1 Friday, 23 March 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So, good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could
6 you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
10 All the accused are here. I notice the absence of Mr. Haynes, and
11 that's about it.
12 Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Thayer, Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 We are, as you may have noticed, sitting without Judge Kwon today,
14 who couldn't be with us for personal reasons. So we are sitting -- we
15 will be resorting to Rule 15 bis, paragraph (A) and we are pursuant --
16 sitting pursuant to that provision.
17 I understand there are some preliminaries that you would like to
18 raise. I don't know exactly who. Then I have received the wrong
19 information. I was informed that there were going to be some
20 preliminaries. I mean, it could have been a misunderstanding, obviously.
21 MR. BOURGON: We can always arrange that, you know.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. But it was spoken too soon,
23 Mr. Bourgon.
24 Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
2 MR. THAYER: The usual suspects all rise to our feet. As I think
3 everybody is aware, there was a sort of an emergency motion filed
4 yesterday to add three exhibits to the Prosecution's 65 ter exhibit list
5 with respect to one witness.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. In fact I was going to ask you when
7 that witness is due, is expected to come over.
8 MR. THAYER: I think, realistically, given the schedule, we're
9 looking at, and after consultation with various of my colleagues, probably
10 Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday, if the estimates continue to hold. I think
11 we have substantial cross-examination estimated for the next witness,
12 not -- not this current witness. And then we have another witness,
13 Witness number 48, who will follow that witness and then we have Witness
14 49 who is the subject of this motion.
15 One thing I did want to raise, and I thank the Chamber for giving
16 me the opportunity now, is after speaking with my learned friends,
17 particularly from the Gvero team, there was one correction I wanted to
18 make to the motion about which I alerted the team yesterday, immediately
19 upon its filing. It's a -- it's a question of fact, as represented in the
20 motion pertaining to the presence of the Accused Gvero at a meeting in
21 July 1995 with Generals Smith and Mladic. The motion represents that that
22 meeting took place in Zepa itself; in fact, that is not the case. That
23 meeting occurred in Mrkonjic Grad, and that is on the 31st of July, and I
24 just wanted to make that clear that for that meeting General Gvero was not
25 present in Zepa, that meeting took place elsewhere.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And that is in relation to which --
2 MR. THAYER: That is, Mr. President, in relation to Roman
3 numerals, subparagraph (ii) under paragraph 2, page 1 of the Prosecution's
4 filing yesterday.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, we were obviously not very pleased about
7 this; however, my learned friend was good enough to ring Mr. Krgovic
8 almost immediately and tell him of the mistake. In an ideal world, we
9 would like the Prosecution to file a correction. However, I note that the
10 motion itself is confidential. This has been dealt with in open session,
11 and the Prosecution have made it plain that it's not suggested that my
12 client had any such meeting in Zepa at the material time. And therefore,
13 bearing in mind my learned friend's good grace, we accept the correction
14 and invite the Chamber to take note of it.
15 So far as the motion itself is concerned, speaking for myself, I
16 have not yet seen all of this material. My learned friend has told me
17 that a CD is being burnt and we will have it during the course of the
18 morning. Realistically we need to view that before we make any
19 submissions. However, having spoken to some of the other Defence counsel,
20 there is going to be certainly some opposition to the addition of this
21 exhibit, and we may well support that opposition. But at the moment I'd
22 like to reserve the Gvero Defence's position, if I may, until we have
23 reviewed the material.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You certainly may, Mr. Josse. Would you like to
25 have the floor now, or shall we hear what Madam Fauveau has to say first?
1 Is it always in relation to the same issue? Yes, Madam Fauveau.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, and in fact I am
3 the source of the opposition to which my colleague was referring to. I'm
4 not talking about the essence of these exhibits. I have seen them, but I
5 do not recall it exactly, but the Prosecutor, however, is continuously
6 forgetting to put some exhibits on the list.
7 I believe that it is no longer a simple omission. I believe that
8 this is something that the Defence -- that the Prosecution could have done
9 a long time ago, but almost a year ago a 65 ter list was made, this
10 exhibit was not put on the list, and in -- on the 15th of February the
11 Prosecutor told us which witnesses were going to testify -- to testify in
12 March, and they told us which exhibits would be presented, and those
13 exhibits were not included.
14 Now, three or four days before the witness is called to the bar we
15 have to find, verify those exhibits, so I'm -- my opposition is not so
16 much to the fact that he wishes to add these exhibits, but if that is the
17 case I would like the Defence to be granted a month in order to be able to
18 prepare adequately for the cross-examination of this witness.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
20 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
21 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, just to be clear, these are materials
22 which have been in the Defence's possession for in excess of a year.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what you state in the motion, yes.
24 MR. THAYER: I have furnished the time ranges for these four
25 clips, which is what this video material amounts to, four video clips
1 totalling at most, 15 minutes of playing time. I would suspect that after
2 proofing the witness, which we have not yet had an opportunity to do, that
3 will be cut down to approximately 10 minutes. But I have provided the
4 time training ranges for those clips to the 100th of a second, basically,
5 for each of those clips. We are, as was represented a moment ago burning
6 those clips or burning the videos themselves again on to CD, just so there
7 is no confusion. With the time ranges I've given, it shouldn't take more
8 than a second to find each and every one of these very, very brief video
9 clips. So I think the preparation time in connection with that, in terms
10 of viewing them, should be minimal. I have done everything I can to
11 minimise the time loss with respect to these exhibits.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Thayer. We will obviously
13 need to come back to this on Monday when we resume and when that would
14 also give you the opportunity to go deeper into the matter and think about
15 it and us the opportunity to be able to discuss it with Judge Kwon, who
16 would be back with us on Monday, hopefully.
17 All right. With regard to the protective measures that are sought
18 in relation to Witnesses 48 and 49, are there any -- are you in a position
19 now to confirm whether there are any objections or not?
20 Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, again, speaking on behalf of our team
22 only, we have some misgiving about this particular application; however,
23 the stance we are going to take is that we are ultimately neutral. We
24 would invite the Trial Chamber to examine the application very carefully.
25 So far as 49 is concerned, we have considerable amount of
1 cross-examination for 49, and frankly, if this application is granted,
2 will virtually all have to be in private session because of the nature of
3 the job that he did at the relevant time.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Well, I think we will come back to this
5 on Monday as well. And perhaps you would be kind enough on Monday to
6 enlighten us on the misgivings that you have, because I think we will need
7 to dispense with the usual time limit for filing responses.
8 MR. JOSSE: We would be grateful for some mature reflection.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: On the other hand, if you stand up and tell us you
11 have got misgivings, we would like to know what they are, especially since
12 you are inviting us to give due weight to the motion and to any misgivings
13 or objections that there might be. So we will come back to it on Monday,
14 Monday morning. And we'll then be able -- we'll then be in a position to
15 respond. But if possible, could I invite the other Defence teams, if you
16 also have misgivings, if you wish to object to the granting of protective
17 measures, could you kindly Monday morning come prepared? You don't need
18 to file a formal response, but could you Monday morning, please, be
19 prepared to let us know what your objections might be. All right.
20 I thank you, Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Any further preliminary matters? None.
23 Okay. So I think we can -- yes -- yeah, okay. I suppose you are
24 standing, ready to continue your cross-examination? Or for some other
1 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I just
2 wanted to point out to an inconsistency in the transcript from the --
3 yesterday's hearing. Page 26 of the transcript, my question to the
4 witness contained the expression "framing us up" when the witness spoke
5 about a certain person from Milici, line 11 of the transcript. And then
6 the same situation on page 56, line 25 was described with the
7 word "planted," which gives a somewhat different context to the entire
8 situation. So I want this to state -- I want to state this for the
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You know what the procedure is, because even last
11 week we had an occasion of receiving a memo from the CLSS correcting parts
12 of the transcript. So I'm sure it will be taken in hand, Mr. Mrkic. And
13 I'm -- I hope you're satisfied with this. I mean there is a procedure
14 that is usually resorted to.
15 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Mr. President. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Good morning to you. Good morning to
19 you, sir. Welcome back.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We will do our best today to possibly finish with
22 your testimony, but I am not in a position to guarantee you that. It
23 depends on how many more questions Mr. Mrkic has.
24 Do you plan to finish your cross-examination shortly, Mr. Mrkic?
25 MR. MRKIC: [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. Half an hour at the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
5 Witness, just for formality's sake, but also because it is
6 important, you are still testifying pursuant to the solemn declaration
7 that you made at beginning of your testimony, that you will be speaking
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 Mr. Mrkic.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-162 [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Mrkic [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. I would like to go back to the meeting that you had on the 14th
17 with the two officers. This has to do with the machinery and equipment
18 that they sought. You said that you called the director of the brick
19 factory in relation to that. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. I called him.
21 Q. Would you agree with me that the brickworks at the time had the
22 machinery available, the one that you allegedly needed for the officers?
23 A. You said it in plural. As far as I know the brickworks had only
24 one piece of machinery; ULT.
25 Q. Did they ask for another piece of equipment except for the one
1 that you mentioned now, ULT?
2 A. No. Just that one. Or rather, I told them that they had that one
3 piece, and they were satisfied with that answer. As far as I know, they
4 didn't inquire whether there were more pieces of equipment. Actually, I
5 did tell them that the utility company had another small piece of
7 Q. And what was their reaction to that?
8 A. I already told you what was their reaction when I mentioned the
9 driver. I've described to you their reaction at the time, and there was
10 no other reaction.
11 Q. When I asked you about the reaction, I wasn't referring to that
12 reaction. Rather, I wanted to know whether they showed any interest for
13 getting this other piece of machinery from the utility company?
14 A. As far as I remember, they didn't, they weren't interested in it,
15 because I didn't even call the director of the utility company, I only
16 called the director of the brickworks, and based on that I concluded they
17 were not interested in that small machine.
18 Q. You basically anticipated my next question. I was going to ask
19 you about the director of the utility company. You did not call the
20 director of the utility company, nor did anybody ask you to?
21 A. Nobody asked me to call him, and I didn't call him.
22 Q. I would like now to turn to a different situation. Reading
23 yesterday's transcript of your testimony, I concluded, and you may correct
24 me if I'm wrong, that in the interview that you had with Mr. Ruez in 1998
25 you basically did not understand why you were summoned and what the topic
1 of the interview with Mr. Ruez was?
2 A. I can't really tell you the extent of my understanding at the
3 time. I knew why they called me, they called me about the events of July
4 1995. In that interview I was guided by Investigator Ruez. Whatever
5 questions I understood, I gave them answers, and you can find them in the
6 interview. I don't know if I was clear enough.
7 Q. Does that mean that it was your understanding that Mr. Ruez was
8 interested in the events surrounding the fall of Srebrenica or the
9 liberation of Srebrenica, and the events that followed thereafter?
10 A. Whatever he asked me, I gave him answers. Now, if you are asking
11 me to go back 10 years, and to analyse how I experienced that, what my
12 thoughts were, it's too difficult. I simply answered the questions to the
13 best of my ability at the time.
14 Q. I don't know whether you answered my question or not.
15 A. Well, why don't you repeat your question. I don't know what you
16 are hinting at.
17 Q. Well, my question was clear. Were you clear about the fact that
18 Mr. Ruez was interested in the events concerning Srebrenica itself and
19 events after Srebrenica? And by this I'm referring to all of the events
20 and the questions of Mr. Ruez focusing on that.
21 A. Well, yes, it was clear it me that he was interested in the
22 Srebrenica events. What else would he be interested in? And whatever he
23 was interested in I helped him with, to the extent that I was able.
24 Q. Does that mean that you answered Mr. Ruez's questions concerning
25 the events after Srebrenica to the best of your recollection at the time?
1 A. Most likely to the best of my recollection, certainly not to the
2 worst of my recollection. Whatever recollections I had at the time.
3 Q. Does this then mean that the events you described to Mr. Ruez and
4 the answers you provided to Mr. Ruez's questions are basically those that
5 you considered to be truthful at the time when you were interviewed by
6 Mr. Ruez?
7 A. Reading this interview now, I gain an impression that Mr. Ruez
8 didn't put questions clearly to me and that based on my answers he perhaps
9 was only superficially satisfied. Perhaps you're going to misinterpret my
10 words now. I'm not a lawyer, so I speak as a layman. But he was the one
11 in charge of the interview. If something was unclear, he could have put
12 additional questions to me in order to get all the answers. Looking at
13 the interview now, it seems to me that he was satisfied with my answers.
