1 Monday, 7 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could you
7 kindly call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. All the accused are here. From
11 the Defence teams, I notice only the absence of Mr. Bourgon. Madam
12 Nikolic, he was supposed to be returning today, Monday. Will he be
13 showing up later?
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Obviously, some
15 unexpected problems have arisen. I think I have a problem with my
16 interpretation. I can't hear. Just a moment. Let me see.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Check that you are on the right channel, please.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] It's all right now. Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. From the Prosecution side, I notice the
20 presence of Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Nicholls.
21 The witness, Mr. Erdemovic, is present already. I take it that
22 there are no preliminaries so we can proceed.
23 Yes, Mr. Petrusic?
24 WITNESS: DRAZEN ERDEMOVIC [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, just a few questions. On that 10th of July, in the
4 evening hours, when you came to the elevation overlooking Srebrenica,
5 during that afternoon, late afternoon, evening and night, there was no
6 combat activity, was there?
7 A. Before we got to that elevation, as I said, we passed by the UN
8 check-point and we could see some houses had been burned, and it was
9 obvious there had been combat during the day, but that night there was
10 nothing -- no shooting to be heard.
11 Q. Can you tell us through which place did you pass?
12 A. I cannot remember exactly, but I remember I came from the south
13 side of Srebrenica.
14 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I put it to you that the only populated area
15 through which you could pass from the south side was Slapovic, which is
16 not on the road and it was not burned down. Do you accept that?
17 A. I cannot know exactly through which place we passed. I told you
18 already that when we passed by the UN check-point and we were going
19 towards Srebrenica, some houses were burnt and you could see there was --
20 there had been combat.
21 Q. Do you know that, in that locality, some combat activities did
22 take place but earlier?
23 A. What do you mean "earlier"? I don't understand the question.
24 Q. Do you know that in 1993, in that locality, serious battles took
25 place between the 28th Division and the Drina Corps?
1 A. I heard about it. I don't know exactly. I wasn't there, but I
2 know that there was combat between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
3 VRS in the environs.
4 Q. Do you allow the possibility that the damage you saw resulted from
5 that earlier combat?
6 A. Possibly, but some houses were still burning. They can't have
7 been burning from 1993 on.
8 Q. On the 11th of July, you entered the town. Was it before or after
9 NATO air strikes?
10 A. After. If I remember correctly, we were already moving towards
11 the town. We had not yet arrived. We had just descended from that
12 elevation down the slope, going towards town, when we heard that NATO
13 aircraft had dropped one or two bombs.
14 Q. As you were descending into town, there was no fire opened at you?
15 A. There was sporadic shooting. I cannot tell you exactly now but,
16 yes, there was shooting; not much but there was some.
17 Q. But there was no artillery fire from either side?
18 A. No. It's just that, at one moment, the Praga was used by the VRS
19 because somebody had said that sniper positions were detected at some
20 position, and there was sniper fire.
21 Q. In the town itself, there was no artillery fire on the town?
22 A. Not that I can remember.
23 Q. You said that the flag from the mosque was removed by Velimir
24 Popovic. The mosque was undamaged?
25 A. Yes. There was nothing wrong with the mosque, only the flag had
1 been removed.
2 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, is the name Dragan Todorovic familiar to you? Do
3 you know that man?
4 A. I cannot remember the name; but maybe if you showed me a picture,
5 I could remember the face, if I know the man.
6 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you need a photograph, 1997, on which we can see
7 three members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, a photograph on which you
8 identified two men? Do you need it to identify the third person?
9 A. I don't see why.
10 Q. Will you tell me who is the third person on the photograph?
11 A. I wouldn't like to say; but if you insist that I identify the
12 person, I can give you his name.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number because
14 1997 seems to be a video.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. 1981. You are right.
16 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I do insist on an answer.
17 A. Very well. His name is Zeljko, and I don't know the last name.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. The witness showed some reluctance last
19 time, if we are talking of the same person, on the basis that according to
20 him this man did absolutely nothing illegal. I'm trying to use his same
21 terms. And that he was quite friendly with the witness. I think we ought
22 to give the witness the option of mentioning his name in private session.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. You've mentioned one part of his name
25 already any way. Go ahead, Mr. Erdemovic. Who is the third man? Zeljko
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know his last name, Your
3 Honour. I just know his first name. His name was Zeljko.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
6 questions of this witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
8 Unless there has been some changes, I have Mr. Krgovic who wishes
9 to cross-examine this witness, and I think Mr. Meek or Mr. Ostojic. Do
10 you wish to go first? Okay, Mr. Ostojic.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you Your Honour. Good morning, Mr. President
12 and Your Honours. We have entered into a stipulation with the Prosecution
13 on two specific points that we were going to question this witness on. In
14 light of that, we will not have any questions for this witness today, Your
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: And we will be filing the stipulations immediately
18 after the close of court today.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much, Mr. Ostojic, and thank you, Mr.
20 McCloskey, as well. So Mr. Krgovic?
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
22 Q. Good morning, sir.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Will you start answering please only when I turn off my
25 microphone? As long as you see the red light, don't answer or say
2 A. All right.
3 Q. Let me take you back, briefly, to the question asked by my learned
4 friend Mr. Petrusic. When you arrived on the 10th to that elevation
5 overlooking Srebrenica, it was in the evening?
6 A. It all happened in the evening hours.
7 Q. You answered to my colleague, Mr. Petrusic, a question about
8 combat on the 11th. I have the same question about the 10th. There were
9 no exchanges of artillery fire or any other fire on the 10th before you
10 set out for Srebrenica?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And from the position where you were, you could see the town and
13 you could see the extent of shelling on the town, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And there was none? There was no shelling in that period from the
16 10th all the way until the 11th when you entered the town?
17 A. Yes. There was no shelling of the town.
18 Q. When you entered the town of Srebrenica, you did not see any major
19 damage, craters from shells. You didn't see any serious damage to the
20 town. You had been in Vukovar in 1991 and you know what a town that was
21 shelled looks like. Compared to Srebrenica you could determine that there
22 had been no shelling?
23 A. That's correct. You could not -- there is no comparison between
24 Srebrenica and Vukovar.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
1 further questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Krgovic. In the meantime,
3 for the record, Mr. Bourgon has entered the courtroom. For the record,
4 also, I do not have on my list any other Defence team that wishes to
5 cross-examine this witness. So unless I hear anything different, I'll
6 proceed to ask Mr. McCloskey if he's got re-examination.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE KWON: I have a couple of questions. Mr. Erdemovic, I'm not
11 sure whether the Prosecution had asked this or not. Can I ask whether
12 Mr. Pelemis was aware of what you did in Branjevo Farm?
13 A. From what I know of the way command was exerted over our unit, he
14 did know. I'm 100 per cent sure.
15 JUDGE KWON: If you could tell me the basis upon which you say so?
16 A. Well, not a single action or mission of our unit was possible
17 without the knowledge of the commander of our unit.
18 JUDGE KWON: How about Major Pecanac? Was he also aware of what
19 you did?
20 A. From what I know, yes, they had to know. Pelemis -- I don't
21 believe Pelemis would have done anything without them knowing.
22 JUDGE KWON: And my last question is about Zeljko, whose name you
23 revealed today. My question is how he was able to keep himself from what
24 you guys were doing, things that were not permitted, as you put it.
25 A. On that day, it wasn't only Zeljko. In Vlasenica, there were
1 people from Vlasenica and people from the Bijeljina platoon; and if we
2 were between 30 and 40, in total, only eight of us were at that farm. So
3 more than 30 persons were not involved in what we were doing, and I cannot
4 explain why we were chosen to do what we had to do.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Kwon's last question was exactly one of the
7 questions I wanted to ask you. But on the same -- in the same context,
8 you've just confirmed that you were eight. There were eight of you in
9 Branjevo Farm. I would like you to go through the names again one by one.
10 I know that you have mentioned them, But what is more important for me is
11 to know their ethnicity. You were, for example, a Bosnian Croat. Now,
12 let's start with the other seven, one by one, and please tell us their
14 A. Marko Boskic, Bosnian Croat; Franc Kos, Slovene; Golijan, a Serb
15 from Vlasenica; Brano Gojkovic, a Serb; Stanko Savanovic, a Serb;
16 Aleksandar Cvetkovic, Serb; and Zoran --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last name of
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Zoran who?
20 A. Zoran Goronja, a Serb.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: There being no further questions, your testimony
22 finishes, ends here, Mr. Erdemovic. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I
23 wish to thank you for having come over to give testimony, and I also wish
24 you a safe journey to wherever you're going.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. McCloskey, documents?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. There is a sheet, and I
4 believe I've mentioned each on that sheet. I didn't get into the detail
5 of the plea agreement, but I think it's a good thing that you have that;
6 otherwise, that's everything on the sheet.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from any of the Defence teams?
8 I don't think we have a question of translation here either. So
9 not hearing any objections, all these documents are being admitted.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, just the plea agreement did not
11 have a 65 ter number, but I spoke to the Defence about that earlier and
12 they had no objection.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey, and thank you also
16 all the Defence teams for being practical about this.
17 Ms. Nikolic, you made use of an OTP information report which you
18 would like to tender. It has 65 ter number 1D285. Correct?
19 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections from Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: No.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Or any other of the Defence teams, for that matter?
23 Okay. So it is so admitted. Thank you.
24 And we can move now to the next witness, who I hope is here. And
25 we are talking of witness to be precise, number 142, correct?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And he has no protective measures, to my knowledge,
3 at least.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if I could be excused for just one
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. McCloskey.
