1 Monday, 23 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. To you too,
6 Madam Registrar. Could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. For the record, all the accused are
10 here, also all the Defence teams are present. Mr. McCloskey and
11 Mr. Vanderpuye for the Prosecution.
12 I understand there is a preliminary matter that you would like to
13 raise, Mr. Bourgon?
14 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President. Good morning, Mr. President.
15 Good morning, Judges, good morning, colleagues. Mr. President, I'd like
16 to raise an issue concerning the witness we are about to hear, considering
17 that he is in a special position when compared with other witnesses who
18 have appeared before the Trial Chamber to this day.
19 The witness requested to know from the Prosecution over the
20 weekend, as he was being proofed, whether he was still a suspect, and he
21 was informed that, indeed, he is still a suspect. We believe,
22 Mr. President, that the witness doesn't fully understand what it means to
23 be a suspect, and I'd like to go quickly to the background as to why we
24 say it would be required this morning that the witness be, one, informed
25 by the Prosecution he is a suspect of what, and two, explained by the
1 Trial Chamber what it means to be a suspect.
2 When he testified in the Blagojevic case, he was asked the
3 following question by the Defence because he appeared as a Defence witness
4 at that time: "Have you ever officially been informed that you were no
5 longer a suspect?" Answer was no. That was at page 1981, or 11981,
6 sorry. It's 11981.
7 The witness continued by saying, "I received a summons, I don't
8 know exactly how it all goes. I was called for an interview as a
9 suspect." Same page 11981.
10 At one point the Judge, the Presiding Judge, intervened and stated
11 if the witness still has a status of suspect he is entitled to have a
12 lawyer present in these proceedings. In this case, over the weekend, as
13 I've mentioned he inquired whether he was still a suspect and indeed
14 according to the notes we have received from the Prosecution he is a
16 During the interview which took place with the Prosecution, the
17 first interview which took place on the 24th of June 2002, throughout the
18 interview, it is our understanding that the witness did not quite
19 understand what it meant to be a suspect. On two occasions he was told
20 the following by the Prosecution. Prosecution, meaning two investigators
21 that he met at that time. I quote from page 87002 --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this time. We
23 are going into argument about what a witness would have said about
24 potentially the facts, potentially his credibility. This has been done
25 every time we have a witness; there is some sort of argument about the
1 witness. I don't see what we are getting into here right before the
2 witness testifies about an interview and what he said regarding the
3 interview. Many, many of the witnesses we call are suspects. That given
4 the fact that we are not indicting anybody any more is merely a legal
5 designation. Before Mr. Bourgon gets into the facts and details of an
6 interview, I don't really understand at this point how he -- what
7 foundation he has made to get into this. This is a situation where what
8 was said at prior interviews is something that is normally brought up in
9 cross-examination. I don't understand why he's getting into this now.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey, for your intervention.
12 Mr. Bourgon, would you kindly finish your submissions and come to
13 the point exactly what your request is?
14 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Do I indeed believe that
15 my colleague's intervention, he should have waited until what I had to say
16 before he stands up. I'm not going to go into the facts of what the
17 witness said. I'm simply going to say that what he was mentioned by the
18 investigators at the time. Now, I say again this was on the June of 2002.
19 He, the witness, was inquiring as to the status of suspect and he was told
20 the following: "The reason you were summoned as witness was because you
21 had information that you were present in Orahovac on the day people were
22 executed." That's page 87002.
23 On page 87003, he was told, "We know you were at the scene of the
24 crime. Until we've talked to you for your explanation, we have to assess;
25 you were seen at the crime, did you participate? This is why you were
1 summoned as a suspect." Page 87003.
2 The idea, Mr. President, is that this witness was met, as I've
3 mentioned earlier, for a full interview of some 100 pages with the
4 Prosecution. Two years later, he appeared as a witness under oath in the
5 Blagojevic case and he testified for quite a bit of time where he was
6 examined by the Defence, cross-examined by the Prosecution, and also
7 cross-examined by the second accused in that case.
8 Now, what we'd like to know is now that he has provided the
9 information, now that he has given his story, he's being told that he is
10 still a suspect. If I was this man's lawyer, beyond any doubt he would
11 not be here this morning and I would tell him you have a right not to
12 appear unless you receive a subpoena because you are a suspect. This is
13 dangerous for you. Don't do that. This would be my advice if I was his
14 counsel. Now, the question is: What is he a suspect of? Is it what he
15 said during those interviews that makes him a suspect? Is it what he said
16 that the Prosecution considers not to be true? Or is it something else
17 that he's a suspect unrelated to these events? We believe, Mr. President,
18 that the witness you're about to hear has a right to be informed of what
19 is he a suspect of. Being a suspect contrary to the opinion of my
20 colleague is not just merely a legal thing because we don't indict any
21 more -- we don't indict anyone anymore.
22 We all know in this courtroom that people are being indicted in
23 Sarajevo. I've said that before. All the witnesses who come from the
24 Zvornik are really scared that they might end up in Sarajevo and it would
25 be the least for the Prosecution to tell them what are they a suspect of.
1 This cannot be a way to intimidate. This cannot be used as a way to
2 say, "Listen, always remember you're a suspect. We'll see after your
3 testimony." Now, I'm not saying this happened but that's the way it would
4 appear based on the facts that we know. He also has a right to have a
5 counsel present in this courtroom, as Judge Liu, Presiding Judge in the
6 Blagojevic said.
7 So I sum up, Mr. President, simply by saying I have a double
8 request, a two-pronged request. First, this witness should be informed of
9 what is he a suspect of by the Prosecution, and number two, I would
10 respectfully ask the Trial Chamber to explain to the witness what it means
11 to be a suspect and to testifying as a suspect and that he has a right to
12 get up and leave this courtroom unless of course the Trial Chamber decides
13 to issue a subpoena. But he has a right to get up and leave. That should
14 be made clear to him because these things are never made clear by the
15 Prosecution. He testified once, this witness, and I will simply say that
16 when he did testify he was called as a Defence and at that time he
17 said, "I know that -- I accept to be here because I know I will tell the
18 truth." Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Who is going to respond
20 to that? Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. It's our view this witness is
22 in no different position than many of the other witnesses that have been
23 called by the Prosecution that were present at a crime scene such as
24 Orahovac and we have been dealing with that issue by alerting the Chambers
25 that the witness should be issued a caution which is based on the rules,
1 and that's what we feel is appropriate for this case as well. This person
2 has been explained in response to his question that under the law he is a
3 suspect, as was noted to him. We showed him the law and as you know what
4 the law is, it says basically a person concerning whom the Prosecutor
5 possesses reliable information which tends to show that a person may have
6 committed a crime. This is an extremely broad definition and when you
7 have a soldier that was assigned to go to Orahovac and was tasked to take
8 part in something then it's only fair to let them know that status of a
9 suspect is there to protect them and that's what the caution is based on.
10 And I think we've treated the witnesses appropriately in this case. This
11 witness has been treated appropriately. And I don't see any reason to go
12 away from our standard practice of issuing a caution to this witness.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Bourgon? Let's
14 bring this --
15 MR. BOURGON: Shortly, Mr. President, I disagree with what my
16 colleague is saying that this witness is in the same position as other
17 witnesses. This witness has been -- he inquired himself whether he was
18 still a suspect. He was told he is a suspect. Now, I used the exact word
19 that my colleague just used and I refer to page 6 where it says or the end
20 of page 5 and beginning of page 6, "As you know, the law it says basically
21 a person concerning whom the Prosecutor possesses reliable information
22 which tends to show that a person may have committed a crime."
23 In this case, we have a man who testified in 2004. Now that's
24 three years ago or some three years ago and I don't recall that he has
25 been charged with anything, any charge of perjury. So if he -- if the
1 Prosecution does not believe that the witness lied in 2004, what is the
2 reliable information that they have that he may have committed a crime? I
3 believe, Mr. President, that the Prosecution is simply using the status of
4 suspect because there is the court in Sarajevo, in order to elicit and to
5 get testimony from witnesses. Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon. We need to confer.
7 Sorry, yes, Mr. Meek?
8 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, just briefly before you
9 begin deliberations I would like you to know that we absolutely join
10 Mr. Bourgon's argument in this instance.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Meek.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you both for your contribution, Mr. Bourgon
14 and Mr. McCloskey, and you, of course, too, Mr. Meek. We'll deal with the
15 witness in the way we think fit in line with what is provided in our
16 rules, as soon as he is sworn in. So let's bring the witness in, please.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: On behalf of my colleagues in the Trial Chamber I
21 wish to welcome you to this Tribunal. You're about to start giving
22 evidence. Before you do so, our rules require that you make a solemn
23 declaration equivalent to an oath that you will be testifying the truth
24 throughout the entire -- your entire testimony. And the text -- I see
25 that you already have. Please read out that aloud and that will be your
1 solemn 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 WITNESS: TANACKO TANIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself comfortable.
7 You can take a seat and I'll try to explain a few things.
8 Mr. Tanic, I know we are aware that you have already given
9 testimony in another trial as a Defence witness and that this time you
10 have been summoned to give evidence as a witness of the Prosecution, for
11 the Prosecution.
12 We have been told that during your proofing, there was some kind
13 of an exchange between you and the officer who was prosecuting you, with a
14 view to establishing what is your status apart from that of a witness.
15 I'm referring in particular to the question as to whether you are still
16 considered as a suspect by the Prosecution. The reason is that according
17 to what we are told, at some point in time, sometime ago, you were told
18 that you were considered as a suspect. Am I correct so far? Would you
19 agree with me that there was this discussion between you and the
20 interviewer from the Office of the Prosecutor as to your status?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I asked not to be a suspect
22 for four years, either to be put on trial or either not to be a suspect.
23 I do not consider myself to be guilty. I have problems at work. I work
24 in a school and I have this status of a suspect. Somebody might be prone
25 to throw me out of my job, and I have financial problems and all kinds of
1 other problems linked to my status. And this has been going on for four
2 years. So I asked them to lift this, to release me from this, but I don't
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you been told why you are a suspect?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because on the day of the 14th of
6 July I was with a rifle in Orahovac. That is the only reason.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You have not been given any other reasons?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you understand your status as a suspect to
10 mean? When someone tells us from the Office of the Prosecutor you still
11 have the status of a suspect, what do you understand from it?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As if I have some sort of guilt, as
13 if I was guilty. There are lists being published with the information and
14 people treat you as a participant in the events and you're guilty for it.
