1 Tuesday, 28 October 2003
2 [Sentencing Proceedings]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.04 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-02-60/1-S, the Prosecutor versus Momir Nikolic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 As we planned, this afternoon we'll continue the proceedings by
11 hearing the Court witnesses. I would like to reiterate that the purpose
12 of the hearing of those witnesses is for the credibility purpose only and
13 not that the Trial Chamber has any doubts about sufficient factual basis
14 underlying the guilty plea.
15 This afternoon we'll have three witnesses. The procedure is: I,
16 as a Presiding Judge, will ask some questions to the witnesses first to
17 start the ball rolling, then the Defence may ask some questions, and after
18 that the Prosecution, and later the other two Judges may put some
19 questions to this witness.
20 The first witness is Mr. Deronjic. This Trial Chamber made an
21 order to request his appearance as a witness, and we also have his counsel
22 present in this courtroom to observe the proceedings.
23 Sir, would you please identify yourself.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my name is Slobodan
25 Cvijetic, and I'm the accused's first Defence.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. As the usual practice in this Tribunal,
2 the counsel of the witness may make some interventions on the legal issues
3 concerning his client's right, but he has no right to make any
4 interventions concerning with factual issues. Do you understand that,
5 Mr. Cvijetic?
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
8 Before we have the witness, are there any matters the --
9 Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I do not
12 receive -- I'm not receiving any interpretation and I'm not able to follow
13 what you're saying.
14 JUDGE LIU: Can you hear me?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may sit down, please, Mr. Nikolic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Just to explain to the parties about the procedures
19 of this hearing. Yes.
20 MR. KIRSCH: Your Honours, just one moment. I want to clarify on
21 yesterday's transcript. When Mr. Londrovic was questioning Witness DA,
22 I think it was, in the transcript page 43, line 19 he was asking about the
23 SDS membership, and as far as I followed the transcript, it says "SDA"
24 there. We confirmed with the Prosecution to see if their understanding
25 was also that he -- Mr. Londrovic referred to the SDS, the
1 Serbian Democratic Party, so I would just like you to check on that part
2 of the record from yesterday. Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much to bring this matter to our
4 attention, but I think there's no judicial damage to your part. Everybody
5 understands that.
6 I think then that -- could we have the first witness, please.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness. Can you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can hear
11 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
12 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: MIROSLAV DERONJIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE LIU: Let me ask you some questions. For the sake of the
20 record, would you please be kind enough to state your name.
21 A. My name is Miroslav Deronjic.
22 JUDGE LIU: What is the date of the birth?
23 A. I was born on the 6th of June, 1954.
24 JUDGE LIU: What is your address before going to The Hague?
25 A. I lived in Bratunac, Gavrilo Princip Street, number 22.
1 JUDGE LIU: Are you somehow related to Mr. Nikolic?
2 A. I'm not directly related to him, but my wife and Mr. Nikolic are
3 related in a certain sense.
4 JUDGE LIU: What was your position in July 1995?
5 A. Up until the 11th of July, 1995, I was the chairman of the
6 executive committee of the Bratunac SDS. On the 11th of July, 1995, I was
7 appointed as a Civilian Commissioner for Srebrenica by an order -- by a
8 decision from the Presidency of Republika Srpska. But I would like to
9 clarify something and say that in some of the documents they say "civilian
10 official." I don't think that's a correct definition. I think the
11 correct term would be "Civilian Commissioner."
12 JUDGE LIU: What's the difference between a commissioner and an
14 A. A civilian commissioner is a post that's a well-known post in the
15 former Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska, in state spheres. It's a
16 well-defined role. If necessary, I could provide you with other
17 clarifications, but I haven't heard the term "civilian representative."
18 This is not something that I'm aware of.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, one word would be Serbian
20 and the other Croatian.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I would like to draw your attention to the
22 date, that is, the 13th of July, 1995. Was there a meeting in the night
23 of that date in your office?
24 A. Your Honours, I would just like to correct a minor error. There
25 wasn't an official meeting that was held. There was a meeting which
1 turned into a discussion with regard to a certain subject. That would be
2 a more precise way to describe this.
3 JUDGE LIU: Who were the participants to this discussion?
4 A. Your Honours, I have on several occasions spoken about the event
5 on the 13th in the SDS offices. With your permission, I would go into
6 further details. Or would you like me simply to provide you with a list
7 of the participants that I can remember?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, please, if you can.
9 A. I haven't understood your answer. Would you like me to go into
10 greater detail, or would you like me just to name the participants?
11 JUDGE LIU: But first you have to name the participants.
12 A. I was present at the meeting, Miroslav Deronjic. At the time, I
13 was a civilian commissioner. The meeting was also attended by
14 Ljubisa Beara. At the time, I wasn't aware of the post that he held. I
15 think he was a colonel in the Army of Republika Srpska. I think he had
16 that rank. Now, I know that he was involved in intelligence in the Main
17 Staff of the Republika Srpska army. In addition to the two of us,
18 Ljubisav Simic participated, but only partly at the time. He was the
19 chairman of the Bratunac Municipality. And as I stated in my statement, I
20 think that at one moment in time Mr. Vasic was present too. At the time,
21 he was the chief of the public security station in Zvornik, and Bratunac
22 is in its region, it's within its region. And there are no other people I
23 mentioned who participated at that meeting.
24 JUDGE LIU: Was Mr. Nikolic present at that meeting?
25 A. As I said in my statement, I don't remember Mr. Nikolic being
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 present at that meeting.
2 JUDGE LIU: Who was calling this meeting? Who is presiding over
3 this meeting?
4 A. Your Honours, would you allow me to provide you with more
5 detailed explanations about the meeting? The meeting wasn't called. It
6 wasn't an official meeting, in the sense that people had been officially
7 called to it. There was no agenda. There were no subjects or items set
8 on the agenda. The meeting followed an event that had already occurred.
9 In the evening, about 8.00 in the evening, from the Bratunac Brigade
10 command I spoke to Radovan Karadzic, the president of Republika Srpska,
11 through a military line. We spoke about captured Muslims in the town of
12 Bratunac. I attempted to tell him about the impressions I had about the
13 situation that had developed after the arrival of many Muslim captives in
14 Bratunac, and I wanted to ask for instructions as to how I should behave
15 towards those captive Muslims.
16 There were many reasons for which I wanted to talk to Mr. Karadzic
17 about the presence of the imprisoned Muslims in Bratunac; above all, I
18 wanted to talk about security matters. Most of these captives were held
19 in facilities which were not appropriate, in civilian facilities, in
20 schools, in secondary facilities, et cetera. At the time, Bratunac was a
21 town in which there were no men, because most of the able-bodied men were
22 at the front, and because of all those captive Muslims who were there,
23 there was a certain danger. There could have been attempts to flee.
24 Panic could have spread. There could have been attempts to take revenge.
25 Later on in the evening, I obtained information according to which certain
1 murders had taken place in the town itself. The situation was really
2 alarming, dramatic, and this is why I decided to consult
3 President Karadzic, in order to obtain instructions as to how I should
4 behave towards the captive Muslims.
5 The conversation took place about 8.00 in the evening, as far as
6 I can remember, and the conversation was recorded. The Prosecution has a
7 tape, a recording of the conversation. And I would like to point out that
8 I have also mentioned this conversation in all of my statements, and I
9 have provided the details about that conversation at a time when I wasn't
10 aware of the fact that a conversation had been recorded. I don't remember
11 everything from the conversation. I remember some of -- parts of the
12 conversation, and I conveyed what I remember to the Prosecution. This
13 also included instructions about how one should behave towards the
14 captives. I remember that at one moment Karadzic -- Mr. Karadzic told me
15 that someone would come with instructions and that that person would take
16 charge of the captive Muslims who were in the town of Bratunac at the
18 I returned to the office after the conversation. That was after
19 8.00 p.m. I didn't know that someone would come. I wasn't told that this
20 would happen either. There's a record of this conversation. This can be
21 checked. I wasn't told that someone could come to see me with those
22 instructions. I returned to the office, and actually I continued to
23 follow what was happening in the town of Bratunac, and I was expecting
24 that the fate of the captive persons would be resolved, that something
25 would be decided. I was waiting to see how all of this would end.
1 Naturally, I didn't exclude the possibility that someone might appear in
2 my office. But I didn't concern myself with such assumptions, and I
3 hadn't arranged for a meeting with anyone; neither was this possible,
4 because no one told me who would be coming and I had no idea about when
5 such a person might come. I didn't know whether he would come in the
6 course to have night or on the following day; that was also a possibility.
7 So from that point of view, I did not arrange for a meeting. I
8 admit that one may have said that he should be appearing in my office,
9 someone should be appearing in my office, because I did raise the problem
10 of these captives. But when he appeared in my office, I wasn't greatly
11 surprised. But when he appeared, I was somewhat surprised after all,
12 because I didn't expect him to arrive, at least not at that time. This
13 was quite late in the evening. So I did not arrange for a meeting with --
14 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry to interrupt you. You mentioned "he" or
15 "someone." Who is he? Who is someone?
16 A. I was referring to Mr. Ljubisa Beara. And I said that I hadn't
17 arranged a meeting with him and there was no possibility. It wasn't
18 possible for me to arrange a meeting with someone whom I did not know. I
19 didn't know when he would appear in Bratunac. I was in the office, and I
20 was following the events, and I was waiting to receive instructions from
21 Karadzic to see what the fate of those captives would be. And I hoped
22 that the instructions that he conveyed to me would be followed, that they
23 would be respected. So when he -- when I said that he entered the office,
24 I was referring to Mr. Beara. And as I said, I was somewhat surprised at
25 that time because I hadn't been informed that he would be appearing in my
2 JUDGE LIU: And you told us that you went to the Bratunac Brigade
3 commander and you spoke to Mr. Karadzic through the military line before
4 the meeting. With whose permission did you go there?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Mr. President. Just to -- to correct
8 the record. It says that he went to the Bratunac Brigade commander. I
9 believe he testified he went to the Bratunac Brigade command.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. Well, my question is that, you know, who
11 gave you permission to go there, to make a phone call to Mr. Karadzic?
12 A. Your Honour, I haven't had the opportunity to tell you that in
13 the evening, on the 11th, following an order from Mr. Karadzic, I was
14 under the obligation to report to the Bratunac Brigade command, and that's
15 when he informed me that I had been appointed as the civilian commissioner
16 for Srebrenica. On that occasion, I met a low-ranking officer, and I told
17 him that I had received an order from President Karadzic instructing me to
18 speak to him. In the course of that conversation, President Karadzic and
19 I agreed that if it was necessary to get into -- to get in touch, to talk
20 about certain confidential matters, in such a case it would be good for me
21 to use a military line, which is safer. It's safer than ordinary
22 telephone lines, such as the line I had in my office, for example. So I
23 was able to enter the command. I had access, and I could ask them to
24 connect me to President Karadzic, because they knew that I had already
25 spoken to him from the command.
