1 Tuesday, 30 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon. Madam Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is IT-05-88-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much. All the accused are here. And
10 Defence teams, only Ms. Condon is absent. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey
11 and Mr. Nicholls.
12 We are coming back to you on a matter raised yesterday during the
13 sitting by Madam Fauveau, with whom -- or with whose submission the
14 Defence team for Mr. Nikolic and also for Colonel Beara associated
15 themselves. Essentially the request, as you will recall, is that we issue
16 an injunction against -- or to the Prosecution not to proof Ms. Frease.
17 After that the Defence submissions on intercepts to which our 17 January
18 decision relates, has been filed.
19 As I told you yesterday, we proceeded with our discussions on the
20 matter at length this morning, and we are now giving you, or giving you
21 our decision on the matter.
22 To begin with, it is important to stress, and this has been
23 stressed throughout all the debate that has been going on, but we stress
24 it once more, that what we have before us is a legal issue as to whether
25 certain evidence is admissable in these proceedings. There is no question
1 that the party proffering evidence carries the onus to establish its
2 relevance, authenticity and probative value. We assume that is the reason
3 for the extensive evidence adduced by the Prosecution on these intercepts
4 to date.
5 At the same time, the Defence has brought a positive challenge to
6 this evidence that appears to go beyond a simple attack on the Prosecution
7 evidence. We would like to have some idea of what that objection is based
8 upon. We reiterate once more that what we are asking the Defence to
9 provide is a brief outline which details the basis upon which the
10 objection to the admissibility of evidence is premised. As Judge Kwon
11 lucidly pointed out, or described it yesterday, what we are seeking is the
12 crux of why you say this evidence should not be allowed.
13 We do not expect the Defence to set out the specific examples from
14 the evidence that support those arguments or point to particular
15 intercepts at this time. Rather, we need to know whether the Defence are
16 basing their arguments on reliability, continuity, authenticity, forgery,
17 et cetera. The statement from counsel to Mr. Nikolic yesterday that the
18 issue is solely one of reliability, perhaps supported by some very general
19 examples, is an illustration, is an example of what we are looking for in
20 this filing.
21 Further, we want to have this information before us, as we have
22 had occasion to point earlier, prior to the testimony of Ms. Frease as it
23 will assist us in her overarching evidence in relation to potential
24 arguments to be advanced. Now, the suggestion has been made that these
25 goals can be met through an ex parte filing, which would inform the
1 Chamber of the nature of these arguments without giving -- without passing
2 on that information to the Prosecution. Alternatively it is argued that
3 after this information is disclosed the Prosecution should be prohibited
4 from proofing or speaking to Ms. Frease about her evidence.
5 We fail to understand how this will assist the Trial Chamber in
6 its goal to have evidence relevant to the issues at hand adduced before
7 it. If the Prosecution is aware very generally of the areas in
8 contention, then the evidence adduced will be responsive to those issues
9 and will assist the Trial Chamber in reference to the legal question
10 before it. This is particularly the case with a witness such as
11 Stefanie Frease who had no involvement in the original generation of this
12 material and who will testify to matters of continuity and process.
13 Further, if, as counsel suggested yesterday, the Prosecution is
14 already aware of the basis of the objection, then there can be no harm
15 whatsoever in providing that information at this stage. We have already
16 made it clear that witnesses must be confronted with matters in issue
17 pertinent to their testimony. Further, we can assure you that we are not
18 prepared to decide this important issue without having the relevant
19 evidence before us. In the light of those facts, the only effect the
20 approach suggested by the Defence would have is to delay the timing of the
21 presentation of the evidence from direct examination to re-examination,
22 examination by Chamber or, in the extreme, the need to recall witnesses.
23 We are not convinced as to the benefit of such an approach to
24 either of the parties and to the Trial Chamber. For this reason we are
25 not prepared to vary our decision and provide for an ex parte filing. Nor
1 are we going -- or intend to prohibit the Prosecution from speaking to Ms.
2 Frease after the information to which the 17 January decision refers is
4 All right. Any other preliminaries that you would like to raise
5 before the witness is shown in?
6 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
7 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
8 Your Honours. Simply to say that we take good note of that decision and
9 we, on behalf of Drago Nikolic, we apologise, it stems from a
10 misunderstanding of the Trial Chamber's order, for which we are
11 responsible, and given the nature of the filing that is requested by the
12 Chamber, we have absolutely no problem in obeying the Trial Chamber's
13 order. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you, although I haven't -- I am not
15 consulting my clients [sic] on this that we are very appreciative of that
16 statement, Mr. Bourgon.
17 Madam Fauveau, would you like to associate yourself with
18 Mr. Bourgon?
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much. I was sure of that.
21 THE FRENCH INTERPRETER: We did not hear, Madam Fauveau, sorry.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So any further -- we didn't hear Madam Fauveau.
23 Madam Fauveau said certainly she associates herself with the statement of
24 Mr. Bourgon. I should be paid extra for interpretation.
25 So any further preliminary issues? None. Curtains down, please.
1 As we did in the case of the previous witness, the very first
2 thing that the Trial Chamber will do is to give what my country would call
3 caution to -- to the witness. All right.
4 I also wanted to advise you that the last session of today's
5 sitting we will be invoking Rule 15 bis. Unfortunately I need to leave
6 the Tribunal somewhat early today because of a personal -- pre-arranged
7 personal commitment that I couldn't change. And Judge Prost will preside
8 instead of me -- Judge Kwon will preside instead of me and proceed
9 pursuant to Rule 15 bis.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Welcome to this Tribunal. You are about
14 to start your evidence. Before you do so, our -- Madam Usher is going to
15 hand you the text of a solemn declaration that you are required to make
16 under our rules. Please read it out aloud and that will be your
17 commitment with us that you will be testifying the truth.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please take a seat and make yourself
22 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-143
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Two things before you start giving evidence. One is
25 that the Prosecution has requested and we granted protective measures for
1 you, being the use of a pseudonym instead of your name and also face and
2 voice distortion. I trust this has already been explained to you. I only
3 want a confirmation from you that this is to your satisfaction.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. The other thing is this: One of our
6 rules provides that a witness may object to answer a question or to make a
7 statement which might tend to incriminate him. Objection, however, or the
8 right to object, does not necessarily mean that you will be exempted from
9 answering questions that are put to you, which -- in answering might
10 incriminate you. That lies within the discretion of the Trial Chamber.
11 The Trial Chamber will weigh everything and decide whether you should
12 answer such questions or not.
13 However, if you are compelled by the Trial Chamber to answer such
14 questions or to make such statements, then testimony evidence compelled in
15 this way shall not be used as evidence in any subsequent prosecution that
16 might be taken against you, except if we catch you perjuring yourself, if
17 we catch you giving false testimony. In that case, what you have stated
18 can be made use of in subsequent proceedings for false testimony, but only
19 in that case. Otherwise, anything you say here, if you are compelled to
20 say it, will not be able to be used in your regard in any proceedings that
21 might be taken against you.
22 I trust this has already been explained to you to an extent. I
23 just want confirmation from you that you understand the import of my
24 explanation to you and that you do not require any further explanation.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this has already been explained
1 to me and I understand it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Nicholls will go first, and then he will be
3 followed by cross-examination from the various Defence teams.
4 Mr. Nicholls, may I please remind everyone to switch off one's
5 microphone once the witness is testifying.
6 Examination by Mr. Nicholls:
7 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. If could I have the assistance of the
9 The usher is handing you now a sheet of paper. I want you to read
10 it silently to yourself, not out loud and just confirm yes or no, is your
11 name printed on that sheet of paper?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. That will be P02405 under seal when we come to tender it, if it
14 could be shown to my colleagues.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know whether the information that we have
16 should be corrected or whether what's in the transcript should be
17 corrected, but according to the sheet referring to Prosecution exhibits
18 the pseudonym sheet is marked at P02404, while in the transcript we have
19 P02405, as rightly pointed out by Judge Kwon. 2405, all right. So we
20 don't need to correct the transcript, we need to correct -- yes, okay.