8 Good morning to you, sir.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to start
11 giving evidence; and before we move ahead with your testimony, you are
12 required under our rules to make a solemn declaration that in the course
13 of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and
14 nothing but the truth. The text is being handed to you now. Please read
15 it out aloud, and that will be your solemn commitment with us that you
16 will be telling the truth.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: MILORAD BIRCAKOVIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Make yourself comfortable, please. Take
22 a seat. I suppose you already know what's going to happen. Mr. Nicholls,
23 for the Office of the Prosecutor, will be putting some questions to you.
24 He will then be followed --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: He will then be followed by the various members of
2 the Defence teams on cross-examination. Your duty is to answer each and
3 every question fully, and to the point, and truthfully, irrespective of
4 who is questioning you.
5 So, Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honours. One point,
7 I apologise for not raising this earlier, I've explained to the witness
8 his rights under Rule 90, but I think perhaps the Court should advise him
9 and I think my friends would agree.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I hear no comments from the Defence teams. Make it
11 a rule to advise us on this because we are never really, unless we are
12 talking of a Rule 92 bis or 92 ter witness, we would not be in a real
13 situation to make a proper assessment. So you need to bring this to our
14 attention, you and any of the Defence teams for that matter.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry I didn't do that first thing.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's all right.
17 Mr. Bircakovic, you've heard what Mr. Nicholls has just said, and
18 the indication also is that you have been made aware of the existence of
19 certain rights that you enjoy as a witness under our Rules. One of these
20 rights pertains to everybody's right not to be forced to incriminate
21 oneself. It may well happen, although I'm not saying that it will, that
22 questions may be put to you or will be put to you, that, if answered,
23 could possibly expose you to criminal proceedings, to incriminate you, in
24 other words.
25 Now, in conformity with the application of the principle world
1 wide, we give the witness in such circumstances the right to ask to be
2 exempted from answering such questions. This right is not an absolute
3 one, however. It depends on our assessment of the circumstances. We may
4 well decide to grant you an exemption, to dispense you from answering such
5 questions, or we may decide to compel you, to order you to sense such
6 questions nonetheless.
7 If we do so, if we compel to you answer such questions, then you
8 enjoy another right, a consequential right; namely, that anything that you
9 would say in answering such questions, because you are compelled to answer
10 such questions, shall not be used as evidence against you in an a
11 subsequent -- in any subsequent Prosecution that might be taken against
12 you, except if the Prosecution or the proceedings are for false testimony,
13 which I hope will not be the case.
14 So have I made myself understood to you? Have I explained your
15 rights clearly enough for you to understand?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. I think on the basis of that
18 we can proceed.
19 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
20 Examination by Mr. Nicholls:
21 Q. Good morning, sir.
22 A. [In English] Good morning.
23 Q. I'll be asking you a few questions as I explained to you
24 yesterday. Listen to the question carefully, think and try to remember
25 carefully, and answer as best you can. Okay?
1 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
2 Q. Actually, it was Saturday, not yesterday that I spoke to you.
3 Could you tell the Court your full name, please?
4 A. Milorad Bircakovic.
5 Q. And do you have any nicknames?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Were you ever known by any nicknames?
8 A. Well, when I was younger, perhaps. They used to call me Pinjo.
9 Q. When were you born?
10 A. In Grbavci, on the 6th of August 1963.
11 Q. Thank you. And very, very briefly, could you tell us what your
12 current occupation is? What do you do now?
13 A. Well, currently I work in the factory in Birac, near Zvornik, as a
14 worker on assembly line.
15 Q. Now, can you tell us when you were mobilised into the VRS in 1992,
16 if you remember?
17 A. I was mobilised, together with the others, on the 6th of April
18 1992, I suppose.
19 Q. And which brigade were you part of in 1992?
20 A. At the time, I was a member of the Territorial Defence, and later
21 on, of the Zvornik Brigade.
22 Q. Okay. In 1993, which unit of the Zvornik Brigade were you a
23 member of?
24 A. First, I was a member of the village company, and later on I was
25 transferred to serve as a member of the tank crew in n the tank company.
1 Later on I was a member of the Drina Wolves for a while, and I ended up as
2 a member of the military police of the Zvornik Brigade.
3 Q. When did you end up as a member of the military police of the
4 Zvornik Brigade?
5 A. Well, this may have been sometime in 1993, towards the end of 1993
6 or in 1994, thereabouts. I wouldn't be able to give you the exact date.
7 Q. And in July 1995, were you still a member of the Zvornik Brigade
8 military police?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, where -- when you were a member of the military police - this
11 is a quick question - where were you stationed in 1995? Where were you
13 A. We were stationed in the barracks, maybe two kilometres away from
14 Zvornik, that was.
15 Q. And that's the Standard Barracks at Karakaj?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you know an officer named Drago Nikolic in July 1995?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was his position then?
20 A. He was the Chief of Security affiliated with the Zvornik Brigade.
21 Q. And did you ever work directly with Drago Nikolic in July 1995?
22 A. I was a driver, his driver, Drago's driver.
23 Q. And by July 1995, how long had you known Drago Nikolic? How long
24 had you worked with him?
25 A. Well, maybe a year or so, from 1994, I'd say.
1 Q. Now, do you also know an officer named Miomir Jasikovac in July
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what was his position?
5 A. He was the commander of the Military Police Company.
6 Q. And who did he report to, Jasikovac? Who was above him in the
7 chain of command?
8 A. I believe to Drago Nikolic.
9 Q. Finally on this point, also in July 1995, did you know an officer
10 named Milorad Trbic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what was his position then?
13 A. He was the Deputy Chief of Security.
14 Q. Of the Zvornik Brigade?
15 A. Of the Zvornik Brigade.
16 Q. Now, an officer named Vujadin Popovic, did you know him in July
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And who was he? What was his position?
20 A. He was the Chief of Security of the Drina Corps.
21 Q. And, finally, Ljubisa Beara, did you know him in July 1995?
22 A. Yes. I did see him around.
23 Q. And what was his position?
24 A. He was the Chief of Security of the Main Staff.
25 Q. Thank you. I want to jump ahead now to 14 July 1995, and ask you
1 some questions about that day. Approximately, when did you go on duty
2 that day, 14th of July 1995?
3 A. At 7.00 in the morning.
4 Q. And just so we know, when did you go off duty the previous night,
5 the 13th of July?
6 A. At 7.00 in the evening.
7 Q. Where did you spend that night, from 7.00 to 7.00, over the 13th
8 to the 14th?
9 A. I was at home.
10 Q. Okay. Now, on the morning of the 14th of July, after you came on
11 duty, did you receive any orders as a driver?
12 A. Well, yes. That was in the morning.
13 Q. What were your orders?
14 A. I was ordered to go and pick up Drago Nikolic at the forward
15 command post, and I was supposed to bring him over to the brigade.
16 Q. Who gave you that order?
17 A. Trbic, the Deputy Chief of Security, gave me that order.
18 Q. And just for the record, where was that forward command post that
19 you went to pick up Drago Nikolic or that you were ordered to go to pick
20 up Drago Nikolic?
21 A. Well, approximately, some 15 kilometres from the Standard
23 Q. And what was the name of the town or the area where the IKM
24 forward command post was?
25 A. Well, the name is Jerkici, one part of the Kitovnice village area.
1 Q. Why were you supposed to go and get Drago? What was he supposed
2 to do when he came back to the command?
3 A. He was supposed to attend a meeting with Beara and Popovic.
4 Q. Now, did you go to the forward command post to pick up Drago
5 Nikolic, as ordered?
6 A. Yes. I went there and I brought him back.
7 Q. What time did you leave Standard, and what time did you get back
8 to Standard for the meeting?
9 A. Well, it was maybe half past 7.00 or 8.00. I wouldn't know
10 exactly, and I returned maybe half an hour later.
11 Q. And we'll get to the logs later, but which vehicle, which car,
12 were you driving when you went to pick up Drago Nikolic?
13 A. An Opel Rekord.
14 Q. What colour was that Opel Rekord?
15 A. Well, it was neither green nor blue. The car was not very
16 specific, bluish, greenish.
17 Q. And what model of car shape was it? A station wagon, two door,
18 four door, five door, three door? Can you describe the car a little bit?
19 A. Five doors, a caravan, a station wagon.
20 Q. And just if you can help me explain, do you know what an Opel
21 Kadet looks like from that time period?
22 A. Well, it had five doors. I don't know what you mean. How do you
23 mean this?
24 Q. My question was really just whether you remembered. What I'd like
25 you to do is explain how, if you're looking at an Opel Rekord or an Opel
1 Kadet from then, how do they look different or how do they look the same?
2 Can you describe the differences or the similarities?
3 A. Well, if we are looking at an Opel Kadet Caravan and Opel Rekord,
4 then the two would be very similar. The difference would be minor. The
5 headlights are the same on both cars, if we are talking about the station
6 wagon with five doors.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, coming back to when you returned to Standard with
8 Drago Nikolic, where did he go in the command? What happened when you got
9 back from picking him up?
10 A. He went to his office to attend that meeting.
11 Q. Now, did you attend the meeting?
12 A. No.
13 Q. What did you do during the meeting?
14 A. At the command, I had an office which served as a cafe place where
15 coffees were made for officers and others, and this is where I was sitting
16 while the meeting was going on.
17 Q. How long was the meeting, approximately?
18 A. I don't know exactly, maybe 15 or 20 minutes.
19 Q. Now, after the meeting, did you see Drago Nikolic again?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And how did he appear when he came out of the meeting? What was
22 his mood?
23 A. Somber. He was not in a good mood.
24 Q. And what did he tell you that his orders were or his tasks now?
25 A. No. He did not tell me anything about his orders.
1 Q. What did he say you were going to do when he came out of the
3 MR. MEEK: Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Beara --
5 MR. MEEK: I object to that --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: -- Mr. Meek, sorry. My apologies.
7 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I object to that question.
