1 Wednesday, 18 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could you
7 call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. We are a full house today. The
11 accused, Defence and Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Vanderpuye.
12 Witness is already in the courtroom.
13 I think Mr. Bourgon can proceed. You don't have any further
15 MR. BOURGON: I was done, Mr. President. Mr. Meek was --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I was under the impression that you still had a
17 couple of questions. All right so it's Mr. Meek to be followed by
18 Mr. Josse.
19 WITNESS: LAZAR RISTIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Meek: [Continued]
22 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Good morning, how are you today, sir?
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Very briefly, yesterday when we were finishing up, you had
1 mentioned that -- this would be at line -- page 73, line 17 through 20,
2 that: "On the 12th, in the evening, and on the 13th, in the evening, they
3 were ambushed during the night on the 12th, we received an order to be
4 prepared that afternoon. And they should be sent during the night into
5 Tisova Kosa sector." Do you recall that, sir?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And were you referring to -- just tell the Chamber who you were
8 referring to on those two nights and the ambushes.
9 A. That ambush was sent to the sector of Tisova Kosa in case of an
10 attack by the Muslim forces from the area of Srebrenica, in order to
11 protect the defence line of our battalion from the back. That order had
12 arrived from the brigade, because along that axis, both in 1992 and in
13 1993, certain groups from Srebrenica used to pass in the direction of
14 Tuzla and this also repeated in March 1993. That axis was used by some
15 300 soldiers and civilians to access Tuzla from the direction of
16 Srebrenica. That is why those ambushes were set up, in order to protect
17 the front line of our defence from the back.
18 Q. Sir, are you aware during that period of time any ambushes which
19 did take place? And I believe yesterday you did mention ambushes taking
20 place with Obrenovic?
21 A. I heard from the brigade that during that period of time, during
22 the 12th and the 13th, Major Obrenovic went to intercept the column,
23 setting up a sort of an ambush. I don't know what his intention was. I
24 suppose it was to prevent the break through of these groups towards
25 Zvornik, towards the surrounding villages, and I know that he asked for
1 the intervention unit on the 13th in order to reinforce his troops in the
2 Snagovo sector. That's how I realised that there was a large group, a
3 long column of people that had to be intercepted.
4 Q. And, Mr. Ristic, do you recall receiving a commendation shortly
5 after these events?
6 A. I remember that it was somewhere in the newspapers after the
7 events in the Drina Corps, I was commended by the brigade commander for
8 good comport, something to that effect, something that had to do with the
10 Q. And are you aware that in that commendation, not only you but
11 other units were commended, among other things, upon inflicting enormous
12 losses on the enemy during that time period? Are you aware of that, sir?
13 A. I can't remember exactly but I know that I wasn't alone to be
14 commended. I believe that the commanders of the 6th Battalion, the
15 7th Battalion were also mentioned. I don't know which other units were
16 also mentioned. I can't remember.
17 Q. Yes. You're correct. It wasn't just you and the 4th Battalion
18 but you do understand, Mr. Ristic, that among other things, the
19 commendation was for inflicting great losses on the enemy, correct?
20 A. The way I understood the commendation, it was bestowed as a result
21 of combat activities and the things that happened in the sector of my
22 battalion during those days. I believe that it had to do with the
23 fighting. I don't know the exact wording of the commendation.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Ristic, during the period of time from
25 1992 to 1995, when you were in the intelligence/security sector, you had a
1 dual role; is that correct, both as security and intelligence?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you enlighten me and just tell me what the difference is
4 between intelligence, what their duties would be, as opposed to security?
5 A. The intelligence duties were about the enemy situation, and
6 counterintelligence had to do with the work of the unit within the unit
7 where I was, that is the battalion.
8 Q. And can you enlighten me and the Chamber what would be the duties
9 for security, as opposed to the intelligence?
10 A. I said the difference lies in the fact that the intelligence
11 activity of the assistant commander in the battalion consists in the
12 reporting to the commander of the brigade about the positions of the enemy
13 troops, and the security situation in the battalion concerns the work of
14 the battalion, destructive activities, running away from the positions,
15 and this was also reported to the military police in agreement with the
16 commander of the battalion. If the infringement was of a lesser
17 magnitude, then it could be reported to the commander of the battalion.
18 If it was more serious, then to the commander of the brigade.
19 Q. And, Mr. Ristic, during that period of time, which we are talking
20 about, from 1992 to 1995, could you -- March of 1995, when you took over
21 some command responsibilities as you testified to, can you tell me
22 approximately what percentage of the time you would spend on intelligence
23 work as opposed to security work?
24 A. During the period while I was assistant commander of the
25 battalion, you mean? Or throughout the entire period?
1 Q. No, sir. Let me -- it's my understanding that from 1992 to
2 approximately March of 1995, you were in the security and intelligence
3 sector and in fact you just answered that a little bit earlier; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So my question was, before you went to the command or assistant
7 commander of the battalion in March of 1995, what percentage,
8 approximately, did you spend on security matters as opposed to
9 intelligence matters?
10 A. I can't give you any ratios concerning that part of my job. But
11 the everyday task of the assistant commander for intelligence was to
12 monitor through the company commanders, men on the lines and in the
13 trenches, to monitor the movement of the enemy. That was an everyday
14 task. In agreement with company commanders, if there was a problem with
15 the troops in the companies, everything went through company commanders
16 who would address the assistant commander for security. That was my
17 everyday job and it's very hard for me to talk about any ratios.
18 Q. I can appreciate that and I want to clarify one thing. I think I
19 earlier misspoke when I said from March of 1992 to March of 1995. It was
20 actually March of 1993 to March of 1995. Is that correct, Mr. Ristic,
21 when you were in that position in the sector of security and intelligence?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Ristic, I just have one other issue I'd like
24 to ask you about. Do you recall giving an interview to -- with
25 Mr. McCloskey from the Office of the Prosecutor, back in 2004? April 8,
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. At the end of that, Mr. McCloskey asked you if
4 you had any complaints and you said no, that you were satisfied. Do you
5 recall that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Ristic, you went on to say, though, that you really wouldn't
8 like to participate in this because you believe that during that period it
9 was not a normal situation which you were engaged in, it was a war, and
10 you were a person who was living off your work and you believe that you
11 didn't hurt anyone during this war, even on the Muslim side. Do you
12 recall that, sir?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you recall telling Mr. McCloskey then that in regards to the
15 Muslims at that time, that they were your neighbours and that they are
16 still your neighbours, that they came back and that "we live in sort of a
17 normal surrounding and we are all surviving"? Do you recall that, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And again, having been that interview a few years back, is it a
20 fair statement that the Muslims have returned to the villages where you
21 came from and life is getting back to normal?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Ristic, thank you very much.
24 MR. MEEK: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Meek. Mr. Josse?
1 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
3 Q. Mr. Ristic, I don't want to go over old ground with you, but I
4 want to clarify one or two matters to do with dates. When you began your
5 evidence two days ago, at page 10043 of the transcript, you described how
6 on the 12th of July, you received a telegram from the brigade instructing
7 to you form a platoon out of companies. You remember that, don't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You then talked about the 13th of July and said that you were
10 informed from the brigade that a platoon was coming to your aid, a platoon
11 from the 3rd Infantry Battalion and they were supposed to provide security
12 support for the mortar platoon. Do you recall that as well, don't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The reason I've asked to you clarify that is because, at page
15 10093 of the transcript, when you were initially being asked questions by
16 my learned friend Mr. Bourgon for Drago Nikolic, he suggested to you, I
17 suspect inadvertently that the events in relation to the intervention
18 squad had taken place on the 14th of July. It had in fact taken place on
19 the 13th of July as you initially said. That's correct, isn't it?
20 A. On the 13th of July, that intervention platoon of the battalion
21 arrived in the area of Tisova Kosa and Grujica Brdo and on the 14th in the
22 morning it was dispatched to the Snagovo sector.
23 Q. Do you remember when on the 13th of July it arrived?
24 A. It was around noon. During that period of time, around noon or
25 maybe early in the afternoon. We had ample time to inspect the line, to
1 talk. It was daylight. I'm sure that it was in the afternoon on the 13th
2 of July.
3 Q. And when were you first informed on the 13th of July that it would
4 in fact be arriving?
5 A. You mean the intervention platoon of the 3rd Infantry Battalion?
6 Q. I do mean that, yes.
7 A. During the period of time when they were sent towards me, I had
8 been informed by the brigade that the 3rd -- actually, the
9 intervention platoon of the 3rd Infantry Battalion was on its way to the
10 Grujica Brdo area and they asked me to deploy them. During that period of
11 time, maybe half an hour before their arrival, I had been informed about
13 Q. So sometime in the late morning, perhaps, would that be right?
14 A. Yes, thereabouts.
15 Q. Now, by this time, and let's use this as a convenient point in
16 time, the point that you had been informed of the arrival of the
17 intervention platoon, you were aware of an imminent military threat from
18 the column; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And by that time, you had taken initial steps to try and detect
21 and block the column, correct?
22 A. I knew that Major Obrenovic had gone to the area of Snagovo to
23 intercept that column. We were preparing some sort of defence because
24 there was a possibility that they might attack us as well and this is all
25 I knew at the time about the column and about the developments.
1 Q. That will suffice for my purposes. Apart from the fear that they
2 might attack you, there was a fear that they might attack surrounding Serb
3 villages; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In short, you were being put on the maximum level of alert and
6 full combat readiness, weren't you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And as I think you've already described, you had a particular fear
9 that some of the men in the column might suddenly attack your rear,
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Yesterday, when you were being asked questions by my learned
13 friend Mr. Haynes for Vinko Pandurevic, you confirmed that you were able
14 to see the military aspect of this column quite well on the 17th of July;
15 is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you saw with your own eyes that it was in fact, as far as you
18 were concerned, well armed and well organised?
