Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7909

 1                           Friday, 3 July, 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The witness takes the stand]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.29 p.m.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Good afternoon to everybody in and around the

 7     courtroom.  Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon

 9     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-81-T,

10     the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.  Can we have

12     the appearance for the day starting with the Prosecution.

13             MR. SAXON:  Good afternoon Your Honours, Dan Saxon and

14     Inger de Ru for the Prosecution.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much.  And for the Defence,

16     Mr. Lukic.

17             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good

18     afternoon to all.  On behalf of the Perisic Defence, Tina Drolec,

19     Milos Androvic, Daniela Tasic, Mr. Gregor Guy-Smith and Novak Lukic.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much, may the record just show we sit

21     in pursuant to Rule 15 bis today because Judge Picard is indisposed.

22             Good afternoon, Mr. Nikolic.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the witness, please.

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Microphone for the witness, please.  Can you

25     repeat your response then, Mr. Nikolic.

Page 7910

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Just to warn you, Mr.  Nikolic, that you are still

 3     bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony to

 4     tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing else but the truth.

 5             Mr. Lukic.

 6                           WITNESS:  MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]

 7                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

 8             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 9             Before I commence, Your Honours, I would like to point out an

10     error in yesterday's transcript, which you might call as excess

11     considering the pace in yesterday's proceedings.  Mr. Saxon told me about

12     this.  The page is 7890, line 8, that's the official transcript.  I was

13     showing a portion of a document there to the witness.  The exhibit

14     displays a correct translation, nevertheless, as I was reading back a

15     portion of the statement to the witness, mentioning Deronjic, it reads at

16     line 8.  I'll read the entire sentence, it starts at line 7:

17             [In English] "Deronjic was concerned that the prisoners in the

18     town created a security risk and did want the killings of these prisoners

19     to be carried in Bratunac."  And it should read "didn't".

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic, you said a word after "risk and," what

21     was that word?

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Behind risk it should be "and didn't

23     want."

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Okay.  Thank you so much.

25                           Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]

Page 7911

 1        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, good afternoon to you.

 2        A.   Good afternoon, Mr. Lukic.

 3        Q.   We'll do our best to not take too long, but we do have to slow

 4     down.  There were quite a number of criticisms yesterday which the

 5     transcript clearly displays.  We tired out both interpreters and the

 6     court reporters.

 7             You received some intelligence on the 11th of July indicating

 8     that among the civilians who had arrived in Potocari there were between

 9     1.000 and 2.000 men of military age or able-bodied men.  I think your

10     statement of facts reflects that.

11        A.   Indeed.

12        Q.   Your own assessment would be that there were fewer men there or

13     that the figure you received in that report was inaccurate, would that be

14     a fair assessment?

15        A.   That was the first intelligence that we received and most of

16     those reports were assessments, no more than that.  One cannot say that

17     the degree of reliability of those first estimates was particularly high,

18     which you might say is in the nature of an estimate.  No one was really

19     on the scene to count the men.  Nevertheless, the first estimates gave

20     that figure.

21        Q.   You wrote up a report on that.  As far as I remember the

22     transcripts, you actually submitted this report to someone, didn't you?

23        A.   Yes, and that goes for that particular aspect and a lot of other

24     intelligence available to me at the time.  At the time of reporting, I

25     wrote up the daily report which I then submitted in writing to the

Page 7912

 1     address of the intelligence and security section of the Drina Corps.

 2        Q.   That was part of your work, regular work as an intelligence

 3     officer working in the brigade, submitting those daily reports, I mean,

 4     wasn't it?

 5        A.   In principle, I would dispatch daily combat reports which doesn't

 6     necessarily mean that I dispatched those every single day, but I did

 7     whenever I had something to report.  Whenever any changes occurred in

 8     relation to a previous report, I would then submit a new one.  Whenever

 9     no changes occurred, there would be no daily reports.

10             Just to be perfectly clear about this, whenever I did not

11     dispatch a daily report, then there would be a regular combat report for

12     the brigade containing a special paragraph in which I stated that no

13     changes had occurred in relation to the previous report.

14        Q.   You were looking at P2515 and that is your statement, the one

15     that you wrote up in prison in Finland.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  P2512.

17             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   I'm talking about your own role in that operation.  Do -- you

19     helped along with that operation.  That is literally what you say but

20     were in no way involved in that operation.  Do you remember writing that,

21     or do you want that document displayed to jog your memory?