14 There were no follow-up questions, no additional questions. I don't know
15 if what I said just now is clear enough to you.
16 There was an interview, I provided answers. And, in my view, Ruez
17 was satisfied with my answers. Perhaps I didn't attribute enough weight
18 to certain things at the time, but I am not accustomed to these kinds of
19 things. I'm not a judge, not a lawyer, and at the time that was the first
20 time that I had met with an investigator in my life. That was the first
21 time that I gave an interview where I was nervous, a bit scared. He could
22 have done a better job with that interview, the investigator, in case I
23 wasn't clear enough in some segments. That was the first contact I had
24 with any kind of investigation, court, and at the time I was 50-something
25 years old, and I had no previous experience with investigations.
1 Q. Sir, I do not wish to abuse or misuse anything you say, I'm just
2 trying to clarify some things that are not clear to me.
3 A. Perhaps we can clarify that today.
4 Q. Yes, that is what we're trying to do.
5 A. Whatever was unclear then.
6 Q. Well, let me put the question to you this way: How many times did
7 you see Mr. Ruez?
8 A. Just once. That time and never again.
9 Q. After that did you see any other investigators from the OTP?
10 A. I don't think that I did.
11 Q. From then onwards, when was the first time that you had any
12 contact with any lawyer relating to any issues pertaining to Srebrenica?
13 Do you remember that?
14 A. I remember that Momir Nikolic's attorney came. I think his name
15 was Londrovic. That was during the Nikolic case, when that was underway.
16 And that lawyer, I think his name was Londrovic, he spoke with me in
17 Bratunac. To the effect, would I agree to testify if necessary, in the
18 Nikolic case, and I agreed. And we talked, however this didn't actually
19 materialise. I didn't come to the Tribunal in relation to the Nikolic
20 case. *Later I spoke to the attorney Karnavas, who was defending -- oh, is
21 somebody telling me something? No. Anyway, I spoke with Mr. Karnavas
22 later with the Blagojevic case, and that's when I came to the Tribunal to
23 testify, in the Blagojevic case.
24 These are the conversations that I recall with the lawyers and
25 investigators from the first contact with Mr. Ruez to -- until today.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Mrkic. We are taking care of the
3 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. I just wanted to confirm one thing before I move to
5 Mr. Blagojevic's attorneys. Were you friends with Mr. Nikolic?
6 A. The word "friends," well, maybe that's not quite appropriate;
7 maybe good acquaintances, lived in the same town. I think that those
8 terms were better, that we were good acquaintances, close acquaintances,
9 and that we lived in the same town. Friends? Perhaps that would be a bit
10 too far. We were a little bit less than that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Avoid unnecessary question being put later on, when
12 you say, were you friends with Mr. Nikolic, there being many Nikolics, you
13 are referring to Momir Nikolic, weren't you, Mr. Mrkic? And you, too,
14 that's how you understood it, Witness?
15 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, precisely.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant Momir, yes.
17 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
18 *Q. While preparing to testify as a Defence witness in the Blagojevic
19 case, did you see Mr. Blagojevic's attorneys once or -- or on more
21 A. On more occasions. I think that I saw Karnavas in Bratunac once,
22 Suzana, his assistant. I -- from what I understood, I met with her twice
23 in Bratunac, and then again with Karnavas here at The Hague when I came to
24 testify, in his office in a house somewhere.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]... redactions, but if you
1 can spare us having to continue doing this all the time, we would
2 appreciate it, both of you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Am I making a mistake in something,
4 Mr. President? What should I be paying attention to. I mean, it's
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. I'm not blaming you for having done it
7 deliberately. Yesterday, you will recall that we tried to redact from
8 your evidence details about possible testimonies or statements earlier
9 on. The idea being to try and eliminate from the transcript those --
10 that information that could disclose your identity. So please refrain
11 from mentioning any cases by name, which you have appeared as a witness.
12 And if you need to mention, then let's go into private session.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will try to do that,
14 but the attorney is putting his questions in such a way that I cannot seem
15 to avoid it.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that. But Mr. Mrkic, I think,
17 understands that as well. But his -- his job is a difficult one, and you
18 will appreciate that.
19 Yes, Mr. Mrkic.
20 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of caution,
21 Mr. President, I think we should move to private session, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that. And I will have less papers to sign.
23 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
24 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We can speak openly now. When you talked about Mr. -- when you
1 talked with Mr. Nikolic's lawyer, the lawyer of Mr. Momir Nikolic -- well,
2 let me rephrase the question. According to what you know, was Mr. Momir
3 Nikolic, at the relevant time, in Bratunac or in Srebrenica?
4 A. Yes, he was. But I didn't really meet him. I know that he was
5 there in the area, Bratunac, Srebrenica, the area of responsibility that
6 was his, yes. I know that he was there at the time, but I didn't meet
8 Q. And was Mr. Blagojevic there in that area of responsibility?
9 A. Well, in the relevant period that we are talking about, the 11th
10 to the 14th --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Witness, the interpreters didn't catch your
13 answer. Could you please repeat it? The question was, "And was
14 Mr. Blagojevic there in that area of responsibility?" And you had started
15 saying, "Well, in the relevant period that we are talking about, the 11th
16 to the 14th of ..." Can you continue from there, please?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that period from the 11th to the
18 14th, Blagojevic was in the area of responsibility, but I did not meet
19 him. I didn't see him.
20 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I would just like to confirm one thing, and that is, according to
22 the documents that we have at our disposal, you mentioned Mr. Beara for
23 the first time during the trial before this Tribunal of Mr. Blagojevic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you were a witness of the Defence at the time, you were called
1 by Mr. Blagojevic's Defence?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you were cross-examined by the Prosecution of The Hague
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. The Beara
7 Defence has no further questions for this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's revert to open session, please. I
9 thank you, Mr. Mrkic.
10 MR. MRKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Mrkic for your cross-examination.
13 You are now going to be examined, from what I could guess, by Mr.
14 Zivanovic, who is lead counsel for Colonel Popovic.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I would like to ask you, in your testimony, amongst our things,
21 you mentioned yesterday or maybe the day before yesterday, members who
22 were obliged or subject to work duty. I know what work duty means, but
23 since this is an international tribunal, many of us do not know exactly
24 what that is, what this work duty is. So I would like to ask you to
25 explain what that term means, "work duty."
1 A. May I start?
2 Q. Yes, go ahead, please.
3 A. Well, as much as I'm able to, I will do my best. Work duty also
4 is something that conscripts are subject to, as well as others subject to
5 military duty. They are mobilised, but they are not actually in the army,
6 they work in companies that have to continue with their production
7 process. They have to continue working.
8 These conscripts are sent to work in companies, enterprises, so
9 that the company can continue to operate and contribute, since in wartime
10 it is necessary to continue with production, it's important to continue
11 with living, working. I hope that I have managed to explain to the best
12 of my ability.
13 Q. Thank you. Yes, you have. I would just like you to clarify one
14 more thing for us. Does that mean that someone who is summoned to work
15 duty is duty-bound, under the law, to respond; it's not a voluntary thing?
16 A. No, that person is mobilised and the mobilisation is conducted by
17 the secretariat for national defence, and the person is assigned to the
18 army or to work duty.
19 Q. Thank you. You also told us that you attended this meeting with
20 representatives of the Muslims when leaving the Srebrenica enclave was
21 discussed. I would like to ask you to clarify one thing. You said,
22 amongst other things, that General Mladic offered to the Muslim population
23 that they could stay in Srebrenica with the condition that the army should
24 hand over their weapons.
25 I would like to ask you the following: Can you please clarify if
1 this referred to the Muslim army that had been in Srebrenica up until that
2 time, because we heard that the 28th Division was there. Was the
3 condition practically that only the civilian population remains and that
4 no armed people, no army, remains? Is that what you meant?
5 A. I perhaps omitted saying that the commander of the Dutch Battalion
6 of UNPROFOR and his deputy attended this meeting. And from what I can
7 recall, General Mladic asked them to demilitarise Srebrenica, which
8 implied that the Muslims should hand over, actually the Muslim army that
9 was in Srebrenica should hand over their weapons, the army that had been
10 there for the previous three years, for as long as that lasted. I'm not
11 sure now if the General meant that they should hand over their weapons to
12 the VRS or to the UNPROFOR battalion, I'm not sure about that, but that
13 this request was made for demilitarisation, and for weapons to be handed
14 over at this meeting, yes, I'm sure of that.
15 Q. You also talked about the distribution of humanitarian aid, not
16 humanitarian aid, but the essential food stuffs in Potocari; bread, juices
17 and so on that was distributed to the population. My question is, did you
18 notice that this distribution of this assistance was filmed by TV crews?
19 A. I saw a camera, and a man with a camera, but I didn't pay
20 attention to that. But I do remember that there was a person walking
21 along the asphalt road in Potocari, and they were filming. I didn't
22 really pay that much attention to it, but I do remember that there was a
24 Q. We had the opportunity here to hear an assertion or a claim that
25 the assistance was distributed only for as long as the camera was taping.
1 As soon as the camera stopped filming the assistance was not distributed
2 anymore, and what had a been distributed until then was taken back. Can
3 you please tell us if this is true or not?
4 A. That is not accurate. Assistance was distributed continuously
5 throughout the day and the following day. Because the people were in
6 Potocari for two days. I really cannot tell you with certainty how much
7 aid was given, and I agree that it was insufficient, that our capacities
8 were not enough. But to the extent that we were able to, we did provide
9 assistance. It had been sent from Ljubovija, from Zvornik, it's true that
10 it wasn't sufficient, but it went on continuously for those two days.
11 And, as you said, that there was a claim that this had been done only
12 because of the camera, that is not accurate, that is not true.
13 Q. Thank you. When you say the assistance was insufficient, does
14 that mean that you practically gave what you were able to give, what you
15 had? It was simply insufficient, because you didn't have more to give?
16 A. Yes, exactly.
17 Q. You mentioned a person named Jahic. I would like to ask you
18 something regarding the departure of that person from Potocari. Could you
19 give us the approximate age of that person?
20 A. Well, that person is perhaps up to five years older than me. At
21 that time I was 48, and that person was perhaps 52 or 53.
22 Q. Tell me, please, did somebody want to detain that person, to
23 remain there? Did somebody want to prevent that person from entering the
24 bus with you?
25 A. No, you misunderstood me. That person, Jahic, can we mention the
1 name, the first name? Jahic Omo. He was on the bus in front of the
2 municipal building. He was sitting somewhere in the middle of the bus.
3 And he knocked on the window as I came out of the municipal building and
4 approached the bus. He was constantly on the bus, inside the bus. He
5 didn't go in and out -- or out.
6 Q. Perhaps I was wrong about the last name. I think that there was
7 somebody whom you helped to get on the bus with his wife?
8 A. Yes. You were wrong. The Jahic person was in Bratunac, in front
9 of the municipal building on the 12th in the evening. And in Potocari it
10 was during the day on the 12th -- oh, no, actually, you're right. Both of
11 them are called Jahic, both the person in Potocari, Jahic Nijazija, and
12 the person on the bus in Bratunac is Jahic too, yes. Both of them are
13 Jahic. You're quite right. But you were not clear to me.
14 Q. I apologise for that. So can you tell me about the first person?
15 What was the age of that person?
16 *A. Well, he was up to 60, Jahic Nijazija, and he built, before the
17 war, my house in Bratunac, my family house.
18 Q. So when you were there, and when you helped that person get on the
19 bus, let me ask you this: Were there somebody else who wanted to move him
20 away, to separate him from his wife?
21 A. No. From that spot, which was some 200 metres away, I took them
22 personally to the bus and I saw them board the bus and sit on the seat.
23 Nobody tried to separate them, and then I turned around and went back and
24 never saw the man again.
25 But he sent me a message, he lives today in Central Bosnia in
1 Vares. Or Breza.
2 Q. I saw that in your evidence you were quite accurate and specific
3 when it comes to dates, and the dates can be quite significant to us.
4 Since these events were quite a long time ago, I would like to know how
5 good your recollection is when it comes to the dates.
6 *A. I'm quite specific when it comes to the dates because I testified
7 in Blagojevic case, and three days ago when I came to the Tribunal I
8 listened to my entire testimony in the Blagojevic case. I took notes as I
9 was listening to that, and the Prosecutor has my notes, and you do.
10 This has refreshed my memory concerning the dates, the fact that I
11 listened to the tape.
