1 Tuesday, 10 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good everyone, everybody. And to you especially,
7 Madam Greffier. Could you call the case, please?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. All the accused are here. I
11 notice the absence amongst the Defence teams of Mr. Bourgon and Mr.
12 Haynes. The Prosecution, I see Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 All right. The witness is already present.
14 Ladies and gentlemen, we are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis for
15 the first session. Judge Stole will be with us after the first break.
16 Second thing I wanted to tell you is the following: There is a
17 possibility to move tomorrow's and Thursday's sitting from the afternoon
18 to the morning. Of course, given the short notice, we want to make sure
19 that this does not disrupt, particularly you, Mr. Zivanovic, any needs
20 you may have in respect to the witnesses that we will have these two
21 days. What's your position?
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. It will be very --
23 absolutely inconvenient for us to shift the --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Both of them.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Both of them.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Both of them. So you prefer to keep them in the
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, yes.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So they will remain in the afternoon as
7 Mr. Acimovic, good afternoon to you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are proceeding with your testimony, which we
10 started yesterday.
11 Mr. Zivanovic?
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
13 WITNESS: ZORAN ACIMOVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Acimovic.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. I'm just going to remind you that yesterday we left it off with
19 my question to which you answered that in your work, you had used the TC
20 10 piece of equipment which is the telephone switchboard, and that in the
21 course of your work, for a while you worked on establishing wire
22 connections with the battalion.
23 Now I would like to continue along the same lines and ask you to
24 tell me what other pieces of equipment did you use and what other jobs
25 did you have in addition to before or after working on TC 10 and
1 establishing wire lines with the battalion.
2 A. Later on I was again transferred to the military switchboard
3 which was a larger, and I also with worked on TC 10 at the IKM, and also
4 on an RUP 12 piece of equipment at the IKM.
5 Q. What is an RUP 12? Can you explain what kind of equipment this
6 is, just briefly?
7 A. It is a radio relay device, which can have an encrypted device
8 for encrypting and it is only used when the wire connections are down.
9 Q. Since you -- since we heard that there were two other radio rely
10 devices, RRU-1, and RRU-800, did you work on these pieces of equipment?
11 A. No.
12 Q. When you worked on the switchboard, as you've described for us,
13 how long was your shift during one day? Did you work in shifts and how
14 long was one shift?
15 A. At first, my shift would be 12 plus hours, depending on the
16 number of signalsmen in the brigade. There were times when we had eight
17 hour shifts, so it was not really the same all the time. It all depended
18 on the number of signalsmen that were in the battalion at any given time.
19 Q. And when you were at the forward command post, how long were your
21 A. At the IKM, our shifts would last for four days and there were
22 two of us signalsmen in that shift.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry to interrupt, I was noticing on page 3
25 at line 17, in the witness's response to the question concerning the
1 signalsmen in the brigade, at that line he indicates signalsmen in the
2 battalion in the same sentence and I was wondering if we could clarify
3 that reference or if it's just an error.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Zivanovic. Thank you,
5 Mr. Vanderpuye.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. Vanderpuye is absolutely right.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Let us just correct this. When you said that it
8 all depended on the number of signalsmen, what unit did you have in mind?
9 A. I meant signalsmen in the brigade, and I apologise for that.
10 Q. While being on duty at the IKM, did you have some sort of records
11 that you had to keep? Do you remember that?
12 A. At the IKM, there was a logbook that the signalsmen used to keep
13 and the duty officers also had a logbook that they had to keep.
14 Q. So we are talking about two different documents, one was used by
15 the signalsmen to enter their notes and the other was used by the duty
16 officers? Did I understand you correctly?
17 A. Yes. There were two books, one for us signalsmen and the other
18 for the officers at the IKM.
19 Q. Were those logbooks always there at the IKM?
20 A. The signalsmen's logbook was at the IKM and the duty officer's
21 logbook would be taken to the brigade, which means that it wasn't, the
22 latter wasn't, at the IKM all the time.
23 Q. Can you now tell me what you, as a signalsman, when you were on
24 duty at the IKM, what did you enter into your logbook, the logbook kept
25 by the signalsmen? Can you just briefly describe for us what was it that
1 went into that logbook?
2 A. We would enter everything that we would hear from the battalions,
3 the events in their respective sectors, whether they noticed any
4 movements by the enemy, whether a shell fell anywhere. Whatever they
5 informed us about, we would take note of that and we would also record
6 the time when we heard the piece of information.
7 Q. Do you know that in July 1995, there was a military operation
8 taking place around the Srebrenica? Do you remember any such event?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know whether one part of your unit, to be more precise,
11 the Zvornik Brigade, participated in that operation?
12 A. Yes, they did.
13 Q. Can you tell us the date when this operation was taking place?
14 A. The exact date when people were sent off to Srebrenica, I can't
15 remember that date, no.
16 Q. And do you remember, or can you tell us, rather, whether you were
17 assigned to go with the group that was dispatched to the operation at
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you remember the day when the army of Republika Srpska entered
22 A. Yes, I remember that. I know when they entered Srebrenica.
23 Q. During that period of time, from the moment when the army of
24 Republika Srpska entered Srebrenica to a few days after that, what did
25 you do? Were you in the brigade? Were you off duty? What were you
1 doing at the time?
2 A. I was in the brigade working on the switchboard.
3 Q. Could you please describe for us what you were doing at the
4 switchboard? What did your job at the switchboard entail?
5 A. The work at the switchboard entails establishing connections from
6 the battalion to the brigade and vice versa, establishing connections
7 between anybody calling and anybody in the building, be it the duty
8 operations officer or somebody else.
9 Q. And did you ever put people through to the brigade commander?
10 Were you in charge of establishing connection between any callers and the
11 person who was in command of the brigade at the time?
12 A. At that time, it was Dragan Obrenovic who was standing in for the
13 brigade commander, and all the calls for commander Vinko Pandurevic were
14 transferred to Dragan Obrenovic.
15 Q. And during those few days, was he regularly at the brigade?
16 A. Yes, he was.
17 Q. Did you see him?
18 A. Very rarely, because our office was on the top floor, the
19 switchboard was there.
20 JUDGE KWON: Sorry, Mr. Zivanovic, who are we referring to?
21 Regularly -- who was regularly at the brigade? Vinko Pandurevic or
22 Dragan Obrenovic?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Dragan Obrenovic.
24 Q. Let's just clarify. When you were talking about the person
25 standing in for the commander, who did you have in mind? And who did you
1 put people through? Who did you have in mind when you said that?
2 A. I meant Dragan Obrenovic because he was standing in for Vinko
4 Q. You said that your office, i.e. the switchboard, was on the third
5 floor. Tell me where were the offices occupied by Mr. Dragan Obrenovic
6 at the time?
7 A. Dragan Obrenovic's office was one floor below.
8 Q. You said that you were in charge of -- I withdraw the question.
9 Do you remember who was the duty operations officer at the
10 brigade around that time?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Working at the switchboard, do you remember any conversations
13 that might have taken place, or topics that prevailed in any of the
14 conversations taking place at the brigade?
15 A. While I was on duty at the switchboard at the time, once the army
16 of Republika Srpska entered Srebrenica, the main topic at the switchboard
17 were -- was the movement of the group from Srebrenica towards Tuzla.
18 Q. What kind of group are we talking about? What kind of
19 information did you have about that group?
20 A. According to our information, there were several groups in the
21 column. They were armed. Our task or our goal, rather, was to find out
22 what kind of weapons did the groups have, and if possible, to establish
23 what their aim was, where they were headed.
24 Q. When did the first piece of information about that group reach
25 you and how long did the information keep coming in?
1 A. The first piece of information started arriving immediately upon
2 the moment when the army of Republika Srpska entered Srebrenica, maybe a
3 few hours after that.
4 Q. Did you have any information about possible fighting involving
5 that group? Did you hear about any fighting between that group, on the
6 one side, and the army of Republika Srpska, on the other side?
7 A. At first there was no fighting at all, and the only task was to
8 monitor their movement. Only a few days later, there was panic in the
9 town of Zvornik because there were no more troops in the brigade, they
10 had all been sent to Srebrenica, Zepa and the separation lines, so the --
11 our battalion had to be mobilised in order to put up resistance against
12 that column should they have headed towards the town.
13 Q. I believe that you said our battalion, and this is missing in the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. R Battalion. What is the R Battalion? What kind of battalion is
18 A. The R Battalion comprised elderly people who were no longer
19 militarily fit. It also comprised people who had work obligation during
20 the war, as well as people with limited capabilities, people of ill
21 health and similar.
22 Q. Can you now tell me whether you personally, at the time, leave
23 the brigade, leave the brigade command and its perimeter, and if you did,
24 why did you leave it? What kind of task or mission did you get?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm going to object
2 to this question on the grounds that it is vague, there is no reference
3 and with respect to the time that counsel is referring to, either to an
4 event, to a date, or anything of that nature. It's very unclear on the
5 record specifically what days this witness is talking about.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, can you be more specific?
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I can.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go ahead. Otherwise it's a perfectly
9 legitimate question.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Tell me this, please: In the few days following the entry of the
12 VRS to Srebrenica, since you couldn't recall the exact date, but in those
13 few days, did you leave the brigade command perimeter, and if so, what
14 was your task?
15 A. Yes, I did leave it. In the morning, a signalsman, work mate of
16 mine, came, he told me to get ready because we were to go to secure a
17 spot where the communication between the brigade and Memici was
18 interrupted. We took a truck that our unit had been issued with. When
19 we came to the spot where the wires were disrupted, I could see the trail
20 where the column had passed. It was about three metres in width, and the
21 grass and the brush there was basically crushed, there were so many of
22 them. I also saw a car that had been overturned and set on fire. After
23 we fixed that, we returned to the brigade command, whereupon I learned
24 that the vehicle I saw was an ambulance moving from Memici towards the
25 brigade and it had some wounded on board.
