1 Thursday, 22 March 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Hopefully we will have a
7 good day.
8 Madam Registrar, could you kindly call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. All the accused are here.
12 Amongst the Defence teams I notice only the absence -- I notice the
13 absence of only Mr. Haynes.
14 The Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Vanderpuye.
15 The witness is already in his chair. I take it, therefore, that
16 there are no preliminaries. Is there anything wrong with Mr. Haynes or
17 he's just working elsewhere?
18 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No, he is not ill. He is healthy and
19 he will join us tomorrow.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
21 So, good morning to you, sir.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And once more, welcome. Mr. Vanderpuye will be
24 proceeding with his examination-in-chief. May I just remind you that you
25 are still -- that the solemn declaration that you made yesterday is still
1 valid today and will continue to be valid throughout your entire
2 testimony, until it is over.
3 Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
5 Honours. Good morning, counsel.
6 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-162 [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, Witness. I think yesterday we left off, and you
10 were talking about having gone to Pribicevac and we had just about -- we
11 were talking about the events of the 11th of July, and I was just asking
12 the Court if we could go into private session, so if we could do that?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that straight away.
14 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session now.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a question, please.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you will allow me, yesterday I
22 made a mistake, an omission, actually, and I would like to explain if you
23 would allow me to do so and it will only take a minute.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. That's what you are here for, to give
25 us the full, correct version of the events. Yes, go ahead.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It has to do with the 11th of July
2 and my stay in Pribicevac. It is true that on that day I arrived in
3 Pribicevac to see a person very close to me. It is also true that on that
4 occasion I met up with General Mladic and I explained that meeting and I
5 described it. It is true that in Pribicevac I also met with two persons,
6 MD and JM. However, I made a mistake in the sense of speaking about DT.
7 On that day, he was not with me at Pribicevac; he was there two days
8 before, on the 9th. And this is the mistake I made yesterday with regards
9 to that date.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether I have made
12 myself clear.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in private session so there is no
14 problem in mentioning names while we are in private session. I just want
15 to make sure that we know who you are talking about.
16 Okay. Mr. Vanderpuye.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Witness, for your clarification.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: We're still in private session.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in private session.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE:
22 Q. Thank you for that, Witness. I want to ask you, do you know a
23 person by the name of Tesic?
24 A. I do. I saw that person in Pribicevac, Aleksandar Aco Tesic. He
25 was the chief of the secretariat for national defence in Bratunac
2 Q. Okay. And when you were in Pribicevac on the 11th, did you see
3 him there?
4 A. Aco Tesic?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yes, I did. He arrived maybe two hours after me, and he brought
7 people who were doing work obligation. He brought them to Pribicevac.
8 Those were people of military age who had worked in various companies
9 which means that they had not been mobilised into the army, but they had
10 work obligation. He mobilised them and brought them up there, maybe two
11 hours after I got there. We did not get there together, in other words.
12 I came on my own in a vehicle. And then I -- when I was talking about
13 that I made that mistake and I thought that we were talking about the 9th
14 and that's why I mentioned the Dragan Tesic as being there on the 11th. I
15 was with him.
16 Q. I see.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we can go back to open session.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye. Let's go back to open
19 session, please.
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could just go back into private session. I
23 need to get the names on the record. I apologise for that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I hinted at, but I thought you didn't
25 mind proceeding. So let's go back.
1 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session again.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE:
4 Q. Witness, you indicated certain initials when you were just
5 talking. One was MD. Can you tell us who that is for the record?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session, Witness, so you don't
7 need to worry.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miroslav Deronjic.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE:
10 Q. You also gave the initials JM. Can you tell us who that is?
11 A. Miodrag Josipovic, the chief of the police station in Bratunac.
12 Q. Okay. And you also gave the initials DT. Can you tell us who
13 that is?
14 A. Dragan Trisic, assistant commander for logistics of the Bratunac
16 Q. Okay.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we go now to open session?
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's revert to open session, please.
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Mr. Vanderpuye.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
23 Q. When you met these people in Pribicevac, did you have a prior
24 arrangement to meet them all or was it merely coincidental that you met on
25 the 11th of July?
1 A. Are we in private session?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No, we are not in private session now. Now we are
3 in open session. Just don't mention the names, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With MD and JM I had a coincidental
5 meeting. As for AT, I knew I would meet him up there in Pribicevac. In
6 other words, I only knew about AT, that I would meet him there. As for
7 the others, the meeting was purely coincidental.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE:
9 Q. All right. You indicated earlier that you -- you knew that there
10 was one individual who you met on the 11th that had been up in the -- in
11 that area on the 9th. Can you tell us how you came to know about that?
12 A. The person that I mentioned as having been there on the 9th of
13 July was not in Pribicevac on the 11th of July and this is where I
14 corrected my yesterday's statement. In other words, DT was not there on
15 the 11th, together with me. He was in Pribicevac two days before, on the
16 9th of 11 -- of July. That is when we had arranged in Bratunac to go up
17 there. We set up a meeting and we went to Pribicevac together on the 9th.
18 I told you why we had gone there.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye, I don't want you to read me being
20 finicky, but I am a little bit concerned because, even with the use of the
21 initials, I think if that person is still alive he would be able to
22 identify the witness. Maybe I am being over abundantly cautious, but I
23 would like you to think about it and, if necessary, we will redact it.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: I agree with the Court's concern.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I mean, I wonder what the Defence
1 teams think about it. Because I don't want to overdo it.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you will allow me, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's hear the witness.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't mind if these persons whose
5 initials we're mentioning know that I am testifying. When I asked for
6 protective measures, this was not because of them. In other words, these
7 people can be aware of the fact that I am testifying and that I am
8 mentioning their names or their initials. Have I been of any assistance
9 to you?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You have been extremely helpful, Witness. I think
11 we don't need to redact at this point and we can proceed.
12 Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. All right. You indicated yesterday that at a
15 certain point you left Pribicevac. And can you tell us where you went?
16 A. As far as I can remember, I stayed in Pribicevac for about two
17 hours or maybe longer or even shorter. After that I returned to Bratunac,
18 to my office. I went there by car.
19 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to draw your attention to the 12th of
20 July, if I could. And can you tell us what occurred on that day, as best
21 as you can remember?
22 A. When I returned from Pribicevac, as I was sitting in my office,
23 sometime in the afternoon or even in the evening, I met up with DM. He
24 informed me that on the following day at 8.00 I should be at the command
25 of the Bratunac Brigade. And I'm talking about 8.00 on the 12th of July.
1 I did that. I went to work at 7.00, when my working day starts, and from
2 there I went to the command. When I got there they sent me to a room
3 which was in -- on the ground floor and it was used as a meeting room at
4 the command.
5 In that room I saw General Mladic, who was already there. I can't
6 say for a fact who else was there with General Mladic. I know that the
7 Blagojevic, the commander of the brigade, was not there. There may have
8 been some two or three other officers there, I don't know who they were,
9 however. I'm only sure that the -- the General was there. We greeted
10 each other as I entered the room.
11 Q. May I just ask you one thing, just so that the record is clear.
12 In page 7, line 23 of the transcript, there is an indication that you met
13 with DM. And I was just wondering whether DM is MD, and if you could
14 clarify that. I think you know what I'm talking about.
15 A. It is possible that sometimes I swap the places of the first name
16 and the last name, and I apologise for doing that. It was MD who informed
17 me that evening that on the following morning I should be at that meeting.
18 To my surprise, he himself did not attend that meeting at 8.00. So MD, he
19 had informed me about the meeting, he said that he would be there, but he
20 wasn't. I was the first one to arrive there and the General and some
21 other officers had already been there.
22 As I greeted the General, the General told me, "I don't see you in
23 Srebrenica a lot." And I told him, "General, I have other things to do.
24 I have my everyday work to tend to."
25 Then he offered me a seat. We sat down. And at that moment AT
1 appeared. I have already mentioned him with regard to the events in
2 Pribicevac. And this is what I skipped. While I was there on my own,
3 General talked to me and asked me, "What do you think we should do with
4 the Muslims from Srebrenica?" I was taken by surprise. I asked
5 him, "What do you mean, what you should do?" He said, "Well, Srebrenica
6 has been liberated." So I told him, "Why don't you let them stay at their
7 homes?" And he said, "What if they don't want to stay?" Then I said, "I
8 don't know."
9 I knew that in 1992 they had gone to Tuzla and Kladanj. I told
10 him that we should see what these people wanted at that moment. Then AT
11 appeared and the General asked him the same thing. Maybe two or three
12 minutes later another person appeared and that was the local priest.
13 Again, the General asked him the same question. Maybe I was wrong to
14 mention this, and then LJS appeared and he asked him the same question,
15 and they provided him with almost identical answers as I did, as if we had
16 been in agreement, although none of us knew why we had been invited to the
17 command. We didn't know that the General was waiting for us there and
18 that we would be asked this thing.
19 I spent not more than half an hour at the command.
20 Q. Can I just ask --
21 A. And I really --
22 Q. I'm sorry, finish your answer and then I'll ask you a question.
23 A. And the half an hour meeting with the General, I did not perceive
24 it as a meeting, actually. I perceived it as something of an informal
25 conversation, i.e., an opportunity for him to inform me to be at the
1 Fontana Hotel at 10.00, for yet another meeting.
2 In other words, my meeting at 8.00, which was not a meeting, was
3 just an opportunity for me to be informed about the meeting that was to
4 take place at 10.00. The General didn't tell us what the agenda of the
5 meeting at 10.00 would be. He just asked us to be there at 10.00.
6 Q. Okay.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Now, can we go into private session for just a
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE:
11 Q. You've indicated --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait a moment.
13 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are now in private session.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE:
16 Q. You have indicated another set of initials, this time LJS. Can
17 you tell us who that is?
18 A. Ljubisa Simic, the president of the Bratunac municipality
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we go into open session, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that.
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are now in open session.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Now, Witness, you indicated that you were informed to be at a
2 meeting at 10.00 on the same day. Did you go to the meeting?
3 A. I did.
4 Q. And can you tell us if, during the course of the meeting, or at
5 the end of the meeting, I should say, if you were given a particular task?
6 A. Are you referring to the 8.00 meeting?
7 Q. I'm sorry, I'm referring to the 10.00 --
8 A. Or the 10.00 meeting? Yes.
9 Q. Okay. And can you just tell us what that was?
10 A. Out of the four of us who were there at 8.00, only I and LJS were
11 invited to the other meeting at 10.00 and together we went to that meeting
12 at 10.00. The meeting ended, and LJS and I were given a task based on the
13 conclusions of that meeting that we should play a humanitarian role
14 towards the population that was in Potocari. When I say that we had a
15 humanitarian role, I mean that we were asked to provide the population
16 with water, food, medicines, in keeping with our abilities.
17 In Potocari, according to what was said at the meeting, there were
18 some 20.000 people. The day was scorchingly hot; the temperatures were in
19 the 30s. LJS and I were given the task to play the humanitarian role, to
20 be in charge of the water and the food that would be delivered to these
21 people in Potocari.
22 Q. Now, when you were given this assignment, it was only given to the
23 two of you, as you have indicated, out of all of the people that were at
24 the meeting. Is that right?
25 A. Yes. The only present civilians from the civilian authorities
1 were the two of us and MD.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we just go into private session for a moment,
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go into private session.
6 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right.
9 Q. Just so that the record is clear, can you just tell us who the
10 people were that were present at that meeting that you recall? And this
11 is the 10.00 meeting, so that...
12 A. The meeting was attended by General Mladic, General Krstic, the
13 commander of DutchBat, of UNPROFOR, and his deputy. There were two other
14 VRS officers there. I think that they were Colonel -- a colonel and a
15 lieutenant-colonel but I didn't know them, their faces were not familiar.
16 Muslim representatives were also present. It was a three-member
17 delegation, Nuhanovic Ibro, Nesib Mandzic and a woman who is name was
18 Camila. Out of the Muslim delegation I knew Ibro Nuhanovic really well,
19 but Mandzic Nesib, Camila I just knew superficially, but I knew Ibro
20 Nuhanovic well, he was an economist with a degree. He completed his
21 elementary education in Bratunac. Then after the war started, he lived
22 and worked in Bratunac, so we knew each other well. Dragomir Vasic was
23 also there, he was the head of the public security station in Zvornik, and
24 as I said, there was Miroslav Deronjic, Ljubisa Simic and myself as
25 representatives of civilian authority. So that was the attendance at the
1 meeting. The meeting was conducted by General Mladic.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: While we are at -- in private session, because my
3 mind is still working on how -- how cautious we have to be, how careful we
4 have to be during the public sessions. The witness said earlier on that
5 he doesn't mind -- he wouldn't mind, but his concerns are rather not
6 focused on the three or four persons that he has mentioned he wouldn't
7 mind them identifying him as testifying again. But at the back of my mind
8 I have this preoccupation: That this gentleman has already testified in
9 Jokic and in Blagojevic, and there will be others that may have or would
10 have followed his testimony then. I speak for myself, but I take it that
11 none of us four have read his testimony in either Blagojevic or Jokic,
12 because we usually don't do that when it's a viva voce witness.