8 It's repetitive. It's been asked and answered. All the Prosecutor is
9 trying to do is ask the same question the witness just answered no to. He
10 didn't tell him anything about any task, and now he's just going around it
11 in the back-door fashion. I object to that strenuously.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: It's two completely different questions, Your
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Still, his answer on line 23, in answering
15 your question, "No. He did not tell me anything about his orders."
16 And then your question was: "What did he say you were going to do
17 when he came out of the meeting?" So it refers to him now.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. What I'm asking -- maybe I can make it
19 clearer to the witness.
20 Q. What I'm asking is what did Drago Nikolic say that you and he were
21 going to do after he came out of that meeting?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Why don't you simplify it and say, All right. He
23 didn't tell you anything about his orders. Did he tell you anything else?
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. What did Drago Nikolic say to you when he came out of the meeting?
1 MR. MEEK: Again, Your Honour, I object to that question. It
2 assumes facts not in evidence. There is no evidence that he's told him
3 anything. It's a leading and suggestive question to suggest that Drago
4 Nikolic said anything to him.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: He's being asked whether he told him anything else.
6 I mean, the witness has already affirmed that there were no explanations
7 on orders, but there may have been other conversations.
8 So go ahead. Answer the question, please. What did Drago Nikolic
9 say to you when he came out of the meeting? Obviously, if he didn't say
10 anything, you will answer he didn't say anything. But if he said
11 something, you need to tell us what he told you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as he came out of the meeting,
13 he did not say much. We started walking to the car, ready to leave. And
14 then he told me that I was supposed to drive him to the Vidikovac hotel.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. And then what happened?
17 A. Then we arrived at Vidikovac hotel, and then buses arrived with
18 prisoners on board.
19 Q. Where is the Vidikovac hotel in relation to Zvornik? Can you just
20 describe -- I think you can describe easily where that hotel is located.
21 A. The hotel is about two kilometres away from Zvornik towards
23 Q. And what did Drago Nikolic tell you was going to happen at the
25 JUDGE AGIUS: If he did.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: If he did.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: If he did mention anything to you, you need to tell
3 us. If he didn't, obviously, you say that he didn't say anything.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At first, he did not say much. We
5 came up there, and maybe a couple minutes later the buses arrived. After
6 that, however, he told me that I should get on the first bus because he
7 would take the car to do some errands. I got on the first bus. He took
8 the car, and he drove away in the car.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. First of all, how long were you and Drago Nikolic at the hotel
11 Vidikovac that morning?
12 A. We were in front of the hotel, and we stayed there maybe only five
13 minutes or so, not longer.
14 Q. And how long was -- were there buses already there, or did the
15 buses come after you arrived?
16 A. The buses arrived maybe five minutes later, five minutes after us.
17 Q. Approximately, what time of day is this now that the buses
19 A. Well, maybe half past 8.00 or 9.00.
20 Q. How many buses arrive at the hotel?
21 A. I couldn't tell. The road is very curvy, it meanders, and I could
22 see as far as five or ten buses. I don't know exactly, but I didn't pay
23 too much attention to the whole situation any way. The road is really
24 very curvy.
25 Q. And who were on these buses, if anybody?
1 A. Well, there were security guards on board, and there were also
2 men, Muslim men.
3 Q. Now, Drago Nikolic told you to get on the bus; is that right?
4 What you said a moment ago.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who told the bus drivers where to go next? Where did they -- who
7 directed the bus drivers what they should do next, after they gathered at
8 the hotel?
9 A. Well, they were in a convoy. They already knew where they were
10 going. Nobody told them where they should go from that place. I suppose
11 that they had known already. Nobody asked any questions so I suppose that
12 they already knew where they were headed.
13 Q. So, when you got on the bus, did you know where you were going,
14 where the bus you were on was going? Think.
15 A. Well, I knew from the moment they left Karakaj that they were
16 going towards Tuzla. I was familiar with the road. I didn't know exactly
17 where they were heading.
18 Q. When you got on the bus, you had no idea where that bus was going
19 to stop that you were on?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Where did the bus -- where in the column was the bus that you got
22 on to?
23 A. It was the first bus.
24 Q. And where did the bus go?
25 A. First towards Tuzla and then the primary school in Orahovac.
1 Q. Were you familiar with that school? Had you been there before?
2 A. I knew it because I attended that school, from year five to year
4 Q. Okay. Describe what happened when the buses arrive at the school
5 in Orahovac?
6 A. Yes. When the buses arrived, then the prisoners were ushered into
7 the gym by the school.
8 Q. Approximately, how many prisoners? I know you can't give me an
9 exact number.
10 A. Well, I think four or five buses arrived. They were not quite
11 full, but how many people could have been on four or five buses? Perhaps
13 Q. After those four or five arrived. I know you talked about there
14 was a curve in the road, and it was hard to know. After those four or
15 five arrived, did you see any more arrive at the school in Orahovac?
16 A. Not then.
17 Q. Okay. When?
18 A. Well, when I arrived, together with the convoy of buses, there
19 were four or five buses. I don't remember the rest.
20 Q. And I asked you if more buses came and you said not then. Did
21 more buses arrive later?
22 A. No.
23 Q. At the school, besides the prisoners and the security on the bus,
24 who else was there, if anyone, when you arrived, first of all?
25 A. There was a lot of local population there. Whether the military
1 police arrived at that moment, whether they were among the guards who
2 secured the location, I can't remember now.
3 Q. All right. Do you remember specifically any Zvornik Brigade
4 military police being there? I mean individuals.
5 A. Trbic was there; Cedo Jovic; Goran Bogdanovic; there were some
6 military policemen there.
7 Q. Do you remember if there were any women policemen there, military
8 police personnel?
9 A. Yes, one.
10 Q. What was her name?
11 A. Her name is Nada. I'm not sure about the last name.
12 Q. Do you have any relatives who were military policemen?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who is that?
15 A. Stanoje Bircakovic, nicknamed Cane.
16 Q. Do you recall whether he was at the Orahovac school that day?
17 A. Yes, he was.
18 Q. Now, what about the commander, Miomir Jasikovac? Did you see him
19 at the school that day?
20 A. Yes, he was there.
21 Q. When? When did you see him there?
22 A. Well, I saw him there from the start.
23 Q. Can you just describe briefly how -- or what happens with the
24 prisoners on the buses? I think -- I can't remember if you've answered
25 that. I'm sorry. What happened to the prisoners on the buses after you
1 got to the school?
2 A. They were ushered into the gym of the school.
3 Q. And you said there were Serb local civilians present? What were
4 those local civilians doing? I'm not speaking about Muslims, but Serbs.
5 A. Nothing. They were simply curious to see what was going on.
6 Q. Now, you got on the bus at the hotel Vidikovac and Drago Nikolic
7 took your car, the Opel Rekord. When is the next time you see Drago
8 Nikolic? After leaving the Vidikovac hotel, when is the next time you see
10 A. Maybe around 11.00, because I didn't keep the exact time. It
11 could have been 11.00.
12 Q. And where did you see him around 11.00 on the 14th of July?
13 A. He came to the school in Orahovac.
14 Q. How did he get to the school?
15 A. By car, the one that I drove.
16 Q. Same car?
17 A. Yes, same car.
18 Q. And what did he do when he got to the school in Orahovac?
19 A. He got out of the car, gave me the car keys, and then he went out
20 there, talked to Jasikovac, other people.
21 Q. Okay. Now, did you go into the school or into the gym at any time
22 where the prisoners were kept?
23 A. No.
24 Q. When Drago Nikolic gave you the keys to the car, did he say
25 anything to you? Did he say anything at all to you or he just handed you
1 the keys and didn't say a word?
2 A. He gave me the keys, saying, "Take the keys," turned around and
4 Q. And how long, roughly, was Drago Nikolic at the school that -- at
5 that time, around 11.00, that you were aware of? How long did he stay
7 A. Maybe an hour. I can't know exactly because nobody was timing
8 things. I can give you rough times but no more.
9 Q. Thank you. I understand you didn't have a stop watch with you.
10 Now, after that, when is the next time you see Drago Nikolic
12 A. He came just before night fall.
13 Q. Came where?
14 A. To the school again.
15 Q. We talk about that a little bit later. After you get off the bus
16 at the Orahovac school, and then some time later, around 11.00, Drago
17 Nikolic comes and stays for an hour, that you see, what are you doing this
18 whole time? What's your job?
19 A. Nothing. I was standing there. There was this road going uphill.
20 I was standing by it.
21 Q. Now, you said Drago Nikolic was there for about an hour around
22 11.00. Where did he go or what did he do after that hour? What happened
23 next with Drago Nikolic?
24 A. He went somewhere. I wasn't paying attention. He just left. He
25 wasn't there any more.
1 Q. Who did he leave with?
2 A. I didn't pay attention.
3 Q. Well, he left you the car. Do you know how he left the school?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Now, during that day, did you see any other VRS officers at the
6 school? You've already talked about some.
7 A. Well, I think it was Popovic.
8 Q. And when was that, approximately?
9 A. Perhaps half an hour or an hour after the prisoners were brought.
10 Q. And did you speak to Popovic when he came?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And what did he do that you could see?
13 A. He was standing by the road.
14 Q. Did he have any officers with him or was he alone?
15 A. There were two more. Whether they were security or whether it was
16 his driver, I don't know.
17 Q. And did you see Popovic speaking to any of -- anybody else at the
18 school, any other officers or soldiers there, if you recall?
19 A. Well, I don't remember. When I noticed him, he was standing with
20 those two men of his. I wasn't really observing to see whether he talked
21 to someone.
22 Q. You said well, "I think it was Popovic." Why did you say you
23 think it was Popovic? Are you sure, not sure, how sure, that it was
25 A. 99 per cent, let's say, because I know -- I know it was that
1 officer I saw, and I remember that.
2 Q. Okay. And could you tell me his position one more time, as you
3 recall what it was at that time?
