1 Monday, 1 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. If you could call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good morning, the rest of you. All the
10 accused are here. From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of
11 Mr. Josse and Mr. Haynes. Prosecution, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Thayer. We
12 were informed that Mr. McCloskey won't be showing up today and tomorrow.
13 I also have been told there are some preliminaries, Madam Fauveau.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Prosecutor
15 disclosed last Friday a very large number of documents, a new series of
16 telephone intercepts about 10.000 pages all together and 120 audio
17 recordings, which amount to about 220 hours of recording. The Prosecutor
18 obtained these documents last March, very exactly on March 13, 2008. I'm
19 not -- I don't want to criticize or blame anyone for this late disclosure
20 because I assumed that before disclosing anything, the Prosecution wanted
21 to analyse these documents to see whether they were relevant to the case,
22 and obviously the Prosecution needed five months to do this analysis. In
23 March, April and May we had no hearings, however.
24 Now Defence just got these documents and Defence has to analyse
25 these documents itself. We analysed this last weekend, of course that
1 was extremely brief and short, and this showed that we have documents
2 from dating 1995, July 1995, notably documents dealing with Zepa. Of
3 course, I'm not saying all these documents relevant to the case but in
4 order to find the right relevant document we will have to scrutinize
5 10.000 pages and 120 hours of recording. I guess that if these documents
6 had not been relevant, the Prosecution would never have disclosed it, and
7 they did disclose it last Friday afternoon.
8 The one Defence team has already presented its case, another
9 Defence team is almost done with presenting its own case, so all together
10 you could say that the Defence is in the midstream of presenting its
11 case, so I really don't know at this stage of the proceeding what we are
12 supposed to do. We are presenting our own case and I don't know while --
13 how we can analyse this amount of document while presenting our cases and
14 while following the hearings. It's not going to be possible. We have no
15 time, we have no resources to do this.
16 I'm sure that no one in this courtroom needs to be reminded of
17 Rule 25 in the Statute, according to which each accused is entitled to
18 have enough time to prepare its own Defence. But these rights should be
19 applied to the pretrial phase as well as to the trial phase --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: This is Article 21
21 of the Statute.
22 MADAM FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Even when you are in the middle
23 of the trial, I believe that enough time to analyse these documents
24 should be allocated to Defence. In order to really put my points across
25 I would like to tell the Trial Chamber that last July 25th we also
1 received more than 5.000 pages of documents, most of which are coming
2 from the staff, documents bearing the signature of members of the staff.
3 And we also had to analyse these 5.000 pages.
4 I take this opportunity to tell you that the Defence of
5 General Miletic was able to analyse these 5.000 pages during the summer
6 recess but we were unable to do this because there was no hearing at the
7 time. We are also preparing a motion in order to amend our 65 ter
8 exhibit list. Let me reassure you there will won't be 5.000 pages, but
9 there be quite a large amount of documents, however.
10 All I want the to say is that we managed to go through these
11 5.000 documents and suddenly we are flooded with 10.000 more and 220
12 hours of recording. I must confess that I was quite reluctant to speak
13 with the Trial Chamber, and in our Defence team we thought about this
14 problem decided to address the Trial Chamber in order to protect the
15 interest of our client. The General Miletic Defence team is absolutely
16 convinced that the only way to protect the interest of our client was to
17 address the Trial Chamber. I do not want to waste your time, and I thank
18 you for your patience and for hearing me out.
19 I'll go to the point, straight to the point. In order to analyse
20 these new series of documents which we received last Friday, we believe
21 that we need at least one month. We need one month. That would be a
22 reasonable time. We are ready to make all efforts possible and try to
23 shorten this to three weeks. But we believe that in order for at the
24 Defence of General Miletic to prepare itself for the case afterwards we
25 believe that once Nikolic's Defence team has presented its case and here
1 we agree with Mr. Bourgon and Madam Nikolic but before our Defence team
2 presents its case we believe there should be an adjournment for at least
3 three weeks.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic. Thank you, Madam Fauveau.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours, I just like to join
6 to the submission of Madam Fauveau.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. We join
9 also. But I'd like to also make two additional points if we may. One
10 related. One not directly related. I think that the late disclosure the
11 Prosecution would have stopped giving us documents at such a late stage
12 after the lessons we all should have learned in the Krstic case when
13 takes were disclosed at such a late stage in the proceedings and what the
14 Court said in that case. What respect to what Madam Fauveau said I do
15 endorse that we get this time to review these documents. It's impossible
16 for us to do that while being at trial and preparing our various Defence
17 cases. Even when we are not doing the Defence cases, we are reading
18 other accused witnesses so we can be prepared in order to cross-examine
19 them. The second topic that is not directly related involves Witness
20 2DW-83. He is a DutchBat witness. I today received additional proofing
21 or statements that that witness purportedly made to both the Royal
22 Netherlands Army as well as to the ICTY. I just don't know why we didn't
23 get that during the regular disclosure of DutchBat personnel and why we
24 didn't get it when Mr. Egbers testified here many, many months ago. His
25 name on the proofing by the investigator is attached. And although I did
1 have a brief discussion with my learned friend I'd like to have him put
2 on the record as to why his own investigator's information report which
3 mentioned Egbers and this gentleman 2DW-83 was not provided to us other
4 than this morning.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Any further preliminaries? None, yes
6 Mr. Lazarevic.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Let me just state Mr. Borovcanin's
8 Defence position regarding this issue.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Which issue?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: The issue that Madam Fauveau raised.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, we basically support Madam Fauveau's
13 request, and we understand that this amount of disclosure which has like
14 220 hours, it's time consuming job to digest all this and in this sense
15 we do support Madam Fauveau's request. However we would prefer if the
16 Trial Chamber decides to grant Madam Fauveau's request that the recess
17 takes place after Mr. Borovcanin Defence presents its case.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Bourgon.
19 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Judges.