13 But, assuming that he is repeating what he had testified in those
14 two cases without protective measures, I'm not that sure inside that he
15 might not be identified. So I'm going to rely entirely on your good
16 judgement, and you seem to be a very alert witness, sir. If at any moment
17 you feel that we should go into private session, please do let us know and
18 we will.
19 We are in private session at the moment, so do we remain or do we
20 move into open session for the next question?
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we can move into open session, but before
22 we do, I just wanted to point out that the subject matter alone of the
23 testimony, read in conjunction with the witness's prior testimony, I
24 think, raises the same concern in any event. And so I am trying to do my
25 best to --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No, no, I rely on your good judgement. If I
2 wasn't assured of that, I mean, I would act differently. But I think I --
3 we are in good hands, both the witness and you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE: Can I make one suggestion, Your Honour, whilst we're
7 in private session. The Court asked the witness exactly what his concerns
8 are, partly because of the expedited nature of the application. It hasn't
9 been dealt with perhaps as fully as it might otherwise be and that might
10 help both the Chamber as well as my learned friend.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think that's a very good point that you have
12 raised, Mr. Josse.
13 Witness, while we are still in private session, you asked the
14 Prosecution to, in turn, ask for protective measures to be placed in -- to
15 be put in place for you. And we have granted them. What are you
16 really -- what are your real concerns? Why would you want to hide your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I explain, Your Honours?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please do. Because it will help us immensely
20 take decisions as we go along.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I asked for protective measures for
22 one reason alone. On Saturdays there is a report broadcast in our area
23 called, "The Hague Diary," that's what it's called, and it lasts for half
24 an hour. I cannot remember the journalist, who is a Muslim by ethnicity,
25 and he provides a review of the week in half an hour. And then there are
1 items from different trials, including this trial.
2 Sometimes they -- how can I put it. In one sentence, taken out of
3 context, they present something to the public, and then that takes on a
4 completely different dimension in the area where I live. At the moment,
5 the Srebrenica and Bratunac area is in an upheaval. I don't know if
6 you've heard this proposal that Srebrenica should step out of Republika
7 Srpska. So the political mood is elevated, and I'm afraid that the
8 journalist will take one sentence from my testimony and present it in a
9 negative context and that will reflect negatively upon me in my community.
10 So I asked for protective measures because of the media, because
11 of journalists, not because of the people. What I state here I am going
12 to state that as they say, before God and the people. I have come here to
13 speak the truth, and I am speaking the truth. But I'm afraid of
14 journalists' tricks and that they don't sully my testimony by using a
15 sentence in a particular way in a connotation that may be harmful to me.
16 This is why I sought protective measures. There is no other reason. If
17 you can guarantee to me that no journalist over there would mention me,
18 then I agree that I testify in public. Basically, these are my reasons
19 but, of course, it's up to you to decide.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't give you that guarantee. Ask me something
21 else. But I think we've got a clear picture.
22 Use your good judgement, as I said before. And I thank you, Mr.
23 Josse, for your input.
24 Yes, whenever it's convenient to revert to open session,
25 Mr. Vanderpuye, please, let me know.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we're actually in the process of doing
2 that, and that would be fine, if we could go to open session.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go to open session again.
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Now, the tasks that you were assigned, were you assigned by
8 General Mladic?
9 A. Yes. At the end of the meeting he said, after all the conclusions
10 were drawn and when it became clear that the Muslims wanted to leave the
11 region, he told us then that you, in the authorities there, should try to
12 help the population up in Potocari. You have filled in all your water
13 cisterns and the bakeries should be working, and after that we withdrew to
14 my office, the three of us, and we made a plan how to continue to operate
15 in this matter.
16 We engaged two of our water cisterns, and a cistern of the
17 utilities company, as well as the fire station cistern. Our local bakery
18 was instructed in future to work in full capacity, and to send all of
19 their produce to the Potocari area. We saw that this was not enough, so
20 then LJS went to the neighbouring municipality across the Drina River, and
21 he asked the authorities there to help us out, which is what they did.
22 They also sent their water cisterns and a certain quantity of bread and
23 juices, mineral water.
24 We did the same with the neighbouring municipality of Zvornik. So
25 they also helped us out there. So these were our capacities that we were
1 able to offer to the people up there. It was probably insufficient, but
2 we didn't have more than that. What we had, we tried to provide.
3 Q. Did you actually go to Potocari at some point on the 12th?
4 A. Yes, with the first cisterns and the first quantities of bread,
5 LJS and I went too.
6 Q. Okay. And did you distribute some of the supplies that you
7 indicated that you had organised?
8 A. Yes, other than the people who were entrusted with the cisterns,
9 there were people from civilian protection, the two of us also
10 participated in handing out bread, milk; there was certain quantities of
11 that. We also tried to help out, literally.
12 Q. Now, during the course of the meeting itself that happened at
13 10.00 that day, that began at 10.00 that day, did General Mladic make any
14 indication as to whether or not the people in Potocari would be screened
15 to see if there were any war criminals among them?
16 A. I didn't know what the purpose of the meeting was when I was
17 informed to attend. At the meeting itself, I understood what the
18 objective of the meeting was. I understood that the meeting was preceded
19 by another meeting with -- can I give the names of the Muslims?
20 Q. I think you can, yes.
21 A. At the meeting, I understood that the General had another meeting
22 with Nesib Mandzic, who at the time was the president of the Srebrenica
23 municipality, and the meeting at 10.00 was attended by the Muslim
24 delegation, actually, a larger Muslim delegation, a three-member Muslim
25 delegation. And I concluded that when the General asked, he addressed the
1 president, President Mandzic, "What have you decided?"
2 To which they replied that they had decided that the people wanted
3 to leave the region. The General warned them, "Don't take such a
4 decision. If you wish to stay in this region, in your homes, you can do
5 that freely, with full guarantees for your rights and freedoms, freedom of
6 work, freedom of movement. And the condition, if you do decide about
7 that, the army must hand over its weapons and those who bloodied their
8 hands and who committed crimes against the Serbian people would be
9 prosecuted. Those who were innocent would have all the guarantees of
10 work, life and movement and they can stay."
11 They were quite decided. "General, thank you very much, but we
12 have decided that we do want to leave this area."
13 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. Now, approximately how long were you
14 in Potocari?
15 A. Perhaps two hours.
16 Q. And can you tell us what you did after you left?
17 A. I already said that I actually physically helped to distribute the
18 bread, the food. And walking around in a kind of narrow circle, some
19 people recognised me. Amongst other people, I was recognised by a man who
20 actually built my house just before the war. His name is Nijazija Jahic.
21 I saw him from about 10 metres off, and he was calling out to me, but I
22 didn't recognise him at the time. And then he came up to me and only when
23 he came up to me I recognised him. I said, "Nijazija, is that you?" He
24 said, "Yes."
25 He asked me if I was able to help him in any way, for him and his
1 wife, if I could get him and his wife into the transport earlier, because
2 the transport had already started. I said, "Yes, I can do that. Where is
3 your wife?" He said, "She's there." I said, "Bring her over," and he
4 brought her over and then the buses were about 200 metres away from where
5 we were, and I took him there and I took them into the bus.
6 And that man, about three years ago, he is now living in Central
7 Bosnia, in Breza or Vares and he sent his greetings via a Serb who is
8 living in Bratunac now. He told him to tell me hello and to thank me for
9 helping him.
10 There was another case when I was recognised by a person by the
11 name of Hamid; he is from the village of Glogova. Before the war, he
12 worked as a messenger in the municipal assembly office. He also asked for
13 my help, to help him to move his uncle, who was in a wheelchair, to also
14 take him into the bus out of turn. Do I need to describe that?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Before Mr. Vanderpuye tells you whether you need to
16 describe it or not, you have mentioned a lot of names here and a lot of
17 details which, undoubtedly, could reveal your identity, at least to these
18 persons that you mentioned. I'm leaving it in your hands to tell me
19 whether you would like this part to be redacted or whether we proceed.
20 It's up to you. But obviously whoever has heard this will identify you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it is not necessary. I
22 am not afraid of anything. I don't think that there is any need for that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. I think we can proceed.
25 Q. And the answer to your question is, no, you don't need to explain
2 I think before your answer I'd asked you where -- where you went
3 after you left, and could you tell us, after you left Potocari, where you
5 A. I returned to Bratunac. I don't know if I went to my office or if
6 I went home to refresh myself. It was a very, very hot day, so I'm not
7 sure about that. But I am sure that in the afternoon I was back in my
8 office again, and I spent time in my office in the municipal building. I
9 was there until night. There was another person with me at the office,
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we go into private session just to get this
13 person's name.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go into private session, please.
15 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
16 MR. VANDERPUYE:
17 Q. Okay. You previously -- I'm sorry. Are we in?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE:
20 Q. You previously referred to an individual by the name of MD and now
21 you're referring to MD again. Are you referring to the same individual or
22 is this a different individual?
23 A. It's not the same individual. Are we in private session?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other person was Miroslav
1 Deronjic and this person is Dragan Mirkovic, who was sitting at the office
2 with me at that time.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
4 Q. I just wanted to clarify that.
5 A. He was the director of the Bratunac utility company.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we can go into open session, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that.
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, you indicated that -- well, did this person come to your
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you tell us approximately what time?
16 A. It was already evening. It could have been after 8.00 p.m.
17 Q. And did anything occur during the period of time that he was in
18 your office?
19 A. We were sitting in the office. I don't know if we had anything we
20 had to do, but anyway, at the time, we did spend a lot of time at the
21 office. Usually the directors would come and meet at my office, so he
22 probably just happened to come by. And we were sitting and talking and
23 then we heard a window was opened, the window to the office, and it looks
24 out to the street and we could hear the sound of some vehicles outside.
25 We looked out of the window and we could see three buses parked on the
1 street right beneath the window. It was strange, what the buses were
2 doing there. We were wondering.
3 Then we stood up and came downstairs; the office is on the first
4 floor. We came down and at the exit to the municipal building there was a
5 bus parked. We could see it was full of people. Men.
6 The front door of the bus was open, and a policeman was standing
7 in front of the door. Judging by his uniform, he was a civilian
8 policeman, not a military policeman. He was wearing a blue uniform, but I
9 didn't know the man. We had a conversation with him, we asked who these
10 people were. He said Muslims. Where are they going, what are they doing
11 here? They are -- and then at one point I noticed that in the middle of
12 the bus a person was knocking on the window, tapping on the window. And
13 the lights in the bus, inside the bus were dimmed. I approached closer
14 and I recognised the person. His name was Omo Jahic and he was from the
15 village of Bijeceva. Before the war he worked at the Sasa mine. He was
16 also a councilman in the municipal assembly, so we knew each other very
17 well. And he asked me to come into the bus.
18 I went back to the policeman, because this was in the middle of
19 the bus, and the policeman was standing at the entrance to the bus. I
20 said, "That man would like to tell me something. Can I go into the bus?"
21 He said, "Go ahead." I climbed the first step, the one close to the
22 driver, and I said, "Omo, what's the matter?" *And he said, "Buco, can you
23 please give me some water, bro?" And since the policeman was right there
24 and the door was open, I said this man wants me to give him some water,
25 can I do that? He said, "Yes, go ahead."
1 Q. Let me stop you for one second. I --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's redact line 25 on page 22.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The penultimate -- line 25 on page 22, yeah. The
5 penultimate word, please.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE:
7 Q. I'm just going to ask you to try to be mindful of what you say.
8 Let me just ask you, because earlier you had indicated that you
9 had asked policemen about these Muslims that were in the buses, and I
10 think you asked the policeman, or you indicated that -- why they were
11 there and where they were going, and I was just wondering if you could
12 tell us if you received an answer to those questions and what he told you.
13 A. The answer that I got from the policeman was rather ambiguous. As
14 far as I can remember, he told me that these people would be taken to
15 Batkovic, Bijeljina, to a collection centre, that's what he called it.
16 And from there he would be taken to be exchanged for the Serbian soldiers
17 who were in Tuzla, as well as the Serbian civilian population in Tuzla.