22        A.   I don't remember writing that I was not involved in that

23     operation or a participant in that operation.  We can press on and check

24     that, the actual reference, but I don't think that's what it says.

25        Q.   All right.  It might be best to just pull the document up.

Page 7913

 1             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P2513, page 4 of the B/C/S, and page

 2     2 of the English.

 3        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, I will read line 2 where you say:

 4             "I helped with this operation, but I was in no way involved in

 5     organising it or, indeed, was helping with" --

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You read line 2 of which paragraph, sir?  You've

 7     told us the page number, we don't know the paragraph.

 8             MR. SAXON:  May I assist.

 9             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think -- I think we have a

10     different document displayed in English.  That's the written statement.

11     P2513.  That's the exhibit number.  Page 2.  That's right.  And now,

12     Your Honours, it's halfway down the page somewhere.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Saxon offered to help, are you able to help,

14     Mr. Saxon?

15             MR. SAXON:  If you look at the paragraph in the middle of the

16     page beginning with the word "analysis," and I believe in the third line

17     of that paragraph, we'll find what Mr. Lukic is looking for.

18             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's right.  That's right.

19             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you, Mr. Saxon.

20             Yes, Mr. Lukic.

21             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Again, you wrote:

23             "I helped with this operation.  I assisted in this operation, but

24     in no way did I participate in its organisation or assist in its

25     coordination, and I did not coordinate the operation.  There are

Page 7914

 1     documents that unequivocally show which officers organised the transport

 2     and who coordinated and commanded the entire operation..." that's what

 3     you wrote?

 4             That is the wording of your statement in which you tried --

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  "In no way was I involved in it," which is the

 6     proposition you had put to the witness earlier.

 7             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Literally in the B/C/S it reads, "I

 8     did not participate in the organisation."  Yes, you are quite right.  You

 9     are right.  You are right.

10        Q.   I do have to set the record straight.  It says you did not

11     participate in the organisation, and I said in the operation.  In that

12     sense, what you wrote in your statement was an attempt to be very

13     specific about your own role within that operation; isn't that correct?

14        A.   Mr. Lukic, first of all, I wish to make something clear in my

15     capacity as a witness.  What you asked me awhile ago is substantially

16     different from what you have just read back to me.  We do agree on that.

17     I wanted to make a new statement in order to clarify it specifically as I

18     could what I did in that operation.  I never said nor, indeed, am I

19     saying now that I did not participate in that operation.  I did

20     participate in that operation.  But in a way described so far by my

21     evidence, I couldn't include everything in my statement, the fact and in

22     this statement.  Nevertheless, I'm always more than willing to explain

23     each and every detail, what I did at particular times, any minute, any

24     hour, of my involvement.

25             I said it here with great precision that I did not participate in

Page 7915

 1     the organisation, that I did not participate in assisting and

 2     coordinating, and that in no way I coordinated this operation.

 3             In military speak, at least based on everything that I know,

 4     everything that is mentioned here are elements of command.  The truth is,

 5     I was no commander.  My commander could have participated in all of this,

 6     could have organised, could have coordinated, could have assisted any

 7     coordination efforts, could have issued orders to appoint a different

 8     officer.  I, myself, was never assigned to any coordination tasks by any

 9     order at all.  Nevertheless, I do have to confirm here that I

10     participated in this operation, and I assisted in this operation that

11     unfolded in Potocari.  I gave evidence to that effect, and needless to

12     say, I'm more than willing to answer any questions you might have on any

13     other develops.

14        Q.   Did you ever convey an order from someone to someone as part of

15     that operation?

16        A.   This may not be a purely hypothetical question but there were a

17     great many orders of that kind, if that means anything to you.  I did say

18     yesterday that I conveyed Colonel Beara's order to Mr. Drago Nikolic.  In

19     a military sense of the word, conveying an order does not fall into any

20     of these categories that we just mentioned.

21        Q.   I don't want to take this to a very technical level of

22     discussion.  I'm not qualified to do that nor is it your place to do it

23     now.  I just want to discuss facts.

24             Did you impart any instructions to anyone, you personally?

25        A.   Instructions the way the word is normally used, no.  I don't

Page 7916

 1     remember imparting any instructions to anyone, at least not the way I

 2     understand the word.