20 Just to keep the Trial Chamber informed, first of all, that we support
21 Madam Fauveau's request for a break in the proceedings in order to review
22 this material. However, as she did mention, the team of Drago Nikolic is
23 ready to proceed with the Defence of our client. On Friday we disclosed
24 a list of our witnesses that we have for September, and we are ready to
25 proceed and at this stage we are proceeding on the assumption that we
1 will begin as of 15 September and we could be ready to begin as early as
2 12 September depending of course when my colleague ends his case. That
3 being said it is important for us to have a starting date because we are
4 in contact with the victims and the witnesses section and it's a matter
5 of planning as to when we will begin. All this taking into account, we
6 still need although to review the material that was disclosed to us,
7 that's why we support Madam Fauveau's request. At first glance it
8 appears Drago Nikolic is not target by this new material, but we still
9 have to review it; and it is important that we do have some kind of a
10 recess so that we are able to review all of the new material disclosed to
11 us. Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Morning, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, sorry wait one moment. Mr. Sarapa.
15 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] We support Mrs. Fauveau's motion and
16 we join in that motion.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Morning, Mr. President. Good morning everyone.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Morning.
20 MR. THAYER: I'll have to consult with Mr. McCloskey. I presume
21 his absence is a pure coincidence this morning.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It has got nothing to do with Labour Day.
23 MR. THAYER: Right. I can tell the Court what I know about these
24 new intercepts which we were disclosed recently. My understanding is
25 that these intercepts involve an entirely new site or sites of which we
1 were not aware, did not have this material for. I don't know the ins and
2 outs of how we actually acquired it, but my understanding is we have not
3 even begun to analyse these intercepts ourselves. What has taken so long
4 between the time we obtained them and the time we disclosed them is the
5 mechanical process of miffing them and getting them into a searchable
6 format that is intelligible to our friends; that is literally taken these
7 several months to do. As far as I understand it, we are on an equal
8 playing field with respect to these intercepts in terms of knowing what
9 is in them. Our thought was just to disclose the whole lot get them to
10 our friends as soon as we could without further delaying getting them out
11 without going through each and every one. They are voluminous from my
12 understanding. With respect to our friend's request, I understand that
13 Madam Fauveau had some discussions with Mr. McCloskey, I think our
14 position is we are not going to oppose the request outright. It may be
15 reasonable to have to take some weeks to review these materials. As I
16 said, we need to review them as well. They have just gotten into the
17 system. So it will take some time.
18 With respect to my friend's statement about the DutchBat
19 information, Mr. Lutke was not on our initial witness list. When we run
20 searches our all systems database searches on our witnesses before we
21 call them we typically get binders and binders which we review when
22 there's Rule 68 we disclose. That a wasn't done with respect to this
23 person because he wasn't our witness. When he was placed on the Defence
24 fence witness list that was done. Over the weekend I began reviewing the
25 materials, I found three documents which had not been disclosed
1 previously, I think because we probably didn't know about them when we
2 made our initial disclosure in the course of our normal disclosure
3 process for this witness. Again he wasn't on our witness list. With
4 respect to why this one particular document was not disclosed in
5 connection with Lieutenant Egbers, I don't have an answer to that. It
6 may have not been in the binders it may have not been picked up in our
7 prior all systems search. All I can say is that when I came across it
8 this weekend, I immediately made hard copies of all the materials and
9 distributed them to my friends, hopefully in time for them to be able to
10 use them if they see fit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So two things we will await further information
12 from Mr. McCloskey to start with. Secondly, we'll back to you on
13 Madam Fauveau's issue, matter. All right.
14 Who is the next witness because we are were told this morning
15 that there was some kind of decision as to whether it will be one or the
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Bojan Subotic, Your Honour. The changes we've made
18 this week to some of the witnesses we provided the staff with that is a
19 result of a number of things which we are trying to accommodate everyone.
20 The witness's schedules prior to the break had to be transferred over
21 here, we had one who his health recently is poor. The Court was kind
22 enough to grant the videolink we had to move him from this week the other
23 witness for late this week at the request I think of the former accused
24 counsel, we had to move him to next week, and it looks like we may have
25 to move him even to the week of the 15th if I'm not mistaken.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: When do you reckon you will finish with your case.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: I thought we'd finish no later than 12th of
3 September, Mr. President, of September, of course.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You are move someone already to the 15th.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not, that's the points I wanted him this Friday
6 because it fits better with what I thought was an orderly plan. Then it
7 was requested that he move to the 8th of September and we accommodated
8 that request because of the lawyer from America and then just this
9 weekends we heard they can't do it the 8th but would prefer to do it the
10 15th. I leave it in your hands and the Prosecution, I don't know how to
11 schedule it.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: I can speak very briefly to that point. The
14 request, I'm in discussions with registry to see if this is possible, the
15 reason we are looking at the week of the 15th instead of the week of the
16 8th has to do with the time difference because there is a significant
17 time difference. When we are in morning court it's impossible to set up
18 the videolink with that particular location. So we were hoping that we
19 would be able to schedule it for the following week when we are in
20 afternoons. Either Monday the 15th, I understand we are in mornings
21 typically on Mondays or Tuesday the 16th.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We could also as Judge Kwon is suggesting to us get
23 the registrar to change the sitting of the 8th from the morning to the
25 MR. THAYER: If we can flip with Gotovina that will be great.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Gotovina will only be pleased to do that.
2 MR. THAYER: If that can be arranged, I think --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: 8 is Monday? No, isn't it. 8 is Monday. Correct?
4 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President. Okay. We'll let's
5 leave it until after the first break and we'll tell you what our
6 preference is and also you make your own calculations, Mr. Ostojic.
7 All right. Mr. Subotic, please.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, to you, Mr. Subotic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morning.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You are going to give
12 evidence you have been summoned by the Beara Defence team, before you
13 start you are required by our rules to make a solemn declaration that in
14 the course of your testimony will be speaking the truth, the whole truth
15 and nothing but the truth. Text is right in front of you, please read it
16 out aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Please make yourself
21 WITNESS: BOJAN SUBOTIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic from the Beara Defence team
24 will go first then will be followed by others on cross-examination.
25 Examination by Mr. Nikolic: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours. Good
2 morning to everybody in the courtroom. Good morning, Mr. Subotic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. As you know, I'm Predrag Nikolic, I represent Mr. Ljubisa Beara,
5 and I'll be leading you on behalf of this team.