1 But at the time that I was there, there were no high-ranking
2 officers present. This is what I have already stated in my statements. I
3 met -- I saw a low-ranking officer there, and he allowed me to speak to
4 President Karadzic. His name is Milomir Stankovic.
5 JUDGE LIU: And why do you think that Mr. Karadzic asked you to
6 report to the Bratunac Brigade command?
7 A. I didn't say that he asked me to submit a report, the report
8 about the captive Muslims. That was something that I did on my own
9 initiative. He said in the course of our first conversation on the 11th,
10 in the evening, when he informed me that I had been appointed as the
11 civilian commissioner, he said that if I had any issues to raise, if there
12 were any matters that could be interesting and that I wanted to inform him
13 of, matters which were confidential, he said that such information should
14 be conveyed to him over a military line, that is to say, from the Bratunac
15 Brigade command. There were no other possibilities.
16 JUDGE LIU: We'll come back to that meeting. Were there any
17 issues that you discussed that evening?
18 A. At the meeting in the SDS office, when Mr. Beara appeared, we
19 first of all started talking. It wasn't the usual type of discussion. We
20 didn't just start with a meeting and we didn't follow items on an agenda.
21 As I have already stated in my statement, that is the impression I had and
22 I think that the others were also under this impression, I was under the
23 impression that he was under the influence of alcohol. Naturally, it
24 wasn't that he wasn't aware of what he was doing, but it was evident that
25 he was under the influence. When he appeared in the office -- the SDS
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13 English transcripts.
1 office consists of two rooms. I didn't see him immediately when he
2 entered the first room, but he then appeared at the door to my office.
3 That's the first time I saw him in my life. And on the following day, I
4 never saw him again. I knew nothing about him.
5 He approached me. Someone in the first office must have told him
6 that I was inside, because he had probably asked for me. I don't know
7 anything about that, but he appeared at the door. He approached me, and
8 at that time I was sitting there with Mr. Simic, and I said that I could
9 remember Mr. Vasic. He approached me, he greeted me, and he said that he
10 was Colonel Ljubisa Beara from the Main Staff. I think I remember him
11 saying that. I'm not quite sure whether he was a colonel at the time, but
12 as far as I can remember, he said he was a colonel. In any event, a
13 series of details captured my attention, his appearance, his appearance in
14 my office. I asked him to sit down. We said the usual things, got to
15 know each other, congratulated each other about having taken Srebrenica.
16 I think we offered him a drink, a coffee or something, but usually
17 whenever someone would appear in the office we would offer that person a
18 cup of coffee.
19 All I can remember is that he asked for some kind of a drink.
20 One moment I wasn't out, I asked the secretary, "What kind of drinks do we
21 have?" And we offered him some vodka. That's all we had. I remember we
22 poured out a glass or two of vodka. I think I had a glass of vodka with
23 him and maybe Ljubisav Simic, but I'm not quite sure about Mr. Vasic.
24 So that's what happened during the first four or five minutes. He
25 introduced himself, said who he was, that sort of thing. And then the
1 conversation took a slightly strange turn. In my opinion, he started
2 speaking in a slightly disjointed way and said that he had established
3 contact with those captives and that they should be killed. At first I
4 thought it was strange for him to start discussing a subject in this
5 manner. I took the opportunity to take Mr. Ljubisav Simic, the president
6 of that Bratunac municipality, out of that office. I'd just like to say
7 that President Simic -- Chairman Simic hadn't slept for two nights. He'd
8 been away on a trip, he was fairly tired, and in my opinion he didn't need
9 to listen to such things because I thought that this man who had appeared
10 was speaking in a disjointed way about certain things. I asked Mr. Simic
11 to leave the office. I said that I was travelling in the morning. He
12 knew that I had an appointment with Mr. Karadzic and that I was to go to
13 Pale on the 14th and that it would be good for him to go home to have a
14 rest so he could appear at work on time in the morning, and if necessary,
15 if I wasn't there, it would be good for the chairman of the municipality
16 to be there, in order to deal with certain issues, if anything arose.
17 I then returned to the office. In my statement, I said that I
18 wasn't sure. Perhaps I took Ljubisav Simic home. It's possible, but
19 still I don't believe that that is what happened, but I don't want to get
20 involved in guesswork. I probably asked someone to take him home.
21 I returned to the office then. I left the office on two other
22 occasions, and I have mentioned the reasons for which I did so. At the
23 time, there were many people in the office. They were entering and
24 leaving, especially in the first office, which is where the secretary was.
25 I could go into more details about the general atmosphere if this is of
1 any interest, and then you will understand that for various reasons people
2 would come to that office. There were various reasons for which they
3 would come to the office and ask certain questions. One of the reasons
4 for leaving was that -- one of the reasons for leaving my office was that
5 I heard that a certain Lukic had arrived and was looking for Mr. Beara.
6 And the secretary insisted that I leave, which I did, and then I asked who
7 this person, Lukic, was and what was at stake. I then realised who the
8 Lukic -- who this person Lukic was. I know there is a Lukic who's been
9 accused by this Tribunal. It concerns the Strbci case, and this is the
10 Lukic in question. He appeared and he was asking for Beara, he was
11 looking for Beara. I asked the secretary not to ask him to come in,
12 because he could wait for Mr. Beara somewhere else. I suggested that he
13 go to the Fontana Hotel and that he wait for the person there. Then I
14 returned to the office.
15 I left that meeting on one other occasion, because one of the
16 soldiers entered. I remember that there was a crowd. He insisted on
17 entering the office in which Mr. Beara and I were present, and perhaps
18 there were some other people in the office at that time. I went out to
19 tell him that no one should come in, and I saw a soldier. He had a beard.
20 I can remember that. It was someone whom I did not know. And I realised
21 that that person was not from Bratunac. I even thought at one point that
22 perhaps that was Lukic. Later I realised that in fact it was not Lukic.
23 He was looking for Beara and he wanted to speak to Beara about something.
24 I told him that he had to go to Fontana too and that he should wait there
25 and that Beara and I would finish our conversation very soon.
1 I returned to the office again, and I then told Mr. Beara the
2 following: "Mr. Beara," I said, "I have instructions from President
3 Karadzic. For a certain period of time, I spoke to Mr. Karadzic and I was
4 given precise instructions as to how I should behave towards the
5 prisoners." I told him that the order that I had received from
6 President Karadzic was that those prisoners had to be transferred towards
7 Bijeljina and Zvornik, and I remember that I said to Batkovici too. Why
8 to Batkovici? Because when I spoke to President Karadzic over the phone,
9 when he mentioned further to the south, to the warehouses, and said that
10 the prisoners should be placed there, I realised that that was the
11 military prison in Batkovici. He didn't actually say that, but that's the
12 conclusion I came to. So I told Mr. Beara that I had received
13 instructions and an order and that I had to inform him that the prisoners
14 should be taken in the direction of Bijeljina and Zvornik and to
16 He then said to me: "I have orders instructing these prisoners
17 to be killed in Bratunac." These prisoners were to be killed in Bratunac.
18 And he said he had received these orders from the top. I continued to
19 insist on the fact that there should be no killings in Bratunac. I had
20 many reasons to do so. I told him that I had received instructions from
21 President Karadzic and I insisted on this and I said I was not going to
22 allow any murders to be committed in Bratunac. I said that those people
23 should be taken away in accordance with the instructions that I had
24 received from the president. I can't say exactly how long that dialogue
25 of ours lasted, how long our conversation lasted about his intentions and
1 his intention to take those prisoners to Bijeljina. I think that we
2 exchanged a few more opinions about that subject, but it was a fairly
3 tense conversation, almost a conflict that broke out between us. At one
4 moment, I realised that he had accepted this reluctantly. I said, "on the
5 following day, I'm going to see Mr. Karadzic, and I will tell him
6 everything that you have informed me of, and I would be grateful if you
7 could respect those instructions."
8 He then reluctantly accepted this. He said, "All right. I'll
9 take those prisoners there," he said. I can't remember all the words he
10 used, and I'm not quoting him exactly. I allow for the possibility that
11 we exchanged a few more sentences in connection with the safety of the
12 prisoners in Bratunac that night, because I had a lot of information which
13 had arrived during the night and before the meeting that there was
14 insufficient security for these men, that there had been acts of revenge,
15 killings, and also attempts to escape. And to conclude, the meeting ended
16 in the way I have described, and I think that this is what can be of
17 interest to you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, are you sure that Mr. Nikolic was not present
19 at that meeting?
20 A. Your Honour, a similar question was asked of me by the
21 Prosecutors. I told the Office of the Prosecutor, and I will repeat again
22 now: The atmosphere in my office was very unusual. Had this been a
23 regular meeting convened by me in an official manner, I would certainly
24 have been able to say now whether he was present or not. But as the
25 meaning took -- meeting took place in the atmosphere I have just briefly
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13 English transcripts.
1 described, all I can say is that I do allow for the possibility that he
2 was present in the office; however, I do not recall him being there. And
3 that's certain.
4 JUDGE LIU: My last question: How often did you see Mr. Nikolic
5 on the 13th or 14th July, 1995?
6 A. On the 13th of July, aside from this meeting and the possibility
7 of his being there, I did not see him again on that day. On the 14th of
8 July, I went to Pale early in the morning and did not have an opportunity
9 of meeting Mr. Nikolic. I remained at Pale almost the whole day. I
10 remember only one meeting, on the 17th, in the UNPROFOR camp. I think it
11 was Mr. Nikolic who took me there, and I participated in the drawing up of
12 a document there. I remember that well. And I am not sure that -- well,
13 there was another meeting on the 12th in the Fontana Hotel at 10.00, where
14 I was present but Mr. Momir Nikolic was not at that meeting, or at least I
15 didn't see him there.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
17 Now I turn to the Defence counsel, Mr. Londrovic, if you have any
18 questions to ask.
19 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 Questioned by Mr. Londrovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Deronjic.
22 A. Good day.
23 Q. I am Defence counsel for Mr. Momir Nikolic, and I will put
24 certain questions to you to which I hope you will reply.
25 Mr. Deronjic, in reply to His Honour's question, you just said
1 that you allow for the possibility that Mr. Momir Nikolic was present at
2 that meeting.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. But you don't remember him there. Can you explain to
5 Their Honours on the basis of what you allow for the possibility of
6 Mr. Nikolic being present in that office without your remembering his
8 A. I understand your question, and I will try to explain. The
9 atmosphere in the office was such that the entry of Mr. Beara, escorted by
10 several soldiers, caused a certain amount of confusion in the office. I'm
11 not sure whether when Mr. Beara entered the first room, the first office,
12 Mr. Nikolic came in with him. I didn't pay attention to that because I
13 was sitting in the office next door. When Mr. Beara entered my office, I
14 focussed all my attention on him, and all my attention was directed toward
15 him. This was the first time I had seen Mr. Beara in my life. This is
16 probably why I focussed my whole attention entirely on him. Had
17 Momir Nikolic entered, that would not have been anything unusual for me,
18 so I may even have noticed it but forgotten it over time. I do allow for
19 the possibility that Mr. Momir Nikolic was among the group of people who
20 entered the first office.
