1 Thursday, 24 November 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, good morning to you. Could you
6 call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen, I can follow the proceedings in my mother tongue.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Good morning to you.
14 Appearances -- what happened to Mr. Wubben?
15 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, Mr. Wubben is in the building and will
16 be joining us after the first break.
17 I am Patricia Sellers on behalf of the Prosecution, and with me is
18 co-counsel, Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our acting case manager, Sanja
19 Bokulic. And good morning to Defence counsel.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Is he looking for Rule 68 material, Ms. Sellers?
21 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I am not allowed to divulge that
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
24 Appearances for the Defence.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My name
1 is Vasvija Vidovic. Together with Mr. John Jones I appear on behalf of
2 Mr. Naser Oric. With us are our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our
3 CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you Madam Vidovic, and good morning to you
5 and your team.
6 Welcome back, Mr. Jones.
7 Before we bring in the witness, we were discussing yesterday,
8 Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser, and myself, about when the Defence case is
9 going to come to an end. Two recent phenomena is -- one is that each time
10 we get a new witness almost always the estimated time for the evidence
11 increases, if it doesn't double. It's true that there is now a motion to
12 drop some witnesses and to add two, with the estimate that ultimately it
13 will save us about seven days of testimony.
14 I take it that as regards the number or the witnesses that will be
15 dropped or that the Defence is seeking to drop, I don't think I need to
16 have any reaction from you because that's not exactly your business under
17 our Rules.
18 However, I would like to know if you oppose for the production of
19 the two witnesses, one of whom definitely it would be extremely strange on
20 your part if you did because he is the calligraphic expert. And the other
21 one I would like to know whether you are -- as regards the other witness
22 whether you are opposing the production of that witness or not.
23 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, as regards to the witness who was the
24 subject of a proper filing of the 92 bis motion, I believe we informed the
25 Trial Chamber yesterday we would oppose.
1 As to the proposed forensic expert, we will of course have to wait
2 to see his report, to see his qualifications, and I imagine upon the
3 filing of a proper 94 bis motion we'll be able to evaluate that. My
4 understanding that will be at least 30 days before proposed testimony. If
5 we have no problem with his report and qualifications, it might be a
6 similar situation that we had with Dr. Stankovic, that we will just have
7 the report allowed to come in as evidence. If there will be some
8 controversy, we will make sure that we address that with as little delay
9 as possible.
10 In regard to the other 92 bis witnesses that were proposed within
11 the Defence counsel motion to add and to drop, we have not been able to
12 see any statements regarding what they would testify about via 92 bis --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, it's -- let me butt in. Forget the 92 bis
14 because the 92 bis I think Mr. Wubben has already informed the Trial
15 Chamber that the Prosecution would be opposing --
16 MS. SELLERS: Only one at this point in time. The other two we
17 haven't been able to analyse --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But this is not 92 bis. This is an ad hoc
19 motion, separate motion, that was filed by the Defence to drop six
20 witnesses and to bring forward Professor Bilic, and that -- I've heard
21 you. I've heard your comments. And Ejub Golic, who was present at a
22 prisoner exchange which has been referred to in evidence during the
23 Prosecution case.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. SELLERS: -- that would be --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That would be?
2 MS. SELLERS: A viva voce witness one who would come to testify.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, exactly.
4 MS. SELLERS: And we certainly don't oppose the Defence adding
5 that witness.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's deal with this straight away,
7 that as far as the two witnesses, Professor Bilic and Mr. Ejub Golic are
8 concerned, you're authorised to produce these witnesses. With regard to
9 Professor Bilic, I don't think we need more information as to what the
10 subject matter of his testimony will be. As regards Mr. Ejub Golic, I
11 think we need a summary of what -- of the facts that he will be testifying
12 upon and the expected duration of his testimony.
13 The other thing is this: Assuming for argument's sake only for
14 the time being that some of the witnesses that you have asked to produce
15 pursuant to Rule 92 bis will need to be brought over, in other words that
16 the motion will be turned down, rejected. We basically are going to lose
17 the benefit of those seven days that you mentioned in your motion. So we
18 would be -- notwithstanding the dropping of six witnesses, we would be
19 back to square one. Our concern, therefore, is that we need to make sure
20 more or less towards the end of this week or early next week that we have
21 a target date, revised target date, because we did have one but because of
22 different circumstances obviously that has to be shifted a little. So we
23 need to know exactly from you when you expect to finish your case, and
24 please try to be as practical and cooperative as you can. In other
25 words -- and don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that you are doing
1 this. But if you sincerely think that a witness needs three hours to
2 finish his testimony, don't tell me that you need six or five or seven.
3 All right. So try to stick to what is barely necessary because then we'll
4 have a short meeting. If necessary, I will even ask my SLO to have a
5 65 ter meeting with you if I see that there are problems. And we will
6 need to have establish a final day -- date within which your case has to
7 come to an end.
8 Also, although this is, I admit, a little bit premature, if you
9 think that following the resting of the Defence case you intend to bring
10 further witnesses in rebuttal, if you have that in mind already, please
11 let us know. Of course there will always be reservation that we are still
12 a couple of months away from the resting of the Defence case and anything
13 could happen then and need for a rebuttal may arise during the course of
14 these next two months or so. So what I am asking of you and of Mr. Wubben
15 is that if you are in a position already to tell us: Yes, do expect a
16 rebuttal, then we will need to prepare for it. This is what we are asking
17 of you.
18 Yes, Ms. Sellers.
19 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we will inform you as soon as possible.
20 We are taking such issues under consideration now.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course. I would imagine so. Yes, I would
22 imagine so. So that is why I have asked. But if you already have one,
23 two witnesses in mind, it's good for us to know because we can plan ahead
24 with more sense.
25 All right. Any further preliminaries?
1 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I will be brief.
3 I omitted mentioning yesterday when we discussed the length of
4 testimonies and why on occasion the time doubles, the reason is as
5 follows. We carefully studied the list and you know that before the last
6 motion when we gave up six witnesses, prior to that we had given up three
7 other witnesses. In any case, we continue doing this and we will do it in
8 any case when we realise that we have covered a certain territory with a
9 given witness and that we do not have to call another. It is in case of
10 this witness, he was supposed to testify for three hours and he was to
11 cover what other two witnesses were supposed to say. But still, I believe
12 his testimony will be shorter than the three would have been cumulatively.
13 And we will strive to do the same thing in the future. It is in the best
14 interest of our client to act in this way, and we want to see the end of
15 this trial as soon as possible.
16 Apart from that, I had another preliminary issue, and I wanted it
17 to be recorded in the transcript. Yesterday evening and this morning we
18 received the list of potential exhibits to be used by the OTP. I wanted
19 to use this opportunity to mention this before we bring in the witness.
20 We object as to the authenticity of the following documents
21 proposed by the Prosecutor and they intended to use them with this
22 witness. For -- we object for all the reasons we mentioned previously.
23 All of them come from suspicious sources of the government of the RS, and
24 we mentioned that on several occasions and we will come back to it in more
25 detail at a later stage via a motion. I wanted to specify the documents.
1 This is first and foremost 03729742 to 03729742 entitled "statement of
2 Jovanovic, Rajko."
3 Then exhibit 03721259 to 03721259 entitled "list of soldiers for
4 commendation from the Potocari Brigade." This document has not been
5 brought in through any given witness. Its source is unknown and it
6 doesn't have the date or the address, and one cannot understand who put
7 the document together. Then document 03720834 and 0372208 --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters missed the last figure.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the report of the military
10 police, the document being from the collection of the intelligence service
11 of the RS. It hasn't been introduced through any witness, and it is not
12 to be found on the list of the documents tendered and hasn't been
13 presented through Witness Radojcic. One cannot be certain as to the
14 author. There is no stamp and no trace of author.
15 Then the list of TO Gostinj members, document number being
16 02116725 to 02116728. We managed to establish that pertaining to an
17 entire spectrum of documents on the EDS that the source was the government
18 of the RS, and there was some extracts, certain pages, which belonged to
19 the overall collection of documents. The date is 1995. There are several
20 lists in several periods of time, and it is unclear exactly what the
21 period was pertaining to this document. And one cannot see who the author
22 was. It's a piece of paper that could have been written by anyone at any
24 Then document 02116772 to 02116773. Then list 7510/1 Stari Grad,
25 that is the title. There is no date, there is no signature on the
1 document. We don't know who the author is. And in our view it could have
2 been created at any given point in time. It is a document coming from the
3 government of the RS.
4 Then 03720963 to 03720965, "the warpath of the Potocari Brigade."
5 We were able to see that the OTP has received this recently from the
6 government of the RS. There is a list of documents received previously
7 from that government, and that document doesn't appear there. From the
8 list, one cannot see to whom the documentation was addressed, we cannot
9 see the source, and we cannot establish the author and the time of its
10 production. It hasn't been presented through any testimony. There is no
11 heading, no stamp, no signature, and it does not belong to a -- any
12 collection that we could use to establish its source on the EDS. That is
13 why we object as to the authenticity of this document.
14 Then document 02116776 to 02116777, "killed soldiers of Stari Grad
15 TO." That part of the documentation begins with the heading "source, the
16 government of the RS," hence we object to the authenticity and the entire
17 collection comes from 1995, but one can see that there are temporal
18 overlaps in the collection and it is unclear what the exact date of
19 production is. There is no heading, no stamp, no signature, and no date.
20 For us, it is but a plain piece of paper.
21 Then diary of an unknown author, number 04231845 to 04231872. We
22 don't know the author. We don't know the time when the alleged diary was
23 created. And in the document different time intervals appear. A part of
24 it pertains to 1992 and then it skips to 1995 and then goes back to 1994
25 and then to 1993. It contains descriptions completely unrelated to the
1 area or the time period. There is not a single piece of reliable data as
2 to the author or as to the time of its creation. That's why we object to
3 its authenticity.
4 And then the last document, I believe. It is 035929085 [as
5 interpreted] to 03593050, "proposal for commendation to the soldiers of
6 the 8th Operations Group." It fell under the daily disclosure category by
7 the OTP, and the document has not been introduced through any of the OTP
8 witnesses or through any of its investigators. We don't know the source,
9 and hence we object as to the authenticity.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic. All this has been
12 I may have made the mistake, but I don't think I have. I think
13 you skipped the fifth document on the list, the one with the ERN 02116774.
14 You told us nothing about that. I am -- I'm saying this subject to
15 correction. If you did and I missed it myself, my apologies, but I don't
16 think you did.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It is quite likely, Your Honour. It
18 is document 02116774 to 02116774, "unit Stari Grad." It has no heading,
19 no date, no signature. It is unclear as to the time of production and who
20 the author was. That's why we object to its authenticity as well.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
22 Yes, Ms. Sellers.
23 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour, if we might briefly explain the
24 Prosecution's position.
25 Firstly, we'd like to remind the Trial Chamber of your own
1 decision in regard to the admission of evidence and believe that both
2 parties will be bound to the manner in which documents are admitted and
3 then later weighed. So I will not go into those arguments.