6 Could you please first of all introduce yourself for the record.
7 A. Bojan Subotic.
8 Q. Your father's name, the year of birth and where you were born,
10 A. My father's name is Janko. 12 of December 1972 in Visoko.
11 Q. Mr. Subotic, what about your educational background?
12 A. I'm a welder, I completed a secondary school.
13 Q. When did you complete secondary education?
14 A. In 1990.
15 Q. And when you graduated did you work, and where you were at the
17 A. I did not work. Six months after I completed by secondary
18 education I joined the JNA to do my regularly military service.
19 Q. How long did you spend serving as a conscript in the JNA?
20 A. 14 and a half months.
21 Q. Until what time, when were you discharged from the JNA?
22 A. From 15 March 1991
23 Q. After your compulsory military service where did you go?
24 A. I returned home and I joined the Republika Srpska army because
25 the war in Bosnia
1 Q. What unit were you a member of in the VRS?
2 A. I was in the Iljas Brigade for five or six months and then in
3 December, I joined the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment.
4 Q. How long did you stay in the 65th Motorised Regiment, or rather
5 from when to when?
6 A. From December 1992 to February 1997.
7 Q. What duties did you perform in that unit?
8 A. I had several duties starting with the commander of the
9 anti-terrorist company to the military police service.
10 Q. Where were you, Mr. Subotic, in June and July 1995?
11 A. I was in the battalion of the military police of the 65th
12 Motorised Regiment in Nova Kasaba.
13 Q. What duties did you perform there during that period of time?
14 A. I was the commander of the military police platoon, and I was the
15 commander of the security of the battalion command.
16 Q. Could you please explain, you've just told us you were also in
17 the patrol service, what is patrol service?
18 A. The patrol service is -- encompasses different services that form
19 the battalion of the military police that had just been established in
20 our unit. As the word has it, this service is for patrolling and
21 providing security for facilities, materiel, equipment, access and guards
23 Q. At the time in Nova Kasaba, was it only a part of the unit that
24 was billeted there or was there only the command of the battalion that
25 was billeted there?
1 A. The command of the military police battalion was there, but at
2 the time there was just the command and myself providing security for the
4 Q. Can you please remember how many troops and officers of your unit
5 were there in Nova Kasaba at the time?
6 A. What period are you referring it?
7 Q. June and July 1995, this is the period I'm referring to.
8 A. There were some dozen of us, ten or so.
9 Q. Do you remember an event that happened in July 1995 that to your
10 mind was significant?
11 A. I remember in the first half of the month of July we were
12 performing our regular security tasks, I was a member of the patrol
13 together with five soldiers. When around 8 o'clock one morning a woman
14 came that I knew by sight. She resided very close to the facilities
15 where we were billeted; she ran up to us bare foot and she told us that
16 her house was full of Muslims, and Muslims soldiers and that meadows and
17 forest around her house were also full of them.
18 Q. When that woman came up to you, what time of day was it?
19 A. It was early in the morning, immediately after breakfast, around
20 8 o'clock
21 Q. And when she approached you and told you what she had seen, did
22 you do something about that?
23 A. I ordered the patrol that I commanded to be in full combat
24 readiness. I took two soldiers with me and I also had a BOV 7 as part of
25 my patrol detail; this is a combat vehicle of the military police. I
1 took two soldiers to reconnoiter in the direction of the house that the
2 woman had mentioned to me.
3 Q. Did you get there, to the house?
4 A. I did not manage to get there because the Zeleni Jadar river
5 flows in front of her house, and I was ambushed. There was some Muslim
6 soldiers with machine gun they were shooting at me from the side of her
7 house. They opened machine gun and mortar fire in our direction.
8 Q. What happened next?
9 A. I and my two soldiers returned fire, and in that situation I
10 summoned the combat vehicle to give me machine gun support while we were
11 pulling out of that position.
12 Q. Did you try to establish where the enemy fire was coming from,
13 and if you did, what did you find out?
14 A. The fire came from the direction of the forest looking from the
15 house that the woman had pointed to us, and it also came from the curve
16 of the river, from the place where the river meanders in that area.
17 Q. What prompted your decision to call for help? Why did you ask
18 the patrol with the combat vehicle to come to your assistance?
19 A. Well, there were a lot of enemy troops there. I had my
20 binoculars and during the 20 or 30-second break in the fire, I could see
21 that there were up to 1.000 soldiers. There were some 50 to 70 machine
22 guns, and we only had one round each in the rifles that we had taken with
23 us. We only had 30 bullets and nothing else.
24 Q. Did you manage to withdraw in the direction of your command?
25 A. Yes, the BOV arrived and we withdrew. I was the last to get on
1 the combat vehicle. We were under fierce fire and while we were
2 withdrawing towards the command, I wanted to take the soldier who
3 remained at the centre post and proceed towards military, because I
4 realized that we could not defend the command from such a fierce attack.
5 There was no way for us to put up resistance against such a fierce
7 Q. Did you receive assistance from anybody? Did you even try to get
9 A. I did try to call the command in Crna Rijeka where the 65th
10 Regiment was. I wanted to hear their instructions. I did it over the
11 radio, that was in the combat vehicle. However, I did not manage to get
12 through to them.
13 Q. How long was the conflict, i.e., how long did the exchange of
14 fire go on for?
15 A. From our arrival and when the fire was opened until the moment we
16 withdraw it took some 25 minutes to half an hour. So the whole situation
17 lasted for up to half an hour.
18 Q. When you returned in the barracks, what did you do?
19 A. I refilled my clip. I took the two combat sets that we were
20 entitled to for securing the facility. However, at the moment when we
21 were refilling our ammunition we could hear strong mortar and machine
22 gunfire coming from the direction of the bridge, from Koljevic Polje.
23 Being aware of the fact that there was civilian population down there, I
24 went there.
25 Q. Mr. Subotic, at the moment were there any other officers in the
1 barracks but you?
2 A. Yes, there was a Sergeant First Class Petrovic.
3 Q. And the battalion commander, who was it, and was he there at the
4 command at the moment?
5 A. The battalion commander was Major Zoran Malinic. He was there
6 all the time, however; at the moment when this woman arrived and when we
7 suffered that attack, at that particular moment, he was not there.
8 Q. Did you brief your commander of the situation as it was evolving
9 around the command at that moment?
10 A. I didn't, I couldn't. I could not get through to him at that
11 very moment.