1 Q. Can you remember how many days after Srebrenica fell was that?
2 A. I think three or five days.
3 Q. I won't insist, if you cannot recall it.
4 In the course of the few days after Srebrenica had fallen, and,
5 say, in the course of the next week, within the perimeter of the Zvornik
6 Brigade command, did you see any captured Muslims?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. Please describe what you saw.
9 A. I was returning from the restaurant. In the hall way of the
10 building I saw a group. I approached to see what was going on. I saw
11 that a military policeman was leading a prisoner who had camouflage
12 uniform on his upper body. On his lower body he had civilian pants. His
13 arm was covered in blood because he had been wounded. He was taken to
14 the outpatient clinic. He was assisted there and they returned some ten
15 minutes later. I followed them to see what was going on. He was taken
16 out in the street and put on board the first bus that came that way. It
17 was then that I saw that some buses were moving towards Bijeljina. There
18 were several. I didn't count them. I asked what it was all about and
19 was told that these were people that had been captured in Srebrenica.
20 Q. Can you tell us what time of day it was?
21 A. Between 3.00 and 4.00 p.m. I was just leaving after lunch.
22 Q. Can you tell me whether that took place on the same day, when you
23 were sent into the field concerning Memici or did that take place on a
24 different day? Can you give us an estimate?
25 A. It is possible that it was on the same day. We left around 10.00
1 a.m. to re-establish communication lines, and I saw this around 3.00 or
2 4.00 in the afternoon, but I'm not certain.
3 Q. Once the VRS entered Srebrenica and in the course of the
4 subsequent week, did you perform any duty shifts at the IKM?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Can you relate that to the event when you saw the prisoners?
7 A. The next day, in the morning.
8 Q. Do you remember how you went to IKM? What means -- by what
9 means, if any?
10 A. The communications company had been issued with a postal truck, a
11 TAM, with five seats. We were taken to the IKM on board that truck
12 regularly, unless there was an officer accompanying us, in which case we
13 would go by a passenger car and we would all return the next morning.
14 Q. What about that day? Did you use the truck or a car? Was any
15 officer with you?
16 A. I went there on the truck.
17 Q. Once you arrived there, who did you see there? Who was at the
19 A. Once I arrived at the IKM, the only person I saw there was the
20 duty signalsman. There were no officers there.
21 Q. During that day, did any officers arrive to be on duty during the
22 time you were there? Can you remember that?
23 A. No officers arrived during my duty shift. During the shift,
24 however, Commander Vinko Pandurevic came by once, accompanied by two
25 policemen. He asked me whether there was anything new, whether anyone
1 reported anything. He stayed there about 20 minutes and then left the
3 Q. Save for your commander, did any other officers come during your
4 entire shift? First of all, tell us how long did you stay at the IKM on
5 that occasion?
6 A. I stayed three to four days up there, I believe. I was alone.
7 Q. You told us that usually there were two signalsmen on duty. Were
8 there any other signalsmen with you?
9 A. No. I don't remember anyone. I said that it depended on the
10 situation. Shifts changed depending on the situation, at the
11 switchboard, work station and elsewhere.
12 Q. Can you tell me where the IKM was?
13 A. The IKM was in Kitovnice, at Jerkica hill. There was a weekend
14 cottage. It had one room where the switchboard was and a stove. It also
15 had two smaller rooms with beds in them and a narrow passage in between.
16 Q. In order to clarify, how many rooms were there? I'm not sure
17 whether it was recorded correctly.
18 A. There were two separate rooms.
19 Q. In total?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did those shifts take place in both rooms? Perhaps you can
22 explain to us how you made use of them during your shifts.
23 A. In the first room, there was a table with a TC 10 device and
24 another RUP 12. There was a side table as well that we used for coffee.
25 In the other room there were two beds. That's where the officers on duty
1 would take their rest. At the beginning, when we started doing shifts
2 there, we also used the beds but some officers objected and we were
3 forced to bring a container, in which we could rest when off duty.
4 Q. During your shift, do you remember whether some unusual things
5 took place, something that would otherwise stand out compared to other
6 regular duty days?
7 A. During my duty at the IKM, two trenches were opened. I'm trying
8 to say that a gap, a space, was made for the column to be able to move on
9 towards Tuzla during that time.
10 Q. During your stay at the IKM, was there any combat? Could you see
11 or hear anything of the sort?
12 A. From the IKM, one could not see any combat but one could hear it.
13 You could hear shooting.
14 Q. Was there a lot of firing, more than usual, or would that be
15 regular, much as the rest of the war?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. At this point I'm
18 going to object. I think that my friend is leading the witness and he
19 has been for some time but I think at a certain point he should just put
20 the questions directly.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I rephrase my question.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. When you talked about the two trenches being opened for the
1 column to pass through, which day of your shift was that, since you spent
2 several days there?
3 A. I'm not sure whether it was after one or two days. The only
4 thing I know is that when the column was passing through, a soldier was
5 captured and taken over to the Muslim side.
6 I also heard that they asked for some rifles to return that
7 soldier alive. The exchange took place the next day, and indeed he was
9 Q. I have a few additional questions.
10 While you were in the brigade, not at the IKM, in the brigade,
11 between the day when Srebrenica fell and the day you left for the IKM,
12 were you ever asked to go and stand guard next to some prisoners?
13 A. No, I wasn't.
14 Q. Did you hear of any of your fellow soldiers being asked to
15 perform that duty?
16 A. No, I did not.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Acimovic.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
19 Mr. Ostojic, you had requested 15 minutes for cross.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, yes,
21 thank you, we have no questions for this witness.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Nikolic, you had requested one
24 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but I believe my
25 cross-examination will last shorter than that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, please, and could you kindly introduce
2 yourself to the witness, please?
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
5 Q. Good afternoon, sir. I wanted to introduce myself for the
6 record. My name is Jelena Nikolic. I appear on behalf of Mr. Drago
7 Nikolic in this case. Although I know you since we met here in The Hague
8 last Sunday.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I have a few questions to clarify some of your answers during
11 today's testimony.
12 Today you said that after Srebrenica had fallen, you spent
13 several days on duty at the Standard where the command of the brigade was
14 in July 1995?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You had open communication with the battalions during that time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were you sending telegrams to battalions?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Were you sending encrypted or coded telegrams to the battalions
21 in the course of those few days?
22 A. We who worked at the switchboard never sent coded telegrams. We
23 only sent written -- I'm trying to say that we would receive written
24 documents and we would read them out, since it was a voice communication.
25 Q. You also testified that you were on duty at the IKM as well.
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. In the course of the war, or as of the moment when the IKM was
3 established in Kitovnice, how many times did you go there for your duty
5 A. How often? Well, I don't know. Once the IKM was established, I
6 was the first one to go there, and I kept going there until it was
7 closed. Therefore, in the course of that one and a half year, I was
8 there numerous times.
9 Q. Do you know who of the officers was on duty while you were up
11 A. There were many. There was Jokic, Major Jokic. There was Trbic,
12 Mr. Drago Nikolic, Sreten Milosevic, Jovo --
13 Q. Thank you. Were you ever on duty together with Major Mihajlo
15 A. During the whole period of my shifts at the IKM, I was with him
16 the least, perhaps once or twice.
17 Q. Did that perhaps take place in the days following the fall of
18 Srebrenica, while you were up at the IKM?
19 A. While I was on duty in the wake of the fall of Srebrenica, none
20 of the officers were up there at the IKM, as I've already stated.
21 Q. In course of your testimony, you described the devices that you
22 had at the forward command post. This is my question: Did you have a
23 device enabling you to listen in on the enemy and their communications?
24 A. No. We were unable to intercept enemy communications at the IKM.
25 Q. Did there exist an interception station or listening station for
1 the purposes of the brigade, for the purposes of the army, that you were
2 able to use?
3 A. Yes. There existed a listening station called premier, which was
4 at --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the name of the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Acimovic, can you repeat the name of the
8 location, please?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gucevo.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Did you have contacts with Premier at Gucevo while you were at
13 the forward command post and did you exchange messages with them?
14 A. Not at the IKM. We did have contacts with Premier in the
16 Q. However, if a message from Premier was sent to the Zvornik
17 Brigade, it could be received only at the command post and not at the
18 Kitovnice forward command post, if my understanding is correct.
19 A. While I was on duty, Premier never placed a call to Kitovnice.
20 Rather, he directly approached the brigade command and conveyed
21 information there.
22 Q. In your testimony today, you said that signalsmen had their own
23 duty logbook and officers had their own. I believe you did not have
24 occasion to review an officer's logbook but nevertheless you would be
25 familiar with the outward appearance of the book?
1 A. Yes. We had our own logbook, and the officers had their own. We
2 were not privy to their logbooks, and we were not interested in reading
3 them. They were supposed to write the same things we did, because they
4 were reading our logbook and it depended entirely on them as to what
5 information contained in our logbook would end up in theirs.
6 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can the witness be
7 shown Exhibit -- Prosecution Exhibit 377, page -- or rather pages 130 and
8 131 in the B/C/S and pages 24 and 25 in English.
9 Q. Mr. Acimovic, while we are waiting for the document to appear on
10 our screens, let me explain to you that this is a logbook of the duty
11 operations officer of the brigade and I'm interested in his entries. You
12 may not have seen the document before but when I show it to you, I'll ask
13 you to explain to me precisely what we have been discussing right now,
14 Premier, and the messages received from that quarter.
15 Page 130.
16 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Can we move it up where it starts
17 with 1503?
18 Q. Mr. Acimovic, do you see the entry for -- or rather the entry
19 which says, "1503, Semso"?
20 A. Yes, yes, Semso preparing an action, Premier sends this message.
21 Q. Can you read on?
22 A. "Premier asks for --" I can't read this.
23 Q. Can we have page 131 now?
24 Can you please look at the entry that we have at the top of the
25 page, starting with the word --
1 A. "Premier entered --" rather, we have "premier" and then it says
2 "entered, has entered, has come in."