18 This was more or less the answer that the policeman gave me. But I
19 realised that he himself was not very sure of what he was saying when he
20 said that they would be taken to Batkovic and onwards to be exchanged.
21 Q. And can you tell us, during the course of that evening,
22 approximately how many buses you became aware of had come in to Bratunac?
23 A. MD and I saw two buses and we brought about 50 cans of water to
24 those two buses. Everybody on those two buses had small, five-litre cans,
25 and we also saw in the other street, on the other side of the municipal
1 building, there were three more buses parked. In other words, there were
2 three buses on one side and three buses in front of the municipality
3 building; six buses in total.
4 There were also buses in the playground. I didn't go there, but
5 according to some stories, there must have been anything between 20 and 25
6 buses, or 20, approximately.
7 *Q. Now, did the number of buses and the Muslims on those buses create
8 a situation of concern for -- for you as the -- as the president of the
9 Executive Board of the municipality of Bratunac?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Now you have cooked --
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: That was very nicely done.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: I apologise for that. Maybe we can redact that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. Let's see if we can get it right this
19 Q. Did that create a situation of concern in the area?
20 A. Well, rumours reached me that in the buses that were in the
21 playground something strange was going on. That the Muslims in those
22 buses were shouting to each other, and there was a fear that they might
23 get off the buses. Since there were very few guards providing security
24 for those buses, I'm concluding that there were very few guards because
25 there was just one policeman for the three buses in front of the municipal
1 building. That's why there was a fear that the Muslims would leave the
2 buses and start walking around the town, which was empty. In the town
3 there was no troops, there were no males. There were mostly women,
4 children and the elderly. As for the able-bodied men, they were either in
5 the army or hiding in the forest.
6 The retired persons were sent to the playground in order to create
7 an impression that there were more guards than there actually were. And
8 the drivers were ordered to start the engines, to keep the engines
9 running, in order to prevent people in the buses from communicating to
10 each other.
11 These buses spent the night in Bratunac, and in the course of the
12 night, before the morning, they left Bratunac. I don't know where they
14 Q. Now, did you become aware at some point, during that evening or
15 the following morning, as to what -- as to whether or not some of these
16 individuals were being brought to a school located near the municipal
18 A. When I realised that there were many buses in Bratunac, I came
19 across MD in town, but not the person who shared the office with me, but
20 the first one. I don't know whether you are all clear as to who I'm
21 referring to. And I told him, "Man, what is this? What is going on?
22 Where did the buses come from?"
23 He responded, "RD from M has done this to us."
24 Q. Okay. Maybe we can go into private session and we can...
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that. Let's go into private session,
2 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
3 MR. VANDERPUYE:
4 Q. Maybe you can explain that to us, just so that it's clear for the
5 record. You can use their names.
6 A. This is what he literally said. "Rajko Dzukic from Milici is
7 framing us up." And then he left. Then I told him, "Miroslav, use your
8 connections, talk to somebody from the top leadership." Because he did
9 have some connections with the political and the state leadership, which I
10 didn't have. So I asked him to inquire into the matter, and prevent all
11 that. I thought that we didn't need all this, and this is how it ended
12 between the two of us. He promised that he would see to the matter.
13 Q. Okay. You had indicated an MD is the person that you were
14 speaking to, right -- is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Just so the record is clear, could you just tell us his name now
17 that we're in private session?
18 A. Miroslav Deronjic.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we can go to open session again.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go back to open session.
21 [Open session]
22 MR. VANDERPUYE:
23 Q. I think I had asked you --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. I think I had asked you whether or not you had become aware of the
2 use of the school with regard to some of these individuals that were on
3 the buses. Did that occur at any point?
4 A. I don't know whether this happened on that evening, but on the
5 following day I learned that, early in the morning, people had been
6 detained in the school.
7 Q. All right. Now, you had some certain information that there
8 were -- I think you said that there were some buses near the playground.
9 Now, do you know whether or not there were people outside the buses, that
10 is Muslims, outside the buses on the playground, or were they all on the
11 buses, if you have that information?
12 A. They were all on the buses. According to my information, nobody
13 was outside. Possibly, if somebody lost their way, Potocari is only five
14 kilometres away, and there 20.000 people there. We learnt later on that
15 some people went astray from Potocari and strayed into Bratunac and then
16 they were brought to the school.
17 I did not see the school as a prison, I saw it as a collection
18 centre at the time, because the school had been destroyed in 1992, all the
19 glass panes were shattered. It did have walls and a roof, but as any
20 other school, this also had a lot of windows, a lot of glass panes which
21 were all shattered in 1992, and from then on it was never used by
22 children. There was another school nearby that was used by children as a
24 Q. All right. If I could, I'd like to just move forward and we'll go
25 into the 13th of July. I will direct your attention to that day. Now,
1 did you, at some point during that day, go to see -- I think DT is who
2 you've referred to this individual as before.
3 A. Yes, sometime in the morning I went to see DT.
4 Q. And did he provide you with any information with respect to a
5 former head of the police station in Bratunac?
6 A. DT was an associate of mine. We worked very well together. He
7 was also a personal friend, and we went to school together. That's why we
8 socialised quite a lot.
9 That morning I went to see him, to have a cup of coffee with him
10 and to have a chat. I wanted to be informed about war operations and so
11 on. When I arrived there he told me, "Do you know who has been detained?"
12 I said, "Who?" And I can tell you his name, if I may. That person who --
13 who had been detained. Resic Imanovic [as interpreted] is his name.
14 Resic Imanovic is a person who between 1980 and 1984 was the chief of the
15 Bratunac police. And during the same period of time I was his deputy,
16 which means that we worked together in the police station.
17 In addition to the two of us having worked together, that person
18 was also a very good friend of mine. We were really close, our families
19 were close. We were really good pals. We spent all of our free time
20 together, either sitting in a cafe or fishing together. We were really
22 I expressed a wish to see Resid, so he told me he is down there,
23 by ZC.
24 Q. Okay. Let me just stop you right there for a second.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you move further. He has -- you asked him
1 questions, and he answered them in relation to the school. And to my
2 knowledge the only indication that he gave as to which school he was
3 referring to is when, on page 25, line 20, he said, "To a school located
4 near the municipal building." Later on he has mentioned another school
5 without mentioning the name, of course. So I think we need to clarify
6 this, if either or both of these schools had a name, perhaps he can give
7 us the name of the schools and that would make his testimony clearer.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
9 Q. You understand --
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, maybe -- I apologise --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, Mr. Lazarevic.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- for interrupting but maybe we need to redact
13 something. If I can draw your attention at page -- one second.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think you're referring to page 28, line 20.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: 28, yes. Yes. 20 to 24.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I know of course as he was saying it, I have been
17 thinking all along, actually, I think his entire testimony could fall
18 under that category. But in referring, or when referring to this
19 gentleman, Resid, you said -- you gave some information about how close
20 you were to him, which could identify you. So --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: -- do you wish us to redact that or not? Because at
23 the end of the day, the conclusion I'm coming to is the only purpose of
24 the protective measures that we have put in place is to the effect that
25 whoever will eventually identify him in any case is precluding --
1 precluded from revealing his identity. That's the only purpose. But I
2 don't think that we are moving in the direction of hiding his identity. I
3 think we've had too much information in public session, in open session,
4 that would reveal his identity to many.
5 Do you wish us to redact that part or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is a well-known fact.
7 Everybody knows that I met up with him.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead. Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic, in
9 any case, for pointing that out.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
11 Q. First I think -- first I'd like to see if we can address the
12 Court's concern with respect to the name of the school. And you had
13 referred to the school, or having learned that certain people were brought
14 to a school, and I am wondering if you could give the name of the school
15 as it was during that time.
16 A. In order to avoid any confusion, the school that is in the
17 vicinity of the municipal building, before the war, it's name was Vuk
18 Karadzic. During the war, however, its name was changed and it was given
19 the name of Branko Radicevic. Whereas the Vuk Karadzic name was given to
20 the school whose name was Hasan Midhat before the war.
21 In other words, the school next to the municipal building that the
22 detainees were brought to was called Branko Radicevic at the time. Am I
23 making myself clear?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Very much so. Thank you.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we just go to private session for a moment?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course. Let's go into private session for a
2 short while.
3 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in private session.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE:
6 Q. You had referred to somebody I think earlier in your testimony
7 with the initials of ZC. And I wondered if you could just give us that
8 person's name.
9 A. Zlatan Celanovic. So not C, but C-h. He worked in the military
10 police as an investigator. He was not a commander, he was an
11 investigator. He had a law degree. He investigated, he interviewed
13 Q. Now, at some point, did you actually have an opportunity to meet
14 and to talk to Celanovic?
15 A. I called Dragan Trsic, DT, that is, asking if he would want to see
16 him as well. He said no, but I wanted to see him. We had been pals, we
17 had worked together. So he said, why don't you call ZC, you have a
18 telephone there, and ask him. I dialed his number and I asked ZC, I
19 understand that Resid is in custody. And he says, yes. Can I see him?
20 Yes. When? You can see him immediately. So I said, Okay, I'm coming
21 over there.
22 The military police building is only 30 or four [as interpreted]
23 metres away from the place where I was with DT. It's very close to the
24 command. So I got to ZC's office very quickly; he was there alone. And
25 then he went out and a minute or two later he brought Resid into his
2 Q. All right.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session. Any time you wish to go
4 back to open session, please let us know.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we can go back into open session, but I
6 just wanted to clarify for the record, I may have eaten my words, but with
7 respect to page 31, at line 19, the name that I thought I said was
8 Sinanovic, not Celanovic. That's what's reflected in the record.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The transcript needs to be corrected, yeah.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. Sinanovic, S-i.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's what I heard you say.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we go into open session, or shall we remain in
14 private session?
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: We can go to open session, I believe.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go to open session again.
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Did you have an opportunity to speak to Resid?
21 A. Yes. As Resid entered the office, I could tell by the expression
22 on his face that Zlatan hadn't told him that he would meet up with me, so
23 I was taken by surprise when he saw me in that office. I stood up, came
24 up to him, we shook hands. We greeted each other. For some 10 seconds or
25 so, he held my hand and then we even kissed each other. We sat down at a
1 coffee table that was in the office. Zlatan had left the office. He left
2 us alone for an hour or even longer. We spent that time talking.
3 Q. And did you receive any information as to what would be done with
5 A. As much as I was glad to see him, I was still embarrassed, because
6 I couldn't help him. I didn't have the power to take him out and tell
7 him, "You can go, you're free." And I wanted him to be aware of that. I
8 told him, "Resid, whatever is being done, this is a purely military
9 operation. I work in the municipality." And he said, "I know. I know
10 all. I heard it on the radio." They could listen to the radio up there
11 in Srebrenica. "I heard it on the radio when you had been appointed and I
12 would like to thank you as a human being, as a person, for having come to
13 see me."
14 I asked him, "Resid, did somebody ill-treat you? Are you hungry?"
15 And he said, "No, nobody did, and I'm not hungry." And then we continued
16 chatting, talking about things, maybe for an hour or so.
17 But I wanted to encourage him; this was my intention. And I told
18 him, "Don't fret. You will be exchanged." Because this is what I had
19 been told by DT and that's what all of us had believed. I told
20 Resid, "You will be exchanged. I don't expect any problems with that."
21 I tried to help Resid in 1992. I remember the date very well.
22 Because this had all happened on the 6th of May, on the eve of St.
23 George's Day, which is my name day. That's why I remember the date very
24 well. On the 5th of May, on the eve that holiday, sometime in the
25 afternoon, Resid called me on the phone at my place and asked me to come
1 and fetch him in his apartment, which I did.
2 In the apartment I found him, his wife, and their two sons. We
3 greeted each other of course, and then he told me right away, "You know
4 why I called you? I called you because something smells really odd in
5 Bratunac. I would like to go to Skopje, to my brother's." His brother
6 Iza was a captain in the JNA. "I want to go there while things are the
7 way they are and then I'll come back when things settle down. I was going
8 to ask you, maybe you could apply for my pass to leave Bratunac." Since
9 my neighbour, my first-door neighbour was in charge of that, I told
10 Resid, "I believe I can help you." Although at the time, I was not a
11 member of the SDS. I was a member of the SDP, the former communist party,
12 the league of communists.
13 So I was not of the same political mind as MD, but we were
14 neighbours, we were close. That's why I went to see MD. I couldn't find
15 him right away. I found him only around 9.00 in the evening at a meeting,
16 and --
17 Q. Let me just ask you, is this part of the discussion that you had
18 with him on the 13th of July, 1995?