12 Q. Did you meet with him at that moment?
13 A. No, not at that moment, but a little later.
14 Q. After how long from your return to the barracks?
15 A. Approximately two hours later.
16 Q. Can you share with us the contents of your conversation? Did you
17 brief him about the situation when you first saw him?
18 A. Yes, I briefed him, and I also told him that I had one wounded
20 Q. What did the commander tell you? Did he provide you with any
21 orders or instructions?
22 A. After I briefed him, I suggested that we pull out from there.
23 However, he said we couldn't and that I should go on with patrolling and
24 to replenish with ammunition since there were many civilians, women and
25 children, in Kasaba; and we could not leave them behind.
1 Q. Did you begin patrolling again, and where?
2 A. Yes. We continued patrolling along the axis the command, then a
3 bend on the road called "crna tacka," the black spot next to the football
4 pitch towards Zvornik, and towards Milici, some 3 to 400 metres from our
6 Q. In order to clarify something, when you say "crna tacka," black
7 spot, what do you mean?
8 A. It's a traffic sign. It means it's a dangerous bend in the road.
9 Q. As you continued patrolling, did anything happen then?
10 A. Yes. Throughout the time while we were patrolling, we sustained
11 heavy enemy fire, but some enemy soldiers began turning themselves in.
12 Q. Can you explain to me how come such a situation arose that the
13 enemy soldiers began surrendering?
14 A. While we were patrolling and returning fire, it was a combat from
15 the armoured vehicle, I fired six rounds of tear gas towards the woods.
16 Q. Did the enemy soldiers begin emerging from that direction, from
17 that piece of the woods?
18 A. Yes. Three or four minutes later, after the tear gas began
19 taking effect, a group of 10 to 15 Muslim soldiers surrendered.
20 Q. What did you do with the group of soldiers?
21 A. We disarmed them. Staff Sergeant Petrovic left with them to the
22 battalion command.
23 Q. Where were you at the time? Did you remain in the same place or
24 did you continue patrolling?
25 A. I stayed there for awhile. There was still combat, and we were
1 under sniper attacks and we tried to continue with our patrol.
2 Q. Mr. Subotic, when the first group of enemy soldiers surrendered,
3 did you interview them? Did you question them, interrogate, did you try
4 to learn something more about the group?
5 A. Yes. I asked them what unit they were from, they said -- well,
6 basically they told me that we were attacked by an entire establishment
7 unit. I don't know where whether it is the Srebrenica brigade or
8 regiment or something of sorts. They also said that there were many
9 other people in the woods wanting to surrender and that there was a
10 conflict within the group itself; some people wanted to surrender whilst
11 others did not. Apparently there were more of those that wanted to
12 themselves in.
13 Q. Did that information assist you in undertaking any further steps?
14 A. Yes, it did. After I assessed the situation, I turned on the
15 loud speaker that we had on the armoured vehicle and began asking those
16 enemy soldiers to surrender.
17 Q. Did that result in any new people surrendering?
18 A. Yes, some quarter of an hour later, a group of some 300 people
19 surrender, around 300.
20 Q. Mr. Subotic, in your assessment, it was a large group of about
21 300 people. How many of you were there in the patrol?
22 A. I was there together with four soldiers, four recruit military
24 Q. Can you explain to me a bit more in detail how the surrendering
25 took place of that group of soldiers?
1 A. I was at the bridge when the first group surrendered, that's when
2 I learned that there were more people looking to surrender. And then we
3 went further down towards the football pitch. That group surrendered
4 vis-a-vis the pitch. There is a path there, we saw them with their arms
5 lifted and they said, and we could clearly understand them since we speak
6 the same language, that we shouldn't shoot them and that they were
7 looking to surrender.
8 Q. Given the size of the group that was surrendering and that there
9 were very few of you, how did you organise that further, and where did
10 you send the prisoners?
11 A. Via the loudspeaker, I told them to throw their weapons down and
12 that they should cross the road and move closer to the pitch.
13 Q. Were there any people among them who were injured?
14 A. Yes, there were two seriously wounded soldiers and one that was
15 lightly wounded. I took care of the first two. I applied some bandages,
16 and a soldier of mine took care of the third one that was lightly
17 wounded. I used radio communication, I contacted Petrovic to send an
18 ambulance because there were wounded enemy soldiers. And I also expected
19 that some combat might ensue at a later point, and I asked for
20 reinforcements as well.
21 Q. Were those enemy soldiers doing it voluntarily, surrendering
22 their weapons and what was their condition? Did they look tired,
23 exhausted, or fit?
24 A. The enemy soldiers cooperated. They listened to what I was
25 telling them, they discarded their weapons, they moved over to the pitch
1 and they even asked me to go up to the woods with them because there were
2 murders taking place. They said that their commanders were killing those
3 who wanted to surrender. In any case, they begged that I should go with
4 them up there to resolve the situation if I could. They were physically
5 exhausted and very thirsty. Thirsty for the most part.
6 Q. You said you told them to go to the stadium, to the pitch; did
7 they go there by themselves or did you provide some sort of an escort?
8 A. They went there by themselves. We were just across the road from
9 the stadium. I was on the armoured vehicle with the soldiers, and I was
10 the only one who left the vehicle while my soldiers remained inside.
11 Q. Did you give them water since you say they were thirsty and that
12 that was their primary need at that point in time?
13 A. Concerning the two I talked to, I gave them water while I sent
14 the others down to the Zeleni Jadar river because we didn't have enough
15 water for all of them, I told them to go back to the stadium after having
16 had some water.
17 Q. What is the distance between the river and the stadium?
18 A. 50 to 70 metres.
19 Q. What did you do with the weapons they had discarded?
20 A. We didn't touch it. It remained where they had left it. I did
21 not have enough people to disarm all of them in a proper way to search
22 them for any hand grenades or anything. The weapons simply remained
23 where they were.
24 Q. You said that you had another interview with a group of soldiers
25 and that they told you that in the woods there were more people. What
1 did you do after that?
2 A. I took the two I had talked to and I asked them whether they
3 wanted to accompany me. They said they would. I took two of my soldiers
4 while I left the other two on the road, and we went up to the woods to
5 where they were taking me.
6 Q. When you arrived at the place they wanted you to go to, what did
7 you find there?