21 Thank you, you may proceed.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. Could we go into private session.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. Private session, please.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 6525 redacted. Private session
23 [Open session]
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. Now I'm going to ask you some questions about the time period
1 after the fall of Srebrenica. Do you recall when the fall of Srebrenica
3 A. I remember that it was in the summer of 1995.
4 Q. Do you recall the exact date? If you do --
5 A. No.
6 Q. After the fall of Srebrenica, after that event, were you ordered
7 to guard any prisoners, Muslim prisoners?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you some questions about that now. Where
10 did you first guard prisoners after the fall of Srebrenica?
11 A. That was in Orahovac at the school building.
12 Q. If you could describe in your own words to me, please, how did you
13 come to perform that guard duty in Orahovac at the school building? Who
14 told you where you were going to go? What time of day was it? Just
15 describe to me what happened.
16 A. Well, it was evening, I was on duty at the gate in the standard
17 barracks, when I was ordered to go to Orahovac because prisoners from
18 Srebrenica were arriving and they needed to be guarded. It was evening; I
19 wouldn't be able to say exactly what time. I was ordered by some officer
20 whose name I don't know right now. It was either Drago Nikolic (redacted)
21 (redacted), because in those days I received orders only from the two of
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session for one moment?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think we know exactly why. Let's go into
25 private session.
1 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into open session. We are in open
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Now, other than that these prisoners were from Srebrenica, the
24 ones being taken to the Orahovac school, were you told anything else about
25 these prisoners or given any other advice about them?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And can you tell me what that was, please? What were you told?
3 A. That we had to be very careful because those were dangerous
4 soldiers who were ready to do anything. That is to say, to pull in a
5 guard into the crowd and kill him there, something similar had happened in
6 Bratunac previously and we were told that we had to be extra careful when
7 guarding those prisoners.
8 Q. Now, how were you transported, if you remember, to Orahovac? How
9 did you go there?
10 A. I wouldn't be able to say that.
11 Q. Do you remember how many of your fellow military -- members from
12 the military police went with you to Orahovac?
13 A. I wouldn't be able to say that either. There were not too many of
14 us, perhaps a section or two at the most.
15 Q. And how many is a section, if you could just explain that?
16 A. A section or a squad has six to seven men in my unit.
17 Q. Thank you. If I could have in e-court 1692 on the screen, please.
18 And in a moment, sir, there will be a picture appearing hopefully on the
19 computer screen in front of you. Take a look at it when it comes up and
20 then I'll ask you a question.
21 Do you have a picture of a building in front of you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I showed you this picture in my office the other day, didn't
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell me where this place is, this building that we see in
2 the picture?
3 A. It's the school in Orahovac.
4 Q. Thank you. I'm done with that.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We just wanted to make sure that we
6 have the e-court reference of the photo. We do have it in the transcript.
7 Thank you, you may proceed.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, when you arrived at the school was it daylight or was it
10 dark? Can you tell me what -- about how late it was, if you remember?
11 A. I don't know the exact time, but I think it was dark.
12 Q. And can you tell me who else was at the school there? Who --
13 which people did you see when you arrived at the Orahovac school?
14 A. There were some soldiers besides the prisoners who were already
16 Q. And could you tell which unit or units these soldiers belonged
18 A. I really couldn't answer that.
19 Q. Approximately how many soldiers?
20 A. I really wouldn't know the exact answer to that.
21 Q. And what were these soldiers doing?
22 A. They were standing in front of the area in front of the school,
23 just moving around.
24 Q. And just to be very clear when we're talking about soldiers here,
25 are we talking about VRS soldiers or Muslim soldiers that you are talking
1 about in front of the school standing around?
2 A. Soldiers of the army of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. What was happening, what was physically happening with the
4 prisoners when you arrived at the Orahovac school?
5 A. Nothing was happening. They were going in quietly from the bus
6 into the gym.
7 Q. How many buses did you see there?
8 A. I don't know the exact number, but there were more than two.
9 Q. Do you recall whether these buses were military buses or whether
10 they had civilian markings?
11 A. I think that they were civilian buses.
12 Q. Were you able to tell whether there had been any escort for these
13 buses which brought the prisoners?
14 A. No, I didn't see any escort at that time.
15 Q. And how long did the buses stay there? Were you able to see the
16 buses leave at any point?
17 A. Yes, I could see that as soon as a bus was empty it would leave.
18 Q. And if you can give us an estimate how many prisoners do you think
19 when you arrived that evening were being brought into the gym of the
21 A. I really couldn't give you even an estimate. The gym was full.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session for a moment?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go to private session, please.
24 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. When you saw Drago Nikolic at the Orahovac school that evening,
23 what was he doing?
24 A. They assigned us to the places where we would be spending the
25 night and guarding those prisoners.
1 Q. And specifically who was assigning you -- who was -- you can say
2 the name. Who was telling you where to go and where to spend the night?
3 A. I think that Mr. Drago Nikolic, specifically he assigned us to the
4 places where we would be spending that night.
5 Q. And when you say "we," "Drago Nikolic told us," or "we," who was
6 the "we" you were referring to? Who was Drago Nikolic issuing these
7 assignments to?
8 A. To us, the military policemen who were there.
9 Q. And what specifically were your orders from Drago Nikolic that
10 night, the ones given to you personally?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we need to stay -- we are in open session, all
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Personal order that I and my
14 colleague, whoever happened to be there, should be assigned to a
15 particular place. We were ordered to stay in a certain place and spend
16 the night there.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. And we've seen the picture of the school, and I know you did a
19 diagram before, but can you just describe where was your place at the
20 school? Where did you -- where were you posted?
21 A. I was put behind the school. I cannot explain exactly. I didn't
22 spend the whole time there, there was some moving around the school and
23 standing in a different place.
24 Q. Let me ask you some questions now about that night of guard duty.
25 Did you see any mistreatment of any of the prisoners in the gym?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Were you able to see if the prisoners were given any food or any
3 water during that night?
4 A. I was able to see about the water, but I don't know whether this
5 happened during the night or the next day.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That doesn't explain much. Perhaps you can pursue
7 the question.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. Whether it was that night when you were on guard duty or the next
10 day, what happened? Do you recall if the prisoners were brought some
11 water or given some water?
12 A. Yes, I remember that.
13 Q. Now, how long did you stay awake that night on guard duty? Was it
14 the whole night, part of the night?
15 A. I think that I stayed awake the whole night.
16 Q. Were you able to get any sleep while you were at the Orahovac
17 school doing this guard duty?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you describe that just a little bit, how long you were able
20 to sleep and where you slept, please?
21 A. The next day, during the day, I slept for a while on the grass
22 behind the school.
23 Q. Now I want to ask you some questions about that next day. What
24 happened in the morning when the sun came up at the school in Orahovac, if
25 you can describe to us how that day began and what happened.
1 A. Nothing particular happened in the morning. Everything was the
2 same. This was during the morning, we continued to guard the prisoners
3 who were in the gym and there were no other things happening.
4 Q. To the best of your recollection, do you remember any more
5 prisoners arrived during the day-time that next day?
6 A. I don't think so, during the time that I was there awake.
7 Q. Now, besides you and your fellow MPs from the Zvornik Brigade, do
8 you know -- were you able to tell which other VRS soldiers, if any, were
9 present around the school?
10 A. Yes. There were other soldiers and civilians.
11 Q. Okay. Can you describe the civilians? Who were they and -- if
12 you could tell, and how were they behaving?
13 A. There were women and children. That's who the civilians were.
14 The others were all in uniform.
15 Q. And approximately, if you can, how many soldiers were there other
16 than you and your fellow Zvornik Brigade military policemen?
17 A. I really couldn't say. There were more, maybe a company, 50 or
18 more soldiers.
19 Q. Were you able to tell which unit they belonged to?
20 A. No.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session for one question?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure. Let's go into private session for a short
23 while, please.