19 A. Yes. I asked Resid, "When I provided you with that pass, why
20 didn't you leave? Why didn't you go to Skopje?" Because if he had gone
21 to Skopje, he would not have been in Srebrenica. And he said, "I made a
22 mistake. I should have left on the 6th." Because on the 6th, in the
23 morning, I gave him the passes. But he didn't leave on the 6th, he left
24 on the 7th. He had a very small car at the time. He had a small Fiat.
25 And Skopje is far away, so he thought that he would first go to Bjelevac,
1 some five kilometres from Bratunac and then on the 7th he was going to
2 leave to Skopje to have a whole day ahead of him.
3 However, on the bridge of the Drina, he crossed to Serbia, and
4 came to Ljubovija, which is some three kilometres away from the bridge on
5 the Drina. And up there, by the motel, the Serbian police from Ljubovija
6 stopped him and ordered him to go back to Bratunac.
7 Q. All right.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to --
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think that's a good time for the break. Thank
10 you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break starting from now.
12 Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can proceed, Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Witness, after you left ZC, C-h, did you return to Bratunac?
18 A. Yes, after seeing him, yes. I briefly went back to DT, we
19 exchanged a few sentences, and then in 10 or 15 minutes, I returned to my
21 Q. Now, after you went back to Bratunac, did you at any point after
22 that, go to any school in relation to Resid Sinanovic?
23 A. Yes, I asked ZCh how long Resid would stay there. He said, "In
24 the afternoon I will have to transfer him to the elementary school, Branko
25 Radicevic." He said that our police was over there, that's what he said.
1 And I'm going to tell the policemen to take special care of Resid, so that
2 nobody mistreats him.
3 And, having heard that our police were securing the school over
4 there, I also passed down that street near the school, because it's the
5 same way, either to take that road or the main road to the municipal
6 building, and in front I saw a policeman, in front of the school, whom I
7 knew. And I told him, if they bring Resid there, that he should take care
8 of him a bit, if he should need water and so on, so that nobody mistreats
9 him. That was the only time that I went to the school or passed by the
10 school. But the school actually is about 100 metres from the municipal
12 Q. And, if you could, could you just describe that school and any
13 adjacent buildings?
14 A. It's a three-storey building, the school building. I used to be a
15 teacher myself, and I know that the school has 16 classrooms; it's a large
16 school. And it also has a gym. Near the school, as I said, is the
17 municipal building, some 50 to 75 metres away. There is also the old
18 secondary school centre. It's an old building, the old building of the
19 construction school. There was also a hangar there that was dilapidated
20 and that was used as a workshop by the secondary school centre before the
21 war. On the other side are private houses, close to the school. This is
22 a brief description of the school.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I want to draw your attention to the 14th
24 of July, 1995, if I could. Now, were you working on that day?
25 A. Yes. From 7.00 onwards, perhaps a few minutes before, but
1 actually the work hours were from 7.00 a.m., that's when I would usually
2 get to work. So on the 14th, I came to my office at that time.
3 Q. And while you were at your office, did anybody visit you?
4 A. Yes, perhaps it was at 7.00 or a few minutes after 7.00, two
5 people came to my office.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could just go into private session for a
7 moment, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session, please.
9 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
12 Q. Can you just tell us the names of the -- or the name of the people
13 or person who came to visit you?
14 A. One of them was Jovan Nikolic, and the other one was Dragan
15 Nikolic. Jovan Nikolic was a director of the cooperative, and Dragan
16 Nikolic was also a director of the cooperative. How can I explain that
17 organisation? In the Bratunac municipal region, there were several
18 cooperatives and they were joined, or associated in an organisation which
19 was called the complex cooperative organisation. The cooperative in
20 Kravica was part of this complex cooperative.
21 I cannot be sure, but at that time there was a kind of break-up,
22 and this association fell apart, so I cannot really be sure whether it was
23 Jole or Dragan Nikolic who was the director of the Bratunac cooperative.
24 It was on the cusp of Dragan Nikolic going -- outgoing as director and
25 Jovan Nikolic being appointed. So we were just talking about what had
1 happened the previous afternoon, what happened in the afternoon in the
2 cooperative in Kravica.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we can go to open session.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's revert to open session, please.
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. You've indicated that you had a discussion with these individuals
10 that came to see you about Kravica. Can you tell us what it is that they
11 told you?
12 A. They told me that the day before, in the afternoon, there were
13 killings of Muslims in the cooperative. Until then I hadn't heard of
14 that. The first I heard of it was from them and it surprised me very
15 much; I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe
16 that something like that had happened. Especially because I had been
17 present at the meeting at the Fontana, where it was agreed that there
18 would be an evacuation, that it would all be done properly. And then
19 suddenly there is this.
20 It had a devastating effect on me. I was shocked. I couldn't
21 believe it. Unfortunately, it was true, and it did happen.
22 Q. At some point after your conversation with these individuals, did
23 you get a call to go to the SDS offices?
24 A. My conversation with those two was just a conversation and getting
25 information. I don't know why they came to tell me that. I assume that
1 it was because they knew -- well, they came to see me frequently, and they
2 probably felt the need to tell someone, to discuss it with someone. So
3 perhaps, after two hours after the conversation with them they told me
4 about it, they stayed with me for an hour or so, I can't be quite certain
5 about that.
6 But then sometime after that, at 9.30 or thereabouts, the
7 secretary of the Serbian Democratic Party called me. She asked me if she
8 could come to the office. She asked me if I could go to the office
9 because there was a man waiting there to see me. I said I would go there,
10 and that's what I did.
11 Q. Okay. Can you tell us what happened when you went to the office?
12 First, did you meet this man?
13 A. Yes, I did. I went to the office. When I entered the office I
14 saw the secretary there, and also a male. The secretary was sitting at
15 her desk, and the person was sitting at the coffee table. When I entered,
16 the person addressed me. They shook my hand. I didn't know that person
17 before, it was the first time that I saw him. He introduced himself. And
18 he offered me a seat.
19 Q. What did he tell you his name was?
20 A. His name was Beara. As soon as I saw "Colonel Beara" on the
21 uniform. So I was there with him for 10 minutes at the most. It was an
22 informal conversation: "How are you, what's going on? How is it in
23 Bratunac? How are you dealing with all the work?" And so on. So, as I
24 said, it was an informal conversation, from what I can recall of it.
25 The SDS offices actually had two rooms, there were two offices.
1 The first one is the office where the secretary was sitting and where the
2 Colonel was and then there is an entrance to the other office. It's like
3 a leather-covered, padded door. And that's where the office was where the
4 president sat. And the Colonel told me, "Will you come to the other
5 office? There are some people there who would like to talk to you."
6 He didn't tell me who these people were or what they wanted to
7 talk about with me. I stood up, I opened the door, I entered that office,
8 and there I saw two officers whom I didn't know. In uniforms. I think
9 that one of them was a colonel and the other one was a lieutenant-colonel.
10 Q. Can you tell us whether or not -- whether or not these individuals
11 were members of the brigade, Bratunac Brigade?
12 A. No, they were not. They were not definitely members, because I
13 knew all of the members of the Bratunac Brigade, and these people I was
14 seeing for the first time. If I saw them now, I wouldn't recognise them.
15 Because I had never seen them before, they didn't introduce themselves,
16 they didn't tell me their names. And they were not from the Bratunac
17 Brigade. That, I'm 100 per cent sure. Because I knew people from the
19 Q. Did you ever ask the Colonel about who these people were, or might
20 have been?
21 A. Colonel Beara?
22 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
23 A. I never met the Colonel again. Not when I was leaving. I didn't
24 ask him who these people were. After finishing the conversation with
25 those people, I left the SDS, I said good-bye to the Colonel, I didn't
1 comment anything with him, we didn't really talk about what happened
2 inside with these other men.
3 Q. Okay. Can you tell us what transpired, what the conversation
4 was -- you had with these other men?
5 A. The people very quickly moved to the question of why they had
6 called me over to see them. They asked me, "What do your -- the companies
7 in your municipality have of construction equipment, machinery?" I said
8 that our brickworks had a construction machine called a ULT, and the
9 utilities company had a smaller machine called a SKIP.
10 Q. Could you just describe what those machines are, so we're clear on
11 the record what you're talking about?
12 A. The ULT machine is a construction machine. I'm not an expert in
13 construction, but I can describe it as well as I can. It has a large
14 bucket, it's a large machine. And I think it's used for loading. I don't
15 think, I know it's used for loading. And it has a large bucket. Perhaps
16 the size of that desk or maybe a bit smaller.
17 The SKIP machine is owned by the utilities company and it is used
18 for digging. It is a very small piece of machinery.
19 Q. And did you do anything in relation to -- to getting these
20 machines or providing these people with access to those machines?
21 A. They asked if we would be able to place the ULT machine at their
22 disposal, and I said that I think so, yes, and that I would call the
23 director of the brickworks, whose name was NN.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. If we could just go into private session
1 for a moment.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session
3 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
5 Q. Could you just tell us the name of the person?
6 A. Nedzo Nikolic, the director of the brickworks.
7 Q. While we're in private session, did you call anybody else?
8 A. No, I didn't. I just called him.
9 Q. Okay. Now, during the time that you were in this meeting with
10 these two other individuals, a colonel and lieutenant-colonel, was -- was
11 Colonel Beara in the room with you?
12 A. No. Colonel -- the Colonel stayed --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we remain in private session?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, I'm sorry, we can go to open session.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's revert to open session. Thank you.
16 [Open session]
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you repeat your question, please.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, I will.
20 Q. During the time you were in the meeting with these two other
21 individuals, the colonel and lieutenant-colonel, was Colonel Beara in the
22 room with you?
23 A. No, Colonel Beara stayed in the first office where the secretary
24 was sitting. Actually, that was where I found him when I came in. He
25 didn't come into this other office where I was with the other men.
1 Q. And did you at any point discuss the subject matter of that
2 meeting with Colonel Beara?
3 A. No. The Colonel did not tell me, when I came, why I had been
4 summoned over. And when I came out, he didn't ask me, "Did you make any
5 kind of agreement? What did you agree on?" As they would say, we didn't
6 discuss work, if I can put it that way. We didn't discuss the reasons why
7 I had been summoned to come over.
8 Perhaps it's interesting also to say this: When those people told
9 me about the machinery, that they needed it, I had an idea why they would
10 need the machine. And the previous meeting I had with these two, JN and
11 ND, kind of clued me in about why they would need the machinery, that
12 that's why they would need the machinery, for that sort of thing.
13 Remembering 1992 and the person who operated the machine, that
14 person is my --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead. Sorry for the interruption,
18 but we needed to discuss something before the witness finished answering
19 the question.
20 So you were saying, Witness, that perhaps it's interesting also to
21 note this, when those people told me about the machinery, that they needed
22 it, I had an idea why they would need the machine. And the previous
23 meeting I had with these two, JN and ND, kind of clued me -- gave me a
24 clue about why they would need the machinery. And that's why they would
25 need the machinery, for that sort of thing. And you were going to explain
1 when I interrupted you. If you could continue from there, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that we misunderstood each
3 other. In that context, these two others that I first met have nothing to
4 do with these other two, but when they informed me about what had
5 happened, I myself formed a kind of assumption about why they would be
6 needing this machine. So I hope that's clear.
7 I started to talk about the man who was operating the machinery.
8 I knew him. And I know that in 1992 he had an unpleasant experience while
9 operating the machinery, doing the kind of work that I had an idea that
10 the machine was needed for. So I told the people, "You will get the
11 machine for sure, but the person who operates the machine is not for that
12 sort of thing." And then one of the two men actually told me very
13 sharply, "It's not up to you to say who can work on the machine and who
14 cannot." And I said, "I'm sorry, it was just a remark and it doesn't
15 oblige you to anything." And then I withdrew from the office with the
16 promise that the machine would be placed at their disposal.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE:
18 Q. Now, did you discuss with either of these men, in this meeting,
19 your concern, or your idea, as to what use those machines would be put?
20 A. Which people? The people at 7.00 in the morning or these
21 officers, army officers? I don't know who you mean. I don't know which
22 ones you mean.
23 Q. I mean the officers, the later -- the later of the two meetings.
24 A. The officers didn't tell me why they would be needing the machine.
25 It was my assumption that they would possibly need it for that, or perhaps
1 for some kind of combat action, digging trenches or something. But having
2 heard about what had happened in Kravica, I thought to myself that perhaps
3 that's why it would be needed. But they didn't tell me what the machine
4 would be used for, that machine. I wasn't told what it would be used for.