8 A. A horrific sight. There were over 500 dead bodies. I realized
9 that some of them had killed themselves. Some people hanged themselves,
10 many of them were wounded. And I realized that most of those wounds were
11 caused by explosives by hand grenades because they were irregular in
12 shape, I realized that it must have been done by their commanders, they
13 truly wanted to surrender themselves, and it was a really horrific sight.
14 Q. Did you find any people that were still alive and did you take
15 them prisoners?
16 A. There was no taking any prisoners. We found five or six
17 survivors. We aided them, we used some bandages to the extent we had
18 any, and we took them down to the stadium.
19 Q. And at the stadium, the first group of prisoners was already
20 there. By that point in time, in your view, how many prisoners were
21 there in total?
22 A. When I returned with the wounded, the two soldiers that remained
23 with the armour vehicle told me that another 200 had surrendered from the
24 other side. They came down from the other side of the forest to the part
25 where I was. I'd say between 4 and 500 people.
1 Q. When you came back from the forest, did you check whether the
2 ambulance team had arrived since you had called for help, and what was
3 the treatment of the prisoners that were in the stadium?
4 A. Once I came back with the wounded some 10 minutes later, an
5 ambulance team arrived, I think from the Milici hospital. They
6 approached the prisoners and provided medical assistance, and I think two
7 of those soldiers who had been seriously wounded were taken to the
8 military hospital.
9 Q. What about food, did you provide any food?
10 A. We gave them some food that we had on us, and in the barracks.
11 It wasn't much though. At a certain point my commander appeared. Before
12 that when I asked for an ambulance, I had told them that they should give
13 some food as well. He then told me I should go to Milici to the bakery
14 and shop there and take some food under the authority of the military
15 police to take it to the prisoners.
16 Q. Did you manage to secure at least decent qualities of food given
17 the number of prisoners?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Quantities of food.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember exactly, but I
20 think we managed to gather 100 or 150 loaves of bread from the three or
21 four shops we gave them that and they divided it among themselves. We
22 also had some food that had been provided for the command and the
23 security for that day. We gave them that as well.
24 MR. NIKOLIC:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, concerning the initial information
1 that you had received from that lady in the morning. Well, by this point
2 in time what time of day is it?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please switch on the microphone
4 to his right. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around 11 or 12 o'clock.
6 MR. NIKOLIC:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Were there any problems with the prisoners? Was
8 there any need to introduce order?
9 A. We had no problems with them. They cooperated fully when I sent
10 them down to the river to drink, they went there by themselves without
11 any escort, and the same number would come back. They received the
12 bread. I only had some problems with our civilians who came there.
13 There were no beatings, I wouldn't have that, but there were some
14 insults, but that was something we could not prevent from happening.
15 Q. Did you stay at the stadium throughout the time next to the
16 prisoners, or did you go on with your patrolling pursuant to your
17 commander's orders?
18 A. I was there only when I brought the people in, those who had
19 surrendered. I was patrolling all the time. I was along the river, in
20 the forest, my radius of movement was about 500 to 600 metres.
21 Q. What happened next, did you undertake any measures vis-a-vis the
23 A. We didn't do anything concrete. We just disarmed them when they
24 surrendered and we brought them to the stadium. There were even groups
25 who went to the stadium on their own. I did not have either the manpower
1 or the weapons to escort them at one point, I don't know how late it was,
2 it was maybe was about 1 or half past 1 that I brought a group of
3 prisoners who had surrendered, and I saw that there was our commander
4 there and another member of the unit, Staff Sergeant Janusevic.
5 And the two of them were interviewing the prisoners and taking
6 their details.
7 Q. When you say they were taking details, who were they taking
8 details from, and what do you mean by "details"?
9 A. This is in keeping with the rules of the military police service.
10 They took details from the prisoners, the name, the name of the unit, the
11 ID number, where they were born. Personal details.
12 Q. Mr. Subotic, during that period, and I'm referring to June and
13 July, did you encounter representatives of the United Nations in your
14 area of patrol?
15 A. I did. There were United Nations troops there. They came to our
16 battalion command to speak to my commander on several occasions. On that
17 same day, and I forgot to mention that, when I had that attack, there
18 were two members of the United Nations in a vehicle which was either a
19 PUH or something in our command. One of them during the attack on the
20 barracks during fierce machine gunfire asked for weapons. I gave him my
21 own rifle with three or four clip and remained with our soldier at the
22 gate and he returned fire from my rifle in the direction of the forest.
23 Q. When the attack was over, a new group of prisoners surrendered,
24 were the two UN soldiers still there?
25 A. They remained in the command, in the building of the battalion
1 command. They never came down to the stadium.
2 Q. When we are talking about the stadium where the prisoners were
3 accommodated, where was it? Could you please specify the location of the
4 stadium with regard to the command, with regard to the road?
5 A. The stadium was on the road from military to Zvornik or to be
6 more precise, from our command towards Zvornik on the left-hand side of
7 the road some 800 metres from the command. Maybe 800 to 900 metres.
8 Q. During the attacks, the first one that came from the forest and
9 the second one from the settlement, was the fire also opened on the road?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone
11 or switch off his microphone to his right. The interpreters are having
12 problems hearing him.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This road was constantly
14 under fierce fire but not of the same intensity of the fire I was subject
15 to in the morning. Still, there was mortar fire and there was also the
16 rifle grenades being fired on the road.
17 MR. NIKOLIC:
18 Q. [Interpretation] At that moment, and we are talking about
19 sometime after noon
20 from your command come? And if they did, who were they?
21 A. There were our officers there, Commander Malinic, Petrovic,
22 Janusevic and some other of our officers arrived later on, maybe two or
23 three of them who resided close by. I suppose that commander Malinic had
24 contacted them by telephone or otherwise, and there were also some other
25 officer they had rang, they were recording stuff and they were carrying
1 cameras and recorded stuff. I didn't know who they were.
2 Q. What camera crews were those and when did they turn up, do you
4 A. I know that one was Srna, a Srna crew. Srna standing for the
5 Serbian radio television and the others wore uniforms, and I really don't
6 know whether they were from a unit or who they were. I wouldn't be able
7 to tell you, I really don't know.
8 Q. Did somebody interfered with their work or were they free to
9 record whatever they wanted to record, and what did they actually record?