24 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Now, this tall officer of the army of Republika Srpska, whose name
12 you don't know, were you able to tell what unit or what rank he might have
14 A. I wasn't able to notice that he wasn't from the Zvornik Brigade.
15 There was no such insignia, and I knew all the officers from the Zvornik
16 Brigade anyway.
17 Q. Now, other than that he was tall, as best you can, can you
18 describe this other VRS officer not from the Zvornik Brigade who we're
19 talking about? Best you can recall, what he looked like and what he was
21 A. He was wearing a uniform of the army of Republika Srpska, he was
22 older, with grey hair and with glasses.
23 Q. And what was this officer doing, the one you have just described
24 with grey hair and glasses, when you saw him at the school?
25 A. Nothing special, other than speaking with Mr. Nikolic. I didn't
1 really see him do anything else.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Nicholls. In relation to this tall
3 officer of the army of Republika Srpska, the witness, although not being
4 in a position to tell us which unit or what rank he might have had, he
5 comes to the conclusion that he wasn't from the Zvornik Brigade because he
6 carried no such insignia, and in addition he adds, "I knew all the
7 officers from the Zvornik Brigade anyway."
8 Now, previously in his testimony he has referred to soldiers, and
9 when asked by you if he could tell us which unit they came from, he
10 couldn't. So my question to him is the following: On the basis of what
11 he has just stated, recognising all the members of the Zvornik Brigade and
12 insignia of the Zvornik Brigade, can he categorically exclude that any of
13 the soldiers he saw at the Orahovac school the first day and the second
14 day, can he exclude categorically that they could have been from the
15 Zvornik Brigade?
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. I think you heard His Honour's question, sir. Are you able to say
18 that all these other VRS soldiers you saw were not from the Zvornik
19 Brigade, based on the insignia, or are you -- can you explain that,
21 A. I didn't know all the soldiers in the Zvornik Brigade. I don't
22 know if all of them were from our brigade. As for the officers, I knew
23 them because I worked at the barracks for over three years.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Your witness, Mr. Nicholls.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
1 Q. Now, the tall officer with the grey hair and glasses, can you tell
2 approximately what time of the day it was that you saw him at the Orahovac
4 A. I don't know what the exact time of the day was, but I saw him
5 during the day. It wasn't early in the day, but sometime during the day.
6 Not early, maybe in the afternoon sometime.
7 Q. And how often did you see him during the day at this school?
8 A. He stayed there for a while and I was able to see him from the
9 place where I was at that time, maybe two or three times.
10 Q. And when Drago Nikolic was talking to this officer, where were
11 they standing, say in relationship -- in relation to the front of the
12 school where there is the playground and the road? If you know, can you
13 describe where they were standing when they were talking together?
14 A. I think I saw them talking on the road the first time, close to
15 the playing field.
16 Q. And did you see them talking any other time in any other place?
17 A. No. I really couldn't be quite sure about that. I couldn't be
19 Q. While Drago Nikolic and this other officer you have described were
20 talking, what was happening with the prisoners in the school at that time?
21 Were they in the school? Were they coming and going out? What was going
22 on with the prisoners?
23 A. I think that they were in the school when I saw them the first
25 Q. Now, I want to ask you some questions about how the prisoners came
1 to leave the school, okay?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If you can describe that process, what you saw when the prisoners
4 left the school?
5 A. The trucks came to the area in front of the school, and the
6 prisoners then began to be boarded on to the trucks.
7 Q. What kind of trucks were these? Can you describe them?
8 A. I think that they were small military trucks.
9 Q. And how were the prisoners physically -- how were they boarded on
10 to these trucks, as you say?
11 A. They were boarding them, we were escorting them, things were
12 proceeding quite normally, but their -- their hands were tied behind their
13 back, but they were going in quietly.
14 Q. Now, once a truck was full with prisoners, which direction would
15 it leave when it left the Orahovac school that day?
16 A. I don't know the exact place. It was the opposite direction from
17 Zvornik, the other side.
18 Q. So leaving the school, pulling out, would they turn left or
20 A. Right.
21 Q. Was there any escort for these trucks as they left the school?
22 A. I really couldn't say. I was there near the trucks, or by the
23 trucks as the prisoners were going in, but it was a -- a kind of country
25 Q. Did the trucks return after they had left?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were they full or -- with the prisoners, still, or empty when they
4 A. They would be returning empty.
5 Q. And during this time when the trucks are leaving full of prisoners
6 and returning empty, during that period did you see Drago Nikolic leave
7 the school at any time?
8 A. The whole time while Drago Nikolic was there he was moving around
9 in different directions. I -- I think at that time he was also moving
10 around, but I don't know where.
11 Q. Did you ever see him in a vehicle on the road?
12 A. He would get in the car and it would drive off, so I would just
13 see him for a second.
14 Q. In which direction would he drive off in?
15 A. In the direction that the trucks were moving. He would be going
16 in that direction with the car.
17 Q. Can you describe the car, please, that he was -- that you saw him
18 in that day?
19 A. I don't know what the car model was, but it was a military car, a
20 military station wagon.
21 Q. Do you recall the colour?
22 A. I think that it was a metallic grey, some metallic colour.
23 Q. Now, during this time that the trucks are leaving full of
24 prisoners, coming back empty, what could you hear?
25 A. As I already said in my statement, I heard shooting in the
1 direction that the trucks were going to.
2 Q. And can you describe the shooting a little bit? I know this is
3 not a pleasant thing to talk about, what -- if you can describe what you
5 A. I could hear bursts of fire in the distance, like that.
6 Q. How long did this process last? The prisoners being taken away,
7 hearing gun-fire, trucks coming back empty, how long did that last during
8 the day?
9 A. I don't know the exact time. I think that it lasted into the
10 night, until the gym was empty.
11 Q. Tell me how you personally came to leave the school, where you
13 A. Pursuant to the order, I went back to the barracks.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Go into private session for one question.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Private session, please.
16 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. I want to ask you some questions now about what happened the next
7 day, if you can describe what your duties were the following day after
8 these events you have described at the school in Orahovac.
9 A. Yes, all right.
10 Q. What were you told you had to do that day?
11 A. I was ordered to go to the school in Rocevic.
12 Q. Do you remember how this order was conveyed to you?
13 A. I don't remember it exactly. I think it was on the telephone.
14 Q. And where were you physically when you received that order to go
15 to Rocevic? Where were you on duty at that time?
16 A. I was in the standard barracks.
17 Q. Approximately, can you tell me approximately what time of day was
19 A. It wasn't in the early morning, it was again in the afternoon
21 Q. And were you told what your duties were going to be in Rocevic at
22 the school?
23 A. No. We were not told anything. We were simply ordered to go
25 Q. And how many military policemen from the Zvornik Brigade went with
1 you to the school in Rocevic?
2 A. I wouldn't be able to say the exact number. There were a couple
3 of us; perhaps three to five.
4 Q. What happened when you got to the school in Rocevic? What did you
5 see? What was going on there?
6 A. We came to a shop which was some 50 metres from the school. We
7 saw some soldiers standing outside, so we didn't even go in. We stayed
8 there for some time.
9 Q. And these soldiers you're talking about standing outside, these
10 are VRS soldiers?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And where were they standing outside? What were they doing?
13 A. Outside in front of the school in the Rocevic, in the yard. I
14 wasn't able to see anything more from where I was standing.
15 Q. Now, were you given any orders when you arrived at the school in
17 A. No. We remained there for an hour, maybe hour and a half. We
18 received no orders during that time.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session for a minute?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Let's go into private session for a
21 while, please.
22 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Were you able to see any vehicles outside the school at Rocevic?
12 A. Those were small military trucks.
13 Q. And what was happening with those military trucks?
14 A. From where I stood I could only see them parked in the yard while
15 I was there.
16 Q. Were you able to see whether there were any civilians, and I mean
17 Serb civilians, in the area at that time?
18 A. No, I wasn't able to see that.
19 Q. And were -- did you go into the school?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Could you tell whether there were any prisoners at the school?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you describe that, please, what you saw regarding the
25 A. I wasn't able to see the prisoners for -- from where I was
1 standing. When the trucks started moving in front of the school, they
2 sent us back to the barracks again.