5 That was my assumption. And it was my attempt to protect the man who kept
6 fainting in 1992, when he was doing this kind of hard work with that
7 machine. But I said don't take that for anything, it was just an
8 assumption, it doesn't commit anyone to anything.
9 Q. Now, the manner in which these men approached you with respect to
10 acquiring that equipment, was that the common way of proceeding normally
11 between civilian and military relations?
12 A. Well, it's like this: In the Blagojevic case, there was debate
13 about that; how you can get a machine. There were three ways to get the
14 equipment. First, you can get it through the secretariat for national
15 defence to requisition the machine. The command of the Bratunac Brigade
16 could address -- could directly address the Executive Board, but the
17 command could also address the director directly.
18 In this case, they, the people whom I didn't know, these officers,
19 asked me, *as the president of the Executive Board. There was no written
20 request, just an oral request, and I've already told you where that was
21 and how the usual way to do it, since the Bratunac Brigade communicated,
22 or DT, the logistics deputy, was the one who would do these kinds of
23 things directly with us. I mean, he was authorised to do that by the
24 commander, but this time, this is how it happened.
25 Perhaps it's a little bit out of the ordinary. Perhaps this was
1 the most unusual way to do it. Everything else would be more regular,
2 either to go through the secretariat or through the Bratunac Brigade, but
3 this time it didn't go like that, it went like this.
4 Q. Did that strike you as unusual? Had you been put in a position
5 like this before?
6 A. Well, you know, I understood it was war, and some things probably
7 do not proceed according to the rules or the law. I mean, perhaps there
8 is no time for certain things. Some things, well, also were done in a
9 roundabout way, perhaps not according to procedure and so on.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. If we could go into private session for
11 just a second.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
13 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
16 Q. You had mentioned that you were concerned about the operator of
17 this ULT equipment. And you said that you knew him, and I would like for
18 you to just put his name on the record so that we know who you're talking
20 A. Jurkovic [as interpreted], I cannot remember his first name. I
21 know the person. Durkovic. He was here, he testified in the Blagojevic
23 Q. All right.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not all right as yet. All right. Okay. We
25 are in private session, but one needs to be careful because I don't know
1 whether that person was a protected witness in the Blagojevic case or not.
2 So at the moment, now we switch back to open session. The witness
3 needs to be careful.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Can we go back to open
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course. Let's go back to open session, please.
7 [Open session]
8 MR. VANDERPUYE:
9 Q. You indicated that this individual you were concerned about
10 because he kept fainting in relation to an operation in 1992. Could you
11 just tell us what it was that he was doing?
12 A. Perhaps I was exaggerating a little bit saying that I was
13 concerned or worried. It wasn't that I was overly concerned; I just
14 wanted to spare the man of that. He was digging graves for the burial of
15 Muslims who were killed in 1992.
16 Q. Is that the idea that you had that the equipment would have been
17 used for in 1995?
18 A. Well, I've already said that. This is what I thought, as I heard
19 this from MJ and ND at 7.00. This was my assumption. I kept thinking to
20 myself that the machine might be needed for similar things, and that's why
21 I wanted to protect the man.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you for --
23 A. But nobody ever told me why the machine was actually needed. This
24 was just my conclusion.
25 Q. Okay. Well, thank you very much, Witness. I don't have any
1 further questions.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vanderpuye, if you are leaving that, as to what
3 happened in Kravica warehouse, although he said he was flabbergasted or
4 shocked and it had a devastating effect on him, he didn't give much of a
5 description of what he heard from those two gentlemen. So if you could
6 get as far as you can, the verbatim description of what they told to the
7 witness, please.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Certainly. Certainly, Your Honour.
9 Q. You've heard the Judge's concern or question regarding to the
10 information that you received concerning Kravica. Can you be more
11 specific or as specific as you can, I should say, with respect to the
12 information that was conveyed to you by these two gentlemen that you met
13 at 7.00 in the morning?
14 A. They told me that on the 13th, in the afternoon, in a brutal way,
15 several hundreds of Muslims had been killed. I can't remember the exact
16 number, but I believe that the figure that they had mentioned was some 600
17 or 700 people. I tried to create a picture, being aware of the size of
18 that area, and I was shocked to hear that so many people could be squeezed
19 into such a small place and to be killed there.
20 I didn't go to see that, but according to their words, the corpses
21 were on top of each other in a very small room, some six to 700 people had
22 been killed there. Later on various figures were mentioned and I don't
23 believe that the truth has ever been found out. Nobody knows whether the
24 number of people killed were 500 or a thousand, but I believe that the
25 picture was terrible, that the killings had been committed by various
1 tools or rifles, hand-grenades, whatnot, all sorts of weapons.
2 Even they, these two men, when they had arrived to see all this,
3 that they saw some unknown men, people that they didn't know. And at one
4 point arms were drawn against these two people who had introduced
5 themselves as being the managers of that combine, then these people who
6 were committing the crimes cursed them and ordered them to get away.
7 There were some peasants who had their houses in the vicinity who
8 were also shouted at, an elderly person who resided there who is godfather
9 to one of the two, a very old and senile person. He also was shocked and
10 everybody else in the vicinity who were passing by. It was a terrible
11 thing. I can't even begin to describe how it was. I myself didn't see
12 it, but according to them, it was just atrocious. It was terrible, it was
13 devastating. It was shocking.
14 Q. Could you just tell us, did they provide you any information as to
15 the state of the area at the time that they came to see you?
16 A. I don't know what area are you referring to. The building is on
17 the very road from Bratunac to Kravica and further on to Konjevic Polje.
18 It is some 10 kilometres [as interpreted] from the asphalt road, there is
19 a fence, and you can actually see it on the road. It's actually 10 metres
20 from the asphalt road.
21 Q. What I'm referring to is the condition of the building at the time
22 that they came to see you in the sense of whether or not it had been
23 cleaned up or was in the process of being cleaned up or anything of that
25 A. Nothing had been done. They did ask me what we should do. I said
1 nothing, we are powerless. It's up to the army. The army knows what to
2 do, we're not supposed to interfere. This is not our job. So we did not
3 arrive at any conclusions as to do something, that we should do something.
4 This was just information, but we did not act upon it. We didn't know
5 what to do. It was just information.
6 Q. All right. Well, thank you very much, Witness. I don't have any
7 further questions at this point.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 Who is going first?
10 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I'll be
11 the first to cross-examine the witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Go ahead.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Mrkic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. I am a bit confused about the process of going into private
17 session or remaining in open session. I will try and be cautious and
18 avoid the danger of making a mistake in light of what has been happening
19 so far, but let me apologise in advance.
20 When we are talking about the 11th of July, 1995, yesterday you
21 stated that on that day you were in a village called Pribicevac?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In the vicinity, was there the command post of the Bratunac
25 A. Yes. This was not the command post of the Bratunac Brigade; it
1 was the command post of the 3rd Battalion, i.e., up there, this was the
2 zone of responsibility of the 3rd Battalion. I suppose that this was also
3 the command -- I wouldn't know. I'm not sure. It was called a command
4 post, but whether this was the command post of the 3rd Battalion or the
5 Bratunac Brigade, I wouldn't be sure of that. I believe that Colonel
6 Blagojevic who was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade was not there.
7 Maybe General Krstic was there at that command post. Maybe this was also
8 the command post of the corps, I don't know. I'm not sure.
9 In any case, Colonel Blagojevic, the commander of the Bratunac
10 Brigade, was not there. This was referred to as a command post, and I
11 know that General Krstic was there. From the place where I was, where --
12 am I -- am I -- am I going too far? I apologise. Am I saying too much?
13 Q. I would kindly ask you to answer my questions. I don't have much
14 time. Just please be very concise and straightforward.
15 A person very close to you was there, if I understood you well?
16 A. Maybe some 200 or 250 metres away from the command post.
17 Q. Who was the commander to you and that person very close to you?
18 A. The commander of the 3rd Battalion.
19 Q. What commander? Was it Colonel Blagojevic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. As you've told us, you had a very unpleasant encounter with
22 General Mladic. When was the next time when you saw General Mladic?
23 A. It was on the following morning, on the 12th.
24 Q. And this is the event that you described as having taken place at
25 the command of the Bratunac Brigade?
1 A. Yes, at 8.00.
2 Q. And if I understood you well, it was MD who invited you to come to
3 that meeting?
4 A. MD. But he himself did not appear at that meeting. MD.
5 Q. And who told you that you were supposed to be at the 10.00 meeting
6 at Hotel Fontana?
7 A. General Mladic told me, and LJS that, just the two of us.
8 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown Exhibit 2D81?
9 Page number 3 in B/C/S, please. I will kindly ask the witness to read
10 that part. Therefore, I would like us to go into private session.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We will go into private session.
12 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
13 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] This is the English version, but
14 that's okay.
15 Q. This is your interview that you provided to the investigators of
16 the OTP on the 28th of February. Do you remember, did you talk to
17 Mr. Ruez on 28th February, 1998?
18 A. In Pale.
19 Q. I apologise. It was on the 25th?
20 A. Yes, in Pale, yes. I remember that.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We were doing fine, but you are now moving a little
22 bit too fast. So if you could allow a short pause between question and
23 answer, please.
24 Witness, this is important because we have interpreters who need
25 to translate to us into English and French what you are saying in the
1 Serbo-Croat language. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to bear that in mind.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir.
4 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. I just wanted to point to you line 19. You were discussing the
6 organisation of that meeting in the Hotel Fontana on the 12th of July,
7 1995. Could you please read the question that starts in line 19. The
8 initials JR are the initials of Mr. Ruez, and he's asking you something.
9 Can you please read line 19? Maybe I can read it to you. It says, "How
10 were you informed that --"
11 A. I have in front of me. Thank you. Yes, I have it. I have it.
12 Q. Line 21 that you can't see very well.
13 A. It says I was informed by Deronjic. I can see that.
14 Q. You say here that it was Deronjic who informed you. Can you tell
15 us who Deronjic is?
16 A. May I? Miroslav Deronjic was the president of the local SDS, and
17 I believe that at that time President Karadzic had appointed him as the
18 civilian commissioner for Bratunac and Srebrenica.
19 Q. That's enough. Thank you.
20 A. Enough. Okay.
21 Q. To the investigator's question, you answered that Miroslav
22 Deronjic informed you that you should attend that meeting. Here you say
23 that General Mladic told you that you were supposed to attend the meeting.
24 I would like to clarify that. Can you clarify this for us?
25 A. I'll try and clarify this. I did not mention the meeting at 8.00
1 at the command of the Bratunac Brigade in this interview. I didn't
2 mention it because I did not consider this 8.00 encounter as a meeting.
3 Q. This is not what I'm asking you.
4 A. I'm just trying to establish a link. That's why I said that
5 Deronjic had informed me. It was Deronjic who had informed me about that
6 8.00 meeting. Deronjic himself did not appear for that 8.00 meeting and
7 when I was providing this interview to Mr. Ruez, I did not find it
8 important to make a distinction. Deronjic did not [as interpreted] come
9 at 8.00, but he did come at 8.00 and I did not see it as very important
10 who was it who informed me about the 10.00 meeting. But now I know. I
11 know that it is important because Deronjic had not appeared at the command
12 at 8.00 and he had informed me about the 8.00 meeting. It was only
13 logical that it could have been only General Mladic who could inform me
14 about the 10.00 meeting. That's why I never said to Mr. Ruez that it was
15 General Mladic who informed me about that meeting because, at the time, I
16 did not deem that to be important. The fact that either one or the other
17 informed me about the meeting is something that I didn't deem important.
18 The most important thing for me was that I attended the meeting and it is
19 only now that I realise that it does make a difference. This is my
21 You have to bear in mind that this was a long time ago.
22 Q. I just wanted to clarify this thing.
23 A. Did I make myself clear now?
24 Q. Can we go to the 12th of July. You said that in the evening you
25 were --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we remain in private session or can we move in
2 open session now?
3 MR. MRKIC: Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's move into open session, please.
5 [Open session]
6 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On the 12th, in the afternoon and in the evening, you were in the
8 your office, as far as I understood you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you had a visitor, a visitor with initials DM?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What did you talk about?
13 A. I don't think we talked shop. It was a casual thing; we did not
14 have an agenda. We were chatting, we were probably drinking coffee.
15 Q. Did you talk about the situation in Potocari, since you had been
17 A. Yeah, well, it was an unavoidable subject. There was war, and I'm
18 sure that we discussed war operations. We compared notes. It is only
19 logical that we spoke about that. But there was no protocol to that. It
20 wasn't on any agenda because there was no agenda. It was -- I mean, we
21 could have easily been sitting in a cafe and discussed the same things.