3 Q. "And cleared of mines"?
4 A. "Has entered and cleared of mines." Or probably "has cleared the
5 area between dugouts or something, cleared of mines.
6 Q. Would you agree with me that all the three entries we've looked
7 at originated with the Premier or rather he was the one who sent them?
8 A. Yes, he sent these messages, Premier sent these messages.
9 Q. It says here that an attack is being prepared and that the enemy
10 has broken through our positions, through the houses or piles or
12 A. Yes, for the column to be able to pass through.
13 Q. Can we have P935? Page 8 in the B/C/S and 6 in English.
14 Mr. Acimovic, this is a logbook kept by the duty officer at the
15 IKM. The entry is for the 14th of July, as was the case with the other
16 logbook we were looking at.
17 Mr. Acimovic, please focus on the entry for the 14th of July
18 1995, the second paragraph starting with, "The enemy forces."
19 A. I really can't make out what it says here.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Why? Why is it? Because it is too small? What's
21 your problem? Or because you can't read the handwriting?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't read the handwriting.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: To me it's big enough but maybe if we could try to
24 zoom in a little bit, magnify it a little bit?
25 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can read this out
1 for the witness, unless my learned friends object to that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Ms. Nikolic.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: We have the original book if you would prefer.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. Show him the original book but to me
5 this is clear enough. It's only that I don't understand the --
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Or she can read it. I have no position on that.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. There is no position. There is no
8 objection, Madam Nikolic, if you wish to read the entry. Go ahead.
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, I will read
10 this out for the witness.
11 Q. "The enemy forces through the communications devices very active
12 and conducting preparations for an attack on our forces. According to
13 what has been announced, they cleared several areas of mines that had
14 been laid there for the purposes of the attack."
15 Did you understand what I've just read out, Mr. Acimovic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I have a question for you. As a signalsman, present at the IKM,
18 were you able to listen in on the communications of the enemy and were
19 you able to conclude if the enemy was very active on the communications
20 lines and were you able to convey such information at the IKM?
21 A. The enemy communication lines could not be listened into at the
22 IKM. That much I've already said.
23 Q. And one was not able to know if the enemy was active, was busy
24 communicating and preparing for an attack?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's objectionable and that is calling for
2 speculation on the part of this witness.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic?
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't want the
5 witness to speculate.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And I think it's an unnecessary question because if
7 the witness confirms that there was no way they could intercept, why put
8 the second question? But anyway, it's up to you to withdraw this
9 question and move to the next or if you wish to put the same question,
10 you need to rephrase it in a way which makes it intelligible.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
12 withdraw the question. You're right. The witness has fully answered the
14 Q. I have several questions left for you, Mr. Acimovic.
15 From your experience as a signalsman, can you tell us what the
16 title of your Kitovnice IKM was within the communications system?
17 A. The name for the IKM was Palma 2. That was how we introduced
19 Q. Was your basic task at the IKM to maintain communications with
20 seven battalions of the Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. Yes. We checked our communications arm, meaning the IKM
22 communications with the battalions on a daily basis.
23 Q. One more question: Did you know the family by the name of Jerkic
24 at Kitovnice?
25 A. Yes. They were our next-door neighbours.
1 Q. Did the signalsmen have any dealings with the family?
2 A. Yes. They would visit us quite often, bring us milk and food
3 that they had prepared for us. We were on very good terms.
4 Q. Thank you. Whoever was on duty at the IKM had to be acquainted
5 with the Jerkic family; is that right?
6 A. Yes, they were on good terms with everyone.
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
8 further questions.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. Mr. Lazarevic? You had requested 25
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour, we did, but we are not going to
12 cross-examine this witness, his evidence --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Madam Fauveau, s'il vous
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions for this witness, Your
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. Mr. Krgovic?
18 MR. KRGOVIC: We have no questions for this witness, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Sarapa, equally so?
20 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] We never announced that we would
21 cross-examine. However now we do have some questions which would
22 probably take no more than five minutes probably, so we would kindly ask
23 to you allow us to put some questions to the witness.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course, Mr. Sarapa, thank you.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Acimovic, I'm Djordje Sarapa I'm appearing
2 for Vinko Pandurevic in this case.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. A few very short questions for you. Can you tell me whether you
5 know where Cajici Brdo is?
6 A. Yes. It was an observation post.
7 Q. Was that at the IKM?
8 A. Yes, it was at the IKM.
9 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether the commander, and I'm referring
10 to Mr. Vinko Pandurevic, at the time when you were up there and when you
11 were talking about the events that you witnessed at the IKM, whether he
12 commanded from the observation post?
13 A. There was no telephone at the observation post. There was a line
14 which means when an officer arrived at the observation post, the
15 signalsman who was off at the time had to go to the observation post, he
16 had to establish a telephone line with Palma 2, so I did not see
17 Mr. Pandurevic ever being at the observation post or at least he never
18 asked any of us to come and accompany him and at the time I was on my
20 Q. Do you know whether, from the observation post or from the IKM,
21 you could observe the positions of the 4th Infantry Battalion at the time
22 when you were there?
23 A. I personally went to the observation post only once. There was
24 no need for me to go there. Our duty was to be at the switchboard, save
25 for those occasions when an officer would ask us to accompany them to the
1 observation post. This would be the only time when we went. I did not
2 watch out for the lines of the 4th Battalion.
3 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions. I would like
4 to ask -- thank the Chamber for allowing me to put the questions to the
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Sarapa. Mr. Vanderpuye, you had
7 asked for an hour and a half. How long do you expect?
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: I expect it will be somewhat shorter than that,
9 Mr. President, hopefully for about an hour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead and start, and if you can cut it even
11 further, it will be better. So in the meantime make sure staff,
12 registrar, that the next witness is properly groomed, okay?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, if it would be all right with the
14 Court I would prefer we take a break first.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course. I was going to suggest it but I
16 held back not knowing whether I would have everyone agreeing to it.
17 We'll have a 25-minute break now. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President, thank you.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Acimovic. My name is Kweku Vanderpuye. I'm
24 an attorney with the Prosecution. I'm going to ask you a few questions
25 in relation to your direct testimony.
1 You testified on your direct examination that you had been
2 dispatched to the area of Memici. Is that right?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Okay. Well, you testified that you were dispatched at some point
5 to go and repair certain lines. Do you recall that testimony?
6 A. Yes. I was dispatched to repair the lines with the Memici
8 Q. And you indicated that you left for that purpose, the command of
9 the brigade, at around 10.00 a.m.?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And when you were dispatched to that area you also indicated that
12 you saw a vehicle that you later learned was an ambulance that had been
13 set on fire?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At the time that you observed the ambulance, was it on fire?
16 A. There was just smoke. The vehicle was not on fire.
17 Q. So when you saw it, it was still smoking?
18 I'm sorry, I didn't receive a translation of the answer. When
19 you saw the vehicle, was it still smoking?
20 A. Yes. There was just some smoke, not much.
21 Q. Did that occur in the vicinity of Planinci village?
22 A. That was in the vicinity of Crni Vrh, where we were dispatched to
23 in order to repair the line. That's where the line had been disrupted.
24 Q. And is that in the area, the same area, where you saw the
1 A. Yes, the same area, the same place.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Could I have in e-court, please, 65 ter 377?
3 And we need the 02935619 complete version and it's page 139 in both the
4 B/C/S and the English.
5 Q. Sir, what I want to show you an entry from the duty officer's
6 notebook for the 15th of July and if I could, could we make our way down
7 the page? Okay. Right there where it says it appears to be "nestao."
8 Could you read that? Have you had a chance to read that, sir?
9 A. Yes, this appeared with the wounded Velibor Pekic, Milos Tesic,
10 Mladen Stevic, around 6.45, between Crni Vrh and Orahovac.
11 Q. Is that the incident you're referring to or the circumstances
12 that you were referring to when you say that you saw an ambulance in that
14 A. There were no other vehicles. There was no other ambulance when
15 we were dispatched to the field around 10.00, 10.30.
16 Q. All right. But what I mean is that that is the area in which you
17 saw the ambulance that's indicated in this entry, on the road between
18 Crni Vrh and Orahovac?
19 A. Crni Vrh, Orahovac, yes, and we re-established the line below
20 Crni Vrh in the direction of Orahovac.
21 Q. Thank you. After you repaired the line, you went back to the
22 brigade command; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you've indicated that you're not sure if it was on that day
25 that you saw some prisoners?
1 A. Yes. I said that I wasn't sure. It is possible that I saw them
2 on that day between 1500 and 1600 hours. On that day, I was dispatched
3 around 10.00, so I'm not sure whether I saw the prisoners the day before
4 or on that same day. I'm not sure.
5 Q. Okay. But in any event, you were dispatched to this area where
6 you saw the ambulance from the brigade command; is that right?
7 A. We didn't know that the ambulance would be there where the line
8 was disrupted. We had been informed that the line had been disrupted and
9 I went to provide security for the place because we knew that the column
10 was moving in that direction and we had to stand there with rifles until
11 the moment the line was repaired, and when we arrived, we saw that the
12 cables had been broken right in the place where the column had moved
13 through and it is in that place where we also saw the vehicle.
14 Q. Okay. All right. You testified earlier that you went to the IKM
15 at some point after you saw this ambulance; is that right?
16 A. No. I said that I went to the IKM -- actually, I saw the
17 prisoner, I repaired the line, and then on the following day, I went to
18 the IKM, but I wouldn't be able to give you the exact date of any of
19 these events. I can't tell you whether my sighting of the prisoner
20 coincided with the other thing or not or maybe it was one day before or
21 one day after, I'm not sure. Which means that on the following day I
22 went to the IKM.