4 A. He was Chief of Security for the Drina Corps.
5 Q. And did you see any officers more senior at the school that day,
6 more senior than Mr. Popovic?
7 A. I don't think so.
8 Q. I'd like to ask you some questions now about how the prisoners
9 came to leave the school. Can you describe that for me, please?
10 A. Well, at the beginning, a smallish truck arrived and took away
11 those people who were outside the school. It would reverse, back up
12 towards the door, people were loaded, and then it went; and then after a
13 while, another truck came.
14 Q. If you know, do these trucks have a name? Can you describe the
15 trucks any more?
16 A. Those were trucks covered with tarpaulin, smallish ones, used for
17 procurement. We called them small TAMs. They have a box of four metres.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, could we have a little break of not more
19 than two minutes? You could all simply stay here, and a little bit
20 please. Thank you.
21 --- Break taken at 10.19 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.21 a.m.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I apologise. Go ahead, please.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
25 Q. Could you describe, please, a little bit more, how the prisoners
1 actually got on these trucks? You said -- I think you said they were
2 loaded or put on the trucks. You said, "the people were loaded." How
3 were they loaded?
4 A. They got in, one by one, on to the truck.
5 Q. What about their hands? Were they bound in any way or were they
6 free to use their hands to get on the truck?
7 A. The hands were tied.
8 Q. And do you recall, if you do, whether or not there were blindfolds
9 placed on the prisoners?
10 A. Not at the start, but later, yes.
11 Q. Now, again, approximately, how many prisoners would board one
12 truck for one trip? How many prisoners could fit in the back of one of
13 these TAM trucks?
14 A. Well, if it was four metres long, then perhaps 20, 30. I don't
15 know exactly.
16 Q. And when the trucks were full and they left, which direction did
17 they go? Where did they go after pulling out of the school yard?
18 A. It went towards Krizevici.
19 Q. Was there any escort for these trucks?
20 A. At the outset, no. But maybe after two or three trips, I was told
21 to follow the trucks to a fountain. Taking the asphalt road, I should
22 turn around by the fountain and go back to the school.
23 Q. Okay. Who was it who told you to do this, to follow the trucks?
24 A. Jasikovac maybe.
25 Q. And what did you do after Jasikovac told you to follow these
1 trucks to the water point?
2 A. Nothing. I followed the truck to the fountain where I would turn
3 around and go back; whereas, they continued on. From that point on, it
4 was a macadam road, still good enough for a TAM truck.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, line 5 of page 30, his answer to your
6 question that "Jasikovac, maybe." He needs to tell us whether he knows it
7 was Jasikovac or whether he has got big doubts as to who possibly could
8 have ordered him to follow the trucks up to the mountain.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. Think again, Witness, try to remember - you heard His Honour's
11 question - who it was that told to you follow the trucks.
12 A. I think it was Jasikovac.
13 Q. Well, who else would it have been at that time there?
14 A. Trbic was present.
15 Q. But to the best of your memory, it's Jasikovac who ordered you?
16 Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And how many times did you make this trip? How many trucks full
19 of prisoners did you follow up the road?
20 A. Maybe four or five times, I went after them.
21 Q. Would it help you to -- do you have any trouble remembering that?
22 Would it help to you look at your statement about how many times you went?
23 It's not a huge difference.
24 A. All right.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Why don't you put the question straight to him?
1 Could it be seven, eight, ten? I don't know what he said in his
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. In your statement, you said five, six, seven. You weren't sure
5 but about five, six, seven.
6 Is that about right?
7 A. Around that number, four, five, six. I'm not quite sure.
8 Q. Okay. What vehicle were you using when you followed this truck--
9 these trucks?
10 A. That Opel Rekord that I drove.
11 Q. Did you have any weapon with you?
12 A. My own side-arm, the pistol.
13 Q. Did you have any other weapon with you?
14 A. No.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, if we are taking the break at the
16 normal time, this would be a good time.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls, and thank you, Witness.
18 We will take a 25-minute break starting from now.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
23 Q. Let me go back one minute, Mr. Bircakovic. When the prisoners
24 were loaded on to the trucks, did they leave any belongings behind or did
25 they take anything with them, or what happened to any personal belongings
1 they might have had?
2 A. I wouldn't know.
3 Q. Okay. Did you see any clothing or anything left behind?
4 A. When they first arrived, and as they got off the buses, they had a
5 surplus of luggage which they left behind in one part of the courtyard, I
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, could we have 65 ter number 1700 on e-court?
9 Q. I'm going to show you a photograph, Witness. I hope this works.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we scroll to the left image and bring that up
12 a little bit more? Yeah. Thank you.
13 Q. Take a look at that photograph, sir, for a minute, and tell me if
14 you recognise the place we see there.
15 A. Yes. I know because I've already seen this photo. This is a
16 photo of the road leading to Krizevici. Up there, you can see the railway
17 tracks; and above the railroad tracks, this is where the bodies were
18 buried. This is where the grave was, and here you can see the road.
19 Q. Okay. We'll get to that in a minute. Can you -- looking at this,
20 can you tell where the water point or fountain is located on this photo,
22 A. The water source is on the main road before the road forks off
23 towards the railroad, some three or four metres before that, on the road
24 leading to Krizevici, that is.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose you need the assistance of Madam Usher, so
1 that he places a marking on the map.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I was just going to ask, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, could you --
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. All right. Look at it carefully and see if you can tell the main
6 road and the railroad tracks and where the water point was. Perhaps --
7 let me show you the whole photo again, and see if that helps you recognise
8 the area we are in.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could scroll --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. There is a mark over there, which I
11 suppose needs to be deleted for the time being. Yes.
12 MR. MEEK: Excuse me, Mr. President, you mean the mark the witness
13 just made?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: There was a mark but he made it before the question
15 was put.
16 MR. MEEK: This mark? This red mark?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MR. MEEK: No. He had the question asked to him, and he answered
19 by putting the mark.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He explained where the fountain was.
21 MR. MEEK: Correct.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But then he put the mark before he was asked to.
23 Let's keep it. Okay.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. Look at this carefully. What have you marked there with the red?
1 What is that?
2 A. There is a water well there, and I went up to the water well in
3 the car. I was following the lorry.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Now I'd like to scroll to the right, if we can, and
6 show the witness the whole photo?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I think we have to first log this in.
8 He needs to put a W.
9 Write W next to that spot, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And put your signature or your initials and
12 today's date, please. Today is the 7th of May.
13 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So let's mark that.
15 Now, proceed as you wish, Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.
17 If I could have this again so that I could move it and scroll?
18 Thank you. All the way to the right. Continue, please.
19 Okay. Maybe if we make it just a little bit smaller. That's
20 good, and could we go a little bit further to the right?
21 Q. Now, you've recognised this road as a road to Krizevici. Can you
22 tell, looking at this, which is the road and which is the railroad track?
23 A. This is the road, and the railroad track is above that.
24 Q. Okay. And what is this -- continuing over to the right, what is
25 that building complex there? We could blow that up a little bit on the
1 right-hand. Do you see this -- if you look at the right of your screen,
2 Witness, you see next to the top line.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What is that there?
5 A. This is the railway station on the railroad track, I believe.
6 Q. And what is the building there? That's the railway station, you
7 think. Okay.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's mark them, please. Let's start with the small
9 dot to the right of the picture, the photo, which you put next to a group
10 of buildings there. Could you please write RS next to that, please?
11 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Q. If you could please mark and try to think about it carefully,
13 which one -- put an RR next to the one which is the railroad track that
14 you think. Try to think carefully about it and look at the picture, if
15 you need to.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And then could you put your initials on the bottom and the date?
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. I'm sorry. His Honour asked you if you could please put an RS
20 next to what you believe to be the railway station?
21 A. [Marks]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will need to mark this in the first
23 place, but I would like to proceed further on this matter. Let's mark it.
24 Save it, yes. Thank you.
25 Now, Mr. Nicholls, or Madam Registrar, if we could zoom in the
1 last frame; that is, the one to the right. No, no, that's to the left.
2 It's the last one, yes. If we could zoom further. Okay. Stop, stop,
4 Now, looking at this frame, Witness, you see a group of buildings
5 at the top of the picture and another building on its own towards the
6 bottom. Do you know what that building at the bottom of the picture --
7 what it represents? What building it was?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I'm not sure.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And could you mark, again, on this photo the road
10 which you followed and the railway track and the railway station again,
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the road. [Marks]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you write R, please, next to it?
14 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And the railway track?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And now this.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Railway track now.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I have the previous photo back,
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But we need to cancel this for the time
21 being. Go back to the previous one, and we return to this later. Is
22 there any objection? Okay. So let's cancel what he's just written for
23 the time being. Let's go back to the previous.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I wonder if we could zoom in on both
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Is that enough, Mr. Nicholls?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I wonder if we can even zoom more.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Zoom more, zoom more.
4 JUDGE KWON: More. Once again.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This looks like a river to me, and
6 this is the road. [Marks] But I don't know whether this up there is the
7 railway station or maybe the school in Krizevici. I can't be sure.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. Let me ask you, looking at this photo in front of you, the top
10 line and the other line which you just marked, which one appears to have
11 tracks on it, to you?
12 A. The lower one.
13 Q. Now, think again. Try to see if you were mistaken. Which one is
14 the railroad and which one is the road? And I'll ask if houses are
15 normally closer to a road or to a railroad track.
16 A. Around the road.
17 Q. So which one do you think is a road and which one do you think is
18 the railroad tracks?
19 A. Well, this should be the railroad track, and above it should be
20 the road.
21 Q. Okay. Could you just mark what you just now said you think is the
22 railroad track to be clear as RR?