15 Simply, it's as if I was really guilt for the event that took place.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I'll explain to you the definition of a
17 suspect according to our rules, under our rules, so that you will keep it
18 clear in your mind. A suspect, according to our rules, is a person
19 concerning whom the Prosecutor possesses reliable information which tends
20 to show that the person may have committed a crime over which the Tribunal
21 has jurisdiction. So my question to you is the following: Over these
22 last four years, over these last four years, the Prosecution has
23 maintained its position of considering you a suspect and you have
24 maintained your position that you could never be one. Is that correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know why I would be a
1 suspect. I'm not saying I was not in Orahovac then but I cannot accept
2 responsibility for what happened.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Tanic, I've only got very little more to say to
4 you before you start giving evidence. We as a Tribunal respect an
5 established right, recognised worldwide, given to persons testifying, not
6 to incriminate themselves. Any person has a right not to be forced to
7 incriminate himself, but in this Tribunal, this right is not absolute, so
8 I'm going to explain to you how it goes and then we'll explain to you
9 further what your rights are.
10 In the course of your testimony, questions might be put to you,
11 I'm not saying that they definitely will be put to you, but questions
12 might be put to you from any side, it could be the Prosecution as well as
13 the Defence, which, if answered truthfully, might tend to incriminate you.
14 I'm not saying that this will be the case. But if you are asked questions
15 which, if you answer, would tend to incriminate you, then you have a right
16 to ask us not to answer those questions. In such a case, we have got two
17 options. We can grant your request and exempt you from answering such
18 questions, so that your right against self-incrimination would be
19 protected, or we can compel you, force you, to answer those questions.
20 If we force you to answer those questions, however, you have an
21 additional right. Any answer which you may give, if you are compelled to
22 give that answer, shall not be used as evidence against you in any
23 subsequent prosecution against you for any offence except of course if the
24 offence is of false testimony.
25 I don't know if this right has been explained to you before. If
1 it hasn't, have I explained it well to you and have you understood it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we now proceed with your testimony?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, all right.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
6 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't know if you want
7 to hear my argument in front of the witness or not but I believe --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the argument is finished. We have decided
9 the issue.
10 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, what the Trial Chamber just put to
11 the witness is not --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would object to any further
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The matter is closed, Mr. Bourgon, please.
15 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye will be examining you, putting some questions
16 to you. He will then be followed by the various members of the Defence
17 teams on cross-examination.
18 Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
19 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I simply have a question for the
20 Trial Chamber and I would like simply to have clarification whether the
21 witness will be informed that he has a right to have a lawyer present and
22 whether he has a right that this testimony is voluntary.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no such right, Mr. Bourgon, please. This
24 only exists in your mind. Let's proceed.
25 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, it exists in other trials.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, if we are going to have a discussion,
2 can we --
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no such vested right. Let's put it like
5 this. I mean, unless we hear from the witness that he wants a lawyer
6 present while he is giving testimony, we are not going to go in that
8 Mr. Tanic --
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it your wish that you have a lawyer present while
11 you give your testimony?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Let's proceed. Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, good morning to you.
15 Good morning, Your Honours, good morning, counsel.
16 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tanic. I know we are off to a bit of a
18 stressful start but let me just ask you, let me just tell you a couple of
19 things. I'll ask you some questions, as you know. I'm just going to ask
20 you to speak a little bit slowly, slower than you normally would, allow a
21 short pause between the question and answer so that the interpreters can
22 keep up and translate for all the respective parties, and I just also want
23 to remind you that if you feel uncomfortable with respect to certain
24 information that you may be asked about, and you feel a need to answer
25 those questions in private session, I will, of course put that to the
1 Chamber and we can consider whether or not that's possible. Initially I'd
2 like you to start with some background information. Can you tell us first
3 of all how old are you?
4 A. I was born in 1955, so I'm 52.
5 Q. And where were you born and raised?
6 A. I was born in the village of Tabanci, Zvornik municipality. I
7 went to primary school in Kozluk, I went to secondary school in Zvornik
8 and then I went to the school of economics.
9 JUDGE KWON: Could you get his name as well?
10 MR. VANDERPUYE:
11 Q. I'm sorry, could you give us your name, and if you could, spell
12 your last name also.
13 A. My name is Tanacko Tanic.
14 Q. Okay. Now, you were just saying that you had -- you went to
15 school -- to the school of economics; is that right? Where was that?
16 A. Yes. In Novi Sad and I graduated in 1978.
17 Q. Are you presently employed?
18 A. I work in the high school in Zvornik.
19 Q. In what capacity? As a teacher?
20 A. Teacher, yes.
21 Q. And how long have you been employed in that capacity?
22 A. Four years.
23 Q. And are you married?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And how long have you been married?
1 A. 25 years.
2 Q. Now, did you complete service with the former JNA?
3 A. Yes. I did my military service in 1981. That's when I finished.
4 Q. And between then and 1992, did you hold any employment?
5 A. In that period, I worked in several enterprises, and in 1992, I
6 worked in TG Birac.
7 Q. Okay. Could you just tell us briefly what your responsibilities
8 and duties were in that employment?
9 A. Well, my last job was as a planner and analyst in production,
10 making annual estimates of output, et cetera.
11 Q. And what kind of work did that production involve?
12 A. Production of a prefab input for the production of aluminium,
14 Q. Now, in 1992, were you at some point during that year mobilised?
15 A. The second half of April 1992.
16 Q. Okay. And was that to a TO or was that to the army of
17 Republika Srpska?
18 A. At that time, it was the TO.
19 Q. And did your unit at some point become a detachment of the VRS?
20 A. Sometime in April. That's when it was established as the
21 Zvornik Battalion or detachment. I don't know what it was exactly
22 according to establishment.
23 Q. And until when did you serve in the VRS? When were you
25 A. I was demobilised sometime in July 1996.
1 Q. And during that period of time, did you participate in any combat
2 operations or combat, as it were?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Could you tell the Court why not?
5 A. Well, because in 1992, before that battalion or detachment was
6 established, I had declared that I was not prepared to carry a weapon, so
7 they gave me an easier job. For six months I worked in a logistics
8 platoon cleaning premises, until perhaps the end of October 1992.
9 Q. And at the end of October of 1992, did you receive a different
11 A. Then I moved to the financial section of that battalion or
12 detachment, so I transferred to the financial department within the
14 Q. Do you know how it is that you came to be assigned to this
15 financial department or this section? Why you specifically were chosen to
16 do that job?
17 A. I had worked in Standard company for a long time on such jobs and
18 then when a predecessor took sick leave I was invited to take over and
19 that's where I stayed until the end. And they knew in fact that I had a
20 degree in economics and that I had experience in such things, and that I
21 was able.
22 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber what specific tasks or
23 duties you had in the financial department?
24 A. Payments for whatever was needed for logistics and payments of
25 wages to soldiers. Payments in and out for the requirements of the
1 logistics, and paying out the wages of soldiers, unit by unit.
2 Q. And when you say paying out the wages of soldiers, do you mean by
3 actually distributing cash, as it were?
4 A. Yes. Certain amounts were paid out according to lists, to every
6 Q. And in terms of payments for items related to logistics, could you
7 just tell us what those types of items are?
8 A. Well, some basic needs. What do I know? We would write our
9 requirements and then we would collect from the treasury, when some
10 purchases needed to be made, they would go to the treasury, get the money,
11 for all sorts of needs. I don't remember anymore.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the relevance of this? Why are you
13 prolonging your list of questions on this issue, on this matter?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I was actually just about to move on.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE:
17 Q. Who were you responsible to in this capacity?
18 A. Well, I don't know. It was assistant commander for logistics in
19 the brigade, and if it concerned operations, the assistant commander for
20 logistics could issue orders to me directly and the commander could
21 supervise our work.
22 Q. Did you in this capacity have occasion to meet with the brigade
23 commander on a regular basis?
24 A. It was not on a regular basis. At some stage, I was chief of
25 finances briefly and later I was the treasurer. The chief of finance goes
1 to report to the commander more often, and would see him more often. But
2 in my position I would not see him on a daily basis.
3 Q. Now in July 1995, could you tell us what your position was?
4 A. Treasurer at the brigade.
5 Q. And could you tell us were you assigned to the barracks?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And could you describe for the Trial Chamber where your office was
8 in the barracks?
9 A. Well, in 1995, it was on the ground floor of the barracks. I
10 don't know exactly how to describe it. On the ground floor of that
12 Q. Okay. Let me just direct your attention to the 14th of July 1995.
13 Do you remember that day?
14 A. I remember some details, of course, but since lots of things
15 happened during those days, I don't remember everything. I remember some
16 things about the 14th of July.
17 Q. Okay. Well, I guess the first thing I'll ask you is do you
18 remember if you were working on that day, in the morning?
19 A. Business as usual. I was within the compound of the barracks.
20 Q. And did anything unusual occur that morning? Did you see or hear
21 anything unusual that morning?
22 A. I don't know. I can't remember everything now. I know the
23 activities around Srebrenica had begun earlier and they were ongoing.
24 They were continuous from the beginning of the operation until the end of
25 the operation. Everything was related to Srebrenica. I don't know what I
1 could add. Nothing changed as far as my work concerned. There were
2 events but I can neither relate them nor remember them now.
3 Q. All right. Can you tell us, as best as you remember, what you did
4 that morning? Up until, say, around noon.
5 A. The usual. I was at my office. I don't remember if there was an
6 inspection of troops even. The standard usual activities. I didn't
7 notice that there was an increased number or concentration of troops. I
8 have already related all that I saw in previous statements and interviews.
9 I can't remember in detail now. I was doing my usual work. I would go
10 into adjacent offices or I would go upstairs to the cafeteria for lunch.
11 Q. All right. Well, did there come a certain point during that day
12 when you left the Standard?
13 A. Yes. I went to Orahovac. And before departing for Orahovac, I
14 didn't leave the compound at all. Maybe I went as far as the gate, and I
15 went to Orahovac because Mijatovic came along and said that the prisoners
16 were escaping. I don't remember if he mentioned at what location but he
17 told me to get my rifle and go. And he said that in passing, in a rush.
18 I took my rifle then and left. And a small truck was already standing
19 there at the Standard waiting. I got into that vehicle and left.
20 Q. You mentioned Mijatovic. Just so we are clear for the record,
21 could you tell us who that is?
22 A. He was in the commercial purchases section of the brigade. He had
23 been wounded. He had undergone surgeries. I don't know. After that, he
24 was transferred to the commercial section.
25 Q. Well, did he have a rank?
1 A. I don't know. Maybe in the reserve force he had a rank of captain
2 but what exactly that means, I don't know.