23 Q. This is the following day after you saw the ambulance or after
24 you saw the prisoners?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Asked and answered.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Actually I don't think the witness has answered
4 the question. He's indicated he's done three things and he doesn't
5 recall specifically what order they were done.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: This is the answer. He didn't recall.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. And if he doesn't recall, how is he going to
9 give you an answer to your last question?
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: He doesn't recall which order he did the three
11 things and I'm asking him specifically in relation to two of them.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see if he can be more precise.
13 Mr. Acimovic, can you be more precise in your answer?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said the following: I saw both
15 these things and then I went to the IKM, which means I saw the prisoner,
16 I saw the ambulance, I repaired the line, and then I went to the IKM.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE:
18 Q. All right. Thank you for that, Mr. Acimovic.
19 I have no further questions for you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there re-examination?
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Acimovic, we don't have any questions, further
23 questions, for you, neither from parties nor from the Bench, which means
24 that your testimony finishes here. And you will be escorted out of the
25 courtroom by our staff. On behalf of the Trial Chamber I wish to thank
1 you for having come over to give testimony and I wish you a safe journey
2 back home.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, exhibits?
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no exhibits for tendering.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Nikolic?
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the exhibits that have
10 been shown to the witness are already in evidence, so we don't have any
11 other documents to tender.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And you, Mr. Vanderpuye?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have none.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Same. Same position, all right. Thank you. That
15 concludes the testimony of Mr. Acimovic. And the next one is Gordan --
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I could ask just one very short
17 break because the witness came to The Hague last night and we had no
18 opportunity to show him the courtroom and -- it would take just five to
19 ten minutes.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection from me, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection or no objection, I said. No objection,
22 all right.
23 Okay. There is a logistical problem in the sense that I am
24 informed the witness is not yet here. He is on his way. Because he was
25 somehow informed that he would start his testimony at what time? At
1 5.00. That means he should be here at 4.30, he should be here at 4.30.
2 So as soon as he's here, please liaise with Mr. Zivanovic so that this
3 logistic business is dealt with. We will be downstairs in our respective
4 Chambers. You'll let us know and we'll come up and resume the sitting.
5 Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: If you need a longer break, you can have a longer
8 break, but then we won't have a break afterwards. We'll continue until
9 we finish.
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We cannot do that? No?
12 I do not dare resist.
13 So, okay, we will be in our rooms. Please let us know and we'll
14 come up and continue.
15 --- Break taken at 4.20 p.m.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 --- On resuming at 4.33 p.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Bjelanovic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. We are going to
21 start with your evidence soon. You are a witness called by the Defence
22 of Colonel Vujadin Popovic [Realtime transcript read in error "Vinko
23 Pandurevic"]. Before you start giving evidence, our rules require that
24 you make a solemn declaration, which Madam Usher is showing you at the
25 moment and handing to you. Please read it out aloud and that will be
1 your undertaking with us.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: GORDAN BJELANOVIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Please make yourself
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, the translation was wrong on the page 30,
10 line 17, it is said that he is witness of Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, but I said definitely Popovic. Thank
12 you for the correction. Unless General Pandurevic wants to adopt him.
13 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
14 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bjelanovic.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. For the record could you please state your name and your family
19 A. Gordan Bjelanovic.
20 Q. When and where were you born?
21 A. On the 7th of August 1966 in Vlasenica.
22 Q. Tell us something about your educational background.
23 A. I'm an auto mechanic.
24 Q. Where did you work before the beginning of the war in
1 A. I worked in Sarajevo.
2 Q. Were you a member of a political party?
3 A. Yes, I was.
4 Q. Which one?
5 A. The Party of Serbian Unity.
6 Q. When was that? During what period of time?
7 A. From 1994 to 1996.
8 Q. Were you ever a member of a paramilitary formation?
9 A. No.
10 Q. When were you mobilised?
11 A. In April 1992.
12 Q. What unit were you mobilised into?
13 A. Into the MUP of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. How long did you stay with the MUP of Republika Srpska?
15 A. Until September 1992.
16 Q. What happened then? Were you transferred to some other duty or
17 to another unit?
18 A. I was wounded in an ambush and transferred to another unit.
19 Q. Can you tell us where this incident happened?
20 A. This happened in Metali near Cerska.
21 Q. Where were you wounded? In which part of the body?
22 A. It was in the left lower leg and in the head.
23 Q. Having recovered from your wounds, did you go back to the MUP or
24 were you transferred to another unit?
25 A. I was transferred to another unit, to the assault detachment.
1 Q. How long did you stay with that unit?
2 A. I stayed with that unit it was re-established and became the
3 military police battalion of the Drina Corps.
4 Q. Can you please tell me what duties did you have in that assault
5 detachment to which you were assigned after the wounding?
6 A. I was the APC driver, which was used to pull out the wounded and
7 also to supply the VRS members with supplies, with food and ammunition.
8 Q. And when you were attached to the military police of the Drina
9 Corps, what did you do there as a member of the military police?
10 A. I was a military policeman which means I provided security for
11 various facilities. I was also a driver for a number of high-ranking
12 officers, and I did all the other things that were within the purview of
13 the military police.
14 Q. Just briefly, can you give us a list of those tasks of the
15 military police? What were those tasks that you performed in addition to
16 being a driver?
17 A. I provided security for high-ranking officers who would come to
18 the Drina Corps command. Moreover, I would bring in VRS soldiers who had
19 deserted from the front lines, who had committed certain crimes such as
20 theft and so on.
21 Q. What about your uniforms? Did your uniforms in the Drina Corps
22 differ from the uniforms of other members of the VRS? And if they did,
23 could you please describe the differences?
24 A. The uniforms were the same, but we had different insignia on the
25 left shoulder. We had an emblem with the inscription the 5th Battalion
1 of the military police, and underneath it says the military police of
2 Drina Corps, and there was a coat of arms and beneath that, every soldier
3 had its own number assigned to him, from 1 upwards. As for the rest,
4 everything was the same, the uniforms were the same. The military
5 policemen who only controlled check-points for traffic, who provided
6 traffic control, they had white belts.
7 Q. Does this mean that the markings on the shoulder that you have
8 just described were worn by all members of the police, irrespective of
9 their affiliation?
10 A. All save for those who worked at the command building. They did
11 not have the same markings. For example, the cooks, the auxiliary staff,
12 the personnel who worked in the building and who did not move around,
13 like we policemen did.
14 Q. You said that the policemen who regulated traffic at check-points
15 wore white belts. Did military policemen wear white belts in other --
16 any other circumstances?
17 A. No, only when manning check-points.
18 Q. When you arrived in the battalion, first of all, can you remember
19 how many people there were, how many soldiers of the -- and military
20 police battalion in the Drina Corps?
21 A. Those of us who came from the assault detachment, together with
22 those who had been at the MP battalion before, there were around 100 of
23 us in total. Maybe more. However, after some seven to 10 days later,
24 those who didn't like being transferred to the military police asked to
25 be sent back to their respective units which were closer to their homes,
1 such as Milici, Sekovici, Bratunac, and so it happened. Therefore, only
2 around 60 of us remained at the MP Battalion.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to interrupt. I just wondered if we could
5 get a date. It wasn't completely clear to me when he came from the
6 assault group to the Battalion.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. I was thinking of the same thing.
8 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic and Witness, Mr. Bjelanovic, if you could see to that,
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I try to clarify it with the witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Please do.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Bjelanovic, approximately or perhaps precisely, can you tell
14 us when the assault detachment was made part of the military police of
15 the Drina Corps?
16 A. I think in 1993. I don't recall the exact date. I think it was
17 around August.
18 Q. When you said that only around 60 of you remained in the MP
19 Battalion, at what time was it? When was that, when there were 60 of
21 A. In 1993. That's how many remained. From the moment people were
22 being transferred to the military police, people kept leaving as well, in
23 small groups, three or five of them, and then they would be sent to other
24 units which were closer to their homes. And besides, we did not have the
25 conditions necessary to billet so many policemen.
1 Q. Can you tell me approximately how many MP members were there in
2 the summer of 1995? We are particularly interested in July, if you know.
3 A. Around 40, 40 military policemen.
4 Q. When you arrived, who commanded your unit of the military police,
5 when you arrived in 1993?
6 A. The commander of the military police was Lieutenant Miladin
8 Q. Who commanded that unit in 1995?
9 A. Ratko Vujovic, Lieutenant.
10 Q. I will move on to the relevant period, this being the summer of
11 1995, in particular July. Can you tell me approximately, and if you
12 recall, what tasks did the military police unit have in addition to the
13 regular military police tasks?
14 A. The military police at that time was at the front lines. We had
15 to cover the part of the lines at Kocar where the Bratunac Brigade
16 soldiers had left, had abandoned the front line. We had to cover it, to
17 link up the separated parts of the front line. Some policemen remained
18 in Vlasenica to secure buildings and man the check-point there and
19 regulate the traffic, but it was seven or eight of them in total.
20 Q. Can you tell me precisely what your post was per establishment in
21 July 1995? What was the name of the position and the tasks you executed?
22 A. Driver/escort. I acted as driver when needed and escorted the
23 officers of the Drina Corps, and the building -- securing the building as
25 Q. How many of you worked on the same job, had the same tasks you
2 A. At that time, I was alone. There was another soldier later on
3 who acted only as escort, not as driver.
4 Q. When you say "at that time," please tell me when precisely.
5 Perhaps we were not on the same page.
6 A. 1995. 1995. It was then that I was driver and an escort.
7 Q. You said that you were driver to certain Drina Corps officers.
8 Could you please name some of them?
9 A. General Krstic, then the then Colonel Andric, as well as other
10 officers as needed. I would take them wherever necessary.
11 Q. Did anyone else act as driver besides you?
12 A. I was the only driver of General Krstic, and Dalibor Krstic also
13 acted as his driver. It was the two of us who acted as his drivers.
14 Then there was Tosic as well.
15 Q. Do you know, in 1995, who was deputy commander for security in
16 the Drina Corps? Who was the chief of the security sector?