19 A. First I saw a column of civilians. It was a very, very long
20 column walking, and there were women and men in that column. I didn't pay
21 too much attention to the fact whether they all had arms but some did. I
22 was standing at a distance of some 500 metres and I could see the column
23 very well. It was between 10 and 20 metres wide. It was very long. It
24 was passing. It had 24 hours to pass. Once our line was closed, there
25 were still some groups that managed to go through and they kept on
1 passing. When we went to inspect that part where they were passing, we
2 saw that the grass, which had been high, was lying low and you could
3 actually see the soil. The soil had been trampled on, the grass had been
4 trampled on which means that quite a lot of Muslim population had passed
6 Q. And specifically, it's the military aspect that I wanted to ask
7 you about. You had mentioned that one of your men had counted 32
8 84-millimetre machine-guns. That's right, isn't it?
9 A. Yes. That was on the 17th, in the afternoon, when we were
10 supposed to bring our lines up to manpower level, and that was near our
11 command which had burnt down. I saw that myself.
12 Q. And intermingled were -- with those guns were a lot of uniformed
13 soldiers, and as far as you could see, this column did pose the threat
14 that you had prepared for back on the 13th of July; is that right?
15 A. Yes. It was our practice, as I said, in 1993, a number of
16 civilians passed through our line of defence in the following manner.
17 Some armed men went before and after them, and in a manner of speaking
18 they pierced our line of defence and passed through. And we assumed that
19 they would do the same now. And this proved to be so. They attacked us.
20 We had to leave our command post. They had weapons. And in that period
21 we had 11 killed and one missing. He was never found. We had 20 wounded.
22 That was how the fighting happened in that period.
23 Q. I just want to you confirm that in addition to the men and arms
24 that you have described being present in the column, the column also had
25 artillery support. Is that right?
1 A. Artillery support came from the direction of Nezuk. They were
2 firing upon the command post. Someone was probably telling them where to
3 fire. So those on that side and those from the 2nd Corps had
4 communication probably.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse.
7 Mr. Vanderpuye, do you have -- yesterday, you said that you would
8 have a few questions on redirect.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, and good morning to you, Your Honours
12 and counsel.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ristic. I think just now you just indicated on
15 questioning by Mr. Josse, my learned friend there, on the 13th when you
16 were informed of the intervention platoon from the 3rd Battalion being on
17 its way that you were on maximum alert because of what you perceived to be
18 an imminent danger; is that right?
19 A. That was the highest level of alert. We were on alert for a
20 possible attack every day. According to our previous experience, in
21 Baljkovica, we had to be alert and prepared for an attack because we did
22 not have information as to the movements of those people. We didn't know
23 exactly when they would arrive in our area so we had to be alert in every
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Nikolic?
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise for interrupting but
2 this has to do with the interpretation of the witness's reply. The
3 transcript does not reflect what the witness said in B/C/S. Perhaps the
4 witness did not enunciate the word clearly. Could this be clarified? I
5 think the witness said it was not the highest level of alert.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Line 19 on page 11.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Now, you could address it yourself,
9 Mr. Vanderpuye. But in answering your question, the very first statement
10 of the witness is, "That was the highest level of alert." And we are
11 being told that he didn't say so, so perhaps you could address it to the
13 MR. VANDERPUYE:
14 Q. Mr. Ristic, I think you probably have understood the concerns of
15 the president and also my learned friend. Could you tell us, with respect
16 to the level of alert that you had on that day, I guess that would be on
17 the 13th of July, could you tell us was that the maximum level or not the
18 maximum level?
19 A. It was not the maximum level. It was only a higher level of
20 alert. Because we did not ask for assistance. Had it been the maximum
21 level we would probably have asked for assistance to defend the command
22 post and the line. We did not have information as to what kind of group
23 this was. We did not ask for assistance but we were more alert than usual
24 in the battalion.
25 Q. Okay. I just wanted to then clarify, in response to the question
1 that was put to you by my learned friend Mr. Josse, I think it's at
2 page 9, lines 6 through 8 in the transcript, he asked you in short were
3 you being put on the maximum level of alert and full combat readiness,
4 weren't you? And your answer was yes. Does your response now change your
5 response to his question that was put to you earlier as well?
6 A. I probably didn't understand properly but I have just explained in
7 my previous answer what the level of alert was.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. So would it be fair to say that the level of
9 alert that were you on was a heightened level of alert, higher than
11 A. Yes. A greater level of alertness and caution was required. The
12 company commanders had to cooperate. Also the commander of the mortar
13 platoon. People were not allowed to leave their posts. Everyone had to
14 be ready for a possible attack, to be ready to fire from their position
15 that they were assigned to.
16 Q. And during this period of time, did you make any effort to recall
17 any of the personnel that you had released prior to this state of
18 readiness or alertness?
19 A. In this period, I called a colleague from the battalion, whom I
20 had allowed to go, to go away for a certain period, to deal with some
21 business. He had been absent for seven days. I didn't have a battalion
22 commander. This man was familiar with the situation. He had been a
23 company leader for some time and I called him asked him to come and help
24 me and he did, and he went to the ambush with those men and unfortunately
25 he was killed on the 15th -- no, on the 16th of July, near the command.
1 Q. Now, I just wanted to take you to a couple of different areas, two
2 different areas specifically. The first has to do with some questions
3 that were put to you by my learned friend Mr. Haynes regarding an order, a
4 1993 order, that was apparently issued by Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic,
5 and in particular, I think you were asked to read the last paragraph of
6 that answer -- of that order. Do you recall having done that yesterday?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Could I have please P02504 displayed in e-court?
9 Could I have, Madam Usher, could I have the order itself actually
10 physically handed to the witness? I don't believe I can display both
11 simultaneously in e-court, can I? It's 7D0036. I have it here in my
12 hand, if you could hand it to the witness.
13 Q. If I could just refer to you the last paragraph? Okay,
14 Mr. Ristic, do you recall having read that yesterday into the record?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what you read in the record, is it page 10162, line 21 through
17 10163, line 4, that: "Armed groups should be considered terrorists
18 because recently they have inflicted major losses on us, in case of the
19 groups passing and being blocked and in case they finally lay their arms,
20 and if there are unarmed persons and civilians among them, make sure they
21 are treated as prisoners honouring and complying with international
22 conventions on their protection."
23 Now, with respect to that particular, as a deputy commander,
24 battalion commander, reading that latter part of the order, what is your
25 understanding regarding armed groups should be treated or should be
1 considered terrorists? With respect to the B/C/S version it would be the
2 last page. I think it's page 3.
3 A. For us in the battalion, all these armed groups were considered to
4 be enemy groups. The term "terrorists" didn't mean anything in our
5 battalion. It wasn't important.
6 Q. Now, just bear with me one second.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. VANDERPUYE:
9 Q. You indicated that at some point in your career, you were an
10 assistant commander for security, and I think Mr. Meek, my learned friend,
11 had asked you some questions concerning your responsibilities in that
12 capacity. Do you recall responding to questions put to you by Mr. Meek
13 along those lines?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you also indicated that part of your function in that capacity
16 was to refer certain matters to the battalion commander. Is that the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And in more serious cases of infringement by soldiers, those
20 matters would get reported to the commander of the brigade; is that the
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, did you, as the deputy commander of the battalion, ever come
24 to learn of any investigation that was undertaken within the battalion
25 concerning the events involving Orahovac on the 14th of July 1995?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And did you, in your capacity as deputy commander of the
3 battalion, come to learn of any investigation that was undertaken at the
4 brigade level concerning those same events?
5 A. I'm not aware of that. Probably there were some rumours going
6 around about that, but I was not informed, and I'm not aware of any such
8 Q. And did you ever come to learn of any order issued by
9 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, the commander of your brigade, either
10 investigating the events concerning Orahovac on the 14th or instigating
11 any type of disciplinary action with respect to any soldier involved in
12 those events?
13 A. I'm not aware of anything like that. Our battalion probably was
14 not involved in that. Had it been, I might have been informed but I'm not
15 aware of anything like that.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you very much, Mr. Ristic. I have no further
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vanderpuye, to your question as to the
19 investigation that was undertaken at the brigade level, the witness said
20 he heard some rumours. Could you clarify that with the witness?
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, I will, Your Honour, thank you.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE:
24 Q. I think you've heard the concern of His Honour. Can you tell us
25 what rumours you heard in relation to an investigation being undertaken
1 into the events concerning Orahovac on the 14th of July 1995?
2 A. Perhaps I did not express myself well. I said there was no
3 investigation in our battalion. Had there been I would have known about
4 it. I was not involved down there. I didn't have any information. And
5 it would not be appropriate for me to talk about things I may have heard
6 about but I'm not really familiar with. I don't really know about them.
7 I was tied to the battalion. I spent my time in the battalion. There was
8 little talk of that and if I heard something but I don't have any
9 firsthand knowledge or any reliable knowledge about those events, then I
10 wouldn't like to talk about them.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. Ristic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, we don't have any further questions for
14 you, which means you're free to go. Our staff will assist you. But
15 before you leave this courtroom, on behalf of the Tribunal and the
16 Trial Chamber, I should like to thank you for having come over to give
17 evidence in this case, and on behalf of everyone, I also wish you a safe
18 journey back home.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, documents? Do you wish to tender any documents
22 from this witness, Mr. Vanderpuye?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: We only wish to tender the document that was
24 offered by Mr. Haynes. If he's not planning to tender it, then we will
25 but other than that, there is nothing.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's start with you, Mr. Bourgon, would
2 you like to tender any documents? You've made use of some.