21 Q. Mr. Deronjic, I am holding in my hand a transcript of your
22 interview with the Office of the Prosecutor, and in one part of that
23 transcript you say, "But I think Colonel Beara said -- I've noticed
24 something else. Just let me say that. Some soldiers were coming into the
25 office. They arrived behind him. I saw that, but there was confusion.
1 Do you understand? I noticed that they were coming in. I don't know who
2 exactly. I assume they were people from his security." Is this correct
3 that this is what you stated in your interviews with the Prosecutors?
4 A. Yes, this is absolutely true.
5 Q. So that when some soldiers entered, after Mr. Beara, you think
6 that Mr. Nikolic might have been in that group of soldiers?
7 A. When I was making that statement, I was simply saying what had
8 happened, without special reference to particular people. Now I say it's
9 possible that Momir Nikolic was one of that group, because that would not
10 have been anything unusual.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Deronjic.
12 Mr. Deronjic, is it correct that in your interview with the
13 Office of the Prosecutor you said that on the 13th a large number of buses
14 and trucks arrived in Bratunac with imprisoned Muslims from the direction
15 of Konjevic Polje and that this happened in the afternoon and the evening?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. In response to His Honour's questions, you told us about the
18 security for these prisoners. And I think you said it was poor.
19 A. Yes, I had information that it was very poor and that a number of
20 minors had been mobilised, as well as people above military age in order
21 to guard them.
22 Q. In your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor, you said
23 that these prisoners were guarded by the military police and the civilian
24 police. Is this correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. You then went on to say that even younger and older people who
2 were able to carry weapons were mobilised in order to keep the situation
3 under control up to a point.
4 A. Yes, that's also true.
5 Q. Mr. Deronjic, is it correct that during the night of the 13th you
6 received information that some buses with Muslim prisoners had left
7 Bratunac in the direction of Zvornik?
8 A. Yes, I think that on two occasions I received information that
9 buses were going in the opposite direction from those coming to Bratunac,
10 in the evening, and that was one of the reasons I wanted to talk to
11 Mr. Karadzic, because this appeared very confusing and I couldn't
12 understand what was going on.
13 Q. Mr. Deronjic, as far as I can remember, you said that this was
14 the first time you had seen Mr. Beara in your life, that night.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you said that you saw him again on the following day?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Can you tell Their Honours in what kind of situation you met
19 Mr. Beara again.
20 A. On the 14th, in the morning - I can't remember exactly what time
21 it was - somebody woke me up, because of course after these talks in the
22 office on the 13th, I went home in the evening. Somebody woke me up in
23 the morning to tell me that Mr. Beara - I am referring to Ljubisa Beara,
24 who had been in my office - that he had gone off toward a company. This
25 was a factory producing bricks and brick products in Bratunac, and it was
1 on the outskirts of Bratunac. Somebody told me that he probably wanted to
2 take some prisoners there or that he had already taken them there; I'm not
3 sure which exactly. And remembering what we had talked about in the
4 evening in my office, I realised that he did not wish to act in the way
5 that we had agreed on in my office. So I got into my car and hurried to
6 see what was going on. I didn't stop by the office. I used my own car to
7 go to that company. And on a bridge coming out of Bratunac, I came across
8 a car. I saw it was a military vehicle, and I recognised Mr. Beara
9 inside. I stopped my car, they stopped, and I asked what was going on. I
10 said, "What kind of brickworks -- what do you mean? Why are you taking
11 prisoners there? Why do you intend to take prisoner there when yesterday
12 we agreed that this was not according to our instructions?" He was very
13 angry, very abrupt with me. He said he had seen some warehouses there
14 where he wanted to keep people imprisoned. It was probably to calm me
15 down. And I said that this was out of the question, that I was on my way
16 to Pale, and that I would inform the president of this.
17 He was very angry. He was very nervous. He got into his car and
18 he said something to the effect that he was leaving Bratunac. This was my
19 meeting with Mr. Beara on the morning of the 14th. I don't know the exact
20 time. And after that, I never saw him again.
21 Q. Mr. Deronjic, this brickworks, this was referred to as Ciglana in
23 A. Yes, that's what we called it. And I have been trying to
24 describe it for the sake of the interpreters.
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, please correct me if I'm wrong, but is it correct
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13 English transcripts.
1 that at the meeting that was held in the evening of the 13th in your
2 office there was open discussion of killings of Muslim prisoners and that
3 you opposed this vehemently?
4 A. Mr. Londrovic, I have to correct you and tell you again that this
5 was not a meeting. I insist on this.
6 Q. Very well. During this conversation.
7 A. Yes, I'll accept that.
8 Q. When you say there was open talk of killings of Muslim prisoners,
9 this can be interpreted in various ways. I have said exactly what
10 Mr. Beara said about this.
11 Q. I apologise. I'll reformulate my question. In this
12 "conversation" that was conducted in your office, did Colonel Beara
13 openly say to you that all the Muslim prisoners should be killed and that
14 you opposed this?
15 A. Except for the word "all." I'm not sure I heard him say "all."
16 He did say that, and he said that he even had orders that prisoners should
17 be killed, and I did oppose it. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Mr. Deronjic, is it correct that you insisted that the Muslim
19 prisoners should be transferred from Bratunac further south, towards the
20 territory of Zvornik and Bijeljina?
21 A. Yes, that's absolutely correct. I did say that, and I adhere by
22 that statement.
23 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you said that you saw Mr. Beara that night for the
24 first time in your life.
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. As far as I can remember, you also said that later on you learned
2 that he was a security officer in the Main Staff.
3 A. Yes, that's what I said. Although, I'm not sure what the precise
4 title is. It's something to do with security, intelligence. I get these
5 things mixed up sometimes. But I know it was that kind of job that he was
7 Q. So that was his job. Mr. Deronjic, is it correct that you know
8 Mr. Momir Nikolic from before?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you aware of the fact that Mr. Momir Nikolic was the chief
11 of the intelligence and security organ in the Bratunac Brigade?
12 A. Yes. I was aware of that fact, to the extent to which I know
13 what that is, to be precise.
14 Q. Well, to the extent that you had dealings with the army.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Deronjic, is it correct that Mr. Momir Nikolic was familiar
17 with Bratunac as a town, that he knew it very well?
18 A. Yes, absolutely. When you say "the town," for the sake of
19 Their Honours I have to say that this is a small town, of 3.000
20 inhabitants, with practically two streets.
21 Q. A small town.
22 A. Yes, it's a small town.
23 Q. Mr. Deronjic, is it correct that Mr. Momir Nikolic knew where
24 your offices were from before?
25 A. That is absolutely true, yes.
1 Q. Mr. Deronjic, isn't it logical that Colonel Beara, a security
2 officer from the security administration of the Main Staff, should be
3 escorted by the security officer of the Bratunac Brigade, arriving in your
4 offices, especially bearing in mind the fact that you did not know
5 Colonel Beara from before, that is, that Colonel Beara had no personal
6 knowledge of you?
7 A. Can you please tell me what your question is?
8 Q. Mr. Deronjic, my question was: Is it logical that Colonel Beara,
9 who was the security officer in the security administration of the Main
10 Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, should arrive escorted by
11 Mr. Nikolic, who was the security officer of the Bratunac Brigade in your
12 office, especially bearing in mind and placing this in the context of the
13 fact that Mr. Beara had never met you personally, in person, before that
14 and if we put this in the context of the fact that Mr. Beara was not
15 familiar with Bratunac, to the extent that Mr. Nikolic was?
16 A. I agree that everything you have said is very logical, but I do
17 have a comment to add.
18 Q. Go ahead.
19 A. Do you think only logical things happen in real life?
20 Q. I will not comment on your question. Thank you, Mr. Deronjic.
21 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 Mr. McCloskey, do you have any questions?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would request the Court that we
1 take a break at this point. I would like to discuss the matter further
2 with -- and I also need a break. I'm sorry. I probably drank too much
3 water at the previous hearing.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll have a break for 20 minutes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
6 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 4.20.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.59 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.26 p.m.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, do you have any questions to
10 this witness?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a few, Mr. President.
12 Questioned by Mr. McCloskey:
13 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you have testified today that Mr. Karadzic told you
14 he would be sending you someone regarding what to do with the Muslim
15 prisoners; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, this is correct. But I wish to mention that he didn't say
17 he would send someone to me. Rather, he said he would be sending someone
18 with instructions as to what to do with the prisoners.
19 Q. Who was it your understanding on who this person would be
20 providing instructions to?
21 A. Well, the person that was supposed to come, I did not exclude the
22 possibility that that person might come to see me and give me certain
23 instructions that I might receive from Karadzic.
24 Q. Do you feel a person came pursuant to what Karadzic had told you?
25 A. Yes. Mr. Beara's appearance seemed to indicate that, and I
1 thought that he was coming on instructions from President Karadzic, as he
2 told me about his instructions.
3 Q. Who told you about instructions? Are you referring to Beara or
4 Karadzic now?
5 A. I mean Mr. Karadzic.
6 Q. Did Beara ever tell you anything that made you indicate that he
7 was the man Karadzic was talking about?
8 A. I would not be able to draw this conclusion, or rather, I was
9 unable to make a direct connection because President Karadzic's
10 instructions were that the prisoners should be sent off in the direction
11 of Zvornik or Bijeljina, as I understood him. And he started saying that
12 the prisoners were to be killed right there. To be sure, at one point he
13 said, "I have orders from the top." I don't know who he meant. He didn't
14 name any names, but I thought the instructions might be coming either from
15 the Main Staff or from Mr. Karadzic.
16 Q. Had you had any discussions with Mr. Karadzic prior to this
17 evening that would give you any indication on what Mr. Karadzic might want
18 to do with potential Muslim prisoners?
19 A. Yes, I did have a conversation with Mr. Karadzic. In my report,
20 it says that I talked to Mr. Karadzic on the 8th or the 9th. I'm not sure
21 exactly which of these two days. And in that conversation, I said exactly
22 what President Karadzic told me, and I was able to draw certain
23 conclusions from all this and even link this up with the appearance of
24 this man and what was said to me at Pale.
25 Q. Okay. So can you tell us what President Karadzic said to you at
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13 English transcripts.
1 Pale on the 8th or 9th that you were able to link up with the appearance
2 of Mr. -- Or Colonel Beara?
3 A. Yes. I told the Office of the Prosecutor why I went to see
4 President Karadzic on the 8th or the 9th at Pale, and I explained having a
5 brief encounter with him in front of the presidency building. I said that
6 I could quote one sentence he said and that was the principle of Western
7 Slavonia, when he was talking about what would happen in Srebrenica.
8 Before that, he said, "Miroslav, those people there must be killed." That
9 was his previous sentence. And then he said, "Whatever you can, you have
10 to kill." And then he added a sentence that I can quote, that I'm sure
11 of, and that was, "The Western Slavonia principle." He asked me if I had
12 understood this, and I said, "Yes, I understand you."