17 A. Deputy organ for security?
18 Q. The organ of security, who was also deputy commander for
20 A. I know it was Vujadin Popovic, Colonel.
21 Q. In July 1995 -- let me ask you this first: Do you remember
22 whether the Drina Corps had any part in the operation concerning
24 A. I do.
25 Q. Do you remember the dates?
1 A. I can't recall any particular dates. I can only recall the exact
3 Q. Can you recall the month?
4 A. I do. I can.
5 Q. What month was it?
6 A. July.
7 Q. At that time, in July 1995, did you see Vujadin Popovic?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Before I move on to another question in relation to that, I
10 wanted to ask you the following. Whilst you were a member of the 5th MP
11 Battalion, who issued you orders?
12 A. We were issued orders by Ratko Vujovic, commander of the military
13 police. Ratko Vujovic in turn probably received his orders from the
14 corps commander.
15 Q. While you were with the Drina Corps military police, did you
16 receive any orders directly from Vujadin Popovic?
17 A. No, we did not.
18 Q. To go back to where I left off, can you please recall July 1995?
19 Did you, and where, see Vujadin Popovic? If you did, can you tell us in
20 what circumstances?
21 A. I saw him mostly in Vlasenica, because our MP Battalion building
22 was next to the corps command building. That's where I would usually see
23 him. I don't know what you mean exactly.
24 Q. Excuse me. Do you remember you, at all, any particular events,
25 particular occasion on which you saw him, which would be out of the
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. Did you know who commanded the Drina Corps in July?
4 A. The Drina Corps command was General Zivanovic.
5 Q. Did he command the corps the whole month?
6 A. He commanded the corps during the Srebrenica operation. Later,
7 General Krstic was appointed the corps commander.
8 Q. Do you know, or how did you come to know, that General Krstic was
9 appointed the corps commander?
10 A. Once Srebrenica fell, in front of the Drina Corps building, the
11 officers were lined up, the officers of the Drina Corps command, and
12 there was a handover of duties between Generals Zivanovic and Krstic. I
13 think at the time Krstic was still colonel. The duties were handed over
14 and there was a lineup of the officers. General Mladic attended as well,
15 and he directed the handover between the generals.
16 Q. Did you see that?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. I will not inquire about the date since you said you cannot
19 remember precise dates, but can you tell me what time of day it was?
20 A. Perhaps around noon or just after noon.
21 Q. You said that the officers were lined up, the officers of the
22 corps. Was the military police unit lined up as well, your unit, that
24 A. We were not because many military policemen were absent. They
25 were at the Kocari front line. There were only a few military policemen
1 there and the personnel in the building.
2 Q. On that day, when it was taking place, were you tasked with
3 anything particular in Vlasenica, you and the soldiers who were there?
4 A. We were supposed to secure the building where it was all taking
5 place. There were also two military policemen at the check-point just
6 outside Vlasenica controlling the traffic. There were not enough of us
7 to provide any extended security in the town itself. There was also no
8 need for such a thing.
9 Q. You mean there was no need to provide any security in the town
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On that occasion, did any of the officers participate in the
13 organisation of security and the activities pertaining to the event?
14 A. Yes. In my view, Vujadin Popovic should have been in charge of
15 security, since he was in charge of security at the command. He was in
16 charge of building security under the circumstances that prevailed at the
17 time, and here I mean the number of military policemen he had at his
19 Q. Please clarify. Did you see something of the sort or is this
20 your assumption?
21 A. I saw it. I saw my commander, Ratko Vujovic and Vujadin Popovic.
22 He was on the spot. They participated in the organisation of the
23 seminar -- ceremony. That is what I saw.
24 Q. Another thing: When such security is being provided, when a
25 visit of a senior officer is expected, such as the visit of General
1 Mladic, how much time before his arrival are things being put in place?
2 And how long does it all last?
3 A. When General Ratko Mladic used to come, things were being
4 organised much earlier. We would secure the building, the route, with
5 the critical points where enemy groups may access the route. It was all
6 done in advance because usually we never knew the exact time of his
7 arrival, for his security. It was for his personal safety. Nobody knew
8 the exact time. Perhaps he would show up two or three times [as
9 interpreted] in advance or later, and the same procedure applied once he
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: In translation, it is page 41, line 2. It is
12 said two or three times. It was hours, two or three hours.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. To be on the safe side, let's clear this up. Perhaps my
16 intervention wasn't clear enough.
17 My question was: Before the arrival of a high-ranking officer
18 such as Mr. Mladic, how much ahead of that time did the military police
19 have to put in place these security measures?
20 A. At least two hours in advance.
21 Q. Thank you. Tell me, if you remember, if the same applied to that
22 particular occasion when General Mladic came to Vlasenica.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you tell me how long it takes to put these security measures
25 in place before such an individual's arrival?
1 A. It depends on how long it takes for the individual to arrive. At
2 any rate, the preparations would take as long as it would take for the
3 general to arrive to that particular spot.
4 Q. We have an error in the interpretation. You understood my
5 question because it says how long it takes before the arrival, whereas
6 you were speaking about how long it took for these security measures to
7 be implemented as of his arrival onwards; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In other words, are these measures in place for as long as he's
10 there and until he leaves? For instance in that case, in Vlasenica, were
11 they in force until he left elsewhere?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell me, please, how did you address Mr. Popovic, by which title?
14 A. Colonel, sir. Or Lieutenant Colonel. Whatever the rank he held
15 at the time.
16 Q. Did you hear other soldiers addressing him or, rather, did you
17 hear what the form of address used by others was? I didn't understand
18 your answer. Does it mean that that was the way everyone addressed him
19 or you addressed him?
20 A. All the soldiers addressed him by, "Colonel, sir," as was the
21 case with any officer, depending on the rank the individual held.
22 Q. Was that a rule?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was that rule complied with in general in the army of Republika
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did there ever happen that any of the soldiers would address
3 Mr. Popovic by name or by his nickname? And did you ever witness any
4 such situation, that such a soldier would address Mr. Popovic directly in
5 this way?
6 A. None of the soldiers did. Only his colleagues who were
7 themselves officers would address him by Pop and such like. Common
8 soldiers did not do that.
9 Q. Do you remember if Vujadin Popovic ever used a vehicle?
10 A. He had a car of the Golf make. We referred it to Dvojka or Golf
12 Q. Did the Drina Corps have several vehicles, the Drina Corps have
13 several vehicles of that same make?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you per chance remember the colour of the vehicle that he
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, at this point I'm going to start
19 objecting to leading. The question could have been how many Golfs were
20 there in the Drina Corps motor pool.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, he is right. Please adjust your --
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Absolutely. I will adjust my question.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It's basically too late now. Let's move.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you recall the colour of the car he used at the time?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you remember if the vehicle he used was set aside for his
3 purposes, that's to say for the purposes of the security organs, or was
4 the vehicle used by others too?
5 A. The vehicle belonged to the security organ. What needs to be
6 said is that the vehicle was not driven by Vujadin Popovic. It was
7 driven by drivers. I didn't see Popovic often by the car. I saw Dusan
8 Vucetic, who was a driver. He was the driver of the security organ while
9 driving other vehicles too. That was his profession. That was his post.
10 He was a driver.
11 Q. When you say that this individual drove other cars as well, does
12 that mean that he drove other individuals, other officers, or did he only
13 drive Popovic?
14 A. He drove others too, in the same car. There weren't enough
15 vehicles to go around, so the same vehicle had to be used to transport
16 other individuals as well.
17 Q. Following this event, that's to say when you were in Vlasenica
18 and when General Mladic arrived, did you stay on in Vlasenica or did you
19 go elsewhere?
20 A. I went to the IKM, in the direction of Zepa. IKM, that's to say
21 the forward command post in the direction of Zepa. That's where I went.
22 Q. Was this on that same day or --
23 A. No, it was on the following day.
24 Q. Where exactly did you travel on your way to Zepa? What was the
25 route you took?
1 A. I don't know exactly the name of the place, whether Kusace or
2 Krivace, I'm not sure. It's been a while. I don't remember.
3 Q. Do you remember what the location was and why you went there?
4 A. There was the IKM there, where presumably Zepa was supposed to
5 have been done. That was my understanding of it, since I saw the
6 communications vehicles there and other vehicles present there.
7 Q. On that occasion, as you went there, do you recall what time of
8 day it was?
9 A. No. I don't know exactly. I believe it was around noon. We
10 stayed there until the evening.
11 Q. Do you recall seeing some officers there? Who did you see at the
12 location where you got to and where you stayed until the evening hours,
13 as you say?
14 A. I saw certain officers, communications officers, as well as
15 Vujadin Popovic. I can't recall the names of all the officers who were
16 there now.
17 Q. How long did you stay there? Did you spend the night there, or
18 did you go elsewhere?
19 A. We stayed there until the evening hours, because that was when
20 General Krstic was brought there, and we then returned to Vlasenica.
21 Q. Was it dark already at the time?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let me ask you something else. At the time of the operation
24 around Srebrenica, did your unit, that's to say the military police of
25 the Drina Corps, go into the AOR of the Zvornik Brigade, to your
2 A. No, it didn't.
3 Q. So that's your testimony, that it didn't go?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We have information to the effect that certain -- in certain
6 places around Zvornik, some soldiers were sighted with the insignias
7 reading the military police of the Drina Corps on their arms. Since you
8 say that the Drina Corps police -- military police did not go over there,
9 how would you account for the fact that some individuals were spotted
10 wearing the insignia that were normally worn only by members of your
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Maybe I should have waited for the end of the
14 question but the witness has given his answer and I think he's now
15 saying -- I understood --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: If --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Asking him how he can account for other witnesses
18 is not a proper question.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic? He may have an explanation.