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And now could you mark -- just write RD on what you believe is the
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you. And if we could give that --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Just not to leave any marks unmarked or not
4 identified. That other line that he put on the -- he marked on the photo
5 and said it's probably the river, if he could write -- do you still
6 believe that that is where the river was?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So could you write RV, please, next to
10 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's mark this one. You still don't know
12 what the building next to what you've marked now as the railway track was?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's save this one, please. You need to put
15 your initials and date, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
18 Now, let's zoom out or move to the left. Further, further,
19 further, further, further. Last frame. Yes, here.
20 Now, could I ask you to mark again where the well -- where the
21 fountain was, please? Now, following the two tracks that you have
22 indicated, the upper one would be the normal road and the lower one would
23 be the railway track. So where do you think the fountain was situated?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here, I think. [Marks]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you write W, please, next to it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And your initials and date, please?
3 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Do you need this photo any further for
5 the time being?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I would like to. Thank you very much, Your
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Then don't save it for the time being, please,
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Sir, you told us that when you were following the trucks with
12 prisoners, were you told to turn around at the water point. And you've
13 just indicated where the water point was, and you said that the trucks
14 ended up going up a non-asphalt road or used a dirt road or something that
15 was suitable for TAM trucks. Which way did the trucks go from the water
16 point after you stopped and turned around?
17 If you need -- well, you can't blow it up. But if you need more
18 time to look at it, let me know. From the water point, where did the
19 trucks go?
20 A. I arrived up at the fountain and the lorries went on, driving on
21 the same road. [Marks]
22 Q. And you've just indicated an arrow in the direction that the
23 trucks took?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. And you maybe just put a T by that arrow?
1 A. [Marks].
2 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. I think we could save this now, Your
3 Honour. I'm done with that.
4 Q. Now, during this process where the prisoners are taken away up the
5 road, after it starts, you said you started following the trucks, what did
6 you hear going on in the location where the trucks were taking the
7 prisoners up that dirt road? What sounds did you hear, if anything?
8 A. As I accompanied the lorries to that fountain, I turned around in
9 the car and went back. On that day, there was shooting. There were rifle
10 shots on the frontline which I could hear. This was like a corridor that
11 they had to go through, the Muslims, and I could hear rifle shots,
12 shooting. The car engine was on so I don't know.
13 Q. But also when you were back at the school, could you hear shooting
14 before you started taking these trips, when the first trucks went and came
16 A. There were rifle shots, even when I returned to the school. When
17 I escorted the buses, I could hear rifle shots and things like that.
18 Q. The transcript says "buses." Is that correct? Was it buses or
19 trucks you were escorting?
20 A. Trucks.
21 Q. Thank you. How many times -- you said you went up four, five,
22 six, seven times, how many cycles -- how many trips did these trucks make
23 when they went up the road to the water point, turned left, and then came
24 back for more prisoners?
25 A. Well, four, five, six times. Every time, there were two lorries.
1 Q. And what did you think was happening to the prisoners who were
2 taken up that dirt road? What did you conclude after a while was
3 happening to them?
4 A. At first, I didn't know anything until the very end, until I could
5 see the dead finally.
6 Q. And then what did you conclude was happening?
7 A. In the evening, when I and Drago went to the forward command post
8 to pick up his things, it was already dark. When he arrived at the
9 school, it was already dark and he told me that we should get his stuff at
10 the forward command post; and as we were passing by that road, in the
11 headlights, you could see people -- people's bodies lying around.
12 Q. And we'll get to that. But is that the first time that you
13 thought that an execution might be taking place, or did you think that any
14 earlier, when you heard those shots and the trucks coming back empty?
15 A. I might have suspected something. I wasn't 100 per cent sure.
16 Q. Now, did you know any of the drivers of the trucks?
17 A. I saw one, and I knew him. I know his name only. His name is
18 Rajko, but I don't know his family name.
19 Q. And what battalion was he in? What unit?
20 A. He was a member of the 4th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
21 Q. Okay. And did you have any discussions with him that day while he
22 was driving these trucks or in between his drives?
23 A. No. They worked all the time. The lorries' engines were never
24 turned off, and the drivers remained in the lorries and nothing was said.
25 Q. Did you know a man named Gojko Simic?
1 A. Yes. I knew him from the frontline, from 1992, when I still went
2 to man the line on Parlog, the so-called Parlog line.
3 Q. Where was he on the 14th of July 1995? Did you see him?
4 A. On that day, around 12.00 or maybe 1.00 or even 2.00 - I don't
5 know exactly - he came to the line -- actually, on his way to the line, on
6 foot, he came up to the school. That's where I saw him, by the school. I
7 don't know what happened to him next, whether he did end up on the line or
8 not. I don't know.
9 Q. And what unit was he a member of?
10 A. The same, the 4th Battalion.
11 Q. All right. Now, tell me again about when Drago Nikolic -- when
12 you saw him again that day. Where exactly did you see him, and as close
13 as you can, what time was it when you saw him? You started saying you saw
14 him at the school, and then I said we would talk about it in a little
15 while. I want you to talk about it now, please.
16 A. Yes. He came to the school, but that was already before night
17 fall. In fact, it was already night fall so I don't know what time it
18 could have been. He stayed for half an hour, an hour, then he came up to
19 me and said we were going to fetch his personal effects from the forward
20 command post.
21 Q. And try to remember, you've just said before night fall or night
22 fall. When was it? Was it dusk? Was it dark? And if it helps to you
23 look at your statement, you can look at that. You talk about it. I think
24 you talk about it.
25 A. Just before night fall.
1 Q. Okay. And did you see who he spoke to during that half hour or
2 hour that he was there on the second occasion, just before night fall?
3 A. He had company, but I don't know exactly who he was talking to. I
4 cannot recall the name precisely.
5 Q. In your statement, you say that he was talking to Jasikovac and
6 Trbic. Does that help you to remember? That's at page 61.
7 A. Possibly, possibly, he was talking to him.
8 Q. Well, do you remember that or do you not remember it? Try to
9 think carefully.
10 A. Well, Jasikovac is a possibility. I'm not quite sure about Trbic.
11 Q. Now, at any time during this day, when you were at the school or
12 when you were driving up and down the road to the water point, did you see
13 any earth-moving equipment, any heavy construction equipment?
14 A. Not before the evening, not during the day.
15 Q. Okay. And the evening, what did you see?
16 A. Well, in the evening, already after night fall, it was completely
17 dark. One --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand this. Could
19 the witness please repeat?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Nicholls. The interpreters couldn't
21 catch the last part of his answer.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. I'm sorry. The interpreters didn't catch your answer. I was
24 asking you about heavy construction equipment, earth-moving equipment.
25 And you said "In the evening when it was dark," and then the interpreter
1 didn't get the rest of your answer. What happened in the evening when it
2 was dark?
3 A. One machine arrived. We call it UT, something for loading earth.
4 Q. And if I could just check with the interpretation, is it UT or
6 A. ULT, that's what we call it.
7 Q. Thank you. Where did you see this ULT?
8 A. Outside the school. He came and stopped outside the school.
9 Q. For how long?
10 A. Well, it stayed for about five, ten minutes before it left in the
11 direction of Krizevici.
12 Q. Okay. Just to be clear, that's the same direction the trucks left
13 in, correct? You said that earlier.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Now, you started talking earlier in an answer about
16 how you took Drago Nikolic to the forward command post, and that's when
17 you saw bodies. What did -- did Drago Nikolic say anything to you when he
18 came back to the school the second time before you took him to the forward
19 command post? What did he say to you, if anything?
20 A. He did not approach me before the moment when we were supposed to
21 go and fetch those things for him. At that moment, he just came up to me
22 and said so.
23 Q. What did he say?
24 A. He said, "Drive me to the AKM [as interpreted], the forward
25 command post."
1 Q. Now, please describe what you started to tell us about how you
2 then saw bodies or concluded that an execution or you thought that an
3 execution had taken place. Describe what happened and what you saw when
4 you were driving to the IKM.
5 A. On the left side, closer to the road, perhaps five metres from the
6 road, I saw corpses.
7 Q. How many, approximately?
8 A. Forty, 50 maybe. That's what I saw by just glancing sideways.
9 It's a small section of the road. You pass by in just a few seconds.
10 That's what I could see in the reflection of the headlights.
11 Q. Now, approximately, how close is this to that water point?
12 A. Maybe 50 metres.
13 Q. Did you say anything when you saw these corpses?
14 A. Nothing. We kept silent, both of us.
15 Q. Both of you, meaning you and Drago Nikolic?
16 A. Right, nobody said a thing.
17 Q. How long is the journey from the school to the IKM, to the forward
18 command post, where you went to get Drago's things, Drago Nikolic's
20 A. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes, max.
21 Q. How long did you stay at the IKM once you got there?
22 A. We didn't stay, but just a couple of minutes. The time it took
23 him to get out, to fetch his things.
24 Q. And what kind of things were these that he brought? I mean,
25 personal, military, what kind of material was it?
1 A. His personal effects. He had a bag with toiletries that he took
2 with him when he went up there, and I don't know what else.
3 Q. Now, on the way back, did you also go by the water point and the
4 school and the bodies?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What did you see on the way back?
7 A. The same thing we saw on the way there.
8 Q. Did you see any activity around the bodies, any soldiers, any
9 people who were alive?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And on the way back, did either you or Drago Nikolic say anything
12 about these bodies that you said were close to the road?
13 A. We did not discuss it at all because it's not something that you
14 want to -- well, you know.
15 Q. All right. Where did you go then? Where did you go next?
16 A. We went to the Standard barracks.
17 Q. Okay. Approximately -- did you stop anywhere on the way back from
18 the IKM to Standard barracks? Try to remember.
19 A. No, no. We went directly there, first, to fetch his things and
20 then directly to the barracks.
21 Q. Why did you take that particular route to Standard from the IKM?
22 A. Well, there was another macadam road, perhaps ten kilometres of
23 macadam, but we didn't choose that one. I don't know now.