3 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President. Good morning, Your Honours,
4 good morning, colleagues. Mr. President, we would like to introduce into
5 evidence 3D94, which is the map that was used by the witness but we would
6 like to introduce the map without any markings because it might be used
7 later on with other witnesses but also the map, the one that he marked,
8 and those are the only documents we wish to tender into evidence,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, can you follow that? Okay.
11 Any objections?
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, there is no objection.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And I take it it's not the kind of documents that
14 any of the other Defence teams would object to. So there being no
15 objections, they are so admitted and they will be given a number by the
16 registrar which will be communicated to you.
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Mr. Haynes?
19 MR. HAYNES: A number of documents, please. P00348, that is the
20 death certificate for Gojko Simic; 5 entries from the Zvornik Brigade duty
21 officer's notebook, they are 7D159, 165, 166, 167 and 181; P00381 and
22 P00382, those are the two documents setting out the brigade strength in
23 terms of manpower and military hardware of the Zvornik Brigade; 7D362,
24 which is the order of the 16th of July of 1993. I was originally going to
25 invite you to mark that for identification purposes only because the
1 translation is only provisional, but since Mr. Vanderpuye has put in
2 P02405, the draft translation, I'd invite to you admit them both into
3 evidence since there appears to be no contest about the accuracy of the
4 translation. 7D363, which is the witness statement of Predrag Ilic that
5 will have to be marked for identification purposes only because it is not
6 translated to my knowledge; and lastly, the map as marked by the witness
7 on the screen which as I understand the position should be called 7DIC86.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Haynes. Any objections,
10 Mr. Vanderpuye? Could you incidentally address Mr. Haynes' suggestion
11 that once you have made use of P02405, the draft translation, that should
12 also be admitted? In other words, instead of having -- instead of having
13 7D362 marked for identification purposes, Mr. Haynes is suggesting that it
14 is -- that it will be admitted on the basis that the draft, provisional
15 and unofficial translation apparently is not contested by you, rather it
16 has even been made use of by you. So on that basis, he suggests that they
17 are both admitted and not marked for identification purposes. If I
18 understood you well, Mr. Haynes, but I think I did.
19 MR. HAYNES: Yes, it seems to save time. It doesn't look like we
20 are arguing about the translation.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vanderpuye, the exhibit number P02405 is only a
1 partial translation, a translation of part of that order.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct.
3 JUDGE KWON: So I'm saying that that order should be translated
4 later on.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: I agree, and that's what I was about to
6 articulate. I think for what it's worth it's okay but I think for the
7 purposes of having an official translation of the entire document we need
8 a translation of the entire thing.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. Thank you. Any objection with that,
10 Mr. Haynes?
11 MR. HAYNES: Not an objection, but it's been drawn to my attention
12 that the document is in fact P02504, not 2405.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, please take note of this. Any
14 objections to the admission of any of the documents that have been listed
15 by Mr. Haynes?
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Only I would suggest with respect to the duty
17 officer logbook entries that, that the period from the 11th through the
18 23rd be admitted in order to -- in order to complete the picture of the
19 entries that are being tendered and I don't know if Mr. Haynes has a
20 particular objection to that but I think it would be a more useful -- it
21 would be more useful to the Court to evaluate those entries in terms of
22 their context within that period of time.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes?
24 MR. HAYNES: At this point in time I'm only seeking the admission
25 of the documents I used with this witness. The Prosecution will admit
1 into evidence the duty officer's notebook in due course. When they do,
2 they can do and I will have no objection at that point in time.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that should be the position to be taken.
4 And later on, if you wish to have other pages from that record to be
5 introduced in evidence, you will have all the opportunity to do so. All
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Then I have no further objections.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So Madam Registrar, these
9 documents that have been listed by Mr. Haynes are admitted. In relation
10 to the translation of 7D362, we are told that there is a provisional
11 translation of part of it. Whatever you made use of has to be substituted
12 by a proper, official translation of the entire document. All right?
13 Once you have done that, you will -- that will enter into the records and
14 the other one will disappear, in other words. In other words, the one
15 which you made use of today will remain marked for identification
16 purposes, with the understanding that you will replace it with a full,
17 official accepted translation. In that case, both that document and the
18 original document in B/C/S that Mr. Haynes made use of, which are both --
19 which is also being marked for identification, will come into the records
20 as fully admitted documents. All right? Agreed? Okay.
21 Mr. Meek, you have no documents to tender? Mr. Josse?
22 MR. MEEK: No, Mr. President.
23 MR. JOSSE: No, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I think we can move to the next witness
25 who I understand is a viva voce witness and he enjoys no protective
1 measures; is that correct?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's my understanding, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted to confirm because situations change
4 from day to day sometimes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: And from minute to minute. That's my
6 understanding right now.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And Mr. President, just a matter regarding
9 Witness 123. He was a witness that we had offered as 92 ter. We have
10 confirmed that that witness has recently died so we will of course be
11 withdrawing that application and we will be reviewing it for 92 quater and
12 I owe you an estimate and everyone an estimate for the Prosecution's time
13 period and I will have that for you tomorrow, if that's all right.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to start
19 giving evidence.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You're about to start giving evidence
22 very soon. Before you do so, our rules require that you make a solemn
23 undertaking with us that you will be testifying the truth. Madam Usher
24 who is standing next to you will hand to you now the text of the solemn
25 declaration. Please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn
1 undertaking 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 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Babic. Please make yourself
6 WITNESS: RAJKO BABIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You are first going to be asked questions by
9 Mr. McCloskey, whom you've met already. He will then be followed by some
10 of the Defence teams on cross-examination. I do not expect your testimony
11 to finish today. Probably it will, if everyone cooperates, including
12 yourself, we will finish it tomorrow. May I suggest to you that in
13 answering questions you answer the question, the whole question and
14 nothing but the question, please. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President I forgot to mention that I think as
16 I've talked to the witness a caution is probably appropriate in the
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Babic, we have adopted a principle of justice in
19 our rules, which is found throughout the world in most systems, namely we
20 pay homage, we respect the right of a witness or of any person for that
21 matter not to incriminate himself. For that purpose, we have provided a
22 rule which basically provides that a witness may object to making any
23 statement, and for that matter to answering any question put to him, which
24 might tend to incriminate him. However, this is not an absolute rule. In
25 case you are asked questions which, if answered, could lead to your
1 possible incrimination, you can ask the Trial Chamber to give you
2 permission not to answer such questions. We may decide in favour of your
3 request, but we are also entitled not to grant your request and to order
4 you to compel you to answer such questions. But there is a safeguard. In
5 case we compel you, we order you, to answer such incriminatory questions,
6 your testimony, your answer, compelled in this way shall not be used as
7 evidence in any subsequent prosecution that might be taken against you for
8 any offence except if you are found responsible for false testimony.
9 Is this clear to you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I think on the basis of what I have been
12 telling you, we may proceed with the examination-in-chief, and as I said,
13 please expect to be here today and tomorrow. We'll try to finish with you
14 tomorrow. Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Babic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Can you first tell us for the record your full name?
20 A. Yes. Aleksa Rajko Babic, okay?
21 Q. And where were you born?
22 A. The village of Krasanovici in Bratunac municipality.
23 Q. And where did you grow up?
24 A. In the same village. I went to school in Bratunac, Srebrenica and
25 later on in Tuzla.
1 Q. And what was your profession?
2 A. I was a teacher of Serbian.
3 Q. Can you tell us just a bit about your teaching career, where you
4 taught, what years roughly, just a brief outline?
5 A. From 1971 to 1986, in Pilica. Then for seven years in Zvornik.
6 And in 1991, I returned to Pilica. And this is where I still work
8 Q. And what school is that?
9 A. The Nikola Tesla primary school in Pilica.
10 Q. Is that in or near the village of Kula?
11 A. The village is Pilica, and Kula is a hamlet belonging to that
12 bigger village.
13 Q. And when the war broke out in 1992, what did you do? Were you
14 assigned to the army?
15 A. At the time, I worked at the Mitar Trifunovic Uco school in
16 Zvornik and since the journey was no longer possible, I returned to
17 Pilica. That same year, I was mobilised into the Republika Srpska army.
18 Q. And can you give us just another brief outline of what you did in
19 the army and whether or not you went back to any school activities from
20 1992 up to 1995?
21 A. I started in the 1st Battalion. I was assistant commander for
22 moral guidance. I returned to school in 1993, and I stayed up to 15 May
23 1994, and then I was mobilised into the battalion again.
24 Q. And when you were mobilised in 1994, what was your job?
25 A. I was assistant commander for general affairs.
1 Q. And what did that involve?
2 A. I was an officer for general affairs. That's the title. And it
3 mostly involved accounting, administrative work, lists, paperwork, things
4 like that.
5 Q. Just to clear up the record, you were not an assistant commander
6 in 1994, you were a referent, an administrative clerk; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. That's correct. I was wrong when I said I was assistant
11 Q. Okay. And did you hold that same position in July 1995?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And at some point in July 1995, did -- were some Muslims
14 transported to the area of Pilica?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what day was that, as far as you can remember? What was the
18 A. 14 July.
19 Q. Can you tell us about the day? When you first woke up, what did
20 you do? Where did you go?
21 A. I was on holiday. I'd been on holiday for three days. I was at
22 home. In the morning, I was supposed to report to my unit. On that same
23 day. On the 14th. In order to arrive there on time, I had to leave
24 around 6.00, which I did. It took over an hour to the command post. It
25 was hot so one had to make stops. I believe that I arrived at the unit
1 sometime between 7.00 and 8.00. I did not consult my watch. And I
2 reported to the unit. I let them know that I had arrived.
3 Q. Well, can you tell us what hamlet or village the unit headquarters
4 was that you reported to?