20 So I think it's a very valid question. Go ahead, Mr. Bjelanovic. Can
21 you answer the question?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Then go ahead, please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since there were around a hundred
25 of us, soldiers of the Drina Corps, members of the military police, who
1 wore insignia on our left arms, the soldiers would normally retain the
2 insignia on their uniform, so even if they ceased being members of the
3 military police and became members of other units of the Drina Corps,
4 they kept the insignia. I myself saw them wearing the insignia. It
5 facilitated their movement because they didn't have personal vehicles at
6 their disposal, it would be much easier for them to find transportation
7 from one place to another. So they abused the insignia. I know that
8 Ratko Vujovic requested that the insignia be given back to the military
9 police. We ourselves went back to give the insignia back to the unit,
10 but very few people did that.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's all. Thank you,
12 Mr. Bjelanovic. I don't have further questions for the witness.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Mr. Ostojic? You had
14 asked for 50 minutes.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. No questions, Your
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Madam Nikolic, you confirm that you
18 have no questions for this witness?
19 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Madam. Mr. Lazarevic? You had
21 asked for ten minutes.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: No questions, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Madam Fauveau, you had asked for ten
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. Mr. Josse, you had asked for ten
3 MR. JOSSE: Same as my learned friends, no questions.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Sarapa, you had indicated no
5 cross-examination. Do you stick to that or have you thought about
6 changing your mind?
7 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Nicholls, you had asked for
9 two and a half hours.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I know we had a break recently. If
11 I could have a short break to meet with Mr. McCloskey, I may be able to
12 make this much shorter.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I dread to ask you, Madam Registrar, in case
14 you tell me no, we can't. It's half past 5.00. If we have the break
15 now, would it be okay? Yes? Okay. Thank you. So we'll have 25
17 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
22 Q. Mr. Bjelanovic, my name as the Judges told you is Julian
23 Nicholls. I'll be asking you some questions now, okay?
24 A. Okay.
25 Q. When did you first meet Vujadin Popovic?
1 A. Vujadin Popovic? When I joined the 5th Battalion of the military
2 police in the corps.
3 Q. Before that you had never met him in any capacity at all?
4 A. No, I didn't know him.
5 Q. Okay. When you were in that -- I'll get the name right --
6 assault detachment, who was the commander?
7 A. The commander was Miso Pelemis.
8 Q. Do you remember the name Miroslav Kraljevic, Milos Lakic, were
9 they in that detachment with you?
10 A. Mica Kraljevic replaced Miso Pelemis as the commander of the
11 assault detachment.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 339 up, please?
14 Your Honour, just for the transcript I believe the witness said
15 Miso Pelemis and -- there we go.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Okay. If we look at the person at number 43, I'm sorry, I don't
19 have a translation of this, Your Honour, but it's a list, it's simply a
20 list, and the heading states, "List of members of the VP 7118 Han Pijesak
21 assault detachment," in parentheses. This is your assault detachment,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You recognise some of these names on here, I guess, if you take a
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Okay. Let's go to the second page quickly. And we've got there,
3 Commandant Major Vujadin Popovic and his signature. Right?
4 A. Vujadin Popovic was not the commander of the assault detachment.
5 Q. And do you have an explanation, then, for this document, which
6 lists your members and him signing off on the list of members?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May I see the original of this document?
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't have it in court with me, Your Honour.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have strong doubt in the authenticity.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, that's a speaking objection which is
12 not necessary. I don't have the original with me in court but I can
13 provide it to him at any time.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I think that's how it's done. I think at
15 this moment making such a statement in the presence of the witness is not
16 exactly what you should be doing. Please proceed, Mr. Nicholls.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I -- may I answer the question, Your Honour?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Just asking if he can --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Do you have an explanation of why Mr. Popovic has signed this
24 A. I don't know who could have signed this. I'm not familiar with
25 Mr. Vujadin Popovic's signature. I never saw any documents with
1 signatures. I was a mere member of the detachment that just carried out
2 orders. I never had an occasion to look at any documents. As for the
3 names, I am familiar with the names of these people, some of whom were
4 indeed members of the assault detachment.
5 Q. All right. Let's now change topics and talk about what you were
6 doing, you personally, during the month of July 1995. All right?
7 A. All right.
8 Q. Now, just take me through very briefly that month, let's start
9 off, first week of July, what are your duties as a driver and escort?
10 What are you doing?
11 A. Well, when I was in Vlasenica at the time, in the Military Police
12 Battalion, for a short while I was General Krstic's driver. I provided
13 the security for the building, and I did everything else that a military
14 policeman is supposed to do when on duty.
15 Q. What was the short time when you were his driver, from when to
16 when, in July 1995?
17 A. I don't know exactly, but, for example, I would take him
18 somewhere in the morning and I would return on the same day. I was not
19 his regular driver. He had his own driver that took him around, and I
20 would join as a driver and as an escort to also provide security for
21 General Krstic. That was my main role.
22 Q. Okay. Who was his regular driver, again? Dalibor Krstic, right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know that man, Dalibor Krstic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Now, you said you would take Krstic somewhere in the
2 morning and return the same day. Where are some of the places that you
3 would take him? And I want to start off with before the fall of
4 Srebrenica. Where did you take General Krstic?
5 A. Before the fall of Srebrenica, I took General Krstic to an area
6 between Bratunac and Potocari, where the separation line was. Then he
7 would pay a visit to the brigade, he would meet up with some people from
8 the brigade, and I would take him back to Vlasenica the same day.
9 Q. And how long is this before the fall of Srebrenica? How many
11 A. I don't understand, what do you mean by how many days?
12 Q. How many days? You said before the fall of Srebrenica you took
13 General Krstic to Bratunac and Potocari and the separation line. I'm
14 asking you how many days before the fall was this. If you don't
15 remember, you don't remember, but that's the question, though.
16 A. I really don't know exactly but I know that this was before
17 Srebrenica, indeed.
18 Q. Okay. Do you remember the fall of Srebrenica? Or liberation?
19 A. Yes, I know when it happened. I remember when it happened. But
20 I was not in Srebrenica or anywhere near so as to know what actually
22 Q. Okay. When did it fall, if you remember? What's the date?
23 A. I think on the 12th or the 13th of July thereabouts. I don't
24 know exactly. I don't know which of the two dates but I know that it was
25 on one of them.
1 Q. Okay. Whatever the date it was, where were you when Srebrenica
3 A. I was in a place called Vuksic Polje. That's where my wife hails
4 from. And my brother-in-law, my wife's brother, was supposed to be sent
5 off to the VRS army. This is according to our Serbian customs, whenever
6 somebody is supposed to join the army, he is given a big sendoff.
7 However, this time, the send-off was very short, maybe only two or three
8 hours. And then we heard that Muslim soldiers killed a man and wounded
9 another in that same village, in front of Milici, some six kilometres in
10 front of Milici. That's what interrupted our celebration. We did not go
11 on partying. We had to take care of the women and children who were
12 there. And I remained in that village.
13 Q. Okay. So essentially the day Srebrenica falls, you had the day
14 off for this traditional celebration? Is that right?
15 A. Yes. That's one day. Actually it was in the evening, just one
17 Q. All right. And then tell me about the next day. Did you stay in
18 that village, Vuksic Polje, to protect the women and children, or what
19 did you do?
20 A. No. I returned to Vlasenica, to the police, and the other people
21 stayed there. It's different when it's daylight. People came from
22 Milici, members of that brigade came, and obviously they protected not
23 only that village but also all the other villages through which armed
24 members of the Muslim army were passing.
25 Q. Okay. So then the next day, what time do you get back to
1 Vlasenica, to the Drina Corps headquarters, the day after Srebrenica
3 A. I really can't remember. I can't remember the time.
4 Q. Well, before lunch, after lunch?
5 A. When Srebrenica fell, maybe you did not understand me. It was
6 not before lunch. It was much after lunch. It all happened in the
7 evening hours, not during the day. It was rather later in the evening
8 and on the following day I left.
9 Q. Let's be clear. You talked about the day Srebrenica fell which
10 was -- you've explained that. I'm talking about the next day when you
11 said you got back to Vlasenica. I want to know what time you returned to
12 Vlasenica on the day after Srebrenica fell, please. My question was, if
13 you recall if it was before or after lunch, if you can give me some
14 ballpark time?
15 A. Well, no. I can't remember. I can't remember exactly when that
17 Q. All right. And what were your duties for that day, after
18 Srebrenica fell? What was your job?
19 A. I really can't remember what I did. I did my job. I was a
20 member of the military police. And basically that was that.
21 Q. You stayed at Vlasenica?
22 A. I think so.
23 Q. Well, think carefully. What did you do that day? If you don't
24 remember, don't guess.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The witness already answered the question.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Having had time to think carefully, do you have an
4 answer to that question?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I answered that I was in Vlasenica
6 after the fall of Srebrenica, and there was a handover between General
7 Krstic and General Zivanovic. I remember that I was there. I did not
8 leave Vlasenica after the fall of Srebrenica, that is.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. I understand that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But when it comes to the exact
12 dates and times, it's difficult.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So when he said, "I think so," that's what he
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Yeah.
16 Q. Okay. So I think I understand now. At the fall, you had a
17 little bit of time off during the fall of Srebrenica to attend this
18 relative's celebration, correct?
19 A. Yes, in a nutshell.
20 Q. The following day at some time, you don't remember when exactly,
21 you returned to Vlasenica, correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The next event you remember is this ceremony where General Krstic
24 was formally announced by Mladic to be commander of the Drina Corps,
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Now -- and the day following that, according to your
3 testimony, after that ceremony, you go to Krivace to the Zepa IKM, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And you drive General Krstic to the Krivace IKM, right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when you get to that IKM, you remember apparently clearly
8 seeing Vujadin Popovic there. Who else did you see there?
9 A. I saw some officers from the 2nd Romanija Brigade. I also saw
10 the communications officers, but I just saw them briefly because I stayed
11 with the vehicle most of the time. We did not follow General Krstic to
12 see who he would be talking to. I could only talk to my peers, other
13 foot soldiers.