3 Q. Did you see any -- any bodies anywhere around the school, any
5 A. No.
6 Q. And were you able to tell at all which unit or units the VRS
7 soldiers around the school belonged to?
8 A. I wouldn't be able to say exactly. I think that they were
9 soldiers from our brigade, from one of our battalions.
10 Q. And we just need to be very clear for the transcript we are
11 talking about, when you say "our brigade," which brigade are you referring
13 A. I'm referring to the Zvornik Brigade.
14 Q. And why do you -- why do you come to that conclusion that you
15 think they were soldiers from one of the battalions of the Zvornik
17 A. That was my opinion. It did not even occur to me that there were
18 soldiers from other brigades there.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I think we're five minutes before the
20 break. If it would be all right with the Court --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: The break is at a quarter to 4.00.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm completely off, I'm sorry. In that case I will
24 Q. When you saw these trucks moving from a distance, could you tell
25 if there were any people being transported in the trucks?
1 A. Yes. I suppose that it was the same thing as what happened in
3 Q. Could I ask you to explain that a bit? Who was being transported
4 in the trucks?
5 A. Prisoners from Srebrenica.
6 Q. And if you -- I know you were standing a little far away, but
7 could you give some idea of how many trucks you saw transporting prisoners
8 away from the school in Rocevic?
9 A. There were a couple of trucks leaving. I wouldn't be able to say
10 exactly how many.
11 Q. Did you see any trucks arriving?
12 A. No. While I was there I didn't.
13 Q. When you left the school at Rocevic, what time of day was it?
14 A. It was before the dark. I didn't stay there long. I wouldn't be
15 able to say exactly how long, but it was in the afternoon.
16 Q. And when you left, was this process of the trucks moving, taking
17 prisoners away, was that continuing?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
21 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, go ahead.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. I wanted to revisit the
13 events from Orahovac. I wanted to tell you that we heard that some
14 soldiers from your unit were tasked with preventing some people who
15 were -- let's call them civilians, even though there were many among them
16 who were armed, from entering the gym of the school because they wanted to
17 settle scores with the prisoners. Do you know anything about that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were you perhaps in the group who was tasked with that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell me, do you know what is it that these people wanted?
22 Why did they want to settle scores with these prisoners?
23 A. I think that those were people who had some issues, who were upset
24 or were families of soldiers who were killed.
25 Q. Did they consider that the people in the gym were to blame for the
1 death of their loved ones?
2 A. Most likely, yes, because they were enemy soldiers.
3 Q. In your opinion, was their fury so great they were prepared to
4 kill those people?
5 A. I believe so.
6 Q. I would like now to go back to the event in Rocevic. You received
7 an order to go with your unit to Rocevic. Tell me, please, your unit, or
8 rather the group that went to Rocevic, was it the only one who went there,
9 or were you split into subgroups so that some went earlier, some went
10 later. I don't know if I was clear enough.
11 A. The question was clear to me but I can't tell you whether we were
12 split into subgroups or were called there because perhaps they needed
14 Q. Let me try to be more clear. Was there a group before you, a
15 group from the same unit as you? I don't want to give the name of the
16 unit, since we are in open session. Was there another group already in
17 Rocevic when you arrived there?
18 A. I don't know anything about any group, but I know about
20 Q. What about soldiers, you can't remember seeing some soldiers?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Upon your arrival did another group arrive from your unit to
24 A. I wouldn't be able to say, because I can't say when I left
25 Rocevic -- or rather whether upon leaving Rocevic I went to the barracks
1 or home.
2 Q. While you were there can I conclude that no group of soldiers from
3 your unit arrived while you were there?
4 A. I think that that's correct.
5 Q. Thank you. I don't have any further questions.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that, Mr. Zivanovic. I was just going
7 to draw your attention and also to the attention of the witness that you
8 were going too fast. You need to allow a small, short pause between
9 question and answer. And -- because the interpreters need to translate to
10 us in English and French, so if you don't allow this pause, they will have
11 problems, and they were having problems.
12 So Mr. Meek or Mr. Ostojic.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
15 Q. Sir, can you tell us what other members of the Zvornik Brigade
16 military police were with you or were sent to Orahovac and Rocevic School
17 in July of 1995?
18 MR. OSTOJIC: And I think we might go into private session for
19 that. But I wanted to put my question out there.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And you also need to remember to switch
21 off your mic. Let's go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 6550 redacted. Private session
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. The individual that I just mentioned in private session that we
17 will not identify him here now, but concentrating on that individual, do
18 you know if that individual was with you in Orahovac in July of 1995?
19 A. I can't say that for sure. That person was with me in our unit
20 for a long time. We had various assignments together. Now, as to -- as
21 for that specific occasion, whether he was there with me, I can't say. I
22 don't remember.
23 Q. Do you know, sir, whether or not this individual that we are
24 speaking of gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in March of
1 A. I am aware, I heard that the Prosecution took a statement from him
3 Q. And are you also, sir, aware that this individual who gave his
4 statement to the OTP in March of 2002, that he was considered a suspect in
5 connection with the crimes that are alleged to have occurred at the
6 Orahovac school?
7 A. I'm not aware of him being a suspect.
8 Q. Tell us in your capacity the statement that you gave to the Office
9 of the Prosecutor, how many times did you give them a statement?
10 A. I gave one statement.
11 Q. Do you know, sir, if that statement was tape-recorded in any
13 A. No. I'm not aware that it was tape-recorded.
14 Q. Could you share with us, sir, how is it that you came into contact
15 with the Office of the Prosecutor to give a statement in connection with
16 your duties at the Orahovac school in July of 1995?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, I just feel compelled to make the
19 objection again that this is completely irrelevant and it's something that
20 does not need to be put to the witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, we allowed that in the case of the previous
22 witness, I don't see why we should disallow it in the case of this
23 witness. So -- you didn't raise an objection then. Yes, let's proceed,
24 Mr. Ostojic.
25 MR. OSTOJIC:
1 Q. Mr. Witness, do you remember the question, and if you could kind
2 enough to give me the answer?
3 A. Yes, I remember the question. I was asked by the Prosecution to
4 come and give a statement.
5 Q. And that was, sir, in November of 2005, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did they share with you at that time, sir, any of the testimony of
8 the individual that we mentioned in private session that we are not going
9 to mention in public session, about what he may have said in his statement
10 in March of 2002?
11 A. I wasn't told anything about anybody else's statement.
12 Q. How long was your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor in
13 November of 2005?
14 A. From 9.00 in the morning until 4.00 p.m., with breaks.
15 Q. So including the breaks, approximately -- what is that, six, seven
17 A. Well, it was less than that. I had one break which was two hours
18 long, and then one half-hour break.
19 Q. At this session, did the Office of the Prosecutor read you your
20 rights and tell you that might be a suspect, given that you were a
21 military police officer of the Zvornik Brigade at the Orahovac school in
22 July of 1995?
23 A. I was told that I was summoned as a witness of an event, and I was
24 told that I was to give a statement. Nobody mentioned anything about me
25 being a suspect.
1 Q. So is it then correct to assume that you were not read your rights
2 and were not advised that you should possibly have an attorney present
3 with you; is that correct?
4 A. No. Nobody mentioned to me anything about being a suspect or
5 about a lawyer. As I told you, I was summon there had as a witness.
6 Q. So I am correct; they didn't read you your rights and they didn't
7 advise you, you should have a lawyer present, correct?
8 A. No. Actually, yes, you are correct.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to the next question, Mr. Ostojic.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I just need to go into
11 private session for another name.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means. Let's go into private session,
14 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 MR. OSTOJIC:
7 Q. Now, sir, the second individual we just identified in private
8 session, was he a member of the military police Zvornik Brigade in July of
10 A. He was a member of the Zvornik Brigade, and I think that he was a
11 member in July of 1995.
12 Q. How about more precise than that; was he also a member of the
13 military police?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And, sir, do you recall whether Mr. -- the gentleman we identified
16 in private session, was he at the Orahovac school with you in July of
18 A. I can't remember that.
19 Q. Do you remember if this gentleman was also at the Rocevic School
20 in July of 1995?