3 Q. Well, you've said that he asked you to get your rifle. Is that an
5 A. I don't know. He was in a rush. He said the prisoners were
6 running away and he told me to get out and go. I don't know exactly to
7 what location. I cannot remember it all in sequence now but I had already
8 heard probably that there were some prisoners somewhere, and he said that
9 the prisoners were running away and I thought I would go there and help
10 out so that they wouldn't all disperse and I didn't know if those
11 prisoners -- if those people were thirsty or hungry so I thought I would
12 go out and help.
13 Q. Well, you said that you had heard probably that there were some
14 prisoners somewhere. Could you just tell us what it is that you heard?
15 A. Well, I suppose I had known already that there were already
16 prisoners detained before I heard that they were escaping. So as soon as
17 I was told they were escaping, I knew what it was about. I knew that
18 there were some prisoners somewhere. And I had heard at that time that
19 they were located, detained in some schoolhouses but I don't recall. On
20 the 14th, in the morning, there was a bus outside the gates. I wasn't
21 paying much attention but I heard later that that bus wandered around some
22 places finding nowhere to put those people up. I heard that from somebody
23 but how exactly it was related to me, in what words, I can't remember now.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vanderpuye, if you could ask the witness in what
25 capacity Mijatovic told the witness to go to Orahovac. For example, if he
1 was a duty officer.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. I'll put that to him.
3 Q. Have you understood His Honour's question, Mr. Tanic? Okay.
4 A. No. He was not the duty officer.
5 Q. Do you have a recollection of what his position was?
6 A. I've already said that. I don't know to which unit he belonged
7 formally but he worked in the purchases department of the logistics. I
8 don't remember paying out his wages. I can't remember clearly now.
9 JUDGE KWON: I don't take it, Mr. Tanic, that Mr. Mijatovic is
10 your superior because you were working at financial department, and he was
11 in the commercial section. So why did he tell you to go to Orahovac, in
12 what capacity?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. Maybe quite
14 simply he received orders from somebody. He came in, saw me standing
15 there in the hallway, and if I hadn't been there in the hallway I may not
16 have been summoned at all. But as he was passing by, he told me, "Get
17 your rifle and come." What did I know? I didn't know what was going on
18 and why. I understood it was an emergency. I understood something was
19 going on. That's why I did get my rifle and left.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Kwon's question is a very relevant one. Was
22 Mr. Mijatovic in a position to give you orders? Did you consider him at
23 the time to be a person in a position to give you orders which you had to
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not that I believed that. It's
1 that I believed what he said, that they were escaping, and it had more to
2 do with the fact that we were in good terms and he was on good terms with
3 the commander of the brigade, and I thought maybe somewhere along the line
4 I might have problems if I disobey. At any rate, I decided it's better to
5 do as he says than to decline.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE:
7 Q. When you say that he was on good terms with the commander of the
8 brigade, could you just explain what you mean by that?
9 A. Well, all the purchases and whatever was needed for the brigade
10 was obtained. There were no problems. It was approved, and allowed, and
11 that is why I thought that they collaborated well. There were no
12 problems. And he would say the commander said or the assistant commander
13 for logistics told me to give him so much money. That is what I would do.
14 So I don't know how to explain it. He was an authority, all of them were
15 for me of authority, especially in wartime.
16 Q. Did you feel that he was in a position with the commander that
17 could cause you problems if you didn't follow what he told you to do?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
19 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He's answered the question in any case.
21 MR. BOURGON: We do not interrupt my colleague but this is --
22 there are limits to leading questions, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Your objection is fully
24 sustained, Mr. Bourgon. Please move to your next question.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Very well.
1 Q. You had mentioned something about having heard that this bus that
2 you saw went to various -- or to some schools. Can you tell us what it is
3 that you heard in relation to those schools?
4 A. I don't know the details. It was a long time ago. I just know
5 that one of those buses was there. I can't remember whether there were
6 more than one but one of them had problems. They couldn't find a location
7 to put them up in. That was the story that reached me so it wandered left
8 and right from one locality to another. Where it ended up and where those
9 people were put up in the end, I don't know.
10 Q. All right. Just so the record is clear, you haven't mentioned
11 anything about people so far. Were there people on the buses? Or on the
13 A. It wasn't empty, of course, there were people in one of them. Of
14 course, there were people there, and they spent the night there.
15 Q. What people were they?
16 A. Prisoners probably. I don't know. I didn't go up to them. I
17 wasn't specially interested. I didn't really like to inquire. I didn't
18 ask where they had come from because there was nothing I could do for
19 them. I just didn't know. I didn't show an interest.
20 Q. At the time that you were asked to grab your rifle and go, could
21 you tell us what you did next?
22 A. I simply picked up my rifle, went out to the compound, outside the
23 barracks, and there was a small truck which had come from somewhere,
24 whether it was a shift or something, I boarded this vehicle and went off
25 to Orahovac.
1 Q. Were there other people on the truck?
2 A. There were, but I really can't remember exactly who they were.
3 One makes mistakes all one's life but I could have gone back but I was
4 ashamed of those in the truck for me to go back. Since they were going, I
5 felt I should go too. Because after that, nobody said anything to me. I
6 could have gone back but when they had seen me, once they saw me in the
7 compound, I felt embarrassed to go back so I boarded the truck and joined
9 Q. And could you just tell us about how many people were on the
11 A. I don't know. It was a small vehicle. I don't know exactly.
12 Q. What happened next?
13 A. Nothing. I got off the vehicle, we got out of the vehicle. I
14 think we were taken to the road. I can't remember exactly. We got off
15 there, near the fence of the gym. In the yard there were some troops
16 there already. I don't know what else I could say.
17 Q. Around what time did this occur?
18 A. I don't know. I think it was after 12.00 but I can't be quite
19 sure about the time. I don't know.
20 Q. When you got off the truck, this is at -- this is at the school in
21 Orahovac, right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you got off the truck, what did you see?
24 A. In the playground, there were some people, there were some
25 soldiers. There were some people on the road too and also within the
1 schoolyard. I don't know what else.
2 Q. When you say there were people there and soldiers, are you
3 distinguishing between civilians and soldiers or could you just tell us
4 who these people were?
5 A. Soldiers, soldiers. There were troops, mostly there were no
6 civilians. It was just troops.
7 Q. And where did you see the troops initially?
8 A. Mostly, most of them were in the yard, in front of the gym. I
9 don't know exactly how many they were but there were some.
10 Q. And could you tell from looking at these troops what units they
11 belonged to?
12 A. At the time, I could know but now I can't tell you exactly who
13 they were, which unit they belonged to. There were some military
14 policemen and the rest were soldiers. Earlier on, I would be able to tell
15 you, but I can't remember any longer who they were, who the troops --
16 which unit the troops belonged to.
17 Q. When you say soldiers, can you tell us what brigade these soldiers
18 belonged to?
19 A. The Zvornik Brigade, I assume. I don't know of any others there.
20 And I know that I saw a policeman in uniform. I was close, and he said
21 that he had come from Doboj, that he belonged to the Doboj police. That
22 was just one person that I actually saw. I didn't really look closely.
23 When I saw what was happening and what was expected, I have this picture
24 as if I was looking through the binoculars and you turn them upside down.
25 It's as if I was looking from a distance because I was revolted by the
1 event. I saw that they were not escaping, and I don't know what was going
2 on. I didn't see anything special. And what was typical, what I
3 remember, was the noise of the people as if they were in a beehive. Now,
4 whether it was talking, so from the road, I could hear this -- this noise,
5 this humming, but the picture I had was as if I had turned the binoculars
6 upside down and was looking, it all seemed so unreal and distant. And
7 that was the impression I had. It was unpleasant.
8 Q. Did you actually see any prisoners after you arrived?
9 A. When I entered, as I was there, my movements were mostly, I went
10 inside there once or twice, and when I did, closer to the fence, there
11 were two dead bodies. Now, whether they were wearing coats or were
12 covered by their coats, I don't know but somebody pointed them out to me.
13 Otherwise I wouldn't notice. He nudged me as we were standing there and
14 showed me those two dead bodies.
15 Q. And where did you see these two dead bodies?
16 A. Right in the yard, closer to the fence, closer to the road, in one
17 of the corners. That was the picture in my mind. Now, the exact spot,
18 but I did see them. I think it was there, where I said. And in front of
19 the main entrance to the gym, I saw a pile of clothing, and I think there
20 was a crutch there too in the pile of clothes. And this whole event is --
21 that is what I saw.
22 Q. You indicated that -- you referred to a humming, a noise. Could
23 you describe what it is that you heard? Did you hear humming in terms of
24 a noise or did you hear talking or anything of that nature? If you could
25 just elaborate for us what you mean by that.
1 A. I don't know. I don't know. Maybe several people were talking at
2 the same time but from the outside, it sounded like a buzzing, a humming,
3 as if I was one metre away from a beehive.
4 Q. Did you spend any time with anybody that you knew while you were
5 at the school?
6 A. When I saw what the situation was, I myself, conditionally
7 speaking, took upon myself the obligation together with Cedo Jovic and
8 Goran Bogdanovic who were members of the military police, I stood on the
9 road so that civilians and women shouldn't approach the yard because the
10 road passes there and I stood there with them for a while. I moved along
11 the gym and the school to the cultural centre.
12 Q. In the yard at the school, did you see any officers that you
14 A. In the yard, I saw, before me, I don't know how they got there,
15 there was Sreten Milosevic, Drago Nikolic. I don't know who else.
16 Q. Did you see any officers that you did not recognise?
17 A. At one point in time, I was standing on the road, I saw in the
18 yard people who were unknown to me. Then I asked one of the military
19 policemen, I don't know his name, and I asked him who is that one? And he
20 said a security officer from the corps, Vujadin Popovic. But I don't know
21 the man at all. It is just what he told me. They told me that that was
22 who it was.
23 Q. And can you recall what the person that you saw looked like at
24 that time?
25 A. No, no. I can't. Not now. I know he had some rank. I can't
1 even remember or describe him.
2 Q. With respect to Sreten Milosevic, can you tell us what his
3 position was?
4 A. He was assistant commander for logistics.
5 Q. And can you tell us what it is you saw him doing?
6 A. I don't know. I can't say anything what people were doing within
7 that schoolyard, around the main gate. I really cannot confirm whether
8 they were preparing to organise taking those people out of the gym. I
9 can't say what they -- exactly they were doing, what duties they had. I
10 don't know.
11 Q. With respect to Drago Nikolic, can you tell us what his position
12 was then and what he was doing?