5 A. Manojlovici is the hamlet and the village is Lokanj.
6 Q. And when you reported it to the headquarters, what did you do?
7 A. I was supposed to get ready, and I was told that I was supposed to
8 be on duty on that day. We called those people duty officers. I was
9 supposed to be duty officer, although I was not an officer, I was a foot
11 Q. What did you do?
12 A. I approached my colleague, who was sitting in the chair, normally
13 occupied by the duty officer. He got up and he got ready to leave and to
14 go to have rest, and I took his position.
15 Q. And did you review any materials after that? Or did you receive
16 any communications?
17 A. It was our custom, when we arrived from holiday, to inspect the
18 duty officer's log to see what had happened from the moment we left to the
19 moment we came back from furlough.
20 Q. And tell us what happened as you began your duty shift.
21 A. First, I read the entries in the logbook from the day when I was
22 sent home, and I arrived at the last page that was filled out by my
24 Q. Okay. And what did you notice, if anything?
25 A. Of all the entries, of all the sentences, I remember one that I
1 read. It was about a telegram entitled, "From the command of the Zvornik
2 Brigade to the 1st Battalion." That was the title of the telegram.
3 Q. And what did it say?
4 A. I may not be correct in quoting exactly but I will give you the
5 content: We are informing the command of the 1st Battalion that in the
6 course of 14 of July, a group of anything between 100 and 200 men will
7 arrive from Srebrenica at our battalion. We hereby order to the
8 1st Battalion to prepare the gym in the school near Kula. These people
9 are to spend the night there and to be exchanged in Tuzla on the following
11 Second, accesses should be provided to the school once these
12 people are accommodated in the gym.
13 Q. And can you -- what do you mean by accesses should be provided?
14 That's not real clear.
15 A. There are two entrances to the school, the so-called main entrance
16 and the auxiliary entrance and the meaning was once they enter the school,
17 three or four soldiers should be placed at the main door and three or four
18 soldiers should be placed at the auxiliary door in order to prevent
19 anybody from -- anybody unauthorised from entering the school. This is
20 what I meant, to secure the accesses to the building.
21 Q. Okay. Yesterday, in my office, we spoke about this. You thought
22 you may have actually received that report over the phone. Have you had a
23 chance to think about that, on whether or not you might have received that
24 report or that you actually read it in the duty officer notebook?
25 A. I read the book, the duty officer logbook, and it arrived in my
1 office from another house where there was communication centre of our
2 battalion. This centre received telegram and these telegrams are
3 communicated by the phone to our office, and then we use the logbook or a
4 piece of paper to record the content of the telegram communicated to us
5 over the phone.
6 Q. Do you think you might have received this information you just
7 told us about or had it been your previous duty officer?
8 A. I signed in my statement that I had found it there. I believe
9 that this is correct. I stated that on the 13 and 14 March 2005, and I
10 believe that my recollection was better then than it is now. So I would
11 say that what I stated then was correct.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. And do you remember that notation in the
13 logbook, could you tell or do you remember what date it had been received
14 by the battalion?
15 A. It was on the 14th of July of that year.
16 Q. And do you know roughly what time of day you remember seeing this
17 communication in the logbook?
18 A. Well, I arrived, as I've told you, between 7.00 and 8.00 in the
19 morning. I suppose that I must have read that sometime between 8.00 and
20 9.00 or even between 7.00 and 9.00. I don't know.
21 Q. Okay. And was anything done there in the command that morning
22 pursuant to that order in the logbook?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you tell us what that was?
25 A. The deputy commander was at the headquarters when I arrived, my
1 predecessor, the security officer and the officer for moral guidance.
2 Since the commander wasn't there, we set down around that desk in order to
3 see what we could do pursuant to that order.
4 Q. Can you just, first of all, tell us the names of the people that
5 had the positions you just told us about?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So who was the -- who was the commander, for example?
8 A. The deputy commander was Captain Momir Pelemis.
9 Q. And where was the commander?
10 A. According to my information, he was being treated for a minor
11 infection in Belgrade.
12 Q. All right. And you said the security officer was there. Who was
14 A. The security officer was a non-commissioned officer of the former
15 army, Tomislav Peric [as interpreted] and the officer for moral guidance
16 was a foot soldier, Dragan Antic [as interpreted]. And Rajko Babic was an
17 administrative officer, which is me. And the person called Jovan Rajic
18 [as interpreted] was the duty officer from whom I had taken over. Did I
19 mention everybody?
20 Q. Well, the security officer's name, what was he known by?
21 A. His nickname is a bit derogatory. I'd like to avoid using that
22 nickname for the sake of the listeners.
23 Q. I don't need to know his nickname at this point what was his
24 regular name because I'm not sure if we got it right in the record?
25 A. Okay. I can modify it a little. We called him Captain Muderiz.
1 Q. Was his name Slavko Peric?
2 A. Yes, Slavko Peric.
3 Q. And the officer for moral guidance, was that Dragan Pantic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's a good place to stop.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we'll have a 25-minute break starting from now.
8 Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Babic, we left off at the headquarters of the 1st Battalion.
14 What did the small group you've described do? Or what did they decide to
15 do? Can you tell us about what happened then?
16 A. After discussion and a conversation, we decided that all those who
17 happened to be there at the headquarters, save for the deputy commander,
18 Pelemis, to head towards the school in Pilica, and that the group should
19 be joined by a signalsman, a guard, a logistics man and a few soldiers who
20 would be able to carry out the task of securing the school in Pilica.
21 Q. And did that happen?
22 A. This is exactly what we did but there was another option, to
23 supplement our group, on the road leading from our headquarters to the
24 school, any soldier en route to the position, we could order that soldier
25 not to go to the combat lines that night but to join us and to increase
1 our strength around the school.
2 Q. Okay. So when you got to the school, about how many soldiers did
3 you have there for security?
4 A. Together with me, there were 12 of us.
5 Q. And again, which of the -- was Slavko Peric with you?
6 A. He was one of the 12.
7 Q. And was anyone in charge of your group?
8 A. While we were still in the command, we agreed it should be
9 Slavko Peric because he was the most senior among us.
10 Q. Okay. And how about the morale officer, Dragan Pantic? Did he go
11 to the school as well?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And what did you all do when you got to the school there at
15 A. We divided into three groups of four. One group of four soldiers
16 went to the schoolyard to secure the auxiliary entrance. The second group
17 of four men remained near the main entrance, to control entry into the
18 school. Dragan Pantic, Slavko, another man and I, I don't remember who,
19 went inside the school. Our task was to go to the gym to see what
20 condition it was in, to see if there was anything that had to be taken out
21 of it and moved to other rooms, to see whether one could leave without any
22 obstacles, to see whether there was any gym equipment that might cause a
23 hazard, and remove it. And that's what we did.
24 Q. Okay. And can you just tell us what happened after you got it set
1 A. When we had done all this, we were on our way out of the gym and
2 from the door to the gym to the door to the school, the distance is 2 or 3
3 metres approximately like the distance between me and the gentleman. When
4 I turned the corner, going towards the door, I was surprised to see an
5 armed soldier standing at the door who was not from my unit.
6 Q. And what did you see then?
7 A. I looked through the glass door and the window, and I noticed on
8 the path leading up to the school, two or three civilians walking towards
9 the school with their hands behind their heads.
10 Q. And did you have an idea who these civilians were?
11 A. I've already said that we knew that -- well, we knew from the
12 order, I've told you about before, that they were from Srebrenica.
13 Q. Okay. And so can you tell us what happened, what you saw, that
14 day after this?
15 A. We stood behind the soldier at the door, three or four metres
16 away, and he asked me where the gym was in the school. I pointed in the
17 direction of the gym, which was to his right, and I stood there in the
18 middle of the corridor together with Pantic, Slavko, and he ordered that
19 the civilians should enter one by one and proceed to the gym, and that's
20 what happened.
21 Q. And just keep describing what you saw. How many -- how many
22 civilians did you see enter the gym?
23 A. Very well. The civilians came in one by one, two or three metres
24 apart from each other, so that on the path leading up to the school you
25 could see three or four of them at any one time. They passed by and I
1 always thought there were no more civilians because there would be periods
2 when no civilians were coming, but then some minutes or seconds after
3 that, another group of civilians would appear in the same way, with their
4 hands behind their heads, and so it went on in the same way and it was
5 very hard for us to control the numbers. Some walked faster, some walked
6 more slowly. We found ourselves surprised, a little bit confused. I
7 tried to count them but I lost count. So I stopped counting. But they
8 came in waves, with interruptions, and so it went on.
9 Q. Can you tell us roughly about what time of day these first Muslims
10 started arriving at the school?
11 A. I tried to establish that. I went to the command where I spent
12 three or four hours. Then I went back. I set up the gym. And in my
13 view, it might have been after 1400 hours.
14 Q. Okay. After 1400 hours, when the Muslims first started arriving
15 at that school?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And can you tell us roughly, your best estimate, of how long
18 Muslims continued to arrive?
19 A. Do you mean how many or do you mean for how long?
20 Q. Well, let's start with how long. How long were they arriving, as
21 best as you can estimate?
22 A. I think that the entry into the gym lasted at least 30, up to
23 perhaps 50, minutes.
24 Q. Okay. And did you get any idea of the number that -- the total
25 number after they'd all arrived?
1 A. It was very hard even to guess. So I went to the gym a little
2 later to see what this looked like.
3 Q. And what did you see?
4 A. In the gym, I saw a lot of people, and they took up about
5 two-thirds of the gym space. If you know what a basketball field is like,
6 they were up to the first racket near the entrance door, some five metres.
7 That was the area that was not full. Some were squatting, some were
8 standing up, some were sitting. It was very hard to estimate the numbers
9 because they were in different positions.
10 Q. Okay. And aside from the -- what you've described as the 12 men
11 from the 1st Battalion, how many men from this unit that you didn't know
12 were in -- did you see around the school that day?
