1 Monday, 21 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Accused Gvero not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, good morning to you. 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. For the record, Accused Gvero,
11 General Gvero, is not present because of a medical appointment. He has
12 waived his right to be present for the proceedings today. We've seen it.
13 All the other accused are present. Defence teams, I see that everyone is
14 present. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
15 I understand there are some preliminaries.
16 MR. MEEK: Yes, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good morning.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
18 MR. MEEK: Just one minor preliminary. Back on the 27th of March
19 when we were discussing the time frame for the expert witness that the
20 Defence might call in regards the intercept.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I read this morning that he is coming over this
22 week, later on this week, no?
23 MR. MEEK: Yes, that's correct, Your Honour. And at the time we
24 were discussing that on March 27, Mr. Bourgon, on behalf of the Defence,
25 requested that if he did in fact testify around May 23rd, which we now
1 know he will, we would probably ask for an extension to file our motion on
2 the response on the intercepts in total. On April 2nd, Your Honour made
3 an oral ruling at the end of the day stating that we would have -- the
4 Defence would have two weeks after the intercept expert to file our
6 The Defence -- all the Defence teams have discussed this. We all
7 agree and we discussed with Mr. McCloskey this morning, and the Prosecutor
8 has no objection. We are simply asking, Your Honour, if we could have
9 until the 18th to file. It's Monday the 18th since we are not sitting for
10 six working days, and it's not changed. That would essentially mean our
11 response is going to be due in the middle of the week when we are on
13 Frankly, Your Honour, probably the end of next week we are going
14 to be scattering like a bevy of quail, and it's going to be very hard for
15 to us complete that mission without that extension. We are all in
16 agreement, even the Prosecution. That's all I want to bring up.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Meek. Let me consult with my
18 colleagues, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In problem, the time limit is being extended to the
20 18th. What day is that?
21 MR. MEEK: It's a Monday, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Bourgon?
23 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President, Judges. Good morning,
24 colleagues. I just wanted to briefly inform the Trial Chamber,
25 Mr. President, the Defence will be filing this morning, before 10.00, a
1 motion for reconsideration of two previous Trial Chamber decisions, and I
2 would just like to inform the Trial Chamber that there is an interim
3 relief sought in this motion. I can expand on it or simply say that there
4 is an interim relief that we believe will require the Court's attention
5 this week. Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We will look into it, Mr. Bourgon. Any further
7 preliminaries? None. All right. Let's bring in Mr. Trivic. Now, so
8 that I update myself completely, we still have the Gvero Defence team.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I have an indication of the time estimate
11 required by the Defence?
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So what I was referring to, the Gvero Defence team,
14 you asked for more time to cross-examine the witness?
15 MR. JOSSE: In fact, Your Honour, yes, more time. I mentioned
16 this at the very close of proceedings on Friday, in fact, and said that we
17 now required a longer period of time.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I am asking you because going through what I
19 could this morning, it wasn't quite clear in my mind whether you were
20 asking for more or for less; but now it's clear, you're asking for more.
21 MR. JOSSE: That's right. As Your Honour may be aware, Mr.
22 Haynes, really on behalf of all of us defending, addressed the issue of
23 time generally over the next two days.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thanks a lot. I think, Mr. Thayer, you
25 may proceed.
1 Mr. Trivic, good morning to you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not Mr. Thayer who is addressing you; it's me.
4 You didn't see me here last week. I am the Presiding Judge. We are going
5 to continue with your testimony today. It's very unlikely that we finish
6 today, and I am not quite sure that we will finish tomorrow, but we'll do
7 our utmost.
8 Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning to you and
10 Your Honours. Good morning, everyone.
11 WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
14 Q. Sir, good morning.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. We left off on Friday, on 10 July, 1995, you had finished telling
17 us that you had been redirected towards the area of Stupina?
18 A. Yes, yes. I was redirected towards Stupina, or rather, the
19 northwest elevations or mountains relative to Srebrenica.
20 Q. And did your combat group, in fact, occupy positions in that area
21 to which you it been directed?
22 A. Yes. It did occupy positions in keeping with the task received
23 that day.
24 Q. And did you, yourself, spend the evening of 10 July back in the
25 command post in Jasenova?
1 A. I did.
2 Q. Now, that brings us to the 11th of July, sir. On that day, did
3 you and your forces advance towards the Srebrenica town?
4 A. On that day, we continued on the same main axis towards the
5 northwest, or rather, western heights overlooking the town of Srebrenica.
6 Q. And were the Zvornik Brigade forces still your neighbours to the
7 right at that time?
8 A. Yes, they were.
9 Q. And can you describe what your location was when you learned that
10 Srebrenica had, in fact, fallen?
11 A. I personally was located at the first, right, sharp bend
12 overlooking the town of Srebrenica, to the west, to the southwest.
13 Q. And did you at some point personally enter the actual town of
14 Srebrenica, sir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And who, if anyone, accompanied you from your combat group?
17 A. I was with Major Eric, who was in the capacity of commander of the
18 combat group; a communications officer; and some other people that I
19 cannot name. But at any rate, Major Eric and I entered.
20 Q. And when you entered the town, did you encounter General Mladic at
21 some point?
22 A. I was already in Srebrenica when General Mladic appeared,
23 accompanied by General Zivanovic and General Krstic.
24 Q. And would you describe, please, what you and General Mladic said
25 to each other during that encounter?
1 A. In addition to the customary exchange of greetings, I wanted to
2 remind him of the events of two years earlier, on the same day, in the
3 area of Trnovo, when a road was opened up and communication was
4 established with Herzegovina, the way that leads from Sarajevo towards
5 Kalinovik and Foca. Until then, the road had been unusable to us, so we
6 had to travel to Herzegovina via Montenegro. That's what I wanted to
7 remind him of.
8 Q. And do you recall anything else about any exchange that you had
9 with General Mladic while you were in Srebrenica?
10 A. Well, I don't know if you can call that a conversation because it
11 was between a subordinate and a superior. He issued the assignments he
12 had to issue. He told me something, "Never mind the history, head for
13 Potocari." And I informed him that I was carrying out the task I had
14 received that morning, and that was the end of the exchange.
15 Q. And, again, sir, the task that you had received earlier that day
16 was what?
17 A. Just before the -- this last answer I told you, my task was to
18 occupy positions on the heights in the western part of Srebrenica, on the
19 heights overlooking Srebrenica, not in the town itself. And he gave me an
20 assignment to protect that side from any surprises, to secure the units
21 located there from any surprise attacks by the enemy.
22 Q. Okay, sir. At this time what I'd like to do is show you a couple
23 of video clips.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. Sir, we'll probably pick up the audio in a few moments, but for
2 now I'll simply ask you -- we are at 1 minute 42.1 seconds of this video
3 clip. Do you recognise the individual in this frame holding the radio in
4 his right-hand?
5 A. Yes. It's Major Jolovic, also known as Legenda. That it was his
7 [Videotape played]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is no sound, and
10 there is no subtitles in B/C/S.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I know that, but for the time being, I said nothing
12 because Mr. Thayer said it was coming at some point, and we were only
13 asking the witness to identify the person on that clip.
14 But if we are going to proceed now and not just ask a question on
15 the person who may be appearing or who appears on this clip, we need sound
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think we can get by without sound
18 for the next few questions, and hopefully we will pick it up by then.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Nikolic.
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Sir, we are looking at a clip at 2 minutes and 00.3 seconds. Do
23 you recognise anyone in this video clip?
24 A. Yes. This man holding a receiver of a radio device is me, and the
25 person in the foreground I don't recognise. I don't recall him.
1 Q. And, sir, do you recall, approximately, or do you recall what date
2 and at what location this piece of footage is being filmed?
3 A. The recording is probably dated. I suppose it's from a video made
4 in Srebrenica. It's hard to guess. But if it's from that video, then I
5 suppose it's the 11th of July. You know, looking at one insert taken out
6 of context, it could be anywhere.
7 Q. Okay. Sir, that's my only question is if looking at this
8 photograph you can recognise where it is or what day it is. I understand
9 that you have difficulty with that at this time. Let's move on, please.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: This I take it is a video or this part at least is a
11 video that was broadcast on some TV media, because I see at the top
12 right-hand corner the logo of one of the stations. Is that correct?
13 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Sir, we are pausing at 2 minutes 22.8 seconds. Do you recognise
18 the location depicted in this frame?
19 A. To the best of my recollection, I believe this is the road leading
20 to the town of Srebrenica, from the location where I was on the 11th; and
21 since I passed by this road, I think this is the bend on the road that
22 comes just before the descent into Srebrenica.
23 Q. And, sir, is this the bend which you described a few moments ago
24 in your testimony, to the best of your recollection?
25 A. No. This is a bend a bit further below, from the one where I was.
1 That's where the road starts to meander before descending into Srebrenica.
2 Q. So the bend that were you describing earlier is a little bit to
3 the north of this position, is that correct, closer to Srebrenica town?
4 A. This bend is closer to Srebrenica, along the road at least. You
5 know what a serpentine road looks like. Maybe this is more southerly, but
6 it's closer to town than the one where I was.
7 Q. Sir, we are going to broadcast a new clip now.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Sir, we've paused it at 28 minutes 38.7 seconds. Just briefly,
11 would you describe anyone you recognise in this frame, starting with the
12 individual at the far right of the frame?
13 A. The gentleman on the right-hand side of this still is Captain
14 Godinic from my combat group. The person greeting -- exchanging greetings
15 with General Mladic is the president of Sokolac municipality, Mr. Milan
17 Q. And do you recognise yourself at the far left there, sir?
18 A. Of course, of course. Yes.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. And do you recognise, sir, at 28 minutes 46 seconds, the
22 individual at the far right?
23 A. That's General Zivanovic, corps commander.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. Sir, at 28 minutes 54.5 seconds, do you recognise the individual
2 standing to General Mladic's right?
3 A. That's Major Ljubo Eric, commander of the combat group.
4 Q. And a moment ago, just prior to this frame, there was a woman with
5 a rifle over her shoulder. Can you identify her for the record, please?
6 A. That's an officer in the organ for moral guidance in the brigade
7 command. Her name was Dana, and I can't remember her family name, but she
8 was with the combat group there on that day.
9 Q. When you say brigade command, you're referring to your brigade,
10 the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Sir, at 29 minutes 22 seconds, do you recognise yourself in the
15 left-hand portion of this frame?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And can you just describe what you have in your left hand?
18 A. I can't make out. I can't see it clearly.
19 Q. Okay. Let's advance the film then a little bit.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Does that help you, sir?