 3        Q.   In your written statement, you claim that there are documents

 4     showing who coordinated the operation.  Among other things in the

 5     document that you signed, you invoke Mr. Butler's expert reports quite

 6     literally.  You do remember that, don't you?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   When did you read Mr. Butler's report?  In relation to the point

 9     in time when your admission of guilt occurred, prior or after, if you can

10     tell us, please.

11        A.   I don't know exactly when I received that report.

12        Q.   Fair enough.  Thank you.

13             Let's go back to your testimony in the Blagojevic case on this

14     same subject.  1D03-2578, page 30.

15        A.   Your Honours.  May I be given the just floor just to say one

16     thing before we move on to the next question?  May I?

17        Q.   Well, frankly, I would prefer to be in charge of this

18     cross-examination and ask you questions, nevertheless I'm not sure if

19     this is outside the scope of my cross-examination.

20        A.   No, there's just one thing I'd like to clarify.  You take one the

21     documents that I quoted as evidence, whereas in my statement, I offered

22     up a number of different documents.  If you go through those documents,

23     you will see or glean from those documents a list of people with their

24     first and last names who were in control of the operation, in command of

25     the operation, who took independent decisions, who did assign in

Page 7917

 1     simulation [as interpreted] to the separation and transport of those who

 2     were in Potocari.  I've enumerated all these things, and all of that

 3     points to one conclusion and that is my theory that, indeed, I did not

 4     participate in these three segments of control and command.  That is the

 5     additional bit of explanation that I wanted to present.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]  It is all in evidence.  I just wish

 7     to tell you that.  The Judges will be going through all of that.  It's

 8     actually an OTP exhibit.

 9             Can we now please go to -- this is your evidence dated the 22nd

10     of September, 2003, page 30 in the electronic version of this document.

11     The official transcript page is 1684.  I want 1684.  That's the official

12     revised transcript reference.  If we could please pull the document down

13     to see whether that's the page.  That's right.

14        Q.   I'll start with line 15.  Mr. McCloskey is examining you here

15     about your conversation with Colonel Jankovic, about the tasks you were

16     given.  Line 14:

17             [In English] "Q.  And what did he say to you?  What did

18     Colonel Jankovic say to you?

19             "A.  Colonel Jankovic told me what my next assignment would be.

20     He said on the 12th, I should work in Potocari and coordinate the

21     activities that were underway in Potocari itself, that I should give

22     instructions, and that I should coordinate the evacuation of the civilian

23     population, of the women and children, to coordinate work on the

24     separation of men and their temporary transfer to detention.

25             "Q. Was there any discussion with Colonel Jankovic relating to

Page 7918

 1     the killing of the Muslim men that would be separated?

 2             "A. No, Mr. McCloskey.  There was no discussion with

 3     Colonel Jankovic about that operation, the killing of men."

 4             [Interpretation] That's your evidence in the Blagojevic trial.

 5     Let us leave aside a coordination as a term.  You gave us your position

 6     on that, which you are entitled to.  Did Colonel Jankovic give you such a

 7     task as to issuing any instructions regarding the separation of men from

 8     the groups of persons present in Potocari and further afield; is that

 9     your evidence?

10        A.   I might as well clarify what I said here.  This could only have

11     been in reference to those persons who were men of military age, and

12     possibly also those who we knew to have committed war crimes.  This is

13     what we refer to as a military triage.  And this was something that not

14     just me but all those soldiers who were in Potocari had to do.

15             What is a triage?  That is a vetting procedure in order to track

16     down those who are suspected of committing war crimes.  I wouldn't

17     consider that to be separation or whatever you called it.  As for these

18     instructions, I personally did not impart instructions to anyone in the

19     sense of telling them what they should do.  There were the state security

20     bodies there -- than -- and various other bodies who did have information

21     on possible suspects.  Therefore, I was myself not the person who had the

22     required rank or the required position to issue instructions at Potocari.

23             In the next statement I made, I tried to clarify this, and I

24     actually wrote to down with great precision.  I was not at all paying

25     attention to that the first time around when I gave evidence.  Even

Page 7919

 1     later, I was not necessarily heeding all these technological discrepancy

 2     in my statement, simply because my lawyers, or, rather, I, too, was

 3     convinced that it was a matter of general knowledge that I was no

 4     commander, no high-ranking officer there without that kind of authority.