24 Q. What did you see going on at the Orahovac school when you drove
25 past it?
1 A. Nothing else happened. It was already dark, and there was almost
2 no one.
3 Q. Now, where is -- in July, 1995, do you know where Drago Nikolic's
4 apartment was, where he lived?
5 A. 1995?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Where did he live then?
9 A. In Zvornik, in an apartment.
10 Q. Okay. In Zvornik the town, or the municipality, or what?
11 A. Yes, in the town.
12 Q. Okay. What happened when you got to Standard that night with
13 Drago Nikolic?
14 A. Nothing. Drago went to the office. I went home.
15 Q. Okay. What time was this approximately, as best you can recall?
16 A. Well, it could have been 9.00. I don't know exactly.
17 Q. Now, based on your experiences as a soldier in the Zvornik Brigade
18 and as a MP, and from being there, do you think these killings in
19 Orahovac, could that have been kept a secret from the Drina Corps command?
20 A. I don't think so.
21 Q. Why do you think it couldn't have been?
22 A. Well, first of all, because people from the Drina Corps attended
23 meetings with Drago, and then Popovic was by the school.
24 Q. I want to ask you some questions now about other places you drove
25 in the following days. Tell me what happened, as far as you remember, on
1 the 15th. Did you go back on duty on the 15th?
2 A. I think so.
3 Q. Are you okay? Do you need a break?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You would like a break or you're okay?
6 A. I don't want a break, no.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go ahead. Any time you need a short
8 break, please don't shy away, tell us and we'll give you a break. The
9 next break will be in three-quarters of an hour's time at 12.30. Go
11 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Q. Tell me about the next day, Witness, when you came on duty. As
13 best as you can recall, what were your duties on the 15th?
14 A. On the 15th, I think I drove Jasikovac to make an inspection of
15 the battalion in Pilica, Lokanj. That's one battalion. On the way back,
16 we passed by the school. We stopped by the school in Pilica, and that's
17 where he stopped for a while.
18 Q. How long did you stop by the school in Pilica?
19 A. Perhaps half an hour.
20 Q. And what was happening at the school there? What was the school
21 being used for at that time?
22 A. Prisoners were there, as well, in the school in Pilica.
23 Q. As best you can remember, were there any guards? Who were the
24 guards guarding the prisoners, if you could tell?
25 A. Of course, there were guards around, but I don't know where they
1 were from because I was on the road, and I believe there is a hedge around
2 the school.
3 Q. Now, did you see what Jasikovac did there or who he talked to,
4 what he was doing?
5 A. He went there. I don't know to whom he talked. He went there to
6 inspect, but I don't know who he talked to outside the school.
7 Q. Try to send your mind back. I know it was a while ago. Did you
8 see any corpses at the Pilica school, any bodies there at all?
9 A. I could see one body. You see, the school building has several
10 storeys, and that man tried to run, jump out of the window, or I don't
11 know what, and he lay there dead.
12 Q. And did you see this happen, where the man tried to run or jump
13 out of the window, or did you hear about it?
14 A. No. I heard about it.
15 Q. Who told you about that?
16 A. There was a local man who told me that this man had tried to jump
17 out of the window.
18 Q. And did you later learn what happened to those prisoners in the
19 Pilica school?
20 A. Yes. It was also shown on TV, that they were killed.
21 Q. When did you learn about it? I know it was on TV, but when did
22 you just hear about it?
23 A. I heard about that later, after the event. Maybe a month later,
24 I learned about all these events.
25 Q. Did you go anywhere else that day besides Pilica, the Pilica
2 A. Well, we dropped by Rocevic. There was also a school building
3 with prisoners in it, and Jasikovac stopped by again.
4 Q. Now, was there anybody with you besides Jasikovac when you were
5 driving to these places?
6 A. I don't think so. I think Jasikovac was the only one.
7 Q. Did you see any -- think carefully and try to remember. Did you
8 see any -- besides Jasikovac, did you see any VRS officers on the road to
9 Rocevic school?
10 A. I don't think so. I don't think -- no. I don't remember if I saw
12 Q. Who -- if you know, who was guarding the prisoners? Who were
13 guarding the prisoners at the Rocevic school?
14 A. Well, I don't remember which battalion was there, but there were
16 Q. Now, I think you said it, but which brigade, although you didn't
17 know the battalion? I heard it but it's not on the transcript.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment.
19 Mr. Meek.
20 MR. MEEK: Yes, may it please the Court, Your Honour, I object to
21 that. It's been asked and answered. This is the second time. If you
22 look at page 49, line 6, the question was asked, "Who was guarding the
23 prisoners?" And he answered he didn't know because there was a hedge there
24 and he was in the car. Now he has asked it again, and it's the third
25 time. I object to repetitive questions because he didn't get the answers
1 he liked.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What's your comment on that, Mr. Nicholls?
3 MR. NICHOLLS: He said, "There were guards around. He didn't know
4 where they were from." That's not exactly the same thing as the question
5 I asked to try to clarify this issue; and when he gave his answer to the
6 question, it was not objected to. I heard him say "Zvornik Brigade," but
7 it didn't appear on the transcript, which is why I asked that question
8 again. And we are now at the Rocevic school, not the Pilica school.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. This is what I was going to comment,
10 actually. Because on page 49, line 6, we are still talking of the Pilica
11 school. Now we are talking of the Rocevic school.
12 MR. MEEK: That's true, Your Honour. That was my mistake. I
13 don't speak B/C/S but my Counsels do, and on another issue they said that
14 what the Prosecutor is now insinuating the Witness did not say in B/C/S.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: I asked him if he said, and you don't need B/C/S to
16 understand, the word Zvornik.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead with the question, limited to Rocevic, as
18 you have already limited it.
19 MR. NICHOLLS:
20 Q. You did answer it again a second time; but can you tell me,
21 Witness -- it didn't show up on the transcript, the second time. Could
22 you -- which brigade were these soldiers from at the Rocevic school? Just
23 for the record here, the transcript.
24 A. I think they were from the Zvornik Brigade.
25 Q. Why do you say you think?
1 A. Well, because I think --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you recognise any one of them, any of those
3 soldiers? Did you know any of them?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know anyone personally. I
5 mean I didn't recognise anyone I knew, but I suppose they were from the
6 Zvornik Brigade.
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. All right. What happened to the prisoners who were held at the
9 Rocevic school?
10 A. They, too -- I mean, I heard that the same thing happened as in
11 Orahovac and in Pilica.
12 Q. Do you know where the Rocevic school prisoners were executed? Did
13 you learn that later?
14 A. Yes. Well, the stories went around later, in Kozluk, that they
15 were executed.
16 Q. Now, around this time, did you ever drive anybody to Kozluk?
17 A. Yes. In the evening, when we returned from Rocevic, Trbic had
18 been somewhere and it was late. There were no buses, and Trbic lived in
19 Kozluk so I had to give him a lift that night.
20 Q. After that day, when you drove Mr. Trbic to Kozluk, did you go by
21 the execution site in Kozluk?
22 A. No. No. This is going from Zvornik. It's at the entrance to
23 Kozluk. His house was just at the entry point to Kozluk, maybe 20 metres
24 from the road.
25 Q. Were -- did you ever go by the execution site? Were you ever
1 ordered to drive by that site with Mr. Trbic?
2 A. Not in Kozluk, but once we went to Petkovci. Downstream from the
3 dam, he went outside to look while I stayed in the car because stories
4 were already circulating about these events. He got out of the car,
5 inspected the situation, then we got back into the car and returned to the
7 Q. And when was it that you went to the dam with Trbic and he went
8 out and looked around, approximately?
9 A. Maybe a month or two months after the events.
10 Q. Did you go to any other sites, burial sites, execution sites, with
11 Mr. Trbic, other than the ones you just told us about?
12 A. Yes. Orahovac and Petkovci.
13 Q. And do you know, if you know, what was Trbic looking for? What
14 was he inspecting at these sites? What was he doing?
15 A. I don't know. I only know that he got out of the car, he looked
16 around, and we returned.
17 Q. I'd like to show you a document now, 65 ter 296, on e-court,
18 please. Now, looking first at page 1 in e-court, which is ERN number
19 00694699, take a look at that document on your screen and tell me if you
20 recognise it. Tell me what it is.
21 A. This is a travel order.
22 Q. And we see your name typed in the box, which on the English
23 version, we can see is the names of the drivers. Who are these two people
24 who have their names handwritten in?
25 A. Those are my colleagues who would work instead of me when I was
2 Q. And we see the vehicle make here is Opel Rekord, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we turn to page 3 in e-court, please? Maybe
5 blow it up. Thank you. All right. It is now 00694701.
6 Q. It's the same log, Witness. I've just jumped ahead a couple of
7 pages. Do you see at the top, 14 July to 31st July 1995? What do those
8 dates mean?
9 A. This is a travel order for the vehicle, for this period of time.
10 Q. Okay.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go to the next page, please, page 4 in
12 e-court, 00694702.
13 Q. Witness, on Saturday, I showed you a copy -- I showed you this
14 log, didn't I, when I met you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. If we could -- first of all, the handwriting in column 4,
17 whose handwriting is that? I have the original here if you need to look
18 at it.
19 A. Mostly mine.
20 Q. Okay. Which is not yours, if you can tell?
21 A. I believe that most, if not all of it, is mine.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, if we can scroll over to column 20, please?
24 Q. Other than the last two signatures, who is signing in column 20,
25 which is labelled, "User's signature"? Whose signature is that? I can
1 give the original again if you need to look at it?
2 A. Those are Drago Nikolic's signatures.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could scroll left, please, and if we could
5 blow up the first heading, and first row, 14 July, 1995, if we could blow
6 up column 4, please, and go to the top.
7 Q. Can you just read me, in column 4, what the travel log says for
8 where this Opel Rekord went on 14 July, 1995?