10 What did they shoot?
11 A. Nobody interfered with their work. I even received an order from
12 Commander Malinic telling me that a team would arrive and that they
13 shouldn't be disturbed in their work. They recorded everything. They
14 recorded prisoners, they recorded us, and the hills from which fire was
15 being opened.
16 Q. How long did the film crews stay in that place?
17 A. Until maybe 4 or 5 o'clock
18 General Mladic's arrival.
19 Q. When did General Mladic appear? Did you see him?
20 A. He appeared sometime in the afternoon, around 4 or half past 4 or
21 thereabouts. I was at the stadium next to the prisoners. I happened to
22 be there and when I turned around, I saw a PUH arriving from somewhere,
23 and there was General Mladic with his personal security.
24 Q. What did General Mladic say to you or whoever was there among the
25 officers from your unit?
1 A. I was the first one to see General Mladic when I turned around.
2 He got out of the car and asked me something to the effect of, Kid, are
3 you alive? Where is your commander?
4 Q. And you answered?
5 A. I saluted to the general. I said I'm alive and well, and I
6 pointed him to the commander. Actually, I went looking for the commander
7 with the general in tow.
8 Q. Where did all this happen? Where did you encounter
9 General Mladic and where did you take him to see your commander?
10 A. In the football stadium among the prisoners who were there.
11 Q. Did General Mladic address the prisoners and what did he tell
12 them on that occasion, if you can remember?
13 A. Well, he greeted them and he said, People, good afternoon, how
14 are you. He introduced himself to them, he said I'm General Mladic, and
15 I remember that the prisoners applauded him quite vehemently when he
16 introduced himself. He said they shouldn't be worried it was a good
17 thing that they surrendered he wanted to avoid any bloodshed and that
18 they would be accommodated, fed and that they would be exchanged for some
19 of our prisoners; but I don't remember where these prisoners were from.
20 I don't know whether he mentioned Mount Majevica or something else. I
21 can't remember as I sit here today.
22 Q. Just a tiny correction for the transcript. I apologise it has
23 already been corrected in the transcript.
24 What happened next, Mr. Subotic?
25 A. The general remained there maybe 15 or 20 minutes talking to the
1 prisoners and he told them that transportation would be provided for them
2 to go to Bratunac because in Bratunac he would hand them over to the
3 civilian authorities who would take their names and exchange them
4 eventually. And then he turned to me and the commander, but I am not
5 sure to which one of us he said, I suppose it was him, he ordered us to
6 secure the taking of the prisoners to Bratunac and that lorries and buses
7 would be arriving in about an hour, hour and a half and he would be the
8 one to provide their transportation for the prisoners from Bratunac.
9 Q. Did he execute his order, and how did you do that?
10 A. Yes, maybe an hour or hour 10 minutes later, the buses indeed
11 started arriving from the direction of Zvornik and Milici and also some
12 lorries arrived. I'd greed with the commander who had told me, Kid, I
13 heard the general we have to do this, and I said no problem, commander.
14 I climbed the combat vehicle and I shouted at the people that they should
15 take a drink of water, wait for the buses and the lorries and when the
16 vehicles arrived they should get on them.
17 Q. And before that what happened to the sick and wounded, were they
18 taken care of?
19 A. All the wounded who were there were taken care of by the medical
20 team from Milici. Another team arrived later and all the wounds were
21 addressed and the seriously wounded were taken to the hospital in Milici.
22 I forgot to say that before that there had been buses transporting
23 civilians, people recognised each other, and I even allowed some of the
24 prisoners who were recognised by their female folks to get on those buses
25 and lorries to avoid the stadium being unnecessarily crowding up.
1 Q. Who was on the buses? What kind of buses were those that were
2 passing by the stadium according to you? The buses stopped, who was on
3 those buses?
4 A. Those were civilian buses from the direction of Konjevic Polje
5 going in the direction of Milici. They followed the civilian Muslim
6 population, they would stop there and people on the bus us would
7 recognise people in the stadium as their brothers, husbands and so on and
8 so forth, and they would not proceed without them; so I was forced to
9 allow these recognised people to get on the buses so as to enable the
10 buses to move on. I did not want the place to become overcrowded with
11 all these vehicles.
12 Q. Did this happen before General Mladic's arrival or after his
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. If I can intervene a minute,
16 Mr. Nikolic. Mr. Subotic, you said that General Mladic turned to you and
17 ordered the prisoner to be transferred to Bratunac. Where in Bratunac?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the elementary school there. I
19 believe that the name of the school was Vuk Karadzic, but I'm not sure.
20 The elementary school. And perhaps the name is Vuk Karadzic.
21 JUDGE KWON: And General Mladic also said to you that buses would
22 be arriving in at least half an hour, and indeed the buses arrived in 10
23 minutes. Can I take it from your comments that it was General Mladic who
24 arranged those buses and transportation, nobody else?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Mladic did not mention
1 half an hour or ten minutes. He said an hour and ten minutes later the
2 buses would arrive, and yes, he was the one who ordered us to take the
3 prisoners to the elementary school; and he did say that he would be the
4 one who organise the arrival of those buses. And indeed, true to his
5 words, an hour and ten minutes later, the buses began arriving there.
6 JUDGE KWON: However, is it not somewhat unusual for the
7 superintendent commander to organise such a transportation? My question
8 is, who actually organised those transportation, if you know?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, as far as I
10 could hear from General Mladic is what I shared with you. I don't know
11 any of the rest.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 MR. NIKOLIC:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, how many buses were there, as well
15 as trucks, who arrived to transport the soldiers, the prisoners?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Which arrived, interpreter's correction.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were some six or seven
18 buses and the same number of trucks. There was a column of about 15
19 vehicles in total.
20 MR. NIKOLIC:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Could you explain the trucks and buses and their
22 size? Were these standard buses and trucks or bigger ones?
23 A. The buses were standard in size to transport passengers, they had
24 some 50 seats, I believe. There were also some large trucks.
25 Q. Were these civilian, or military vehicles, or both?
1 A. These buses and trucks were civilian. They came without any
2 escorts, only the drivers operated them and they had civilian
3 registration plates. There was no military personnel on board.
4 Q. You were there and you were assigned to organise the boarding of
5 the buses and trucks and the transport of the prisoners; is that correct?