13 Q. What did you understand him to mean by "the Western Slavonia
15 A. It's a well-known fact that in May, if I remember correctly, the
16 Croatian army mounted an offensive in Western Slavonia and
17 Western Slavonia fell into the hands of the Croatian army. This was an
18 area that had previously been held by the Serbs. And this event drew a
19 lot of attention from the leadership of Republika Srpska, and in several
20 meetings we discussed this operation and the conclusions were that the
21 Croatian army in their attack on that area, which was mostly inhabited by
22 the Serbs, had expelled the entire population from the area and that
23 during this expulsion a large number of civilians and, of course, soldiers
24 had been killed, and I drew the conclusion -- I'm not saying that these
25 are true facts. I'm just saying that's what was said. And these were our
1 conclusions about that operation. And I understood President Karadzic's
2 sentence in this context.
3 Q. So what specifically did you think he meant the Western Slavonia
4 principle had to do with potential Muslims from Srebrenica during this
5 conversation on the 8th or 9th?
6 A. When Mr. Karadzic uttered this sentence, as I said to the Office
7 of the Prosecutor, I had nothing to indicate whether Srebrenica would be
8 taken by the military at all. President Karadzic did say it was a
9 possibility, and I assumed it was a realistic possibility. But I could
10 not envision what would ensue in the military sense, the behaviour of the
11 Muslim army in the Srebrenica area was unknown to me. I could not know
12 what they would do, whether they would fight, whether they would try to
13 break through, to pull out, and I didn't even think about that because I
14 didn't have anything that would indicate to me how the situation might
15 develop. And that's what I said to President Karadzic when he asked me
16 what we intended to do down there. But later on I thought about his
17 sentence, and I assume what he meant was that when our army entered
18 Srebrenica and when the Muslim army in Srebrenica was defeated, that they
19 would start pulling out. And I concluded that he thought that we should
20 kill everybody we could get our hands on.
21 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, I hope you could concentrate on the
22 subject matter of these proceedings. Of course, you have another
23 opportunity to examine this witness in the later proceedings in other
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I recall the testimony
1 of -- of Mr. Nikolic was at one point he said, "We had all been speaking
2 to our superiors about this," what they were going to do to the Muslims,
3 and so this point of Mr. Deronjic and his superiors is designed to try to,
4 among other things, to see if -- if that was true, because of the way the
5 testimony came out, it's a little unclear.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may move on.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. So on this meeting of the 8th or 9th, did President Karadzic
9 actually say, "Miroslav, they should be killed," referring to any
10 potential Muslim prisoners?
11 A. Yes. And this is something I have told the Prosecution about. I
12 mentioned this sentence to the Prosecution. I'm not sure about every
13 word, but "kill," I remember this word being used. He said, "All those
14 who are down there, they should be killed. Kill all those you manage to
15 kill." That's what I can remember.
16 Q. So in the conversation that you had with President Karadzic at
17 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters the evening of the 13th, did you know
18 that you could be intercepted when speaking on that line?
19 A. No. I didn't have a -- I don't have any clear ideas about
20 intercepting conversations. I'm really a layman as far as these matters
21 are concerned. And I couldn't even have assumed that this could be
22 recorded. I assume that Karadzic could have made such an assumption
23 because at one point he said, "Don't speak about this very much." I
24 remember that. And either he or someone else, an intermediary, said, "If
25 there is something else you think you should inform me about, it would be
1 good to do so via military tele-print." I think that is what he said.
2 And after that, I didn't think it was necessary for me to clarify anything
3 else, and I didn't provide any further clarifications.
4 Q. When the president said to you in that conversation, when you
5 were in the Bratunac Brigade, "Move the prisoners out of Bratunac," or
6 something to that effect, what at that time did you believe his intentions
7 were regarding those prisoners?
8 A. Well, I have to say that at that time I thought that they were
9 supposed to go to Bratunac. That had been stated quite precisely. It's
10 true that it was coded, but the code, at least to me it was quite
11 comprehensible. They had to go from Bratunac, he said "down there," that
12 means outside Bratunac, and he said that they should be held in
13 warehouses. I assumed that this was a prison. I drew the conclusion
14 that, given that there isn't a military prison in Bratunac and there
15 weren't any barracks or military facilities in Bratunac or Zvornik either,
16 I assumed that he was talking about Bijeljina, and I relayed these
17 instructions to Mr. Beara. But as to his real intentions, it wasn't
18 necessary for me to attempt to draw any conclusions. This hadn't been
19 required of me. I could have certain suspicions. I could have drawn
20 certain inferences. But I wouldn't want to speculate about what I thought
21 was behind something that had been said, that one could read between the
22 lines. I didn't think that I heard him say, "Don't kill them here or in
23 some other place," I didn't hear any words to that effect, and I can't
24 claim that I did.
25 Q. After your meeting with Mr. Beara, what was your conclusions
1 regarding President Karadzic's intentions regarding the fate of those
2 Muslim prisoners? And I'm talking immediately after that night.
3 A. If Karadzic conveyed orders to Mr. Beara, then those intentions
4 were quite clear to me, because he spoke about killing those people. I
5 can't confirm this. I don't have any information which would demonstrate
6 that Karadzic gave such orders to Mr. Beara.
7 Q. After the meeting -- well, after the discussions you had at your
8 offices that late night, the 13th, early morning hours of the 14th, did
9 you tell Mr. Nikolic about that meeting or talk -- talk to him about what
10 went on at that meeting, about Beara talking about killing prisoners?
11 A. You're referring to Mr. Momir Nikolic?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I said that on the following day I hadn't seen Mr. Momir Nikolic.
14 I can't remember when I saw him the next time. Right up until the 17th of
15 April, when the atmosphere was quite different and we were compiling a
16 document concerning the evacuation of the civilians from Potocari. On
17 that occasion I didn't mention anything to him about my conversation with
18 Mr. Beara. We didn't speak about that subject at all.
19 Q. At any time have you spoken to -- at any time up until the time
20 you were arrested have you spoken to Mr. Momir Nikolic about what Beara
21 had said that night in your office?
22 A. This is something that I can affirm before the Trial Chamber, and
23 Mr. Nikolic is here too. After these events, I didn't speak to
24 Mr. Nikolic about the events in Srebrenica. I knew that Mr. Nikolic was
25 under investigation. I had such information. And from 1998, I've been
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 summoned by the investigators from the Office of the Prosecution. I
2 thought that it was his right to say what he had to say. I also said what
3 I -- I also spoke about what I could remember. I never spoke to Momir
4 about any events relating to Srebrenica. I think that during that period
5 of time, from the end of the war until the time I was arrested, I think
6 that I -- during that period, I only went to his home on one occasion and
7 for different reasons, and that was the only time I was in his house. But
8 we didn't speak about this matter on that occasion.
9 Q. Is it fair to say the first time you told the Office of the
10 Prosecutor that Beara had actually spoken directly to you about killing
11 Muslim prisoners was in your very recent interview prior to your guilty
13 A. Sorry, perhaps I haven't fully understood the question, perhaps
14 because of the interpretation. Could you please repeat the question?
15 Q. Is it fair to say that the first time you told the Office of the
16 Prosecutor that Beara had actually talked to you personally about killing
17 Muslim prisoners was in your recent interviews just prior to the guilty
19 A. Yes, that's correct. That's what I said in my last interview.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing further, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Questions from the Judges? Judge Vassylenko?
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Deronjic, you testified that you know
25 Momir Nikolic for a long time. Can you be more specific? Since what time
1 do you know Momir Nikolic?
2 A. Your Honours, I know a lot of people in Bratunac. I was born in
3 Bratunac -- I was born in a village near Bratunac, and I have spent most
4 of my life in Bratunac. This is also the case for Momir Nikolic. It's a
5 small place. I didn't have any contact with Momir Nikolic up until the
6 war. We knew each other, but I can't remember ever having sat down with
7 him somewhere, I can't remember having spoken to him about something
8 important. Perhaps that doesn't appear logical, but Mr. Momir Nikolic
9 could confirm this. What would the reason be for this? I had another
10 circle of friends, a different perspective on life, and I assume that was
11 the reason. But I did know his family; I knew his father. I think I knew
12 his father better than Momir, because I would often go to an old-age
13 pensioners' club which was visited by his father. We would sometimes play
14 chess together, and this is a person about whom I have an excellent
15 opinion. I got to know Momir better during the war, in the period during
16 which the SDS was established, I didn't know Momir. Momir wasn't an SDS
17 member - I checked this - and he wasn't involved in the activities that
18 concerned the establishment of the SDS in Bratunac, and he wasn't involved
19 in an organ of that party either
20 At the beginning of the war, I got to know him during a period
21 when the JNA was present in Bratunac, and that is the period for which
22 I've been accused before this Tribunal. It concerns the period beginning
23 at the end of April and continues up to the end of May. During that
24 period, I met Momir Nikolic a few times, but this wasn't a relationship of
25 a subordinate to a superior, because the army was present in Bratunac and
1 Momir Nikolic would establish contact with them and he was present at some
2 meetings of the Crisis Staff during that period. I remember him from that
4 After those events, Momir Nikolic, as far as I know, because of a
5 conflict with extremists in Bratunac, left Bratunac after an unfortunate
6 incident, after a lot of soldiers of ours had been killed. He had
7 problems with extremists and he left Bratunac. I didn't see him for a
8 long time, and as far as I can remember - I'm not claiming this is
9 correct - but he returned to Bratunac, as far as I can remember, at the
10 beginning of autumn 1992. It was in the autumn. I can remember that he
11 was working in the army. He had some other post there. My attitude
12 towards the army is well known. I could speak about that for days. I
13 would very rarely go to the command. I did meet Momir Nikolic quite
14 frequently, but we never spoke about this officially and I didn't think
15 that there was anything that I had to inform him of. I know his family
16 well. I know his sons; I know his wife. We would often meet in formal
17 situations after the war, but in the pre-war period I don't remember ever
18 having been together with him somewhere.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You were president of the Crisis Staff in
20 Bratunac municipality; yes or no?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You just stated that Momir Nikolic
23 participated in some meetings of the Crisis Staff. What was his role in
24 the Crisis Staff? Was he invited or he appeared at the meetings of the
25 Crisis Staff ex officio?
1 A. I think that the war broke out when Mr. Momir Nikolic was
2 involved in his duties in the Territorial Defence staff in Bratunac. I've
3 explained this to the Prosecution. I had an intention after the Muslims
4 left the municipal organs in Bratunac, my intention was to form a
5 Territorial Defence staff by using the Serbs who had remained in that
6 organ, a Territorial Defence staff in Bratunac. And to this effect, I
7 held a meeting in the Territorial Defence staff. I can't remember whether
8 Momir Nikolic attended the meeting. I assume that he did. We didn't
9 manage to agree on transforming this municipal organ. When the army
10 arrived, about the 20th of April in Bratunac, then things changed. That
11 was still the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, and it's a well-known
12 fact - I hope it's something that Momir Nikolic is aware of too - the army
13 introduced military administration at that time. Towards the end of
14 April, we continued with our activities regarding the establishment of a
15 Crisis Staff. At that time, I wasn't paying much attention to these
16 military issues or to the organisation of the Territorial Defence. I
17 realised that the commander of the town, Mr. -- Captain Reljic, was
18 constantly in that staff. He had his office there, and he formed -- he
19 had formed a Territorial Defence staff there. I don't know when he did
20 this exactly, and I don't know when he appointed Momir Nikolic as the
21 commander of that staff. In this capacity, Momir Nikolic attended several
22 meetings to have Crisis Staff.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My next question: In the interviews,
24 Jean-Rene Ruez, investigator for the Office of the Prosecutor in February
25 of 1998, you stated that, "Momir Nikolic was surely involved in the
1 operation of evacuation, security, and other different tasks." Can you
2 please be more specific? What other different tasks? And what was the
3 role of Momir Nikolic in this operation?