23 A. I think it's a radio set, a Motorola.
24 Q. And with your radio set, with whom were you in communication?
25 A. I suppose I was communicating with one of my commanding officers,
1 who were occupying positions.
2 Q. And do you recall if there is a reason why you were using a
3 Motorola in Srebrenica town, as opposed to the phone kit that we saw you
4 using in the prior clip?
5 A. I must say that I used a Motorola rarely in combat activities, and
6 you could see it in the earlier still as we were getting into Srebrenica.
7 This was a radio set used by the establishment. At that point in time, I
8 didn't have one, and I suppose I was given it by someone to issue orders
9 to a commanding officer who had a Motorola. I believe it was Major Eric's
10 set that he used to keep in touch with the formation that was engaged in
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Sir, do you recall, approximately, what time of the day this
15 footage was shot on July 11th?
16 A. To the best of my recollection, and based on what I stated in my
17 documents, it must have been around 800 hours -- 1800 hours. I can't be
18 precise, and I'm sure one can trace the time of the day on the footage
19 itself, on the video, but I believe it was around 1800 hours.
20 Q. And was this the first time you had been in direct contact, direct
21 personal contact, with General Mladic during this operation, to the best
22 of your recollection?
23 A. During that operation, this was the only personal contact. I had
24 not had any personal contacts with him before that day.
25 Q. And do you recall any radio communications that you may have had
1 with General Mladic during this operation?
2 A. It's been quite a while. I don't recall anything in particular,
3 save for this one point at which General Mladic issued a warning over the
4 radio communications, which was meant for all the units, that NATO
5 aviation fire was imminent. A commanding officer informed me about this,
6 and he was quite surprised to have heard General Mladic over the radio
7 communications. I myself did not have any personal radio communications
8 with him.
9 Q. You just referred to some NATO aviation fire. Do you recall
10 actual NATO air strikes that day, 11 July?
11 A. Yes. After hearing this communication, there were air strikes.
12 The communication took place along the route from the repeater toward
13 Srebrenica. The air strikes took place at an area where there was a
14 clearing, and some combat vehicles were moving along that particular road.
15 Q. Do you recall, approximately, what time of the day those air
16 strikes took place?
17 A. Several hours before my entry into the Srebrenica town. It was
18 the middle of the day. If what we just saw was around 1800 hours, then
19 the air strikes must have taken place around 1400 hours.
20 Q. And, sir, did you spend the night of 11 July at Jasenova?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That brings us to the 12th of July, sir. Can you describe what
23 you did that day?
24 A. On that day, in the morning, I was ordered over a radio
25 communication that I should report to the repeater at Bojna, and I went
1 there. Assignments were issued there by Colonel Vitic [as interpreted],
2 and those were the assignments for the day.
3 Q. Couple follow-up questions, sir. First, do you recall,
4 approximately, what time of the morning you reported to this location?
5 A. At around 9.00 in the morning on the 12th.
6 Q. And you referred to a TV repeater and this location Bojna. Can
7 you describe, approximately, where this location is in reference to the
8 two bends that you told us about a few moments ago?
9 A. This location is on a peak which is normally the location where
10 one places TV repeaters. In relation to the first bend, where I was at
11 the time we were observing and taking up positions, and I'm referring to
12 my unit, the repeater was perhaps a kilometre or two to the south.
13 Q. And you described a colonel who was issuing orders at this
14 meeting, and it's been translated here as "Vitic." Is that correct or was
15 the colonel's name something else?
16 A. It was Colonel Vicic.
17 Q. And what position did Colonel Vicic hold, sir?
18 A. In the Drina Corps command, he was the chief of the operations and
19 training or he was one of the operatives there. At any rate, he was
20 working for the operations organ, at the time of the combat activities
21 that ensued when this particular assignment was issued.
22 Q. And given that Colonel Vicic was issuing orders at this meeting,
23 do you have any recollection, as you sit here today, as to whether General
24 Krstic was actually present for this particular meeting or not?
25 A. You'll allow for the possibility that I cannot give you a precise
1 answer. He did not issue any assignments. To the best of my
2 recollection, and I'm not quite certain about it, I recall that Colonel
3 Vicic received the commanders. He greeted us. It is quite possible that
4 he went elsewhere, or rather, I'm referring to Krstic. I do recall that
5 it was Vicic who was the one giving us assignments for that day. I am
6 certain about that bit.
7 Q. Do you recall any other brigade commanders who were present for
8 this meeting?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the last part of the
11 witness's answer is not recorded. At the end of that phrase, the witness
12 said that Vicic, in fact, conveyed tasks issued by another.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: That is correct. But can I suggest that you put
14 your question again and you answer it again, Mr. Trivic? The reason is
15 that the interpreters didn't manage -- or not the interpreter, but we
16 never got it in the transcript. Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Sir, did you follow that exchange?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Again, at this meeting, you indicated that Colonel Vicic
21 was issuing orders. Do you recall whether General Krstic was present for
22 this meeting?
23 A. I said that, to the best of my recollection, I greeted General
24 Krstic that morning, and it is quite possible that he only received the
25 commanders and greeted them and Colonel Vicic passed the assignments on on
1 behalf of the corps commander. He issued them on his behalf, and those
2 were the assignments for that day.
3 Q. And before we discuss the specific assignment that you received,
4 sir, do you recall which other brigade commanders were present for this
6 A. I presume that they were because all of us received assignments.
7 I did and so did they. They were supposed to be there, and I believe that
8 they were there.
9 Q. And do you have any specific recollection of any specific brigade
10 commander being present for this meeting, in addition to expecting that
11 they would in accordance with standard army discipline?
12 A. Since all of my attention was directed toward the people who were
13 sitting next to me to my left or to my right, and I mean the adjacent
14 units of Zvornik and Bircani, Colonel Pandurevic and Colonel Andric were
15 there. Since I did not make any notes of that, and more than ten years
16 have passed, it's very difficult for me to say for some people that they
17 were there certainly.
18 Q. So briefly, sir, what orders did you receive at this meeting?
19 A. For that day, the group that was within my unit and under the
20 command of Major Eric, and I mean the combat group, received the following
21 assignment: From the positions they were occupying at the time, they were
22 supposed to move toward the Jahorina feature via Viagor village. The
23 route they were assigned was the road going from Srebrenica to Milici
24 across Viagor village, and I mean the right side of that road. They were
25 supposed to search the area - that was the term used at the time - to
1 conduct searches for possible enemy units, elements of the 28th Division
2 who were deemed to have headed in that direction or were present along
3 that route.
4 Q. And did you in fact, sir, return to your group's position and
5 convey those orders?
6 A. Yes. Having received my assignment, I went to my unit, my
7 commanding officers, and I conveyed those assignments or I issued these
8 assignments. That was within my competence.
9 Q. And did you receive another order that day, to attend another
11 A. One should distinguish between the gathering that took place in
12 the morning and the meeting that took place that day. The morning
13 gathering of the commanders on the ground had the purpose of issuing
14 assignments for that day on the ground in an area that is clearly visible,
15 where you can show the axes along which the units had to be engaged;
16 whereas, in the afternoon, I received an assignment from General Krstic in
17 the area of Viagor village that I should come to the Bratunac Brigade
18 command post, and I was told that I should go there that evening for a
20 Q. And just to be clear, sir, did -- were you required to report to
21 this area, Viagor, at which time you received this further order from
22 General Krstic?
23 A. Yes. I was accompanying the unit as it was carrying out this
24 assignment. As I reached the northeastern slopes of Jahorina, over the
25 communications device, I was told that I should go back to where the first
1 houses of the Viagor village on the edge of the village were, and that
2 there I ought to report to General Krstic, who was waiting for me there.
3 Q. And just one clarification, sir, you have referred to a feature at
4 Jahorina; and just to be clear, this is not the well-known ski resorts of
5 Jahorina. Is that correct? This is another smaller feature in the area
6 of Srebrenica?
7 A. Yes. It's a peak in this mountainous area between Srebrenica and
8 Milici. If I can be shown a map, one of the features is Jahorina and the
9 other one is Jastrebaca, which is just next to it. I'm not quite sure
10 which of the two lies on the left-hand side and which on the right-hand
11 side. It can be seen on the map. If Jahorina is on the right-hand side,
12 then that's the feature where I took my unit.
13 Q. And we'll break out the maps in a little while, sir. Do you
14 recall whether General Krstic ordered you to be in Bratunac by a
15 particular time for this meeting on July 12th?
16 A. I was told that I was supposed to be at the command post of the
17 Bratunac Brigade at 2100 hours.
18 Q. And from what location did you depart to attend this meeting?
19 A. Whether I went to Jasenova and from there on, at any rate, I
20 passed on my way through Srebrenica and Potocari before reaching the
21 command post in -- of the Bratunac Brigade in Bratunac.
22 Q. And, approximately, what time was this that you passed through
23 Potocari, sir?
24 A. Since I was required to be at the destination at 2100 hours, I
25 must have passed through Potocari at least half an hour before that.
1 Q. Would you describe what you saw in Potocari when you passed
3 A. There were many people in Potocari, crowds of people. On the road
4 itself, while I wouldn't say that there were crowds of people, but at any
5 rate there were people moving along the road to the left and to the right
6 road side, and one had to pass through that section of the road quite
7 slowly. Military and civilian police officers, several of them, tried to
8 maintain order and make way for the vehicles passing along that road.
9 Q. And on this trip, sir, on your way through Potocari, did you see
10 anyone being placed on buses at this time?
11 A. I don't remember. I don't remember that detail.
12 Q. And you described military police being present. How could you
13 tell that they were military police, sir?
14 A. Based on the uniforms, equipment, belts, it was typical of the
15 military police. They had belts worn by all the military policemen.
16 Q. And what, if anything, is distinctive about those belts, sir?
17 A. I don't recall that there was something special in the dress of
18 military policemen.
19 Q. All right. What time did you arrive in Bratunac?
20 A. I'm sure it was before 2100 hours because I was not late. I made
21 sure that I was on time, as I had been told, but not -- I didn't come too
23 Q. And would you describe please what occurred when you arrived at
25 A. I didn't understand the question. What could have occurred?
1 Q. What happened when you arrived at the Bratunac Brigade
2 headquarters for this meeting that was scheduled that you were ordered to
4 A. Well, I went to the operations room to ask where the meeting would
5 be. It was the operations room of the Bratunac Brigade, and I was
6 directed to a room upstairs in that building where the command of the
7 Bratunac Brigade was stationed. So I was directed not to the operations
8 room but to the room where the meeting would be held.