13 A. He was chief of security in the brigade. What exactly he was
14 doing and how he was working, I don't know.
15 Q. Can you tell us where it is you saw him?
16 A. Within the same yard there, in front of the gym. That's where
17 they were. I didn't spend a lot of time there. I saw that I wasn't
18 important for anyone, no one was asking me anything in particular, and I
19 sort of simply, on my own initiative, went along the road, and for a time
20 I saw some young boys carrying water. That added to my nervousness. I
21 thought to myself, why don't they separate the children? The reaction was
22 that they would grow up and then one of the reasons why I didn't take part
23 in that because there were children of the same age as my own there, and
24 that was another reason, conditionally speaking, for me to be extremely, I
25 don't know how to put it, I felt so upset that I didn't know what to do.
1 You see what's going on, but what can you do? I can pick up a
2 rifle and kill two or three of, shall I call them ours? And then someone
3 will kill me and what was planned would be carried out nevertheless. And
4 now, as I look at the event from this distance, it's better that I didn't.
5 I couldn't have killed anyone. If I had tried to do anything, it would
6 have had a negative effect on me. I couldn't have achieved anything.
7 Nobody would look after my children. I would have hurt myself without
8 achieving anything so I was revolted and impotent and there was nothing I
9 could do and I was very angry about it all but really I could not do
10 anything. But I must say no one asked me to do anything. I simply was
11 not in a position to do anything.
12 Q. You mentioned these children. Can you tell us about how old you
13 thought that you believed they were?
14 A. I don't know, about ten. At one point, I went to the cultural
15 centre, up the steps, and Mihajlo Stevanovic was there and Milan Savic,
16 they were there. And then I saw a boy carrying a bucket of water, along
17 the back side of the school towards the gym. I couldn't see the gym or
18 anything but when I passed there, I saw them continuing to carry water.
19 How many children there were, I don't know. Boys, boys, 10 or 12. They
20 were small, young boys.
21 Q. Could you tell us approximately how many there were or how many
22 you saw?
23 A. I know I saw this one carrying water and then when I was passing
24 by the gym, I think I saw two boys in all. Whether there were more of
25 them, I don't know.
1 Q. Did you receive any assignment or task while you were at the
3 A. No, I didn't. I simply could have sort of avoided any position
4 where I was too conspicuous so for a while I sat on the steps that I
5 already mentioned and then across the way there is a house behind the
6 school, we spent some time there. Then I would come back again to see
7 whether anyone was looking for me, whether there were any problems, and
8 then I went to Orahovac to Mira Davidovic's [as interpreted] and I stayed
9 there until 7.00 or 8.00, I don't know exactly.
10 Q. Were you ever asked by anyone to participate in any execution?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
12 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, it's a leading question and the
13 question was posed to the witness whether he was asked anything or he was
14 given any task and the witness answered no and now we are coming back
15 again with another question which is leading in that it is suggesting that
16 he may have been told to shoot somebody. Now, this is -- the question has
17 been asked, it's been answered and it's a leading question. We should ask
18 the witness not say what my colleague is looking for but he should simply
19 ask an open question. Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Vanderpuye, your comments on this, please?
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: I can rephrase the question if that will satisfy
22 my colleague.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Keeping in mind also what the witness said according
24 to the transcript on lines 9 and 10 on page 28, namely: "But I must say
25 no one asked me to do anything. I simply was not in a position to do
2 So if you are going to rephrase your question, go ahead, do so.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
4 Q. Were you ever issued any orders while you were at the school?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
6 MR. BOURGON: The question has been asked and answered,
7 Mr. President. I refer to page 29 or page 28 lines 25 and page 29 lines 1
8 and 2. "Did you receive any assignment or task while you were at the
9 school?" Answer: "No, I didn't. I could have sort of avoided any
10 position where I was too conspicuous" and then he goes on. We should
11 limit ourselves to one time those questions and now he's had two
12 opportunities. I think it's time to move on, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye, your comments, your remarks?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think that's actually a distinct question.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: In what sense.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: The question I asked before was whether he
17 received an assignment or task and that doesn't necessarily entail an
18 order and I think Mr. Bourgon is well aware of that. The witness answered
19 previously I should add in relation to his boarding of the truck, I think
20 he was specifically asked a similar question and the answer that he gave
21 was that it wasn't an order, and I think that that distinguishes the
22 question that I put to the witness at this point from the prior question
23 and answer.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think in the first place that this debate
25 should continue in the presence of the witness.
1 MR. BOURGON: That's exactly what I was going to say,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So --
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You will conclude with this on this issue,
6 Mr. Vanderpuye. We consider that an order is more pointed, more specific,
7 than an assignment or a task or a mere asking. So you can put the
8 question and that will be the last time you are addressing this issue.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you kindly, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Tanic, while you were at the school, were you given any order?
11 A. When I was at the school, I didn't receive any particular order.
12 If somebody who knew me came close to the fence and said, "Come along, do
13 you want to do some shooting," I can't remember exactly who it was but it
14 wasn't in the form of an order. It was a sort of casual question. And I
15 refused but nothing happened. There were no consequences. I didn't have
16 any consequences as a result of that. Because they knew I wasn't prepared
17 to do such a thing. I can't exactly name who said this to me but somebody
18 who knew me. I don't remember exactly who it was. And I don't think it
19 will be fair to mention someone when I'm not sure. So there was this
20 question when I was close to the fence, somebody said, "Would I?" But not
21 in the form of an order. Just as in the form of a question.
22 I refused it and I didn't take part.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: My colleague is indicating to me that this is
24 just about time for the break. This would probably be a good point to
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break starting from now.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Good morning again, Mr. Tanic. Just before the break, in relation
8 to a question that I had asked you, you had indicated that someone had
9 come along and asked you do you want to do some shooting? What did you
10 take that to mean?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
12 MR. BOURGON: I think we've completed with this one,
13 Mr. President. My learned friend is glad enough to have been able to ask
14 this question, he got the full answer from the witness exactly what
15 happened, what he remembers. There is no need to go back again into this
16 topic, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment on that, Mr. Vanderpuye?
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: I believe that it is a relevant question and I
19 believe that the witness can elaborate on that answer in order to
20 sufficiently identify what he understood of that question.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think it's important for the witness to
22 specify what he understood and why he refused it and didn't take part. So
23 to understand exactly what he was talking about.
24 MR. BOURGON: But he answered the question, Mr. President,
25 already, in detail.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, when it's time for you to take my
2 place, or the place of any of us four up here, you will know, but it's not
3 yet arrived. So let's proceed. Could you answer the question, please?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the person who directed me, I
5 can't remember exactly now who it was and I don't want to speculate. In
6 fact I know who it was that asked me, it's just that I can't remember now,
7 and it wasn't in the form of an order, it was just casual like, would you
8 like to go shoot people? It wasn't in the form of an order. It was put
9 in a way that I could decline and nothing happened. And then there was
10 this other comment. I cannot tell you for sure the identity of the
11 person. It was somebody who knew me and whom I knew well enough to say
12 no, and there were no consequences for me.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: That wasn't the question. Probably the reason for
14 you answering a different question is that we allowed [Microphone not
15 activated] interval of time. The question was the following, sir,
16 Mr. Tanic: Mr. Vanderpuye asked you, told you the following: "Just
17 before the break in relation to a question that I had asked you you had
18 indicated someone had come along and asked you do you want to do some
19 shooting?" The question is the following: When this person approached
20 you, what did you take his words or his invitation to mean?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I don't have to participate in
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE:
25 Q. Participate in what?
1 A. I didn't understand that I was obliged to take part in the
2 execution because it was an invitation that they would give me a different
3 kind of weapon. They asked me whether I would like to shoot, but I knew
4 the person and I was able to decline and I could say no. In fact, it's
5 out of the question.
6 Q. At the time that this person came to you and asked you those
7 questions, was that during the time that Drago Nikolic was still at the
9 A. Well, I cannot define it precisely now. I knew that at some point
10 certain people were there, but after that, who was where, I don't know. I
11 don't know whether he was there at that time. At the time of the other
12 scene that I described, I was standing by the road and the person and
13 persons who invited me were standing in the schoolyard. So it implied
14 that they would have given me a different kind of weapon if I had
15 accepted. I cannot tell you anything about the persons who were moving
16 around the schoolyard. I can only say that I was there for a relatively
17 short time, two or three hours in total, and I tried to describe to you
18 everything I saw, as best I could. As for the details after all these
19 years, I cannot remember every detail.
20 Q. You indicated before that you were revolted by the event. Would
21 you tell us what it is --
22 A. In that period of time, yes.
23 Q. Would you tell us what it is that you found revolting?
24 A. Well, because conditionally speaking, it was obvious that there
25 would be some organisation, there was no question of transport, and there
1 were children there as well. These people were detained. I don't know.
2 I did not believe for a moment that it would happen but when it happened,
3 it did. At that time, I could see that there were children there and
4 there was no reason, no cause, but there was no question of an exchange
5 either. And then it became obvious that they would be executed and the
6 children would be executed but what could I do? I couldn't do anything.
7 Q. Could you tell us when it became obvious to you, when those things
8 became obvious to you?
9 A. Well, I was there until the first group started boarding a truck.
10 I didn't wait for them to finish boarding the truck. When the first group
11 started boarding the truck, I could already see. Well, the first group,
12 when they set out. Well, it was obvious that it was not going to be an
14 Q. Why do you say it was obvious it was not going to be an exchange
15 and what information did you have about any exchange?
16 A. Well, because -- I don't know. There was some talk before that
17 they would go for an exchange. As long as I was standing around, it was--
18 it seemed to be an option, that they would be exchanged but as soon as
19 they started boarding, I saw that nothing would come of that. So I just
20 tried to make myself scarce from that area, from the schoolhouse,
22 Q. Were you told anything specific with respect to the possibility of
23 an exchange?
24 A. No. I don't know. There was a story circulating that some
25 negotiations were going on with them. Those were stories. I didn't hear
1 it firsthand. That there would be maybe an exchange and they would not
2 be -- they would not be placed in vehicles, but then finally they were.
3 That's a story I heard. That's what happened.
4 Q. Did you hear about who may have been involved in those
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
7 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. The witness said it's a
8 story he heard. Do you want to hear what stories he heard or do you want
9 to hear what the witness saw and heard? This is a story he heard about.