21 A. I can't remember that either.
22 Q. Just a couple more questions before we go on the break with
23 respect to this individual. Do you know the second individual that we
24 just identified, do you know if he ever gave a statement to the Office of
25 the Prosecutor?
1 A. I'm not aware of that.
2 Q. So, sir, is it fair to say that you are not aware that after you
3 gave your statement in November, that in -- on January 18th, 2006 --
4 MR. NICHOLLS: He's answered the question.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's -- let's hear the question so that we are in a
6 position then to decide whether to allow it or not. Go ahead and finish
7 the question, but don't answer until we tell you to.
8 MR. OSTOJIC:
9 Q. Sir, is it fair to state that you were not informed at any time by
10 the Office of the Prosecutor then that they were going to interview this
11 second individual six weeks after they interviewed you and they
12 interviewed him on January 18th, 2006?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't answer that question because he already
14 answered that when he was interviewed no one else was mentioned.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: [Microphone not activated].
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Go straight to the next question, but don't ask him
17 to repeat what he has already stated.
18 MR. OSTOJIC:
19 Q. When was your next meeting with the Office of the Prosecutor aside
20 from the time that you gave [microphone not activated] in November of 2005
21 [Realtime transcript read in error "1995"]? When is the next time that
22 you met with them?
23 A. Two and a half to three months prior to that when I was informed
24 that I would be a witness. At a trial.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: This is not clear. First of all the transcript on
1 page 18 says November of 1995. I think that is obviously a mistake. It
2 should be 2005. Let's start from there. And secondly, you asked him
3 when was the next time that he met with the Office of the Prosecutor.
4 And his answer seems to indicate that he met before and not after. So
5 more or less I think he needs to clear -- clarify that and then we have
6 the break.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Sir, there is a mistake and I think I misspoke in November of 2005
9 I think we have established you met with the Prosecutor and I apologise
10 for the long-winded question, but just to keep it in context, the next
11 time you would have met with the Prosecutor or made any contact with the
12 Office of the Prosecutor was two to three months before today, correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can have the break now. It will be a
16 25-minute break because of the redaction. And then we will resume soon
17 after. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.14 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So we are in open session. Mr. Ostojic has the
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Sir, prior to the break we were discussing the fact that the
24 Prosecutor made contact with you two or three months ago from today. And
25 can you tell us if that contact was in person or via telephone?
1 A. The second contact with the Prosecutor was in person, and we
2 agreed by telephone where we would meet.
3 Q. Tell me, sir, where you met with the Prosecutor on this second
4 occasion after November of 2005 when you gave your statement?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't see that as relevant, but if -- if the
7 answer is going to be given, I would ask that it might be a good idea to
8 go into private session.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I need to consult my colleagues on this. Definitely
10 if we proceed it will be in private session, but especially if a
11 particular place is mentioned.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the relevance of your question? Why is it
14 necessary for you to know where?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: We don't know -- it was just a foundational question
16 as to where they met. I would have assumed it was via telephone, but
17 obviously it was in person and the follow-up question was, did he give
18 another statement at that time. I just presumed they met here. I don't
19 know what the secrecy is if they met at another place, and I'm not
20 interested to know if they met at a secret location, but I certainly want
21 to know if they met and where and who was present, and if he gave another
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, do you want to respond to that.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: My objection to where the place is because it's
25 irrelevant and where we met was in an effort not to --
1 MR. OSTOJIC: I --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him finish.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: With the witness listening -- okay.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him finish.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I stand on my objection. I don't need to go into
6 that. However, I would just point out that the witness has already
7 testified that he gave one statement in his answer to that.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This is something different we are talking about
9 here. One moment again.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's proceed as follows, Mr. Ostojic. For the
12 time being we are not convinced that there is a real need to establish the
13 place where this second meeting took place; however, since you put it as a
14 foundational question, I suggest that you move to your next question, the
15 basic question. Then if it becomes obvious that we need to return to the
16 previous foundational question, then we will reconsider our position.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Sir, how long was your second meeting with the Office of the
19 Prosecutor two or three months ago?
20 A. Maybe an hour. It was quite short.
21 Q. Were any former Zvornik Brigade military policemen in attendance
22 at that meeting?
23 A. It was just me.
24 Q. In November of 2005 when you gave your statement, do you know if
25 any other military policemen from the Zvornik Brigade gave their statement
1 at that time as well?
2 A. Yes, I did hear that a couple of them did give statements over
3 those few days.
4 Q. Can you tell me what their names are?
5 MR. OSTOJIC: In private session, though; I wanted to get the
6 question out.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 6561 redacted. Private session
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. With respect to this individual that we just identified, sir, is
7 he also someone that you have been in close contact with from time to
9 A. No, it's a person who is older than I am. We do see each other,
10 but very, very infrequently.
11 Q. Do you know, sir, that he was a considered a suspect by the Office
12 of the Prosecutor when he gave his statement on January 18th, 2006, six
13 weeks after you had given yours in November of 2005? Do you know that?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did the Office of the Prosecutor ever share with you what the
16 testimony was of this witness? Did they tell you what he had said?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, I'm going to object because I think the
19 witness said clearly, unless I'm wrong, that we -- that he was not told
20 what other witnesses had said and about their statements. Ever.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that may have been with reference to the 2005
22 statement or to the time-frame during which that statement was -- was
23 given. So in that respect the question is not allowed, but in respect to
24 the subsequent meeting, maybe the question can be answered.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Should I restate my question, Your Honour, because I
1 think I put, did he ever at any time.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I draw a distinction.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm only asking whether I should restate it,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes --
6 MR. OSTOJIC:
7 Q. Did they at any time discuss with you the testimony of this
8 individual we identified in private session?
9 A. No.
10 Q. If we can just briefly go into private session again, Your Honour,
11 for another name?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session for a while.
13 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Now, this third individual we just identified as a member of the
7 military police of the Zvornik Brigade, do you know if he ever gave a
8 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Do you know the name of the following individual, which I think
11 may require us to go into private session.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It's become a Yo-yo. Let's go into private
15 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 MR. OSTOJIC:
3 Q. With respect to this individual person, a female, was she a member
4 of the Zvornik Brigade at all in July of 1995?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And do you remember in what capacity she served in the Zvornik
7 Brigade in July of 1995?
8 A. Soldier.
9 Q. Sir, do you know if she was present in Orahovac in July of 1995?
10 A. I really couldn't say.
11 Q. Why can't you say, or why couldn't you say?
12 A. These are people that I was with every day. I don't remember all
13 the places that we were together. We spent time together every day.
14 Q. Now, sir, did naming these four individuals help refresh your
15 recollection as to who else may have been present at the Orahovac school
16 in July of 1995? If you do remember, don't list their names yet because,
17 as I'm sure you've noticed, we would like to go into private session for
18 that. Other than those four, did that help refresh your recollection of
19 who else may have accompanied you in Orahovac in July of 1995?
20 A. I cannot remember these names. Maybe I can guess, but I cannot
21 say that a certain person was with me with 100 per cent certainty.
22 Q. Thank you. Sir, let me discuss a little bit more about your
23 background when you first joined the military. (redacted)
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were stationed there, correct?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, you want to go into private
3 session for this.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it would. If we're going to go through the
5 background, it's probably wise. I don't know exactly what questions my
6 friend will be asking, but it makes sense.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: If he thinks for whatever cautionary reason, I'm
8 okay with that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I was precisely thinking about it. So let's
10 redact that, and if you want to pursue the matter we'll go into private
11 session, Mr. Ostojic.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: I would like to pursue it, if we can go into private
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that.
15 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
25 MR. OSTOJIC:
1 Q. Sir, I'd like to direct your attention to the Orahovac school in
2 which you testified on your direct here today. I think you mentioned or
3 in your statement, at the very least, in November of 2005 that you were
4 informed that the detainees or prisoners at the school had a tendency to
5 kill guards. Do you remember saying that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell us who told you that there was this tendency to kill
9 A. I cannot be sure. Some of my officers, some of my officers.
10 Q. You mentioned a couple of your officers here today. Were there
11 any others other than those two officers that you have mentioned from time
12 to time during the direct examination, are there other officers, other
13 than those two, who may have told you that?