14 Q. Okay. Do you remember the names of any of these officers,
15 communications officers, 2nd Romanija Brigade personnel that you saw at
16 the IKM on that day?
17 A. I know that Colonel Miljanovic was there because I remember him.
18 I don't know who the communications officers were. There were two. But
19 I don't know whether they were Drljaca or Jevcic. I'm not sure.
20 Q. Okay. Now, when was the first time that you explained all of
21 this, your recollection of this ceremony in Vlasenica and going to Zepa,
22 when was the first time you explained that to Popovic's Defence counsel?
23 When did they get in contact with you?
24 A. Last year they got in contact with me. So the answer would be
25 last year.
1 Q. And they asked you questions about these events and when and
2 where you'd seen Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did they help you remember, refresh your recollection with any
5 other statements or transcripts or documents, since you can't remember
6 the dates?
7 A. No. Whatever they asked me about Vujadin Popovic, they would not
8 suggest to me where I might have seen him. They just asked me where I
9 saw him and I would tell them, and they would make a record of that, and
10 they didn't ask me anything else.
11 Q. Right.
12 A. Which means whatever I could remember, I would tell them and
13 amongst other things where I saw Vujadin Popovic, if I could remember.
14 Q. Right. And it wasn't that easy for you to remember, was it? I
15 can see from the difficulty you're having today with some of these dates
16 and times.
17 A. Well, I don't know. I can't remember the dates. I can remember
18 the year or approximately the month, but the exact dates. I was wounded
19 on two occasions, and I can't even remember the exact dates when that
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. Even if you asked me.
23 Q. And this is the first time since these events during the war that
24 you had to sit down with a lawyer and try to remember everything and go
25 through it and explain it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. And did you -- did you sign any kind of written
3 statement or anything like that when you met with Mr. Popovic's lawyers?
4 A. I can't remember.
5 Q. Okay. Let me try to help you remember some things. Do you
6 remember being contacted -- let me finish the question -- do you remember
7 being contacted by the Defence team for General Krstic?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you tell the witness approximately when?
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I can tell him exactly when.
10 Q. The 9th of March 2001, in Vlasenica.
11 A. Yes. I remember that.
12 Q. Okay. And that is where you met with attorneys for General
13 Krstic, to talk about what you remembered, right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. So when I said to you just a moment ago, on page 57, at
16 line 13 that this was the first time when you met with Mr. Popovic's
17 lawyers to go through these events and try to remember these things and
18 go through them, that wasn't true, was it? Did you make a mistake?
19 A. Well, I did not understand your question. Could you now explain
20 what you mean, what I'm supposed to say?
21 Q. Well, I asked you a moment ago whether, when you met with
22 Mr. Popovic's lawyers and went down and had to go through the events of
23 the war and try to remember these times around the period we are talking
24 about today, if that was the first time you sat down with a lawyer and
25 you said it was. And now I'm asking if you made a mistake, if you
1 couldn't remember then and you remember now, you were being untruthful?
2 How come you said that a minute ago?
3 A. Well, I did not understand what you were asking, but I remember
4 it well, when I provided a statement to Defence counsel Petrusic at the
5 then command of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica concerning General Krstic,
6 but I did not understand this question of yours this time around. This
7 was the first time at that time when I met with any Defence team
8 representing General Krstic, and the second time representing Vujadin
9 Popovic, and the first statement that I provided to the Defence team of
10 General Krstic, I signed -- I signed that, correct.
11 Q. And that was in 2001, so much closer to the events we are talking
12 about, July 1995, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you were being contacted as a potential witness for the
15 Defence, right?
16 A. Most probably, I think.
17 Q. You didn't know? Is it probably or you knew? I want you to be
18 as precise as you can. Didn't they tell you they think you might be a
19 Defence witness when they took a statement from you?
20 A. Well, I think that they must have wanted that from me. I don't
21 know. I suppose.
22 Q. And you knew that it was important, when you were making a
23 statement, as a potential Defence witness, to tell the truth, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You signed this statement, didn't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you knew that this statement and what you said in it could be
3 the basis for your evidence in the trial for your former commander,
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Let's take a look at the statement. That's 3398.
7 Let's go to the last page. I hope this is all there in the
8 B/C/S. "The record of the conversation was read aloud to the witness.
9 By affixing his signature at the bottom of the records, the witness
10 confirmed that he had no objections, Vlasenica, 9 March 2001."
11 That's what it says, correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And could we turn the page? We can make it bigger. That is your
14 signature, isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, I want to go to page 2 of the document, should
17 be 2 in both languages. Okay? Now, if we can scroll down a bit for the
18 witness. Up a bit, please. Okay.
19 We've got a question here: Were you General Krstic's driver and
20 escort in Srebrenica in the period 5th July 1995 onwards? And you
21 answered: In the period from 5 July 1995 onwards, Dalibor Krstic, Vlado
22 Tosic and I were General Krstic's drivers and escorts. I was in
23 Srebrenica in that period from 5 to 12 July until we left Srebrenica. It
24 is certain that Dalibor Krstic, Vlado Tosic and I were present as drivers
25 and escorts that whole time.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, stop there for the time being. Mr. Zivanovic?
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I believe that part of this sentence is not
3 properly translated, because the witness said in B/C/S. [Interpretation]
4 "Therefore I was at Srebrenica," not "in Srebrenica."
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go on. Otherwise we have a break to study
6 the Defence --
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. Be this as it may -- so now --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed but thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. So now, seven years ago, when you were called to be a potential
12 Defence witness for General Krstic, knowing that you might be a witness,
13 you stated that you were in or at Srebrenica the entire time from 5 to 12
14 July, correct?
15 A. Not between the 5th and the 12th. I wasn't there through all
16 those days. For example, I would be there a day and then I would leave
17 and then go back. It was Krstic, Tosic and I, but we as the drivers were
18 not in Srebrenica all together. Between the 5th and the 12th, I may have
19 been there for a day or two. The rest, it was Krstic or Tosic.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. There were three drivers, and we took turns and rested, and if
22 all three of us worked at the same time, there would be no time for rest
23 for any of us.
24 Q. Right. So --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It still doesn't provide an explanation,
1 Mr. Nicholls and Witness, because his statement explains also that Tosic
2 was wounded after Srebrenica and therefore Krstic and he stayed on as
3 drivers and escorts, except that Krstic was absent, Dalibor Krstic, was
4 absent for probably two or three days. If he --
5 JUDGE KWON: Vlasenica --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm speaking -- I recollect with respect to the
7 wounding of Tosic but I'm certain Krstic was the driver at the time of
8 Srebrenica and that he did not leave that area. It seems pretty
9 confusing. If he could explain exactly what happened or what he meant to
10 say in that statement in any case.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 Q. But if you could explain, Witness, but first what I want you to
13 explain is why you said in that statement it's very clear I was at, it
14 may say in the B/C/S, or in Srebrenica in that period from 5 to 12 July
15 until we left Srebrenica. Why did you say that if it wasn't true?
16 A. I wasn't in Srebrenica as a driver. When I spoke about General
17 Krstic, I meant the three drivers as a whole. I didn't have myself in
18 mind alone. I was trying to deal with the whole situation. When I was
19 driving Mr. Krstic, I never took him into Srebrenica but to Pribicevac,
20 which is above Srebrenica, Potocari, and the surrounding locations of
21 Srebrenica. Dalibor Krstic drove General Krstic into Srebrenica.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's clear enough now, unless you want to
23 pursue it.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. No, and just to be clear from the portion you were reading, the
1 part where Dalibor Krstic was absent was during the Zepa operation,
2 that's what you said, right?
3 A. No. Dalibor Krstic was not absent due to the Zepa operation.
4 When I drove General Krstic there, I would be there for a day. I wasn't
5 his permanent driver. I was a reserve driver so to say. I was both
6 driver and escort, if I was in the vehicle, I wasn't necessarily driving
7 all the time.
8 Q. Okay. Let's look at the very first paragraph for a minute. Page
9 1. Okay, just to be clear, there, under where it says statement, izjavu,
10 you say I was -- I know General Radislav Krstic. I was his driver and
11 escort. I started my job in approximately mid-1995 and you say that you
12 worked with Dalibor Krstic as well.
13 You didn't put anywhere there in this statement as a potential
14 Defence witness that you were a reserve driver and not the main driver,
15 did you?
16 A. I didn't. That is correct. Per establishment, I was driver and
18 Q. Now, let's go to page 2. Scroll down, please. Question: Were
19 you on Potocari and 12 July 1995? That is the day after Srebrenica fell.
20 Answer: I remember that we were in Potocari and we stayed there briefly.
21 Around 20 minutes, and then we went via Pribicevac to Vigor [phoen]. We
22 did not pass through Srebrenica on that day or on that occasion. So now
23 when you were getting ready to testify possibly for General Krstic in his
24 Defence, you are in Potocari. When you're here testifying for Lieutenant
25 Colonel Popovic, you state that were you in Vlasenica the entire time
1 after the fall of Srebrenica.
2 A. Let me explain. I remember that we were in Potocari but not in
3 Potocari itself. This was just before Potocari. I didn't know the exact
4 name of that location but now I know that it's called Zuti Most or the
5 Yellow Bridge. Another thing, Pribicevac, even had we been in Srebrenica
6 we would not have been able to reach Pribicevac from Srebrenica but from
7 Bratunac. That would indicate that we were not in Srebrenica.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You haven't answered the question. The question is
9 could you -- can you explain if what you've just said is true that you
10 were on a part of the road near Potocari at Zuti Most, how can you
11 reconcile that with your previous statement that you had not moved from
12 Vlasenica after the fall of Srebrenica. This is the question, which you
13 haven't answered.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember whether it was the
15 12th or the 13th or the 13th in the evening or the 12th in the evening
16 when I was in Milici.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Witness, when you were going to testify -- when you gave to
19 statement to the Defence for General Krstic, go through this whole thing,
20 you were assisting what he wanted to say, which is that he was gone by
21 the 12th of July. As part of that alibi, so to speak, you put yourself
22 with him on the 12th of July in Potocari, correct?