9 Q. And do you recall whether there were any other brigade commanders
10 present at this time?
11 A. Well, certainly, there were some brigade commanders. I did not
12 arrive first or last. Some people were already there. Now, who came
13 before and who came after, I don't know. But there were some people
14 already when I arrived, and the meeting hadn't yet started.
15 Q. Do you recall specifically seeing any of the brigade commanders
16 present at this meeting? Who do you remember seeing?
17 A. I'll tell you about the people I'm sure about: Colonel
18 Pandurevic, in view of the way the meeting went, from that point on, I'm
19 sure that he was present.
20 Q. And given your prior testimony about your expectation that other
21 brigade commanders involved in this operation would have been present at
22 certain other meetings, is your expectation the same with respect to the
23 attendance of brigade commanders for this meeting?
24 A. Certainly. That's the military norm. The commander summons,
25 issues assignments, and, therefore, the commander must be present himself,
1 rather than delegate the duty to somebody else.
2 Q. And earlier in your testimony, sir, you referred to the Skelani
3 separate Battalion. Would you expect Colonel Vukotic [sic] to have
4 attended this meeting as well?
5 A. It was Colonel Vukota. My personal opinion is that, in view of
6 his status in the missions he had been involved in until then, that he was
7 not present. It's possible that I'm mistaken and that he was present.
8 But from the previous engagements of his units, I would say that he wasn't
9 at that meeting.
10 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber which Drina Corps commanders were
11 present for this meeting?
12 A. There was General Krstic at that meeting, as operations commander;
13 I was there; and I'm certain about Colonel Pandurevic. I'm not -- I can't
14 be sure about the others. It's possible that some people had called the
15 commander up beforehand saying that they were otherwise engaged, that
16 somebody else should be sent in their stead. I'm only sure, therefore,
17 about myself and Colonel Pandurevic. About the others, I can only expect
18 that they should have been there and things like that.
19 Q. Do you recall whether General Zivanovic was present for this
20 meeting, sir?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. Do you recall whether any Main Staff officers were there?
23 A. No. I don't remember.
24 Q. Do you recall seeing any Main Staff officers in Bratunac or
25 Srebrenica when you were there during these few days in July 1995?
1 A. I didn't encounter anyone, either during the meetings or during
2 the activities between the 6th and the 13th. At any rate, it was an
3 operation planned by the Drina Corps, and it was commanded by the
4 operations commander and the command of the Drina Corps. But I didn't run
5 into anyone and I didn't communicate with anyone.
6 Q. And do you recall seeing any MUP officers at this meeting or in
7 Bratunac or the Srebrenica area when they -- when you were there for these
8 few days?
9 A. I did not.
10 Q. Now, sir, at some point General Mladic arrived during the course
11 of this meeting; but prior to his arrival, can you describe what, if
12 anything, occurred during the meeting?
13 A. Before General Mladic arrived, I don't recall anything in
14 particular; although, when I studied the events during the Blagojevic case
15 and in part of my interview, I believe there was a bit of conflict between
16 General Krstic and Blagojevic. After all those contacts, that's something
17 that vaguely sticks in my mind, but I'm not sure I was aware of anything
18 of that kind at the time. I had no communications with the commander,
19 apart from the usual reporting about my unit; and until General Mladic's
20 arrival, there is nothing in my mind that sticks as an extraordinary
21 event. It was all regular activity, business as usual.
22 Q. What time did General Mladic arrive, and can you describe what
23 happened at the meeting once he did arrive?
24 A. He arrived at 10.00 p.m., congratulated us on our successes thus
25 far, greeted us, of course, and gave out an assignment to General Krstic
1 to prepare for the operation that would follow in the area of Zepa.
2 Q. And what details were provided to you at that time about the Zepa
3 operation, either by General Krstic or General Mladic himself?
4 A. I think that the decision followed from the announcement of
5 General Mladic to all of us that the success should be capitalised upon
6 and operations should continue to liberate Zepa.
7 Q. And did you or any other commander, brigade commander, there have
8 a particular reaction to that order at that time, sir?
9 A. Colonel Pandurevic was the first to respond, and I supported him.
10 He took the position that the troops that had been engaged in the
11 operation so far should rest and be replaced, but he was overruled. The
12 order came to continue with the same troops in the area of Zepa.
13 Q. And did Colonel Pandurevic or yourself have any response to being
14 overruled at that time?
15 A. Well, you cannot call it a response. It was our need to acquaint
16 our superior officer with the situation within the unit and to try to win
17 him over, to change his decision; however, it didn't work.
18 Q. Well, sir, in response to being overruled, did you or Colonel
19 Pandurevic make any suggestions to Generals Krstic or Mladic?
20 A. We were not outvoted. It's not right to put it that way. It is
21 the unquestionable right of the commander to make decisions. We tried to
22 suggest that this part of the troops that had been involved in the
23 operations thus far in separating the enclaves and the troops that had
24 been in preparation during those few days should be given a rest,
25 replaced, and prepared for a new mission.
1 So we attempted to bring it to the notice of our superior that he
2 should not use the same troops but it is the privilege of the commander,
3 and that's the way I thought of it, to decide ultimately. And we did not
4 succeed in changing his mind.
5 Q. And, sir, what, if anything, did you succeed in asking of Generals
6 Krstic and Mladic with respect to your tired troops?
7 A. At that time, nothing. Nothing changed. All we could do was
8 accept the mission and go, move to a new area.
9 Q. During this meeting, sir, or at any time that you recall, did you
10 or Colonel Pandurevic ask General Krstic or General Mladic to address your
12 A. Yes. When it was all over, we demanded, and I believe Colonel
13 Pandurevic initiated this suggestion, that General Mladic, with all the
14 authority he wielded, address the troops and tell them that what they had
15 been told before was not going to happen, so as to make it more painless
16 for them to accept that they would have to go on in those difficult
17 conditions, high temperatures, shortage of water, fatigue, et cetera, all
18 the problems that plagued the units in the eight days that they had
19 already spent in that area. So it was agreed that before the movement to
20 Zepa, General Mladic would address the troops.
21 Q. And when did General Mladic agree to do this, sir? When was that
22 agreement to do that forthcoming?
23 A. During that meeting, it was accepted and it was agreed that this
24 speech would happen on the 13th, before movement to Zepa.
25 Q. And during this meeting with Generals Mladic and Krstic, did you
1 receive or did you hear any orders issued concerning securing any of the
2 communications or roads in the Srebrenica area?
3 A. Yes. Among other things, the troops, the units that had been
4 normally deployed in the defence area of the Drina Corps, received the
5 assignment to secure the roads, to guard the roads from Srebrenica towards
6 Vlasenica via Bratunac.
7 Q. And which units or brigades would those have been, sir, that
8 you're referring to?
9 A. Those who had those roads in their area of defence. That's the
10 Bratunac Brigade, Milic Brigade, and I don't know which other brigades,
11 but the brigades that normally covered the roads within their zone.
12 Q. And were these units supposed to execute this task alone or with
13 the assistance of any other forces, sir?
14 A. I think the assignment was issued to operate in cooperation with
15 the forces of the MUP. They were to guard the roads jointly.
16 Q. And was there any particular concern that you recall at that time
17 which prompted this order to secure those roads with MUP forces?
18 A. At any rate, there was a concern. The forces of the 28th Division
19 had not surrendered their weapons and had not agreed to disarm and
20 surrender; instead, according to our evaluation, which was confirmed
21 later, they headed for the territory of the then-Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina through our area of defence, and it was anybody's guess
23 to what extent they were well or badly organised.
24 In any case, we needed to move our units in that area, units of
25 the brigade, and units of the corps, towards the broader area of Zepa. So
1 it was one of the primary tasks of the commander to give some thought to
2 how the troops should go along such roads, through such an area, where
3 they are at risk of ambush while making sure that all communications and
4 all support work properly.
5 That's why the roads were to be secured as a primary task, when
6 columns of troops are supposed to march on the road, and they are at their
7 most vulnerable at that time, and the same goes for vehicles.
8 Q. Do you recall who issued that particular order with respect to
9 securing the roads?
10 A. I don't remember who uttered the words, but it was ultimately the
11 obligation of the operations commander to issue that order.
12 Q. And that would have been whom, sir?
13 A. I've already said I don't remember who uttered the words, but it
14 was incumbent upon General Krstic, as commander of the operation, to
15 stipulate that, to give that order.
16 Q. Now, at some point during this meeting, sir, in the Bratunac
17 Brigade headquarters, did you overhear General Mladic in any conversation
18 on the telephone?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What did you hear, sir?
21 A. That telephone call took place in connection with procuring
22 vehicles to transport people from Potocari area and procuring the fuel. I
23 think, in fact, I don't think, I heard General Mladic say to whoever he
24 was speaking to on the phone that that was necessary, and he asked that
25 other person to take care of the fuel; whereas, he himself would make sure
1 that vehicles are there.
2 Q. And after this meeting, sir, what happened next at the Bratunac
3 Brigade headquarters?
4 A. After the meeting was over, we left that room and went to dinner.
5 A dinner had been organised.
6 Q. And is it fair to say, sir, that this dinner was attended solely
7 by Generals Krstic, Mladic, and the brigade commanders, or do you recall
8 anyone else being present for this dinner?
9 A. The dinner was for the same group of people that attended the
10 meeting before.
11 Q. And after the dinner, did you return to Jasenova, sir?
12 A. Yes. After that dinner, I returned to my command post in
14 Q. And you were driven back to your base. Do you recall anything
15 about the drive back to your base that night?
16 A. I drove back in my own vehicle with my own driver. I don't recall
17 anything in particular. I believe I dozed off in the car. There were no
18 obstacles on the road because of which we had to stop, no incidents that
19 would engrave it in my mind. I just returned to my command post.
20 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I see it's almost 10.30.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it is almost 10.30. We'll have a 25-minute
22 break. Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
1 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Good morning again, sir. Sir, before we move to the 13th of July,
3 I wanted to ask you a few more questions about this meeting on the evening
4 of the 12th at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters. You testified that the
5 Muslim forces and military-aged men, as far as your intelligence and
6 information were concerned, had not surrendered at Potocari; is that
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you give your answer, please, for
9 the record, General Gvero is now present in the courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I stated that elements of the
11 28th Division, or that was our evaluation, did not agree to surrender or
12 disarm. I was talking about elements of it. Probably they were
13 attempting to cross over to the territory under the control of the BH
15 MR. THAYER:
16 Q. So their whereabouts were generally unknown, but, as I believe you
17 testified, there were concerns that they would be attempting to move
18 through VRS-held territory in the direction of Tuzla and Kladanj; is that
19 correct, sir?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Now, from your intelligence briefings or other information that
22 you had gathered, do you recall, approximately, what the strength
23 estimates were of these Muslim forces that you were concerned might be
24 breaking through to Muslim-held territory?