10 Do we want to know what the witnesses, the stories they hear? Is that
11 what this trial is about, stories the witness may have heard? I don't
12 think so, Mr. President. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, do you wish to comment on that, Mr. Vanderpuye?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do acknowledge my colleague's concern for
15 hearsay evidence, it hasn't been elicited from the witness from whom he
16 heard this information. I think whom he hears the information from is
17 important to the reliability of the information, and I understand that
18 it's not entirely excludable merely because it's hearsay but I certainly
19 don't have a vested interest in pursuing this matter and I'll happily move
20 on to another topic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: But we think that the question should be answered
22 because if he heard stories, if he can tell us from whom he heard these
23 stories and if there were people mentioned in the course of these stories,
24 that becomes important to complete his previous answer.
25 Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
1 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I'd like if we could begin by who he
2 heard it from, whether it's one person or many persons or rumours or so
3 that we have some kind of a basis before we hear the stories.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for your suggestion, Mr. Bourgon. So
5 perhaps I can deal with this straight away myself.
6 Witness --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: A short while ago you told us there was a story
9 circulating that some negotiations were going on with them. "Those were
10 stories. I didn't hear it firsthand. That there would be maybe an
11 exchange and that they would not be -- they would not be placed in
12 vehicles. But then finally they were. That's a story I heard."
13 From whom did you hear this story?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. It's been said
15 already. If I was on one side of the fence and they were on the other
16 side of the fence in the schoolyard and that information reached that
17 point where I was standing next to the schoolyard, I cannot tell you the
18 names of the people who passed it on to me. It was just like grapevine.
19 People were talking about what was going on. I don't know what was going
20 on. I don't know what was going on either outside the locker room or
21 closer to that door but there was talk that negotiations would proceed,
22 that they would not be boarding vehicles, they had been promised that they
23 would be exchanged, but later on, they were placed in vehicles and there
24 was no exchange. How am I supposed to give you names now? I can tell
25 you, conditionally speaking, that I heard that, for instance,
1 Drago Nikolic was going to conduct these negotiations but I cannot assert
2 that, I cannot claim that with any certainty.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Was any other person mentioned in relation to the
4 possible negotiations that you heard might have been going on at the time?
5 Apart from Drago Nikolic that you have just mentioned?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember, I don't remember.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Did there come a time when you left the area of the school?
10 A. I went to Orahovac, to a house that is almost a kilometre away.
11 The house of Mira Vidovic. So from the school, one kilometre in the
12 direction of Zvornik.
13 Q. And can you tell us how much time you spent at that house,
15 A. Well, I don't know, maybe from 6.00 to perhaps 8.00, a long time.
16 Q. Can you tell us generally and briefly what were you doing while
17 you were there?
18 A. Well, I sat there with them, discussed that event. I don't know.
19 There was her mother-in-law there, her children. I don't remember if the
20 husband was there but he probably was. We were talking about what was
21 going on. I don't know how I managed to tell her what I told her about
22 what was going on. I knew that woman Mira because she had worked in the
23 treasury before the war. I knew her from that time. So I went to her
24 place to visit.
25 Q. When you left the area of the school to go to her house, did you
1 leave there alone or did you leave there were other people?
2 A. Alone.
3 Q. And when you left her house --
4 A. I don't know. It was already dark, and I tried to walk to
6 Q. Had you made any prior arrangement to get back to Standard before
7 you left the school area?
8 A. No. I had not. I hadn't asked anyone, and when I went there, I
9 didn't intend to stay for such a long time in the first place, but I did,
10 and when I got out, it was already dark. It might have been 10.00 or
11 10.30, maybe even later.
12 Q. After you left, can you tell us what you did?
13 A. Well, I took the road, and I was maybe -- maybe 150 to 200 metres
14 from her house. When I stopped because it was kind of awkward, there was
15 shooting that I could hear, some sort of front line was in the vicinity.
16 I didn't know what kind of shooting I was hearing. And I stood there
17 thinking that somebody might come along and something might happen to me,
18 so I stood there and I thought that since I had a rifle on me I should put
19 some munitions in it. I had an M-48 so I rifled through my pockets. I
20 had ammunition in my pockets. I didn't -- I managed to cock the rifle, to
21 pull the safety lock, so I just stood there waiting for somebody I knew to
22 give me a lift.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we go into private session for a moment,
24 please, Mr. President?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure. Let's go into private session, please.
1 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 MR. VANDERPUYE:
22 Q. We are now in open session so I'm just going to ask you to refrain
23 from mentioning any names.
24 You indicated that the van went in the direction of Zvornik. Did
25 you take any other route?
1 A. No. There is no other route, not that I know of. That's the main
3 Q. And you've indicated that it went to the Standard; is that right?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Were you -- did everybody in the van go to Standard?
6 A. Everybody got out outside the Standard, except the boy. The
7 driver and the boy continued on to the hospital.
8 Q. And in which direction was that?
9 A. In the direction of Zvornik, further on.
10 Q. And when you say everybody got out outside the Standard, where are
11 you referring to?
12 A. I got out, Sreten, Mijatovic, Mihajlo and the logistics man and
13 the driver with the boy drove on.
14 Q. I understand that, but where did that occur?
15 A. I don't remember if the vehicle actually got into the compound or
16 left us outside the building near the entrance. I can't remember anymore.
17 We just got out of the van and the van drove on with the boy inside. I
18 cannot tell you the exact location. I don't remember.
19 Q. What did you do when you got back to the Standard?
20 A. I went to the office, stayed there for a while, put down the
21 rifle. I don't know how long I spent there. And then I thought I would
22 go upstairs and then I saw that the office of the logistics commander was
23 open, Sreten's office, so I stopped by.
24 Q. All right. And is that upstairs, in fact?
25 A. Yes. On the upper floor. His office was the next one after the
1 duty officer's.
2 Q. And what, if anything, was going on at that office?
3 A. Well, when I came, I can't tell you exactly if it was at the same
4 moment but -- could you -- could we go into private session for this?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection to that? Let's go into private
7 [Private session]
11 Page 10355 redacted. Private session
3 [Open session]
4 MR. VANDERPUYE:
5 Q. In response to the president's question, you've indicated that
6 (redacted) was referring to what happened in Orahovac. Was he
7 talking about what a good job the prisoners, that the soldiers did,
8 guarding the prisoners? Was that your understanding?
9 A. No. That was not my understanding. But generally, that it had
10 been done the way it had been done and that it was a good job.
11 Q. Are you referring to the executions?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In terms of what you saw while you were in Orahovac --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, that was -- I regret having suggested that we
15 go back into open session because this (redacted) and supposedly the
16 words he said was all done or heard in private session. And we can't have
17 the two reconciled.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So please redact from line 3 on page 45 -- yes, but
20 I think even the whole context. Let's go into private session for a short
21 while, please.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 10357-10360 redacted. Private session
21 [Open session]
22 MR. VANDERPUYE:
23 Q. I think I was just about to ask you, while you were in Orahovac,
24 you indicated that you saw Drago Nikolic. Do you have any doubt in your
25 mind that that's who you saw?
1 A. No, no. The people I mentioned I saw them. When exactly they
2 came, when they left, I don't know those details.
3 Q. Did you see Miladin Mijatovic there?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Any doubt about that?
6 A. No, I have none.
7 Q. Did you see Sreten Milosevic there?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. Any doubt about that?
10 A. No, I have none.
11 Q. Okay. Cedo Jovic, Goran Bogdanovic, did you see them there?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Any doubt about that?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. I have nothing further.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
17 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic? Let me just update the list that I have been
18 handed. Mr. Zivanovic requires one hour?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: The Beara team half an hour?
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Perhaps shorter, Mr. President, if at all.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Nikolic? You required an hour and a half.
23 MR. BOURGON: I'll probably need longer, Mr. President. There is
24 lots of stories this witness heard that I want to get into.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Borovcanin team? None?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: No cross for this witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Miletic? Ten minutes?
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] We have no questions for this
4 witness, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau.
6 MR. JOSSE: Still nothing, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Pandurevic, 30 minutes?
8 MR. HAYNES: That would be accurate currently, yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we start with Mr. Zivanovic.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tanic. I had occasion to read carefully your
13 earlier statement. I first read your interview which you granted to the
14 investigators of the OTP on the 25th of June 2002. In that interview, I
15 saw that you received the invitation to attend from the police, our
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell me, please, in that invitation or summons, was it -- was
19 there an indication whether you had to respond, whether there would be any
20 sanctions if you failed to attend?
21 A. I don't know who it is that sends these summons but somebody, a
22 worker from the SUP, brought this document with a date indicated and
23 saying that I was a suspect for the events linked to Srebrenica on the
24 14th of July. So I don't know what else I should say. That I was a
25 suspect. So as soon as I was given this document by the police, with a
1 date indicated, I felt I had to go. And let me just add in a kind of
2 attachment, it said that I would not be arrested within a period of 15
3 days, these letters were attached to the summons with these explanations.
4 So when I go there and come back, that I would not be arrested. I could
5 come back.
6 Q. In other words, you might be arrested five days later?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. From this interview, I gather that the investigators took that
9 summons from you. Was it returned to you or did they keep it?
10 A. I can't remember whether it was copied, whether it was returned.
11 I don't know.
12 Q. Tell me, please, were you told that as a suspect, you don't have
13 to answer questions put to you by the investigator?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let me tell you why I'm asking you this. You say that you were.
16 I have some different information. In this interview of yours, for the
17 sake of orientation, tape 2, track A, you say, among other things, that
18 you are not obligated to talk about others, and the investigator says, and
19 this is line 12, of course, you are entitled not to answer a certain
20 question. Was your understanding that you could refuse to answer
21 questions generally or that there were one or two questions that you could
22 not answer?
23 A. I asked why I was a suspect and that was my main problem, but on
24 the side of the investigators, they just said that that was the procedure
25 and that I had to, but I know that I was told that I was entitled to a
1 lawyer, et cetera, and that I don't have to answer questions but then I
2 could have not answered any but I don't know how these things work so...
3 Q. This interview of yours of the 25th of June 2002, was recorded. I
4 would like to ask you, before the taping of your interview started, the
5 recording, did you talk to the investigators?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I'll tell you why I'm asking you this. Again in this transcript
8 of the interview, I saw that at a certain point in time, when the
9 investigator asked you in which schools the Muslims were held, because
10 they were asking you about some other schools, whether you were aware of
11 that, you say, "We said we wouldn't. I, Orahovac, guilty, not guilty."
12 That was your response, so my conclusion was that you had some sort of
13 conversation before the recording started because I don't find a recording
14 of this statement in the transcript itself.
15 A. I don't know. I don't remember. I just know that I always
16 insisted on this status of suspect being removed, that I should be either
17 tried or something. Surely I have some basic human rights, the right to
18 work. Anyone can fire me and after my testimony here, I may not even be
19 entitled to life, the right to life, so it's a very serious problem.