 5             Quite frankly, in my statement said, at the outset, I had no idea

 6     what military coordination was about and what its elements were.  These

 7     terms were used during my evidence, and I used them myself in the hope

 8     and conviction that all those involved in that trial knew full well that

 9     I was in no position to do anything like that.

10             If I may add a couple of words, please.  I tried, I did my best

11     to say that in my other statement as well.  Specifically what I did in

12     Potocari does not belong to this category.  It was not coordination.  I'm

13     not denying that I was assisting throughout my involvement in Potocari,

14     assisting certain officers.  Everything that I talked about does amount

15     to assistance.  Nevertheless, what I'm telling you now is now that I've

16     learned what coordination is and the elements of control and command, I

17     have to be clear about this.  What I did does not belong to that category

18     of control and command.  Nevertheless, I'm not denying that I was

19     assisting the operation.  I was clear about what it was exactly that I

20     did.

21        Q.   That much is true, you just provided very accurate explanation of

22     what you said awhile ago.  I said let's leave aside the control command

23     coordination, technical coordination.  I know these are technical terms.

24     I'm asking about facts because you are a fact witness.  Did you issue

25     instructions to anyone, that was my question to you.  You said no you

Page 7920

 1     didn't.

 2        A.   Excuse me, there was only one unit where I was in a position to

 3     do that, and, as a matter of fact, I did, and that was my unit from the

 4     Bratunac Brigade, the military police unit.  They worked together in a

 5     particular location.  Of course, I did tell them a couple of things.

 6     Nevertheless, their commander was there too, but I told them what to do

 7     and what steps to take.  If you considered that to be something that

 8     amounts to instructs, then I may as well go along with that.

 9             I did issue instructions to that military police unit, if that

10     fits your definition.  I could tell you about other things that happened,

11     and then you be the Judge of that, whether those were instructions or

12     not.  There were problems between the 2nd Infantry Battalion, members of

13     my brigade and members of DutchBat, about disarming people and taking

14     their weapons way, and so on and so for.  And then complaints came from

15     the military observers.  They complained to me and then I was adamant

16     that such practices should be stopped and such incidents.  If you

17     consider those to be instructions, then yes, I do admit that I issued

18     certain instructs to that unit.

19        Q.   All right.  You issued instructions to your own unit?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Eight pages further down, the same transcript, 1691 is the page

22     reference, that is the revised transcript from the Blagojevic trial.

23     Line 1 of your evidence:

24             [In English]  "A. Then I gave instructions to the units who were

25     separating the men from the rest.  I gave them instructions to separate

Page 7921

 1     all military-aged men in Potocari, and I showed them the house in which

 2     these men were to be temporarily detained.  After that, I said the men

 3     will be taken to other facilities that were assigned for their temporary

 4     detention."

 5             [Interpretation] And on line 9:

 6             [In English] "Q.  Which units actually took part in the physical

 7     separation of men from their families?

 8             "A.  On 12th, the units taking part were both the police units,

 9     the units with German Shepherds.  Police units from the Drina Corps also

10     took part.  Elements of 10th Sabotage Detachment also took part, soldiers

11     from 65th Protection Regiment, as well as elements of the

12     Bratunac Brigade police."

13             [Interpretation] The 10th Sabotage Detachment and the

14     65th Protection Regiment were directly subordinated to the Main Staff of

15     the VRS.

16        A.   Yes, those units were attached to the Main Staff.

17        Q.   Nevertheless, your evidence here is that you issued instructions

18     to them, is it not?

19        A.   That would seem to be the implication, but --

20        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you.

21        A.   If you want me to, I can explain what exactly was going on on the

22     ground.

23        Q.   Please go ahead.

24        A.   In Potocari, when the operation commenced and the separation

25     procedure commenced, of course, I was present there too.  I'm not trying

Page 7922

 1     to deny that, and I gave evidence about that.  There were people involved

 2     in the separation process, and I told you what the units were.  They

 3     asked me, Who do these houses belong to around here?  I said those were

 4     Muslim houses and that they could keep the separated men there

 5     temporarily.  Does that amount to instructions?  I can't deny that I used

 6     the term during my evidence, but I'm telling you now what actually went

 7     on.  If that amounts to instructions, then, yes, I'll go along with that

 8     and say that I did issue instructs in Potocari; nevertheless, in

 9     technical sense, I was in no position to issue any instructions nor,

10     indeed, did I issue any instructions.  Was I assisting to the extent that

11     I just described?  Yes, indeed, I was assisting.  I do accept that.

12        Q.   On this topic, let's look at one more passage.  I apologise to

13     the interpreters for overlapping.