22 But we didn't. We were sitting in the office, we had a telephone there,
23 and that was it.
24 Q. When you went to see what was happening in front of the municipal
25 building, did that person go with you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And was that person helping the people who were in the buses?
3 A. Together with me. As much as I helped, they helped too.
4 Q. And when you received information that the buses were at the
5 pitch, the field, what I understood you is that there was a possibility
6 that the situation would be unsafe. You said that old-age pensioners were
7 sent there to create a kind of impression there. Who sent them? Who
8 ordered it?
9 A. I really cannot be sure about that. I didn't order it. So I
10 wasn't the one who said they sent the old-age pensioners there. I don't
11 know whether this was done by the police station that is close by the
12 playing field and that is responsible for the security and the law and
13 order in town anyway, but somebody did it in any case.
14 Q. My next question is, how do you know that this was done? Who told
15 you that?
16 A. I heard it. I don't know who told me. I really cannot speculate
17 now. I just want to be to the point and brief.
18 Q. I -- from what I understood from your testimony, is that you met
19 that evening, the person with the initials MD?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that you asked him what was happening and that he told you
22 that there was a certain person from a certain place, that they planted
23 this on him, that's what you said?
24 A. Yes. That was his reaction to my question.
25 Q. Can you please tell me, the person who is from this other place,
1 is that a person from the military structures or the civilians structures?
2 Who is that person? What do they do?
3 A. The person is from civilian structures with a lot of influence in
4 the community where he lived and broader.
5 Q. If you can explain a little bit how you understood that, that that
6 person was creating or planting this situation for the people in Bratunac?
7 A. I don't know why. It's not clear to me why MD used that
8 expression, it's a little bit vulgar. I'm not sure why that person MD
9 used that term, to plant something, to frame someone. Probably thinking
10 that they wanted to protect their own place. That's why they were pushing
11 that transport to Bratunac, to avoid any kind of mess in his own town and
12 he used his influence to do that to Bratunac, so that was MD's view, his
13 opinion. I didn't say that.
14 Q. I wanted to clarify one more situation about the school, because
15 there was something unclear about the school. Is it the same school where
16 Muslim prisoners were placed in 1991 [as interpreted]?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] If we can correct the transcript. It
19 is 1992 and not 1991.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It will be corrected. Thank you.
21 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. On the 13th of July, 1995, you described all the things that were
23 happening, and you described a certain conversation that you had with
24 other persons and a conversation with Resid Sinanovic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you know at the time that Resid Sinanovic was suspected of
2 some war crime?
3 A. Yes, and I let him know that.
4 Q. Do you know that the person who allowed you to go and visit Resid
5 Sinanovic actually questioned him or interrogated him about that?
6 A. Yes, yes. I am aware of that.
7 Q. And how do you know that?
8 A. That he was a suspect?
9 Q. And that he was interrogated?
10 A. I know that he was suspected of a crime because Sinanovic told me
11 that when I asked him, "Resid, why didn't you escape from Srebrenica over
12 the Drina to Tara just like many other Muslims did and surrendered to the
13 Red Cross of Serbia. And then they were accommodated safely there."
14 He said, "I meant to do that, but I was in touch with -- with my
15 brother in Skopje through the radio."
16 Q. Well, you don't need to tell us the whole story. Maybe you can
17 just answer the question.
18 A. Ivanisevic's book had already been published in which it was
19 stated that Resid Sinanovic and Sinanovic's family was a family of war
20 criminals and he found out that Enzic's job is that, he is an investigator
21 and an interrogator in the military police and that's how I know that.
22 Enzic told me about it himself, that he had talked with him.
23 *Q. You also testified in the Blagojevic case and again you described
24 today three ways to requisition material and equipment?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Are you aware that actually the only legal way is to requisition
2 the equipment through the defence ministry of Republika Srpska, which is
3 then -- which then sends the request to the local authorities? *These
4 three ways that you described today, it is not said anywhere, and you
5 yourself didn't mention that one of the ways to go was to go through the
6 Executive Board. I made a mistake.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll leave it in your hands to redact, okay. Let's
8 proceed. She knows exactly where.
9 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you explain to me now if the legal way is the one that I
11 explained? First of all, do you agree with me that that is the legal way
12 to do it?
13 A. Yes, I agree that that is the legal way, and I also agree that
14 perhaps I did not adhere to procedure, but it was wartime. Some things
15 are done summarily, so perhaps this was done in this case too, that
16 procedure was respected, but it was done the way it was done. *And I want
17 to say that I'm not a lawyer, I'm a teacher, so I'm not really all that
18 versed in laws and regulations. I was just going along with things by
19 inertia. After all it was war.
20 Q. I completely agree with you.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We are taking care of some redactions. In the
23 meantime, you can proceed. But please be careful, both of you. If you
24 want to know what we are redacting we can tell you, but you can trust our
1 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
2 Q. The situation is a little bit unclear to me. You are not a
3 lawyer. It's a time of war, war conditions, and you are performing a
4 certain function. Did you have any lawyer that you were able to consult
6 A. Well, it's clear to me that not knowing the regulations can lead
7 to harm, but at the time, I didn't think that was necessary. I did have
8 someone like that, but I didn't think it was necessary. I could have
9 consulted -- I was perhaps caught unawares with the speed of things and
10 the request. I agree that I failed to adhere to procedure, but I don't
11 believe that I did anything wrong. That's how it was done.
12 Q. Do you know why I'm asking you that? I'm asking you that because
13 now, today, in your testimony, you told about the first meeting that you
14 had on the 14th of July, 1995, where you were informed that something
15 terrible had happened, and you said that yourself, in Kravica.
16 After that, you had a meeting, an hour and a half later or an hour
17 and a bit later, and you then find yourself in a situation in the way that
18 you described. So it's a little bit unclear to me.
19 A. You call that a meeting? As far as I was concerned, it was just
20 part of my ongoing, daily duties. I have meetings like that every day;
21 tens of meetings like that, a conversation of 10 or 15 minutes. It's not
22 a scheduled meeting. As far as I'm concerned, that is just my daily work,
23 ongoing, regular duties. And this meeting at the SDS was not something
24 that I considered to be a meeting, but just something that was ongoing. A
25 conversation that took place, I was there for 20 minutes at the most.
1 Q. Well, you can call that whatever you like, a working meeting, a
2 meeting, an encounter. The fact is that, according to your testimony, two
3 men who you don't know asked you to provide certain material and
4 equipment, and that you, beforehand, were aware that something had
5 happened. So my question is why, in that situation, did you not respect
6 the procedure, and if you were not familiar with the procedure, why didn't
7 you consult a lawyer?
8 A. I really wouldn't know. I did not. Why I didn't, I don't know.
9 Ten or 12 years since then, I don't know why I didn't -- I don't know if
10 there was time.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: He's answered this question on -- more than once
12 already. So let's move to the next item, please.
13 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. If it's not a problem, I would also like to ask you about this
15 situation with two men who are absolutely unknown to you. Did they
16 consult -- did you consult the Bratunac Brigade about them?
17 A. No, I didn't.
18 Q. Did you ask them where they came from?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Did you ask them in what capacity they were there?
21 A. Twelve years later, you're asking a lot of me. My memory since
22 then has faded a lot. I told you "no" in response to your previous two
23 questions, but perhaps I did. What I remember was that I did not.
24 Perhaps they told me that they were from the corps, but I don't remember
25 that now. But let's say that they did not say that, or that they were
1 not. I really cannot say now, after 12 years.
2 Q. All right. You remember, you don't remember, very well.
3 A. All right.
4 Q. Did you ask them why they needed the machinery?
5 A. No, I didn't. I said that already, that I had an idea for myself
6 why they needed the equipment.
7 Q. I agree with you that, after 12 years, memory fades. Does that
8 also imply that the events that are more recent are fresher in your
9 recollection? Why am I asking that? I am asking you that because you
10 talked with Mr. Ruez three years after that event, less than three years
11 after that, and you told Mr. Ruez, an investigator of the OTP, nothing
12 about this.
13 A. He didn't ask me anything about that.
14 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show the witness
15 Exhibit 2D81. In Serbian, it's page 14, lines 33 and 34.
16 Q. If you look at Mr. Ruez's question, which begins on line 33, where
17 he says, "So, during July, 1995, you have no knowledge of there being a
18 need for mass burials of victims or other persons?" It's a very direct
20 On the next page, on page 15, line 1, there is your answer. And
21 your answer is negative, that you didn't have any information, you
22 practically just said "no." But this implies that you didn't have any
23 information about there being any need for mass burials of victims or
24 other persons. So Mr. Ruez asked you directly about this.
25 A. I thought he was asking me about Serb burials.
1 Q. Why did you think that?
2 A. That's what I thought. I don't know why I thought that. But at
3 that time, that's what I thought, that he was asking about those burials.
4 Because we were dealing with burials of Serbian victims directly, yes.
5 Q. I really don't want to listen about 1993, the number of people
6 then. This is a very direct question. And my direct question is about
7 July of 1995 and the mass burial of victims and other persons. And your
8 answer was "no." In other words, this was not about Serbs, about a
9 different period, for example, 1993, no. This is about July 1995, and you
10 provided a negative answer.
11 My question to you is this: Can you explain why did you say to
12 Mr. Ruez that you didn't know anything about the need to bury --
13 A. I suppose --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: He has answered the question already, Mr. Mrkic.
15 Move to your next question. Once he gives you an answer, unless it's an
16 unclear answer, you should proceed to the next one.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that I didn't understand
18 Ruez completely. If that was his goal, he could have asked me some
19 subquestions. He could have clarified a little. I misunderstood his
20 question. I said "no." If he hadn't been satisfied, maybe he should have
21 asked me additional questions so as to make it absolutely clear what he
22 wanted. In this case, my answer would have been different. But he did
23 not lead me properly in that interview.
24 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Since we're talking about that, *I suppose that you remember your
1 *evidence in the Blagojevic case, do you?
2 A. I suppose I don't know what you're referring to.
3 *Q. You were asked the same thing in the Blagojevic case, and your
4 answer was that at the time you did not believe this to be at all
5 important. I can show it to you.
6 A. I can tell you now that Ruez also didn't think that this was
7 important. If it had been important to him, he would have continued, ask
8 me questions along the same line. I don't...
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are taking care of the redactions. Don't worry.
10 Go ahead. But if, possible, please, you could refrain from referring to
11 certain events that could expose his identity.
12 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Do you remember the conversation that you had with Mr. Ruez when
14 you spoke about the meeting that took place in the early morning hours of
15 the 14th of July when you were told about the events that had taken place
16 in Kravica? Did you ever mention that to Mr. Ruez?
17 A. Is there a document? Is there a transcript?
18 Q. Yeah, there is a transcript of that interview. There is a
19 recording of that interview. I can provide it to you during the break.
20 But I didn't find it anywhere.
21 A. I suppose I didn't mention it then. If it's not in the
22 transcript, then I didn't mention it. If I had mentioned it, I'm sure you
23 would have been able to find it.
24 Q. Can you agree with me then that in February of 1998 you never
25 mentioned Colonel Beara to Mr. Ruez?
1 A. I didn't. If it's not in the transcript, then I did not.
2 Q. Can you agree with me that in February 1998 you didn't say a thing
3 to Mr. Ruez about the meeting that you allegedly had with these two
4 officers on the 14th of July, 1995?
5 A. I didn't.
6 Q. Can you also agree with me that in February 1998 you also didn't
7 say anything to Mr. Ruez about the fact that some machines were required
8 from you, that something to that effect was asked from you?
9 A. He never asked me that.
10 Q. Very well, but who asked you that? Who did?
11 A. When?
12 Q. The first time ever. When was it the first time you were ever
13 asked about that?
14 *A. I suppose that it was Karnavas in the Blagojevic case. I really
15 can't remember. I'm saying "perhaps" or "probably." I'm not sure who was
16 the first to ask me that.
17 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Can we go into private session,
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, we are also redacting. Let's go
20 into private session.
21 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session already.
23 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Will you agree with me that the first time you mentioned that was
25 as a Defence witness in Blagojevic? On page -- on the side of Colonel
1 Blagojevic, actually.
2 A. Let me tell you, I'm not sure, but I'm sure that I was telling the
3 truth. That's what I'm sure of. When, where I said it for the first
4 time, I really can't be of -- sure of that. But I adhere by what I said.
5 It is possible that it was then when I mentioned it the first time. I'm
6 not sure, I don't want to speculate. But I did say it.
7 Q. Do you know what the Defence case of Mr. Blagojevic was?
8 A. I beg your pardon?
9 Q. What was the Defence case of Mr. Blagojevic, that he was not in
10 the area at the time and that the security officers are responsible for
11 whatever happened?