25 A. I think that at that point we knew that most of the forces of the
1 28th Division were involved. That was the intelligence that we had at the
3 Q. And, sir, I'm not asking you for a specific figure, but what were
4 the estimates, if any, that you were receiving? Were they in the
5 hundreds, the thousands, or the tens of thousands of Muslim forces that
6 might have been trying to break through?
7 A. Several thousand. That was, I believe, the estimate that was
8 presented at the time.
9 Q. Now, at any time during this meeting on the 12th of July at the
10 Bratunac Brigade headquarters, was the procedure with respect to any of
11 these prisoners who were likely to be captured discussed?
12 A. What do you mean "prisoners"? I don't understand that part.
13 Q. Okay. Was it ever brought up during this meeting on the evening
14 of the 12th what your forces or any of your fellow brigade forces were
15 supposed to do with any prisoners or any military-aged men or Muslim army
16 members that you captured or who surrendered to you?
17 A. No. I don't remember.
18 Q. Do you recall any discussion at all during this meeting on the
19 12th regarding what would happen or what the procedure would be in general
20 if any military-aged men were captured or surrendered to VRS forces?
21 A. I don't recall any mention of it.
22 Q. Were you aware at the time of this meeting, sir, that separations
23 of military-aged men from their families had taken place during the day on
24 July 12th in Potocari?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Were you aware, sir, that military-aged men, as well as --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Is there something wrong with the
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [In English] No, Your Honour. I object to this line
5 of question. The previous one was a leading question, and now my learned
6 colleague is starting to lead the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
8 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm simply asking a question that he
9 may know the answer to or not. I don't believe I'm suggesting any answer
10 to the witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
12 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, it's not a matter of suggesting an
13 answer or not. It's to make a suggestion that will bring an answer. A
14 leading question does not have to be something that you suggest the answer
15 to the witness. It is suggesting something to the witness that will
16 recall something that he might otherwise recall differently, and this is
17 clearly a leading question.
18 My colleague has been doing that throughout with this witness. We
19 don't say anything, but at some point we have to get down to normal
20 questions and open questions for this witness to give what he knows and
21 what he saw. Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 MR. THAYER: I can rephrase, Mr. President, if that makes it
24 easier for everyone.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Then rephrase your question.
1 MR. THAYER:
2 Q. Sir, were you aware whether there had been any separations of
3 Muslim men of any age from their families in Potocari during the day on 12
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
6 MR. BOURGON: It's still a leading question. He can ask the
7 witness whether he saw some people being separated. He cannot use this
8 suggestion that men were being separated. What did this man see with
9 regard to buses or in Potocari or what were his observations? Those are
10 open questions. But if he asks, Did you see separation, he is suggesting
11 that there were indeed separations. Now, this witness has already
12 answered questions about what he saw and what he did not see in Potocari
13 or other places, and we should stick to that, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was not whether he saw separations, at
15 least the last question, whether he was aware, whether there had been any
16 separation of Muslim men of any age from their families in Potocari during
17 the day of the 12th of July, and I see no direct question in there. It's
18 a simple, straightforward question.
19 If he is aware of such separation having taken place on that day,
20 he can tell us; if he is not aware, he is equally competent to say, No,
21 I'm not aware of such happening. It's not a direct question. Let me just
22 consult as well with my colleagues to make sure that I'm on the right
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We are all in agreement here. Go ahead. If you
1 wish to read out or repeat your question to the witness, but I can read it
2 out myself actually.
3 Mr. Trivic, you're being asked whether you were aware whether
4 there had been any separation of Muslim men of any age from their families
5 in Potocari during the day of the 12th of July 1995.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was not aware of that.
7 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Sir, during this meeting, was there any discussion about placing
9 captured or surrendered Muslim men in detention locations in and around
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Meek?
12 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, there it is. I'd go back about a page or
13 two, and this has been asked two times in a row to this witness. It's
14 been asked and answered, this question has been.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree with you that a similar questions were asked
16 where the discussions, whether this was any plan or not, but this is a
17 more specific question and he can answer it. I mean, go ahead,
18 Mr. Trivic, if you can answer that question, please. And the question
19 is: During this meeting, last meeting that you were referred to, was
20 there any discussion about placing captured or surrendered Muslim men in
21 detention locations in and around Bratunac?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no discussion about that
23 at the meeting.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. So, sir, did you become aware at any point prior to your departure
2 from that meeting whether or not prisoners were being held close to the
3 Bratunac Brigade headquarters in the Vuk Karadzic engineering school?
4 MR. HAYNES: If you get the answer "no" to the general question
5 and you then ask a slightly more specific question and you get the answer
6 "no," what's the purpose of asking a further even more specific question?
7 This really is asked and answered.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I asked whether he became aware at any
10 point prior to his departure.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: From that meeting, yes. Now, the specifics of the
12 question itself makes it different from the ones that were asked before
13 because it refers to a specific time.
14 Mr. Trivic, we are referring to the point in time which is prior
15 to your departure from that meeting. At that point in time, did you
16 become aware or had you become aware whether or not prisoners were being
17 held close to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters in the Vuk Karadzic
18 engineering school in Bratunac?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already answered that. The
20 only thing I know was discussed was the people who had been routed in the
21 village of Potocari. This was in the context of the procurement of
22 vehicles and fuel, and General Mladic discussed this matter with one of
23 the persons at the meeting, but there was no mention of any prisoners, to
24 use the term you used. In fact, these were not prisoners. These were
25 people who came into the area of the UN base in Potocari of their own
1 will. There was no other mention of -- or rather, I don't know anything
2 else about people, transport, or evacuation.
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. Okay, sir, I have just one more question on the 12th before we
5 move to the 13th. You described what you saw as you passed through
6 Potocari close to the end of the day on the 12th, on your way to this
7 meeting in Bratunac. You described, I believe, seeing many people or a
8 crowd of people. Do you recall whether or not you saw any military-aged
9 men in that crowd at that time when you passed through Potocari?
10 A. In that crowd of people, in that multitude of people, there were
11 persons of all ages, of both sexes. There were children and women and men
12 of all ages. That's something I remember. I do remember seeing persons
13 of different ages and both sexes.
14 Q. And, sir, did you ever receive any information during this period
15 of time, and I'll expand it to the 13th as well, that there may have been
16 as many as a thousand military-aged men in Potocari? Did you ever receive
17 that information?
18 A. No. I didn't. I can't remember knowing this or hearing about it.
19 To put it simply, I don't know anything about it.
20 Q. Okay. Let's move to the 13th. You testified previously that
21 General Mladic had agreed to address your troops the next day. That would
22 have been this morning, the morning of 13 July. Did he do so, sir; and if
23 so, where did this occur and, approximately, what time of the day?
24 A. Yes. It is correct that on the morning of the 13th, between 10.00
25 and 11.00 a.m., he addressed troops in the area where most of the troops
1 were stationed, the combat arms that were assigned to sweep that area.
2 That was in the area of the Jahorina feature.
3 Q. And just briefly, sir, we don't need to spend too much time on
4 this, what did he tell your troops?
5 A. He told them what he had previously told us, the commanders. He
6 commended them for their successes and successful performance of their
7 previous missions, and told them that they should carry out their
8 impending mission in the same way. He told them to be proud, and he told
9 them what normally the commander of a Main Staff is expected to tell the
10 troops, to motivate them and to mobilise them to perform the impending
11 tasks regardless of the fatigue or the consequences they felt of the
12 actions they had previously carried out in that area.
13 Q. And was General Krstic also present for this address; and if so,
14 did he issue you with any further orders?
15 A. Yes. General Krstic accompanied General Mladic, of course. He
16 gave more specific assignments relating to the impending march they were
17 to engage in, and he told them of the area to which the unit was to be
18 deployed and by what time this had to be done. To put it shortly, he had
19 to give them the assignment that the unit had to carry out.
20 Q. And were you told to be somewhere by a particular time, sir; and
21 if so, when to both questions?
22 A. I said that we were told by what time we were supposed to deploy
23 the unit to the area of the village of Krivaca. The deadline was 1900
24 hours on the 13th. By that time, the unit had to be in the area. They
25 were also told the route along which they would march.
1 Q. And I take it you passed those instructions on, and if you took a
2 different route to Krivaca, can you describe what your route was, please?
3 A. The assignments resulting from General Krstic's order were
4 specified by me. I told them that they had to march along the route
5 given. I personally went via Srebrenica and Bratunac into that same area.
6 Q. And that's the communication that runs through Konjevic Polje; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. THAYER: At this time if we may have P02116 displayed on
10 e-court? It may take a moment or two because it's a map and we'll need to
11 zoom in on a certain portion when it does.
12 Now, if we could zoom as much as possible, if we could scroll up a
13 little bit, little bit further, please, little bit more. And then to the
14 right, please, just a little bit. I'm sorry. Just a little bit down,
15 scroll a little bit down. Okay. Perfect.
16 Q. Sir, with Madam Usher's assistance, I'm just going to ask you to
17 circle various locations which you've described in your testimony so far,
18 just so we have a reference later on to these areas that you were talking
19 about. And if you need a couple minutes or couple moments to read the map
20 that we are looking at, please do so. I would ask you first to circle the
21 location marked Jasenova, if you see it?
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. And do you also see Kiprovo? You also mentioned that location.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. You mentioned Bojna?
1 A. This is the village, and the repeater is on this peak here.
2 [Marks] I believe it's there.
3 Q. If you would, sir, just draw an R next to that circle you just
4 marked repeater?
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. And if you can locate Stupina and circle that, please?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. And I see on this map that Viogor is marked vertically as a
9 region. To the best that you can recall, can you circle the area at which
10 your meetings you described, I think, a second house in the village of
11 Viogor. Can you just indicate that location with a circle and place a V
12 next to that?
13 A. I think that this is the bend. [Marks]
14 Q. And, finally, sir, you described a destination of Jahorina.
15 MR. THAYER: We may need to scroll up a little bit unless we are
16 frozen out.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you can do that.