9 A. It says, "Standard, Orahovac, Divic, Orahovac, Zvornik, Standard,
10 Loko, Karakaj," and so on and so forth.
11 Q. Can you look at that again, please, the column. Do you see
12 Rocevic there on the 14th? Doesn't it say Standard, Orahovac, Divic
13 Rocevic, Orahovac?
14 A. I believe this was for the other column.
15 Q. I'm just asking you what it says for the 14th. Does it say
16 "Rocevic" there, because this is your handwriting, for the 14th?
17 A. It says, "Standard, Orahovac, Divic, Orahovac."
18 Q. Doesn't it say, "Rocevic, Orahovac, Zvornik"?
19 A. It does say something to that effect, "Rocevic, Orahovac, Zvornik,
20 Standard, Loko."
21 Q. And then what does it say, Karakaj, then what, then Loko?
22 A. "Karakaj, Rocevic, Loko, Standard, Zvornik." As I've already
23 said, these travel orders do not reflect the reality of where the vehicle
24 went and how it went. I've already spoken about that. They were not
25 filled out really correctly. For example, in the first part, it doesn't
1 say that I went to the forward command post on that day. Although, on
2 that day, I did go to the forward command post. That's how things were
4 For example, you would undertake a journey and you would enter
5 just an approximate mileage that you did. For example, you would say
6 Zvornik, Kitonjice, although you didn't go to Kitonjice, just to have
7 something matching the mileage. What I'm saying is that these entries in
8 one part are accurate, and the other they are not. For example, where it
9 says Cer. Nobody went to Cer, but we missed four or five kilometres, and
10 we decided which place was suitable fill that mileage travelled. That's
11 why we entered Cer.
12 Q. Well, on the 14th, you've got down there, Orahovac. Did you go to
13 Orahovac on the 14th? You've testified about that.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What about Divic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What about Standard?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So is that accurate?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. Let's look at the 15th.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we blow that up a little bit?
23 Q. Now, according to this, where have you written that the car went
24 on the 15th?
25 A. Karakaj, Rocevic, Loko, Standard, Divic, Zvornik.
1 Q. And continuing down on the 16th, what do you have?
2 A. Standard, Zvornik, Standard, Rocevic, Kozluk, Loko; later on,
3 Kula, Pilica, Loko, Loko, Standard, Kozluk, Pilica.
4 Q. And in these days, did you -- is it accurate that you went to
5 Rocevic, Pilica, Kula school, which you've talked about?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, if we could go back a couple pages to the 13th of July, which
8 should be page 2 in e-court, if we go down to the bottom there, the 13th
9 of July, we have Standard, IKM, Zvornik, Loko, Orahovac, Zvornik,
10 Orahovac, Standard, Bratunac, Zvornik.
11 So I'm asking you now, try to think carefully and remember, did
12 you go to Orahovac at all on the 13th of July, the day before, the night
13 before the events you've talked about happening there on the 14th?
14 A. I don't remember. I don't remember having gone there on the
15 previous day.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have one moment, please, Your Honours?
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. I want to go back now to just when you got on the bus at Divic.
20 We are back to the 14th in the morning, and you went to Orahovac.
21 Do you recall anybody telling you and the driver where the bus was
22 going it? I want you to think carefully, and I can show you your
23 statement, if it helps to you remember, if you're having difficulty
25 A. I don't think so. I believe that Drago had told me to get on the
1 bus and go to Orahovac. This is where the bus was headed for, and I don't
2 know about the driver. I did not talk to the driver at all. There were
3 security guards on the bus who must have known where they were going.
4 Q. But you remember Drago saying to you, "Get on the bus and go to
6 A. I think so, yes.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: No further questions at this time, Your Honour.
8 Thank you, Witness.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So I don't know if you have made arrangements
10 amongst yourselves, the Defence teams, as to who is going first.
11 Mr. Zivanovic, you asked for 20 minutes.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. However, in
13 the meantime, we have received additional information from the
14 Prosecutor's Office, and that's why I would kindly ask you to prolong that
15 time, based on the new information that we have received in the meantime.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead. You will have more time,
18 Mr. Zivanovic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
21 Q. Good afternoon, sir. On the 13th of March, 2002, you provided a
22 statement to the investigators of the Prosecutor's Office. You remember
23 that, don't you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Tell me, please, on that occasion -- actually, I had an
1 opportunity to see that the investigator warned you on several occasions
2 that you were not obliged to talk to him, that it was in your best
3 interests to speak the truth. Tell me, did you follow that advice?
4 A. As far as I knew, I told him.
5 Q. Thank you. After that interview, did you receive a tape
6 containing your interview? You were informed that the interview was
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you receive the tape?
10 A. No. I did not receive the tape, but I did not even request the
11 tape. I was told that if I wanted, I could get it and I did not deem
12 important to have it.
13 Q. And did you receive the transcript, i.e., the written record of
14 your interview?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You did not have an occasion to see it?
17 A. No, until I came here.
18 Q. When you arrived here, did you listen to the tape or did you read
19 the transcript of your interview?
20 A. I read the transcript.
21 Q. How long did it take you? Did it take you a long time to read it?
22 A. Since I knew quite a lot, it took me a day or maybe a little bit
23 longer to read it.
24 Q. You were reading all day?
25 A. Maybe not the entire day, but thereabouts.
1 Q. I'm going to draw your attention to some things that I noticed as
2 being different from what you said on the 13th of March 2002, and what you
3 have stated today.
4 Did you yourself notice any discrepancies when you were reading
5 the transcript for one entire day?
6 A. I don't know. I'm not sure what to say.
7 Q. You're not sure that there are any differences?
8 A. There may be in a word or two.
9 Q. Are you saying that the differences are minor?
10 A. I don't know. I really don't know what to say. I'm not sure.
11 Q. First of all, let me point to you what you have stated today, and
12 that was that you had seen Popovic on the 14th of July near the school in
13 Orahovac. You've stated that today.
14 A. And I also stated that in my statement.
15 Q. You stated it in your statement. You've read it, that you did?
16 A. No. It's not something that I read. That's what I stated. I
17 remember that's what I stated.
18 Q. I apologise. Are you saying that this is what you stated and you
19 remember having stated that, or you read it in the transcript of your
20 statement provided to you by the Prosecutor's Office?
21 A. In 2002, I stated that, and I'm sure that you can find it on the
22 tape. I said that I wasn't 100 per cent sure, but 90 something per cent I
23 was sure that I saw him on that day.
24 Q. You stated in your interview to the Prosecutor's Office that you
25 were 99 per cent sure that you had seen Popovic in Orahovac?
1 A. Yes, in front of the school.
2 Q. So what remains is just 1 per cent of your uncertainty about the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You said here that this percentage was 99.9 per cent, even higher.
6 But let me try to see what the 1 per cent or 0.1 per cent difference
7 consists of. On page 26 of the transcript of your interview, the
8 Prosecutor asked you whether Popovic was in that school on the 14th. Your
9 answer was as follows: "I'm not sure about Popovic, whether he was there
10 or not. He was and he wasn't. I know that they were there from what
11 other people told me."
12 Is that what you have stated in your interview given to the
13 Prosecutor's Office on the 13th of March?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before you answer the question, Mr. Nicholls,
15 I see that you are up wishing to comment or object, but I would invite to
16 you think whether what you're going to say ought to be heard by the
17 witness or not.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: It's no problem.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I would just like English references. I think we
21 probably got a B/C/S reference there, unless I'm confused. I also think
22 that the witness should be able to look at the actual statement in his own
23 language which is available.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think you're both right on both counts. Do
25 we have a copy of his statement in B/C/S readily available? I suppose it
1 should be on e-court.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe the Defence, one team has put it into
3 e-court but I have a hard copy available as well.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, if you can show the hard copy that you have to
5 Mr. Zivanovic, to make sure that we are talking of the same one, then we
6 can let the witness see it on the ELMO. Do you agree to that,
7 Mr. Zivanovic?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour. We have
9 a version of the interview in English, and I have been quoting from page
10 24. We have another version with mixed texts, the original and the
11 translation, so B/C/S is combined with the English. I'm reading from that
12 text because I believe that it contains the witness's original words,
13 which I'm trying to convey to him. This is on page 26 of that
14 interview -- of the transcript of that interview, when I quoted.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] When I quoted this text, I skipped
17 the English translation because I thought that it would be pointless for
18 me to read the English translation after every sentence. I just quoted
19 his words in Serbian, in order to make things more clear.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Is that clear to
21 you now, Mr. Nicholls?
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Pretty much, yes, and I've got the copy of the
23 transcript, the mixed one. We also have one in B/C/S.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It's in e-court so we can locate it, if we have the
25 65 ter number. It's there. It's there. It's there. So Madam Usher, I
1 would like you to assist the witness to make sure that he has it on his
3 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could just make one point.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bircakovic, can you see the document on your
5 monitor, on your screen?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Yes. I can see we can proceed,
8 and we'll have a break in about two, three minutes' time, Mr. Zivanovic.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could make one point for clarity for the
10 record, and it may help my friend.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: The transcript that the witness reviewed that was
13 given to him to read was not this one, which is mixed, because it's a bit
14 confusing having the English. What he had was the B/C/S version of the
15 entire English statement.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I mean, if you agree that he should
17 see the complete text in B/C/S without these deletions of the English
18 corresponding translation, there is no problem.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: I might not have been clear, Your Honour. What I
20 mean is the transcript I gave him was only B/C/S. It had no English in
21 it. If my friend is going to use it, I want to know it's not the one he
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
24 One moment, Mr. Zivanovic, because there is Mr. Bourgon behind
25 you. Okay.