12 Q. Thank you. In the Blagojevic case you testified some eight years
13 after the events?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We have been busy redacting as you go along. But
15 let's go into private session, please. And again redact this last part as
17 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: When you finish with the Blagojevic case questions
19 we will revert back to open session.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You testified in the Blagojevic case some eight years after the
22 Srebrenica events, as far as I could gather. Tell me, please, at that
23 time, how clear was your memory about the events? Not only about the
24 events, but dates, more specifically.
25 A. Well, perhaps initially it wasn't completely accurate and
1 specific, but later on, as I started talking about it, things came back to
2 me and things started falling into place, and I think that the chronology
3 of some events became quite clear when it comes to the dates.
4 Q. And as things started falling into place, as you described it, as
5 the puzzle pieces were put together, did you receive any assistance from
6 the lawyers that you spoke to?
7 A. Yes, certainly. We met in Bratunac and, you know, we would talk
8 to the lawyers for 10 hours or 10.00, and then we would meet again in the
9 afternoon, and then I would get together with the people who were with me
10 at the time, and we would exchange views and debate whether it was then or
11 then. And then some 15 days later, lawyers would come again. And then in
12 the meantime I had talked to other people as well in order to put all the
13 puzzle pieces together and get the chronology right.
14 So it's not like my memory was so good that in one single day I
15 was able to reconstruct everything and say this was on the 11th, no. It
16 took some time to get all the puzzle pieces together. And, yes, I
17 received assistance from the lawyers.
18 For example, the Executive Board, as the president of the
19 Executive Board, I had a diary and I would record things on certain dates,
20 describing my activities on that day. So that helped me get puzzle pieces
21 together too.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we revert to open session now?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we can.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's do that, please.
25 [Open session]
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you tell us about this diary that you just mentioned? Did you
3 give it to someone?
4 A. I didn't. It's possible that I destroyed it. I don't remember
5 whether I still have it. Perhaps it's still in my house, but I don't know
6 for sure that I still have it. It wasn't a very important document. It
7 wasn't a very important record book or a formal diary. It was just for my
8 purposes, and I can't even tell you to which extent that assisted me in
9 putting the puzzle pieces together. *I received more assistance from my
10 associates, people from the command, the preparations for the Blagojevic
11 case lasted for quite a while. I was in Bratunac, and I was able to get
12 information and to get the information about dates.
13 Q. So we can basically conclude that the dates you provided in the
14 Blagojevic case, the previous case, emerged after all the consultations
15 you had with different people, with Defence counsel and so on?
16 A. Yes. It came from various sources.
17 Q. Thank you. Reading about your previous testimony, and also
18 reading the notes that we were provided with, we saw that you wrote
19 down --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, again, if it's necessary, go into
21 private session. I mean if you look at lines 15, 16 and -- not just you,
22 even the witness, obviously, but he was answering your questions, and now
23 line 19. Let's go into private session. And please try to conclude this
24 series of questions on --
25 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: -- we are in private session -- On the Blagojevic
2 case and the witness's testimony so that we can revert to open session.
3 It's three redactions that I have to sign in the space of one breath.
4 We are in private session now, yes. We will continue in private
5 session for a while. In the meantime, prepare the redactions, please.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So in the Blagojevic case, as I have said, you spoke about being
8 invited to the meeting on the 14th of July in the SDS premises. You
9 testified, and this is also written in the notes of yours that we were
10 provided with, apparently you were summoned, you received notice to attend
11 the meeting at about 10.00. Yesterday you said that the notice arrived at
12 around 9.30. So would you please tell us whether 10.00 is correct or did
13 you subsequently change it to 9.30?
14 A. I don't know whether I actually said it, but my intention was to
15 say that it was between 9.30 and 10.00 that I received a telephone call
16 from Mirna, the secretary, to come to the SDS premises.
17 Q. So would you please tell me, what made you change the time? From
18 1995 you had various interviews, testimonies, meetings with the
19 Prosecutor, and in all of them you said that the call came at 10.00. But
20 yesterday you said that the call came at 9.30.
21 A. I don't know why this is significant. I don't even know whether I
22 had a watch on me. Perhaps I didn't even look at it. So I can't tell you
23 whether it was at 9.30 or at 10.00. My intention was to say that it was
24 in the morning hours, between 9.30 and 10.00. I'm not sure now whether I
25 came to the SDS premises at 9.30 or at 9.45 or at 10.00, but it was at
1 around that period of time. I can't be more specific than that.
2 Q. My question is as follows: You say that you came to the SDS
3 premises at 9.30 or at 9.45. And earlier you said that you received a
4 phone call at 10.00. Perhaps this doesn't seem significant to you, but it
5 actually can be.
6 A. Well, most likely it is significant to you. I apologise. We're
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And, apart from overlapping, I think we've covered
9 this territory enough. Let's move to your next question and please us
10 whether we will continue in private session or we will revert to open
11 session. But he's answered this question more than three times.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think he
13 answered. He actually provided a new answer now. Until now he was saying
14 when he received a phone call. And now he said about the time when he
15 went there, actually. So I don't think this is an answer he already gave
16 so I would like to pursue this question.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: I just wanted to point out, maybe to my learned
20 friend, and also the Court, the reference that Mr. Zivanovic is referring
21 to in the prior transcript is at page 9230 at line 6, and, in fact, what
22 the witness said was that sometime after that, at 9.30 or thereabouts,
23 that he received the call. And I think that that sufficiently answers the
24 question. And I also object to Defence counsel's characterisation of the
25 testimony as definitively at 9.00 [sic] because the record doesn't reflect
2 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case we are of the opinion that he has
3 answered the question when he said 9.30 or 10.00, he meant any time in
4 between. So let's -- let's move forward, please.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I don't have any
6 further questions.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go back to open session, please.
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Witness, you are now going to be
10 examined by Madam Nikolic who is appearing here for Drago Nikolic.
11 I know that you are very attentive, Ms. Nikolic, so I'm going to
12 rely completely on you to tell us when we need to go into private session.
13 Thank you.
14 And you, Witness, try to avoid mentioning anything substantive or
15 material that could identify your identity, which we have been trying very
16 hard to keep from the public. Although I am pretty sure that everyone
17 knows exactly who is testifying here now.
18 Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will do my best.
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. I will put only one question to you in open session and then we
25 will move into private session.
1 How common is the last name of Nikolic in Bratunac and that area?
2 A. It's very common.
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Can we move into private session,
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's do that. I hope you're not going to ask
6 him to mention them all, Ms. Nikolic.
7 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I will not.
9 Q. Sir, on page 37 and 38 of yesterday's transcript you mentioned two
10 persons, two directors of a farm; Jovan Nikolic and Dragan Nikolic.
11 Dragan Nikolic that you spoke of never served as an officer in the Zvornik
12 Brigade, correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] We can move back into open session,
15 sir, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move back into open session, please.
17 [Open session]
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Sir, did you know Drago Nikolic, an officer of the Zvornik
20 Brigade, in that period, in 1995?
21 A. Just by seeing him around. We never actually were introduced, we
22 never met in person. I didn't know him, somebody pointed him out to me.
23 But we didn't actually know each other.
24 Q. So in that period you knew his face, you knew what he looked like,
25 you would recognise him in the street if you had met him? Is that
2 A. Yes, I would recognise him. He looks a lot like his brother, whom
3 I know very well.
4 Q. So in all the meetings that you attended and when you went to
5 Potocari, at the Bratunac meetings, you did not see Drago Nikolic anywhere
6 in those days, an officer of the Zvornik Brigade?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, I have no
9 further questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much, Madam Nikolic.
11 Mr. Lazarevic, who is appearing for Borovcanin will be
12 cross-examining you now.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honours, and good morning.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
16 A. Good morning.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Same advisory to you. I mean, I know you are very
18 attentive, so let's move.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Sir, I hope that we will finish this testimony very soon. And I
21 would just like to ask you to answer my questions as briefly as possible
22 and I try to formulate my questions so that you can answer with a yes or a
23 no. If you don't know something, please feel free to say so. If you
24 don't remember, also feel free to say that. In that way we will complete
25 the cross-examination as soon as possible.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [In English] Your Honours, can we move into private
4 session for just a few questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, immediately. We've never refused to go into
6 private session. So let's go into private session straight away.
7 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. During your testimony before this Tribunal, you spoke about the
10 meeting in the Hotel Fontana on the 12th of July, 1995, which you yourself
11 also attended. There is no dispute about that. Do you recall that part
12 of your testimony?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. If I understood what you said properly, and you said that
15 General Mladic practically provided the opportunity for the Muslim
16 delegation to decide if they wanted to stay in Srebrenica or to choose to
17 be evacuated, and also to pick the place to which they could be evacuated
18 or the direction in which they would be evacuated?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. If for a moment we go back to the previous meeting which you -- or
21 just an encounter, I wouldn't call it a meeting, that you had with
22 General Mladic, that same day at 8.00 in the morning, it was actually the
23 same thing this you also suggested to General Mladic during that meeting.
24 The meeting that preceded this meeting in the Fontana, namely that the
25 Muslims should be asked what they wanted to do, and how the matter should
1 be resolved? Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I also understood from your testimony that representatives of the
4 Muslims, the three people who were at the meeting in the Fontana Hotel,
5 refused any possibility of staying in Srebrenica, that they insisted on
6 being evacuated. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that they just wanted to leave the area.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [In English] One more question, and then I believe
9 that we will be able to move into open session.
10 Q. [Interpretation] During the meeting at the Fontana Hotel, were you
11 aware that the meeting was being filmed by a camera?
12 A. Yes, I saw a camera and the person who was operating it.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [In English] I believe we can move into open
15 session now.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Go into open session, please.
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. [Interpretation] We had the opportunity to hear the testimony of a
21 member of DutchBat here who attended the Fontana meeting on the 12th in
22 the morning, and who said that the tape that he looked at did not actually
23 capture the entire meeting. Do you allow for the possibility that the
24 whole meeting was not filmed, that there was some interruptions?
25 A. I know that the camera was recording. I don't know if it recorded
1 the whole meeting or just some of it. I really don't know.
2 Q. Thank you very much. You also said in your testimony that the
3 Fontana meeting, attended by Muslim representatives from Potocari, members
4 of the Dutch Battalion, members of the VRS, the civilian authorities from
5 Bratunac and the commissioner for civilian affairs from Srebrenica, I hope
6 I didn't miss anyone out, but that's not so important. Practically there
7 was an agreement reached that the Muslim civilians should be evacuated in
8 the direction of Kladanj and --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name of the
10 other town.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. And the agreement was reached --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You said Kladanj and --
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, and Tuzla.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And Tuzla, okay.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Tuzla.
18 Q. [Interpretation] The agreement was reached, that specific
19 agreement, to evacuate the Muslim population, and it was practically
20 reached by adopting the proposal of the Muslim representatives; what they
21 asked for was actually agreed to, it was accepted?
22 A. Yes, that is precisely so, at their explicit request. There was
23 no compromise about them staying. They were quite firm and decisive, that
24 they just wanted to go. To go.
25 Q. Thank you very much. I would now like us to look at, just for a
1 minute, and please pay attention to what will be said, to a part of the
2 footage from the Hotel Fontana, or from the hotel in Bratunac, which we
3 will now play for you, and we can look at it together. And I hope that we
4 will have the opportunity to comment that's so. This is video marked
5 V004458. And the time that should be shown starts from 01.50.39 to
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Sir, after we've looked at this segment --
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [In English] Maybe we should move into private
11 session. I apologise. I apologise [Previous translation continues] ... I
13 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact I'm waiting to see what's happening, because
14 it's the same like when you asked for the private session, we couldn't --
15 we couldn't -- are you asking for private session again?
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, precisely.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. All right.
18 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Same thing. I mean, we are not following you in
21 your own language. So when you speak in English -- in your own language,
22 we don't get it. And it doesn't show up in the transcript as well, so we
23 don't know exactly what you're saying.
24 So Mr. Lazarevic is asking for private session. We already are in
25 private session.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, this is just to protect your identity, since you attended the
3 meeting and that could be something that could reveal your identity. So
4 this is why we're doing it.
5 Now that we have looked at this footage, just now, does that
6 perhaps remind you of some details about what the Dutch representatives
7 agreed on at this meeting? Were you able to -- excuse me. Were you able
8 to understand well what the DutchBat commander said to General Mladic at
9 this meeting and which is recorded in this footage?