18 MR. THAYER:
19 Q. I think, if you look carefully, you might be able to see it; and
20 if you can't see the whole thing, can you just circle what's left of the
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Madam Registrar, can we zoom out a
23 little bit? If you need him to mark Jahorina, you need to finish with
24 this first.
25 MR. THAYER: I'll move on. I think we can identify it from
1 another area.
2 Q. I think you also referred to Jastrebaca or something to that
3 effect. If you see that, could you indicate where Jahorina is in respect
4 to that location, that will be sufficient.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, Jahorina, as such, does appear but it's cut
6 right through.
7 MR. THAYER: We just missed it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Okay. You've indicated with brackets a location, sir, in the
12 upper left-hand corner of the map. What is that location, just for the
14 A. That's Jahorina, a geographic feature.
15 Q. Sir, if you just place your initials at the bottom right-hand of
16 the map and put today's date, it's the 21st of May, please, and then we
17 can save it.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. 21st of May.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Okay. That will be good enough. We can save it.
22 MR. THAYER: I thank you, Madam Usher. Do we have it saved?
23 Great. Thank you.
24 Q. That will be all the questions I have for this exhibit, sir.
25 Let's move on.
1 You described taking the route that led you through Bratunac and
2 ultimately along the road that intersects with Konjevic Polje. Did you
3 pass through Potocari again on 13 July?
4 A. Yes. I passed through Potocari.
5 Q. Please describe what you saw on that occasion.
6 A. I observed in Potocari that people were being loaded on to
7 vehicles that were probably to evacuate them to a different location.
8 That is what could be seen in Potocari itself.
9 Q. And what type of vehicles are you talking about, sir, seeing?
10 A. There were buses and trucks, trailer trucks as well.
11 Q. And did you see any VRS soldiers there, sir; and if so, what were
12 they doing with respect to this process?
13 A. There were soldiers and members of the MUP, the police, who were
14 keeping things orderly and making sure that people boarded buses and
15 trucks in good order and that they walked in lines towards them.
16 Q. And, sir, you've described this previously: Do you recall seeing
17 how the civilians were being grouped at all?
18 A. Where?
19 Q. In Potocari.
20 A. In Potocari, on the right-hand side, there were smaller groups
21 about to get into vehicles; and on the left side, left to me, there was a
22 large number of people who were crossing the road to the side where the
23 vehicles were on the right. So groups of people were going towards the
24 vehicles, and policemen and soldiers were directing them towards the
1 Q. And did you see any VRS soldiers along the road as you passed
2 through Potocari; and if so, can you describe how they were deployed?
3 A. Along the whole length of the road, one could see soldiers
4 standing 100 to 200 metres from each other, not only soldiers but also
6 Q. Did you stop in Bratunac for any reason; and if so, do you recall
7 what time it was when you left Bratunac?
8 A. In Bratunac, I stopped by the Bratunac Brigade command to inquire
9 where, because the kitchen always worked, where I could eat, and I went to
10 that canteen and had lunch. After that lunch, I headed towards the area
11 of Krivaca to link up with part of the forces that was marching from
12 another direction. I don't know what time it was, but I know that I was
13 there on time; that is, before 1900 hours.
14 Q. So then, sir, what is your best estimate as to what time you
15 actually left the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade on the 13th of
17 A. Maybe around 1700 hours. I don't know. I cannot tell how much
18 time it took because under those circumstances you had to drive slowly. I
19 can't be sure how much time it took, but I think it was enough time. If I
20 started at 1700 hours, it was quite enough to reach Krivaca by 1900 hours.
21 Q. And en route to Krivaca, did you see any groups of Muslim
22 prisoners anywhere?
23 A. Yes, of course. I saw a large group of people sitting down on the
24 football pitch in a settlement called Nova Kasaba, on the right-hand side
25 of the road as I was moving.
1 Q. And do you recall how those prisoners were arranged, if at all, on
2 that football field, in what manner, if at all?
3 A. They sat in rows.
4 Q. And can you estimate at all, approximately, how many prisoners you
5 saw on that football field as you drove by?
6 A. Earlier in my testimony -- it's difficult to give an evaluation
7 knowing the size of the football pitch and the markings on the pitch.
8 It's difficult to evaluate how many people can be seated on 100 square
9 metre. Well, if you manage to estimate that number, you can multiply it
10 by 100. I never tried before to arrive at a number. If you can seat two
11 people on one square metre, then you can possibly calculate how many there
13 Q. Well, let me ask you this, then, sir: Do you recall approximately
14 how full this football field was with prisoners?
15 A. That entire area was covered with people sitting.
16 Q. And who was guarding them?
17 A. I was able to see military policemen, and I believe there were
18 soldiers, conscripts doing their regular military service and who were in
19 training in Nova Kasaba, which had a military police battalion that
20 trained these soldiers; that is, younger soldiers who were in training to
21 become military policemen. I don't know. Maybe there were some senior
22 troops as well, but I remember the younger ones.
23 Q. And to which unit was this military police battalion attached,
25 A. It belonged to the Protection Regiment of the Main Staff.
1 Q. Is that also known as the 65th Protection Regiment, sir?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And are you aware of whether or not there is a facility for that
4 military police battalion in that area?
5 A. That military police battalion was normally stationed in that
6 area, in that settlement, in the school building, and this site was just
7 outside the settlement. The football pitch was just outside the
8 settlement where those seated people were.
9 Q. And as you passed through this area, sir, was the road secured in
10 any way by way of check-point or any other way; and if so, by whom was it
11 being secured?
12 A. As we were moving, in keeping with the order on securing the
13 roads, soldiers and policemen guarded the road.
14 Q. And do you recall whether any of those soldiers and policemen
15 belonged to any particular unit, sir?
16 A. No, no. Apart from those that guarded the football pitch, apart
17 from them, I don't know to which unit the others belonged.
18 Q. And during this period of time, in July of 1995, did you know any
19 of the officers within the 65th Protection Regiment or the military police
20 battalion of that regiment personally; and if you did, can you tell the
21 Trial Chamber their names and position?
22 A. I certainly knew the regiment commander, Colonel Savcic, and I
23 also knew Major Malinic, who was the commander of that battalion in Nova
24 Kasaba, the battalion that had those young soldiers in training.
25 Q. So I take it you arrived at Krivaca; and when you did, to whom did
1 you report, sir?
2 A. As is customary, I reported to the forward command post of the
3 Drina Corps.
4 Q. And who was present at that forward command post? To whom did you
5 report when you arrived?
6 A. I didn't report personally that evening on the 13th. I reported
7 through communications. Since the forward command post had already been
8 established, I reported that my unit had arrived in that area, in keeping
9 with the assignment received that morning.
10 Q. And Krivaca is a general area, sir. Was there a particular
11 location within that area in which this forward command post was located?
12 Did it have a name?
13 A. That command post was set up at an elevation that is called
14 Solila, in the area of Krivaca village.
15 Q. So what was the assignment that you and your combat group received
16 when you arrived in this area?
17 A. I received my assignment on the morning of the 13th, and I was
18 already familiar with it. That's why I didn't bother to go to the forward
19 command post that evening, because the task of my combat group was to act
20 as backup force for the operations in Zepa.
21 Q. And were your forces to serve as a reserve force for any
22 particular unit?
23 A. Well, when assignments were being given to units, the main axis is
24 normally determined, the auxiliary axis, and backup forces are designated
25 that are ready to act, to support the units engaged in offensive
2 Q. Was there a particular other combat group or unit for whom your
3 forces were to act as a reserve force; and if so, who was commanding that
4 other unit?
5 A. Yes. On the main axis of offensive activities in the area of
6 Zepa, parts of the Zvornik Brigade were engaged, commanded by Colonel
8 Q. And did Colonel Pandurevic and his group leave this area of Zepa
9 at some point; and if so, why?
10 A. Colonel Pandurevic, with a part of his brigade that was engaged in
11 this assignment, left the area of Zepa to his own area of defence, after
12 two days, I believe, due to certain problems that occurred, security
13 problems that occurred, in the area of defence of the Zvornik Brigade.
14 Q. That problem being several thousand men moving through his area;
15 is that correct, sir?
16 A. Yes. I suppose these were forces of the 28th Division, and the
17 direction in which they were pulling out, retreating, passed through the
18 area of the Zvornik Brigade.
19 Q. And when Colonel Pandurevic and his forces left, sir, what did
20 your forces then do?
21 A. In keeping with the assignment I had received, I came into the
22 slot of the main forces and continued to carry out that task that had been
24 Q. And would you describe -- or how would you describe - let me put
25 it this way, sir - the combat activities in which your forces engaged upon
1 moving into that slot left by Colonel Pandurevic's forces?
2 A. Like any combat activity performed in an unfamiliar area, the
3 movements of units were very cautious, not being aware of the deployment
4 of enemy forces that had organised defence along that route. We didn't
5 know their strength, their position.
6 So we were slowed down by the necessary caution and care that had
7 to be deployed to perform this task with minimal losses or without any
8 losses. That was what characterised the beginning of this operation. It
9 was a difficult terrain with a lot of depressions, serpentine meandering
10 roads, lots of possibility for ambush.
11 Q. And, sir, we'll look at a map in a few moments, but can you just
12 orient us, generally, to the centre of Zepa, where were your positions,
13 north, south, east or west?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't see it being uploaded as yet. I don't see
15 the map being uploaded. Is there a technical problem?
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I haven't asked for the map. I just
17 wanted to ask him if he could orient us before I call for the map in a few
18 moments. I had a few more questions before getting to that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know, I may be wrong, but I think the
20 witness was looking at his screen waiting for the map to show up, and so
21 was I actually.
22 MR. THAYER: I apologise for the confusion, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. It's no problem. I'm just trying to
24 help you.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. Sir, I'll show you a map in a few moments, but can you just tell
2 us the position that is your forces occupied? Were they to the north,
3 south, east, or west of the centre of Zepa?
4 A. I must admit that in my preparations to testify in my previous
5 testimony, and in proofing for this testimony, I focused mostly on
6 Srebrenica itself and the surrounding area, so that over the past 12
7 years, Zepa has simply not been a subject. I did not think about it. I
8 didn't try to remind myself of that, and I cannot do without a map because
9 I haven't been there in a long time. I don't remember the features. I
10 don't remember the settlements, and I cannot tell you anything about what
11 point is where in relation to what else.
12 Q. Okay, why don't we go --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Why don't we go straight to the map.
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. Why don't we look at the map that we looked at in your proofing,
17 MR. THAYER: That is P02123. If we may zoom in just a little bit
18 further, and maybe up just a little bit, please. Okay. And can we zoom
19 just a tad in further, please, and if we could move up? No. Little down
20 just a little bit. Little bit more, please. I'm sorry, other way. Okay.