1 Will you try now, Mr. Bourgon. Yes. Thank you.
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. The version that is on
3 the screen presently is one that was prepared by our team --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
5 MR. BOURGON: -- where we crossed out all of the English to ensure
6 we had one copy with only the B/C/S, to I could avoid the problems I ran
7 into had last time with the mixed version. My colleague is now indicating
8 that there exists a version only with B/C/S. I would very much like to
9 have this because it was very time consuming to prepare this copy and to
10 scan it over again in order to have pure versions in both languages. So
11 if there is a B/C/S-only version that exists, it would be very much
12 appreciated if we could get it. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon, for having explained the
14 origin of this document or of these redactions in this document.
15 I suppose, Mr. Nicholls, if you have an entire B/C/S copy, you
16 will make it available to the various Defence teams and not just the
17 Nikolic Defence team.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. I thought it had been disclosed.
19 If it hasn't, I am sorry and I'll make it available immediately.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: May I make a suggestion? We are going to break now.
21 Why don't we agree to give the witness the text of his statement so that
22 he can go through it during the break while he's having a coffee, and that
23 would, I'm sure, help us later on when we continue with Mr. Zivanovic's
24 cross-examination, but also others cross-examinations that will be coming
25 up. Yes, Mr. Meek?
1 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. We have never
2 had this transcript in B/C/S as we just now learned about. I suggest, and
3 I'm requesting - I don't know if my other colleagues, I think, will go
4 along with me - I believe we need at least an hour's break so we can get
5 this copy so my client can read it in his own language.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But I suppose you had received what we see on
7 the screen now.
8 MR. MEEK: No, I hadn't.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But how come Mr. Bourgon had it and Ms. Nikolic had
10 it and you didn't have it? How can it be? I don't know. I mean, I don't
11 have an answer for it, and I'm not expected to provide one myself, but is
12 there any other Defence team that has never seen the document that we see
13 on the screen now before? Because I take it that this was a document that
14 was disclosed by the Prosecution.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. I might have been wrong, but I
16 was under the impression that also the pure B/C/S transcript was. And if
17 wasn't by mistake, I give it now, and I have no objection to an hour break
18 if they need it. That's no problem for me.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You have no objection, but we do. If this had been
20 disclosed, there is no reason why a simplified version of it should result
21 in a longer break rather than a shorter one.
22 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Could my colleague
24 confirm that the B/C/S-only version, the B/C/S is the same as it was on
25 the mixed, that it's not a new B/C/S version?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: No. The B/C/S version we have is the B/C/S of the
3 English that was disclosed to them, so I cannot say that one word may not
4 have been slightly different in the B/C/S. I haven't compared the B/C/S
5 to the B/C/S, so I cannot affirm that. What I can confirm is that we have
6 a full B/C/S translation of his statement in English, which is just a
7 translation into B/C/S, and that I can provide now. It should be
8 virtually the same, or identical, but I can't say that I've compared every
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Why should there be differences? Because this is a
11 question and answer, a question is put in English and translated to the
12 witness or to the person making the statement in his language, so it
13 should appear there; then he gives his answer in his own language, and the
14 interpreter translates it and the translation appears on the document.
15 What we have redacted here is the translation. All that was
16 stated in the in B/C/S, either by the witness who was making the statement
17 then or the interpreter, I don't see a reason why it should be changed.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: It should be the same, Your Honour. It's just that
19 while this was being prepared and broken up, I don't know that the person
20 listening to the tape didn't say this word, It's an R, it should be this
21 way. I just can't say every word is identical, but it should be the same.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
23 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I'll try to make it short, but what
24 you see on the screen now is the original words, as they were said by the
25 witness. What is on the version that my colleague has is a translation
1 from the English. That's one step further. So I want to make sure --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Why should it be that?
3 MR. BOURGON: Because it was translated from the English and not
4 from his words.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't understand it.
6 MR. BOURGON: It went from the words pronounced by the witness
7 into English, and the English was put back into B/C/S by a translator and
8 not by original wording.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: No. This is a B/C/S transcript. I think --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: -- I can give it to him in the break.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. Please see to this during the break. I
13 would like the witness to be given both texts now that there is the
14 possibility of some divergences.
15 Mr. Nicholls, Madam Usher, Madam Registrar, who is going to look
16 after that, the procurement? You need to see to this during the break.
17 Thank you. We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now, which means
18 we'll start at 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.07 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that you have sorted out the matter we
22 discussed briefly before the break. Mr. Bourgon, Mr. Nicholls, whoever
23 wishes to address the Chamber.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe all Defence have now been provided with
25 the transcript, which is solely B/C/S. It shouldn't really be any kind of
1 a problem because it's really just two versions of the transcript. The
2 difficulty arose - I know you're probably not interested in that - because
3 for some reason they both have exactly the same ERN, so that is why this
4 happened. They are old transcripts, but now we've got both versions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Incidentally, you will have noticed the
6 absence of Judge Stole. We are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis(A). The
7 reason is that an urgent matter, personal matter, has cropped up to which
8 he needed to attend to immediately.
9 So let's proceed. Do you wish to address the Chamber,
10 Mr. Bourgon, or do you wish to leave it at that?
11 Ms. Nikolic.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, over the break, I
13 managed to compare the first two or three pages. It seems the two
14 versions are identical, but still there are passages in English. For
15 instance, on page 2, we have a passage that is half in English. The
16 question is half in English and half in B/C/S. But, any way, I assume we
17 should look through it a bit longer; although, I suppose it's identical.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I think we can safely proceed now.
19 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
21 raise an issue. I just received the B/C/S version of the transcript. I
22 had no time to do any comparison. It's over ten pages. But in view of my
23 line of examination, and the first answers that I got from the witness,
24 where he said something that is in the second version of the transcript
25 and does not feature in the first one, I don't think I can continue before
1 we have been able to fully compare the versions, including the relevant
2 passages that would be the subject of my cross-examination, before we
3 establish, namely, that they are identical.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
5 Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't object, Your Honour. We have given the
7 witness the Court ordered copy to review, which is the pure B/C/S, that's
8 the one he was given to review earlier by himself. So I can understand my
9 friend's desire to compare all the passages, and I don't object to that.
10 And I think -- I mean, it's still early in the day, but if he
11 needs that time, I certainly have no objection. And it might even
12 possibly save time if there is anything that matters that he wants to go
13 back to tomorrow because he hasn't had time to review.
14 As I say, they should be, as Madam Nikolic said, virtually
15 identical. But if he needs more time, I don't object.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, excuse me.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Just for Your Honours' information, there will
20 probably be time as well because once this witness is finished, if he
21 finishes early tomorrow, earlier than the very end, the next scheduled
22 witness can't start until Wednesday morning.
23 I've talked to my friends and would call the investigator we tried
24 to call last week. There wasn't enough time then, but now he would
25 testify exactly what they were told he would testify to the, and they've
1 got all the documents. So that was going to be our gap filler tomorrow,
2 but it looks as though there will be close to a full day tomorrow, and
3 that's just for Your Honours' information.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Two questions; one addressed to Mr. Zivanovic, the
5 other to the other Defence teams.
6 Mr. Zivanovic, are there other areas or topics of your
7 cross-examination that you can address without the need to refer to this
8 statement, in which case we can then proceed with your cross-examination
9 and reserve the remaining questions until later. If you could address
10 that, if you could respond to that, please?
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my entire
12 cross-examination has to do with discrepancies between what the witness
13 said today and what he said earlier in his statement.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. There are other Defence teams that
15 propose to have a short examination, and that's the Borovcanin, the
16 Miletic, and the Pandurevic teams. Any one of you is in a position to
17 start the cross-examination now?
18 Yes, Madam Fauveau.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will have no
20 questions for this witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
22 Either Stojanovic or Lazarevic.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. In
24 view of the examination in chief, we will most probably have no
25 questions. But depending on what we hear on cross-examination, we reserve
1 the right to change our minds.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 Mr. Haynes.
4 MR. HAYNES: In relation to this witness, I'd like to preserve my
5 position in the indictment.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Anybody else? The Beara Defence team,
7 Mr. Meek, do you think you're in a position to start your
8 cross-examination? You asked for 45 minutes.
9 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I think it would be
10 beneficial, since I do not speak B/C/S but my other members on my team do,
11 to start today would be counterproductive, I believe.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Ms. Nikolic or Mr. Bourgon. I don't
13 know who is going to address this.
14 MR. BOURGON: We take the same position, Mr. President. We need
15 to verify. My colleague said that, of course, they may be identical, but
16 we have found already some discrepancies and we wish to go through the
17 full transcript in the B/C/S to check that out before we proceed. Thank
18 you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you, we appreciate that. Let me please
20 confer with my colleagues. Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We fully appreciate the points raised by various the
23 Defence teams. We fully understand that it will be more a practical
24 approach to adjourn now, and then come back to this witness tomorrow.
25 In the meantime, the witness can retain the copy of the statement
1 that he has been given. Please, go through it carefully because, as I
2 anticipate, there will be several questions which will refer you directly
3 to what is contained in that statement of yours to the Prosecution.
4 Okay. We stand adjourned until tomorrow afternoon at 2.15. The
5 only day this week that we've managed to shift the sitting to the morning
6 is Friday, the 11th. The rest of the week we have sittings in the
7 afternoon. All right. Yes. Thank you, Judge Prost, for reminding me.
8 Mr. Bircakovic, we have to stop here, as I'm sure you would have
9 understood. We will continue with your testimony tomorrow. Since there
10 is this interval of time between today and tomorrow, I want to make sure
11 you are aware of a responsibility, of a duty, an obligation, that you have
12 under our rules; namely, that you are not to discuss or allow anyone to
13 discuss with you the subject matter of your testimony. In other words,
14 you're not to discuss with anyone the matters that you are giving evidence
15 upon. Is that clear?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we stand adjourned until tomorrow
18 afternoon at 2.15. Thank you so much.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.20 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day of May,
21 2007, at 2.15 p.m.