4 In terms of some of the specific objections of Defence counsel,
5 might the Prosecution first put forward that because a document is
6 unsigned doesn't necessarily mean that a document is not valid. We
7 produce documents every day, whether in this courtroom, whether in notes,
8 that we do not sign. Many records that are normal business records are
9 not signed.
10 In addition, documents that do not have dates on them do not
11 necessarily mean that the document in itself is not valid or is a document
12 that is not credible. I would remind the Defence that they have submitted
13 documents in yesterday's proceeding, Defence Exhibit 916, Defence Exhibit
14 912, and there we have a variance in whether the document is signed,
15 whether the document has a date, whether the document has evidence of who
16 and where it was produced.
17 I would also like to state quite frankly that it seems that we
18 have the double standard of when documents come from the government of the
19 Republika Srpska that assist the Defence, whether it be documents related
20 to armed forces, whether it be documents related to lists of their
21 soldiers who have been wounded or killed, they seem to be quite valid.
22 They seem to be placed before a witness and asked for a Defence exhibit
23 number and admitted and not questioned in regard to the source. If the
24 Prosecution then submits a document that might be similar in the type of
25 content or similar in terms of where it came from, the Republika Srpska or
1 the government, that seems to be a per se in validity of the document.
2 And this Prosecution sincerely and seriously objects to any standard the
3 Defence might be putting forward in that regard.
4 We would also like to say, and this is in general terms, that the
5 admission of documents in this proceeding via investigators has been one
6 manner in which documents have been entered into the record, and the other
7 manner, such as we did see yesterday during the Defence examination of the
8 witness, is to show witness a new exhibit, have the witness look and
9 comment upon it, and ask that that document be admitted. Prosecution
10 would certainly like to have the same standard applied in terms of
11 admission. If the Prosecution were to be required to produce the
12 investigator each time it had a new document or decided to use a document
13 as the evidence develops, I believe that would be an unfair burden on the
14 Prosecution. I would certainly say it's an unfair burden on the Defence
15 in order to make them put all their documents in through investigators.
16 The practice of this Trial Chamber has certainly been one that adds to the
17 ease of admission, allowing Your Honours then to judge the weight.
18 If I might then talk about some of the specific documents. I'll
19 go to the one that Madam Vidovic mentioned that is a statement coming
20 from --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Sellers, sorry to interrupt you.
22 Usher, could you please go to the room where the witness is
23 waiting and explain to him that we are discussing a procedural matter that
24 is not related, as such, to his testimony, and extend our apologies to him
25 and put his mind at rest that he will soon it called. Thank you.
1 Yes. Sorry, Madam Sellers, for interrupting you like this, but I
2 have a suspicion that this is going to be -- to prolong a few more
4 MS. SELLERS: No more than a if you more minutes, Your Honour.
5 One of the documents that the Defence was questioning and I have
6 part of the ERN number 03729742. I'll have to refer back to the record.
7 That relates to a statement taken by -- as Your Honours will find out,
8 someone who is a Bosnian Serb. I strenuously object to it, but yet if one
9 would go to D135 I believe is the number the Defence has admitted
10 themselves a statement taken by a Bosnian Serb, by Bosnian Serb
11 authorities, and that has been used to show that Defence evidence might
12 have some credibility, weight or validity. The Prosecution will be doing
13 that same sort of exercise with this document.
14 And then we have the other document, 03721259, a list of soldiers
15 for commendation. Your Honour, this seems to be a document that you will
16 see that's produced in the normal course of army business, noting which
17 soldiers have been valid, which soldiers deserve merit. We also have a
18 document that's relating to members of a TO unit. Now, the Defence's
19 complaint seems to be the source, seems to be the timing of the document.
20 It will certainly be explained through evidence if the document is a
21 compilation of information that dates in between 1992 and 1995. First,
22 that doesn't affect the validity of the document. One might keep a
23 document and a running record on a document of the changes that have
24 happened with the TO or with the company between 1992 and 1995. So I
25 think that the Defence objection there is not only completely valid, I
1 think the fact that there is information from that entire period actually
2 assists the Trial Chamber in looking at the evolution of evidence and in
3 particular will assist the Prosecution in putting forth its evidence
4 that's relevant and pertinent to this case.
5 The Defence hen makes objections concerning a document entitled
6 the warpath. Now, we can certainly ask and see whether the warpath is
7 something militaries produce to show which troops have been in which
8 battles and which battles have been participated in. I do believe that
9 that very phrase has come up within the Defence case, and to say that it
10 has no stamp on it, has no significance, Your Honour, I would once again
11 revert to my prior arguments.
12 We do have a document that is entitled "soldiers from Stari Grad."
13 I believe it can be put before Your Honours and Your Honours can determine
14 whether that list of soldiers is relevant. We say it is relevant because
15 the names on the list have come up before and it corroborates and confirms
16 evidence that we have put forward.
17 Then we have a document -- and I can understand the Defence's
18 concern about this document because of the information it contains. That
19 document is a diary of an unknown author. If I might put forward just one
20 small correction. It is not made by one author, as Your Honours will see,
21 it is information taken down by several data-entry clerks, in particular a
22 man named Huso Oric, whose name we will find in other documents, who seems
23 to have assisted other record-keepers and other names of military men that
24 tell what was, in essence, the history of certain brigades and TOs. It is
25 normal and natural that that document does not have one author because
1 several companies have been asked to put down their war history. It is a
2 document that Your Honours will see discusses attacks that are relevant to
3 this indictment, discusses persons that have come up frequently within
4 this trial, and also discusses a temporal evolution of many of the TOs and
5 the companies. The Prosecution would submit that its relevance certainly
6 could not be questioned by its mere source of coming from the
7 Republika Srpska or by its form.
8 I will state one thing the Defence did not say in that the
9 document is original is in handwriting. The Defence has submitted even
10 yesterday a partial document that was in handwriting and translated, so
11 certainly that doesn't make a document invalid. As a matter of fact, it
12 might lead to its credibility to show that it had several authors and many
13 of the authors do note they were data takers.
14 Your Honour, then the last document that you mentioned in relation
15 to Stari Grad, I would go back to my previous arguments that it contains
16 information that's relevant. You will see that the Prosecution will be
17 putting forward a bit of a wider look at a particular company, group of
18 soldiers, combatants, fighters, TOs, in particular from Stari Grad, and we
19 believe that witness might be able to assist us with some information on
20 those documents.
21 For those reasons, Your Honour, I ask that we stick to the normal
22 procedure that this Trial Chamber has recognised within your decision and
23 within the practice that both parties up until this time period have been
24 allowed to proceed upon.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I will give the floor to the Defence,
1 but before I do so, so I make it clear, to be honest with you both, I
2 wasn't expecting this intervention from the Prosecution because basically
3 my understanding is what should be your understanding as well, namely that
4 we have committed ourselves with you that the admissibility issue proper
5 of each and every document that is standard will be made at the end of
6 these proceedings when the case of the Defence is rested, when we've heard
7 final submissions, pleadings, and then I told you - I don't know if you
8 were present here last time - that the question of admissibility, final
9 decision on admissibility, will be our first deliberation. That's number
10 one. The rule being in this Tribunal that unless on the face of it a
11 document is manifestly inadmissible and should not be admissible, then we
12 admit it with the caveat that I mentioned earlier, that the probative
13 value to be given to it will come at a later stage.
14 The second understanding is that preferably if, say, Madam Vidovic
15 stands up and tries to introduce a document in -- to -- in the records and
16 puts it in front of the witness and, if possible, we avoid any
17 submissions, any arguments on the admissibility issues relating to that
18 document in the presence of the witness. So the suggestion that I have
19 made in agreement with my two colleagues and which has been adopted so far
20 is that if there are new documents to be tendered, that we are made aware
21 of -- we haven't seen these documents ourselves. Obviously you both know
22 the contents of these documents, but we don't. And if the Defence has
23 been put on notice that you intend to tender these documents in the course
24 of your cross-examination today of this witness, then if they have
25 objections relating either to the authenticity or, in any case, relating
1 to the admissibility of these documents, they should make that clear or
2 make their submissions before the witness enters the courtroom. So then
3 we will have it on record, we will know -- and you would know that these
4 documents are being challenged, and we can proceed with the witness as if
5 nothing has happened, as if these documents are not subject to any
6 challenge at all. Of course, with the understanding that the Defence can
7 ask any questions that they like on the authenticity, or on the relevance,
8 maybe, of these documents. And the same applies to you.
9 Now you have been put on notice before the witness comes in that
10 these witnesses [sic] that you intend to use are being challenged. So if
11 you have any questions to put to the witness in relation to the
12 admissibility issues that have been raised, you're free to put them. But
13 otherwise, please, let's leave the final submissions on categories or
14 particular exhibits -- categories of or particular exhibits till the stage
15 -- till the appropriate stage, which will come much later than now. All
17 Yes, Mr. Jones.
18 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour, I was going to reply just briefly
19 because I also wanted to mention a preliminary matter on another issue, on
20 92 bis, but very briefly.
21 Certainly that helps our understanding because my understanding
22 certainly was that we were to make timely objections to authenticity and
23 that we weren't to remain silent until the very end of the trial because
24 when you're talking about thousands of exhibits, if then in March or April
25 we then mention all our objections, Your Honours will not have had the
1 benefit of knowing those objections when the witness was here. So I'm not
2 sure whether Mrs. Sellers is saying that this is not timely to make these
3 points or that they're not relevant.
4 Certainly in terms of relevance, whether a document is signed or
5 whether there's a stamp, those are relevant factors to waive
6 admissibility, and I'm not sure if the Prosecution's submission is that
7 under all circumstances these are utterly relevant. Obviously they are
8 relevant, and we're obviously going to note those as we go along.
9 And since Ms. Sellers did deal substantively with these points, I
10 would just, basically in a line or two, deal with each of the points she
12 In terms of documents from Republika Srpska, there's no double
13 standard. There's a distinction which should be very clear and easy to
14 understand, which is documents produced by the Republika Srpska, their own
15 documents versus documents which they allege that they've seized from the
16 Bosnian sources. That's obviously a very clear distinction. As far as
17 their own documents are concerned, firstly, there simply is that
18 distinction; but secondly it's a fact that as with confessions and
19 declarations against interest, documents which are not in the interests of
20 the maker to make them are often deemed more reliable because there's no
21 incentive for an army to tell lies about its own activities necessarily.
22 Whereas here we say there is an incentive for the Republika Srpska to
23 claim to have seized documents from the Bosnians, precisely for this case.
24 And just so Your Honours understand the fear we have is that there
25 may be, for all we know, and I'm not saying that this is the case, but a
1 unit in Republika Srpska which is busy following our case and dashing off
2 documents and sending them off and in that way helping to build a case
3 against our client. We say that is not an absurd suggestion. It is a
4 distinct possibility, and that is something which this Tribunal has to
5 guard against. And certainly if you have a document which you have no
6 idea who produced it, when they produced, how they produced it, then how
7 can Your Honours be sure that someone isn't just dashing off documents and
8 sending them to this court to be used against our client.