20 Q. Let me now draw your attention to another segment of your
21 interview. Among other things, the investigator asked you a precise
22 question which I will quote and it is tape 4, track A, page 12 out of a
23 total of 16, and line 15 to 18, lines 15 to 18. The investigator asks,"So
24 perhaps Popovic was not in the school." And your answer, "It's best for
25 you to cross him out, cross him out. How do I know now whether he was
1 there or not, who was there, it was ten years ago." I've read out this as
2 something you said. But I believe that your answer was in accord with
3 your recollection. My question is: Is that the same answer you would
4 give today?
5 A. Not they. I don't know how an examination is done. If you
6 mention a name, it goes round in a circle, where, how, when, who, what
7 kind of vehicle, which man, where was he, what was he wearing, et cetera.
8 There are a thousand and one details and it was a long time ago and I had
9 had enough of this going back to the same issue and so I apologise to
10 anyone if I harmed them but there it is.
11 Q. Let me just remind you that at the time you mentioned as an act by
12 this officer who you were talking about, I'm sorry, that the rank of this
13 officer was a major.
14 A. Maybe. I asked who he was and that is what they told me. Never
16 Q. Let me now ask you again reading your previous interview and
17 statement because you already testified here before, and today's
18 testimony, I saw a small discrepancy with respect to the bus that you
19 referred to. Earlier, you said this was on the 15th in the morning. Now
20 you said it was on the 14th in the morning.
21 A. Then I must have made a mistake but it was on the 14th in the
23 Q. So you're sure of that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. Then I won't ask you any more about that.
1 You have described in some detail your return from Orahovac that
2 night of the 14th of July, and you described how you got back, with whom.
3 I won't mention any names because there are protected witnesses among them
4 or someone may become a witness and ask for protective measures. I just
5 wanted to tell you, or rather to point out to you, that we have had
6 occasion to hear -- could we please go into private session after all?
7 Private session, please?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 10368-10373 redacted. Private session
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll have the break now, 25 minutes, and then
17 Mr. Bourgon will start his cross-examination.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon. Go ahead.
21 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tanic, or good afternoon. How are you today?
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I notice that in the meantime, Mr. Meek has left us,
1 Mr. Ostojic?
2 MR. OSTOJIC: That is correct, Mr. President, he's working out of
3 the office this afternoon, thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And Mr. Krgovic?
5 MR. JOSSE: He's working elsewhere in the building, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you both. Mr. Bourgon, my apologies for the
7 interruption. Go ahead.
8 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Tanic, I'd like to begin by going over with you briefly the
10 number of times you were met by the Prosecution, as well as by the
11 Defence, leading up to your testimony today. First question is: Do you
12 recall that your interview with the office of the Prosecution took place
13 on the 24th of June 2002?
14 A. The 24th or the 25th? It should be right. That should be right.
15 Q. And do you recall that your testimony in the Blagojevic case, even
16 though you might not know the exact date was on 16th of July 2004?
17 A. Very well.
18 Q. And do you recall meeting with me personally on the 10th of June
19 2006, as well as on 16 March of this year?
20 A. I know we met and talked but I don't remember dates.
21 Q. And you recall also meeting with the investigator assigned to the
22 team I work with on a couple of occasions?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, my questions today are based on the material that I have that
25 you provided both the office of the Prosecution when you testified under
1 oath as well as when you and I had the occasion to meet and when you met
2 with the investigator assigned to this team. First I'd like to begin by
3 asking you about the proofing session which took place with the
4 Prosecution yesterday or Saturday, I'm not sure. I think it went over the
5 weekend. When did you actually meet with the Prosecution this weekend?
6 A. Do I have to answer these questions?
7 Q. Indeed you do, Mr. Tanic.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think. We tell him.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then it was on Saturday, Saturday.
10 I think so. Yes. These past days.
11 MR. BOURGON:
12 Q. And do you recall that as you were -- as you met with the
13 Prosecution, you made, you compiled some handwritten notes because these
14 notes were given to us. Do you recall making these notes?
15 A. When? Yesterday? Which notes?
16 Q. Over the weekend, three pages of notes that you left with the
17 Prosecution while you met with them this weekend.
18 A. I shouldn't have left it. I was going to take it with me. They
19 are my own intimate notes. I -- surely, those are my notes, not notes of
20 the Prosecution.
21 Q. Now, because these notes were given to us by the Prosecution, as
22 is the practice, and what I'd like is I have a few questions to ask you on
23 these notes. If you need the notes, if you want to refer to them, I have
24 a copy here. They are not in e-court, Mr. President, because they were --
25 we just received them last night and they were translated.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. On the other hand, I think I need to
2 explain to the witness so that he doesn't get carried away that something
3 irregular has taken place.
4 It is the duty, the responsibility, of the Prosecution to pass on
5 all information, to disclose all information, about the exchanges that
6 take place during the proofing session, to the members of the Defence
8 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
9 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. I just have two quick questions, Mr. Tanic. The first is I refer
11 to one of those pages of your notes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make it available to him, please.
13 MR. BOURGON: I only have a paper copy, Mr. President. If we can
14 show it to my colleague to show that the pages correspond. This is the
15 original version in B/C/S. I have a translation with me but we had to do
16 that on our own last night.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye, for confirming. Yes,
18 your question, Mr. Bourgon, or questions?
19 MR. BOURGON: Thank you.
20 Q. My first question simply is I look on the page, I'm not sure,
21 there are two pages with a number 1 on top. And one has to do with, as
22 you were listening to the tape. Do you find this page? It says on top,
23 listening to the tape. And there is a one on the top of the page.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Now, I move to the second bullet point on the top of that
1 page where it says, "I was wrong not to ask for a lawyer." Can you
2 explain why you were wrong or you believe you were wrong not to ask for a
4 A. Probably in that case I would have fewer problems. Then he might
5 tell me that I don't have to answer questions. That was my understanding.
6 If I had taken a lawyer then on the 24th of June in Banja Luka and here, I
7 probably wouldn't have had to answer certain questions. I don't really
8 know how that procedure works but I could have avoided some unpleasantness
9 that I've created for myself but I thought these were my notes. I didn't
10 make them for the public. I could have put them in my pocket. I don't
11 quite understand. I made these notes listening to the tape to remind
12 myself of things, not for this to be any kind of an original document.
13 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to refer you to the page of your notes
14 which has a number 3 at the top. And the first line reads, "Around first
16 A. Yes. And what?
17 Q. Now, on this page, there is a line which actually is underlined
18 where it says, "Now I have problems." So that's basically --
19 A. That is my note. I can't listen to the tape again. This was my
20 understanding. I don't know. I can't. I wrote this down listening to
21 the tape. So as to remind myself internally. I didn't think this would
22 be used. I don't understand this. Listening to the tape, I jotted these
23 things down. I can't remember what was the context or anything. I really
24 don't know. I made this -- these notes for myself. I didn't know. I
25 could have put it in my pocket and taken them with me. The tape was on
1 and I was making the notes. I don't understand how this now can be used.
2 I don't know. I would need to listen to the tape again to know what it is
3 I wrote down because the tape went on for some two or three hours. I
4 don't know.
5 Q. The only reason I asked this question, Mr. Tanic, is simply
6 because we have the notes and I was curious as to those two lines and I
7 will stop there. I move to my next question. As a result of your
8 proofing session with the Prosecution, we were also given a supplemental
9 information sheet, and we were informed by that document, and I will quote
10 the text, "The witness confirmed that he had reviewed the transcript of
11 the interview and listened to his trial testimony." Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. And it goes on to say, "He was asked if he found any errors and
14 the witness indicated that the statements were correct, save a reference
15 to some stairs." Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. And if I go on, it says, "The witness further indicated that he
18 stands" - well, the word "by" is not there but I believe there should be a
19 word - "he stands his prior testimony and statement." So do you stand by
20 both the testimony and the statement?
21 A. I suppose so. I really don't know what --
22 Q. Now, my colleague representing another accused in this case
23 mentioned to you about a discrepancy which he found between the testimony
24 and the interview, and I'd just like to ask you whether you can confirm
25 that if there are details that are not exactly the same from the interview
1 to the testimony, that the interview would be more accurate because it was
2 closer to the events in 2002? Would that be correct?
3 A. I don't agree with you because in 2002 I thought the steps
4 belonged to the school, but I didn't go to Orahovac often. I didn't put
5 it properly, that the steps were of the cultural centre, and I didn't pay
6 any attention until I went to see the stairs of the school and then I saw
7 that those stairs were not of the school, then with Mihajlo Stevanovic
8 went with me and showed me the steps where we were which is behind the
9 cultural centre so I told the Prosecution I had a correction. I really
10 thought it was of the school but that was what I thought at the time. And
11 that is why I tried to correct that portion, saying that the steps did not
12 belong to the school but of the cultural centre.
13 Q. Now, I thank you for your answer because it is an area we will go
14 into in terms of the stairs at the -- where you stood but for now, I'm
15 just asking a general question because there are some discrepancies
16 between the interview and the testimony. So I take it -- I'm asking you
17 which one would be more accurate, your -- the interview or was it the
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do object. I think he's answered the question.
21 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, he answered the question in respect
22 of one detail but he did not answer the question in general.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But what do you mean by the question in general?
24 Because --
25 MR. BOURGON: In general, because --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Your question was limited to the stair factor.
2 MR. BOURGON: The question was not limited to the stairs at all.
3 The question was general but he answered with respect to the stairs only.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Bourgon, but we would prefer if you
6 are more specific.
7 MR. BOURGON: I'll move on, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And ask him what he agrees with and what he doesn't
9 agree with.
10 MR. BOURGON: Will do, Mr. President.
11 Q. I'd like to move on, Mr. Tanic, to an issue concerning your
12 military knowledge. We've heard during your examination-in-chief that you
13 were the treasurer of the brigade and what you did since the beginning.
14 But a couple of questions concerning your knowledge and I refer here to
15 your interview, and that is on page 86921, for reference to my colleague,
16 where you said, "I had no knowledge of the Zvornik Brigade involvement in
17 combat operations." Is that correct?
18 A. In what sense, you mean? What is the context? I didn't take part
19 in combat operations. That is what it -- what may be said. I don't know
20 about anything else.
21 Q. But did you have any knowledge of the combat operations? Because
22 in that interview, you said you had no knowledge of combat operations.