13 A. I was inside the school. As I said, you can only see about 10
14 metres up to the corner. In the area I was able to see, together with the
15 two or three who were inside, there were two or three outside directing
16 the civilians, so they wouldn't go off in another direction towards where
17 I lived, for example, so I saw three to five of them. I don't know
18 whether they changed shifts. I don't know whether there were any others
20 Q. Did you ever find out where these soldiers that you didn't know
21 were from?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. Can you describe that, it's still that first day, the 14th,
24 what happened after all the Muslims became loaded into the gym? Just give
25 us the outline of the events as you recall them.
1 A. When the soldier who directed the civilians into the gym went to
2 the gym, he probably saw that the gym couldn't hold any more civilians.
3 He went back to his position at the door and told the others who were
4 outside that no more civilians could be taken to the gym.
5 Q. And then what happened?
6 A. Then the two who were with him stood at the main door. The gym
7 door remained open so you could always see the civilians. And they stood
8 guard there. They remained there. The soldier at the door was already
9 free to leave. He stood there chatting to us. He asked where the toilet
10 was. He asked whether he could have a drink of water. And we stood there
11 because we didn't dare go to the gym right away to take a look. I asked
12 him, "Can we go and see?" I asked if I could go and see what was
13 happening in the gym, and he permitted it. I went up to the -- to one of
14 the two doors leading from the gym to the parking place. And I saw those
15 Muslims who were taking up two-thirds of the gym space. And then I
16 returned to the corridor. The guards continued standing guard. They
17 changed from time to time. And now something happened that we had not
18 foreseen or known about. Outside, the temperature was about 30 degrees
19 Centigrade. There were no windows open in the gym and there was no
20 ventilation. The civilians were sweaty when they arrived, or wet or
21 unkempt or unwashed. And I felt a terrible smell emanating from the gym.
22 And it was becoming more and more unbearable. The guards started
23 complaining that they couldn't stand at the door. They kept asking for
24 replacements. So that every three or four minutes we had to change the
1 In the meantime, things became even worse. The windows in the
2 corridors began to mist up and you couldn't see through them. You could
3 hear the rumour of voices from the gym and I could see them approaching
4 our guard getting closer and closer to him. When they were sitting in the
5 gym, the guard was perhaps 25 metres away from them in the corridor, but
6 at one point they had already come to his feet, they were squatting there.
7 They were asking us to let them go out, refresh themselves, get some
8 water, go to the toilet.
9 I spoke to my men and we agreed, because we had two buckets of
10 water, two barrels of about 200 litres each in the bathroom. We allowed
11 three or four civilians, accompanied by a guard, to help us carry those
12 barrels to the corridor near the door leading into the gym. We thought we
13 could let them get out of the gym one by one and refresh themselves and
14 then go back. But every civilian, every prisoner who left the gym, he
15 would splash his comrade, not himself, with water. They would splash each
16 other with water. And very soon, there was a large puddle around these
17 buckets and the water was evaporating and causing even more mist on the
18 windows. But that would not have been a problem if they had wanted to go
19 back to the gym, those men. But they would stand by the barrel. Others
20 would approach it and suddenly there were so many of them around the
21 barrel that I had the impression half of them were there.
22 There were two steps in the corridor and they sat there and then
23 there was a staircase leading upstairs, which in length is perhaps from
24 here to that door, and they started sitting on those steps and we couldn't
25 prevent them from doing that. We didn't want to issue any orders. And
1 the soldier at the door didn't try to make them go back into the gym
2 because it seems that he himself felt that they couldn't go back there
3 because of the smell and the bad air. Some of the men collapsed. I
4 didn't see any actually faint or lose consciousness, but they were all
5 sweaty, they had taken off their T shirts, they splashed each other with
6 water, and at one point they were all out of the gym, there was not a
7 single one left in the gym. And the hallway, the lobby, together with the
8 stairs was a much bigger space, and now the windows could be opened and
9 when they were sitting in the corridor and on that staircase, our guards
10 and I, and our men, had a problem because we couldn't control them any
12 Q. Excuse me one second. Under our rules we need to try to go
13 question and answer and I don't want to interrupt your story because it
14 will make it more difficult, I think, but let's try to go a little more
15 step by step.
16 A. You told me -- it's all right.
17 Q. You've been fine. So with this problem you've described, where
18 were the Muslims allowed to -- or where were they moved to?
19 A. Now they were all in the corridor. The soldier who had the role
20 of issuing orders asked us what the classrooms upstairs were like. He
21 asked me if I would accompany him to take a look at the classrooms. I
22 couldn't refuse, and I didn't mind going with him. So I did. Through the
23 rows of prisoners sitting on the staircase, and upstairs.
24 Q. Sorry.
25 A. All right.
1 Q. The soldier that had the role of issuing orders, was that one of
2 the soldiers you didn't know or was that a member of the 1st Battalion?
3 A. It was one of those I didn't know.
4 Q. Okay. And then what happened?
5 A. We went upstairs. Upstairs, there were six classrooms. Of the
6 six, one was not in use. It wasn't open, because there were computers in
7 it and that was always kept under lock and key. As the school was closed
8 for the summer, that room was closed and one of the teachers had the key.
9 We looked at one classroom. He looked at the windows and the -- how high
10 they were from the pavement outside, and he said all right. I had to show
11 him another one. He said it was all right. Then the third and the fourth
12 and the fifth and he was satisfied. Then he went back to those Muslims
13 who were already on the steps, they were all the way up to the landing,
14 and they were talking among themselves, so he got them to be quiet and he
15 told them to go to the classroom on his right, one by one, and they obeyed
16 him. He looked to see how many could fit in and when he established no
17 more could fit in, he told them to go to the second classroom. And they
18 obeyed and so it went on until all the classrooms were full and not a
19 single Muslim was left outside in the corridor.
20 Q. Were Muslims allowed to receive or go get water?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you describe that?
23 A. As the barrels were downstairs, and the water in them was already
24 dirty, I remembered that in the school they had some containers for
25 carrying bread or rolls to the pupils, and you could -- they could hold
1 some 15 litres of water. They had handles. So I went to the door of each
2 classroom and told those Muslims if they wanted water to drink, they
3 should choose among themselves two men for each classroom and I found
4 those containers in the school kitchen. There were 12 of them. So I gave
5 two to each classroom. I told them to take those containers and escorted
6 by our soldier to go to a spring which was some 70 or 80 metres away from
7 the school, to fill them with fresh water and escorted by the soldier, to
8 bring the water to the classroom, in front of the classroom, and they did
9 that very nicely. So that each classroom had two of those containers full
10 of water and they were very happy about that. I told them to open up the
11 way so that those who needed it most could approach those containers and
12 take water and that's what they did. A similar situation obtained when
13 they wanted to go to the toilet.
14 Q. And where was this spring, more precisely in relation to the
16 A. Near the auxiliary door -- entrance, there is a playing field, a
17 sports field, some 15 metres, then there is a small slope some 30 or 40
18 metres so altogether it's about 70 metres below the school. There is a
19 pathway leading to that spring. There is a fountain that has been built
20 there. That water was used for the school. But as there was no more
21 electricity, there was no running water in the school.
22 Q. Okay. And did anything -- did you learn that anything happened to
23 any Muslim that went to get water that afternoon?
24 A. While I was in the corridor at one point I heard at the auxiliary
25 door that there was some kind of commotion. When I approached to see what
1 was going on because there was nothing else for me to do, I was just
2 standing there, I found that one Muslim had rolled up his trouser leg on
3 his right leg, his right side was facing me, he was holding his leg and
4 shouting, "I'm wounded." He probably went to get water with his brother,
5 the young man was holding him up. He wasn't lying down. He was standing
6 there. There wasn't even any bleeding from the wound. And he said, "Hold
7 on, brother. You're the only one left. Hold up, if we could only reach
8 Tuzla tomorrow." I looked at the wound. We didn't have anything to dress
9 it with. There was no blood running from it. That young man took off his
10 T-shirt and bandaged up the wound and then they went to the classroom.
11 Q. What kind of wound was it?
12 A. It was an exit-entry wound below the knee through the muscle. I
13 don't know what the name of the muscle is. In the back of the leg,
14 underneath the knee. It wasn't the bone that was damaged.
15 Q. Did any of the people there tell you how he had received that
16 wound and --
17 A. He told me. I asked him what happened. And he said, "They
18 wounded me." And I said, "What did you do?" And he said, "I started to
19 flee." And I said, "Why did you do that, for heaven's sake?" And he
20 said, "They were shooting." And I said, "Well, were they shooting at
21 you?" And he said, "No, but I got scared and I started running." And
22 then probably our soldiers prevented him from escaping and shooting at him
23 as he was fleeing, they probably hit him in the leg.
24 Q. Did you hear any shooting outside the school that afternoon and
1 A. You could hear shooting around the school every day. There were
2 two or three shops there and our men on their way back from the duty stops
3 would go and drink there until late at night. Once they got really drunk,
4 they would shoot into the air so that hearing the sound of shooting was
5 nothing unusual. I was inside. There was a lot of noise inside. The
6 people were calm but they talked among themselves and it echoed in the
7 school and you couldn't hear anything else. And also, I was so used to
8 hearing the sound of shooting I didn't pay any attention to it.
9 Q. About what time of day did this person come with the bullet wound?
10 Or when did you see him with the bullet wound? About what time of day?
11 A. It was when they went up there to the classrooms. I don't know
12 when. I can't remember. It was in the afternoon but I don't know exactly
13 when. The time had stopped for me.
14 Q. Did you stay there when it got dark?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what happened, if anything, that night?