4 A. Well, I have to say that I had information that I had been
5 provided with by someone. I've told the Prosecution about this. I heard
6 information, according to which, in addition to other prominent officers
7 and police officials in Potocari, at the time the evacuation of the
8 civilian population was commencing, I had information according to which
9 Momir Nikolic was present. I thought it was logical for him to be present
10 there, because he had certain command responsibilities with respect to the
11 military police. I didn't think it was odd that he should be present
12 there. General Mladic was there too, high-ranking Republika Srpska army
13 officers were there, and I didn't think it was particularly strange that
14 Mr. Nikolic was there. I had that information. That is what I was
15 referring to. I know that he participated in the transfer of the
16 civilians because there was a task they had to carry out with the military
17 police. They had to take charge of those people, put them on buses, and
18 take them away in the direction of Kladanj in the territory under the
19 control of the Muslim army. These are things I was aware of.
20 I know that in such a situation - and this is information I was
21 provided with too - I know that it was said that Momir Nikolic had
22 something to do with providing security for the prisoners who had arrived
23 in Bratunac on the 13th in the afternoon and had been provided with
24 accommodation in various locations in Bratunac. I was informed that the
25 military police was also providing security for those buses, and I assumed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that Momir Nikolic played a role in this too. If I mentioned certain
2 other duties -- well, I assumed that he had other obligations, but I
3 really never heard about what other precise tasks he might have had, but I
4 mentioned that because in my opinion these weren't the only duties he had
5 to perform.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Judge Argibay?
9 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Yes. Good afternoon, sir. I have one or go
10 questions -- one or two questions.
11 In that same statement or conversation, I mean between the
12 investigator of the OTP, Jean-Rene Ruez that has been in the 12th of March
13 2001 with you, talking about how you could have connected with Colonel
14 Beara or waiting for Beara to appear, the investigator told you that there
15 was an easier option, that would be to summon Momir Nikolic and ask him to
16 do the contact. And you answered - and this is what I want to ask you -
17 "During those nights, you could much easier found Kissinger in Bratunac
18 than Nikolic." So that had to do with the night of the 13th of July. Why
19 was it so difficult to find Nikolic and why, then, you are not sure now if
20 he was there at that meeting or not?
21 A. Your Honour, it hasn't been correctly translated to me. I know
22 exactly what I said. The interpretation I received was that it would be
23 easier for me to find Nikolic there. I said it would probably have been
24 easier for me to find Kissinger there in Bratunac that night. That's what
25 I said. I said it would be easier to find Kissinger than Mr. Nikolic.
1 Why did I say this? On several occasions, Mr. Ruez tried to establish a
2 link between me and Mr. Nikolic. When he told me - and I think I even
3 remember the way he said this; it was quite nervous and angry, as far as
4 his tone is concerned - he said, "Couldn't you have summoned Mr. Nikolic
5 to ask him how many prisoners there were who had arrived in that -- during
6 that period in Bratunac?" I said I didn't go there and I didn't have that
7 information. I was provided with various pieces of information, but I
8 didn't go there. They were located at various sites. It was night, and I
9 didn't go to see how many people there were there. And I told him how I
10 would communicate with Mr. Nikolic. I said he wasn't in the office. In
11 such circumstances, he would be in the field. I assumed he would use
12 Motorolas to communicate with his superiors. I didn't have such a device.
13 I couldn't phone him. I didn't know where he was. I didn't say all of
14 these things. But since they kept mentioning Mr. Nikolic, I said that it
15 would have been easier for me to meet Mr. Kissinger in Bratunac than
16 Mr. Nikolic. I was nervous because they were assuming that it was very
17 easy for me to find Mr. Nikolic in all that confusion, in all that chaos,
18 and that there was some possibility for me to find Mr. Nikolic. That
19 wasn't a possibility. And not a single officer from the Bratunac Brigade
20 command and not a single officer from the Main Staff of the Army of
21 Republika Srpska -- well, I didn't have any contact with any of the
22 officers from these places. None of these officers ever entered my office
23 to assign me a task, and I didn't have a way of communicating directly
24 with them.
25 JUDGE ARGIBAY: But you told us that you were able to use the
1 Bratunac Brigade command facilities on telephone communication, if you
2 could use that to communicate with Karadzic. It was not easier to find a
3 lower officer in the same brigade.
4 A. I went to the Bratunac Brigade command on two occasions. The
5 Bratunac Brigade command is at some distance from my office. I would have
6 to drive there.
7 Secondly, I only once saw a duty officer or such a low-ranking
8 duty officer there. I'm not even sure whether I was aware of the fact
9 that he was an officer in the Bratunac Brigade. I know that man, but I
10 hadn't noticed that he was an officer in the Bratunac Brigade. If you now
11 ask me to tell you the composition of the Bratunac Brigade, I can tell you
12 under oath that this is not possible for me to do. He was such a
13 low-ranking official that I didn't even ask him to find a higher-ranking
14 officer for me, and I didn't think it was necessary to have any of those
15 officers there at the time. They were all involved in various military
16 operations, and as I have already explained, battles -- large-scale
17 battles were ongoing in the Konjevic Polje area, and I never contacted
18 them directly to ask them for favours or to issue orders to them. That
19 was something that was excluded. That was not done.
20 I apologise, but naturally I could have probably told that
21 officer -- I could have asked him if he could find me Momir, if he could
22 find Momir for me. But I don't know why I would have needed Momir Nikolic
23 at that time.
24 JUDGE ARGIBAY: No, the question is related to why you can say
25 that it was impossible to find Nikolic those nights and then now you're
1 not sure if he attended that discussion in your office or not.
2 A. I don't understand. You mean how is it that I didn't inform him
3 about that meeting? Is that what you are saying? I haven't understood
4 the question. I apologise.
5 JUDGE ARGIBAY: I don't understand your answers. That's a
7 You told us here that you were not sure that Nikolic attended
8 this discussion in your office -- at your office on the 13th July in the
9 evening, late evening. On the other side, I found in your statement that
10 you were very sure that it was impossible to find Nikolic on those nights.
11 So these are two absolutely contradicting questions -- answers. On the
12 one hand, you are not sure if he was there; on the other side, you said it
13 was impossible to find him. I want to know which one is the one that now
14 is more near your memory, at least.
15 A. Your Honour, I've understood your question, but help me a little
16 more. If I said that I wasn't sure, that means that perhaps he was there,
17 and that is what has given rise to doubt, because I previously excluded
18 such a possibility. Am I right?
19 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Mm-hm.
20 A. I'd like to say why I said that I wasn't sure whether Momir had
21 attended that meeting. I'll be quite specific. I'm not aware of any
22 facts -- I'm not aware of a single reason for which such a thing would be
23 impossible. For example, if I knew that on that day Mr. Momir Nikolic was
24 absent and that he was in Belgrade on that day, if that was the case, I
25 would now say that Momir Nikolic did not attend that meeting. Since this
1 is a very delicate matter that is being discussed and unfortunately the
2 event is a tragic one and many people -- various people were involved, I
3 have to be as objective as possible. This is my responsibility. I allow
4 for this possibility because I'm not aware of any facts that would make
5 this impossible, and that is why I said that I allow for such a
7 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Okay. I don't have any further questions.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me there's no questions from the
9 parties at this moment.
10 Well, witness, thank you very much for giving your evidence. In
11 my view, your appearance in this proceeding as a witness is sufficient to
12 show your willingness to cooperate with this Tribunal.
13 The usher will show you out of this room. I would like to thank
14 you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope I
16 have been of assistance.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the next witness.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
22 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: MILE PETROVIC
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, would you please tell your name, your
6 date of birth, and the place to us.
7 A. Mile Petrovic, born on the 25th of February, 1967 in Srebrenica.
8 JUDGE LIU: What is your present address now?
9 A. I live in the village of Bjelovac in Bratunac municipality.
10 JUDGE LIU: What was your position in July 1995?
11 A. How do you mean?
12 JUDGE LIU: I mean did you ever serve in the army of the -- serve
13 in the Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: When was that?
16 A. I started -- do you mean from the beginning to the end?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 A. I started sometime in March in 1993 until 1996.
19 JUDGE LIU: What was your position in that brigade in July 1995?
20 A. I was a military policeman.
21 JUDGE LIU: Did you have any rank or positions?
22 A. No. No.
23 JUDGE LIU: Do you remember you made any statement to the
24 Bratunac police station, to the Defence, or to anybody else concerning the
25 incidents that happened in that period?
1 A. I gave a statement first in the police station and later on to an
2 investigator. What was his name? Risto Dugonjic, I think.
3 JUDGE LIU: Do you remember the contents of that statement?
4 A. I think I do.
5 JUDGE LIU: Tell us something about that statement, please.
6 A. Well, he asked me about the events in July 1995, about the
7 encounter between Mr. Nikolic and me, what he said -- or rather, what he
8 said here before the court, whether I had heard about that. I replied
9 that I had heard about it and that I'd read about it in the papers. I
10 think the newspaper was called Dnevni Avaz. He then asked me to tell him
11 how these events had developed and taken place, and I told him that I was
12 on my way home to the police station, and I ran into Mr. Momir Nikolic on
13 the road, and he told me to go to the police station and wait for him
14 there. That's what I did. I arrived at the station, and I asked the duty
15 officer where the commander was, (redacted), in order to report to
16 him, since he had allowed me to go home and visit my sick child.