12 A. Don't ask me that.
13 Q. I'm asking you this because nothing of --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: He made it before us, actually. So your next
15 question, please.
16 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] We can go back into open session,
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go back to open session then, please.
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
21 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. When you were talking about DM, can you tell us, please, what was
23 your relationship, relationship between the two of you?
24 A. There were two people with the same initials, DM.
25 Q. The one who was director.
1 A. Well, we had a good relationship. We resided in the same place,
2 we were the same generation, we were friends before the war, during the
3 war, we are still friends and peers. We cooperated, he was the director
4 of the public utility company, and the founder of the municipality, and we
5 had an extremely good relationship.
6 Q. You are talking about your personal relationship. What about your
7 professional relationship? Did he report to you, was it he responsible to
8 you, i.e., the institution that you worked for?
9 A. Yes, when it came to the supply of the city with water and also
10 when it came to garbage collection. In those two respects he was
11 responsible to the municipality and to the Executive Board. When it came
12 to the municipal utilities this was within the purview of the
14 Q. When you say that you also imply the use of some machinery?
15 A. Yes, but only if they are used to repair the mains, the water
16 infrastructure, and so on and so forth.
17 Q. So we're talking about regular maintenance, regular circumstances?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What about extraordinary circumstances?
20 A. What's extraordinary?
21 Q. For example, natural disasters?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. War operations?
24 A. Yes, the public utilities and the civilians' protection would
25 intervene together.
1 Q. And what about war operations?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down, please. You're running too fast. Thank
4 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. War operations, the engagement of machinery in war operations?
6 A. I don't think that they were responsible before the Executive
7 Board, no.
8 Q. Also, who did they report to?
9 A. The Ministry of Defence and the secretariat for national defence.
10 Q. So we're now talking legalities here. In your personal and
11 professional relationship that was very close, as far as I understood you,
12 did that person inform you about any of his activities during that period?
13 A. No.
14 Q. He didn't say a thing?
15 A. No.
16 Q. That he had some meetings?
17 A. No.
18 Q. I am asking you as a person who was an official, in case the
19 machinery was involved in any activities, especially the machinery that
20 belonged to the public utilities, would that require a report?
21 A. To whom?
22 Q. A report on the work within that institution, within that
24 A. There might have been a report. Maybe a report was drafted, I
25 don't know.
1 Q. But I'm asking you whether that would be a customary thing, to
2 draft a report, on the use of such machinery?
3 A. There should be a paper trail on everything. If a piece of
4 machinery was used, then there would also be fuel used and there should be
5 a paper trail to that effect.
6 Q. What about locations?
7 A. I don't know. I was not director of that company. I wouldn't
8 know. I did not have any machinery at my disposal.
9 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private session?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
11 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
13 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Let me ask you something about your relationship with Mr. Miroslav
15 Deronjic. Would you agree with me that Miroslav Deronjic was factually
16 the power-wielder in Bratunac, that all the power was in his hands?
17 A. I would agree with you partly. Miroslav Deronjic was the number
18 one person in Bratunac with the highest authority, most influence. I
19 can't say that everybody asked him about everything a hundred per cent of
20 the things, but he had the say in quite a lot of things.
21 Q. What was your relationship with him in the political sense, in the
22 sense of the organisation of the civilian powers?
23 A. First of all, we were neighbours. Our -- we are -- we were
24 first-door neighbours. I am a bit older than him. We were very good
25 neighbours; very, very good neighbours. I can't say that we shared the
1 same political opinions. He joined the SDS at the beginning of
2 multi-party system, and I was with the SDP and it was only 1996 that I
3 joined the SDS. However, irrespective of that, we had a good
4 relationship. We respected each other's opinions. He had more influence.
5 We all respected him and we held him in high esteem.
6 Q. I don't think I'll be able to wrap up this topic within a minute.
7 It will be my suggestion that we have our next break now. Are we in
8 private session? Excuse me.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go to open session.
10 [Open session]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's time to have a break. So you will continue
12 your cross-examination in 25 minutes' time, Mr. Mrkic. Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So, before you continue, Mr. Mrkic, Judge Stole
16 cannot be with us for the last session, due to unavoidable reasons. So we
17 are proceeding pursuant to Rule 15 bis (A).
18 Yes, Mr. Mrkic.
19 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Since we
20 have started with this topic in private session, I would like to ask to
21 return to private session, please?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. Let's revert to private session,
24 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
25 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. What was your relationship with Mr. Deronjic in political terms?
2 Was he your superior, were you obliged to listen to his orders,
4 A. From 1996 he was my superior, because that was when I joined the
5 SDS. Before that, I was not in the party, however the party put me
6 forward, even though I wasn't a member, for the post of president of the
7 Executive Board in 1994.
8 Q. In 1994, when you came to that post, did you receive any orders
9 from him?
10 A. Well, he wasn't really our superior; it wasn't his practice. We
11 had our own board. It was a seven-member body, and we wouldn't be making
12 all the decisions. Sometimes he would attend these conferences, if some
13 topic of interest would be on the agenda.
14 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
15 Exhibit 2D81. The English version is on page 11, lines 29 to 33, and in
16 Serbian, page 12, lines two to six. This is the English -- this is the
17 Serbian version.
18 Can we please split the screen so that we can have both versions
19 on the monitor? Can we scroll down the English version, please? The
20 Serbian version is fine. These are lines 29 to 33 in English, and in
21 Serbian, lines two to six.
22 Q. In the interview that you gave to Mr. Ruez, you said, amongst
23 other things, that you received orders directly from Deronjic because
24 Deronjic was in charge of civilian affairs in the town, and he was
25 appointed by the president himself, and that you had no contact with the
1 army and they did not issue orders to you, the army. They followed their
2 line of work, and you followed your civilian line of work. If you can
3 explain, please, what you meant by that?
4 A. This is understood for that period of the 11th, 12th, the 13th and
5 the 14th, at the time Deronjic was appointed by President Karadzic as the
6 commissioner for civilian affairs for the municipalities of Bratunac and
7 Srebrenica. This did not refer to the period before the 11th of July,
8 1995. I think that this is clear now, isn't it?
9 During the Srebrenica operation, during that period, he was
10 appointed, and he was the person -- well, perhaps I wasn't precise enough
11 here regarding that contact with the military. We still had contacts with
12 them through the logistics deputy in terms of supplying the brigade with
13 food, cigarettes, and so on. This is something that was in the -- part of
14 the duties of the Executive Board. But during the actual operation, we
15 didn't have any contacts with the military, we didn't participate in that.
16 Q. That is precisely what I'm interested in. It says here that we
17 received orders directly from Deronjic. If we put that in the context of
18 the 11th of July, 1995, onwards, Mr. Deronjic was performing this post, he
19 was appointed to by President Karadzic. What kind of orders did you
20 receive from Deronjic? Can you please answer that first and then I will
21 would move to my next question?
22 A. I'm not thinking of anything particular. Perhaps I was imprecise
23 here when talking to Mr. Ruez. There were no particular orders. We
24 didn't do anything in particular, we just made sure that the town had
25 electricity, water, that the children went to school, that the shops were
1 supplied; that was our job. So that was when we were perhaps receiving
2 some sort of suggestion or an order from Deronjic, but we didn't receive
3 any particular orders in terms of the military. We were simply dealing
4 with the normal functioning of things in town.
5 Q. Does that imply that you were not obliged, if you did receive an
6 order from the military, to carry out that order?
7 A. We could only receive a request from the army, practically the
8 brigade needs 100 uniforms, for example. It needs 500 packs of
9 cigarettes, and all we could say was we have that and we can do or we
10 don't have it and we cannot do it. The army needs a hundred litres of
11 oil, for example, cooking oil; we have it. This is the kind of thing --
12 this kind of thing that has to do with logistic supplies of food,
13 clothing, cigarettes, and fuel. If petrol station had any and the army
14 needed a tonne of fuel, we either had it or didn't have it. It was clear
15 what sort of demands or requests the military made to us.
16 Q. I wasn't asking you about requests, I was asking you about orders.
17 A. No, no, the army did not issue orders to us.
18 Q. And what about war prisoners, prisoners of war, what was your
19 relationship with the army in that sense?
20 A. We had nothing to do with that.
21 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] If the witness can be shown Exhibit
22 P -- from the 65 ter list, P10, Exhibit P10. We are still in private
24 This is a decision on the appointment of the civilian commissioner
25 for the Serbian municipality of Srebrenica signed by the President of the
1 Republic, Radoslav -- Radovan Karadzic.
2 Q. I would like to draw your attention to Article 4, and if we can
3 comment on that, please. Specifically, in the context that we have just
4 talked about.
5 Paragraph 4 says, "The commissioner shall ensure that all civilian
6 and military organs treat all citizens who participated in combat against
7 the army of Republika Srpska as prisoners of war and ensure that the
8 civilian population can freely choose where they will live or move to."
9 You have just stated that, in terms of prisoners of war, civilian
10 organs did not have any jurisdiction. Through this decision, at least it
11 does not seem so to me. So can you please comment on this decision. From
12 what I understood, you are aware of the existence of this decision, right?
13 A. I did hear of it, but I'm not actually aware of it. This does not
14 concern the municipality of Bratunac, but the municipality of Serbian
16 Q. Yes, we're talking about the prisoners of war from Srebrenica.
17 A. This decision appointing Deronjic as commissioner for civilian
18 affairs of the municipality of Serbian Srebrenica is just that. But it
19 does not refer to Bratunac, the municipality of Bratunac and its own
20 organs. It had its own president and it is stated here very clearly.
21 Q. That's not the problem. I'm just placing that in the context of
22 what you told Mr. Ruez.
23 A. We had nothing to do with prisoners of war. Please, and -- please
24 don't ask me about that. I am very clear on that.
25 Q. I'm asking you that because you, in your testimony, said that in
1 front of the buses that were in Bratunac there were civilian policemen.
2 I'm also asking you because you, in your testimony, said that people from
3 civilian structures, you don't know who, sent retired persons to the
4 playing fields and the schools, if I understood that correctly, to make it
5 seem as if the security was stronger, because the situation was unsafe.
6 So I'm talking about prisoners of war from Srebrenica. I'm talking about
7 how Mr. Miroslav Deronjic was appointed as civilian commissioner with the
8 duties we have just mentioned, and I'm talking about that. And my
9 question is too long.
10 A. I don't see any sense in what you're asking. I don't know what
11 you mean when you say "civilian policemen." There is a term, military
12 police, these are people with white cross-belts and green camouflage
13 uniforms. We also have the civilian police, if that is the correct name.
14 They have blue camouflage uniforms, and if that's the kind of police that
15 you are thinking of. I don't know what you mean when you say civilian
16 police. These are members of the public security service.
17 Q. And under whose jurisdiction are they?
18 A. The ministry of internal affairs.
19 Q. And in Bratunac?
20 A. Again, under the jurisdiction of the ministry of internal affairs.
21 There is no third type of police. I know about two kinds of police,
22 military police, which is in the army, and there is the civilian police
23 which is under the ministry for internal affairs.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question by the
25 Defence counsel.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We will hear the next -- please move to another
2 topic or area please, Mr. Mrkic.
3 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Since we are still in private session, I would like to go back to
5 your meeting of the 14th of July, 1995. I would just like to ask you what
6 was the name of the secretary who called you to come to the municipal
7 offices of the SDS on the 14th of July in the morning.
8 A. Her name is Mirna.
9 Q. Do you know what her last name is?
10 A. She was single then; she wasn't married.
11 Q. You either know it or you don't know it?
12 A. I think Nikolic. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but I think her name
13 is Mirna. I know her father's name.
14 Q. Well, go ahead, if you can give us as many particulars as you can.
15 A. His name is Milorad, her father, he worked in the Jasanic forestry
16 service. That was it. She's now married and lives in Bajina Basta.
17 Q. I would also like to ask you if you remember the person that you
18 spoke with and who introduced himself as Colonel Ljubisa Beara?
19 A. Yes, I do remember that person.
20 Q. Can you describe that person?
21 A. I see that person here now. And the face has changed a lot. At
22 the time he looked very different, more vigorous, younger, in a better
23 mood. I don't know. Had I not known that it was Colonel Beara, I would
24 not have recognised him if I saw him in the street. I still have -- or I
25 still remember him as what -- what he looked like then. I wouldn't
1 recognise him now in the street.