23 A. I don't know when, what, how. I don't understand.
24 Q. Let me quote the exact sentence in your interview, where it says,
25 now, again, this is page 86921 and it says, "I was not related to
1 operational activities so I have no specific knowledge about that issue."
2 Is that correct?
3 A. I don't know. I have no answer to that.
4 Q. I move on to again your interview on page 86926, where you mention
5 that you were not too familiar with the military structure. Would that be
7 A. I don't know exactly. I was in the medical corps in the army, and
8 it didn't really interest me but during the war either, I wasn't
9 interested in the specifics of it, so I don't know.
10 Q. And I move on to in your testimony, and I quote from page 12020,
11 lines 2 to 4, where you stated, concerning Drago Nikolic, "We called him
12 security officer in the brigade, but establishment-wise, I don't know his
13 exact position." Do you stand by this statement today?
14 A. I don't know in what sense. I know that the security organ exists
15 and he was head of -- I don't know how to put it. I think that is what I
17 Q. That's exactly what I'm saying. You stated that you did not know
18 so I'm just asking you to confirm, simply yes or no, unless you want to
19 provide information.
20 A. Only chief of security in the brigade.
21 Q. Now, I move on to the issue of the day that you were invited to go
22 to Orahovac and that you were in Standard and I'd just like to you confirm
23 that on that day, when you went into that truck, that there were other
24 soldiers in that truck. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you did not know who these soldiers were; is that correct?
2 A. I knew all of them but I can't recollect their names. They knew
3 me and I know them.
4 Q. And you mentioned in your interview that this was the shift from
5 Jelacici. Do you recall saying that?
6 A. That's what I heard, yes, that's what I heard. It doesn't mean
7 that I know it.
8 Q. And you also mentioned that these people were kind of picked up by
9 chance at the end of their shift and then they ended up just like you in
10 Orahovac; is that correct?
11 A. They were at Standard and they ended up in Orahovac. They were
12 heading for the barracks. Anyway it was with them that I reached
14 Q. And would I be right in saying that you cannot tell even today
15 whether these soldiers were from the Zvornik Brigade or from another
17 A. Those in the truck were from the Zvornik Brigade, those who were
18 with me.
19 Q. I now move on to the next section, which is that of your knowledge
20 at the time you were asked to go to Orahovac. Now, it is my understanding
21 that this, when you were asked, someone told you that people were trying
22 to escape; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, as to the time in your interview, on page 86936, you mention
25 that for sure it was not morning but you could not confirm as suggested by
1 the investigator that this took place between noon and 2.00 in the
2 afternoon. Is that correct?
3 A. I don't know that someone suggested it but it was in the afternoon
4 probably. It wasn't in the morning but around noon, that's all right.
5 Q. Now, I'd just like to come back to page 11998 of your testimony at
6 line 20. And on that occasion, the question was: Do you know what unit
7 these men belong to? If you don't know them personally?" And your answer
8 was, at lines 19 and 20, "I don't know but I think it was the shift from
9 Jelacici. I don't know if it can be established now what that group was."
10 Do you stand by this statement today?
11 A. I don't know what to say.
12 Q. Well, do you agree with what you said then or --
13 A. It's not clear to me. I've said once already. A moment ago.
14 Q. Now, when you were asked to go to Orahovac, would I be right in
15 saying that no one ever mentioned the possibility that there would be some
16 shooting down there? Is that correct?
17 A. They only said that people were escaping and we needed to go there
18 but before that I think people from the logistics went there.
19 Q. And it's my understanding from your testimony today as well as
20 from your prior testimony that somehow you knew that prisoners were in
21 that school but you had no knowledge what would happen to them; is that
23 A. I didn't know, because the bus I mentioned, the more one says, one
24 has more problems. The bus that was in the compound, it went around the
25 facilities looking for room to house them. Now, I can't give you a
1 precise answer to your question, yes, they were in schools, it was noon,
2 et cetera. There was such a story. But when I was told that the
3 prisoners were escaping that means that they were there. That's how it
5 Q. So would I be right in saying following from your answer that you
6 just gave, that the knowledge you had about prisoners being detained in
7 the school was your own conclusion because they told you that prisoners
8 were escaping? Is that correct?
9 A. No. Even before that, there was some information, but I can't
10 claim with 100 per cent certainty that there was some particular
11 statement. I didn't make my own conclusion. But I assume so. I can't be
12 exclusive. I can't say specifically yes, that's how it was. So I'm not
13 specific in confirming what you have just said. I cannot do that.
14 Q. Thank you. I now move to the time when you are in Orahovac, and
15 what I'd like to establish with you is the sequence of events as they took
16 place for you in Orahovac. Now, would I be right in saying that the first
17 thing that happened is that the vehicle dropped you close to the fence
18 near the gym? Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And that during the time that you left the vehicle, that you
21 remained on the road along with Cedo Jovic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that as soon as you had an opportunity, you went where you say
24 those stairs were because you wanted to get away from there; is that
1 A. No, no, no. It's not like that. You're asking me to give you the
2 chronology. I can't do that in that way. It's a fact that I was there
3 with Cedo. I was on the road. That's what I stated, that I moved up and
4 down and that I entered the yard and saw what I saw as I stated it. So I
5 can't give you a precise chronology, minute by minute, because my
6 recollections also vary, they jump from one period of time to another. I
7 can't tell you with precision stage by stage. I just can't.
8 Q. Now, I'm not looking for a precise timing of what you did but I'm
9 just trying to establish so that the Trial Chamber is clear as to your --
10 how much time you spent close to the gym. So would I be right in saying
11 that you did not spend much time earlier on and then you went where those
12 stairs were? Do you recall going towards those stairs?
13 A. Yes, I did. But then after those stairs, and from the forester's
14 house, I would come back to see whether anyone was looking for me, whether
15 there were any problems for me. I just didn't get away before seeing
16 whether I was able to do what I wanted.
17 Q. And when you went close to these stairs, would I be right in
18 saying that at that time you were with Milan Savic and Mihajlo Stevanovic?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And that shortly thereafter, you went across the street and you
21 had coffee with these guys in a house that was close by?
22 A. It's not a street. It's an area between the stairs and the next
23 house. It was behind the cultural centre but there wasn't a street there,
24 a road. I didn't cross the street. It is behind the building, both the
25 house and the stairs are behind the cultural centre and behind the school.
1 Q. We will have a chance to look at a plan of Orahovac later on but
2 my next question is that you did go there and have coffee with those two
3 individuals, Stevanovic and Savic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And after a short while, you then left and you went to the house
6 of Mira Vidovic where you stayed until 11.00 at night?
7 A. Yes, something like that.
8 Q. You mentioned today in your testimony 8.00 but I quote here from
9 your interview at page 86934, where you say that you stayed at her place,
10 meaning Mira Vidovic, until 11.00. Which one would be more accurate?
11 Would it be correct to say that it was around 11.00 that you left her
13 A. I don't know. I didn't count. You mean when I left her house?
14 Possibly 11.00. It could have been 11.00. I didn't look at the time. I
15 didn't mean that precisely. I didn't have a watch.
16 Q. And while you were at the house of Mira Vidovic, you drank five or
17 six brandies or rakija; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, I did. They were small, you know, really small. I'm saying
19 that sincerely, over the seven or eight hours that I spent there.
20 Q. And when you decided to leave her place, you had decided to walk
21 back to Zvornik Brigade headquarters or the command; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And it's my understanding that you were accustomed to walking
24 distances like that, that is something that you did regularly; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, the exact place where that vehicle picked you up that night,
3 I believe you mention it today in your testimony but now I quote from both
4 the -- from the interview at page 86934, saying that you walked about 100
5 to 150 metres and that's where that truck picked you up. Would that be
7 A. Something like that. The house is still standing there and I
8 didn't measure it, but that's roughly the distance. I don't know exactly.
9 Q. Now, this house of Mira Vidovic, can you confirm that this house
10 is close to the main road, that is the second house from the restaurant
11 Dolina Mira and that's -- can you confirm what kind of distance is it from
12 the Orahovac school?
13 A. More than one kilometre. I think some people from the Defence
14 teams measured it.
15 Q. So it would be anywhere between 1 and 2 kilometres or at least 1
16 kilometre? Would that be correct?
17 A. A kilometre and a half, if you want.
18 Q. Now, at that point in time you testified today that when you got
19 out of the house you put five bullets in the frame of your M-48 rifle.
20 Can you provide more information as to what led you to put at that time
21 bullets in your rifle?
22 A. A clip. It was a clip. It was night. And it was not very safe,
23 I thought. I just wanted to have it, and I put it directly in the rifle
24 because the munitions scattered.
25 Q. And that's when the rifle blocked, as you mentioned?
1 A. A piece of paper got stuck in the housing in the bearing. I saw
2 that in the morning and I wasn't able to pull the safety lock. I tried to
3 put in the ammunition and I wasn't able to pull the safety lock back.
4 That piece of paper got stuck inside and I couldn't remove it. The person
5 in charge of the weapons did it for me the next day, and that's the first
6 time I realised the piece of paper had gotten stuck in there.
7 Q. So I conclude from what you're saying that your weapon was not
8 fired at all that day and that it was repaired the next morning; is that
10 A. I did not. I did not fire.
11 Q. Now, I'd like to quote here from page 86948 of your interview,
12 where you mention, and I will quote here the exact line, I do not have
13 lines on this page but I will quote it directly: "So I tried to stay as
14 little as possible near the school so I just got there, I saw what I saw,
15 I had this conversation with the people there, the staircase, a few
16 comments were made, and then I went to my friend's house." Is that a good
17 recollection of what you did in Orahovac that afternoon and that night?
18 A. Well, I've already described how it was.
19 Q. But what I just read, does that correspond? Because those are
20 your words from your interview.
21 A. Well, maybe this is the abbreviated version, but...
22 Q. Now, I quote now also from what you mentioned today, and that was
23 on page 35 at lines 11 to 16, and you said something very similar in your
24 interview, at page 86960, and would I be right in saying that you saw one
25 truck being loaded and that's when you walked away towards the staircase?
1 A. It's difficult to put a time-line on it now. I wasn't following
2 anymore what was going on outside the gym. I just saw, when the first
3 people started getting onto the truck, and then I stopped paying
5 Q. At lines 11 to 16, you mention, and I quote from lines 12, "Well,
6 I was there until the first group started boarding a truck. I did not
7 wait for them to finish boarding the truck. When the first group started
8 boarding the truck, I could already see." So would I be right in saying
9 that you saw the first truck being loaded and then you did not stay there
10 and you didn't wait for them to finish and you left towards the staircase?