10 A. Let me say, the interpreter was a person that I knew, and he was
11 sitting there next to the UNPROFOR commander, and General Mladic and
12 partially between Mladic and I'm not sure if I would be able to interpret
14 Q. Yes, there is the possibility that you didn't hear that part?
15 A. Yes, yes. Precisely.
16 Q. But in any case, for the purpose of some other questions that have
17 to do with the later period, you saw here that Colonel Karremans, the
18 commander of the Dutch Battalion, told General Mladic that his ministry,
19 the Dutch defence ministry, ordered him as the commander of the Dutch
20 Battalion, to offer all possible assistance in the evacuation of the
21 population. You heard that?
22 A. Yes, and I heard that before as well.
23 Q. And of course you heard that Colonel Karremans was offering
24 General Mladic his battalion to help in the evacuation of the population.
25 We just saw that a minute ago.
1 A. Yes, yes. There was that offer. I know that.
2 Q. And now if we agree now, I think, about this, if we now advance in
3 time forward into Potocari when you came to see the civilians, is what the
4 commander said at the meeting and promised General Mladic was that
5 actually implemented in practice and did the Dutch Battalion help in the
6 evacuation of the civilians from Potocari?
7 A. The situation in Potocari itself was confusing. When I came to
8 Potocari I saw soldiers of the Dutch Battalion in a cordon that was
9 separating the population of Srebrenica from the road there. So that no
10 one could approach them from the road. That was what I first saw, them
11 standing about one or two metres apart from one another in a cordon that
12 was some 30 or 40 metres long, so that they could stand between the
13 population and the road so that somebody would just come there uninvited
14 and so on.
15 I mean, they were there, but that was, in my view, their main
16 task, to separate the civilian population from other people who were in
18 Q. Thank you very much. You know, I don't want you to tell us
19 something that you didn't see and that you did not experience yourself, so
20 I will be happy to accept this answer of yours.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] And just to clarify something in
22 the transcript, the video clip that we just saw is part of the trial video
23 numbered P02047.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to make this clear, did you see yourself,
25 recognise yourself in the video clip that we saw?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did. In the yellow shirt.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [In English] I think we can move into open session
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Let's move into open session,
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Witness, now we are in Potocari, and bread, water, and other
11 articles are being distributed that the municipality of Bratunac managed
12 to secure for the needs of the Muslim civilians there. During this
13 distribution of bread and other food stuffs, juices, chocolates, was there
14 ever a situation that the bread that had been distributed to the civilians
15 already is taken back from them by the Serbian forces?
16 A. No, there is no question of that. That is a preposterous --
17 well ...
18 Q. Well, I assume that too, because there were some such indications,
19 is it possible that once bread is distributed to the masses then it is
20 taken back?
21 A. Well, this would not be possible, theoretically, and it wouldn't
22 occur to anyone to do that at all. Just the idea of that is quite
24 Q. Thank you very much. During the time that you were in Potocari,
25 you had the opportunity to meet some acquaintances, Muslims, let's not
1 mention any names, to briefly chat with them. Was it your impression that
2 those people that you were talking with, whom you knew, that you had a
3 contact with at the time, was it your impression that they all wanted to
4 go to Tuzla as soon as possible and leave Potocari?
5 A. Yes, precisely. They all wanted to get on the buses out of turn,
6 just so that they could leave Potocari as soon as possible.
7 Q. I assume that you were able to see that with a large number of
8 people there; in any case, I'm thinking of those civilians, Muslims who
9 were in Potocari?
10 A. Many of us who were there knew somebody, and we were all asked by
11 someone for that kind assistance.
12 Q. Having that in view now, and the experience you had in Potocari,
13 and what we talked about earlier about that certain agreement that had
14 been reached, according to what you know did the representatives of
15 Muslims who attended the Fontana meeting actually properly and accurately
16 reflect the mood of the people, the civilians in Potocari whom they
17 represented at the meeting?
18 A. I assume that they did, but the Muslim representatives also were
19 supposed to meet there with us, and they were supposed to distribute this
20 aid, this humanitarian aid. However, we didn't see them up there. We
21 didn't meet them in Potocari and we should have done so, they were
22 supposed to be together with us. When we went up there nobody waited for
23 us, so that we could hand over this aid to somebody in the sense that we
24 had brought it and we were handing it over to somebody else to
25 distribute. This did not happen. There was nobody there to wait for us
1 and we didn't see anyone there.
2 Q. Thank you very much. So that was an agreement for the Muslim
3 representatives to distribute the food. But they did not adhere to that,
4 according to your information?
5 A. Yes, that is right. And then it was done, I don't even know how
6 to describe it, but they were supposed to do that, and then we just did
7 that without any kind of organisation or order. It was just done.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, if it's time for -- for our break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
11 We will continue with your cross-examination after the break,
12 which will be of 25 minutes.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic. We are in open session.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And we can remain in open
18 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, just a couple of more questions and we will
19 conclude with this cross-examination. While you were in Potocari during
20 these events on the 12th and 13th of July, you had occasion to see members
21 of the Dutch Battalion; you already testified about that, correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And the members of the Dutch Battalion that you saw then were in
24 their military equipment, they had helmets, flak jackets, weapons, all the
25 proper stuff; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. During the period of time you stayed in Potocari,
3 those two days, you did not observe any hostility, any hostile attitude of
4 the Serb troops in relation to the members of the Dutch Battalion?
5 A. I didn't see a single incident.
6 Q. Thank you. And now for the end. Let me ask you this: You know
7 Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin, don't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How long have you known him for, as best you can remember?
10 A. I have known Borovcanin since 1992.
11 Q. What is your opinion of Mr. Borovcanin as a person?
12 A. I see Borovcanin as an honest man, good policeman, exceptionally
13 educated man. Having such character traits, he was well respected in the
14 place where he lived and worked. I could even say that he was very
15 popular, which in my mind is not typical for a policeman.
16 Q. I apologise for interrupting you.
17 A. I told you about his qualities, and I would like to reiterate that
18 having such qualities and based on all the work that he had done, he was
19 promoted to a rank of General.
20 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions for you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. One moment, Ms. Fauveau.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could we go
23 into private session, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
25 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
2 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, is it true to say that the civilian
4 authorities were in function during the war in Bratunac, they were
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. You've mentioned, sir, yesterday, Dragoslav Trisic. Dragoslav
8 Trisic, was an officer of the Bratunac Brigade and was he in charge of the
9 liaison between the brigade and the municipality?
10 A. Dragan Trisic was a major and he was assistant commander for
11 logistics. He was the person in charge of contact and coordination
12 between the army and the municipal Executive Board.
13 Q. Can we say that a contact between the Bratunac Brigade and the
14 municipal authorities of Bratunac were mainly limited to the supply of the
15 brigade, the supplying of the brigade?
16 A. Precisely so. The contact was related to the logistics support of
17 the municipality to the Bratunac Brigade in terms of providing food,
18 clothing, cigarettes, those items mostly.
19 Q. And can we say that the command of the Bratunac Brigade was not
20 involved in the daily life of the Bratunac -- of the city, in fact. I am
21 talking about they were not interfering with the management of the city
22 and how the city was being ran.
23 A. In the Executive Board, which consisted of seven members, one was
24 an army representative, which is to say that six were civilians and one
25 was a military man. So in that respect the army had some pool or some
1 influence, because out of seven members of the Executive Board one was the
2 army representative. I don't know if I was clear enough.
3 Q. Yes, but allow me to clarify. So the army had a representative of
4 the Executive Board, but the brigade command did not usually call you to
5 tell you what to do. Is that right?
6 A. No, no. As I said to you, Trisic, who was the assistant for
7 logistics support, was the intermediary who conveyed their needs in terms
8 of food, clothing, cigarettes, and so on.
9 Q. On many occasions you mentioned Miroslav Deronjic. Is it right to
10 say that at the time in 1995 Miroslav Deronjic was not only the SDS
11 president of Bratunac, but he was also the president of the regional SDS?
12 A. Precisely so. Regional board of the SDS of the Birac region,
13 which comprised Bratunac, Zvornik, Srebrenica, Sekovici, Milici, and
14 Vlasenica municipalities. I think that I enumerated all of them. That
15 was the Birac region. And Deronjic was the regional president of the SDS
16 for that region.
17 Q. Can we say that Miroslav Deronjic was a person that had a great
18 influence on the events and life of the -- in the region?
19 A. In political sense, yes. He had influence. In the military
20 sense, I don't think so, but in the political sense, yes.
21 Q. And, in fact, Miroslav Deronjic was very close to
22 President Karadzic; he had personal dealings with Karadzic. Is that
24 A. He was a member of the SDS Presidency. I think that the SDS
25 leadership had seven vice-presidents. One of the seven was Deronjic, in
1 my view, and Karadzic was the president of the SDS. So that's the top
2 echelons of the political party.
3 Q. And can we say that the relations between Deronjic and Ratko
4 Mladic were not very good, that they had a conflictual relationship?
5 A. One could say so. There was no love lost between them, if one can
6 say so.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we revert into open session,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's move to open session, please.
10 [Open session]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Sir, can you tell me, in 1995 how many people lived in the city of
15 A. In the town of Bratunac, we didn't really have accurate records,
16 but I would say 10 to 12.000. In the town itself. As for the
17 municipality, perhaps another two to 3.000. Because there were parts near
18 the Drina River that were populated. So I would say that the entire
19 municipality of Bratunac had about 15.000 residents.
20 Q. And is it true to say that during the war there were a lot of
21 refugees in the city of Bratunac?
22 A. All of the refugees from the Srebrenica municipality who were of
23 Serb ethnicity moved into Bratunac. In my assessment, that amounted to
24 some four to 5.000 of Serbs from the Srebrenica municipality.
25 Q. And the civilian authorities in Bratunac, did they, before the
1 event of the 11th of July, 1995, had any contacts with the DutchBat
3 A. Yes, they had. The Podrinje catering company from Bratunac, which
4 ran the Fontana motel, supplied fresh fruit and vegetables and pastry to
5 the Dutch Battalion. They would come at least three times a week, or
6 rather the vehicle of the Dutch Battalion would come to the Fontana Hotel
7 at least three times a week to take over fruit, vegetables, and pastry.
8 That lasted for at least a year. They paid for the services to the
9 catering company.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we please move
11 into private session.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move back to private session for a short
14 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You talked quite extensively on the meeting that took place on the
17 12th of July, 1995, at the Fontana Hotel, and you said a few times that
18 General Mladic asked representatives if they wished to stay in the region
19 or to leave. Is it right to say that at no time General Mladic suggested
20 to the Muslim representatives that the Muslim population had to leave the
22 A. Never. The first option was always to stay, with all the
23 guarantees that I enumerated.
24 Q. And when you heard General Mladic talk during this meeting, is it
25 right to say that you believed him at the time?
1 A. I believed him. Sincerely believed him. Was convinced of it.
2 Q. Can we say that at no time General Mladic threatened the Muslim
3 representatives during the meeting?
4 A. He didn't threaten at all. He was quite clear. He said clearly,
5 and that wasn't a threat, that those who had bloodied their hands in
6 relation to the Serb people, would be prosecuted. Everybody else who had
7 a clean past would have full freedom of movement, living, just like all
8 other residents residing there without any type of discrimination.
9 Q. And during that reunion, that meeting, General Mladic never used
10 any unpleasant words towards the Muslim population, he was never insulting
11 towards them?
12 A. He wasn't. I think that he spoke very decently with full respect
13 to all those present.
14 Q. And when the representatives of the Muslim population said that
15 they wanted to leave, you believed this was really their will?
16 A. Absolutely.
17 Q. Is it true to say that the talks about the evacuation only began
18 when it became clear that the Muslim population wanted to leave the area?
19 A. Yes.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can we go back into
21 open session, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's revert to open session.
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Sir, you talked about the humanitarian aid that was given to
2 Potocari, and we will not go into that, but is it right to say that the
3 medical staff of Bratunac went to Potocari to help the population that was
5 A. That's correct. An infirmary was established in Bratunac to treat
6 sick Muslim residents. There were some 20 people staying there.
7 Q. You talked yesterday about a man, a handicapped man, and you said
8 that you helped him get on the bus. Is it right to say that you helped
9 personally about 30 people who were handicapped to get on the buses?
10 A. That's correct. I definitely helped a group of at least 30
11 disabled people in wheelchairs. I escorted them to a bus and helped them
12 get on the bus.
13 Q. And when you were helping these disabled people, General Mladic,
14 was he there?
15 A. He was. I previously asked for the opinion of the General in
16 relation to the disabled persons. Rather, I informed him that there were
17 such persons, and that it would be a good idea to escort them to a bus in
18 the first batch, and he approved of that and that's what I did.