17 The duty officer told me he was in the park -- or rather, in the
18 car park behind the building. I went there, and I found (redacted) there,
19 and I reported to him. I said I'd come back, and I told him what Momir
20 Nikolic had told me, that is, that I should come there and wait for him.
21 After some time - I'm not sure whether it was half an hour or an
22 hour - Momir Nikolic arrived and (redacted) to start the engine to
23 have UN transporter -- personnel carrier and he told me we were going to
24 Konjevic Polje, and this is what we did.
25 So we set out towards Konjevic Polje, that is, Momir Nikolic,
1 (redacted), and I. Momir Nikolic was where the commander usually
2 stands. I was where the anti-aircraft gun was, and (redacted) was driving
3 the personnel carrier. And so we proceeded in the direction of Konjevic
4 Polje, and before we had arrived in Konjevic Polje, on the left-hand side
5 of the road two civilians came out into the street, and Momir Nikolic told
6 (redacted) to stop the vehicle, and he said, and he told me to get out
7 and to search those two men and get them into the personnel carrier. I
8 did this. When they had climbed into the personnel carrier, Momir Nikolic
9 hit one of them on the head with a rifle, and then we continued on our way
10 to Konjevic Polje.
11 In Konjevic Polje, we stopped the vehicle and got out.
12 Momir Nikolic took those two men and took them to the left side of the
13 road, and there was a slab there, a slab, and he talked to them there.
14 And when he had finished talking to them, he called me over and told me to
15 take them to the building across the road. When I got there, there was
16 some other soldiers there. I don't know what brigade they belonged to.
17 So I started taking those men there, and the men who were standing there
18 said I had nothing to do with them and I could leave. They said they
19 would take the two men there with the others, because there were five or
20 six other men there, and they were questioning them.
21 Then I went back. In fact, Momir Nikolic had got out before that
22 and he was talking to some foreigners. There were two foreigners in
23 uniforms there, UN uniforms. And I passed by them. I heard them speaking
24 English. And I was there near the personnel carrier with (redacted). Then
25 Nikolic approached the personnel carrier and said that we should take
1 these two soldiers wherever they wanted to go, and they got into the
2 personnel carrier with us and we took them some 2 miles along the road
3 towards Bratunac. Then they told us to go back, and we did, and the jeep
4 came along and they got into the jeep, with the driver, and left.
5 After a while - it may have been half an hour or an hour - we
6 went back to Bratunac.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, in that armoured personnel carrier, did you use
8 a megaphone or loudspeaker in that vehicle?
9 A. No. There wasn't a loudspeaker there, and I didn't use it.
10 JUDGE LIU: Do you know the destination of those two surrendering
11 Muslims at last?
12 A. They were taken to that house. And you mean from there?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 A. They were taken with the others, across the road to another
15 building. It was a long building.
16 JUDGE LIU: When you came back to the vehicle, did you say
17 anything to Mr. Nikolic?
18 A. To Mr. Nikolic?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 A. No, I didn't say anything. I didn't say anything.
21 JUDGE LIU: Were there any gunshots you heard at that place?
22 A. There was shooting everywhere. You could hear gunfire all
23 around. You could hear firing all around.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 Any questions from the Defence team? Mr. Londrovic?
1 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
2 Questioned by Mr. Londrovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Petrovic.
4 A. Good day.
5 Q. I'm attorney at law Veselin Londrovic, Defence counsel for
6 Mr. Momir Nikolic, and I will put certain questions to you. Mr. Petrovic,
7 can you tell Their Honours how many statements you made altogether, up to
8 now, whether to the Bratunac police station, the investigator, or the
9 investigators of the Tribunal?
10 A. Well, in the Bratunac SUP, I made a statement. Then I made one
11 to - what's his name - Dugonjic, the same statement. And I gave one to
13 Q. You never gave me a written statement.
14 A. Well, it wasn't a written statement, but we did talk.
15 Q. Yes. Mr. Petrovic, when asked by His Honour, you replied that in
16 July 1995 you worked as a military policeman. Is this correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you have any post in the Bratunac Brigade military police?
19 A. No, apart from the fact that I was told orally that I was a
20 deputy of the commander. But I didn't feel like that.
21 Q. Mr. Petrovic, were you the deputy commander of the military
22 police of the Bratunac Brigade; yes or no?
23 A. I was not given a document. I was just told orally by Nikolic
24 that I was to stand in for (redacted) when he wasn't around.
25 Q. May I take your answer as meaning yes, that you were the deputy
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 commander of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. Yes. But there was no order to that effect.
3 Q. Mr. Petrovic, did you de facto perform the duty of deputy
4 commander of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade in July 1995?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Yes. Can you explain to Their Honours why in the statement you
7 gave in the police station and also in the statement you gave to the
8 investigators you said you were an ordinary military policeman?
9 A. Because I didn't feel that way. Nobody listened to me or
11 Q. Is it correct that you wanted to conceal the position you held in
12 the military police of the Bratunac Brigade in July 1995?
13 A. No, that's not correct. Why would I conceal that when everybody
14 knew it? (redacted) and Momir Nikolic know that I was never given a
15 letter of appointment. I was just told orally that I would stand in for
16 (redacted) when he was not around.
17 Q. Mr. Petrovic, why didn't you say then that you were the deputy
18 commander of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade in July 1995 in
19 formal terms but you didn't feel duty-bound to perform this task? As far
20 as I can understand you, you're saying that you had no letter of
21 appointment, so you didn't feel that you were the deputy. But why didn't
22 you say that, in fact, you were performing this duty but nobody asked you
23 about anything? You kept insisting that you were an ordinary military
25 A. That's what I felt like. That's what I said. I don't know.
1 Q. Mr. Petrovic, I will read part of the interview of
2 (redacted). It's in the B/C/S R0078311, where (redacted)
3 says the following: "My name is (redacted) and by rank I am a
4 sergeant but it says here that I am a sergeant first class. I don't know
5 how come. This is a rank I had in the civil police while I was working in
6 the military police. The next person was my deputy, and that was
7 Mile Petrovic."
8 If (redacted) says you were his deputy and you're saying you
9 weren't, does that mean he was lying or, rather, not telling the truth?
10 A. He was telling the truth. I told you. I got this order orally.
11 And I don't know -- how do I know who understood this in this way or that?
12 Q. Mr. Petrovic, in response to His Honour's question you said that
13 in this APC - and you don't remember the date - you set out on the
14 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road. Is this correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who was driving?
17 A. (redacted).
18 Q. You said that you were at the place where the anti-aircraft gun
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And where was Momir Nikolic on that APC?
22 A. In the command place, on the left-hand side.
23 Q. On the left-hand side, where the commander stands. I apart from
24 this APC, were there any other vehicles in front of you or behind you as
25 you were driving along the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road, in the direction
1 of Konjevic Polje?
2 A. I don't remember that. I don't remember.
3 Q. Were there two APCs?
4 A. It's possible. Who knows? Maybe. I don't remember. I don't
5 remember whether it was on the first day or the second day that there were
6 two APCs. It escapes me now. In that period.
7 Q. Do you remember the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road well, the road
8 that you drove along, or not?
9 A. I remember the road.
10 Q. Do you remember what was happening as you were driving along that
12 A. What do you mean, factually?
13 Q. I mean the sequence of events. Was there one APC or two? Were
14 there any passenger vehicles? What did you see along the road?
15 A. It was a long time ago. I know that on one day there were two
16 APCs, but I don't know whether it was on the first day or the second day.
17 Q. In response to His Honour's question, you said that there was no
18 megaphone in the APC.
19 A. How would I know? All I know is that I didn't speak into a
20 megaphone. That's the thing you talk into. It's round. I don't know
21 whether it existed there or not, but I didn't find one in the APC.
22 Q. Mr. Petrovic, I will try to quote you. When asked by His Honour
23 about a loudspeaker, you said, "There wasn't one and I didn't use one."
24 A. Well, I didn't see one there. How would I know whether there was
25 anything there or not and what things were there?
1 Q. Do you know what a loudspeaker looks like? Do you know what it
3 A. Yes, I do. It's round, and you hold it in your hand, and you
4 talk into it.
5 Q. Was there one in the APC or not?
6 A. No. I didn't see one.
7 Q. Had there been one, would you have been able to see it?
8 A. I beg your pardon?
9 Q. Had there been a loudspeaker in the APC, would you have been able
10 to see it?
11 A. Well, I didn't go around looking for anything in the APC. Even
12 had it been there, I don't know. I just climbed up and I stood there all
13 the time.
14 Q. Mr. Petrovic, in what capacity did you give a statement in the
15 Bratunac police station?
16 A. In what capacity?
17 Q. Yes. Were you a suspect? Were you a witness?
18 A. I was summoned to talk about these events. I was summoned to the
19 station. As I was summoned, I went to the station and I answered their
21 Q. Did you give a statement to an authorised official from the
22 Bratunac police station as a suspect or as a witness?
23 A. I suppose it was as a witness. How am I to know how they viewed
25 Q. Did they tell you in what capacity you were being interviewed at
1 the station?
2 A. They said that they were gathering information about the events
3 and asked me what I had to state, and I stated what has been recorded.
4 Q. Do you remember that they drew your attention to the fact that
5 you had the right to an attorney?
6 A. To an attorney?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. You don't remember? I can read part of the statement where it
10 says, "He was informed that he had the right to an attorney, pursuant to
11 Article 7 of the law on criminal procedure, that's an abbreviation
12 for -- ZKP is the abbreviation for the criminal procedure of Republika
13 Srpska. He was -- he said that he didn't need the professional assistance
14 of an attorney." Do you remember being informed about this?
15 A. Well, perhaps. I haven't attended university, so it's not
16 possible for me to understand everything that they asked me about. There
17 are certain things that I do understand. And certain things that I don't.
18 Q. Mr. Petrovic, did you tell the authorised official of the police
19 station the truth in your statement of the 25th of August, 2003?
20 A. I told him everything I could remember and what I said was the
22 Q. In response to a question from the Trial Chamber, you said that
23 in that statement you had claimed that Momir Nikolic had hit one of the
24 prisoners in the head.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Are you still claiming that this is what you said in the police
3 A. In the police station, no, that's not something that I stated
4 there. Not in the police station.
5 Q. How can you remember that you didn't state this in the police
7 A. Well, I didn't state this. How do I know how it is that I know
9 Q. Then who did you give the statement to?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer.
11 A. To Mr. Dugonjic, to the investigators.
12 Q. Is it correct to say that you gave this statement to Mr. Dugonjic
13 on the 22nd of September, 2003, after having given the statement in the
14 police station?
15 A. All I know is that I first gave the statement in the police
16 station and then gave the other statement.
17 Q. First you gave the statement to the police station and then to
18 Mr. Dugonjic. If you told the truth in the police station, why didn't you
19 tell the authorised official of the Bratunac police station at that time
20 that Momir Nikolic had hit one of the prisoners with a rifle in the head?
21 A. If I had known that it would be so important --
22 Q. So why did this suddenly become so important in the statement
23 given to Mr. Dugonjic?
24 A. If I had known that, then I would have said that there too.
25 Q. Mr. Petrovic, were you told that it was your duty to tell the
1 truth in the police station?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. They drew your attention to the necessity of telling the truth?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you told that you shouldn't omit anything?