9 As far as the question of the use of an investigator is concerned,
10 it is important that there is an investigator because they talk about the
11 source so we actually know where the document came from. Obviously there
12 are two issues. A witness can attest to the truth of the contents of a
13 document and therefore give that document weight. But if there is no
14 investigator, so no information about the source, it's shown to a witness
15 and the witness says, Well, this simply is not true, then in our
16 submission the document at that point has absolutely no value because you
17 have no idea where it comes from and it hasn't been confirmed by a
18 witness. And that's why we point out when an investigator hasn't produced
19 a document, not that it's a requirement but it's relevant for those
21 As far as statements taken by the Serb authorities of Serbs, D135,
22 we of course used to impeach that witness. And again, I hope that's a
23 clear distinction that our exhibits, they're not all exhibits we stand
24 behind as truthful. We've introduced exhibits for a whole variety of
25 purposes which will be clear from the context. If we introduce prior
1 inconsistent statements, obviously it's for that purpose, for showing --
2 for impeaching that witness, not necessarily for the truth of the contents
3 of that document. So that has to be taken into consideration.
4 And finally - possibly finally - Ms. Sellers has in fact been
5 giving evidence about some of these documents. She says that one of the
6 exhibits today was produced in the course of business. Of course in a
7 national jurisdiction you need a witness to come along and say this was
8 compiled in the course of business. It's not enough for counsel just to
9 say this was produced in the course of business or these were data entry
10 clerks. Well, how on earth do we know whether they were data entry clerks
11 and not some forger who put this together?
12 Again, it's -- this Tribunal certainly has a certain flexibility
13 with exhibits, but it's not to be -- the proceedings are not to be brought
14 into disrepute by just allowing any old -- any old approach to be taken to
15 documents, and I submit that we should actually have regard to national
16 practice in terms of actually witnesses being brought to give evidence
17 about whether this was indeed put together in the course of business,
18 whether indeed these were data record clerks, and indeed why -- if that
19 weren't the case, why did the Prosecution bring witnesses like the
20 investigator and Radojcic and others. They themselves sought to show that
21 their documents are reliable, and in that spirit Your Honours will of
22 course have to assess whether they've done that or not.
23 And finally, as for the sort of general submission that, well, the
24 Defence did this and so we're doing the same, well, if the Prosecution has
25 submissions about the weight or admissibility of our documents, they're of
1 course free to make them. There's obviously no tit for tat, that if
2 there's some document which they think is not very credible for X reason,
3 they have a right to introduce an equally incredible document. That
4 submission holds no water in my submission.
5 As I say, I wanted also to mention this, Your Honour, wishes me to
6 address you further on that point. Just on 92 bis, and I think it's
7 important to make this point, we actually -- in the interests of saving
8 time, we have quite a few 92 bis applications in mind in the pipe-line,
9 but we are in fact, to be honest, waiting to see how the current one is
10 pending, and that's for this reason: That we're concerned about the test
11 which is going to be applied or being applied to the phrase "other than
12 the acts and the conduct of the accused" in 92 bis.
13 You will have seen in paragraph 7 of our motion we say that the
14 concept would be stretched way too far if any aspect of life in Srebrenica
15 was considered to be outside the provisions of Rule 92 bis. But we're
16 waiting to see Your Honours' ruling on that, and we may, to be
17 perfectly -- to be perfectly honest, we may appeal if -- if we consider
18 that we're going to be blocked in introducing a dozen or so 92 bis
19 statements by an overly restrictive approach.
20 And I also say that because Your Honour had mentioned that at this
21 stage of the trial we should all have in mind which areas have been more
22 or less established. Mr. Paris deals with a lot of issues which we
23 thought, certainly the Trial Chamber and perhaps the Prosecution, would
24 consider had already been established about life in Srebrenica. A great
25 deal of evidence has been given on those matters, and so we do wish to
1 wait and see what Your Honours' ruling is and then decide whether to
2 proceed with our other applications, because Your Honours' ruling will
3 indicate to us the prospects of success for our other applications. And
4 we don't want to submit half a dozen applications if we can tell that they
5 are going to fail. So that's just to indicate that we are holding back
6 with those applications until we know what the test is.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Regarding 92 bis, you all know because
8 you heard Mr. Wubben say so yesterday and day before I think that we are
9 to expect the Prosecution response shortly. So when that comes more or
10 less we would know what's the basis of the opposition of the Prosecution
11 for the production of that one witness under Rule 92 bis.
12 With regard to the matter of admissibility, I don't think it's the
13 case, Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser, of saying anything further.
14 Basically these are pleasures yet to come, and we'll deal with this matter
15 as we go along, particularly towards the end. But please do remember, in
16 case you have forgotten it, that more or less not more than a week ago I
17 expressed my concern about this matter and explained to you that at some
18 point in time we would appreciate having from both of you an itemised and
19 detailed explanation of the documents that you are objecting to -- I mean,
20 they are all on record already, but to make sure that we have them all, we
21 will require a list of all the documents that you are objecting to. And I
22 remember Mr. Jones saying that you had precisely this in mind and that you
23 would be coming up with such a document -- you had in mind of coming up
24 with such a document --
25 MR. JONES: Yes. Towards the end of trial, I thought.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course towards the end of the trial. There
2 is no point in trying to articulate all this before when the number of
3 documents is increasing by the dozen every day.
4 I think we can close this matter here now. I think we are all
5 fine-tuned on the practice of this Tribunal as regards admissibility of
6 documents, and our intention is to continue following this practice.
7 With regards to the other points that you mentioned and mentioned,
8 I think -- I don't think we need to discuss them here, about signatures,
9 stamps, et cetera. If you read the decision in Brdjanin, over which I
10 presided, the judgement in Brdjanin, more or less I dedicated a whole
11 chapter in that judgement on -- to the basics of admissibility, and there
12 you would read enough what was the position of the Trial Chamber in that
13 trial as regards authenticity issues such like signatures or absence of
14 signatures, absence of stamps, absence of dates, handwritten documents,
15 absence of supporting evidence.
16 Anyway, I don't think we need to go any further into this. We can
17 adjourn on this matter, and we can bring in the witness unless there are
18 other matters that you would like to raise. I see none.
19 So, usher, please.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So take your time, Ms. Vidovic.
22 And do you think you will finish your cross-examination today? I
23 don't think so now, at this point
24 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I can guarantee I will not finish it
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I like such guarantees, especially
2 involving Fridays, as well.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: But you will finish tomorrow?
5 MS. SELLERS: I will try earnestly.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir. Welcome back.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologies to you on behalf of the Chamber for
9 keeping you waiting for practically an hour before you could come in and
10 continue with your evidence, but we had serious business to transact here
11 on procedural matters that do not involve you, so you don't need to worry,
12 but we needed to discuss a few issues before we could continue with any
13 other business in this trial.
14 So welcome once more. Ms. Vidovic will continue with her
15 examination-in-chief, and when she finishes, which should be in roughly
16 about two hours' time, then Ms. Sellers will start with her
17 cross-examination. We will have to continue tomorrow, and it is expected
18 that we will take the entire sitting tomorrow. Hopefully if you try to
19 keep your answers brief and if we don't have any major calamities we
20 should finish with your testimony tomorrow and you would be free to go
21 home tomorrow.
22 So let's start, Ms. Vidovic, thank you.
23 WITNESS: WITNESS D005 [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Ms. Vidovic: [Continued]
1 Q. Good morning, Witness.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Yesterday we talked about the document dated 5 January 1992
4 containing an order to cleanse Konjevic Polje, and we left it off there.
5 I wish to correct myself, though, it was dated 5 January 1993.
6 First of all, I'd like you to clarify a detail that was not
7 entered into the record correctly. On the first day of your testimony, we
8 talked about a decision issued by the Serb forces you stated were located
9 in the area of Banjevici. It was entered into the transcript as having
10 happened in -- at the end of 1992. And now my question to you is whether
11 this happened at the end of 1991 or at the end of 1992, namely the
12 training of Serb soldiers?
13 A. The training of Serb soldiers took place at the end of 1991, not
14 at the end of 1992.
15 Q. Thank you very much. I merely wanted to correct the record.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I can have the usher's assistance
17 now, please, in showing the witness a document by the Drina Corps command
18 dated 7 January 1993, sent by the command of the Drina Corps to the Main
19 Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, signed by Commander Milenko
20 Zivanovic bearing the ERN 04267256.
21 Q. Witness, I will read out the first part of the document, namely
22 item 1: "Enemy."
23 "During the night the enemy engaged in minor provocations by
24 directing mortar fire at units of the Zvornik Brigade."
25 Now, please look at the relevant portion of the document which is
1 as follows.
2 "In the morning the enemy conducted a powerful attack on the
3 units of the Bratunac Brigade in the Kravica sector from the axis of
4 Kamenica-Maricici, Sandici-Kravica, and Bukovo Glava-Jezestica, and by
5 1200 hours had succeeded in taking control of the village sectors of
6 Marici, Siljkovici-Kajici, and Jezestica."
7 First of all, do you know anything about the events transpiring on
8 the 7 January 1993 relating to Kravica?
9 A. On the 7th of January, 1993, in regard to Kravica, I know that
10 there were attacks on Glogova and Bljecava and that we received some
11 information from Ejub Golic - I was told so by Sabic - that they had been
12 attacked up there. I don't know how they learned about this, perhaps from
13 the civilians who were up there.
14 Q. Very well. So you are somewhat familiar with these events.
15 I want to ask you the following. Based on your knowledge and in
16 fact what is -- it is stated in the document, namely: "In the morning
17 hours the enemy conducted a powerful attack on the units of the Bratunac
18 Brigade in the Kravica sector from the axes," and so on.
19 My question to you is as follows: Do you know whether on the
20 7th of January, 1993 it was the civilians in the Kravica area and their
21 facilities that were attacked or the units of the Bratunac Brigade, as
22 stated in the document?
23 A. As far as Kravica is concerned, civilians were never attacked
24 there. There were no civilians there. It was the Bratunac Brigade units
25 that were under attack.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you recall whether you went into the Kravica area
2 at some point during the day? You started saying something about this.
3 A. Yes. On the 7th of January Vezir Sabic asked whether anyone could
4 assist in the area of Konjevic Polje to fire back at the artillery, which
5 was most destructive, in order to reduce the intensity of the attacks
6 against Glogova.
7 Q. Was there a group of persons who headed in the direction of
8 Kravica with Vezir Sabic?
9 A. Yes. Some 100 people volunteered to set out towards Obackici
10 because that was where a ZIS pack, Howitzer was located, in order to
11 possibly destroy the ZIS and reduce the intensity of the attack against
13 Q. Did you join the group that set out for Kravica?
14 A. Yes. I joined the group to assist those people.
15 Q. Do you recall what time of day it was that you set out?
16 A. It was in the early morning hours that we set out for Obackici.
17 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what point you managed to reach.