17 A. Nothing interesting happened save for the fact that we experienced
18 a light outage, an electricity outage. The prisoners took that
19 opportunity to come down the stairs and they tried to go for a walk. It
20 was dark. We could not recognise each other let alone the Muslims. We
21 reflected on what to do. I remembered that in my apartment I had three or
22 four candles that I had brought from the positions. I had brought them to
23 my wife to have when there was no electricity. At the time, candles were
24 hard to get by. I left and went to my apartment and in my apartment where
25 I hadn't been for two or three years before that, I managed to find three
1 or four candles. I brought them to the school and I placed them along the
2 staircase, and I lit them, which enabled us to control the people who were
3 going up and down the stairs. And the night continued. Nothing new
4 happened. They went to the toilet, they went to get a sip of water, they
5 were calm. Our guards did not have any need to control them. The windows
6 were open. There was a light breeze. It was not hot. And they were even
7 grateful to us, when I spoke to them, that they felt comfortable actually.
8 Q. Did you sleep at all that night at the school?
9 A. No, I did not sleep at all.
10 Q. And was Slavko Peric with you at the school that night?
11 A. No.
12 Q. How about Dragan Pantic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. And the next morning, what happened the next morning?
15 A. Before Slavko Peric left home that evening, we had agreed that he
16 should go to the battalion command or the brigade command and to ask for
17 our replacement. It seemed that nobody would come to fetch these people
18 the following day so we sent him to spend the night at home, to go to the
19 brigade the following morning, to see what would become of these men, if
20 they were not to be taken anywhere and to give us reinforcement because
21 the 12 of us had already been exhausted from the long night, and Slavko
22 left, we the rest of us stayed behind, awaiting what would happen.
23 Q. So in the morning when it became light, what happened?
24 A. Nothing. We were just standing there in our positions. They did
25 whatever they were supposed to do, toilet, water. They were in the
1 classrooms. I inspected the classrooms. I talked to them. They asked me
2 things. I would answer if I knew what to tell them. I even hoped that I
3 would bump into some people I knew from Srebrenica and that somebody might
4 recognise me. They started addressing me as "principal," and they told
5 me, "Don't fret. We will be calm. Today we will be exchanged," as if
6 they had noticed that the four of us were actually afraid for our lives
7 because they outnumbered them and they could have attacked us. That's how
8 I proceeded. I calmed down. I told them if they behaved, we would
9 behave. They listened to that voice of reason and nothing happened.
10 While they were there nothing bad happened to them. Everybody behaved.
11 Q. And were you relieved that day sometime?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell us about that.
14 A. When Slavko brought people who would replace the 12 of us, I
15 believe that he brought more soldiers. I couldn't check how many because
16 the four didn't go home, the other four or us, we didn't go home. The new
17 soldiers just replaced us and I could go to the staff room to sit down, if
18 there was coffee, I could have a drink of coffee. And the other three
19 were in the school, in my stead, and instead of the others. Those
20 soldiers who were standing guard were taking a nap on the staircase, if
21 they could, but nobody went home. So the number of soldiers and the
22 number of us inside went up. This lasted for some hour or so and then,
23 when I realised and when I got Slavko's permission to do so, I went to my
24 apartment to get some rest. But I didn't enter my apartment. I entered
25 another apartment, an apartment facing the school because it was all the
1 same, which apartment you entered. They were all accessible. The doors
2 were wide open. There were a few of my soldiers there taking a nap on one
3 of the couches. I sat down on one of the couches. I tried to stay awake
4 but I couldn't. I fell asleep. I woke up and it was already night.
5 Q. Okay. Let me take you back a little bit. You had mentioned that
6 on the 14th, you'd gone over to the school with about eight soldiers from
7 the 1st Battalion. When Slavko came back on the 15th with more soldiers,
8 what happened to those original eight? Were they allowed to leave or did
9 they stay at the school?
10 A. I've just told you they stayed, all together, but they did not
11 stand guard. They were not on duty. They could go and have a rest in the
12 garden. They could relax. They could be at ease. They could lie down on
13 the grass. So they were not on duty.
14 Q. And roughly how many soldiers did Slavko bring back with him?
15 A. I never asked him that. At least 20, I would say.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. Plus the 12 would make up a total number of anything between 40
18 and 50.
19 Q. What unit were the 20 that he brought from?
20 A. My unit.
21 Q. Okay. That's the 1st Battalion?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. So tell us what the next thing you remember happening at
24 the school is. You fell asleep on that -- on the 15th and you woke up
25 that night and the prisoners were still there. Where did you sleep the
1 night of the 15th, morning of the 16th?
2 A. I spent that night in my apartment.
3 Q. Okay. And morning of the 16th, what did you see? What happened?
4 A. I had decided not to go there any more because I did not intend to
5 stand guard any more. I wanted to avoid that. I was observing from my
6 terrace actually from a window facing the school door, and I could only
7 see what was going on in front of the door. I couldn't see what was going
8 on inside the school. I also spoke with a soldier who was walking by the
9 building as I was standing on the terrace, I asked him if anything had
10 happened. He said nothing was going on. You asked me about the 16th?
11 Didn't you?
12 Q. The morning of the 16th.
13 A. And at one point I noticed in front of the school door, in front
14 of the right wall, I saw three Muslims standing next to each other facing
15 the wall, and I couldn't see immediately how many more were standing
16 closer to the school, but later on I heard that they exited the school in
17 groups of eight. Then they would face the wall. The other eight that
18 followed them escorted by the other soldiers, they would tie their
19 soldier -- their soldiers' hands behind their back and they would
20 blindfold them.
21 Q. Did you see this blindfolding process or did you just hear about
23 A. I saw the three. I could only see the three. The view of the
24 others was blocked by the wall but I assume the others were also
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. McCloskey, because this is not clear
2 to me. Previous page, page 46, lines 22, 23 and 24: "The other eight
3 that followed them escorted by the other soldiers, they would tie their
4 soldier -- their soldiers' hands behind their back and they would
5 blindfold them."
6 The soldiers' hands is a little bit confusing, if you could
7 clarify that with a witness, please. It could be a question of
8 interpretation, too, but I don't know.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Could you tell us who was tying up who?
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. Please.
13 A. The other eight Muslims would tie the hands of the previous eight
15 Q. Okay. Were there any soldiers around them while they were doing
17 A. The other soldiers, two or three of them, would be standing behind
18 the backs of the group of eight who would be tying the hands of the first
19 group. They would be standing behind their backs while this was being
21 Q. Okay. And again, roughly, what time of day did you see this tying
22 process happen on the 16th?
23 A. I believe that this was between 10.00 and 11.00, if my memory
24 serves me well. It was a summer day. It was hot. I don't know. In any
25 case, it was before the noon.
1 Q. Did you see any vehicles come?
2 A. I personally did not see any vehicle coming. I suppose that at
3 the time I was in the other part of the apartment. But from my apartment
4 I saw, in the playground, I saw the back half of a parked bus. I could
5 only see one half of the bus. I couldn't see the front half of the bus.
6 And that was the only vehicle I saw.
7 Q. Did you see any people around the bus or anybody put in the
8 vehicle -- the bus?
9 A. I didn't see the front door of the bus, and this is the door that
10 they probably used to enter the bus. They didn't use the back door. And
11 I only could see the back door. I couldn't see the front door. There was
12 nobody around the bus, around the part of the bus that I could observe.
13 Q. Did you receive any information that Muslims were kept in any area
14 outside the school, around the village?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you get any word that Muslims were in buses or vehicles?
17 A. When they stopped entering the gym, at that moment I suppose that
18 some of them remained on the road in the buses or in some other vehicles.
19 I don't know what kind of vehicles.
20 Q. Did you get any information to that effect that day, that first
21 day, the 14th, that there were Muslims in vehicles?
22 A. Well, only when everything was over, the villagers who had their
23 houses around the school told me that there were at least six buses who
24 had brought those Muslims over.
25 Q. Okay. Now, did you see any senior officer or officers around the
1 school during these days, 14, 15 or 16?
2 A. I didn't see anybody on the 14th. On the 15th, sometime in the
3 afternoon, somebody came and I didn't know that he was an officer until I
4 heard people addressing him as Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel. I noticed him
5 at the moment when he was sitting in front of the apartment where I had
6 spent the night. He was sitting on a pile of fuel wood, and our soldiers
7 who had stood guard were around him. I don't know whether there were any
8 other soldiers with him. I don't know. I didn't see him come. I
9 approached that group. My men said, "Teacher, this is a colonel, a
10 high-ranking officer." They whispered to me that I should behave and that
11 I should watch my mouth. When I heard that a higher-ranking officer was
12 here who could issue orders, I approached him, I greeted him, but I didn't
13 dare ask his name or anything else. He greeted me very politely.
14 Q. Okay. Let me interrupt right there. You had mentioned that you'd
15 seen an officer and then you mentioned Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, and
16 then you said people said there is a colonel there. Do you know was it a
17 lieutenant colonel or a colonel, if you know?
18 A. No, I don't. He did not have any patches.
19 Q. Okay. Now, after he greeted you politely, what happened or what
20 was said?
21 A. I asked him what should be done with the people in the school.
22 We were very interested in that, because we had been given a very tall
23 order. Our unit was composed of farmers and we had to deal with the issue
24 of such a great number of people. We were not prepared. We were not
25 skilled. And we could hardly wait for somebody to appear to tell us what
1 to do with these people, what would happen of them, so that we could go
2 back to our unit and that our obligation towards those people could stop.
3 I wanted to rejoin my unit. I wanted to lock the school and go back to
4 the usual business. He said, "Listen, sir, you are a farmer's unit, a
5 battalion. We have brought Muslims to you and you don't know how to take
6 them away." I suppose that he meant that we were to take them to Tuzla to
7 be exchanged. And then I asked him how am I supposed to take them? And
8 what escort? And where should I take them? Answer: He says, "Well, you
9 are good for nothing."