19 Q. When you were in Potocari you did not see any bodies, you did not
20 see people who were killed in Potocari?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And you also did not see that men were separated from their
23 families, did you?
24 A. I didn't see that.
25 Q. Is it true to say that, in fact, you really didn't see a lot of
1 able-bodied men in Potocari?
2 A. That's correct. And it seemed a bit peculiar to me. I could see
3 elderly men, women, children there. I asked a couple of people whom I
4 knew about some younger persons, inquiring about their whereabouts. They
5 evaded answering. They said, "Well, they're somewhere around here,
6 milling about." That's the kind of an answer they gave me. It only
7 became clear later that they were actually not there at all, that they had
8 gone towards the forest.
9 Q. But in any case, during the period during which you were in
10 Potocari, the men who were there were able to get on the buses themselves,
12 A. Correct. It was mostly the people that I described; the sick, the
13 elderly, and so on. There were men of some 50 years old, but in good
14 shape, and women in all age groups from young girls to grandmothers, 70
15 and 80 years old.
16 Q. You've already stated that the people who were gathered in
17 Potocari wanted to leave. Is it right to say that no one, and you knew a
18 few of these people, no one told you that they wanted to stay in that
20 A. No.
21 Q. And when these people would get on the buses they went on the
22 buses of their own free will?
23 A. You know what, the buses were some 200 metres away from where the
24 main crowd stood, and they were lined up towards the utility company, so
25 perhaps the last buses were 300 to 400 metres away from the crowd. Thus
1 groups were established. For example, if they -- there were five buses
2 there at that point in time, then five groups of 50 people were
3 established, and that's how they boarded.
4 They had to do it in this way in order to avoid people stampeding.
5 That was the only way to do. We prepared people to board buses that were
6 all lined up.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we can say that you did not
8 see that people were forced to go, to get on the buses?
9 A. No. Everything seemed voluntary. People were prepared for that,
10 if I may say so. It transpired normally, if one can say that anything was
11 normal there. There was no coercion used.
12 Q. When you were in Potocari you were under the impression that you
13 were helping the population so that the evacuation went smoothly?
14 A. It's not that I was under the impression, I came with that
15 intention, and I thought I was doing that, and, in fact, I did do that.
16 Q. And is it right to say that Bratunac and the municipalities around
17 Bratunac were mobilised to help the population of Potocari?
18 A. Your question is not clear. What do you mean that the
19 municipalities around Bratunac were mobilised?
20 Q. Is it true to say that the structures within the municipality of
21 Bratunac structures, such as Zvornik and Ljubovija, were organised to help
22 the people of Potocari on the 12th and 13th of July?
23 A. Yes, it's clear to me now. It was at our request, yes. Ljubovija
24 and Zvornik municipalities got involved. Your question just became clear
25 to me now. They got -- or rather, when it came to water trucks, bread,
1 milk, biscuits, whatever they had, just like we did, in terms of food and
2 water and so on.
3 Q. And is it right to say that the help that you organised was agreed
4 upon following the initiative of General Mladic and at the meeting where
5 you were present?
6 A. Yes. That was the result of that agreement for us to get involved
7 in the sense of providing humanitarian assistance.
8 Q. You've mentioned yesterday a proposition under which Srebrenica
9 was to leave Republika Srpska. Did you hear of another proposal, which is
10 also a current proposal parallel to this one, and under which the
11 population of Srebrenica was called upon to leave Srebrenica collectively?
12 A. Yes. There was a lot of political turmoil at the time. Political
13 tensions were rising. Not only in Republika Srpska, but in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina as a whole. This request arrived from the top echelons of
15 Bosniaks in Srebrenica and the Bosniak leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 also got involved. Once they learned that the Bosniak residents of
17 Srebrenica intended to move out unless they were granted a special status
18 within Republika Srpska. Namely, that Srebrenica be declared a special
19 district. So tensions were quite high, concerning that in Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina. And then there was a suit brought by Bosnia against Serbia
21 at the International Court of Justice following the judgement.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Bosnian leadership, this
23 concerns the Muslim leaders; is that right?
24 A. Yes. Bosniak, yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Fauveau.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They're Bosniaks now.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a little bit unclear in my mind as to which
3 period of time he is referring specifically. If you could clarify this
4 with the witness. Thank you.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I was about to ask that
6 question, Mr. President. That was going to be the last.
7 Q. Now, this proposal we mentioned a moment ago, it is a proposal
8 made now, right, in 2007, is that right? 2007?
9 A. This is as current as 10 days ago. Perhaps 15 days ago. So this
10 is the latest situation.
11 Q. You spoke about the Muslims who were in the Branko Radicevic
12 school. Is it fair to say that behind that school there was a hangar?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you have no knowledge of Muslims being detained in that hangar
15 in July 1995; is that right?
16 A. I had no knowledge, because the hangar is not exactly destroyed,
17 but quite -- in quite a bad shape, without window-panes or roof, no
18 windows, no doors. It's basically a wreck.
19 Q. And you didn't hear either that Muslims would have been detained
20 in the old school, in the secondary school, which is behind the Branko
21 Radicevic school?
22 A. No. Mostly they were in the Branko Radicevic school. Well,
23 according to my knowledge, not most of the time, but exclusively.
24 Q. You testified that you distributed water to the people who were on
25 the buses in Bratunac. Is it fair to say that the buses, when you saw
1 them, surprised you; you didn't expect them. Is that right?
2 A. Not that we didn't expect it, no. I mean, we were very, very
3 surprised. We were surprised by the number of the buses. We neither
4 expected anything like that to happen, or thought anything like that to
6 Q. And since you did not know that the Muslims would go to Bratunac,
7 you could not organise humanitarian aid in Bratunac. Is that correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. And like in Potocari, any aid in Bratunac was improvised. Is that
11 A. I told of this, particular events that I took part in, in the
12 buses with the water. I mean it just happened spontaneously. Maybe there
13 are some other cases that I'm not aware of where other people also
14 provided some kind of help, but I am not aware of that.
15 Q. From what you know, General Mladic was not in Bratunac on the 13th
16 of July, was he?
17 A. I didn't meet him. I don't know where he was. He was probably
18 all over the place. He was going around, but I don't know where he was.
19 I'm not aware of his movements.
20 Q. And you don't know whether General Mladic was informed of the fact
21 that there were these people and the buses with the Muslims in Bratunac?
22 A. I'm not aware of that fact.
23 Q. At any rate, following the meeting you attended and until the
24 buses arrived in Bratunac, you never heard that the Muslims could be taken
25 to Bratunac. Is that correct?
1 A. That is correct. I did not hear of that.
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir. No further questions.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
4 Mr. Krgovic.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, sir.
8 A. Good day.
9 Q. I'm going to put some questions to you about what you know about
10 the events which preceded the events you testified about, specifically I
11 would like to ask you when you heard for the first time that the Drina
12 Corps was conducting actions around Srebrenica? Do you remember that?
13 A. I heard that sometime in early July. I really couldn't give you a
15 Q. And did you hear of any reason that the Drina Corps was conducting
16 actions around Srebrenica and of the objective of that action?
17 A. According to my information, the objective of the action was to
18 prevent the constant incursions by Muslim forces into Serb villages. Very
19 often there were incursions with catastrophic consequences and I think one
20 of the objectives was to prevent these attacks.
21 Another objective was to separate the enclaves, to separate the
22 enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica. According to my information, and in my
23 view, this was necessary in order to achieve greater control of the
24 enclave, to prevent communication between the Muslim army in one enclave
25 and the other. That was according to my information and my knowledge.
1 Q. And it was necessary then to carry out the action and to move the
2 line of separation deeper into -- in the enclave?
3 A. Well, yes. The point was to narrow the enclave to achieve a
4 greater degree of control and to prevent incursions and attacks on Serbian
6 Q. I'm going to ask you something else now. You talked here about
7 your visit to Pribicevac on the 11th. You gave a lot of information about
8 that. I'm going to ask you now, you mentioned in your testimony yesterday
9 that you were at Pribicevac also on the 9th of July, 1995. Do you recall
10 saying that?
11 A. Yes, I do. I also remember switching those two dates. So I asked
12 the Trial Chamber if I could correct myself regarding the dates. I was at
13 Pribicevac on the 9th, that was two days before the 11th.
14 Q. And then you went with the person who worked in logistics whom you
15 mentioned in your previous testimony?
16 A. Yes, DT.
17 Q. You were in Pribicevac sometime in the afternoon, according to
18 information that I have. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. It was sometime after 12.00 that we were up
21 Q. When I say sometime in the afternoon, in the course of the day,
22 it's after noon, early afternoon? Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you went to Pribicevac, where were you? At the logistics
25 base, or did you go to the command post?
1 A. The reason why I went to Pribicevac that day, actually, one of the
2 reasons was to see a person that was very close to me, and with DT, to
3 tour the place. Are we in closed session?
4 Q. No, we're in open session.
5 A. Well, I don't know now what -- the purpose was to visit the 3rd
6 Battalion, to see what the logistics situation was there, what the
7 situation was with food, clothing, cigarettes. That was the second reason
8 why I went there with DT.
9 Q. When you were there in the afternoon did General Gvero come to the
10 forward command post in Pribicevac? Did you see him?
11 A. From what I can recall, I met -- I went to the rear base, to
12 the -- at -- to the logistics base in that house where that was. And the
13 road from Bratunac passes by that house. So I met the General at the
14 logistics base. Actually, we were sitting outside, and the General came
15 by, and he stopped and we said hello to each other. And from there we
16 went to the command post together.
17 The command post was about 250 to 300 metres from the logistics
18 base, and we went there together; DT, the General and I.
19 Q. Did you meet General Krstic there?
20 A. We found the General, General Krstic, at the command post, and I
21 think that Colonel Vukota was with him too.
22 Q. What did General Gvero tell you? Where was he coming from and
23 what was he doing there, did he mention anything about that?
24 A. The General said that he was on his way from Belgrade and that he
25 had dropped by to see Krle, and to visit the brigade or the battalion.
1 The brigade. And as I said, we met General Krstic and Colonel Vukota up
2 there, perhaps someone else was there, but I cannot remember. But I do
3 recall General Krstic and Vukota being there.
4 Q. How long did General Gvero stay at -- in the Pribicevac area? Do
5 you remember?
6 A. Well, it could have been about an hour or so from what I can
7 recall, maybe it was a little bit longer, but let's say that it was
8 approximately an hour.
9 Q. What did you talk about?
10 A. We talked about what do I know, different things. The operation
11 itself, how it was going, what life was like in Bratunac, how we were
12 carrying on. That was more or less the topic of the conversation.
13 Q. When General Gvero was there and you were at Pribicevac, was the
14 operation to separate the enclaves finished by then? And were there any
15 combat actions in the area?
16 A. From what I can remember, I think that the operation to separate
17 the enclaves was already completed. And I don't think that there was any
18 combat at that time. Everything was quiet. I think that the operation to
19 separate the enclaves was finished.
20 Q. And did General Gvero advise General Krstic when you were there
21 about carrying out military operations? Did he provide any kind of
22 military advice?
23 A. I don't recall that. I don't think so. I don't remember. I
24 don't think that he did. The operation was being discussed. I, as a
25 layperson, also put my two cents in, but I -- whether it was -- something
1 was done like that, and it should have been done like that, but it wasn't
2 in any other sense, really that was talked about.
3 Q. At one point did General Gvero go off with General Krstic or were
4 they together with you the whole time?
5 A. I think that we were together the whole time.
6 Q. That day, when you were at Pribicevac, General Mladic,
7 General Zivanovic, or any other high-ranking VRS officers were there. Is
8 that correct?
9 A. I just mentioned General Krstic and Colonel Vukota. Perhaps some
10 lower-ranking officers were there. There were soldiers from the
11 battalion, but there were no high-ranking officers, no. The
12 communications person was there. There were no high-ranks officers there,
14 Q. Were you there when General Gvero left Pribicevac?
15 A. We set off together. We went -- we finished sitting there, which
16 lasted about an hour, and we had coffee and we had plumb brandy too, with
17 our coffee, it was perhaps an hour that we stayed there. We stood up, we
18 said good-bye, wished Krstic all the best on his staying there, and to
19 Colonel Vukota as well, and then we set off for Bratunac. We reached
20 Bratunac together. I think that I called the General or invited the
21 General to stop off at the municipality, but he did not. I think that he
22 said that he was in a hurry to reach Vlasenica. So we said our good-byes
23 there, and I didn't see General Gvero anymore. I'm talking about those
24 critical days from the 11th to the 14th.