14             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up 1D03-3231.  Electronic

15     page 45, and that's the official page of the transcript 22359.

16        Q.   Do you remember on this topic the Judges also asked you questions

17     at the end, and Judge Vassylenko asked this:

18             [In English] "Q.  And what was your role in this operation as

19     coordinator?

20             "A.  My role, Your Honour, in this operation was the following:

21     The units that were given tasks in this operation were the ones was

22     supposed to help, and I was supposed to establish some contact and some

23     order in the area.  I was supposed to try to resolve problems should they

24     crop up, and I was supposed to focus on the main point, and that is to

25     evacuate the population, the women and the children, as soon as possible

Page 7923

 1     to the free territory under Muslim control.  And a part of the men should

 2     be separated temporarily, singled out, and transported to the facilities

 3     in the Bratunac that I already testified about."

 4             [Interpretation] Do you also stand behind these words that are

 5     part of your testimony?  Is that what you were doing?

 6        A.   I remember the Judges question, and I believe I did give that

 7     explanation and I continued to explain further on what exactly it was I

 8     did, whom I assisted, et cetera, regarding Mr. Dusko Jevic and helping

 9     him.  I remember that.  Generally speaking, that's what everybody was

10     doing at Potocari, including myself.  We were trying, regarding the tasks

11     given by commanders and organisers of the operation, to perform these

12     tasks and to evacuate the population that was supposed to be transferred

13     to the Muslim territory as soon as possible.

14             I did what I was supposed to do within the purview of my

15     responsibilities, and if necessary, I can provide further explanations.

16        Q.   Do you remember, and this is specific questions, please give me a

17     specific answer.  Do you remember if you transmitted Jankovic's

18     instruction that men should be separated to one side to a member of your

19     unit or anyone else?

20        A.   I don't remember telling anyone specifically that men should be

21     separated.  I believe that started after the first convoy -- no, I don't

22     remember saying that, unless you have something to help me refresh my

23     memory.

24        Q.   All right.  I'll try to summarise now.  In conclusion, the part

25     of your testimony that is of interest to my Defence case, and you will

Page 7924

 1     tell me if you agree with my conclusions and my question.

 2             In the process of plea bargaining, you tried to achieve a better

 3     position, which you had the impression was deteriorating at the time, by

 4     offering them an untruth as a fact; is that correct?

 5        A.   Go on, go on.  I absolutely disagree with that.

 6        Q.   Did you offer the Prosecutor an untruthful claim as a fact in

 7     order to make the plea bargain?

 8        A.   No.

 9        Q.   In your testimony in the Blagojevic case of which we read

10     portions a moment ago, did you testify untruthfully regarding your role

11     in the Srebrenica operation?

12        A.   There was no untruthful evidence.  The only thing I accept may

13     have occurred is a misunderstanding with regard to certain formulations

14     and terms, and after all that, I made an additional statement to explain

15     why I used the term I used and how I used them.  But no way can you,

16     Mr. Lukic, conclude that these were untruthful claims and untruthful

17     evidence, because all of what I said were facts.  I was an eye-witness, a

18     participant, and I was there.

19             You can do what I like, and I understand you, but in all the

20     trials so far, I told what happened.  All I testified about happened in

21     that locality.  I'm not an illusionist.  I cannot say that I put it the

22     best way I could, but all I said in my testimony was correct, Muslims

23     were there.  Muslim men of military age were separated.  People were

24     temporarily detained.  Those who were temporarily detained were

25     transferred to Zvornik.  Some of them were killed in Kravica, others were

Page 7925

 1     executed in Zvornik.  I'm not saying that didn't happen.  I'm not saying

 2     that no one was killed.  I'm not saying that those who were killed had

 3     not been separated before.

 4             I'm trying here to describe, in the best way I can, what

 5     happened; but, of course, I'm trying to forget all this, if I can; of

 6     course, that's impossible, but every participation, every new testimony

 7     is very painful.

 8        Q.   I apologise to the interpreters, but I really wanted to interrupt

 9     the witness.  What you are telling me is more than an answer to my

10     question.  You wish to help establish the truth here; correct?