6 A. I can't remember. How would I know?
7 Q. Were you told that giving false testimony was a criminal offence?
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. So why didn't you mention this fact to the authorised official in
10 the Bratunac police station, since you had been told that you had to tell
11 the truth, that you shouldn't omit anything, and you were told that giving
12 false testimony was a criminal offence? Why in this case didn't you
13 mention this in the police station, yet you did mention this to
14 Mr. Dugonjic?
15 A. Well, how am I to know? If I'd known, if I had known that I
16 would be appearing here -- this is the first time I've appeared before a
17 Trial Chamber. I don't even know how to sit here.
18 Q. Can I draw the conclusion that you didn't tell the official in
19 the Bratunac police station the full truth? You failed to mention certain
21 A. If I had known that it was going to be so important, I would have
22 mentioned this fact. How can I explain this?
23 Q. Mr. Petrovic, please listen carefully to my question. Is it true
24 that you failed to mention certain things to the authorised official in
25 the Bratunac police station when you were giving your statement? You
1 didn't tell the full truth. Please answer my question by saying "yes" or
3 A. Well, yes. But had I known, I would have mentioned it.
4 Q. Mr. Petrovic, in the statement that you gave to the official in
5 the Bratunac police station, you said, "On the following day, I and
6 (redacted) received an order from Momir Nikolic to escort several
7 buses and trucks which contained Muslims. We were to escort them to
8 Zvornik. I assumed that they were being driven there in order to
9 surrender them, to hand them over, in the territory, in the direction of
10 Tuzla. I remember that at the head of that long column there was a Golf
11 vehicle, and Momir Nikolic was in that Golf vehicle." Is this what you
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it correct to say, when I interpret your words, that on the
15 14th of July, 1995 Mr. Momir Nikolic was escorting a convoy of Muslim
16 prisoners in the direction of Zvornik?
17 A. Yes, I think that's true.
18 Q. Do you think it's true or is it true? According to what it
19 states here, it was true.
20 A. Well, he was there when they had organised that convoy, when
21 the -- when there was movement, et cetera.
22 Q. Mr. Petrovic, please try to concentrate and try to answer the
23 questions precisely. I told you what you said, "I remember that at the
24 head of that long column there was a Golf vehicle and Momir Nikolic was in
25 that vehicle." You told me that that was correct.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. When I asked you whether it was true, that on the 14th of July
3 Momir Nikolic was also in the convoy of Muslim prisoners being taken to
4 Zvornik, he was escorting them with you and (redacted); is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is correct. But I think that he stayed on in
6 Konjevic Polje. He wasn't there during the entire trip.
7 Q. Now you say that he stayed in Konjevic Polje.
8 A. He was in that Golf and with another man who had a moustache.
9 Q. Mr. Petrovic, we're talking about the 14th, not the 13th.
10 A. He was in that Golf.
11 Q. Was Mr. Momir Nikolic escorting the prisoners to Zvornik, to the
13 A. Not up to the school.
14 Q. How far, then?
15 A. As far as Konjevic Polje. I think that's where he stayed. But
16 (redacted) and I escorted them as far as the school, and someone else
17 too but I can't remember who it was.
18 Q. Up until which location did Momir Nikolic escort the convoy of
19 Muslim refugees on the 14th of July, 1995?
20 A. I think it was as far as Konjevic Polje.
21 Q. You think it was as far as Konjevic Polje or you know this for a
23 A. Up to Konjevic Polje.
24 Q. To Konjevic Polje. Do you know (redacted)?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is he a friend of yours?
2 A. A friend?
3 Q. Yes. Is (redacted) a friend of yours?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness's
6 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. Do you think that (redacted) told the truth?
8 A. Why should he lie? He'd say everything he knew, everything he
9 could remember.
10 Q. Mr. Petrovic, I'll now read part of (redacted) statement,
11 which concerns escorting the Muslim refugees on the 14th of July. In that
12 statement, he says: "You said that Popovic Mladic had issued the order to
14 (redacted): "Yes."
15 The Prosecution: "You also said you had informed your officer,
17 (redacted): "Yes."
18 The Prosecution: "When did you inform your officer Nikolic?"
19 (redacted): "When we arrived or when I arrived, I think. I
20 don't know. But when I arrived, I think that I saw him. I don't know. I
21 don't know. He was there, but I can't remember."
22 According to this exchange between the Prosecution and
23 (redacted), it follows that Mr. Momir Nikolic was not present in the
24 convoy of Muslim refugees. He remained in Bratunac, and (redacted)
25 informed him about that escort after he had returned from Zvornik to
1 Bratunac. So who is telling the truth? Are you telling the truth or is
2 (redacted) telling the truth?
3 A. I know that he was in that white Golf. He was accompanied by a
4 man whose name I don't know but who had a moustache. We then continued to
5 Zvornik, and they remained in -- they stayed on in Konjevic Polje. The
6 Golf returned to Zvornik, where we handed over the people in the buses.
7 Q. Mr. Petrovic, when you were asked by the Presiding Judge, you
8 stated that Momir Nikolic spoke to two UN members in English. "I heard
9 them speaking in English." That's what you said.
10 A. Well, whether it was in English or some other language, I don't
11 know, but it was a foreign language.
12 Q. Mr. Petrovic, we can have a look at the transcript in response to
13 a question put to you by the Presiding Judge, you replied that you had
14 heard them speaking in English. Mr. Petrovic, are you claiming that
15 Mr. Momir Nikolic speaks English?
16 A. Well, he wasn't speaking English, but those two foreigners, they
17 weren't speaking in Serbo-Croat.
18 Q. Mr. Petrovic, in a question put to you by the Presiding Judge,
19 you said that Momir Nikolic spoke to those two persons in English. Is
20 what you told the Presiding Judge incorrect?
21 A. That's not what I wanted to say. Perhaps Momir doesn't know
22 English. I didn't hear him speaking in English. But one of the men knew
23 a little Serbo-Croat, and they spoke together. One of the two UN members
24 knew a little Serbo-Croat.
25 Q. Are you now claiming that you did not tell the Presiding Judge
1 that Momir Nikolic spoke to the two UN members in English?
2 A. Well, perhaps that's what I said, but that's not what I meant to
3 say. I didn't mean to say that Momir was speaking in English. But those
4 two UN members were speaking in English.
5 Q. Mr. Petrovic, did you give a statement to investigators of the
6 Prosecution from the OTP on the 25th of May, 2000?
7 A. The 25th of May?
8 Q. Yes, on the 25th of May, 2000.
9 I'd like to ask the usher to show you this document. The
10 statement is in English. I don't have the version in the Serbian
11 language, but you can have a look at the signature and tell us whether it
12 is yours or not.
13 A. Yes, that's my signature.
14 Q. Is your name Mile?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is your last name Petrovic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is your father's name Milan?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you born on the 25th of February, 1967?
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. Did you speak to investigators from the OTP on the 25th of May,
24 A. I can't remember.
25 Q. You can't remember? The translator -- the interpreter was
1 Mihajlo Lukic.
2 That's your signature on the statement; isn't that correct?
3 A. Yes, it's my signature. But I didn't speak to anyone.
4 Q. You are now claiming that you didn't speak to anyone at the time?
5 A. Well, perhaps I did, but I don't know whether it was an
6 investigator. I can't remember. But I don't believe I spoke to anyone.
7 Well, where? Where did we speak? Where did we have a conversation?
8 Q. I apologise. I don't know English either. I'm going to ask for
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Londrovic, my suggestion is that we have a
12 short break. We have a ten-minute break, then we come back. During that
13 break, you can consult with your counsel about that document. Do you
15 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I agree.
18 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at five past 6.00, a ten-minute break.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.54 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.08 p.m.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Londrovic, please continue.
22 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Petrovic, just to be sure, is this your signature on the
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. You very often say: "I think it is." Could you be more precise?
2 A. Yes, it is my signature.
3 Q. Thanks to my learned colleagues from the Prosecution, I have
4 managed to obtain the information. There must have been an interview with
5 you in Srebrenica regarding the crimes committed by the Bosniak or Muslim
6 side, crimes perpetrated by them against the Serbs. In your statement,
7 you say that your grandfather (redacted) was wounded, that your house was set
8 on fire.
9 A. That happened in Milici.
10 Q. In Milici.
11 A. Yes. Now I remember. It was in Milici.
12 Q. So have I managed to refresh your memory? You spoke to
13 investigators from the Tribunal in Milici, and the signature is yours?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. That took place in Milici in the year 2000.
15 Q. You can remember this event?
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. Mr. Petrovic, is it true to say -- did your brother die?
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. Could you tell this Trial Chamber when that happened. Who killed
20 him? What happened exactly?
21 A. On the 14th of December, when Bjelovac was attacked, that's when
22 my brother was killed and my uncle's brother too, as well as my
24 Q. On the 14th of December. You didn't say the year. Which year
25 was it?
1 A. In 1992.
2 Q. Your brother died --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Your cousin died, interpreter's correction.
4 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Your cousin died, and your grandfather. Who killed them?
6 A. How would I know who killed them? Muslims did. These were units
7 who attacked Bjelovac.
8 Q. Are these the units of the BH army who were attacking Bjelovac at
9 the time? Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. So as far as your brother, (redacted), and your grandfather and your
12 cousin are concerned, why didn't you mention this fact, the fact that they
13 were killed, when you spoke to investigators from the Tribunal in Milici?
14 A. What do you mean I didn't mention that?
15 Q. In the interview that you had with investigators from the OTP,
16 when you gave the statement, why didn't you tell investigators from the
17 OTP that in the attack against Bjelovac your brother, (redacted), your
18 cousin -- could you mention his name?
19 A. Subota [phoen].
20 Q. And your grandfather and cousin were killed.
21 A. (redacted). Milos, but they called him (redacted).
22 Q. Why didn't you mention these facts to the investigators in May
23 2000 when you spoke to them?
24 A. Well, how do I know? Perhaps they didn't even ask me about it.
25 I don't know.
1 Q. But here you even say that your grandfather, (redacted), was wounded.
2 A. That he was wounded.
3 Q. Here you said that you were also slightly wounded.
4 A. Yes. There were bullet fragments that I had in the area of the
6 Q. Is it correct to say that in May 2000, when you were interviewed
7 by investigators from the OTP, you were aware of the fact that your
8 brother, cousin, and grandfather had been killed but you failed to mention
9 these facts? In the year 2000, were you aware of these facts?
10 A. Yes, I was, but why should I have spoken about this?
11 Q. Why didn't you mention this to investigators from the Tribunal?
12 A. Well, how do I know? I wasn't concealing anything.
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Londrovic, you've asked this question many times.
14 I think we have to move on.
15 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Petrovic, is it true to say, if you state before this Chamber
17 that you are responsible for the liquidation or murder of two, three,
18 five, six - the number is immaterial - Muslim prisoners, that if you said
19 "yes," you would then be subject to prosecution?