21 Thank you.
22 Q. Sir, do you remember looking at this map a few days ago? And if
23 you need sometime to orient yourself to certain of the locations you told
24 me about, then please take your time and do so.
25 A. Yes. I saw this map a couple of days ago during proofing, and I
1 now recall. I'm trying to recall the area and the events.
2 Q. Do you recall telling me about an area by the name of Borak?
3 A. Yes. I recall that we discussed this. It's a feature that lay on
4 the axis of the engagement of my forces.
5 Q. And do you see Borak on this map, sir?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you please take the pen and just circle that area?
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. And you described the location of Solila earlier. Do you see that
10 on this map?
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'd just ask you to please put your initials in
13 the lower right-hand corner and today's date, 21 May.
14 MR. THAYER: We can save it and we will be done with this map.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Madam Usher. I think we are done.
18 Q. Now, sir, did there come a time when your forces were able to
19 break through that area near Borak?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And in the days just prior to breaking through, do you recall
22 whether combat or your attack or advance was suspended for any reason; and
23 if so, why?
24 A. Casting my mind back to the few notes I have on this, I believe it
25 was on the 24th of July that this combat group that was part of my unit
1 managed to cross the bed of a river that had gone dry, and this was a
2 frequent occurrence in the summer time. They managed to pull through to
3 the other side immediately below the settlement of Borak, which meant a
4 great deal to the unit because the resistance mounted by the defenders had
5 weakened and conditions were in place for Borak to be defended.
6 My unit stayed there for several days, maintaining the defences
7 there. Because of the lie of the terrain, it was very difficult to go
8 round the unit and approach the feature. On the 24th, they approached the
9 feature and later on the conditions were much more favourable for their
10 further advance.
11 Q. And prior to this date, the 24th of July, do you recall whether
12 your advance or your attack was suspended for any reason?
13 A. Initially, once the Zvornik Brigade had opened up the lines, on
14 the first day of engagement while my combat group was in the reserve, it
15 could be concluded in military terms that the offensive activities had
16 been running as per plan, so to speak, or as one would expect. A unit
17 which is engaged in a normal way to slowly advance bit by bit.
18 This lasted several days, at the end of which the forces were able
19 to come out into the area where the settlement of Borak was located.
20 Since those positions overlooked the entire area, it was very difficult to
21 approach the positions without being noticed by everyone. I don't think
22 even a bird could have flown over the area without being noticed.
23 Q. Okay. Perhaps I wasn't clear, sir. Were you or your forces
24 ordered at any point to cease your fire during this period of time prior
25 to breaking through on the 24th; and if so, do you recall why?
1 A. This is a more specific question now. On the 19th of July, it was
2 set for the first time that negotiations were entered into, that it was
3 signed that hostilities should cease. As of the 19th onwards, the
4 developments were such that showed that not everything had been observed
5 that had previously been agreed to, and that's why the orders varied.
6 Q. And, sir, when you received the information that not everything
7 had been observed that had previously been agreed to, what did your orders
8 consist in at that point?
9 A. I personally was not told or been informed about what had been
10 observed or had not. We were told that hostilities should cease.
11 However, after a certain period of time, I don't know if it was just a day
12 or ten hours or something like that, it was my personal conclusion that
13 probably due to the fact that the agreement had not been observed, we were
14 told that activities should be launched again as of tomorrow.
15 I, however, was not being informed about the course of the
16 negotiations. On the 19th, we were told that we should cease all
17 activities because a truce had been signed, or rather, not -- it had not
18 been signed; it had been agreed upon.
19 Q. At some point after breaking through at Borak, did you personally
20 enter the centre of Zepa; and if so, would you describe what you saw, both
21 en route and when you arrived there?
22 A. Yes. On one of those days when the hostilities had been
23 suspended, I and some of my commanding officers went to Zepa to see what
24 the settlement was like. Zepa had been discussed a great deal and I
25 wanted to see whether it was a proper town, as I had never been there. On
1 my way, I passed an armoured APC of the UN that had been on the road side,
2 and I saw that General Mladic was involved in discussions about the APC
3 being able to return to travel along the route. We did not dwell there.
4 We were simply waved at my someone telling us to move ahead.
5 In the section of the road where we came out of a wooded area on
6 to a road leading to Zepa, and I suppose Rogatica, we were pulled over.
7 There was a column of buses escorted by UN forces, and I believe there was
8 also the Red Cross and perhaps someone else. This column was transporting
9 the population from the Zepa area, and we were not allowed to resume our
10 trip along the road until the column had fully passed us by. After that,
11 I went to see Zepa.
12 Q. And what, if anything, did you observe when you were in the centre
13 of Zepa, sir?
14 A. I didn't observe anything in particular. I merely concluded that
15 it was a small settlement in the Zepa valley. There were several houses
16 that were a bit bigger. I don't know whether they were stores or shops or
17 something like that. There was a river, Zepa river, that made a curve
18 there. On that spot, I came across several men, and I mean VRS soldiers,
19 who I exchanged a few words with and went back to join my unit.
20 Q. And while you were in the centre of Zepa, sir, did you observe any
21 civilians being loaded on to buses at that time?
22 A. No. I didn't go to the centre of Zepa. I was on the edge of the
23 settlement, next to the river where there was a river crossing. I
24 observed the settlement from there. I didn't go to the centre or observe
25 anything else.
1 Q. Sir, you just mentioned seeing General Mladic in the Zepa area.
2 Do you recall seeing any other Main Staff officers in the Zepa area while
3 were you there during this period of time?
4 A. No. I didn't see anyone. As for General Mladic, I saw him on my
5 way from my command post along the road, which was actually a forest
6 trail, where he happened to be helping to organise this UN APC that had
7 skidded off the road, helping to organise it to go back along its route.
8 Q. Sir, do you recall being in Solila to discuss with General Krstic
9 a health or sanitation issue that was affecting some of your men?
10 A. Yes. I was with General Krstic. This conversation took part
11 after the first truce was agreed upon, at the time when there were no
12 combat activities. I discussed this issue with him. Whether it was at
13 Solila or not, I believe based on my notes that this command post had
14 already been relocated from Solila elsewhere. I know that now you'll tell
15 me that I mentioned Solila in our conversation during proofing; but after
16 that, I consulted my notes and Solila was no longer the command post at
17 the time.
18 Q. So, approximately, how long would you estimate you had been on the
19 ground in the Zepa area at this time when you met General Krstic about
20 your men, about the condition of your men?
21 A. I know for a fact that it took place after the truce had been
22 agreed upon because I wouldn't be able to discuss the rotation of my
23 troops whilst the combat activities were going on. It was after the 19th,
24 some five or six days later. Once the truce was signed, I decided to ask
25 for replacements.
1 Q. Now, putting aside, as you mentioned, what you may have told me
2 during a proofing session, what is your recollection as to the location of
3 where this meeting with General Krstic took place, as you sit here today?
4 A. Flipping through my notes, I recalled that it was in an informal
5 meeting that I asked for in order to be able to tell him this. I wanted
6 to ask him -- now, as for my request to be able to relieve my troops, I
7 can't tell you where this was, where this took place. I know that there
8 were no communications officers accompanying him that would lead me to
9 conclude that this took place at a command post.
10 Q. Well, you just testified a few moments ago that your recollection
11 now is that Solila was no longer the command post. At that time, where
12 was the command post for this operation, sir, if it wasn't at Solila at
13 this time?
14 A. I was in the area of Godjenje village. That what was my command
15 post. In the immediate vicinity of my command post, there was the Drina
16 Corps IKM. Now, I don't know of -- as of which date General Krstic -- but
17 I know that at that time, I would be able to have these discussions there
18 about these matters that were of concern to me. This may have been at the
19 Godjenje. That would be the general area of Godjenje, because we had
20 tents in a clearing.
21 Q. So do I understand you correctly, sir, then to be testifying that
22 it's your recollection that the Drina Corps command post was moved
23 sometime on or after 19 July to this area of Godjenje?
24 A. Yes. I would go to Godjenje to receive my assignments. There was
25 an area where tents were set up and other equipment that normally follows
1 a commander, that enables him to command the activities taking place.
2 Those were the activities we had at the time there.
3 Q. And without breaking out the map again, sir, can you describe,
4 approximately, where this new Drina Corps forward command post was
5 located, let's say, in relation to Borak? Was it to the south of Solila?
6 Just orient us, please.
7 A. Just a moment. That was to the south of Solila, about five to six
8 kilometres, in the general area of Godjenje village.
9 Q. And, sir, during this meeting with General Krstic, were any Main
10 Staff officers present?
11 A. I asked to see General Krstic, and we met on that date, the 20th
12 or the 21st, I don't know exactly. With him, I met General Gvero as well.
13 Where this was, I don't know. I can't recall. It did not happen at the
14 command post. I don't know. I simply don't know.
15 Q. Well, can you describe what, if anything, happened during this
16 meeting, and General Gvero's participation, if any, in this meeting,
17 wherever it may have occurred?
18 A. It wasn't the meeting. It was me asking to have a word with him,
19 and he said that I should come over. We met in the presence of General
20 Gvero, and I asked General Gvero to tell General Krstic that I be allowed
21 to replace some of my troops who had been plagued by some health problems.
22 A physician, who was there with me as part of the command
23 structure of the combat group, was of the opinion that most of the troops
24 had to be replaced because they had scabies or other health problems that
25 made it impossible for them to properly perform their assignments.
1 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I see that we are nearing the break
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Five minutes.
4 MR. THAYER: This might be a good place to take the break, if we
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. One moment, Mr. Thayer.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, it's as if Judge Prost and myself were
9 engaged in telepathy. I was informed that on paper you had indicated two
10 hours, but I was informed that on Friday you suggested that one hour
11 should be enough. We've been three hours already at it plus what happened
12 on Friday. So where do we stand? How much longer?