11 A. It's not questionable where I went. I just stopped watching at
12 some point. I just saw the first people boarding the truck. You're
13 asking too much after all these years. I can't remember.
14 Q. I fully realise that it's not easy to remember everything that you
15 might have seen. But we'll give it a try any way. The -- I'd like to
16 quote now from page 86987 from your interview. And you stated at that
17 time that you stayed -- okay, here I have it. This was a question that
18 was put to you. Okay, how much time approximately did you spend in front
19 of the school? Or in close vicinity of the school? And your answer
20 was, "So you know from the afternoon, maybe two hours, then I went to
21 Mira Vidovic's place." Is that a good recollection of the events?
22 A. Two or three hours. You're really asking too much. I'm really
23 not able to tell you with such precision. I don't even know exactly when
24 I came to Mira's house. I cannot tell you three hours, 15 minutes, or
25 four hours. I have no idea. I can only say roughly that I was there for
1 two or three hours, around the school, and then I left. All this is
2 roughly speaking. I'm not trying to -- I don't mean that very precisely.
3 I can't.
4 Q. I understand. I fully understand, Witness, Mr. Tanic. I'm just
5 going over your interview because those are things that you stated at one
6 time, maybe you don't recall today, but at one time you stated two hours.
7 So would I be right in saying is it closer to two hours or closer to four
8 hours, for example?
9 A. How am I supposed to know that? I didn't even know it precisely
10 back then, let alone now. You really are asking too much. People are
11 asking me nowadays whether I made a mistake then or I made a mistake
12 today, or I made a mistake in between or whether it was a mistake coming
13 here at all.
14 Q. And would I be right in saying that from the time that you reach
15 Mira Vidovic's place, until the time you left her house at 11.00 at night
16 or thereabouts, you have no knowledge of anything that happened near the
17 school in Orahovac?
18 A. I don't know. Let's say I don't know.
19 Q. Now, I'd like to move, for the time we have left, with some of the
20 things that you -- that you may have seen or failed to see in Orahovac,
21 always quoting from your interview, just to see if you can confirm. And
22 I'd like to start with page 86932 where you mention that you were not
23 familiar with Orahovac before the events that day. Is that correct?
24 A. Not much. Maybe I passed by a couple of times before, maybe I was
25 there once in 1993 but I don't really know the layout of the houses and...
1 Q. And, Mr. Tanic, what did you understand your task to be when you
2 arrive in Orahovac? What were you there for?
3 A. I believe everybody from the logistics was rounded up and sent
4 there. My understanding was that prisoners were running away and I
5 believed that, I thought to myself, well, that's possible, and I was
6 needed to help out. That's how I understood that invitation. I think I
7 answered this question before. Now if I say two or three words
8 differently you'll pin me down on it again.
9 Q. The aim, Mr. Tanic, is not to pin you down but simply to recall
10 what you mentioned earlier and then to obtain from you -- either you can
11 correct it or you can just say that generally the information is correct.
12 Now, I quote now from page 86945 of your interview. Today in your
13 testimony you saw -- you mention seeing boys carrying water. Would I be
14 right in saying that these boys were accompanied by a soldier?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, on that page, at 86945, you mentioned that you could not tell
17 whether these soldiers were from the Zvornik Brigade; is that correct?
18 A. I don't remember saying that. I don't understand the drift of
19 your question. Which soldiers?
20 Q. Okay. Let's go back. You testified today that you saw two boys
21 carrying water and that they were accompanied by a soldier. And you
22 mention on that occasion that you could not tell whether these soldiers
23 were from Zvornik Brigade. Is that correct?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think my colleague is referring to 86945 of the
1 interview; is that correct? I don't see that there is a reference to the
2 specific soldiers in the plural. There is, I believe, a reference to the
3 particular soldier that the witness was talking about and I think the
4 question should be framed in that way.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
6 MR. BOURGON: I thank my colleague for this. It's one soldier and
7 not many soldiers.
8 Q. So Mr. Tanic, it was one soldier and I will quote your exact
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
11 MR. BOURGON:
12 Q. The question which was asked of you was, did you recognise that
13 soldier? And your answer was no.
14 The next question was: "He was a Zvornik Brigade soldier?"
15 Your answer was, "I cannot say. I cannot tell exactly because,
16 you know, I know a lot of people and there were a lot of people there so I
17 cannot tell who it was from which brigade, saw so many faces."
18 Do you stand by this -- by your answer?
19 A. I don't see the point of this question. What am I supposed to say
20 now? When did I say that? Did I say that today? I lost track already.
21 Q. This was mentioned during your interview with the Prosecution in
22 2002. So that's five years ago. So --
23 A. Well, you should say that straight away. I thought it's something
24 I said today. I can still remember what I said today; since 2002 I have
25 already forgotten certain things.
1 Q. Now, of course, it's a very likely to -- very normal to forget
2 some things that go back to 2002 but in terms of the exact words that you
3 used. Now, at that time, you mentioned that you did not recognise this
4 soldier and you did not know whether he was from Zvornik Brigade. What
5 could you say today? Do you recall? Could you identify this soldier or
6 still you could not identify him and you don't know if he is from the
7 Zvornik Brigade?
8 A. I don't know but I think I said that before to the Prosecution and
9 to you. It's a soldier, right? Therefore, if I told that to you, then I
10 said the same to the Prosecution.
11 Q. Well, this answer was given to the Prosecution during the
12 interview in 2002. I'm just asking if you could confirm --
13 A. No, no, no, recently, I mean. Not in 2002. Sorry.
14 Q. The text I quoted from, Mr. Tanic, is from 2002. Now I'm simply
15 asking you today, regardless of that text because I was using a reference
16 for the sake of allowing my colleague where I was going with my question
17 but I'm just asking you now do you recall if you recognised that soldier
18 and whether you still cannot tell he was -- whether he was from
19 Zvornik Brigade?
20 A. I said that to the Prosecution as well. It was a soldier from the
21 Zvornik Brigade, and I think I told you the same things but I didn't think
22 that you would be asking me this because you said you wouldn't. Now, you
23 are starting to ask me things that -- all right? All right. But that's
24 what the story was before. You can use it but then you are abusing my
25 confidence. Okay, okay, we can move on. I told you and the Prosecution
1 the same thing, in our last conversation. I didn't lie for a moment.
2 Q. So what you're saying today, Mr. Tanic, is that he was from the
3 Zvornik Brigade? That's all I'm asking you, whether he was or wasn't.
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Okay. Now, I quote again from your interview, that is 2002, with
6 the Prosecution, they asked you whether the truck was covered and your
7 answer was that -- I'm talking about the truck that you saw beginning to
8 be loaded. And your response was, "I know the truck was covered but I
9 cannot specify the make or the type." Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And on page 86948, you mention that --
12 A. I don't know. You are going into too much detail for me. I told
13 them even then, I can't remember the wheels, the tarpaulin. You can ask,
14 of course, but I really don't see the point. I said it was a small truck
15 that it had a tarpaulin cover, whether it was yellow, blue or orange.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Tanic, the purpose of my question is simply to confirm
17 what you said earlier, nothing more, nothing less, and I was exactly --
18 A. What I said earlier is what I meant. I said it was a small truck.
19 There was a tarpaulin truck. Maybe I was wrong about the colour. So
20 what? Am I responsible, guilty, for getting the colour wrong?
21 Q. Not at all, Mr. Tanic. The -- let me simply mention to you for
22 the sake of clarification that the text I'm quoting from is not available
23 to the Judges. That's why I simply want to you confirm what is in that
24 text in certain places in that text; you understand that?
25 A. All right, then. Okay. Ask, go ahead.
1 Q. And you mention about the truck. Now I just come back, you
2 already confirmed today, just a few minutes ago, that you did not see the
3 colour of the truck. Now, would I be right in saying or what you said
4 that you could -- you did not identify the driver of the truck; is that
6 A. Yes. I don't know who drove the truck.
7 Q. Now, there was one thing that I will quote from page 86949 of the
8 interview of 2002, something that you mention, and you stated, I will
9 quote the exact words, "I found out later --" well, let me ask the
10 question so that we are -- for the sake of completeness. The question
11 was, "You knew people were being shot in that school, didn't you?" And
12 your answer was, "I found out later." So later, they, they were put on
13 trucks and taken away. And we could hear shots."
14 So that's later that you find this out; is that correct?
15 A. I didn't understand a word you said. I would need to read the
16 full statement and review it again. Right now, hearing it like this,
17 taken out of the context, I really don't follow what you're asking me at
18 all. I'm very sorry but I don't know.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can stop here for today, because I see
20 signs of tiredness. We continue tomorrow.
21 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, in order to assist the witness
22 tomorrow I have on the e-court the statement in his language so he can
23 also read it and that will be -- I guess, it would be easier for him
24 because I just want to confirm certain aspects of his statement. Thank
25 you very much, Mr. Tanic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We are authorising the handing to the witness of his
2 statement so that we can continue tomorrow. Witness, Mr. Tanic, we will
3 continue tomorrow in the afternoon, which allows you time to rest after
4 this morning's testimony. Tomorrow, I'm confident that we will finish
5 with your testimony and that you will be free to go back home at the
6 earliest. In the meantime between today and tomorrow, until you finish
7 your testimony you are not to contact or allow anyone to contact you to
8 discuss or speak about the matters of your testimony. Is that clear
9 enough? You're not allowed to approach anyone or allow anyone to approach
10 you to discuss these matters. Is that clear?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean nobody, even the people
12 here? You mean when I go outside I'm not supposed to talk to anybody or
13 I'm not supposed to talk to the lawyers here in the courtroom or what?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope that on the way out, you will not come across
15 any of the lawyers, Prosecution or Defence. You are not to speak or to
16 contact anyone on the matters which you are testifying upon, and that
17 includes everyone. All right?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. Very well. And I'm not
19 supposed to have coffee with anyone either? You mean I'm not supposed to
20 talk at all? I don't understand. Suppose I want to go and have a coffee
21 with one of the people here I know? I cannot, for instance, go and have a
22 cup with -- I mean, without talking about the case? No way. I'm very
23 sorry if I didn't get this right.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be -- it will make us very angry if we come
25 to know that you even tried to have a coffee with anyone who is in this
1 courtroom at the moment.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Now it's clear.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But of course you can have a coffee with anyone else
4 provided that you do not touch upon or you do not allow the other person
5 to touch upon the matters that you're testifying upon. I hope that is
6 clear now.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now it is.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. So we'll meet tomorrow afternoon
9 at quarter past 2.00. Thank you.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of April,
12 2007, at 2.15 p.m.