25 Q. I'm going to ask you something else now. In the other case you
1 testified about being in Srebrenica in the town itself, shortly after the
2 Muslims left. I think it was the 13th of July.
3 A. Yes, it was the 13th. It was the following day after the 12th,
4 after the Fontana meeting. That was the first time I went to Srebrenica,
5 after that, on the 13th.
6 Q. Did you have the opportunity to go through the centre of the town
7 of Srebrenica and to look around?
8 A. I drove through the whole of Srebrenica, I don't know how familiar
9 you are with that. It's in a kind of valley, so I drove around Srebrenica
10 and I drove all over it.
11 Q. Did you notice any damage, shell craters, did you notice damage on
12 buildings? I'm asking you specifically about some buildings that you had
13 to pass by, such as the hospital, the post office and the UN base. Did
14 you notice shell or bombing damage on those buildings or on the streets of
15 Srebrenica where you passed?
16 A. The hospital, the post office, and the building where the UN base
17 was are next to the road where I passed. I didn't see any traces of
18 shelling or any shell craters. Had these things been there, you would
19 have had to see them. There were bullet pockmarks on the facades of the
20 buildings, but not shell-caused ones.
21 Q. Since you had relations with the command, I'm talking about
22 Srebrenica itself, do you know if Srebrenica itself, the town, was shelled
23 when combat operations were being carried out?
24 A. I know that the shelling of Srebrenica, where the civilian
25 population was, was explicitly forbidden. There was just shelling of the
1 nearby hills and woods, but I think that there was a ban on shelling the
2 actual town of Srebrenica. I don't think it, I'm sure of that. Because
3 I didn't see anywhere in the town itself, that there were any shell
4 craters. If they wanted to do this, it was possible to see Srebrenica
5 from certain vantage points, and it could have been shelled easily.
6 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
8 questions for this witness.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Krgovic.
10 Mr. Sarapa.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
13 A. Good morning.
14 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private session
15 for our first question.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that. Let's go into private session,
17 please, for a short while.
18 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
20 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Given the post that you held at the time, in Bratunac, could you
22 please give a concrete answer to this question: Is it true that the
23 Bratunac Brigade had no competencies over economic affairs, education,
24 traffic, or managing the infrastructure?
25 A. No, they didn't have any competencies.
1 Q. Would you agree that this pertains to schools, culture halls, and
2 all other public facilities?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] We can move back into open session.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that. Let's move back to open session,
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. We are in open session now,
11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Is it true that the competencies or authorities of the Bratunac
13 Brigade pertained only to the areas where the troops were deployed?
14 A. Are you referring to the command?
15 Q. I am referring to facilities primarily.
16 A. Well, it was well known what facilities belonged to the army.
17 Places where the brigade was billeted, warehouses, and everything else was
18 schools, companies, and there was no army there and army had no
19 competencies over these facilities.
20 Q. So we can conclude that facilities where the army was not billeted
21 were facilities over which the brigade had no competencies?
22 A. I think that that's how it was.
23 Q. Yesterday you told us about three manners of requisitioning
24 machinery and so on. The first one was at the request of the Ministry of
25 Defence, the second one was requisitioning by putting a request to the
1 Executive Board, by the command, and the third one was addressing directly
2 the directors of various companies. Would you agree with me that the only
3 lawful manner was the one where a request is put by the Ministry of
4 Defence? Shall I repeat the question?
5 A. I would agree with you that the most proper method was the one
6 that you mentioned.
7 Q. Thank you. Would you also agree that any other manner of
8 requisitioning equipment or machinery beyond the one that we mentioned,
9 where the brigade puts a request to the Ministry of Defence, is unlawful
10 and irregular?
11 A. I'm not quite sure about that. I wouldn't be able to give you a
12 clear answer, because I'm not sure. But it was done, yes, it was.
13 Q. Could it be said that there were cases where equipment was
14 requisitioned in the regular way by the Ministry of Defence for the needs
15 of a brigade but the written documents were not drafted immediately due to
16 some emergency circumstances. Perhaps the request came by the phone and
17 then written documents were drafted later?
18 A. I don't know what the relationship was between the brigade and the
19 Ministry of Defence, because it didn't go through the Executive Board. We
20 were a municipal organ, and we had nothing to do with the Ministry of
21 Defence, so I had no insight into their communication. I was only aware
22 of their communication if the brigade approached directly the Executive
23 Board with some request. In that case, that request came into my hands.
24 I don't know, either you were not clear or I was not clear.
25 Q. All right. Let me ask you something else.
1 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Could we now go into private session,
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session again, please.
4 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
6 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Whenever you received a request at the Executive Board, was it
8 always in writing?
9 A. What do you mean a request?
10 Q. A request to requisition a piece of equipment.
11 A. A request to requisition a piece of equipment, I don't remember I
12 ever received one in the form that you mention, namely from the brigade.
13 There was no need for that. There was plenty of time, so they went
14 through the secretariat for national defence, that was their channel. As
15 for the requests that we received at the Executive Board, from the army,
16 they normally requested food, clothing, cigarettes. The Executive Board
17 did not have time to deal with any other requests, because we were so busy
18 just supplying these items. What you are referring to normally went
19 through the secretariat for national defence. It didn't go through the
20 Executive Board.
21 Q. Thank you. I think that we're still in private session, aren't
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in private session, indeed.
24 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] We will need to remain in private
25 session for some further questions.
1 Q. You said in relation to the meeting you had with Miroslav
2 Deronjic, when you saw buses and a lot of people in Bratunac, that you
3 were concerned and that you went to meet with him and that on that
4 occasion Miroslav Deronjic told you the following: When you asked him
5 what was happening, page 26, line 2 of the transcript. He answered, "RD
6 and -- from M did this to us." Since we're in private session, we can
7 speak openly. He said, "Rajko Dujic [as interpreted] from Milici did this
8 to us." And then you later on you give another answer to another
9 question, and you say as follows, as to how Miroslav Deronjic told you
10 this. These are lines 10 and 11. This is what he said: [In English]
11 Rajko Dukic from Milici is framing us up."
12 [Interpretation] Later on in the course of cross-examination, when
13 asked to clarify what that meant, you said as follow, this is page 57 of
14 the transcript, lines 13 to 17: "[In English] Probably thinking that they
15 wanted to protect their own place. That's why they were pushing that
16 transport to Bratunac to avoid any kind of mess in his own town. And he
17 used his influence to do -- to do that to Bratunac so that was MD's view
18 and his opinion."
19 [Interpretation] So that was the opinion of Miroslav Deronjic, as
20 to how come this happened, that so many people and prisoners of war found
21 themselves in Bratunac. Could you please tell me, you said that you were
22 concerned, and that that was the reason why you went to see Miroslav
23 Deronjic, to ask him about the situation at the time. Was Miroslav
24 Deronjic concerned about the situation?
25 A. I think that at one point in time there was a mistake in
1 interpretation, at least as I heard it. The translation was Rajko Dukic
2 is yelling at us. At least that's what I heard.
3 Q. No, no, no, that's not how it was.
4 A. If that's not important, that's fine.
5 Q. Could you please tell us what did Deronjic say?
6 A. He said Rajko Dukic is setting this up. That was what he said.
7 And I think that it was interpreted differently. Deronjic was definitely
8 concerned himself, since he reacted in that way. And I was concerned, and
9 that's why I came, and he felt uncomfortable too about what was going on
10 in Bratunac and he was definitely concerned about that.
11 Q. You know that these prisoners of war were taken to Zvornik, I
12 suppose you know that?
13 A. I didn't know that at the time.
14 Q. But you are aware of that now?
15 A. Yes, now I am.
16 Q. In answering to Madam Fauveau's questions you said that Deronjic
17 was a high-profile -- had high profile politically. He was one of the
18 vice-presidents of the SDS, which was in power, and that alone meant that
19 he was close to President Karadzic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He was also president of the Regional Board of the SDS, and you
22 said that he was also a member of the Presidency, didn't you say so?
23 A. Yes, and I was also a member ex officio.
24 Q. Do you believe that, given his position, and given his influence,
25 on the 11th of July, President Karadzic, precisely because of those facts,
1 appointed him civilian commissioner for Srebrenica? Would you agree with
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could it be said that Miroslav Deronjic, a person of great
5 influence, who was concerned for the situation in Bratunac, used his
6 political influence in order to ensure that these prisoners of war be
7 transported from Bratunac to Zvornik?
8 A. I don't think that that's how it was. Had it been that way,
9 Deronjic would have told me this two or three days ago. I told you, I had
10 good communication with Deronjic. We were neighbours. But that he pulled
11 some strings to ensure that the prisoners are transported to Zvornik? I
12 don't think he did that.
13 Q. In your testimony yesterday you said that in that meeting, when
14 you came to see him, you suggested to him that he should use his contacts
15 and talk to people from the top political echelons, this is page 26, lines
16 10 and 11. Do you still remain by what you said?
17 A. You call this a meeting. He and I met in the street, but yes, a
18 meeting can be held in the street too. That was the way we communicated.
19 We would talk whenever and wherever we met. Sometimes it was in the
20 office, sometimes in the street, in a yard. But, yes, I remain by what I
21 said, that I told Deronjic, "Listen, see whether you can use your
22 contacts, your channels, to see what's going on. How come there are so
23 many buses in Bratunac?"
24 Because I had no communication with the state leadership, and
25 that's what we were discussing.
1 Q. Is it your conclusion that he didn't do what he said to you that
2 he did?
3 A. The mere fact that we met in the evening and that there were no
4 longer any buses in the morning, meaning that the buses left Bratunac
5 overnight, was sufficient to me. I didn't check to see whether Deronjic
6 made a call, didn't make a call. What burdened me were these buses and
7 they left Bratunac overnight, and I said, "Thank God, they're gone from
9 This happened very soon after the meeting with Deronjic. I saw
10 him perhaps at 10.00 in the evening, and the buses were gone in the
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Sarapa.
15 Mr. Krgovic.
16 Let's go into open session.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into open session first, please. Unless
19 there is a need to remain in private session, which I don't think is the
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, transcript page 50,
24 line 14 [as interpreted], there is a -- an expression there which is not
25 consistent with what the witness said. So if I may clarify this with the
1 witness. It has to do with the date. Can I read it out to the witness
2 and clarify this with him?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, Mr. Krgovic.
4 Further cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Redact, please.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [In English] I apologise, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought we had seen it all.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I will read out to you what the transcript
10 has. When Gvero left to Vlasenica. So we said our good-byes there and I
11 didn't see General Gvero anymore. "[In English] I'm talking about those
12 critical days from the 11th to the 14th."
13 [Interpretation] My question is, you didn't see him anymore. Was
14 it from the 9th on in July?
15 A. It was a slip of the tongue there. I meant from the 9th onwards.
16 But since most of the questions pertained to the 11th and 14th, I got
17 confused. This -- this referred to the 9th, and I don't know if I saw the
18 General. I didn't see him for a month or maybe even more afterwards, but
19 what I said referred to the 9th, from the 9th onwards.
20 Q. Thank you, sir.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course I have followed what you asked, and what
22 the witness answered. The only thing is that when I look at the
23 transcript on page 50, line 14, as you seem to have indicated, I'm not
24 finding the part that you referred the witness to.
25 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, could I help. It's page 54.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
2 MR. JOSSE: Line 14.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, it's okay. Thank you so much. Line 15 and
4 16. Thank you so much, Mr. Josse.
5 And I suppose you were going to state the same, Mr. Vanderpuye?
6 Thank you, both of you.
7 So one moment until I mark this. One moment, please. All right.
8 That concludes the cross-examinations.
9 Is there re-examination, Mr. Vanderpuye?
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Very brief re-examination, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Go ahead.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
14 Q. Good afternoon, Witness?
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Now, your interaction with General Gvero on the 9th of July, that
17 wasn't part of your prior testimony, right?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And it also wasn't part of the statement that you gave to Mr. Ruez
20 in 1998, right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Now, with respect to the meeting that you attended at the Hotel
23 Fontana, several questions were put to you about that meeting. And do you
24 recall General Mladic speaking to one of the Muslim representatives? Do
25 you recall him asking or saying, "As I told this gentleman last night, you
1 can either survive or disappear," referring to the Muslim people. Do you
2 recall him saying that?
