was
1 there. The front line still did not exist. Nobody ordered anybody to
2 forbid Muslim formations to exit and go in the direction of Tuzla. At
3 that moment when Pandurevic -- when I arrived, Pandurevic was not there.
4 Obrenovic was there.
5 Q. On the morning after, the morning of 17 July, before you left
6 Crna Rijeka, General Miletic handed you a written order, didn't he?
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, the morning after the morning of the 17th
9 July. That's the morning of the 18th of July? Is that how I have
10 understand it.
11 MS. HASAN: The morning after the 16th of July --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, it is recorded as "the morning after the
13 morning of the 17th of July." And perhaps if you know it's one day
14 later, that you take that date as a starting point. But since I do not
15 know, I think I heard "the morning after the morning of the 17th of
16 July," so perhaps you put the question again to the witness that there's
17 no possible confusion about what date you asked him about.
18 MS. HASAN:
19 Q. On the morning of the 17th of July, before you left Crna Rijeka,
20 General Miletic hand you a written order; right?
21 A. Not right. In the evening I received a verbal order and I obeyed
22 it. I carried it out.
23 Q. Well, we'll get to that.
24 MS. HASAN: Let's look at the order we've seen before, P01579.
25 And, Your Honours, this was tendered by the Defence now and it was D1046.
1 The same document was already tendered as P1579, and then there's a
2 different version that was received by the Drina Corps, P1556. D1046,
3 P1579 are both versions that were copies of the -- the report -- the
4 report that was sent to -- the order that was sent to and received by the
5 Milici Brigade.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Are they in every detail the same? Sometimes it's a
7 matter of stamps or sometimes -- perhaps you could -- we're close to the
8 adjournment anyhow, that you meet or at least discuss with Mr. Stojanovic
9 whether it's really the same. In which case, I think the number could be
10 vacated. But I leave that for you after 2.15.
11 Please proceed, meanwhile.
12 MS. HASAN:
13 Q. Now, this order, Keserovic discussed this order when he testified
14 in this case and specifically about the portion of the order addressed to
15 him, appointing him to lead the sweep operation. And he is then asked
16 whether this order also reflected the order Mladic had issued for you,
17 Stankovic, and Sladojevic to go to the Zvornik Brigade. And he said -
18 and this is at transcript page 12847 - his answer was:
19 "I'm not sure if I heard about that then, but during this
20 communication in this room, at one point I found out or I learned, I'm
21 not sure whether it was from General Mladic, that a group of officers,
22 three of them, was supposed to go to the area of responsibility of the
23 Zvornik Brigade to see what the situation was there and to provide
24 assistance to the commander if needed or, rather, to see what was going
25 on there and to be there as some sort of help, and that this should also
1 be something that would be regulated by that same order.
2 "Q. The same order that Mladic had given you to go to the
3 Bratunac area of responsibility?
4 "A. Yes. I saw the document later. That same order contained
5 orders for me and for those other three officers."
6 And, sir, you received an order to that effect, didn't you? And
7 I'm referring to the written order.
8 A. I did not understand that question. Was that question put to me?
9 JUDGE ORIE: The question was put to you and was whether you
10 received an order to that effect, as described by Ms. Hasan. Referring
11 to a written order.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, I'm looking at the clock.
14 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We have to adjourn for the day.
16 Mr. Trkulja, we adjourn for the day. I again instruct you that
17 you should not speak or communicate with whomever about your testimony,
18 whether that is testimony you have given already or that is testimony
19 still to be given, and we'd like to see you back tomorrow, 9.30 in the
20 morning. You may now follow the usher.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a question --
22 JUDGE ORIE: No loud speaking. If there's anything you'd like
23 to -- you may follow the usher.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, you, against a strict order not to speak
2 aloud nevertheless spoke aloud, will not be present through -- is removed
3 from the courtroom for the remainder of the testimony of this witness
5 Mr. Mladic, not again, not speaking aloud.
6 We'll adjourn. I already announced that due to urgent personal
7 reasons I will not be able to sit tomorrow. It will not be any longer
8 than one day. Therefore, you'll hear from my colleagues whether they'll
9 decide whether it is in the interests of justice to continue hearing the
10 case tomorrow, and they indicate to me that they have decided that it is.
11 We adjourn for the day, and you will resume tomorrow, the 6th of
12 May, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.18 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of May,
15 2015, at 9.30 a.m.