13 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I believe I have about half an hour
15 JUDGE AGIUS: If we do grant you the half an hour, it stands to
16 reason then that the Defence teams may wish to reorganise a little bit
17 their estimated time. Anyway, we'll talk about it when we leave the
18 courtroom. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer. Our suggestion to you is to
22 accelerate as much as you can your examination-in-chief so that we can
23 move to the cross-examination, also because I understand that there is --
24 or we may encounter a problem with the next witness if we don't finish his
25 testimony by Thursday. And that's a visa problem, nothing else. But we
1 need to know also from you or from Mr. McCloskey or whoever will be
2 dealing with the Defence expert how much time you require now as of now
3 for his cross-examination.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I may be able to shed some light on
5 that. We've estimated, approximately, a day for cross-examination. Of
6 course, that's an estimate, but we didn't think it was hopefully going to
7 take much longer than that. I consulted with my friends as to estimated
8 time on direct, and I think it's, approximately, the same. That's why
9 we've scheduled two days for the intercept expert.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: For the Defence, I have four hours ten minutes here,
11 which is more than a day. If you were to take an entire day, that means
12 he won't finish on Thursday, which means we can't even discuss an
13 extension of his visa. Because it's a single entry visa, he'll have to go
14 back to where he comes from and then get another visa, and I don't like to
15 hassle or create hassle for people especially witnesses who take their
16 time to come and give evidence here.
17 So let's try and finish, and I'm saying this because if the
18 Defence takes six hours in cross-examining this witness, then we are
19 definitely off the mark. We won't be able to finish the expert by
20 Thursday, so let's move, please.
21 MR. THAYER: I'll do that, Mr. President.
22 Q. Sir, do you recall attending a lunch sometime during the period in
23 which were you deployed to Zepa in -- at the Jela restaurant?
24 A. Yes. I recall I was invited. In fact, I was ordered to attend a
25 luncheon organised on the occasion of the announcement that General Krstic
1 became corps commander.
2 Q. And was this also an occasion to mark the retirement of General
3 Zivanovic, sir?
4 A. Yes. That is the luncheon that was in honour of both of them.
5 Q. And who was present at this luncheon, sir, if you remember?
6 A. Commander of the Main Staff; the chief of Main Staff, General
7 Milovanovic; and ex officio, General Gvero.
8 Q. Do you recall if anybody arrived by helicopter, sir?
9 A. General Milovanovic certainly came by helicopter because I believe
10 we said hello or goodbye after that luncheon as he was walking towards the
11 helipad. If anyone else was with him in the helicopter, I don't know.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Fauveau?
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there was a mistake
14 in the transcript, but it was corrected just as I was about to speak.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau.
16 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Now, lastly, sir, I want to ask you discuss a couple of questions
19 about two entries in your diary. At this time, if you still have it with
20 you, sir - and I've also been asked by one of my friends across the aisle
21 to make sure that you have it available for your testimony - it may be
22 easier for you to refer to that original diary, which we furnished to my
23 friends. Feel free to take it out now, sir, if you need to consult with
25 We didn't have time to look at this document during our proofing.
1 We ran out of time but I want to ask you about one entry which was
2 illegible, and I want to see if you can make some sense of it. It's at
3 page 6 of the English translation, and that's ERN 0608-5856 of the
4 original B/C/S.
5 It's the portion where you're recording your dinner with General
6 Mladic at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, and it appears that you're
7 recording the order to continue to Zepa and what General Mladic said to
8 you and your fellow brigade commanders at the time.
9 I can show you a photocopy of the page if you need to, to help
10 locate it in your diary, with the assistance of Madam Usher. Have you
11 found it, sir?
12 A. Well, to compare the text maybe. Yes, I have.
13 Q. Okay. Now, the line that I couldn't read, sir, and I just want to
14 ask you: What you have written here, can you just read from the portion
15 that begins that General Mladic came at 2200 hours?
16 For the record this is 2D00125. Can you just read aloud the entry
17 from your diary, beginning at that point and take it down to the last line
18 on that entry. That's the portion that's illegible.
19 A. Can I start?
20 Q. Yes, please.
21 A. "At 2200 hours, General Mladic arrives. "First note," or rather,
22 "bullet point. After congratulations and greetings, regardless of the
23 fact that Vinko Pandurevic and I told him that troops need rest, he
24 orders: Tomorrow, by 800 hours, General Krstic is to prepare an order for
25 the liberation of Zepa. Readiness, 14th July in the morning. Time
1 allowed, two days for the liberation of Zepa enclave. This moment of
2 confusion both within the international community and on the enemy's side
3 should be taken advantage of."
4 Q. Okay. I thank you, sir. That clarifies the illegible portion in
5 the English translation. The second entry I want to ask you about is at
6 page 1 of the English translation, and that is ERN 0608-5836 of the
7 original. Do you recall an entry made on the 16th of July with the
8 heading of "Major General Krstic" and then four numbered paragraphs?
9 If you can locate that in the original, I can show you the
10 photocopy if that helps you locate it in your diary, and that's page 9 of
11 the B/C/S in e-court, I believe.
12 A. I got it.
13 Q. Okay. You've got the four numbered paragraphs, 1, 2, 3, 4. Do
14 you see that, sir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And can you just read the first entry, please? I just want to ask
17 you one question about it and we'll be done.
18 A. "The decision of the Supreme Commander of the VRS is that the
19 eastern part of Republika Srpska must be liberated from Turks."
20 Q. And what was your understanding of this statement by General
22 A. As a soldier, whatever else may be true, I understood the task to
23 liberate Zepa as a task to free that territory from the troops of the BH
24 army that attacked from that area the army of Republika Srpska. So as a
25 soldier, I always understood such tasks as assignments to liberate an area
1 from the enemy.
2 Q. I thank you, sir. I have no further questions at this time.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
4 Now, who is going first from the Defence teams? Mr. Krgovic for
5 General Gvero.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I have a few questions about the last subject you've discussed, so
11 I won't follow the chronological order. In your examination-in-chief, you
12 mentioned a brief discussion that you had with General Gvero and General
13 Krstic regarding the health problems afflicting your troops. You also
14 mentioned that you attended that luncheon to celebrate the retirement of
15 General Zivanovic. Was General Krstic there as well?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. That celebration was on the 12th of July in Jela restaurant, just
18 after the cease-fire was signed?
19 A. It was the 20th, not the 12th of July. I don't remember the date
20 but the cease-fire agreement was signed later.
21 Q. In fact, the cease-fire was agreed, it hadn't been signed yet?
22 A. Agreed, that's what we were told.
23 Q. This brief conversation you had with Gvero and Krstic, could it
24 have happened during that luncheon at Jela restaurant?
25 A. I may be mistaken after such a long time. I simply didn't think
1 about that during the Zepa operation until this day. I can't be sure
2 where it took place, but I know I took the opportunity to talk to General
3 Gvero whom I met only once during that operation, because in view of his
4 position, I thought he might be able to suggest to General Krstic that it
5 would be a good idea to approve the replacement of one part of the troops.
6 I don't know what he passed on to Krstic; but in the event, the approval
7 was given.
8 Q. During the operation Zepa, therefore, you saw General Gvero only
10 A. Yes, and then I talked to him on only one occasion. I said a
11 moment ago that I cannot be sure where it happened and when.
12 Q. But you can't rule out the possibility that it was during this
13 celebration in honour of General Zivanovic?
14 A. It's a possibility because we were able to talk to each other
15 outside the restaurant, in front of the restaurant. So it could have been
16 then and there, but I can't be sure. The other possibility was the
17 location I mentioned before, Solila, or maybe it was that restaurant. In
18 any case, it was outdoors.
19 Q. Since you saw General Gvero only once, then it must have been
20 there. I put it to you that it was there. Do you accept that?
21 A. I'll stand by what I already said. It's a possibility. It could
22 have been right outside that restaurant. Let me just try to explain this.
23 I had only one contact with General Gvero. It was when I asked him for
24 his support in getting my troops replaced, refreshed.
25 Q. You mentioned a moment ago the attendees of that luncheon. You
1 said General Gvero was there ex officio. Now, knowing the position of
2 General Gvero, he was in charge of protocol. He was in charge of
3 organising such celebrations and that was why he was there. Do you accept
5 A. Yes. That's ex officio, in view of his position, his
6 responsibilities, and it was his duty to have that organised.
7 Q. And as the organiser, he would welcome all those present and
8 explain the protocol of it?
9 A. I suppose that, beforehand, this protocol was presented to
10 somebody as a suggestion and had to be approved. Later on we all complied
11 with it.
12 Q. Colonel, I'll take you back to the beginning of your testimony and
13 the questions you answered for Mr. Thayer in chief. They have to do with
14 your arrival in Srebrenica area. You said at the beginning that you
15 received orders to come to Srebrenica area from the corps command. The
16 Romanija Brigade was within the corps, right, the Drina Corps?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Srebrenica operation and Zepa operation were both operations of
19 the Drina Corps; planned, organised, and carried out by the Drina Corps?
20 A. Yes. That operation was led and commanded by the Drina Corps
22 Q. When you arrived there, were you briefed about the enemy? Was
23 that part of the briefing and preparations?
24 A. Yes, certainly.
25 Q. What were you told? What forces were you facing in Srebrenica
1 area? How many soldiers and policemen were under arms? What kind of
2 information did you have prior to the beginning of the operation?
3 A. On Friday, last Friday, I said a few words about that. We
4 followed the usual procedure; wherein, prior to commencing a task,
5 especially involving units that do not originate from that area, who are
6 unfamiliar with the area, a briefing is indispensable. They have to be
7 given an evaluation of the enemy, the armed forces they are facing, the
8 level of their equipment and strength, and their deployment on features on
9 which they had organised the defence of that area. That was done at
11 Q. What exactly were you told? What was the strength of the enemy?
12 How many soldiers and policemen were engaged against you in the Srebrenica
13 operation on the enemy side?
14 A. The evaluation said around 10.000 armed people in the protected
15 area. The very name of the unit indicates that number and the name was
16 28th Division.
17 Q. What kind of information did you have about their level of
18 equipment, their weapons?
19 A. Based on the intelligence provided by units that had contact with
20 them and the fighting thus far, we were aware that they had not only
21 infantry weapons but weapons that required to be manned by crews,
22 primarily, but not only anti-aircraft guns, machine-guns, some other
23 weapons that were classified as collective ordnance, that requires several
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness 4D73?
1 A. I'd like to show you a document that I am not sure you have seen
2 before. It's an analysis of the staff by a branch of service of the 28th
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Krgovic and Mr. Thayer, this
5 document it's being confirmed to me is under seal. So we can, of course,
6 go into private session and deal with it in private session, or do not
7 broadcast whilst this document is on the screen.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I think it's better not to broadcast
9 it because I'm not going to go through names on that list, but I'll ask
10 instead general questions.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Subject to further rulings, for the time being, this
13 document, once it shows up on our screen, our monitor, is not to be
14 broadcast. Thank you.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Look at page 1. Look at the heading.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown page
19 Q. Can you see this?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This column that begins with "ARJ, PVO", what is the purpose of
22 that unit?