2 Q. How do you know that it is Mr. Beara?
3 A. Well, let me put it this way: I regularly follow "The Hague
4 Diary" broadcast, which is shown for half an hour every Saturday, so I see
5 many faces. I'm familiar with the Trial Chamber, with many persons from
6 the Registry, the Prosecution. I know all these faces from seeing them on
7 television. I've seen His Honour Judge Agius in the Blagojevic case, I
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I must have looked very different then, because I --
10 I wasn't on the Blagojevic case.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Deronjic case. Well, in any
12 case, I know your face very well, and you look very good and you don't
13 change that much.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to another subject, Mr. Mrkic, please.
15 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Page 9269 redacted.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go back to open session.
2 [Open session]
3 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I would like to go back to the meeting that was held on the 14th.
5 The two officers -- but let's first confirm one thing. Mr. Beara did not
6 enter with you, the person who introduced himself as Colonel Beara didn't
7 enter with you?
8 A. No, he stayed in the office where I found him.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness and Mr. Mrkic --
10 MR. MRKIC: I didn't finish my question and he already --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not your fault, it's the witness, actually.
12 But please allow a short pause between question and answer. All right.
13 MR. MRKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] See if I understand the situation well, in that
15 other office you were there with the two officers?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was that the office belonging to the person that we have just
18 spoken about? We are in open session.
19 A. MD, yes.
20 Q. Where was he at the time?
21 A. I wouldn't know. I don't know.
22 Q. The two officers in question with whom you spoke and who never
23 introduced themselves to you, and you don't know which unit they belonged
24 to, were they at the Fontana meeting?
25 A. I don't think so, no. I wouldn't say that they were.
1 Q. So you saw them for the first time at that moment?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The person who you think was Colonel Ljubisa Beara, did you see
4 him before?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you see him at the Fontana?
7 A. No.
8 Q. When you said that a driver was required for that piece of
9 machinery, if I understand your testimony well, was it one of the officer
10 who told you that he would be providing a driver for that machine?
11 A. No, no. We never mentioned any drivers. I was the one who
12 mentioned that, because I thought a man has to go with the machinery.
13 Maybe they had somebody in the military, but that was my conclusion, if a
14 piece of equipment was required, then a man should accompany that piece of
15 equipment. And this person used that piece of equipment, and that's why I
16 thought he would accompany the machine. They never mentioned the person
17 who would be handling the machine, none of them did.
18 Q. What was their reaction?
19 A. It was a stormy reaction. One of them was very aggressive when he
20 said, "It's not up to you to say who can handle the machine and who
21 can't." And we stopped at that. I apologised. I said this was just a
22 remark, you have no obligations towards me, and that's how the
23 conversation ended.
24 And let me just tell you this: When I went to that office, when I
25 left the SDS premises, I spoke to the director of the brickworks on the
1 phone, and the machinery belonged to him, and I told him that people from
2 the military would come and that he should give them the machine. Whether
3 the people came to fetch the machine, whether he gave it to them, I don't
4 know. I never investigated. I don't know whether the machine was ever
5 given to these people or not. I don't know.
6 Q. Something else I would like to know about that. Which of the two
7 officers told you that it was not up to you to ponder that issue?
8 A. I wouldn't know.
9 Q. Colonel, lieutenant-colonel?
10 A. Don't know. He was very fresh with me and I was hardly waiting to
11 leave the room. I didn't know anybody. I didn't know any of them. If I
12 knew their names, then I would maybe shed some light on that, but I didn't
13 know any of the names. I wouldn't be able to put any names to any of the
14 faces, so I couldn't care less.
15 Q. Did you ever tell anybody about the meeting that you had after the
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you tell anything to the person that we discussed a while ago?
19 A. MD? No. I just called the director and told him what I told him.
20 Q. I would like to go back to another situation, which took place in
21 1992. We confirmed that in 1992, in the same school where the detainees
22 were kept in 1995, the detainees were also kept there in 1992. Do you
23 agree with me?
24 A. I agree with you, but I only know it as a private person. At that
25 time, I was not in any position in the municipality. I was just a foot
1 soldier; I had been mobilised to the army. I heard about that, that this
2 lasted for a few days in Bratunac, but I never went to the school myself.
3 At the time, I was not involved in politics. I was not in any position.
4 I was just a foot soldier. And it was not of any interest to me. I just
5 heard about it in passing.
6 Q. So you said this about the school. Let me ask you, according to
7 what you know, whether in 1992, Muslims were also kept in the playground?
8 A. Yes, they were.
9 Q. Do you know where they were buried?
10 A. Muslims? Don't know.
11 Q. Did you hear --
12 A. It is only -- I apologise. May I? It is only now that we hear
13 about graves being discovered, bodies being unearthed, but I myself don't
14 know where burials took place, who was buried, and this is something that
15 is being done now, and you can read about it in -- in the press and watch
16 it on TV.
17 Q. Can you agree with me when I say that during that period this was
18 still localised, at a local level, in 1992?
19 A. Yes, in Bratunac municipality. I don't know what the situation
20 was like in other municipalities. I suppose that Bratunac was not alone
21 in all that.
22 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Can I please consult with my
23 colleagues just for a moment, if you can bear with me, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I would just like to clarify a few more things. In the interview
3 that you gave to Mr. Ruez, you mentioned that you had some notes. If you
4 want me, I can find that in Exhibit Number 2D81, page number 3 in the
5 English version.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: If we are going to remain in open session, then I
7 suggest that, if it's shown up on the monitor, it's not broadcast and we
8 can remain in open session. Unless you prefer to go in private session,
9 in which case we would grant you that as well. You choose, Mr. Mrkic.
10 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] I believe we can stay in open session,
11 but the document should not be displayed.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know what you're asking me. But
13 go ahead, ask me. I assume what you're going to say. I know why I said
14 this to Ruez. I suppose that he asked me about some events, about some
15 dates that I was not sure about, that I didn't know, and I suppose --
16 actually, I know that I told him that I could check that. I did not have
17 any particular notes at work. I had an agenda where I entered various
18 dates. For example, on the 8th of February, I had a to-do list and I
19 ticked the boxes of the things that were done. That's what I meant when I
20 said that I had notes. In that agenda book, there were dates and entries
21 that could have jogged my memory. I did not keep a war diary, if that's
22 what I mean. I did not have any special notes. I'm sorry that I didn't,
23 actually. I don't -- I'm not saying that I wish for the things to repeat,
24 but I didn't keep a diary at the time.
25 Q. No, no --
1 A. Well I -- I may have jumped the gun. I might -- I thought that
2 you -- you were after this, after --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Witness. Perhaps you do realise yourself that
4 in this case maybe you are running, and running fast. I would suggest to
5 you that you wait until you hear the question that is put to you, and then
6 answer the question and nothing but the question. Because otherwise
7 you're going to be here for days and days. And it's in everybody's --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Mrkic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your understanding.
11 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. I'm asking you this because we also received from our learned
13 friend from the Prosecution another set of notes. I would just like to
14 see with you whether we are talking about the same set of notes or a
15 different set of notes. Did you make some notes recently?
16 A. Yes, I did. I made some notes here at the Tribunal when I was
17 listening to the tape of *my testimony in the Blagojevic case, and I made
18 notes of some dates and these are the notes that I gave to the Prosecutor.
19 The Prosecutor took those notes from me. I believe that this is the set
20 of notes that you're referring to.
21 Q. In other words, those are not the notes that you mentioned in the
22 interview with Mr. Ruez?
23 A. Of course not. Those are the notes that I made two days ago, not
24 those that I made in 1995.
25 Q. I've noticed two things in that set of notes. Maybe we could talk
1 about that. First of all, did you note the most important things or the
2 things that you remember the best?
3 A. If I had known that it would reach your hands, I would not have
4 made any notes at all.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness. Witness. Again, once more, I have to
6 remind you to please allow Mr. Mrkic, and for that matter, every our
7 lawyer that will be cross-examining you later on, to finish their question
8 first before you start jumping in with your answer. Okay?
9 Mr. Mrkic, I --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Again, thank you.
11 Mr. Mrkic's cross-examination has been going on for too long. And -- and
12 if I had known that these notes would ever reach either the Prosecution or
13 him, I would never have made them. I just kept the notes for myself. I
14 might have been imprecise or ambiguous, but what can I do now? It has
15 reached your hands. Go ahead, fire away.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Mrkic. We've got six, seven minutes left.
17 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] I'll try and finish within that period
18 of time.
19 Q. Let me ask you then. Why are you against either me or some other
20 colleagues of mine looking at these notes?
21 A. We've talked about everything. I just made a note of some dates
22 to jog my own memory. I am not bothered. I apologise for having said it
23 at all. I'm not bothered by the fact that you are aware of my notes.
24 Q. Is it because under 14 July 1995 you have noted that you were
25 invited by the SDS secretary to come to the SDS and that you met up with
1 Colonel Beara when you got there?
2 A. This is exactly what I said.
3 Q. But there is nothing in your notes about the meeting that you had
4 with the two officers and what they had asked you.
5 A. This was just a reminder. I knew that this happened at the time.
6 I did not have to remind myself of that. This is a reminder, a note, for
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I don't believe the witness has a copy of the
10 notes, and perhaps, you know, I have a copy of them, and I could furnish
11 it to them, but I would --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to suggest that Mr. Mrkic gives him his
13 back, and then we can move to another topic.
14 Do you want to pursue this line of questions on his notes, or not,
15 Mr. Mrkic?
16 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Just two or three questions and then I
17 will move to another topic.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have found a copy.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, by all means. Just show it to
21 Mr. Ostojic or Mr. Mrkic.
22 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
23 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Are these the notes that you kept?
25 A. Yes. Yes, it was in one notebook, and now this is a copy.
1 Q. If you can look at the part that refers to the 14th of July, 1995,
2 please. I think it's the one but last page.
3 A. I know where it is.
4 Q. I'm interested in what you wrote later, or afterwards, at the end.
5 Could you please read that?
6 A. May I take it? I repeat again, this was just a kind of summary
7 for me, and I wrote this at the end in order to just remind myself. Let
8 me read that. I did not inform anyone about the situation in Bratunac
9 because I did not have any communication, either with the government or
10 the assembly. I think that it was the duty of MD, because he was
11 appointed as commissioner by the President for the municipality of
13 This is something that I said already.
14 Q. If I can put a question to you now.
15 A. Yes, go ahead.
16 Q. If I understood you correctly, you made these notes to have a
17 reminder about the events by the dates in the sequence that they took
18 place. So what is the purpose of this commentary at the end? It's not a
19 reminder of the events or of any facts. It's not a reminder -- well,
20 sincerely speaking, this seems like a justification to me.
21 A. A justification for whom? For me. Not to me. For me, it's still
22 a reminder so that I can tell the Tribunal what I wrote, but perhaps
23 differently. I mean, this is just a reminder for me stating that during
24 the Srebrenica operation I had no communication at all with the state
25 leadership, either in the government or the political leadership, and that
1 this communication, if anybody had such communication, was -- it was
2 Deronjic. I, or the municipal assembly president, LJS, did not
3 communicate, we did not have a prime minister, a president of the assembly
4 or anyone. So it was just a reminder for me. It's not a justification.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can stop here for the day, Mr. Mrkic, if
6 you agree.
7 MR. MRKIC: That's my suggestion, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Witness, look at me. It's very important, and I'm telling you
10 this in a most serious manner possible, that between now and when you
11 finish your testimony, you do not communicate with anyone. And when I say
12 anyone, that includes other possible witnesses, on the subject matter of
13 your testimony. Similarly, not to allow anyone to contact you or discuss
14 matters related to your testimony here. Do you understand me?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, I understand, and I
16 am not communicating with anyone in -- about my testimony. As for the
17 fact that we are accommodated all together in the hotel, all the
18 witnesses, well, then, you should have put us up in different hotels, so
19 that we don't see each other at all. But we don't talk about testimony,
20 we just sit in the lobby, in the dining-room, we talk about football,
21 travel, about The Hague, where we were, what we did. Otherwise we should
22 be put in different hotels.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Enough. I think the witness can -- I think we can
24 finish here today and we will continue tomorrow. We stand adjourned until
25 9.00 tomorrow morning. Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Friday, the 23rd day of March,
3 2007, at 9.00 a.m.
* The bold and italicised text was previously confidential pursuant to a redaction order of the Chamber. The status of this redaction order has been changed from confidential to public per Chamber's decision of 15 March 2012
* The bold and italicised text was previously confidential pursuant to a redaction order of the Chamber. The status of this redaction order has been changed from confidential to public per Chamber's decision of 15 March 2012
* The bold and italicised text was previously confidential pursuant to a redaction order of the Chamber. The status of this redaction order has been changed from confidential to public per Chamber's decision of 15 March 2012