18 A. As we came closer to Obackici, there was artillery at Siljkovici,
19 in the direction of Siljkovici, that noticed us and turned its weaponry
20 toward us and started opening fire with full intensity, also from
21 Obackici. On the occasion Vezir Sabic and some ten other men were
23 Q. What did you do thereupon? Did you personally go back?
24 A. A group stayed behind to maintain the position, whilst most of us
25 returned as there were many wounded. We returned to the Brekinja [phoen]
1 hill above Sandici.
2 Q. Was Vezir Sabic seriously wounded on the occasion?
3 A. Yes. He was seriously wounded and we had to take him back towards
4 Konjevic Polje. However, I omitted to say that while we were on that hill
5 an enormous mass of people emerged. There must have been more than a
6 thousand people, all civilians, including women, who were heading towards
7 Kravica and we tried to explain to them that there was no way for them to
8 reach Kravica, or rather, Obackici, although we could not dissuade them.
9 Q. This large group of people you described, were they Muslim
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did they observe the wounded that were among you, including Vezir
14 A. There was one man who was closest to us and he could see how many
15 wounded we carried. However, there was no way of stopping them. They
16 continued towards Kravica, that's to say Obackici.
17 Q. Did you specifically tell them to head back, not to continue on
18 their way because of the attack?
19 A. There was several lads who went over to try to persuade them not
20 to proceed. However, they were almost stampeded over as the crowd went
22 Q. Thank you. What happened with those civilians, this crowd of
23 civilians, in Obackici thereafter?
24 A. Yes. Having taken Vezir Sabic to Konjevic Polje, I returned
25 towards Kravica. As I was coming closer to Obackici, I saw a large group
1 of dead civilians. In the village of Obackici we found many civilians who
2 were collecting food and some were leading cattle towards Sandici.
3 Q. You were talking about Vejz Sabic not about Vezir Sabic. Is that
5 A. Yes, Vejz.
6 Q. In other words, regardless of the casualties and large numbers of
7 dead civilians, they nevertheless managed to cross the fire line and enter
9 A. Yes, you've understood me well. There was this location called
10 Jezero above Obackici. The civilians entered Obackici without paying
11 attention to their left flank, whether there was anyone. As we followed
12 in their suit, we heard fire from the direction of Jezero, which meant
13 that there was still some Serb forces up there but the civilians simply
14 paid no attention to this.
15 Q. Did I understand you well? Regardless of the fact that they were
16 getting killed in the process, they still continued searching for food?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like the witness to
19 be shown a new document which is an extract from a book called "Bloody
20 Christmas" by Boro Miljanovic published in the year 2000.
21 Q. Witness, I will quote a small portion from page 110.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Vidovic, because we haven't yet
23 given a number to the previous document that you used.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll admit this first. And this document
1 consists of four pages, two in B/C/S, two in English, with ERN 04267256 to
2 257, both numbers included, both pages included. This is being entered as
3 and given Defence Exhibit Number D937.
4 Yes, before we -- you proceed with your next question, Madam,
5 Judge Eser has a question.
6 JUDGE ESER: Since there are -- the witness told us about
7 movements between Konjevic Polje and Kravica and then you also talked
8 about Obackici, could he perhaps indicate say -- or tell us the distance
9 between Kravica and Konjevic Polje and how he got back and forth between
10 these two places. And also, could he perhaps locate on the map this
11 village or hamlet, Obackici, the distance from Kravica and on.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's --
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take them one by one.
15 Witness, can you tell us the distance between Kravica and
16 Konjevic Polje, please. We are not interested in the distance as the crow
17 flies but the real distance if one has to travel from one place to the
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the centre of Konjevic Polje to
20 Kravica, the distance is some six kilometres by asphalt road.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So next is if you could locate on the
22 map the village or the hamlet of Obackici.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obackici are not on the map.
24 However, I can explain the exact location in relation to Sandici.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be closer to the microphone.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot show you the exact location
2 because it is not entered into the map, but I can tell -- I can show you
3 the approximate location of Obackici. This is Sandici, and in this
4 direction here lies Obackici.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you perhaps mark it with an X?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the witness marks with an X
9 the location, which according to him, represents Obackici and that is
10 2.00, 2.00, from Sandici. Thank you.
11 And the last question that Judge Eser has asked you is to explain
12 how, on the occasion that you mentioned, you went to and from Kravica and
13 Konjevic Polje.
2 Judge Eser.
3 JUDGE ESER: My question was not only with regard how you normally
4 would come back and forth, but on the occasion which you mentioned on what
5 way you came from Kravica to Konjevic Polje and back. You mentioned a
6 certain event when you took somebody from Kravica to Konjevic Polje, then
7 you went back again. By what means you did it? Did you walk? Or did you
8 go on this horse-cart, as you told us? Or how was it?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In the meantime, registrar, please, the --
10 page 29, line 7 to 12 -- sorry, to 17, to line 17, will be redacted.
11 And you, Witness, please if you could answer now Judge Eser's
12 question which is directed specifically to the occasion that he mentioned
13 to you or that you testified about.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I answered the first
15 question previously and now I will answer the latter question.
16 It was in the suburbs of Kravica near the village of Sandici that
17 Vejz Sabic was wounded and we took him to a place called Brekinja above
18 Sandici. And then after having met the civilians that I talked to you
19 about, I, together with others, took him to Urkovici. In Urkovici we had
20 a horse-drawn cart, again, that we were able to transport Sabic and others
21 further on.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
23 Your next question, Madam Vidovic.
24 And the document -- the exhibit that you would be using has
25 already been circulated. Thank you.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, I will quote a small portion from page 110, second
3 paragraph, which says: "On the tragic day when the Kravica defence was
4 broken and Kravica fell, its commander incidentally was sub-lieutenant
5 Lazar Ostojic." Here is what he says about it. But I will not read this,
6 I will rather read out a relevant part on page 112, starting from third
7 paragraph, which says: "By 2.30 p.m. our intervention squad was in
8 Siljkovici. In the event of the arrival of fresh forces, they would have
9 enabled them to join the battle. When they were about to be surrounded by
10 the Muslims, I ordered them to move to another position in order to try to
11 stop the evil-doers who were advancing from the direction of Glogova. In
12 order to prevent the Muslims from advancing towards the village centre, I
13 went, along with five soldiers, to the house of an inhabitant, Vaso, and
14 from there we fired at them. Then I went back to the communications
15 centre to see if the promised help was to arrive. The communications
16 officer had already destroyed the equipment. The storage with defective
17 weapons had already been mined and the equipment that could not be taken
18 was destroyed within Osa. The enemy was already entering the centre of
19 the village. In the battle we were withdrawing at the last moment, saving
20 the newly brought wounded. Some of them died later on a stretcher or in
21 an ox-driven cart. The last group of soldiers, including myself, left
22 Kravica at about 4.00 p.m.. The last defence line to retreat was the one
23 at Jezero, which was abandoned at 4.15 p.m. when it was already getting
24 dark and when all hopes were buried.
25 "Following the column of the army and people, I felt like the
1 deadest of all corpses at the back of a dead column. This should also be
2 known. On that day, 22 crates of ammunition were distributed from the
3 storage, over 400 shells, more than 5.000 rounds for an anti-aircraft
5 In connection with this you told us that you were very much
6 familiar with the Kravica area. Can you tell us whether you know the area
7 where the house of this resident, Vaso, who is mentioned here is located?
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] But could we first move into private
9 session, Your Honour, for a while before the witness answers?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's move into private session for a while,
12 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you please describe the location of the house.
4 A. As one passes through Obackici, there's a valley there and then a
5 hill upon which lies Vaso's house. And a bit downhill from that house
6 there is Rahman Muminovic's estate and house.
7 Q. At the time you were moving through the centre of Kravica, did you
8 have any experience connected with the house?
9 A. Yes. As we went past Obackici - and I told you what happened with
10 the civilians there, we saw them collecting food and leading cattle - I
11 saw that there was no Serb military presence there and I headed towards
12 Vaso's house. In the immediate vicinity a barrage fire from automatic
13 weapons and machine-guns could be heard. Abid Olovic [phoen] from
14 Konjevic Polje was close by and he got killed there. At that point, I
15 went over to a dirt road where we lingered on waiting to see what was
16 going to happen.
17 Q. Can you pause there, Witness.
18 Did the shooting come from this particular house, as described in
19 this book?
20 A. Yes, from that house precisely.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you relate to us any other experience you had in
22 terms of shots coming from houses or something related to that locality.
23 A. I told you that neither the civilians nor we paid much attention
24 to Jezero, which is a feature above Sandici, where the Serb forces were
25 still present. Having heard these shots, we also heard shots up at
2 Q. In other words, were they opening fire from Jezero upon you or
3 somewhere else?
4 A. They were firing upon us.
5 Q. And finally, did you manage to reach the centre of Kravica?
6 A. Yes. We proceeded toward Kravica. We tried to circumvent this
7 particular house because we knew that there was army inside. We went
8 across a wooded area and reached Kravica. We found throngs of civilians
9 there collecting food in the houses there.
10 Q. Did you manage to come closer to the school -- the two school
11 buildings you mentioned earlier?
12 A. Yes, in retrospect I would have acted differently, but as I was
13 going towards Kravica I -- my only thought was to get hold of a rifle
14 because I knew how important it was to ensure my own safety. I had handed
15 over my weapon earlier on, but as we reached Kravica we found quite a lot
16 of weapons there.
17 Q. Did you manage to learn anything about any communications
18 equipment? Did you find any such equipment there?
19 A. Yes. We found some communications equipment; however, it was
20 completely destroyed.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before I move on to a
22 different document, could this document be assigned a number, please?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Certainly, Ms. Vidovic. This document which
24 consists of four pages in Serbo-Croat, consisting of a photocopy of the
25 cover of the book mentioned earlier in the evidence, the title page, and
1 then photocopies of pages 110, 111, 112, and 113, together with the
2 corresponding translation into English of the title page -- title pages
3 and cover and an extract from page 122 -- 112 is being tendered, marked as
4 Defence Exhibit D938.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness be
6 shown two documents at once, D470 and D471. Both documents are dated
7 9 January 1993, and both originate from the command of the Bratunac
8 Brigade and both were addressed to the Drina Corps command.
9 Q. Witness, please first look at D470. The number is 04272539. It
10 says: "To the Drina Corps command, chief of communications, chief for
11 intelligence. Subject: Report on communications equipment lost in
13 "We hereby wish to inform you that on 7 January 1993 the
14 following communications equipment in the village of Kravica fell into
15 enemy hands."
16 And then listed therein are -- is radio equipment, telephone
17 equipment, charging equipment, and it is stated that the report was
18 compiled on the basis of a statement by the signals operator of the
19 3rd Kravica Battalion Milo Milosevic." According to this statement, part
20 of the equipment was destroyed by bursts of fire from two automatic
22 Does this correspond to what you learned as you reached the
23 Kravica communications centre there?
24 A. Yes, it does.
25 Q. Please look at the other document which says: "Report on the
1 disappearance of communications documents."