3 A. Yes, I do recall him saying that.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have nothing further at this point.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
7 Witness, that brings your testimony to an end, because there are
8 no further questions for you from parties or from the Bench, which means
9 that you are free to go. Our staff will assist you to facilitate your
10 return back home at the earliest. On behalf of the Tribunal, I wish to
11 thank you for having come over to give testimony. And I also wish you a
12 safe journey back home.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye. Exhibits? I suppose there is
16 the pseudonym sheet.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, it's P02484.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I won't even dare ask if there are any objections.
19 That is admitted and will remain under seal. No further exhibits?
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: [Microphone not activated]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, any exhibits from the Defence teams?
22 Mr. Ostojic.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. We would tender the
24 statement of February 25, 1998, as 2D81, between Mr. Ruez and this
25 witness. But I'd also like for the record, just so that it's clear,
1 Mr. Vanderpuye, in his redirect examination, led the witness with respect
2 to whether he was asked certain questions, and I think it's important --
3 as a further basis for that statement being included is that the statement
4 is clear that Mr. Ruez was talking about events, as he himself says on the
5 first page of that documents, events which, "Followed the fall of the
6 enclave in Srebrenica in July of 1995." We could talk about it maybe off
7 the record to see what the point was asking -- regarding this, but I think
8 the Court saw some evidence that we tried to lead with this witness, that
9 he did not mention Mr. Beara at all in that statement in any time until
10 2003, but I think it's important for that reason, and also because we
11 relied on the statement extensively as we have with another witness which
12 I think the Court admitted their -- that statement. So by the same
13 principle, we would ask the Court to accept that statement.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, we do object to that. I'm not entirely
16 clear on what my learned friend's objection is with respect to the
17 redirect examination. Is it related to the witness's --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Sorry to interrupt you, but I think the
19 submission is not an objection to the -- your redirect, as such. But he
20 is using your redirect as a further reason why the statement should be
21 admitted into evidence. That's how I understood Mr. Ostojic.
22 If I have misunderstood you, Mr. Ostojic, then correct me, please.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: No, I am grateful, Mr. President, that you, in fact,
24 did understand me directly.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Then I think I do understand my learned
1 colleague, but then I disagree what he is suggesting the basis of
2 admissibility is. Unless he is suggesting that the document in some
3 respect contradicts what the witness testified to on redirect examination,
4 it only really confirms what was on the redirect examination. It wouldn't
5 constitute an independent basis of admissibility. And then with respect
6 to the content of the document itself, to the extent that it was offered
7 on cross-examination it should be admissable to the extent that was used.
8 But that's a different question, as to whether the entirety of the prior
9 statement should be introduced into evidence.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we are at different frequencies here. I
11 mean, it's -- I didn't read Mr. Ostojic's submission the way you are
12 reading it. The way I read it was, we made use extensively of this
13 statement of the witness to -- or this transcript of the interview with
14 Mr. Ruez during our cross-examination, amongst which we even used the same
15 transcript, same interview, to prove or to suggest, submit that during
16 that interview the witness never mentioned his client. But that's not the
17 only reason why they are submitting -- they are submitting that the
18 interview should -- should be introduced as an exhibit. Then in addition
19 he is also saying the Prosecution themselves also asked questions on
20 redirect, which strengthen our argument or our submission that the same
21 statement should be admitted into evidence. This is basically -- but
22 anyway, I think we can leave it at that. I need to consult with my
23 colleagues, of course, and we'll soon come back to you.
24 Any other -- soon come back to you in a matter of a minute or so.
25 Are there any other exhibits that any of the Defence teams wishes to
1 tender? No. Okay.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: As you may have imagined, we were discussing,
4 amongst ourselves, how positions shift from time to time. This is one
5 classic example. Both Prosecution and Defence. We are admitting the
6 statement or interview transcript, call it whatever you like. We'll give
7 it a number. We are also making it clear that we are admitting it because
8 there has been extensive reference to it. It's not being admitted as a
9 substitute or in substitution of the witness's oral testimony here. So
10 we're making that clear to you. But it's being introduced in evidence.
11 All right. Yes, it has to be under seal, obviously. I mean, needless to
13 Yes, I see three persons standing. Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Josse, and
14 Mr. Bourgon.
15 MR. JOSSE: My point's just been dealt with.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I just -- if -- I think the next
18 witness, it would be appropriate to have a caution for -- I believe, a
19 Rule 90 caution.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's very useful for us to know, because
21 again, I mean, I didn't have a clue.
22 Mr. Bourgon.
23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. My -- at this time I
24 would just like to address the Trial Chamber's decision to admit the
25 interview in evidence. And the Trial Chamber you just stated that this
1 was because it was extensively used in cross-examination. With all due
2 respect, I do not believe that this is what my colleague requested,
3 representing Mr. Beara, and that this statement is being used -- is being
4 introduced, one, not to the contents or not for the truth of its content,
5 but for impeachment purposes, and not because it was extensively used
6 because if we take a ruling any statement extensively used in
7 cross-examination can be admitted at the request of everybody, then we
8 will end up with every statement being admitted. We want to make sure
9 that if the Defence believes that a statement will assist the Trial
10 Chamber, because there was contradictions between what the witness said on
11 the stand and what he said in his statement, then the Defence makes that
12 request and it's perfectly legitimate for a statement to go in. But for
13 any other reasons we believe that this would the be the case. Thank you,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I actually agree with Mr. Bourgon on that point;
17 however, I don't believe in arguing after a decision has been made.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Most respectfully, Mr. President, just to clarify an
19 issue, our position has not changed. It's the Court's ruling. We
20 believe, with all due respect that changed from the outset when the Court
21 said they would not accept statements such as this and we have used it
22 with most witnesses. The Court having changed that rule, in our view, we
23 also, as a basis, decided to ask the Court to bring that in. We thought
24 we had it sufficiently. Then the other basis is, I thought it was
25 important, at the very least that first page, so the Court can see in an
1 attempt to, maybe an argument will be made by the Prosecutor, what exactly
2 was the focus of Mr. Ruez's questioning, and that he specifically said, as
3 I quoted, that it was following events after the fall of the enclave. Not
4 on July 9th, but it was after the 11th. Just to make that clear for the
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. We close the matter
7 here. In the past we have admitted prior statements of witnesses in part,
8 and sometimes in whole, depending on what we consider to be in the best
9 interests of justice at the time. So do expect our position to shift from
10 time to time, because we will all decide on what we consider to be in the
11 interests of justice.
12 So, next witness. Do you agree, by the way, with the suggestion
13 of Mr. McCloskey that we refer the witness to Rule 90?
14 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: With all due respect it the request, would I like a
16 little further information why the Prosecutor now thinks that a Rule 90
17 warning is necessary, given, in light of what the Prosecutor has indicated
18 to this witness on several occasions in their interview. Has something
19 changed that we should be aware of? Because in the interview it's quite
20 plain what the position of the Prosecution was when they interviewed this
21 witness approximately seven years ago. So I would just like a further
22 basis as to why they think they should give him that warning.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest if you would like to contribute to
24 the discussion, Mr. McCloskey, that we go into private session, and you
25 say what you wish to say. If you wish to state anything. Do you agree we
1 should go in private session first of all?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's a good idea, yes
3 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. Let's have a 25-minute
14 break, starting from now. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.26 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
17 [The witness entered court].
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir. Good afternoon to you,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You are about to
22 start giving evidence. Before you do so, you are required to make a
23 solemn declaration that in the course of your testimony you will be
24 speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The text
25 is being handed to you now, please stand it up, read it out aloud, and
1 that will be your solemn commitment with us.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-161
5 [Witness answered through interpreter].
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, sir. Make yourself
7 comfortable, please take a seat.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me explain two things before you start giving
10 evidence. First of all, the Prosecution asked on your behalf to have two
11 protective measures put in place. One is the use of a pseudonym, the
12 other is visual, face distortion. As I understand it, this -- these
13 measures have already been explained to you. Is that correct?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And you are happy with this arrangement?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The other thing is the following: We have, in this
18 Tribunal, adopted what is commonly referred to worldwide as the "right."
19 I will explain to you, it's not an absolute right, but the right of any
20 witness not to incriminate himself or herself in the course of his or her
21 testimony. So what I want to tell you is that if and when you are asked
22 questions, the answer to which might tend to incriminate you, if you
23 believe so, then you can ask us to exempt you from answering such
24 questions to the extent that they may tend to incriminate you.
25 However, as I explained already, this is not an absolute right.
1 According to our rules, we can, after hearing what you have to say, your
2 submission, compel you to answer such questions. If, however, we do
3 compel you to answer such a question, any testimony that you give in
4 answering such questions shall not be used as evidence against you in any
5 subsequent prosecution, except in one instance. That's if we catch you
6 giving false testimony, in which case you can then be proceeded against
7 for perjury and whatever you would have stated would be taken into
9 Is that clear to you? Do you understand the import of this
10 advisory that I am giving you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So I am now going to leave you in the hands, capable
13 hands of Mr. McCloskey, and then he will be followed by the equally
14 capable hands of -- equally capable lawyers in the various Defence teams.
15 We will not finish with you today for sure, so prepare yourself to be here
16 again on Monday, when we hope to be able to finish your testimony.
17 One final thing: Between now and Monday, and until you finish
18 your testimony, you are absolutely prohibited from communicating with
19 anyone or letting anybody communicate with you to even discuss the
20 substance of your testimony here. Is that clear?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Do I have your undertaking that you will abide by
23 this ruling?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
1 Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. First thing I'll give to you is what we
5 call --
6 A. Good day.
7 Q. P02485, it's a sheet of paper. Can you tell me if that's your
8 name, if that's you on that paper?
9 A. No.
10 Q. That happens sometimes. Is that your last name?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Well, that will have to work for now, I think. We'll
13 try to correct that a little later. It's -- your name is similar to that,
14 I take it, but we'll -- we'll figure that out.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Might be a good idea to go into closed session to
16 start out with, Mr. President?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go into private session straight
18 away. May I see that paper or has it been handed back to the Prosecution?
19 [Private session]
11 Page 9357 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Witness, I'd like to take you now to July, 1995. To that time
21 period historically when Muslim men and -- or Muslim women and children
22 and elderly men were being transported out of Potocari through Bratunac
23 and onward. Can you tell us, at about the time that that was happening
24 did you decide to make a trip up towards Konjevic Polje?
25 A. Yes. It was one of -- on one of those days that I went to
1 Konjevic Polje and saw the buses that were going from Bratunac towards
2 Konjevic Polje. They were full. Full of adults, elderly people, women,
3 children, and so on.
4 Q. And why, on -- on that day did you go up towards Konjevic Polje?
5 A. That day I heard that some things were happening, so I went to
6 see, just simply to see what was going on.
7 Q. When you say "some things" did you get -- what in particular, if
8 you were given any particular information?
9 A. That there was fighting, that there were dead, and so on and so
11 Q. Okay. And do you remember roughly what time of day you went up in
12 that direction?
13 A. Sometime in the afternoon.
14 Q. And ...
15 A. At about 2.00 or 3.00 p.m., maybe later even, I don't know.
16 Q. Okay. And why would you go up to an area where you heard fighting
17 was going on?
18 A. Out of curiosity.
19 Q. Isn't that a -- wouldn't that be dangerous?
20 A. No, the road was open. There was a lot of civilian police at the
21 check-points on the road.
22 Q. And did you go by yourself or was anyone with you?
23 A. I was alone in my car.
24 Q. At some point on that trip did you witness an incident along that
25 road somewhere?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us where that was and what you saw?
3 A. When I was passing through Kravica, near the agricultural, or the
4 farmers' cooperative building, I saw a killing. Where a man in a green
5 camouflage uniform was taking five men with him, and he ordered them to
6 lie on their stomachs and then he shot them in the back.
7 Q. And where were you when you saw this happen?
8 A. On the road, just across from the farmers' cooperative building.
9 Q. Were you moving or were you still?
10 A. I was moving, but when I saw that, I was standing there for a
11 certain amount of time.
12 Q. Okay. When you say you were standing there, were you outside
13 standing or were you in a vehicle?
14 A. I didn't come out of the vehicle, no.
15 Q. Okay. So you stopped your vehicle, and what else did you see
16 after you stopped your vehicle?
17 A. I saw the killings, and then to the right of where the killing
18 took place I saw a pile of dead bodies.
19 Q. Where were these pile of dead bodies in relation to the
20 agricultural warehouse building?
21 A. In front of the actual building.
22 Q. Did you see any -- besides bodies and this one person that had
23 shot five men, did you see anybody, anybody else walking around the area?