23 A. Just before Potocari.
24 Q. Right. Now, here you have testified under oath the entire time
25 after the fall of Srebrenica, you were in Vlasenica, you were there from
1 the fall until the handover ceremony. Now, you either have a terrible
2 memory and can't remember being in Potocari after the fall of Srebrenica
3 today or you have lied in one of these statements. I'm asking you to
4 explain that.
5 A. When Srebrenica fell, of course it didn't fall in a day. At that
6 time, I was not in Srebrenica.
7 Q. Were you or were you not in Vlasenica, as you testified under
8 oath earlier today, from the fall of Srebrenica until the morning when
9 you went to Zepa?
10 A. I don't understand what you're getting at.
11 Q. Do you understand the question?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Okay. I'll read it to you. Were you, you, or were you not, in
14 Vlasenica, meaning Drina Corps command, as you testified under oath
15 earlier today, meaning here a little while ago, from the fall of
16 Srebrenica until the morning after the handover ceremony when you went to
17 Zepa? I'm asking you that question again, yes or no, were you there the
18 whole time?
19 A. I was in Vlasenica, when the handover took place and when I left
20 for Zepa.
21 Q. Okay. You're not answering the question. And I think you're --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we've heard enough on that. Go to your
23 next question.
24 Mr. Bjelanovic, do you want to answer the question? It's being
25 put to you that you are making two conflicting statements, one today and
1 one seven years ago. Which one is the truth?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The one I stated today is the
3 truth. As for the rest, I don't remember and it's not clear to me. I
4 don't understand.
5 I don't understand.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But when you made the statement to Mr. Petrusic,
7 did you lie to him, when you said that you were near Potocari on the 12th
8 of July? And if you did, why -- what interest did you have to lie to
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not lie. When I used to
11 come there with General Krstic, because... I used to go to Vlasenica but
12 not only in his car and not only General Krstic, and I know that I was
13 bringing some pills, not with his car. We used to come with another car.
14 So it's not like that day --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move on, Mr. Nicholls, please.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.
17 Q. Now, you talked about this handover ceremony. You talked about
18 this handover ceremony and that the next day you went to Krivace IKM.
19 The night of the handover ceremony, Popovic, Vujadin Popovic, stayed at
20 the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac, correct?
21 A. I don't know. I wasn't there.
22 Q. You didn't know where he was that night?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You don't know where he was that morning, do you?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Can we have any foundation for this statement
2 that Mr. Popovic was in Bratunac?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I'll do it now. 457, please.
5 Q. While we are waiting for that to come up, you already said on
6 direct that the driver for Popovic was Dusan Vucetic, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have page 13 of the B/C/S and page 7 of
9 the English?
10 Q. Now, we have the original here because I can't tell in the B/C/S
11 how much is cut off but in the English, it's very clear. This is a bill
12 from the 15th of July -- my friend is standing.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is a bill but not date of his staying.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, that's the second time today.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: There are rules that need to be followed. If you
17 look at the top of the page, you have a date there, and what Mr. Nicholls
18 said was very clear. He said this is a bill from the 15th of July. So
19 please, you will have a right to re-examine the witness later on but not
20 to interrupt in this manner.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, but I asked the foundation for
22 his statement that Mr. Popovic spent the night on 13th -- or this night
23 in Bratunac. The specific night. What night? It is the bill. It is a
24 bill, not anything about --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No arguments and submissions in the presence of the
1 witness, please.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could put the original on the ELMO, we could
3 see the entire --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think it will close -- bring the discussion
5 to an end.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.
7 Q. Now, this is a -- what you're seeing, Witness, and if you want,
8 you can look to the right, is an original receipt from the Hotel Fontana.
9 15 July 1995 is the date of this bill, and it states that it's to the
10 command of the Bratunac Brigade, Bratunac paying or at the top, and it
11 says accommodation in Hotel Fontana for Colonel Vujadin Popovic, amount
12 two at 35 dinars for a total of 70 dinars. Now, doesn't this indicate to
13 you that he paid a bill for two nights on the 15th of July?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is a misstatement again. There is not --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Why is it a misstatement?
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: There isn't anything --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Why is it a misstatement?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'd like to -- if -- he didn't pay anything. It
20 is a bill sent to --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: From that -- he's considering it an invoice.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And not a receipt.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.
25 Q. Let's now just --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time on it because basically what
2 you're after is the date and nothing else, so let's proceed.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
4 Q. And now very quickly on this document, one more, English page --
5 JUDGE KWON: [Microphone not activated].
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness hasn't answered the question, and I
7 don't know whether he is in a position to answer the question, having
8 said that he didn't know whether he had stayed or where he was.
9 Could you go back to your original question, Mr. Nicholls,
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Kwon is right.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
14 Q. Now, Witness, see if this helps you remember. Looking at this
15 bill from the Hotel Fontana for the 15th of July 1995, the date on the
16 bill for an amount of two at 35 dinars for a total of 70 dinars, doesn't
17 this indicate to you that there was a bill for two nights' stay of
18 Vujadin Popovic, the bill was made out on the 15th of July?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can you answer the question?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I am concerned, these
21 invoices could be presented by whoever wanted to do so. As for this one,
22 I can't tell you anything. When we were there, anyone could come in with
23 invoices. To me, this one doesn't say anything. If General Krstic, say,
24 spent the night at the Fontana, he certainly wouldn't be the person
25 paying for it. It could be signed by anyone, and, well, in any case, I
1 think he could spend the night at that hotel for free, for that matter.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. When did you stay at the hotel --
4 A. I don't see Vujadin Popovic's signature.
5 Q. That wasn't the question. When -- when -- when did you --
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
9 Q. If we could quickly look at page 5 of the English, page 9 of the
10 B/C/S, very simple question, sir, this is a bill for the 15th of July
11 1995 for driver as well as Colonel Krsmanvic for driver Djule Vucetic.
12 That's Popovic's driver, isn't it? Also got a bill on the 15th.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And very quickly, if we can look at page 11 of the English, page
15 21 of the B/C/S?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau?
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the previous
18 question, we read the following: [In English] Vucetic, Popovic's driver,
19 also got a bill on the 15th. [Interpretation] I don't think that any of
20 these documents was addressed to any of these people. These documents
21 are addressed to the command of the Bratunac Brigade.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Madam Fauveau. Do you wish to
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't think it's significant, Your Honour. It's
25 a bill for the person who was staying at the hotel.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But technically she is right.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: She is correct.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was being invoiced is the Bratunac Brigade
4 command. Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'd just like to indicate that the witness
6 already answered that Mr. Vucetic was not just the driver of Popovic.
7 It's in the transcript.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: This is the third time, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, this is highly irregular. What is being
10 suggested to the --
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: His question --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, stop. The question that was put to the
13 witness is does it result to you from this document that this Vucetic,
14 who was incidentally Popovic's driver, whether it was full time or not is
15 another matter, stayed at the hotel on -- or an invoice was issued for
16 his stay in the hotel on the 15th of July? So let's please keep
17 everything in the proper perspective because otherwise I will have to
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Now if we look at the one we have up on the screen, Witness.
23 A. [No interpretation].
24 Q. I didn't ask my question. Do you have something to say?
25 A. I do. May I comment these last two invoices? I saw that they
1 were incorrect. I disagree with them. On this invoice, it says Dalibor
2 Krstic spent eight nights, eight times 35, at the Fontana Hotel. That is
3 not correct. I know it for sure. I spent time with Dalibor Krstic even
4 after Srebrenica had fallen. He told me that he wasn't staying at the
5 hotel at that time but with his parents. They could have written that
6 Vujadin Popovic was at the hotel, although he may not have been. They
7 could have written anything. Say Djule Vucetic, if he was there it
8 doesn't necessarily mean that he drove Mr. Popovic there. He could have
9 come with Krsmanvic or with anyone else. As for the rest of the
10 invoices, they were in Popovic's name, but we see from this one that
11 Dalibor did not spend the night there.
12 Q. And his parents live in Bratunac very close to the hotel, don't
13 they? That's where he spent the night, right?
14 A. Not so close. Dalibor Krstic was with his parents, yes, so he
15 wasn't at the hotel.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... in Bratunac, in Bratunac,
17 during this period?
18 A. Yes, Bratunac, well, the outskirts, Dalibor Krstic, but he's
19 still on this invoice.
20 Q. And he was there as the driver and escort for General Krstic,
21 correct, when he was in Bratunac?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And Tosic was General Krstic's escort at that time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And according to you, you were not, although you said you were in
1 your statement, and I put it to you that -- we have one minute left --
2 you said that in your statement, you knew it wasn't true, because you
3 were trying to help General Krstic in his defence that he was gone by the
5 A. He was gone before the 12th where? Where to? I don't
6 understand. I didn't understand.
7 Q. That he was gone from the Srebrenica Drina Corps command area
8 before the 13th.
9 A. The Drina Corps command, well, you have to clarify it for me.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we'll leave that for tomorrow. How much
11 longer do you have so that we --
12 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll think about it, Your Honour, and cut it
13 shorter, just a couple more topics, I think.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: And I will notify my friends and the Court since
16 we are in the afternoon if I'm able to make it extremely shorter or less.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And please have the next witness ready for
18 tomorrow. And the one which we have scheduled for Friday ready just in
19 case. Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, we have just two witnesses.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course, the one on Monday is --
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, it was very --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I know, I know, so we can't get him here.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I bring both of them.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You have understood me actually.
1 Please do your best to see how we go about this. Thanks.
2 Have a nice evening and we'll reconvene tomorrow in the
3 afternoon, then. Correct?
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 11th day of
8 June, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.