2 It says: "On 7 January 1993 in the village of Kravica, the
3 following communications documents fell into enemy hands:
4 "Work plans," and so on, they're all listed here.
5 At the end it says: "The code names of the corps and the Bratunac
6 Brigade have been deciphered, broken into."
7 In brackets it says "Idila and Gigant."
8 "Report compiled on the basis of a statement by the signals
9 operator of the Kravica Battalion."
10 Based on what you observed and experienced there and learnt there,
11 did you hear of any communications documents having been lost -- or
12 rather, having been found there?
13 A. Yes. I heard that some such documents were found, but I did not
14 see them.
15 Q. But did you hear that such documents were found from others who
16 were there with you?
17 A. Yes, I said they were found.
18 Q. Thank you?
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps this would be a
20 good time for a break.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, indeed, Ms. Vidovic.
22 We'll have a 30-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It never rains but worse.
1 Welcome, Mr. Wubben. And I'm welcoming you -- first to welcome
2 you and secondly also for the record.
3 There have been some changes. The plenary is no longer going to
4 be on the 6th but it is going to be on the 5th. That would clash with our
5 afternoon sitting of the 5th. I have had meetings in the meantime. If it
6 is at possible, we would try to sit half an hour in the courtroom where
7 the Appeals Chamber will be sitting on the day in the Nikolic case half an
8 hour after they finish, which could allow us the possibility to sit up and
9 until 3.00 or 3.30, obviously with breaks. I'm not quite sure that that
10 is possible, but I'm working on it, and I would appreciate your
11 cooperation on that, otherwise we will have to skip the 5th and start with
12 that witness on the 6th.
13 The other thing is, assuming that we would finish with this
14 witness tomorrow, if you could start with the next witness on Monday
15 instead of Tuesday, and we'll try to make an effort and finish with that
16 witness on the 29th rather than on the 20th -- on the 30th, which would
17 allow me the possibility to travel where I need to go on the 30th, as I'm
18 having a lot of problems finding a flight and making adjustments.
19 Thanks for your cooperation, and we'll talk about this at some
20 later point in time, either today or tomorrow.
21 Yes, Witness, let's proceed. Sorry to bother you with these
23 Madam Vidovic.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted a
25 correction to be entered into the transcript. It was at 11.39.49 I asked
1 the following question of the witness: Is it correct that the witnesses
2 surrounding Siljkovici -- that the villages surrounding Siljkovici, that
3 these Muslim villages were attacked from Siljkovici itself?
4 And the transcript reflects whether Siljkovici were the target,
5 which is absurd. The witness mentioned that the surrounding Muslim
6 villages were under attack from Siljkovici and that Kravica was attacked
7 from Siljkovici. I just wanted to offer this clarification. And this is
8 yesterday's transcript.
9 Q. Witness, did you understand me when I asked you this question --
10 when I asked you whether the Muslim villages were attacked from Siljkovici
11 and not the other way around?
12 A. Yes. Those Muslim villages were attacked, but I wanted to mention
13 one thing that I feel obliged to say and I forgot to mention it yesterday,
14 if I may offer an addition. When Ibrahim Muminovic and Salih Mustafic
15 were killed, on that occasion my house came under direct fire.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. First, the date when this happened, and
17 whether we need to redact. I don't know. Do you wish to see a redaction?
18 I don't think it is quite necessary because there is no indication of
19 place, but anyone who knows where these people were killed, I don't know.
20 It doesn't necessarily --
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't necessarily mean that his residence is
23 where they were killed. I mean, so ...
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. What was the date when this happened, when
1 these two persons were killed?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those two persons were killed I
3 believe in December, as far as I can remember.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And your house was destroyed or was hit on the same
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to explain -- I just wanted
7 to say that it wasn't destroyed but rather that it was targeted in the
8 events that transpired. On that occasion, a Howitzer shell entered
9 through the window and it didn't hit anything inside the building
10 directly, but rather it ricocheted off a closet and then exploded in the
11 middle of the room.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, and hence remained
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that was great luck for my wife
15 and children.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You didn't answer the question whether that occurred
17 on the same day those two persons were killed or not.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, on that same day.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you.
20 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, just before the break we stopped at the point when you
23 said you entered Kravica and that you were looking for weapons, and you
24 said you found some. Where did you find it?
25 A. The weapons were usually to be found in various houses. There
1 were machine-guns and rifles, and I took a rifle for myself because I
2 didn't want to remain without a rifle any longer because it was becoming
3 increasingly difficult. There was some spent cartridges in the houses
4 which would mean that they were using the houses primarily to open fire.
5 Q. When you mean -- when you say "casings," do you mean spent
7 A. Yes, precisely.
8 Q. At the time when you were in Kravica, were there lots of Muslim
9 civilians in it?
10 A. In Kravica there were vast numbers of Muslim civilians. I can't
11 be specific as to the number, but it must have been over 1.000 and they
12 were searching the houses looking for food. And they took away the cattle
13 they found.
14 Q. What was their behaviour like, if you can put it briefly for the
16 A. I happened to be close to some people who said that they found
17 lots of food in one house and they stampeded into their house and they
18 paid no attention what was happening to the person next to them. They
19 were running to get to the food, to get some for themselves.
20 Q. On that day in Kravica itself, were there wounded or killed Muslim
22 A. When I came to Kravica, the shelling was still ongoing and there
23 were lots of killed and wounded civilians.
24 Q. Do you know who was shelling Kravica at that time, Muslims or
1 A. Serbs were shelling Kravica from Banjevici, Ocenovici, Popovici.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you remain for long in Kravica?
3 A. I stayed until night -- the night, and when it got dark I
4 retreated with the other people back to my village.
5 Q. Did you retreat with other armed men?
6 A. As far as I know, most of those who were armed returned.
7 Q. They retreated or they withdrew?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. During the time you spent there, and as far as you could see, did
10 you see any house on fire?
11 A. I didn't houses on fire in Kravica that day.
12 Q. I wanted to ask you something pertaining to the civilians. You
13 said that that day the civilians were there looking for food. In the next
14 few days, were you able to observe whether civilians from your area, or in
15 general, whether they went back there, whether they came to Kravica, took
16 some stuff away, or whether they were doing anything there?
17 A. They kept bringing out food and cattle, and there were people who
18 even -- even took off tiles from the roofs of the houses because there was
19 lots of damaged houses in Konjevic Polje and the surrounding villages. So
20 a lot of things were taken out of Kravica to repair the houses previously
21 damaged in Konjevic Polje.
22 Q. When you say "lots of stuff," do you mean construction material
23 and similar?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The fighting in the area of Kravica, did it conclude in December
1 1992? When I say "the area of Kravica," I mean the entire territory of
2 the local commune with its villages.
3 A. The fighting did not cease around Kravica. In Kravica itself, it
4 did stop, but around it there was still fighting in Popovici, Colakovici,
5 Jezestica. I pray your forgiveness if I keep mentioning Siljkovici, but
6 that sticks in my mind the best. Banjevici, Colakovici, Popovici, that's
7 where the shelling was coming from and that's where the fighting resumed.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show another
9 document to the witness by the Drina Corps command dated 11 January 1993.
10 The title is "interim report to the Main Staff of the Army of the RS."
11 While we're waiting for it to be distributed, I wanted to quote
12 the relevant portion.
13 "Interim report.
14 "According to the report that has arrived from the Bratunac
15 Brigade command, it is not clear who is controlling the villages of
16 Popovici and Colakovici. I will find out and inform you. We understood
17 that we controlled four villages.
18 "The 3rd Battalion (Kravica) has again abandoned his position and
19 some of the men have arrived in Bratunac. The men are angry and armed,
20 and there is a danger of disorder breaking out in the town itself."
21 Witness, please pay attention to the date. It says 11 January
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we for a short
24 while move into private session, please?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's move into private session for a while.
1 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And this document, which consists of two pages, the
1 original in B/C/S and the other one in English, being a translation of it,
2 is being marked as Defence Exhibit D939. ERN number is 04267279.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, related to this I wanted to ask you something else
5 concerning Popovici and Colakovici. If one were to claim that Popovici
6 and Colakovici were set on fire by the Muslims on the 8th of January,
7 1993, would that be correct?
8 A. It would not be correct in any case.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to show
11 another document to the witness dated 11 January 1993. It is a Bratunac
12 command document sent to the Drina Corps command.
13 To gain some time while we are waiting for it to be distributed,
14 if you could kindly observe carefully, I wanted to read the
15 following: "1, the enemy.
16 "During the day carried out operations with groups of 15 to 20
17 soldiers on the Colakovici-Popovici-Banjevici-Mandici-Gornji Polom-Caus-
18 Pobrdje-Potocari-Zuti Most axes. Their probable intentions are to use the
19 forces from Glogova to break out into the Drina valley in the Polom
21 Witness, this portion I read out, does it confirm the situation on
22 the ground on the 11th of January or, rather, that it was then that
23 Muslims were active in the area of Popovici and Colakovici?
24 A. I am unclear about the question. Could you repeat it, please?
25 Q. Yes. Is it correct that the fighting around Popovici and
1 Colakovici occurred as late as the 11th of January, as specified by the
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we assign an
5 exhibit number to this document, please?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document which also consists of two pages,
7 the original in B/C/S and the other one being an English translation
8 thereof, with ERN 04363068 is being tendered and marked as Defence
9 Exhibit D940.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to play a
11 video excerpt now. This is P317. We made a transcript of our own
12 pertaining only to the relevant portions of the conversation in the
13 excerpt. And one can clearly see what the date of the recording is. We
14 didn't have the time to do the full transcript, and we are interested in
15 the images themselves rather than the conversation. But in any case, if
16 necessary, we can submit a full transcript at a later stage.
17 Q. Witness, I would kindly ask you to follow the recording, but wait
18 first for the transcript to be distributed, please.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We may start.
20 Your Honours, this portion of P317 begins at 35.31, and we will
21 stop at 35.40 for the transcript.
22 Please play the video.
23 [Videotape played]
24 The Interpreter: [Voiceover] "We are recording on the 11th of
25 January or the 12th of January, 1993."
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, did you hear the person say that they were recording on
3 the 11th or the 12th of January, 1993?
4 A. Yes.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please continue with the
6 video. Your Honours, for the transcript, we will continue with 41.07 to
7 41.30 -- no, 41.07 to 41.37.
8 [Videotape played]
9 The Interpreter: [Voiceover] "He is 55-years-old. We shall give
10 him some information. Just say 55 years. We are a volunteer."
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot decipher the
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We -- when we viewed the excerpt, it
14 was far better. I don't know what happened with it.
15 Q. Witness, were you able to see the excerpt and I believe you also
16 saw it during the proofing?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Vidovic, because if this is not to
19 your satisfaction, perhaps we may address it to the technicians and we
20 will have a playback. I don't know if there is a reason why we have such
21 bad quality transmission.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know, Your Honours. But I
23 can see with the witness.