24 A. There were people in camouflage uniforms.
25 Q. Can you give us a rough idea of how many?
1 A. About 10, 15, perhaps even 20.
2 Q. Did you recognise any of them?
3 A. No.
4 Q. How long did you stay there in your -- in your car?
5 A. After seeing the killings, that incident, I was a bit disturbed,
6 upset, so I really don't know how long I stayed there.
7 Q. Did you see any vehicles in front of the warehouse?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. And what did you do after seeing this?
10 A. I continued on to Konjevic Polje, then I returned via Kravica
11 again, and I went to work.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak up.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can ask him to speak up, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Witness, the interpreters are having a little bit hard time
16 hearing you, so you might want to scooch up a little bit and speak up, if
17 you can.
18 Now, do you know roughly what time it was when you saw the killing
19 at the warehouse?
20 A. I don't know what time it was, but it was in the afternoon.
21 Q. And when you came back, did you stop again, or just keep driving
22 at the warehouse?
23 A. I just continued driving.
24 Q. And where did you go?
25 A. To Bratunac.
1 Q. And what did you do when you got to Bratunac?
2 A. I don't know what you mean.
3 Q. Just -- just generally, do you remember where you went?
4 A. I went to my office, thinking about what I had seen.
5 Q. Roughly, what -- what time of day is this now?
6 A. Well, towards the evening.
7 Q. Okay. So what's the next thing you remember doing that evening?
8 A. That evening they called me from the municipality to report to the
9 SDS premises, where Colonel Beara was awaiting me.
10 Q. Do you know who called you?
11 A. I don't.
12 Q. Okay. And did you know who Colonel Beara was at the time?
13 A. I knew that he was a senior officer of the army of Republika
14 Srpska. I didn't know him personally though. I didn't know where he
15 worked, what he did.
16 Q. Had you seen him around the Bratunac area at that time period
17 before this phone call came in?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember when you'd saw him?
20 A. I think that I saw him a day or two prior to that. I guess once
21 in passing, by the Fontana Hotel, and another time I think it was in the
23 Q. Do you remember about what time you received this phone call to go
24 see Colonel Beara?
25 A. I think it was after 9.00 p.m., maybe even later.
1 Q. Had you had any drink or dinner with anyone before receiving this
3 A. Yes. With Mr. Ljubisa Borovcanin. I sat with him, but I can't
4 remember whether we only had drinks or we ate.
5 Q. Okay. And what did you talk about?
6 A. You mean with Mr. Borovcanin?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Well, we talked about the death of a policeman from a special
9 unit, about a young man who was also a member of the Special Police Unit,
10 who had burned his hand as he was seizing a barrel from a Muslim man. He
11 told me that he was supposed to go to Zvornik, because I had asked him. I
12 said to him, "I heard that the vehicles who travelled from Bratunac to
13 Konjevic Polje were the vehicles of the special unit, which drove so fast
14 by me that I had to stop, and a policeman, a civilian policeman told me
15 that Zvornik was about to fall and that the special unit because supposed
16 to go there to defend Zvornik.
17 So I put a question to Mr. Borovcanin, and he said that he had
18 received an order, and that he was due to go there urgently. He was just
19 waiting for this young man with a bandaged hand. This is where we parted,
20 and then came a phone call to go see Mr. Beara.
21 Q. Okay. So when you told us that, "He told me that he was supposed
22 to go to Zvornik," you were referring to Mr. Borovcanin?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was anyone else with you and Mr. Borovcanin at this time?
25 A. Yes. I'm just not sure. I think that Miroslav Deronjic was
1 there, Srbislav Davidovic, the policeman with the bandaged hand. Maybe
2 somebody else was there, but I don't remember. There were several of us,
3 not just the two of us.
4 Q. Where was this?
5 A. At the restaurant Jasen.
6 Q. Did you hear the circumstances around the incident where the
7 person burned his hands grabbing a rifle held by a Muslim?
8 A. I heard about that. That a Muslim grabbed a rifle from a
9 policeman and killed him, shot a burst of fire at him. So the other
10 policeman grabbed the barrel of the rifle and burned his hand.
11 Q. And who told you that story?
12 A. I heard that from that young man that evening. He told me this
13 story. And prior to that I heard it from somebody else, but I don't
14 remember from whom.
15 Q. Was Mr. Borovcanin present when that story was told?
16 A. I am not sure, but I think so.
17 Q. Do you remember Mr. Borovcanin telling you anything about that
18 incident, where the person burned his hands and the police officer was
20 A. It was discussed that evening, but I truly don't remember what
21 Miroslav said, what Mr. Borovcanin said, what I said. We talked a lot.
22 Q. Was there --
23 A. This was long time ago, so I've forgotten a lot of it.
24 Q. Was there any discussion of the killings that you had seen at the
25 cooperative building, the warehouse in Kravica?
1 A. Yes, I told them about what I had seen, with some fear, but I told
3 Q. And was Mr. Borovcanin present when you told that, what you'd
5 A. I think he was.
6 Q. From what you recall, when you heard the story about the burned
7 hands and the police officer getting killed, was that related at all to
8 the Kravica warehouse?
9 A. I don't know. Because I didn't see the incident with the
10 policeman when one was killed and the other one was burned. I saw the
11 killings, so I can't say whether it was related.
12 Q. Did they -- okay. Did they tell you that night at -- when you
13 were together, where this burned hand and police killing incident took
15 A. No, I don't know that.
16 Q. Okay. Let's get back to the call that you received to go see
17 Colonel Beara. What did you do after receiving that call?
18 A. I went from my office to the SDS premises.
19 Q. Okay. Did you walk?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And tell us about what -- what was there and what you did when you
22 got to the SDS premises.
24 (redacted). I went there, I came,
25 I saw two military policemen in the office of the secretary. I introduced
1 myself. I said that I had received a call from Colonel Beara to report to
2 him. They let me in, into the office of Miroslav Deronjic. I saw there
3 Colonel Beara and another two officers of the army of Republika Srpska. I
4 told them, (redacted).
5 You asked to see me."
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Please redact immediately.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: We may want to redact the reference to the utility
8 company that occurred.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And even the distance from his office to the SDS
11 Witness, please, we are doing our utmost to shield your -- your
12 identity. So try to avoid mentioning names or details that could reveal
13 your identity.
14 So let's continue.
15 We are going to redact what you said in any case. So it will not
16 be available to the public.
17 Go ahead, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Did you recognise those other two officers that were in Miroslav
20 Deronjic's office?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Besides Colonel Beara and these two other officers, was there
23 anybody else in that office and -- besides yourself, of course?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. Tell us what happened in there.
1 A. When I introduced myself to Colonel Beara he asked me what kind of
2 machinery I had, and also manpower. I told him that we had people
3 employed or mobilised, those who were not fit for the army. We had two
4 FAP trucks, and a small excavator, called SKIP.
5 Q. Okay.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry to interrupt you like this, Mr. McCloskey.
7 But let's go into private session for just a remark I would like to make,
8 soliciting your response to it.
9 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry for that interruption, Witness.
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Thank you. You just had described the Colonel, Colonel Beara, the
18 kind of equipment you had and the manpower.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we can go into public.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in public session now. We are.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
22 Q. And was anything else said that you remember?
23 A. I asked Colonel Beara why he wanted to know about the machinery we
24 had. I said, "What needs to be done?" He said, "It needs to be prepared."
25 It needed to go to Milici. Dead people have to be buried, there will be a
1 lot of dead and they need to be buried.
2 Q. And what did you say?
3 A. I said, "Colonel, we have two dumptrucks and one SKIP excavator.
4 What could they possibly do, of what use could they possibly be and why
5 would we go to Milici, to another municipality?" I asked him whether he
6 had contacted Mr. Rajko Dukic, and then he insolently cursed me and Rajko
7 Dukic and said, "You will be awaiting your further orders with --"
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the end of the
10 JUDGE AGIUS: If you could finish the end of that sentence again,
11 please. He told you, "You will be awaiting your further orders," and what
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I was free to go. I went out,
14 went to my office, and then went home. During the night I was informed,
15 most likely from the SDS, I received a phone call to come again to the SDS
16 premises to receive further instructions or orders.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. About what time of night was this?
19 A. After midnight. It was 1.00 or 2.00 a.m.
20 Q. Okay. And what did you do?
21 A. Nothing. I got ready, went there, reported. Colonel Beara told
22 me, "You will now go with the military policeman and find a burial
23 location." I told him that there was no way I was going to do that, to
24 look for a location to bury the dead. He said, "Well, there's this
25 military policeman, go with him and go to the location where a grave is to
1 be dug out." We went in a military vehicle to Glogova, near Kravica, some
2 100 to 150 metres from it, we took the old road and then we stopped and
3 the policeman showed me the location where a grave had to be dug out, one,
4 two or three graves. I noted that, and then we returned to Bratunac, and
5 I went home to sleep.
6 Q. Okay. Let me take you back. When you go back to the SDS offices
7 at 1.00 or 2.00 a.m., who was there this time?
8 A. On this occasion it was just Colonel Beara, and the two military
9 policemen that I mentioned.
10 Q. Did you see those two officers that you spoke of before that you
11 saw the previous time you were at the SDS office? I'm sorry I don't think
12 we heard that. We didn't hear your answer because it didn't get picked
14 Did you see those other two officers you'd seen with Colonel Beara
15 at your first visit to the SDS?
16 A. The second time I came there I didn't see them. It was just
17 Colonel Beara there. The two policemen were in the next room.
18 Q. All right. Had -- did you get any indication whether or not
19 the -- he or the police, Colonel Beara or the policeman had been drinking?
20 A. There was a bottle of whiskey and a glass in front of Colonel
22 Q. All right. What did you do the next morning?
23 A. The next morning I went to work, just like any other day. I
24 issued and designed tasks to people who had work obligation. The rest of
25 the men went in a truck, because the other truck was out of order, so we
1 had to bring it back from Glogova, went to Glogova, where a grave was to
2 be dug.
3 Q. About what time did you get to the Glogova grave site?
4 A. Maybe at 9.00 in the morning, around that time.
5 Q. And did you do -- did you or your crew do any work on the grave
6 that morning or that day?
7 A. Nothing was done until the excavator arrived, and it arrived a bit
8 later. Then the operator of construction machinery arrived, the one who
9 operated the excavator, and it was then that this common grave was dug.
10 They began digging.
11 Q. What kind of excavator was this?
12 A. It was ULT, it was a loader excavator. It was not a backhoe
13 excavator. And this is precisely why we were unable to dig three or four
14 graves, because this is a loader. And I think I explained that later to
15 Colonel Beara. And Colonel Beara promised that a backhoe excavator from
16 the -- the brigade would come and that we would continue digging with that
17 backhoe excavator. And that's exactly what happened. This excavator
18 arrived from the direction of Kravica or Konjevic Polje, it was brought on
19 a truck, FAP-18 truck. It was brought on a trailer. The excavator was
20 removed from the trailer, and the trucks turned back and went to Kravica
21 and Konjevic Polje, and the excavator remained there.
22 It was operated by Rade Djurkovic. And Simic, I can't remember
23 his first name. The operator was from the brickworks from Bratunac, as
24 was the equipment.
25 Q. So the ULT was from -- the ULT loader was from where?
1 A. ULT was from the state-owned company called Brickworks Bratunac.
2 Q. Is that Ciglana related to the brickworks?
3 A. Yes, yes. Ciglana is the factory manufacturing bricks.
4 Q. And did you work -- well, did bodies arrive at this grave that
6 A. I didn't hear you well.
7 Q. Did bodies arrive at the grave in Glogova that day?
8 A. I think that towards the evening one or two trucks arrived when
9 ULT, the loader, went to Kravica, and the excavator remained at the
10 location in Glogova. It was only on the following days that the trucks
11 starting arriving in large numbers.
12 Q. Do you know where the bodies came from that filled that grave?
13 A. I assume that it was from Kravica.
14 Q. Are you familiar with any other locations where bodies came from
15 up in that area?
16 A. Well, yes. There was a group of workers from the utility company
17 collecting corpses next to the road. There were also corpses in Konjevic
18 Polje that were collected, then there were corpses in Bratunac next to the
19 school, all of those corpses were collected and taken to Glogova.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we stop here for the day, Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I think it's a good idea.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So we stand adjourned until Monday morning.
23 Witness, please remember what I told you and not to speak to
24 anyone about the substance or the events that you are testifying about.
25 Have a nice weekend.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th 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.