10 Q. And did he say anything about what was -- might happen to these--
11 or what was going to happen to these prisoners?
12 A. In the course of that first day and the second day, I went to a
13 classroom where the Muslims -- some Muslims said that they knew me. The
14 soldiers who guarded them told me that. They told me, "Teacher, they want
15 to see you in the classroom number 4. They have recognised you." I was
16 actually glad to be recognised by somebody. I went there immediately to
17 the door of that classroom. I was standing at the door, and I asked
18 people if anybody knew me. First, they looked me with -- at me with
19 mistrust, and then a hand was raised in a corner, next to the window, and
20 in the middle of a row, in the last bench, another hand went up, and they
21 were very close to each other, just a passage separated them. They were
22 as close to each other as I am with this gentleman. The one next to the
23 window was a tall, blond guy. He introduced himself as a Muslim. His
24 family name sounded very long. I knew exactly what village he was from.
25 And he told me, when I asked him how he knew me, he told me, "I have your
1 photo in my house. And your entire football team." Because I had played
2 football and his village had also had a football club and we competed
3 against each other. Once we played a game in his village, and our photo
4 was taken, it was copied and distributed among the players. I am from
5 Bratunac. He was also from Bratunac. And he also knew my brother in
6 Bratunac, as well as myself. That's why he raised his hand and he said he
7 knew me.
8 And the other one who raised his hand, he told me that his name
9 was Zoran. I couldn't remember him. He had dark hair. He was very tall,
10 very strong, he could have easily carried me in his arms. He only told me
11 that his name was Zoran. I didn't ask him anything else but I asked the
12 Muslims who were squatting in that classroom to let me through to get to
13 the two of them. And they could both reach me with their hands. I had a
14 military overall and I had pockets, and in every pocket I had a pack of
15 cigarettes. I didn't want the other soldier to hear me. I whispered to
16 the two of them, "Take the cigarettes from my pockets. This is all I can
17 give you." I asked them if they were hungry and they said that they did
18 and I told them that I had only one loaf of bread at home and they
19 said, "Thank you very much. Don't bring it to us because we will kill
20 each other over it and thank you very much for the cigarettes." And this
21 was the end of our conversation.
22 Now, let me tell you what I asked the colonel. I asked if any
23 Muslims would stay or whether they would all be taken from Pilica, whether
24 we could keep at least one or two of them, and they he shouted at me, "No,
25 they can't stay, they had to be taken away, all of them. I don't want to
1 talk to you any more."
2 I turned around and I left and I never saw him again after that.
3 Q. What if anything did you understand that to mean, what the colonel
4 told you?
5 A. I realised that nothing good would happen to those people.
6 Q. Do you remember what you told the investigator back in September?
7 A. I believe that I said that the thought that occurred to me at the
8 moment was that they would all be killed. I suppose that I said something
9 to that effect. And then I decided I would never set foot in the school
10 until it was empty and I never went there again.
11 Q. Can you give us an accurate description of this lieutenant colonel
12 or colonel, as I know you gave us a description back -- let me finish the
13 date, September 2005, when you talked to an investigator. Can you -- can
14 you describe this colonel or lieutenant colonel? And if you need to look
15 at the report to help refresh your recollection, that's fine, but we would
16 like to get your best recollection as you sit here. If you can.
17 A. I can remember but I don't know how my description started. So if
18 I don't follow the same order, please don't hold it against me. The hair
19 was blond, fair. He was rather tall. The hair was not thick. It was
20 very short in the back. And the hair was receding and that's why the hair
21 was parted to one side, to cover that receding hairline. The person was
22 strong, heavily built. He had the military appearance. I don't know what
23 else. I believe that my previous description was, similar to what I've
24 just given you, he wore a camouflage uniform. His sleeves were rolled up
25 so he looked even more muscular, stronger.
1 Q. Do you remember any facial hair?
2 A. He was neatly shaved, and he sweated profusely. It was very hot.
3 He was very neatly shaved and he did not sport a mustache.
4 Q. Okay. At some point, did you go back to the battalion command and
5 look in the logbook?
6 A. When the school was empty, I took my things and I went back to the
7 unit because my task of securing the school was over. I arrived at the
8 unit because I had been absent for three days, and it was planned for me
9 to be absent just one day. I reported up there, and I wanted to check the
10 logbook because that was the custom, as I have told you, to see what had
11 happened while one was away. And I was surprised not to find that page
12 containing the order. It wasn't there. It was missing from the logbook.
13 And nobody wanted to tell me how it had gone missing or why. If somebody
14 had told me how it had gone missing, he would have also had to tell me why
15 it had gone missing. So it has remained unclear why and how this page
16 went missing.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Babic. I don't have any further questions.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I have on our list all the Defence teams
19 barring the Borovcanin one who wish to cross-examine this witness. Is the
20 situation still the same?
21 MR. JOSSE: We are very unlikely to, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And I have the Beara team indicating that
23 they wish to -- they need one hour to cross-examine this witness. Have
24 you arranged among yourselves who is going first basically? I'm starting
25 with Beara, the Beara Defence team because they need the most time but if
1 you want to start before Mr. Zivanovic you're free to do so.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I start first.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Mr. Zivanovic is appearing for
4 Mr. Nikolic in this case.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, for Mr. Popovic.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, for Mr. Popovic in this case.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Good day, Mr. Babic.
9 A. Good day.
10 Q. I wanted to put just a few questions to you. When asked by the
11 Prosecutor about the civilians who were brought on that occasion, you
12 mentioned something more than once. You called these prisoners
13 "civilians". Could you clarify whether you called them civilians because
14 they were wearing civilian clothes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. There was another thing I wanted to ask. You said
17 that when you looked into the gym, about two-thirds of the gym was filled.
18 You explained that it went up to some sort of racket. I'll show you some
19 pictures later but what I want to know now is the following: When later
20 you looked at the prisoners in the gym, can you confirm that no new
21 prisoners were brought in?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Would you now take a look at a photograph, it's our 1D01276.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I could show the photos on the
25 ELMO, which might be more practical and the witness could mark them.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usher, please.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell me, do you recognise this hall?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is this the gym in Pilica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell me whether this photograph was taken from the
9 A. No.
10 Q. Was it taken from the corner parallel to the wall?
11 A. Well, give me a minute to take a look. Could I have a better look
12 at this part on the wall?
13 Q. Well, maybe you could look at the photograph directly. It's to
14 your right.
15 A. This was taken from the door, the entry, the entrance.
16 Q. Can you mark approximately on this photograph the place up to
17 which the gym was filled with prisoners, as you described? I think you
18 have -- it might be better if you were to look at the photograph rather
19 than the monitor.
20 A. Can I take it? You see here where this vertical line is, that's
21 the centre of the gym. And if you look at the bottom part, this bottom
22 part was not filled, this bottom part, if you turn the picture.
23 Q. You have a marker there. Could you just mark what you just
25 A. Well, the other side -- I need to mark the other side.
1 Q. Well, choose the picture you want.
2 A. Well, you can't see up to where they reached in this photograph.
3 You can't see the racket and they were next to the racket.
4 Q. Can you look at the other three photographs and choose the one
5 that is most suitable for this?
6 JUDGE KWON: Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Zivanovic, we have that
7 picture on e-court. Would it not be more convenient for the witness to
8 mark on this picture on the e-court? Thank you. I was mistaken.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can mark it on this photograph
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Take a look now.
13 A. I can use this one too. [Marks] Enough?
14 Q. So where you put this red mark.
15 A. Yes, parallel to this white line.
16 Q. Mark it, just feel free, draw a line.
17 A. Like this. [Marks]
18 Q. Could you please put your initials there?
19 A. [Marks]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And the date.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And the date?
23 A. [Marks]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Today is the 18th of April.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. May I ask you now to mark this from another angle on the other
3 A. Very well.
4 Q. This is now taken from the door.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Could you please put the date and your initials here?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Mr. Babic, looking at this picture now, you have some experience
9 in this, you can, for example, estimate the number of children in a
10 classroom or in a gym. You don't have to count them in order to say how
11 many there are. Can you say now that 1200 men could fit into this space?
12 A. No, they couldn't.
13 Q. All right. I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
15 Who is going next?
16 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, I know it's a little early for a break
17 but we may not have any questions at all so I'd like to consult with my
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We can have the break or we can start
20 with someone else.
21 I have the Pandurevic Defence, or Madam Fauveau for
22 General Miletic. Go ahead. You requested 20 minutes.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we won't have any
24 questions for this witness, thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The Nikolic have requested 45 minutes. So I would
1 rather have them go the 45 minutes at a stretch. Yes, Madam Nikolic?
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it will be less
3 if we could consult our client. In view of Mr. Meek's suggestion, I think
4 this might be a very good time for a break.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless the Gvero team wishes to go. You requested
6 ten minutes and we have got about 17 minutes.
7 MR. JOSSE: I can now confirm that we don't have any questions.
8 As I indicated just before my learned friend Mr. Zivanovic began his
9 cross-examination, we were unlikely to at that point. I'm sure we don't
10 have any questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes or Mr. Sarapa? You requested 30 minutes.
12 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have the break now.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa, is it convenient for you to start now?
16 MR. SARAPA: [No interpretation]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat what you said, please? Because --
18 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] If we could have a break, then after
19 the break.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll have a 25-minute break now,
21 instead of at 12.30 and we will resume at 20 to 1.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So who is going to update us? Mr. Meek?
25 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Meek:
3 Q. Sir, is it not correct that this supposed lieutenant colonel or
4 colonel that you have described to the OTP and today did not wear
5 spectacles and this is consistent with the statement you gave the OTP?