24 Q. Witness, can you recognise this area on the video?
25 A. Since I'm very familiar with the terrain and with the area, I'd
1 say this is a part of Banjevici.
2 Q. Is Banjevici a hamlet of Kravica?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Is that the part you said -- or rather, is Banjevici the village
5 you said that the Serbs used to open fire at you?
6 A. Yes, that is the village.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we continue with the excerpt,
8 please, to see if it gets any better. We are very interested in what
9 follows. The time is 41.54 to 42.47.
10 [Videotape played]
11 The Interpreter: [Voiceover] "That means this is Banjevici, or
12 Banjevici, whatever you prefer."
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. First of all, did you hear the man say "this is Banjevici or
16 A. Yes. Next to the village itself, in the upper part of Banjevici,
17 this is where they fired this mortar off. It is 60-millimetre. And what
18 we could see is the village of Banjevici, being the target.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we continue with the video.
20 [Videotape played]
21 The Interpreter: [Voiceover] "Release the safety off -- no, not
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You said you were quite familiar with the area of Banjevici. For
25 the Chamber, please could you tell -- could you say what this piece is.
1 A. This is an anti-aircraft machine-gun.
2 Q. The anti-aircraft machine-gun and the mortar you saw, how far were
3 they from the houses that we can see in the recording? Since you know the
4 area well, are there any more houses nearby?
5 A. Yes. There are houses on the other side, too, to the left of this
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Vidovic, for the record, because you
8 did not mention the part of this last excerpt from the video, the last
9 portion that we've seen is -- starts at 42.47 and finished at 43.39.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we give this transcript a number?
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And this transcript, which is one page in
14 B/C/S and one page in English, will become Defence Exhibit D941.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Witness, in your testimony I showed you on several occasions some
17 documents mentioning the fact that the artillery was firing from the area
18 of Banjevici at Hrncici and as well as your village. I will not mention
19 the name of it. Concerning the positions we saw in the recording, as far
20 as you know, were they used to fire at you in November and December of
22 A. Yes. Precisely at that time and throughout the year I'd say.
23 Q. From the location at Banjevici?
24 A. Yes, from that location.
25 Q. Witness, you saw uniforms -- or rather, were you able to observe
1 the uniforms that the Serb soldiers wore?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. Is it the same kind of uniforms that you used to see on Serb
4 soldiers for whom you said you could observe with the naked eye or through
5 binoculars? Were they wearing the same uniforms?
6 A. They were wearing the same uniforms, but this was a relatively bad
7 image, more black and white, so I couldn't distinguish the colours. But
8 the uniforms seemed similar.
9 Q. Thank you. I will show you another document. This is a Drina
10 Corps document, the title being "analysis of the conduct of combat
11 operations in the operation code named Pesnica, Fist," being the English
12 translation. The number of the document is 04342072.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
14 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, before we move on to this other
15 document I would just like to inquire whether since the witness did not
16 necessarily testify to what we heard on the screen, if we're having a
17 technical problem, that we resolve this issue as to whether the transcript
18 is an accurate reflection of what was said.
19 And then the other thing I would just like to raise in the
20 transcript, Your Honour, is that I believe that sometimes we have a
21 description of the first soldier, we have 60-millimetre shell, and I do
22 not understand the language, but certainly do not think that it was what
23 was said was preceded by a description of what it was. Maybe the first
24 man --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I had thought about that myself when I
1 received the two pages, the transcript. That's not something that the
2 accused [sic] had. The accused was following the video recording. The
3 transcript is for us. The transcript is for us.
4 MS. SELLERS: But, Your Honour --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: In his testimony he did identify --
6 MS. SELLERS: You mean the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. In his testimony he did identify the weapon.
8 He referred to it by its calibre.
9 MS. SELLERS: That's absolutely correct.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I had this same idea as yours when I saw the
11 transcript because for a moment I thought: Is this a suggestion that is
12 being put to the witness to say that this is a 60-millimetre --
13 60-millimetre shell. So it's -- but I don't think there is any problem
14 there because I don't think he had these documents.
15 MS. SELLERS: Okay. Fine. And I just wonder if this is going to
16 be entered into evidence, the transcript as is, or not.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No. The evidence as -- what is entered -- is
18 entered already in the evidence is your P317.
19 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And I don't know if it has a transcript or not. I
21 obviously don't expect you to remember from so many months ago. It has
23 MS. SELLERS: Not necessarily this section, but yes --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I obviously haven't checked the
25 transcript of that part of the video from your side. If it doesn't tally
1 with what is here, please draw our attention, and I mean we will give it
2 all our -- due attention. However, I wouldn't worry about the
3 60-millimetre calibre issue because what he understands -- what he had in
4 front of him was the video recording and not -- all right?
5 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's move.
7 Does that cover everything that you raised or not?
8 MS. SELLERS: I believe it does. Once the transcript will not be
9 placed into evidence, then I think the problem is resolved.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right -- no, the transcript is in evidence. It
11 has been tendered and I have given it a number. The transcript has
12 been -- this is why I told you that if you think that this transcript does
13 not reflect the words that were being uttered by the various persons on
14 screen or if it doesn't tally or correspond with the translation that you
15 might have --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: If they are contesting the correctness, the
18 faithfulness of the reproduction of those words in the transcript, then
19 please do tell us so. We are not in a position to confirm that its a
20 faithful presentation of what was said or not because as you suggested we
21 could barely hear the words that were being said, which were being said in
22 Serbo-Croat in any case. And to my knowledge, from what I was following
23 at the time, the -- the interpreters in the English booth also at some
24 point in time couldn't follow. So it is being admitted into evidence,
25 obviously, but if the correctness of the presentation is being challenged
1 by you, then obviously that will be taken into consideration. But for the
2 time being, this is what we have.
3 MS. SELLERS: I understand, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's proceed, Ms. Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, you have before you a document entitled "analysis of the
7 conduct of combat operations in the operation code named Pesnica, Fist,"
8 number 04342072. I will draw your attention to parts of the document
9 starting from paragraph 2 which says: "Operation Pesnica was conducted
10 pursuant -- from the 11th of January, 1993 to 20th January, 1993."
11 Please look at the last paragraph on this page which says: "The
12 primary task of the units in conducting operation Pesnica was to cut the
13 Muslim forces' area of concentration and to separate the Srebrenica area
14 from Cerska area and liberate the Milici-Konjevic Polje-Zvornik road,
15 prevent Muslim penetration into Bratunac by powerful Defence, and break up
16 enemy forces along the Bratunac-Kravica-Konjevic Polje axes by active
18 My question to you is as follows: Does this document reflect the
19 actual situation in the Podrinje area as far as you know in January 1993,
20 especially with regard to Konjevic Polje?
21 A. Yes, it does.
22 Q. These Serb attacks in the time period mentioned under this combat
23 operation's analysis cause great harm to the civilian population in the
25 A. Yes, definitely, very much so, especially by shelling.
1 Q. How many of them were killed?
2 A. In hundreds.
3 Q. Do you remember the events surrounding the fall of Konjevic Polje?
4 How did the Serb military treat civilians when Konjevic Polje fell?
5 A. I recall it was right before Konjevic Polje fell. I have to point
6 out that I wasn't there. It was where there was UN presence in Hrncici,
7 to be precise, near a mosque there. There was a large group of people
8 gathered there and a UN vehicle. From what I heard from my neighbour, the
9 UN vehicle and all the civilians gathered around it were directly
10 targeted. On that occasion, dozens of civilians were killed. This man
11 told me that he was able to see with his own eyes a shell hitting directly
12 a UN soldier holding a child in his arms. He was killed on the spot.
13 Q. As the civilians were withdrawing from Konjevic Polje towards
14 Srebrenica, were civilian columns directly targeted?
15 A. As I was retreating towards Srebrenica, I happened to be in
16 Pervani, which is part of Urkovici. I set out toward Srebrenica, and
17 between Sandici and Lolici, in the direction of Rogac, three tanks were
18 positioned there. I haven't mentioned these tanks before, but they were
19 constantly there on a hill overlooking our area. And they were
20 constantly - and I mean the tanks - opening fire on the civilians passing
22 As I was passing through that stretch of the road, I experienced
23 terrifying scenes, civilians getting killed. I came across a woman who is
24 a close relative of mine. She received a direct hit from a tank and was
25 killed. She was pregnant and her child was thrown out of her womb by the
2 In addition to the civilians who, as they were heading towards
3 Srebrenica, took their cattle with them, cattle was also killed in large
4 numbers. And I can tell you that the cattle suffered as much as people
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Ms. Vidovic.
7 Let's go into private session for a short while.
8 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait -- yes, go ahead.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Whatever the situation, you managed to reach Srebrenica. But now
6 I wish to go back to another issue to save time, and we'll ask you
7 something concerning the organisation of defence in Konjevic Polje.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we haven't given this document a number.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: This document, which consists of two pages in B/C/S
11 and two pages being the translation thereof into English with the
12 ERN 04342072 to 073 is being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D942.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, as far as the defence of Konjevic Polje is concerned, you
15 repeatedly mentioned groups in your testimony. In the course of 1992 in
16 the area of Konjevic Polje through to the fall of Konjevic Polje, did you
17 have an organised brigade in the military sense?
18 A. As I've already indicated, from the start until Konjevic Polje
19 fell, there were only groups that were active there except for Nurif
21 Q. Did the group -- did the people join these groups on a voluntary
23 A. Of course. They joined them of their own free will because they
24 were defending their families and homes.
25 Q. Were they able to switch from one group to another whenever they
1 wanted to?
2 A. Yes. They were able to do so. Whoever wanted to switch over to
3 different group, he was able to do so without any difficulties.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could I have the usher's assistance
6 now in showing the witness D649.
7 While the document is being distributed, I will say for the record
8 that this is a document by the Municipal Staff, defence staff of Bratunac,
9 dated 29 November 1992. Establishment -- reformation of units of the
10 armed forces of the Army of the Republic of BiH -- of BH in Bratunac
12 And I quote: "Pursuant to the decision on the organisation of the
13 armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, order of the Main
14 Staff of the OS BiH, order of the Tuzla district defence staff, strictly
15 confidential, number 03/46, and the order of the Tuzla OK SO, strictly
16 confidential, number 03/174, we demand the following organisational
18 "1) form:
19 "(a) form a 114th Eastern Bosnian Brigade number T-411.024.
20 "(b) form battalion I, II, III, IV, V number T-411.024."
21 Witness, first of all, do you see the date in the upper left
22 corner, 29 November 1992, and then to the -- on the right-hand side
23 there's a stamp saying 19 December 1992.
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Do you see the incoming mail stamp containing date 19 December,
2 A. Yes. I've already confirmed that.
3 Q. In the course of 1992 in Konjevic Polje in your own native
4 village, I don't want to mention its name, did you hear of the
5 establishment of the 114th Eastern Bosnian Brigade in Konjevic Polje? Did
6 that actually happen?