14 A. No. One of those two.
15 Q. And did they also, one of those two also inform you, sir, that
16 there was a guard from Bratunac who had been killed, correct?
17 A. Yes, we were given that example.
18 Q. Did they tell you when this guard from Bratunac was killed in
19 relation to July of 1995 and your visit to the Orahovac school or
20 assignment, I should say, sorry.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't tell me, they just said
23 that while guarding prisoners a guard was killed by the prisoners in
25 MR. OSTOJIC:
1 Q. Did they tell you when this happened in relation to your
2 assignment to Orahovac school in July of 1995?
3 A. No, I don't know exactly.
4 Q. Did they ever give you the name of the killed Bratunac guard who
5 was -- I'm sorry, if I could restate the question.
6 Did they ever identify the Bratunac guard who was killed by these
7 alleged prisoners?
8 A. No. We were just told the policemen guarding the prisoners.
9 Q. Sir, do you know if any of the prisoners who were at the Orahovac
10 school, were they ever checked to see if they were armed at all?
11 A. No. Not where we were, and most likely they were searched out in
12 the field.
13 Q. Now -- but you didn't see that, correct?
14 A. I didn't see what?
15 Q. Did you see them being searched out in the field?
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. I'm interested to know what it is that you saw and observed
18 personally. Am I correct that you did not personally witness or see any
19 killings at Orahovac school in July of 1995.
20 A. No, I didn't see.
21 Q. Sir, help me understand this: You had mentioned during your
22 direct and in your statement that the guards, while at Orahovac, allowed
23 the detainees or prisoners to go out and get some water. Do you remember
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How often would they have allowed that?
2 A. A couple of people would be taken from the gym, escorted by us to
3 get water and then escorted back into the gym. I don't know how often,
4 but a number of times.
5 Q. Did you personally escort any of those detainees or prisoners to
6 obtain water?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, tell me, sir, given the fact that allegedly your officers
9 told you that these prisoners had a tendency or a pre - strike that - had
10 a tendency to kill guards, did you think it was safe for you to at that
11 time to take these detainees or prisoners out to fetch water for them
12 during the night or the next day while you were there?
13 A. We were extra careful. We would take two, three, four at the
15 Q. Two, three, four at the most detainees, correct? Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And how many guards would accompany these three or four detainees
18 or two, three or four detainees?
19 A. Well, that depends. If there were two, they would take one. If
20 there were four, they would take two.
21 Q. Now let me turn to Rocevic School for a moment. Am I also
22 correct, sir, that you did not personally witness or see any killings at
23 the Rocevic School in July of 1995?
24 A. Yes, that's correct; no.
25 Q. Just so I have your testimony proper -- properly, or understand it
1 properly, can you tell me how many hours you spent at the Rocevic School
2 in July of 1995?
3 A. Very briefly. I don't think that I spent even two hours there.
4 Less than that, most likely.
5 Q. Sir, can you tell me, and I think I can mention this individual's
7 MR. OSTOJIC: But maybe I should just go into private session,
8 Your Honour, just so we do haven't a problem?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
10 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 MR. OSTOJIC:
21 Q. This individual, without naming his name, you mention him in your
22 statement as well. Who is he?
23 A. He was a security officer in our brigade.
24 Q. He was -- he is and was a friend of yours, correct?
25 A. Yes, we were neighbours.
1 Q. And he was one of your superior --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I think this part needs to be redacted.
3 "Yes, we were neighbours."
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not going to redact.
9 Let's -- let's proceed.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, this individual that we're talking about who was a friend -
12 we'll just leave it at that - was he your superior officer?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At what time?
15 A. At the time we're referring to just now.
16 Q. So July 1995, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How long before July 1995 did you know this individual?
19 A. I don't know exactly how long, but I knew him for a long time.
20 Q. Without being too insistent on a precise answer, you knew him at
21 least five years prior to 1995; isn't that true?
22 A. Less than that.
23 Q. Well, anywhere from two to five years or if you could be precise,
24 I'll take that. If you know exactly how much you knew him prior to 1995,
25 that would be helpful.
1 A. Between one year and three years, I'm not sure.
2 Q. At any time, sir, did you discuss with this individual the fact
3 that were you giving a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in
4 November of 2005?
5 A. No.
8 A. No.
9 Q. Was this individual, sir, present at Orahovac in July of 1995?
10 A. I wouldn't know that.
11 Q. Do you remember seeing him there?
12 A. No, I don't remember.
13 Q. Do you know if he was present in Rocevic in July of 1995?
14 A. No, I don't know.
15 Q. Do you remember seeing him?
16 A. I don't remember.
17 Q. If we can now turn to another topic, sir. Can you tell me what
18 you were doing in 1993 in Zvornik, being part of the Zvornik Brigade?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes -- one moment.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was performing --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, yes.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Again, I don't know how far the questions are going
24 to go or how detailed but it may be necessary to go into private.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
1 I leave that in your discretion, Mr. Ostojic. --
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Quickly I will identify the point and then we could
3 go back into open session.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
5 Let's go into private session for a while.
6 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, the location we just mentioned, I want to focus your
12 attention in 1993 for that location. Can you tell me, were you involved
13 at all in that location in your capacity as a soldier?
14 A. Yes, I was one of the prison guards.
15 Q. And can you describe for me who, sir, was at this location that
16 you were guarding?
17 A. Imprisoned soldiers and some civilians.
18 Q. Do you recall sir the ethnicities of the imprisoned soldiers and
19 civilians that you were guarding at this location in 1993?
20 A. I remember that they were Muslims.
2 (redacted) and we
3 go straight into private session. You can repeat your question and he
4 will answer it.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 6577-6579 redacted. Private session
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I don't know if Mr. Bourgon or -- are going
20 to be the last to cross-examine this witness. I suppose I -- I read it
21 that way.
22 Mr. Lazarevic.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I just wanted to say that we have no
24 cross-examination for this witness.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
1 Madam Fauveau.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We won't have any
3 questions for this witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Josse.
5 MR. JOSSE: Likewise.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Haynes.
7 MR. HAYNES: Nor us. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So it came sooner than you thought, probably,
9 Mr. Bourgon. I will be leaving in 15 minutes' time. How long are you
10 going to cross-examine this witness?
11 MR. BOURGON: Difficult to say at this point, Mr. President.
12 Probably an hour, but it could be longer. It all depends on how the
13 witness answers the questions.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So what we have agreed to do is we are going to have
16 the break now, since, as I prepared you for it earlier on, I need to be
17 elsewhere, unavoidably elsewhere. We will have a break now of 20 minutes.
18 25 minutes, yeah, redactions, 25 minutes. And then you will continue in
19 my absence with Judge Kwon presiding. All right.
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.02 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.28 p.m.
23 JUDGE KWON: As informed, we will be sitting pursuant to Rule 15
25 Mr. Bourgon.
1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Just for the record, my name is Stephane Bourgon, I am the counsel
6 representing Drago Nikolic in this case and accompanied with my colleagues
7 this afternoon, and I have some questions to ask you in respect of your
8 testimony today.
9 I have some -- both some specific questions to ask you, and we'll
10 begin with those specific questions, and then questions more of a general
11 nature. If at all possible, if you can just confirm by a yes or a no, and
12 if you need to say more, then by all means say so, but with the hope of
13 saving some time, if it's possible for you to answer by a yes or a no, by
14 all means do so.
15 First, we'd like to go immediately into Rocevic. So you recall
16 the events in Rocevic, do you?
17 A. Partially.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned partially. That's a good answer. I like that
19 answer, because if I would say about your knowledge of Orahovac, you could
20 also say that you remembered the events partially; is that correct?
21 A. No, I would have a need to have more time about Orahovac, because
22 I spent more time there.
23 Q. So you have a better recollection of what happened in Orahovac?
24 A. Yes. I spent more time there.
25 Q. Now, in respect of Rocevic, I just want to confirm to begin with
1 that this happened the day immediately following the events in Orahovac;
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes, I think that was the next day.