20 A. I didn't understand your question.
21 Q. Mr. Petrovic, if, before Their Honours, you confessed and said,
22 "It's true, I, Mile Petrovic, am responsible for the liquidation of two or
23 three or a certain number" - it doesn't matter which number - "of Muslim
24 prisoners," would by giving this affirmative reply, would you be exposing
25 yourself to criminal prosecution? Please answer me with a "yes" or "no."
1 A. I haven't killed anyone.
2 Q. I'm not saying you have, Mr. Petrovic. But if you were to say
3 this before this Chamber, if you were to say, "Yes, it's correct, I,
4 Mile Petrovic, am responsible for the liquidation of two or three - the
5 number is not important - of Muslim soldiers," would you be exposing
6 yourself to criminal responsibility?
7 A. Well, how could I say that when I haven't done it?
8 Q. I'm saying to you again that I'm not claiming that.
9 A. Well, why talk about it then?
10 Q. Very well.
11 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
12 questions. Thank you.
13 If you will -- with your leave, my co-counsel would like to
14 address you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, Mr. Kirsch, but you have to be very
17 MR. KIRSCH: Your Honours, thank you very much. I understand.
18 But for the reason that Mr. Londrovic is not speaking English nor French
19 and we hadn't had a chance to confer after this morning's hearing, I would
20 like to ask some questions to this witness. I'll be very short on this
21 with the Court's indulgence.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. KIRSCH: Thank you very much.
24 Questioned by Mr. Kirsch:
25 Q. Mr. Petrovic, may I draw your attention again to the events of
1 the 13th July. When -- could you please tell the Judges if you recall
2 that Mr. Popovic was also in the area when you started the APC from the
3 Bratunac Brigade command.
4 A. Which Popovic?
5 Q. I don't know. If you know more than one Popovic, you may tell
7 A. There was a Nikola Popovic with me in the police. Who do you
9 Q. Was this Nikola Popovic from the military police with you at that
11 A. What day did you say?
12 Q. The 13th of July I'm speaking about.
13 A. No, no.
14 Q. Does the name Vujadin Popovic tell you -- say anything to you?
15 A. Vujadin Popovic?
16 Q. I think he was a colonel within the Drina Corps at that time.
17 A. Would he be the person in the white Golf, the man with the
18 moustache? I can't remember his name.
19 Q. My question was: Do you know anything superior officer from the
20 Drina Corps with the name of Vujadin Popovic, who was maybe around the
21 area of Bratunac at that time, July 1995?
22 A. I heard about a Popovic. I don't know if he's the one I was
23 talking about or whether it's somebody else.
24 Q. So you don't know Mr. Vujadin Popovic personally. If he would
25 approach you today, would you be able to -- to tell this is the gentleman
1 or not, to identify him?
2 A. I could identify the man who was in the white Golf, but I don't
3 know who else you mean.
4 Q. When you're talking about the gentleman in the white Golf, are
5 you talking about the events on the 13th of July or about events on the
6 14th of July?
7 A. The 14th of July.
8 Q. Do you remember --
9 A. -- An escort.
10 Q. Do you remember having seen the gentleman on the 13th of July?
11 I'm talking of Vujadin Popovic again.
12 A. I used to see that gentleman before, but I don't know what his
13 name was. I mean the one who was in the white Golf on the 14th.
14 Q. Did Mr. Popovic maybe order you or your superior to go to the
15 APC, start the engine, and drive to Konjevic Polje on the 13th of July?
16 A. I don't remember.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Do you remember when you were driving towards
18 Konjevic Polje on the 13th of July that you were attacked by whatever
19 Muslim fire then, on the street? Do you --
20 A. I don't remember.
21 Q. Do you recall -- you don't recall any kind of incident like that?
22 A. As we were going toward Konjevic Polje?
23 Q. Yes, on the 13th of July.
24 A. I don't remember that this was in the direction of Konjevic Polje
25 that this happened.
1 Q. When you drove to Konjevic Polje, was there any vehicle in front
2 of behind you? The APC.
3 A. I don't remember whether that happened or not, no.
4 Q. So you're not sure, or you were alone on that street within the
6 A. I'm not sure. I don't know. I don't remember. If I remembered,
7 I would say so.
8 Q. So given the statements you gave to the Bratunac police and to
9 the investigators of Mr. Karnavas, it appears to me that it was only the
10 APC on that road on that day. Isn't that correct?
11 A. That's how I remember it. But as to whether there were other
12 APCs around or not, I have no idea.
13 Q. But if you doubt if there were many -- maybe more than one
14 vehicle on the road, you would have told the police or the investigator of
15 Mr. Karnavas; isn't that a fact?
16 A. If I had remembered that, I would have said it. Why not? How do
17 I know?
18 Q. In the area of Konjevic Polje, do you remember a police car with
19 a -- with a flashlight mounted on the top and a megaphone on the top on
20 13th of July?
21 A. I remember that.
22 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
23 A. While we were driving toward Konjevic Polje, the civilian police
24 were calling on the Muslims to surrender.
25 Q. Are you talking now about the 13th or the 14th of July?
1 A. The first day, when we went there, the 13th.
2 Q. Can you tell us exactly, please, where this police car you note,
3 telling us about the first time, when it first appeared to you -- when you
4 first saw it.
5 A. While we were approaching Konjevic Polje, they were on the
6 street, each with their vehicle, and they heard the loudspeaker.
7 Q. When you say "when we were approaching Konjevic Polje," I mean,
8 we're talking about the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road? Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, close to Konjevic Polje. All that belonged to
10 Konjevic Polje. It was some kilometres away, near the crossroads.
11 Q. So when you first became aware of this police vehicle, was it in
12 the area of Lolici, Sandici? Have you any recollection where that was?
13 A. I think it was closer to Konjevic Polje. There was that route
14 there, but how can I remember that now? They were there in
15 Konjevic Polje.
16 Q. Did you overtake this police vehicle within the -- with the APC?
17 A. They were standing still and we passed by them and went on
18 towards the crossroads and to Konjevic Polje.
19 Q. It's your testimony today that this police car was not moving on
20 the road, it was standing there, let's say 2 kilometres maybe before
21 Konjevic Polje? When I speak about Konjevic Polje, I now mean the
22 crossroads, where the one street is going to Zvornik and the other one is
23 going to Milici.
24 A. Before that crossroads was the first time I saw that police
1 Q. So it was very close to the crossroads in Konjevic Polje
3 A. Yes, very close to it. Yes, very close to the crossroads.
4 Q. Can you tell us, in Konjevic Polje with the APC, did you make
5 another travel with the APC around the area on that day, the 13th of July?
6 A. In the direction of Bratunac you mean?
7 Q. Whatever direction.
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. As far as I recollect, you told us that you -- you went with the
10 APC, you went -- when you arrived in Konjevic Polje, you took those two
11 foreign gentlemen into the APC, went, like, 2 or 3 kilometres in the
12 back -- in the direction of Bratunac, then returned to Konjevic Polje, and
13 then eventually got back with Mr. -- with your superior and Mr. Nikolic
14 back to Bratunac. That's correct?
15 A. That's what I said.
16 Q. So what I'm asking for, were there any further travels with the
17 APC in addition to that one with the foreign soldiers you told us about?
18 Either in the direction of Milici, either in the direction of Zvornik?
19 A. On that day?
20 Q. I'm only referring to the 13th of July now.
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Nenad Deronjic?
23 A. Nenad?
24 Q. Nenad Deronjic.
25 A. Deronjic -- Nenad Deronjic, that's a civilian policeman. Yes, I
1 do remember him.
2 Q. Do you know him? A person -- you could identify him?
3 A. Yes, I know him.
4 Q. Did you see or meet Mr. Deronjic on the 13th of July in the area
5 of Konjevic Polje?
6 A. I can't remember.
7 MR. KIRSCH: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Any questions, Mr. McCloskey?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just briefly, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 Questioned by Mr. McCloskey:
13 Q. These UN soldiers on the -- on the APC, were they riding on top
14 of the APC out in the open or were they inside the APC when they joined
16 A. They were on top, on top of the APC. They got onto the APC, and
17 you could see them from the waist up.
18 Q. Did you give them rifles and -- and tell them to shoot out at the
19 surrounding side, the side to the roads? They were armed Muslims --
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, you have to answer this question with
21 yes or no, because we didn't pick it up.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. There were armed Muslims in the -- in the woods all around this
25 road at this time, weren't there?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Those Dutch soldiers could have been very easily killed by one of
3 them, couldn't they?
4 A. Yes, they could have been.
5 Q. Did you require those Dutch soldiers to stay out in the open on
6 top of that APC in this war zone?
7 A. No, we didn't require anything of them. They did what they
9 Q. After learning of what Mr. Nikolic said recently about
10 allegations of you killing Muslim prisoners, did you talk about that with
12 A. Did I talk about it with (redacted)? In connection with
13 what? With these indictments?
14 Q. Listen to my question. It's very simple. After you heard about
15 what Momir Nikolic said, did you talk about what he had said with
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Did you talk about it before you gave a statement to the Bratunac
19 SUP with (redacted)?
20 A. Yes, as soon as I read about that in the papers, we talked about
22 Q. Was that before you went and gave a statement to the Bratunac SUP
23 you'd actually talked about this incident with (redacted)?
24 A. Yes. Yes, I did. Before.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing further.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, I have a question:
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE LIU: How big is that armed personnel carrier?
5 A. You mean how long is it and how wide is it?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Normally how many people could sit in that
8 A. Are you including the driver's seat and everything?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, everything.
10 A. About six or seven men.
11 JUDGE LIU: In that vehicle, are there some stuff in it, some
12 equipment in it, or it's an empty vehicle?
13 A. There were things in there, but I don't know what.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, those things occupied a larger space, I
15 suppose. Or am I wrong?
16 A. Yes, of course they did.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 Well, thank you, witness, for your testimony. The usher will
19 show you out of the room.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, the next witness asked for protective measures.
23 Because of the situation concerning of his testimony and out of caution,
24 the Trial Chamber makes a ruling, proprio motu, to grant him the closed
1 Yes, Mr. Londrovic.
2 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Your Honour, I
3 suggest that the statement given by Mr. Mile Petrovic to the investigator
4 of the Office of the Prosecutor in May 2000 be Defence Exhibit DS20. We
5 tender it into evidence. We have only one version, in English, and it's
6 on this disk, so we can either copy it and tender it into evidence
7 tomorrow or you can admit it now, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, generally speaking, any interviews or
9 statements made by a live witness is not admitted into evidence, because
10 we give the party the chance to cross-examine that witness.
11 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I understand that our proposal is
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, perhaps while we're waiting, I -- I
17 understand from the Court's statement yesterday and -- and from speaking
18 with Court personnel that -- that I should offer the statements that were
19 attached to our sentencing materials in -- well, if the witness is here, I
20 can do that at another time, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the closed session, please.
22 [Closed session]
12 Pages 1615 to 1624 redacted, closed session
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.