7 A. I heard of that. But this could never really take hold in the
8 Konjevic Polje area because you see from this document there's the 1st,
9 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Battalion. Well, you didn't have people to fill up
10 one battalion, let alone five.
11 Q. Do you agree that according to this document the request for the
12 establishment of the brigade was drafted only on the 29th November,
13 1992 -- or rather, as early as 29 November, and was received by the
14 municipal staff only on the 19th December 1992?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You've already touched upon this matter but I want to ask you
17 further. According to what you knew about the situation in
18 Konjevic Polje, were there any conditions in place for the establishment
19 of a brigade? Were -- was there equipment enough? Were there enough
20 human resources?
21 A. There were no conditions in place in Konjevic Polje for such an
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could I show the
25 witness another document, please? This is Prosecution Exhibit P94,
1 sequel from the continuations to the guide number 69/94. Look at 142888.
2 In the English version, Your Honours, that's at page 10.
3 Q. Witness, look under Roman numeral VI, full establishment title of
4 the unit 284th East Bosnian Light Brigade, headquartered in Srebrenica.
5 At the bottom it says: "Since their establishment until the 21st
6 January 1994," and there it says: "114th East Bosnian Light Brigade," and
7 then look at next page.
8 But however, I want to ask you first: How would you comment on
9 this document which says that there was the 284th Brigade in Srebrenica?
10 What was this all about? Can you tell the Trial Chamber --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that there is no 114th but
12 rather 284th.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are now in open session. Thank you.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. Witness, I wish to draw your attention to a portion of this
12 document on the following page. We said that on this earlier page there
13 was 114th East Bosnian Brigade and then the next page relates the events
14 related to this brigade. Let's look at the part where it says: "On
15 the 27th of" --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could Madam Vidovic repeat her quote because the
17 interpreter didn't manage to catch it.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic, we have a problem, because the
19 interpreters didn't catch up the last part of your statement. If you
20 could repeat it -- in fact, you are being asked to be kind enough to
21 repeat it.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
23 apologise. 114th Eastern Bosnian Brigade and then different events are
25 And then it says: "On the 27th of April, 1992, the ultimatum for
1 the surrendering of weapon to the local commune of Konjevic Polje issued
2 by the Chetniks from Bratunac is being rejected -- or was rejected."
3 Q. Witness, can we claim in any sense that at this given time, at the
4 time the ultimatum was issued to Konjevic Polje, the 114th Brigade was in
6 A. No. One could not say that the 114th Brigade was in existence in
7 any sense.
8 Q. We have finished with this document.
9 Please take a look at another document, another Prosecution
10 exhibit, P93. I believe this is a sequel or a continuation of the other
11 document. I will quote the -- from the top of this page. It
12 says: "114th Eastern Bosnian Brigade, 1st Cerani Detachment,
13 6th Detachment Kamenica, and 16th Muslim Brigade participated in the
14 protection of the return of civilians on the location Perunike and caused
15 great losses in manpower and technique on the enemy. On the 26th of
16 September, 1992, in coordination with the 1st CO, Rogosija was temporarily
18 Based on your knowledge, on the 26th of September, 1992, was there
19 a 114th Brigade in existence?
20 A. The 114th Brigade never existed from the start up until
21 Konjevic Polje fell.
22 Q. In connection with this I want to ask you the following. As far
23 as you know, did anybody from your area participate in these clashes at
24 Kamenica and Rogosija?
25 A. As far as I remember, these -- the distance between these places
1 and Konjevic Polje is some ten kilometres, and we were unable to provide
2 any assistance to them. We were weak enough as -- on our own.
3 Q. Thank you, Witness. I believe we have finished with this
4 document. We wish to save time.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to show a brief
6 video-clip to the witness which has to do with the events surrounding the
7 fall of Srebrenica in 1995.
8 Q. However, before that I wish to ask you the following, Witness. Do
9 you remember where you were on the 12th of July, 1995? Was your father
11 A. Yes. My father, who was not of an advanced age that much, but he
12 was quite ill at the time.
13 Q. Do you remember your whereabouts on the 12th of July, 1995?
14 A. On that date, early in the morning, I headed out of Srebrenica. I
15 started from the Srebrenica stadium and reached Potocari at about 1100 or
16 1200 hours.
17 Q. Was your father with you?
18 A. Yes, that's right. And my mother.
19 Q. What was the scene that you saw as you reached the UN base at
20 Potocari? Could you explain it for the Trial Chamber.
21 A. My first priority was to find transportation for my mother and
22 father, to have them transported to Tuzla. I went, therefore, directly to
23 the spot where vehicles that were supposed to head up for Tuzla were
24 parked -- were supposed to be parked.
25 Q. Did you notice the conduct of the Serb police officers and
2 A. Yes. Close by there were Serb soldiers and Serb policemen,
3 although the policemen were closer to us.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
5 Yes, Ms. Sellers, is it about relevance?
6 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, one certainly could raise the issue of
7 relevance. The Defence has brought similar brief questions about this
8 time period up before, but here I think that we do have in one of the
9 questions: Did you notice the conduct of the Serb police officers. The
10 Prosecution is not doubting who could be present, but if the witness is
11 going to speak about this section of his testimony, I think that he can do
12 it quite willingly and without having a leading question.
13 The relevance, we will keep a close eye on it as it relates to
14 this indictment. That would be our main concern here.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 And if I may ask at this point what's the relevance of these
17 events to the indictment, which goes back to 1992 and 1993?
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It goes to the credibility of some
19 of the OTP witnesses, and I will move very fast through it, Your Honour.
20 It has to do with the credibility of some of the Prosecutor's witnesses.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll wait and see. Okay.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I asked you about Serb soldiers and policemen. Can you tell me
24 whether you recognised your neighbours from Kravica amongst them.
25 A. Yes. Right away I recognised Nikola Popovic, who was moving in my
1 vicinity who was son of Kostadin from Kravica -- actually, I knew Kostadin
2 very well because he is two or three years older than me. His son,
3 though, is much younger, but I knew him pretty well as well.
4 Q. Was this in the vicinity of your father and some other people?
5 A. He stood close to two people that I will point to at -- in this
6 video-clip that I recognised.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like the
8 video-clip to be shown now. The video should begin at 19.38 until 20.06.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated].
11 THE INTERPRETER: Madam Vidovic's microphone was not on.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is Nikola Kostadinovic.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, Nikola Popovic, son of
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. There was an omission in the transcript; now it has been
18 Is that the person that you saw that day across from the base in
20 A. Yes. This is the person carrying the machine-gun. I know that
21 weapon very well, and I used to have one when I served my time and when I
22 served my military term in the JNA.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please continue at 21.24.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the person.
1 [Videotape played]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is another person next to him.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now the witness said that this is
4 another person. Could we enter that into the transcript, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: First I think we need to go back to the previous
8 point, I think it was 20.10, when he pointed out -- at someone. And now
9 we are at -- if we could go back and do all this properly. Can you start
10 from there, 19.51, please, because he stopped while it was still
11 running -- yeah.
12 [Videotape played]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, please, and go back, this small portion,
14 because when we were being shown those soldiers, he did make some
15 comments, he did say something, and he was sort of suggesting that we stop
16 so that he could tell us something. So let's start from there first,
18 No, it's not this one, it's 20.10, in that region. 25 -- yes, you
19 can play from there.
20 [Videotape played]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Keep on going, keep on going.
22 [Videotape played]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, here, this is where we are
24 starting. Go ahead.
25 [Videotape played]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. Stop.
2 Now, when you saw this gentleman on the screen, you wanted to say
3 something or you said something, but I never got it. Could you explain
4 what you were saying here at 20.28, if I am seeing right. It looks
5 like 20.28. Who is the gentleman with --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is Nikola Popovic, son of
7 Kostadin Popovic. I used to know Kostadin Popovic very well. He was my
8 senior by two or three years.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go ahead.
10 [Videotape played]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is when the
14 witness said that this was no longer the same person.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. This is what I want to hear from him.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] There was something else I wanted
17 you to see.
18 Q. Witness, the last person we saw with something resembling a Zolja
19 on his back, is that Kostadin Popovic or not, the last person you saw?
20 A. Not Kostadin but Nikola.
21 Q. I apologise, Nikola.
22 A. This is no longer Nikola. Nikola was there before. He had a
23 T-shirt with a light machine-gun.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And do you know who this last person that we saw, if
25 you could go back with the video a few clips. This is the soldier with
1 the head-scarf and Zolja on his back.
2 [Videotape played]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: This soldier with the head-scarf and a Zolja on his
6 back, who then turns on -- towards the children and women on the other
7 side and tells them, Don't be afraid, do you recognise that person?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't recognise him. He was -- he
9 came from the other side. Popovic came from below where the group was,
10 and this man came from the other side. So I couldn't see him directly or
11 I couldn't see his face.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's move ahead.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you know this person?
16 A. He is from the village of Lolici. I don't know his name, but I
17 know his father's name, Bajro Omerovic. I know him quite well, but I
18 don't know his name.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please continue with the
21 [Videotape played]
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Do you recognise this person?
24 A. This is Ramiz Mujcinovic, aka Bugar.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And for the record, this is at 22.03. The previous
1 one I missed the exact time of it, if you have it Ms. Vidovic, or we could
2 go back.
3 The other gentleman from Lolici whose name he doesn't know but
4 whose father's name he knows, what was the precise moment --
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] At 21.51, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Let's move.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said you knew this person. Where is he from?
10 A. He's from Hrncici.
11 Q. Witness, where did your father stay at the time?
12 A. I was with him then and we were very close to these people that we
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
15 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, at this point I would just like to know
16 are we still in the realm of credibility of witness or identification, or
17 are we in a different realm?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Quite a pertinent question, actually.
19 Where are we now? Because, okay, I can understand the previous
20 part relating to Nikola Popovic, but what's this part about now, for
21 relevance purposes more than anything else?
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It is also about Nikola Popovic and
23 some other witnesses, as you will realise.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go ahead and see. Yes. Please
25 go ahead.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, I asked you about your father. Where did he remain?
3 A. When we noticed that men are being separated from women and being
4 taken aside, my father pushed me away and he said, Run away from here.
5 I'll remain, whatever may happen.
6 Q. What did you see? Who separated men from women and who was close
7 to you?
8 A. The Serbs were separating men from women, and Serb police in
10 Q. I have a specific person in mind. Did you notice anyone specific?
11 A. As far as I could see, Popovic, Nikola, was one of the most
13 Q. Did you see him take away some men?
14 A. These men had already been separated.
15 Q. Could you tell the Chamber what the fate was of the two men you
16 identified and that of your father. Have they ever returned alive or
18 A. As of the 12th of July, 1995, in Potocari up until today, I don't
19 know about the fate of either my father or the remaining two.
20 Q. If one were to say that Nikola Popovic played soccer in Milici on
21 that day, would that be correct?