6 A. As for the transport itself, it was the drivers who were
7 responsible for that. I was only there to organise the boarding and to
8 see the column off to the school in Bratunac. We were there supposed to
9 hand them over to the civilian police, to the police station there. This
10 was particularly stressed by General Mladic when he issued that order to
11 my commander at the stadium.
12 Q. What did you do in particular to get the transport going?
13 A. At the head of the column I placed the armoured vehicle with
14 three soldiers. I was there with them. And at the rear as additional
15 security, a Praga was placed. We organised the boarding of the people on
16 to the buses and trucks and the column set off around 7 p.m.
17 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may ask for a
18 break at this point and then resume afterwards.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You certainly may. 25 minutes, thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
23 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
24 Q. Mr. Subotic, before continuing, I'd like to go back to some of
25 your previous answers to clarify a thing or two. Tell me this, please,
1 how much time in total did General Mladic spend with you and your
2 commander in front of the prisoners?
3 A. Around an hour or so. I can't tell you precisely. Around one
4 hour, maybe three-quarters of an hour or full hour. Around that time.
5 Q. How much time did elapse between his departure and the arrival of
6 the initial buses?
7 A. The same, about an hour, an hour and ten minutes.
8 Q. Thank you. Let us move on now.
9 You received an order and began forming the column of vehicles.
10 Can you explain to us how you went about it.
11 A. At the head of the column, I placed the armoured vehicle next to
12 the dangerous bend in the road I mentioned before. There were three
13 soldiers and the armoured vehicle was followed by the buses and vehicles.
14 At the rear there was a Praga with a three-strong crew.
15 Q. How many of you military policemen and soldiers escorted the
17 A. Eight. The armoured vehicle crew and the Praga crew, four each:
18 Myself and three soldiers in the armoured vehicle, and the three soldiers
19 in the Praga with their commander.
20 Q. In your view, was that sufficient to provide security for the
22 A. Definitely not, but we did not have any more personnel to do it
24 Q. When did you set off towards Bratunac, if you cannot tell us the
25 exact hour, perhaps you can estimate?
1 A. It was around 7, 7.30. I can't tell you any more precisely than
2 that. Around that time.
3 Q. What is the distance from the place from which you started to
4 Bratunac in kilometres?
5 A. I think some 30 to 35 kilometres.
6 Q. When did you arrive in Bratunac?
7 A. We arrived two hours later.
8 Q. Given the number of kilometres, did that strike you as a rather
9 long time, and if so, why did it take you so long?
10 A. Yes. In normal conditions, it would take 15 to 20 minutes, but
11 we were in a convoy and from the rear, from the Praga, they kept telling
12 me that the people were demolishing the buses, breaking through windows,
13 falling out because they were thirsty; and every now and then I would
14 stop the convoy when I see a creek or some sort of water nearby so that
15 people could wash themselves and drink. We stopped frequently.
16 Q. While you were stopping on the way, were there any incidents
17 caused by the prisoners?
18 A. Incidents as such there were none, but people were breaking --
19 smashing windows on the buses because it was so hot. They couldn't no
20 longer stand it inside. They were thirsty and exhausted. We were
21 stopping along the way so that they could drink some water and feel a bit
23 Q. When you arrived in Bratunac, who did you hand the prisoners over
24 to, and where?
25 A. I handed them over to the members of the station of the interior
1 in Bratunac, the civilian police. They awaited us at the entrance of the
2 school. There was an incident there. There was a policeman who fired
3 his rifle accidently wounding a soldier of mine and a bus driver.
4 Q. What time of day was it when you arrived in Bratunac in relation
5 to the time when you left Nova Kasaba?
6 A. Around quarter past 9
7 Q. Can you tell us more about the handover process; how did that go?
8 A. I was at the head of the column. I reached the gate of the
9 elementary school courtyard. We waited there for the members of the
10 civilian police. I came out of the armoured vehicle. One of the
11 civilian policemen came to meet me, I told him we had POWs. He said I
12 that he was informed of it and said that I should move the armoured
13 vehicle so the buses could start entering the courtyard.
14 Q. How long did you stay there?
15 A. We stayed there up to half an hour to make room for them to pass
16 through and to dress the wounds of the soldier and driver after the
17 incident had happened.
18 Q. Were you still there as the last bus or truck entered the school
20 A. No, I wasn't. Not all of them entered the compound because there
21 was not enough room. I simply handed them over to the policemen, we
22 dressed their wounds. He asked me how many of them were they, I said I
23 didn't know, and he said they would count them. And he said, Okay, you
24 are free to go. We went back, I was at the front followed by the Praga
25 and we went back to the Nova Kasaba command.
1 Q. Were there any problems on your way back to Nova Kasaba?
2 A. Yes. In the environs of Kravica, we were ambushed. Myself and
3 the Praga commander, there was fire opened at us because by the time I
4 was back at the commands, all I had left were five or six rounds. I had
5 spent the rest.
6 Q. Judging by previous answers, it was already night. How could you
7 then move along the road towards the command in Nova Kasaba?
8 A. Before we hit the ambush, we had headlights on, but after the
9 ambush and the exchange of fire we killed the lights, actually, we only
10 had the so-called war lights on.
11 Q. When you arrived at the headquarters of your unit, did you report
12 to Commander Malinic about what had happened?
13 A. I did. I told him everything. I told him about the handover of
14 the prisoners, about the ambush, and he ordered me to replenish the ammo,
15 and to join Lieutenant Benek,who had arrived with his soldiers in the
17 Q. Who is Lieutenant Benek, and do you know why he arrived in the
19 A. Lieutenant Benek was the commander of a military police company,
20 the armoured APCs company, and commander probably summoned him to join us
21 with his unit because there were too few of us.
22 Q. You also mentioned two soldiers who were members of the UNPROFOR.
23 What happened to them, were they still in the command when you came back
24 that evening?
25 A. Yes, when I arrived to report to the commander, I found the two
1 of them in the commander's office.
2 Q. Mr. Subotic, we have been discussing these important events and
3 you said at the beginning that that was at the beginning of July. Would
4 you be able to give us a more precise date?
5 A. This was sometime between the 10th and the 15th of July. I know
6 that there was a shift changeover around the 10th, and this happened
7 maybe two or three days after the changeover of soldiers and commanders
8 which took place on that date.