6 A. No. He did not wear spectacles.
7 Q. Sir, when you gave your statement to the OTP on the 13th and 14th
8 of September 2005, you were shown a multitude of pictures?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And isn't it true, sir, that you did not -- that excuse me, that
11 in those photographs, none of them depicted the person that you saw at the
12 school on that day?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you very much, no further questions.
15 A. You're welcome.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. Meek?
17 MR. MEEK: It's a double negative.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it is a double negative but I understood. If
19 you want to clarify it with him, by all means.
20 MR. MEEK: I would clarify it.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's worth clarifying but it's understandable as it
22 is, too.
23 MR. MEEK: Let me clarify it, real quick.
24 Q. Sir, did you in all of the pictures you looked at with the
25 Prosecutor back in 2005, less than two years ago, recognise in any of
1 those photographs the supposed colonel or lieutenant colonel that you've
3 A. No.
4 MR. MEEK: I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So Ms. Nikolic?
6 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
8 Q. Good day, sir.
9 A. Good day.
10 Q. I will have only a few questions for you in connection with your
11 testimony of today.
12 A. Yes, please go ahead.
13 Q. You talked about the situation in the school and that throughout
14 those days, especially the 14th and 15th, you spent all your time in the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Trying to keep order there, together with the soldiers from your
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It was your concern that everything should proceed calmly and
21 peacefully and to help the people as to the best of your ability; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I understood from your testimony that there were soldiers present
25 in the school whom you did not know?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it was they for the most part who issued orders to all of you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I would now like to go back to the telegram you received on the
5 14th of July 1995 in your battalion command. You paraphrased the text of
6 the telegram, and as I understood it, it stated explicitly that all the
7 people who arrived would be exchanged on the following day.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you yourself thought they would be exchanged on the 14th and
10 15th of July 1995?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the 15th of July, in the afternoon, as you testified today,
13 your group of soldiers was replaced by another group of soldiers from the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. They were brought by Mr. Peric and they were about 20 men; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. After this change of shift, nothing bad happened to the prisoners?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. I would now like to go back to another segment of your testimony,
22 on page 54, lines 18 and 19, where, in response to a question by my
23 colleague Mr. Zivanovic, you said that you thought these men were
24 civilians because they were all wearing civilian clothes, ordinary
25 clothes; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But you will agree with me that there were no women or children
3 among them?
4 A. No, there weren't.
5 Q. And they were grown men fit for military service?
6 A. Well, in my opinion, they were not all fit for military service.
7 There were a few elderly men among them, if one considers them unfit.
8 Q. Thank you. You were shown several photographs when you were
9 interviewed by the investigators of this Tribunal.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you recognised some officers from the Zvornik Brigade?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You knew Mr. Drago Nikolic, did you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Throughout those days, did you ever see Mr. Drago Nikolic in
17 A. No.
18 Q. And one last question: The soldiers whom you did not know, would
19 you agree with me that they were neither members of your battalion or of
20 the Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. Well, I'm sure they weren't members of my battalion but I don't
22 know about the Zvornik Brigade.
23 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic. That leaves us with
1 Mr. Sarapa.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
3 Q. Will you agree with me that the first line of the 1st Battalion
4 was around 7 kilometres if you go on foot or 20 kilometres if you go by
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Obviously from the school in Pilica, the school where you were,
8 from Pilica?
9 A. I did not hear the first word you said.
10 Q. The first line of the 1st Battalion was some seven kilometres if
11 you go on foot or some 20 kilometres if you go by car from Pilica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The school in Pilica was a civilian facility?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did it work throughout?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Would you agree that this school was never used by the
18 1st Battalion or the army?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Since you worked in the school, you were a teacher in that same
21 school, and you reside in the area, you were very familiar with the outlay
22 of the rooms in the school; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The message that you read on the 14th in the logbook spoke about
25 the arrival of some 100 to 200 people. Would you agree with the statement
1 that this was the number of men that you saw in the gym and later on in
2 the classrooms?
3 A. One could say that there were somewhat more of them.
4 Q. How many approximately?
5 A. At least 50 over 200.
6 Q. So we are talking up to 250 people?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. On the 14th, when you arrived in the school from the
9 battalion, were you armed or not?
10 A. I never wore arms.
11 Q. As you were leaving the battalion to go to the school, once you
12 had read the message and decided to go together with the colleagues and
13 the soldiers that you came across on the way, would you agree that the
14 purpose of your arrival and the basic purpose of your being there was to
15 provide security for those prisoners so as to provide for their fair safe
16 exchange as it was indicated in the message that you had read out?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was it also to provide security for the villagers in case one of
19 the prisoners decided to escape?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When you arrived at the school, was the school open, was it
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Do you know who unlocked the door?
25 A. No, I don't.
1 Q. Do you know who had the key?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know or do you assume who was it who unlocked the door?
4 A. The key must have been held by one of the three janitors. That's
5 why I said yes.
6 Q. So you assume?
7 A. Yes, one of the three.
8 Q. But you don't know which one of them opened the school?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You spoke about a colonel or lieutenant colonel or an officer of a
11 high rank who arrived and with whom you had a brief conversation. Did any
12 one of you from the battalion command recognise that person? Did any one
13 of you knew him, his name or his rank?
14 A. No.
15 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Sarapa. I just want to confirm
17 with the Borovcanin, Gvero and Miletic teams that you have no questions.
18 All right. Do you have a re-examination, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: There are no further questions for you, sir. I was
21 wrong when I anticipated that you would be here testifying tomorrow as
23 Basically that means that you are free to go. Our staff will
24 assist you and facilitate your return back home at the earliest. On
25 behalf of my colleagues on the Trial Chamber and on also the Tribunal, I
1 wish to thank you are for having come over to give testimony and also wish
2 you a safe journey back home.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, next witness.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the direct examination and cross
7 were so efficient, you might have noticed we accelerated several hours
8 ahead of our schedule. We have a witness here but he hasn't been spoken
9 to yet.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And I suppose that will happen between
11 today and tomorrow.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's happening right now, yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
14 So, documents? Mr. Zivanovic?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would tender two photos I showed. And it is
16 sent to registrar who --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. That would be documented already. Any
18 objections from the Prosecution or any of the Defence teams? None. So
19 those two photos marked by the witness will -- are being admitted in
20 evidence as the Defence, Popovic Defence team, exhibits. Do you wish to
21 tender also the unmarked one or not?
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, it's not necessary, Your Honour, thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it is necessary either. Anyway, I do
24 appreciate that you've been caught in this situation. I suppose we can do
25 nothing except if there are any issues that you would like to address the
1 Chamber upon, perhaps you could do it now. We have got 45 minutes. I see
2 Mr. Ostojic tempted.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. Only
4 because of the statement made by my learned friend that he can enlighten
5 us tomorrow on what the presumed schedule is for the remainder of the OTP
6 case. I'm not sure if he's prepared or if he needed to evaluate it but I
7 know that he thought a witness was coming and that maybe given the witness
8 we didn't want to delay that witness, and perhaps he can share with us if
9 he has that estimate and what that estimate may be.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I took it -- thank you, Mr. Ostojic. I took
11 it that you were filing this tomorrow, isn't it?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct. I wanted to get my witness done
13 first so I can focus on the work that the team has been putting together
14 in that respect. So tomorrow, I should have better numbers.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there anyone else who would like -- yes,
16 Mr. Bourgon?
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. During the testimony of
18 not this witness but the previous witness, Mr. Ristic, an issue came about
19 about two names that were mentioned by the Prosecution. One of those was
20 Risto Trifkovic and the second one was I believe, Vojo Matic and the
21 Prosecution said at that time that information had been disclosed to us
22 and my colleague was right, this information was indeed disclosed to us
23 on -- in February of 2007. So just recently. But it was disclosed to
24 us -- simply a list of names was given to us on a CD and this in this
25 particular case, it was an interview with two languages where you just
1 cannot make out at all what was in English.
2 I would appreciate, Mr. President, if the Prosecution could, when
3 they do disclose information to us, at least tell us if it's something
4 that will be used with a future witness, and give us either a paper copy
5 or something that we can read because it could have been that this name
6 could have been essential to the testimony of this witness. It turned out
7 it wasn't. But it is important for us to get that information in advance
8 and in this case, although they did give it to us we can't complain about
9 that, we have no idea that this was going to be used with this witness,
10 the name was never put to the witness in proofing, as was asked by the
11 Trial Chamber and we were caught by surprise. Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. McCloskey, do you wish to comment on that?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: We endeavour to when we provide this discovery to
14 give it in a written outline form so that you can look immediately, see
15 who the person is and we'll continue to do that and if I can add what unit
16 they are from and -- you know, I can try to beef that up so that there
17 is -- so it's clear. But there was a very, you can could see, a very
18 simple exercise to just to confirm that there was a person named Risto and
19 Vojo in that unit, and -- but I can -- I do want to be able to give the
20 Defence things that they can make sense out of and we'll continue to try
21 to do that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
23 Any further matters you would like to raise?
24 Otherwise, we adjourn.
25 Now, tomorrow, as you may have found out from the intranet news, I
1 need to be away on official business so I will be here only for the first
2 session. After that, we'll continue pursuant to 15 bis. I was
3 suggesting, but I need a confirmation, if instead of having the break at
4 10.30, we could have the break at 10.45 or maybe somewhere near 11.00, I
5 know it wouldn't be a problem for you but this is of concern mostly to
6 interpreters and technicians and the rest of the staff. So if you can
7 give us an indication -- you don't need to feed me back now or feed us
8 back now. I mean, we -- you can confirm to us tomorrow morning.
9 So we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning and we start with a
10 new witness and then I won't be here on Friday. It's the same situation.
11 I will return on Friday when the sitting is almost finished and by the
12 time I get to The Hague, it will be over. So thank you and good
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.05 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
16 April, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.