22 A. No, no way.
23 Q. Would it be correct that he wasn't at that place on the 12th of
24 July, 1995, based on what you saw?
25 A. What do you mean exactly?
1 Q. On the 12th of July, 1995, when men were being separated from the
2 women next to the base in Potocari, was he there?
3 A. Of course he was. I knew him well and I wouldn't dare say he
5 Q. After the fall of Srebrenica, did you ever speak with some people
6 to try and establish what the fate of your father was? Did you talk to
7 the other people who were there in Potocari and in Kravica, trying to find
8 out what happened with your father?
9 A. When the columns passed by, there were some trucks, some with
10 tarpaulin on, some without it. And when they passed through Kravica, the
11 women who knew Nikola Popovic, he -- they said that he was right there at
12 the spot next to the so-called Oka where over 1.000 Muslims were executed.
13 Q. To ask you something else. You have already explained about
14 Nikola Popovic, but did you discuss other people from Kravica and their
15 participation when it comes to Oka, for example?
16 A. I apologise. I thought you were asking me specifically about
17 Nikola Popovic, but as regards other people from Kravica, they
18 participated in it. Because all of the women said that these people were
19 predominantly from Kravica.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we put another
22 document before the witness. I believe it to be the last for the day.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But before we do that, we have never had -- I
24 mean, I've gone through the transcript. There's no reference to this
25 video that we have last seen and it is not yet in evidence. So -- on the
1 paper that you distributed before you started the examination-in-chief,
2 there is a reference, obviously; there is V0004417. But in the transcript
3 there is no reference to this video, so we need to do that.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I apologise, Your Honour.
5 This is a video, V0004417, two of two.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And is it --
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We received it from the OTP
8 according to the receipt number 153.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And you are tendering it in evidence?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So this will -- this video will become Defence
12 Exhibit D943, 943. We are already four or five minutes past the
14 How many more minutes do you think you require to finish your
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not more than ten
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we have the break and then we start with the
19 cross-examination afterwards. But then if we go ten more minutes -- if
20 it's okay with everyone, we go ten more minutes.
21 The interpreters and the technicians, do you prefer to go ten more
22 minutes now or break now and continue in half an hour's time? It's not
23 going to change anything because we will have very little time for
24 Ms. Sellers to -- for her cross-examination.
25 Let's have a break now.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.09 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we give the last
5 document to the witness, please. This is a document bearing the number
6 of 04632267, a document by the government of Republika Srpska, delivery
7 note on the amendment to the report with attachments, dated the 30th of
8 March, 2005, from the working group for implementation of conclusions from
9 the final report made by the commission for investigation of events in and
10 around Srebrenica and the period from the 10th to the 19th July, 1995.
11 Your Honours, on the next page we find but a relevant portion of
12 the report being a very voluminous one. I just wanted you to see the
13 page 04632283. I quote: "The working group found that 17.342 persons
14 participated in the events in and around Srebrenica in the 10th until the
15 19th July 1995, and that the working group fully identifies 17.074
16 persons, participants of the subject events in attachment number 6."
17 Your Honours, we made an excerpt from the attachment with the
18 relevant pages.
19 Q. Witness, could you please take a look at page 3. It
20 says: "Annex 6: Identified participants."
21 Do you agree with me? Could you speak into the microphone,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Please go to the next page. I wanted to ask you about some of the
25 people and whether you knew them, and perhaps you can offer a comment if
1 necessary. Number 3537 Veseljko Bogicevic, son of Vojislav, Srebrenica.
2 A. Number 3?
3 Q. No, 3537. Starting from the top, and from the beginning this is
4 page 4. Were you able to find it? Veseljko Bogicevic, son of Vojislav.
5 Do you know this person?
6 A. 3537, I found it.
7 Q. Do you know the person?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you. Please turn the next page. 3768. Dragan Djuric, son
10 of Cedo, do you know this person?
11 A. I don't remember him very well.
12 Q. Thank you. Turn another page, please, number 3810, Slavisa Eric,
13 son of Kosan. Do you know this person?
14 A. 3810?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Yes, I do know him. He was the nurse we mentioned.
17 Q. In your testimony you said you mention -- you spoke with many
18 people about the events in Srebrenica. Did you hear anything of Slavisa
19 Eric's presence in the area of Kravica?
20 A. Yes. Since he was a noticeable person and a nurse as well, women
21 know him better than men, hence I know some things about him.
22 Q. Did you learn from those people whether Slavisa Eric was in the
23 area of Kravica around the 12th of July, 1995?
24 A. Yes, the women said so.
25 Q. Thank you. If one were to claim that Eric at that time was absent
1 from the area of Srebrenica, would that be correct?
2 A. It would not.
3 Q. Please turn another page, number 4695, Ratko Nikolic, son of Paja.
4 Do you know this person?
5 A. Not really, not directly in any case. But they come from the area
6 of Kravica, or to be more precise from Kajici.
7 Q. Did you learn anything about his participation in the events?
8 A. I heard what the women who knew him could tell.
9 Q. Thank you. Turn another page, number 4865, Nikola Petrovic, son
10 of Milos. Do you know this person and did you hear anything of -- about
11 his participation?
12 A. I don't know him.
13 Q. And you heard nothing of his participation?
14 A. No.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] To return to the previous question,
16 Your Honours, when we discussed Ratko Nikolic, it is unclear from the
17 transcript. The witness stated it rather clearly.
18 Q. What did you hear and from whom regarding Ratko Nikolic?
19 A. As regards Ratko Nikolic, I heard that he was a close relative of
20 Nikolic, Jovan's.
21 Q. Did you hear anything about his presence in the area at the time?
22 A. Yes. The women said they saw him in Kravica when the Muslim
23 population was gathered at Oka.
24 Q. Thank you. You said you heard nothing about Nikola Petrovic, son
25 of Milos. At the bottom, number 4904, Nikola Popovic, son of Kostadin, is
1 that the person you mentioned in your testimony today?
2 A. What was the number?
3 Q. 4904, the same page.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You can see the first and last names. Is that the person you
6 testified about?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Turn the next page of the report. Number 5005, Slavoljub Rankic,
9 son of Nedjo. Did you hear anything about that person and do you know
10 him? Did you hear anything pertaining to 1995?
11 A. No, not in particular.
12 Q. Thank you. Number 5014, further down below, Milo Rankovic, son of
13 Vaso. Did you hear anything about that person and do you know him, 5014?
14 A. I don't know anything about him.
15 Q. Next page, please. Number 5195, Milenko Stevanovic, son of
16 Radivoje. Do you know this person and did you hear anything about his as
17 regards the events in 1995? ?
18 A. No, I couldn't say anything.
19 Q. Then the next page, 15.848, Stanisa Stevanovic, son of Dragoljub.
20 Did you ever hear about this person?
21 A. What number?
22 Q. 15.848. Do you know this person and did you hear anything as to
23 his participation in the events?
24 A. I can't comment on this person.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we assign an
2 exhibit number to this part of the report.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So this document is going to be described
4 first. It consists of the following pages: A page in Serbo-Croat, with
5 ERN 04632266, and this is a delivery note of the Republika Srpska
6 government report mentioned by Madam Vidovic and with -- in it a receipt
7 by a representative of the Tribunal, Prosecution, signed on the 6th of
8 October -- well, on the signature it seems to be 6th of October, but in
9 the translation it is 4th of October. So anyway it's -- on the original
10 it's signed on the 6th of October, 2005. This is accompanied by an
11 establish translation thereof with ERN number 04632267.
12 Then in the Serbo-Croat language there is a photocopy of page 15
13 of the report with ERN 04632283. This is accompanied by a partial
14 translation of that page or a translation of part of that page into
15 English. The English version carries the same ERN number.
16 Then there are nine pages in B/C/S being extracts of names from
17 the annex mentioned by Madam Vidovic. They run from number 1 till 15.887,
18 not in a properly sequential order, and they seem to be extracted from an
19 annex or document which has the number 319. This part of the exhibit is
20 accompanied by a page in the English language which translates only the
21 heading and subheadings of the relevant parts of Annex 6.
22 Then finally there is a page in English containing abbreviations,
23 or more than abbreviations, a translation into English of the various
24 terms, rank -- designating ranks from Serbo-Croat into English.
25 All this is being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D943 --
1 944? Oh, yeah, that was the video. Yes. This is 944.
2 Yes, Ms. Vidovic.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 MR. JONES: Sorry, Your Honour, just one matter. In describing
5 this document you're referring to numbers which don't appear to be in
6 sequential order. In my understanding that's referring to the identity,
7 the numbers are, but there's a proper sequence from 1 to 15.877. There's
8 nothing improper in that sequence.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All I'm saying is that you skip, for example, from
10 page 69 to page 73, from page 74 to page 90, from page 90 to page 93, from
11 page 93 to 95, 95 to 99, and from 99 to page 297 basically. Thank you for
12 observing that. I think it's clear for everyone.
13 Yes, any further questions?
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. No further
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic.
17 Ms. Sellers, you've got 22 minutes, and I suggest that you start
18 so that we'll make a humongous effort afterward try to finish with your
19 cross-examination tomorrow.
20 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I will start today.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I know.
22 Cross-examined by Ms. Sellers:
23 Q. Sir, I will be asking you questions on behalf of the Office of the
24 Prosecutor, and my duties are to try and elicit evidence from you to
25 clarify some of the evidence that you've given and to allow you to
1 explain, not only to the Trial Chamber, to the public, very important
2 factual matters in this case. Since we are in the situation where your
3 identity has been protected by the Trial Chamber, I would ask you to
4 assist me. If I ask you a question and you understand in your answer that
5 you might reveal some identifying information, please stop and ask prior
6 to answering that question to go into private session. I, on my part,
7 will try and be conscious with the questions and the way I form them as to
8 the protective measures.
9 MS. SELLERS: So therefore, I would like to start by asking the
10 Trial Chamber, could we go into private session?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session for a while,
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 14020-14024 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 MS. SELLERS:
23 Q. Now, sir, you've testified, as many men from the former
24 Yugoslavia, that you spent time in the JNA as part of your official duties
25 of citizenhood. Is that correct?
1 You will have to speak into the microphone. I switch mine off,
2 but you can't just nod. You have to now say something.
3 A. I served the regular military service in the Yugoslav People's
5 Q. And you testified that among the things that you did for your
6 military service was work as a border guard.
7 A. Yes, that's correct. Before that I had training in Skofja Loka.
8 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I see that the time is up now and I
9 imagine that we should stop.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you so much, Ms. Sellers and
11 Ms. Vidovic.
12 We will stop here for today, sir, and we will proceed with your
13 cross-examination tomorrow, hoping that we will finish by tomorrow so that
14 on Monday we can start with a new witness.
15 May I just remind you what I told you on each and every day that
16 you've been here, that between now and tomorrow you've not to communicate
17 with anyone on the subject matter of your testimony.
18 Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Friday, the 25th day of
21 November, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.