23 A. We see that it's an artillery rocket unit of air defence,
24 anti-aircraft defence, and we see the names of the men who were involved
25 in that unit and their duties.
1 Q. And the weapons they manned?
2 A. Yes, and the equipment they operated.
3 Q. In the combat operations around Srebrenica and Zepa, did you come
4 under fire from some such weaponry?
5 A. Yes. On the second day of operations; namely, the 10th, before
6 our forces were on the move, my combat group came under anti-aircraft gun
7 and anti-aircraft machine-gun fire.
8 Q. Since such weaponry existed and was used in the days of the
9 operation Srebrenica, was it safe to fly helicopters in the Srebrenica and
10 Zepa areas?
11 A. My conclusion is that it was not safe, in view of the weapons they
12 had. If you're referring to the flights of helicopters of the VRS.
13 Q. My question was a general one. Was it expected that such weapons
14 would be used to engage any such aircraft in the area?
15 A. Of course. Flying was unsafe in view of the weapons that were
16 available. It was far from safe to fly over that area.
17 Q. Mr. Trivic, are you aware of the existence of a plan, on the part
18 of some of the UNPROFOR officials, to use helicopter flights around
19 Srebrenica to provoke the VRS soldiers into opening fire at helicopters
20 which would then be used as an excuse for bombing the VRS forces?
21 A. Yes. Having examined some documents and statements by certain
22 members of the UN forces, I am aware that this was being contemplated as
23 an idea.
24 Q. Do you know what was the proponent of such an idea?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Please allow a short pause between question and
1 answer so that the interpreters will be able to catch up with you. Thank
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. One of the proponents of the
4 idea and the person who was in favour of provoking the VRS fire against
5 the aircraft involved in the distribution of the humanitarian aid to the
6 area was the UN forces commander, Mr. Rupert Smith.
7 Q. Mr. Trivic, I will now take you back to the time when you were
8 being received -- when you were being given assignments. When you arrived
9 in the Srebrenica area, in the early days when you were supposed to
10 separate the enclaves, were you given any instructions as to how to treat
11 UN personnel and civilians?
12 A. Yes. We were given assignments to act against members of the 28th
13 Division, and we were told that in doing so we were supposed to avoid any
14 conflicts with the UN personnel at their check-points along the axis of
15 engagement of our units. We were told that the objective of the
16 operations was not the town of Srebrenica itself or the population.
17 Q. Did your units comply with the order you received?
18 A. It was only natural that one had to comply and act in keeping with
19 the order issued by the commander of the operation.
20 Q. In determining your targets, did you have intelligence and
21 reconnaissance information to the effect where there were enemy forces
22 deployed and where possibly there could have been civilians, too? Did you
23 take that into consideration whilst guiding your fire?
24 A. On the date of my arrival in Srebrenica, we were told what
25 possibly the disposition of the units of the 28th Division was. I used
1 such intelligence to guide the movement of my troops by way of invasive
2 reconnaissance and detection of targets. This was in fact done,
3 particularly on the 9th, in the early days of the operation.
4 Q. What information did you have concerning the conduct of the units
5 that were immediately adjacent to you? General Pandurevic's and Colonel
6 Andric's units that were on your left and on your right, did they behave
7 in the same way or did they in any way depart from standard procedure?
8 A. I didn't know anything in particular. I only knew, on the basis
9 of the information I had, as to the units to my left and to my right, that
10 they had come across two units of the 28th Division that were better
11 organised in the areas where they engaged their forces.
12 Q. At some point, you reached the initial positions that were defined
13 in your order; and, subsequently, you received orders to advance, on the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What sort of orders did you receive at that point? Were these the
17 orders to seize Srebrenica?
18 A. I don't know which date you have in mind, but on the 10th I
19 received orders to redirect my forces to -- more to the east, to the
20 western slopes of the heights that lie to the west of Srebrenica.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown P33? Could
22 we see the lower part of it, please? That's enough.
23 Q. Sir, on the 9th of July, this document was sent to the Drina
24 Corps. It talks about the way one should proceed in that area. Please
25 look at the second paragraph, which starts with, "The president of the
1 republic is satisfied." This deals with the full demilitarisation of the
2 Srebrenica enclave. Was this in keeping with the order you received?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The second part of it deals with the full protection of members of
5 UNPROFOR and Muslim civilian population?
6 A. Yes. This, too, was in keeping with the requests put forth by the
7 president of the republic.
8 Q. And this latter part, which orders you to provide maximum security
9 and safety to UNPROFOR members, Muslim civilian population, and to refrain
10 from engaging civilian targets?
11 A. Yes. This was a standing assignment, and this was the sort of
12 orders one would receive before commencing an operation.
13 Q. Did you abide by these instructions in combat?
14 A. Yes, we did. I did.
15 Q. To your knowledge, your neighbours and adjacent units and other
16 units, what was their combat like?
17 A. I'm sure that they also abided -- they also complied with the
18 orders they received from their superiors.
19 Q. In the examination-in-chief, you mentioned that you went through
20 the area of -- the village of Slapovici, and that it was from that side
21 that you entered Srebrenica.
22 A. Yes. I went into this area where there was a settlement of
23 refugees, Slapovic. There were -- there was prefabricated housing there,
24 housing I suppose refugees from different parts of the country who had
25 been living there until then.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 6D22?
2 Q. Sir, can we see the top of the document?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This is an interim combat report of the Drina Corps dated the 9th
5 of July 1995. Please look closely at item 4 of the combat report.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Could we scroll down?
8 Q. This report reads that "UNPROFOR at the check-points at the
9 villages of Slapovici and Bocija surrendered to our forces complete with
10 weaponry and equipment and sought our protection." And what is meant here
11 is that they sought protection from the VRS. You said that you passed
12 through Slapovici village. Did you come across any UNPROFOR forces in
13 that period?
14 A. Yes. I came across a crew of an armoured APC. As they saw us,
15 they came out of the APC and they were very frightened. We communicated
16 to the extent we were able to. I took them, together with my escorts, to
17 the IKM at Jasenova.
18 Q. Did you threaten them, mistreat them? How did you, in fact, treat
20 A. Of course, I didn't threaten them. A commanding officer of mine
21 went along the road across Zeleni Jadar to Jasenova together with their
22 driver; whereas, I along with their commander, and I believe there were
23 two more of them, went through the -- through the disposition of my forces
24 all the way to Jasenova where we had a lunch together. They had a beer.
25 I reported on this. That was where our conversation ended and the corps
1 command took them over.
2 Q. Did they tell you why they were frightened and why they
3 surrendered themselves to you?
4 A. I believe that they said that they were afraid of the forces of
5 the 28th Division using them as human shields, and that for that reason
6 they set out toward the VRS forces.
7 Q. The combat report you have in front of you, does it reflect the
8 events on the ground?
9 A. As far as this episode with UNPROFOR is concerned, yes.
10 Q. Mr. Trivic, you said that at some point on the 11th, you entered
11 the town of Srebrenica. Before the events of the 11th and the 10th, did
12 your units open fire, or rather, did the town of Srebrenica suffer at the
13 hands of your forces, and did you hear of any other units firing upon the
14 town of Srebrenica on the 10th and the 11th?
15 A. My unit definitely did not fire upon the town of Srebrenica. The
16 activities of my unit were exclusively focused on the detection of firing
17 positions that had fired upon our units. I did not observe, notice, or
18 hear of any other units firing upon the settlement itself.
19 Q. To your knowledge, during the operation in Srebrenica, was heavy
20 artillery used in the course of the operation itself?
21 A. I was not in a position to use that fire, and I suppose that this
22 was due to the fact that there had been no planned combat activities for
23 larger calibre weaponry, meaning artillery; rather, we had formed our
24 formations in such a way that we would have small artillery pieces;
25 namely, mortars, so that we could open our way for advancing.
1 I don't think any other units used such artillery fire because we
2 had not even been assigned any such artillery units from which we could
3 seek any such support.
4 Q. When you entered the town, did you observe, out in the street, on
5 the house fronts, any damage inflicted by artillery fire?
6 A. No. One could not see any such visible damage in the town.
7 Q. Did you have the opportunity to walk around the centre of
9 A. It was in that part of town that I was, in fact, when the Staff
10 Commander and corps commander came up.
11 Q. Did you have occasion to see the hospital?
12 A. Yes, on the second day, on the 12th, in the morning.
13 Q. Did you observe any damage from shells on the hospital building?
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, I'm going to stop you here and, again,
16 once more ask you to kindly get together, Mr. Thayer, kindly get together
17 with the Defence teams, to establish a realistic estimate of how long this
18 witness will be testifying tomorrow. From what I see, he's not going to
19 finish tomorrow. If that is the case, you either need to coordinate,
20 together with the Defence, with the Victims and Witness section, to see if
21 possibly one could find a way of extending this gentleman's visa to at
22 least Tuesday of next week.
23 I know it's difficult, but I would like to avoid his having to go
24 back and come again, if we can. Please get together and let us know first
25 thing tomorrow afternoon when we will be resuming.
1 Mr. Trivic, we are going to adjourn now. We'll continue -- yes,
2 Mr. Trivic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should like to inform you of the
4 following: On the 26th, I have some commitments back in Republika Srpska.
5 I did not expect things to unfold this way, but I would appeal to you to
6 honour this commitment of mine that I have and to make it possible for me
7 to be in Banja Luka on Friday.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't see any problems there, Mr. Trivic. The
9 only problem relates to another witness, not to you. You'll definitely be
10 finished if not tomorrow the day after and then you'll be free to go.
11 So tomorrow we'll continue at 2.15 in the afternoon. In the
12 meantime, Mr. Trivic, you're not to discuss with anyone or allow anyone to
13 discuss with you the subject matter of your testimony. Is that clear?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good afternoon, everybody, and we'll
16 meet -- yes, Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President I just have one item to bring to the
18 Court's attention. We may have identified an individual who we would like
19 to be present in the courtroom to assist the Prosecution during the
20 testimony of the Defence witness, and we would ask the Court's permission
21 to permit to us have that individual present in that role. We haven't
22 lined him up for sure, but we wanted to bring that to the Court's
23 attention now so that we can put things in play.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure the Defence teams will think about that and
25 respond tomorrow first thing when we start the sitting again. Thank you.
1 MR. THAYER: My understanding is we've gotten agreement from
2 Defence counsel on that, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then there shouldn't be -- don't expect
4 any problems from our side.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day of May,
8 2007, at 2.15 p.m.