11        A.   Yes, I've said that.

12        Q.   You were alone when you were talking to Popovic outside the

13     Fontana Hotel on the 12th?

14        A.   Yes, I testified about all these meetings.  That's true.

15        Q.   And you were alone with Kosoric when he told you what he said he

16     told you outside Fontana?

17        A.   No, I was not alone, there was Petar Uscumlic and two Dutch

18     officers came later.  Petar Uscumlic was there all the time.

19        Q.   What about when Jankovic addressed you, was there someone next to

20     you?

21        A.   There was a group of officers after the meeting outside the

22     Fontana Hotel, ten, maybe 15 officers on the plateau outside the

23     Fontana Hotel.

24        Q.   When you were talk together Mladic on the 13th in Konjevic Polje,

25     you were alone the two of you?

Page 7926

 1        A.   And what do you expect, you think that an officer is who is

 2     making a report should be accompanied by someone?  That there should be

 3     two of us?

 4        Q.   I'm just asking you.

 5        A.   I was in Konjevic Polje.

 6        Q.   I have to interrupt you.  I'm trying to draw conclusions from

 7     what I heard in your testimony.  I'm asking you, did I conclude

 8     correctly, based on what you told us yesterday, that when you talked on

 9     the 13th with General Mladic that you two were alone, the security detail

10     was around you, not with you.

11        A.   The security detail was there, and I told you at what distance

12     they were standing.

13        Q.   So I'm drawing the conclusion --

14        A.   But we were not alone.  We would have been alone if we were here

15     and then 500 metres away --

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  When you are having a social discussion, we can

17     interrupt each other.  When we are talking in court, we have got to give

18     each other a chance, one must finish what he says and then the other one

19     must answer, and we must speak slowly so that the interpreters can keep

20     pace with us.  Thank you so much.

21             MR. LUKIC:  I apologise, Your Honour.

22             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You are welcome.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   When Popovic conveyed to you the information about the

25     sanitisation, the digging up, you were alone.

Page 7927

 1        A.   I said I was, but we hadn't clarified that the earlier point

 2     about General Mladic.  Please.  General Mladic was not alone there.  And

 3     I was not alone.  His security detail was around him.  You asked me

 4     yesterday:  Were they able to hear what we were saying?  I said I didn't

 5     know, and you drew the conclusion that the two of us were alone, and I am

 6     describing to you the situation as it was.  Whether they heard something,

 7     I don't know.  How far they were from us, I can only speculate now.  But

 8     we were not alone.

 9        Q.   My question was, in addition to Mladic's security men, but let's

10     not discuss it any more.

11             At the beginning of your testimony, I noted that, by my

12     reckoning, you should be out of prison in 2022.

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   But there is a chance that you could be released in 2015 after

15     serving two-thirds of your sentence.  There is a chance, as you well

16     know, that you may submit a request for early release.

17        A.   Yes, I know that.

18        Q.   And you must prove, then, that you have been rehabilitated, but

19     the Prosecution's confirmation that you have provided significant

20     cooperation is also necessary?

21        A.   I don't know about all the things that are necessary for early

22     release and all the conditions, but when the time comes, I will find out.

23        Q.   You expect that the OTP would provide you with a good review of

24     your cooperation?

25        A.   The OTP has already given a good opinion of my cooperation during

Page 7928

 1     sentencing, if I understood your question correctly.

 2        Q.   Do you expect that the OTP will give a good opinion of your

 3     cooperation, a good assessment in the future as well?

 4        A.   I don't know.  I don't expect anything.

 5             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is an answer too.  Thank you,

 6     Your Honours, I have completed my examination.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.

 8             Yes, Mr. Saxon.

 9             MR. SAXON:  No questions, Your Honour.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.  Mr. Nikolic, thank you so much for

11     coming to testify at the Tribunal.  This brings us to the conclusion of

12     your testimony.  You are now excused.  You may stand down and please

13     travel well back home, or wherever you are going, where home is now.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

15                           [The witness withdrew]

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Saxon.

17             MR. SAXON:  Thank you, Your Honour.  The Prosecution does not

18     have its next witness prepared to commence today.  However, that witness

19     will be prepared to commence as scheduled on Monday, Your Honour.  May we

20     adjourn until Monday.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much.

22             Monday is the 6th.  Then the matter stands adjourned to Monday,

23     the 6th of July at 9.00 in the morning, courtroom II.  Court adjourned.

24                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.16 p.m.

25                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 6th day of July,

Page 7929

 1                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.