4 Q. And my question is that in Orahovac you did not see Drago Nikolic
5 nowhere at no time during when you were at that location; is that
7 A. No, I did see him at Orahovac.
8 Q. Now, my question is Rocevic, and please if we want to make this a
9 good cross-examination and a good --
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Bourgon, you mentioned Orahovac.
11 MR. BOURGON: Oh. My apologies, Mr. President.
12 Q. My apologies, Witness. I'm speaking about Rocevic, and I'm asking
13 you to confirm that in Rocevic you did not see Drago Nikolic; is that
15 A. That is correct. I did not see him.
16 Q. And with respect to the orders that you received to go to Rocevic,
17 you mentioned at page 26, lines 24 to 25, and immediately following that,
18 that's at page 27, lines 1 to 3, now I mention this, that's for my
19 colleagues, that's not -- more for my colleagues than for you, so they
20 can follow with -- my question. And the idea is that the orders to go
21 there, you don't really remember who gave you those orders; is that
23 A. I don't remember specifically. I think it was
24 (redacted) who sent me to Rocevic, but I cannot be 100 per cent
1 Q. Now, what you can be sure 100 per cent sure is that those orders
2 were not given to you by Drago Nikolic; is that correct?
3 A. For Rocevic, I think that that is correct. It was not issued by
4 Drago Nikolic.
5 Q. Now, when you arrived in Rocevic that day, you did receive some
6 orders, and I guess we will need to go into private session for this
7 purpose, Mr. President?
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please.
9 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 MR. BOURGON:
6 Q. I will say that question over again, Witness, to ensure that this
7 is on the record. That when you -- until the time when you heard those
8 volley of shots, as you described, and that you saw trucks returning to
9 the school empty, you had no idea before that, that this -- that what
10 happened, the killing of those people, that this was about to take place.
11 Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. So I would say that this came to you as a complete surprise; is
14 that so?
15 A. Not a surprise, but I didn't know what it was all about and what
16 would happen to the prisoners.
17 Q. And when you realised what was happening I suggest to you that you
18 were shocked by what was going on; is that correct?
19 A. I can't say that I was shocked. I mean, it was a military gesture
20 in war. It wasn't such a surprise that I was shocked, but I didn't know
21 until that moment exactly what it was all about.
22 Q. So let me make my question more precise. Did you feel good about
23 it or did you feel bad about it?
24 A. It didn't make me feel good. I mean what kind of a question --
25 must I respond to this question about my feelings?
1 Q. That's -- all I'm trying to get to you is that you were not happy
2 at what was going on; so that's correct, right?
3 JUDGE KWON: Let's move on to the next question.
4 MR. BOURGON:
5 Q. Now, Witness, you yourself, you never went to the site where those
6 people were killed; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And I suggest to you that you have no idea who actually fired on
9 those people; is that correct?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And I also suggest to you that -- that the military police of the
12 Zvornik Brigade was not involved in those shootings and that it was
13 limited, the role of the military police was limited to guarding the
14 prisoners; is that correct?
15 A. I think that that is correct.
16 Q. Let's move to a bit of more general questions now. The first
17 thing I would like to establish is your role, your specific role as a
18 member of the military police in Orahovac. And now I refer to page 30,
19 lines 17 to 18, where you mentioned that the role was to guard the
20 prisoners. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in response to a question by my colleague, not the colleague
23 across the room, but the colleague right in front of me, a question was
24 asked of you that one of the things you had to protect the prisoners from,
25 the civilians who were there. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, you yourself at the time, (redacted)
8 Q. And in your statement when you describe that you were sent to
9 Orahovac, you said that you were quite scared about going there. Is that
11 A. No, I didn't say that.
12 Q. Well, were you impressed about the fact that you had to go to
14 A. I didn't quite understand the question.
15 Q. Let me ask you quite straightforward: How did you feel personally
16 about going to Orahovac that night to guard prisoners who had just been
17 captured? How did you feel yourself about that mission that was given to
19 A. I always felt the same about every assignment that I was carrying
21 Q. And how was that?
22 A. I can't explain to you how I felt when I went into combat or to
23 guard prisoners. I mean, you can't describe it in words.
24 Q. And if I go to your statement, I don't need to refer you, maybe
25 that will come later. But you did say that you were warned that this
1 could be a potentially dangerous situation; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Now, when you arrived in Orahovac, this was -- you did refer to
4 that in terms of the persons who were there. And you said that in
5 addition to the military police there were some 50 soldiers who were
6 there. Now, that's at page 18, lines 13 to 18, as well as page 12, lines
7 12 to 18. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, I did mention that.
9 JUDGE KWON: Those were the page numbers of the statement?
10 MR. BOURGON: No, page number of the transcript from today.
11 Sorry, Mr. President. If I refer to the statement, I will then refer
12 because it is ready to be used, but if I can avoid, I will not use it.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please move on.
14 MR. BOURGON:
15 Q. You also mentioned that there were many local civilians who were
16 there, and you also described how, I would say, mad these civilians were
17 when you answered the question from my colleague. What I'd like to know
18 from you is that when those civilians were there, does that -- I would
19 suggest to you that this coincides with the time that the prisoners were
20 put in the gym. Is that correct?
21 A. There were civilians there in front throughout the time that I was
23 Q. That's what I was trying to get at, because at some point during
24 your examination-in-chief you said that in the morning there was really
25 nothing happening. So those civilians were always present, and that
1 situation was always with all these people being there around you; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when the -- when the actual shooting began, we've already
5 established that you did not feel good about that, but can I describe that
6 situation as being totally chaotic? Would that be a fair statement?
7 A. I don't know how you would describe it, but whoever happened to be
8 there did not feel good during the whole thing.
9 Q. And with respect to the other soldiers who were there, because
10 you're given a task of controlling the crowd, but there are other soldiers
11 there and you don't know what their task is because they never relieve you
12 from your duty. Is that correct?
13 A. I don't know about other assignments. All I knew was my own, what
14 that was.
15 Q. But these people, these other soldiers, they were also involved
16 with what was going on generally that day. Is that correct?
17 A. There were many soldiers, I said that a little bit earlier.
18 Q. And those soldiers were involved into what was going on that day;
19 is that correct?
20 A. Yes, they were also appointed there by someone.
21 Q. And if I suggest to you, as you sit here today, and I'm sure that
22 this question is not the first time you will hear a question like that,
23 but I suggest to you that if there is one day in your life that you would
24 like to forget, it is that day in Orahovac in July of 1995. Would that be
25 a fair statement?
1 A. Well, it would be fair, but I had bad days during the war,
2 including that day, which I would like to forget.
3 Q. I simply suggest to you that that day in particular you would like
4 to forget. Is that correct?
5 A. That day and the other bad days that I had, I would like to
7 Q. Were there many bad days like that?
8 A. Yes, there were. I couldn't tell you exactly how many, but there
9 were. The war was long.
10 Q. I won't get into a debate because it's not the purpose of my
11 cross-examination, but I'm just asking that because you would like to
12 forget this day, and this is probably the reason why there are many things
13 that today you don't remember. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes. At that time I didn't even try to remember anything about
15 that event.
16 Q. And today, in response to many questions that were put to you, you
17 began your response by saying, "I think." Now, when you respond like
18 this, just so that we are sure, and we know that, you know, for the
19 benefit of the Court that when you say "I think," these are things that
20 you cannot be sure of. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, I would just like to go over some of the details that today
23 you seem to have some answers, but very often with the words "I think" in
24 front of them. Just a couple of very minor examples. For example, how
25 long you slept when you fell asleep during your guard duty. You don't
1 remember that, do you?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And the kind of vehicle that you drove in to go to Orahovac, you
4 don't remember that either?
5 A. I don't remember, that's right.
6 Q. And the time that you arrived in Orahovac and the fact that it was
7 dark or light, you are not sure of that either. That's what you answered
8 today. Is that correct?
9 A. I answered that question.
10 Q. I'll find a reference here just to be sure that we are in the
11 same -- that we share the same answer. And that is that at that time you
12 mentioned that you did not know what time it was, and that you did -- you
13 think that it was dark. Is that the right answer?
14 A. The evening hours, yes.
15 Q. Now, also other things that you don't -- that maybe you're not
16 sure of is, you don't recall whether the prisoners were blindfolded or
17 not. Is that correct?
18 A. I don't remember that.
19 Q. And the kind of vehicles that were transporting those prisoners
20 from the school to another site, you don't really remember that either,
21 the type of vehicle and the description of the vehicles?
22 A. Small trucks.
23 Q. And if I asked you today whether these trucks are civilian or
24 military or the exact colour, those are details you can't remember today;
25 is that correct?
1 A. I think that they were military.
2 Q. That's exactly my point. You think, but you're not sure, right?
3 A. I can not be 100 per cent specific about that.
4 Q. Now, one of the issues that I'd like to know whether you recall
5 that, and I now refer to the transcript at page 18, lines 2 to 4. My
6 colleague from the Prosecution suggested that maybe there was other
7 prisoners arriving, and you mentioned in your response that could you not
8 tell for the time that you were awake. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. And you also responded that -- to a question from my colleague
11 that to you the school was full, so the prisoners for you, when they
12 arrived, they filled up the school; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If I move in private session.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
16 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please go ahead.
20 MR. BOURGON:
21 Q. Now, you describe, and you've made reference to the number of
22 hours you spent at the Orahovac school. I would just like to confirm that
23 you must have been very hungry during that time; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And if I suggest to you that you did not eat any meals that day
1 and you do not recall getting any meals that day, is that correct?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you mean it's not correct or you did not get any meals?
4 A. It's not correct.
5 Q. It's not correct. So what did you eat during the period you were
7 A. I got something quite meager in the course of the day. Quite
8 unsufficient -- insufficient for the day, perhaps a quarter of a loaf of
9 bread and something to go with it. I don't know what.
10 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now, I'd like to know whether anyone from the
11 Zvornik Brigade came to Orahovac that day with a vehicle to bring your
12 food or juices or stuff like that? Did that happen during that day?
13 A. I don't remember that, no.
14 Q. I'd like to move on to another issue, always dealing with
15 Orahovac. And -- or maybe I will -- I will ask you a few questions about
16 your -- the military police battalion. You can confirm that the military
17 police battalion was divided into platoons as well as into sections; is
18 that correct?
19 A. It was a military police company.
20 Q. It's my mistake, I'm sorry. So the military police company was --
21 you had some sections in the military police company; is that correct?
22 A. That is correct. Each company has platoons and sections or
24 Q. And each of those platoons or squads usually there is a platoon
25 commander or a squad leader or a squad commander; is that correct?
1 A. No. There were platoon commanders, but in war you would appoint a
2 section or squad commanders per assignment.
3 Q. So when you -- you had those platoon commanders and then the squad
4 commanders, they're appointed on the need for each different assignment.
5 Now, you also have, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you also have the
6 company has a second in command also; is that correct?
7 A. The second along the chain of command. This was assigned by the
8 company commander when he was not present. He would appoint somebody to
9 continue the chain of command, to be in command.
10 Q. Now, I just want to go over with you the organisation of the
11 military police company.
12 MR. BOURGON: And I think we'll go into private session for this,
13 Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 6596-6601 redacted. Private session
18 [Open session]
19 MR. BOURGON: Technical difficulties. Okay. We got it.
20 Q. Okay. We are back in public session now. Now, when you are --
21 what you said at page 21, lines 13 to 14, is that when you saw Drago
22 Nikolic along with the tall officer, they -- according to your
23 recollection, they were on the road. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, I think that that was on the road.
25 Q. And at page 19, line 17, you confirmed that for you there is
1 no doubt that this officer is not from the Zvornik Brigade; is that
3 A. That's correct. Not from the Zvornik Brigade.
4 Q. And you also mentioned at page 21, lines 3 to 5, that although you
5 don't know the exact time when you saw this conversation, it happened in
6 early afternoon, to the best of your recollection. Is that correct?
7 A. In the afternoon hours. I can't say exactly when. It wasn't
8 early in the morning, it wasn't late at night.
9 Q. And at page 21, lines 22 to 23, you mentioned that the prisoners
10 at that time were in the school. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now I get to my two questions concerning this conversation. The
13 first one is quite simple: You did not hear that conversation; is that
15 A. No. I didn't hear.
16 Q. And my second question is that looking at the conversation from
17 where you were I am suggesting to you that at that time Drago Nikolic was
18 speaking to the tall officer who was somebody who was higher in rank than
19 he was. Is that correct?
20 A. Most likely, yes, since I didn't see.
21 Q. I move to the part where you mentioned that -- seeing Drago
22 Nikolic moving around in his car, and that was on page 23, lines 11 to 13.
23 Do you recall testifying to that effect?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Now, in relation to this I would just like to come back to also
1 something you said and that is that the -- a question was posed to you
2 whether there were escorts following the vehicles to the site where the
3 people apparently were killed. And you answered on page 22, line 20 to
4 22, that you don't know if there were escorts following those vehicles to
5 that site. Is that correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Now -- sorry, I apologise. There are many reasons -- you will
8 agree with me there are many reasons why you cannot recall this? First
9 one would be it is one of those details you just can't recall. Is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And another reason could be that where you were, and you referred
13 to that in your response on page 22, because of where you were you could
14 not really see if any cars were following or any escorts were following
15 these trucks. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you are also able to confirm that at some parts of the day
18 during your stay in Orahovac you were at different places around the
19 school and at one point you were actually posted behind the school. Is
20 that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So if I say that when those trucks are taking the prisoners to
23 another site, that during that period which lasted quite a bit of time,
24 according to your testimony, you were not always close to the door where
25 they are being taken out. Is that correct?
1 A. I wasn't there at all times. I was there sometimes and sometimes
2 I wasn't.
3 Q. And that's one of the reasons why, another reason why today you
4 cannot say whether these trucks were being escorted to that site. Is that
6 A. Correct. I even said that for a while I slept, which means that I
7 was in the same place. I was able to see some things, I wasn't able to
8 see other things.
9 Q. Now, this one I need to come back to, because I -- the way I
10 understood it, when you slept that wasn't at the same time that the
11 prisoners were taken out, but I may be wrong. Can you tell us that maybe
12 part of the time when the trucks are taking the prisoners to the site,
13 part of that time you were sleeping. Is that correct?
14 A. I think that I slept prior to that, because I was there the whole
15 time. I don't remember when I went to bed, when I fell asleep, when I got
16 up, at what time.
17 Q. So you don't exclude the possibility that you were sleeping during
18 part of the time that the trucks are being taken -- that the trucks are
19 taking the prisoners to the other site. That's a possibility; is that
21 A. Well, perhaps a truck left earlier, I can't tell you what happened
22 while I was sleeping.
23 Q. Now, I'd like to move into private session.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 6606-6615 redacted. Private session
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE KWON: How about put them marked for identification for the
25 moment, and I would like to ask Mr. Nicholls to come back as soon as
1 possible, then we can sort it -- sort them out. Would you agree, Mr.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: That's acceptable, but it's just that I think you
4 will find we didn't cherry pick; we put all the documents in. We actually
5 didn't even have time to do that.
6 JUDGE KWON: Those three exhibits will be marked for
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, I will come back very quickly. I don't
9 think I will have any objection.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I was told, informed by the deputy --
13 court deputy, that 1692 was already admitted.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: You are correct. I apologise.
15 JUDGE KWON: And I was told that -- we have only 10 minutes, and
16 the next witness for some private reasons, he returned to the hotel, which
17 I allowed. So -- so that's the hearing for today.
18 And any preliminaries?
19 Ms. Fauveau.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we please go
21 into private session?
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 6618-6621 redacted. Private session
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE KWON: That concludes the hearing for today. Tomorrow the
9 hearing will be in the afternoon. 2.15.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 31st day of
12 January, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.