9 Q. You spent a long time with the military police battalion, you
10 said that it was between 1992 and 1995 or even 1996. During that period
11 of time who was the commander of the battalion?
12 A. During all that time, i.e., between December 1992 and January or
13 February 1997, the commander was Major Zoran Malinic.
14 Q. Who was his superior?
15 A. The battalion was on the strength of the 65th Motorised Regiment
16 and the commander of that unit throughout all that time was
17 Lieutenant-Colonel Milomir Savcic.
18 Q. In addition to the patrol duties, you said that you also provided
19 security for the facility. Did you also provide security for the Main
20 Staff during the period between 1992 and the moment you left the unit?
21 A. Yes, that was one of our priorities. That was the raison d'etre
22 of our battalion. Our priority was to provide security for the Main
23 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska. And on several occasions, I was
24 the commander of that security for the Main Staff.
25 Q. Did you know Colonel Ljubisa Beara?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. On that day, or maybe the following day, did you see
3 Colonel Beara in Nova Kasaba?
4 A. No.
5 Q. How long did you stay in Nova Kasaba? Did you stay until the end
6 of the month?
7 A. No. I left the next day around 3 or 4 or 5 o'clock in the
8 afternoon. I asked the commander to grant me leave.
9 Q. Was the leave granted?
10 A. Yes, it was the anniversary of my brother's death, and the
11 commander was supposed to come with me because my brother had been a
12 member of the same battalion that I belonged to; so it would be customary
13 for my commander to go with me.
14 Q. What was the date of the anniversary? When were you supposed to
15 commemorate that event?
16 A. The 16th of July, that was also my brother's birthday.
17 Q. Mr. Subotic, you were saying that you left Nova Kasaba in the
18 afternoon. Until then were the two UNPROFOR officers still in
19 Nova Kasaba all the time while you were there?
20 A. The two United Nations soldiers, I received an order from the
21 commander to escort them to a place near Srebrenica, and I believe that
22 the name of the place is Potocari. That's where their base was.
23 Q. Why you? Why anybody from the military police battalion if they
24 had their vehicle, their weapons?
25 A. They asked to provide --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we'll stop. Mr. Mitchell.
2 MR. MITCHELL: Objection, leading, Your Honour.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't see it leading. Go ahead, please, can you
5 answer the question. Why were you asked to escort them when they had
6 their own vehicle, their own weapons? You were about to start answering
7 the question.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They wanted us to provide security
9 for them because they believed that they could not reach their base
10 safely, and that's why they asked Major Malinic to give them escort,
11 somebody from the patrol. And this was granted by our commander.
12 MR. NIKOLIC:
13 Q. [Interpretation] So did you escort them and up to where, to which
15 A. Yes. First they wanted to take their own vehicle; however, the
16 vehicle wasn't armoured and there was still shooting going on, on the
17 road; and that's why they decided to leave their weapons and their
18 vehicles and get on our armoured combat vehicle.
19 Q. So did you drive them to their destination?
20 A. Yes, we did. We took them to Potocari, to their base.
21 Q. When was that in respect of the previous event, and what was the
22 time when you drove them there?
23 A. That was on the following day, one day after the event; and it
24 was around 11 o'clock
25 Q. At your request, Commander Malinic allowed you to go on leave.
1 When did you leave the unit?
2 A. I left in the afternoon because the commander told me if
3 Lieutenant Jevdjevic did not come to take over I wouldn't be able to go;
4 however, Lieutenant Jevdjevic turned up sometime around 1 or 2 o'clock
5 the afternoon and he personally drove me to Milici.
6 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Subotic. I have no
7 further questions for us. Your Honours, I have completed my
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no question for this witness, Your
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Nikolic.
13 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Lazarevic, you had asked for ten
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I did I asked for 10 minutes,
17 but I'm believe it might take a bit longer.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. No big problem.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: With your permission of course.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless it is too much longer, in which case we will
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: I hope not.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Subotic, I'm Aleksandar Lazarevic and together
25 with my colleagues, I represent Ljubomir Borovcanin in this case. I'm
1 going to ask you a certain number of questions with regard to your
2 testimony so far. These will be relatively simple questions; however if
3 any of them are not clear to you, please tell me that and I'll rephrase.
4 Are you ready to start?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Subotic, what was your rank in 1994?
7 A. I was a corporal.
8 Q. Did you have the same rank in 1995 or were you promoted in the
10 A. In 1995 or in 1996, I became sergeant.
11 Q. Very well. In answering my learned friend's questions, you
12 already said that in 1994 and in 1995 you were a member of the 65th
13 Protection Regiment and that you performed different duties. Can you
14 please tell us more specifically in 1994 in January and February what
15 were your duties at that time, if you can remember, as a member of the
16 65th Regiment?
17 A. I don't know. Maybe I was the warden of our internal military
18 prison for our own members.
19 Q. Thank you very much. We will move very quickly through all that.
20 Can we now see in e-court, and you will see it on your screen document
21 number 4D00538. These are the cover pages of a file. Could you please
22 go to the next page of this document.
23 Mr. Subotic, you say that this document bears the stamp of the
24 65th motorised protection regiment in the left top corner, the date is 19
25 January, 1994 and you can see that this document is sent to the Main
1 Staff of the Army Republika Srpska and that this document is actually a
2 report and the duties of the officers of the 65th motorised protection
3 regiment in the Army Republika Srpska. You can see it yourself, can't
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me, please, did you have an occasion to see this document
8 A. I can't remember. I don't think so, but I wouldn't be sure. I
9 have seen something similar that I was supposed to sign when I was
10 appointed; but I don't think this was the same document.
11 Q. Very well. Let's go to the last page of the same document,
12 please. The page number is 05298049. This is the ERN number of the
13 document. And at the very bottom of the document you will see that Major
14 Milomir Savcic was the commander and that somebody signed on his behalf;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that was somebody who was acting on behalf of the commander
17 when the commander was away. Who was authorised to represent the
19 Q. Let's now pay attention to number 41 in this document you see
20 that the person's name under 41 is Nikodin Borovcanin, sergeant by rank,
21 who was the commander of the first squad of the technical maintenance
22 platoon and at the same time administrator of the materiel supplies of
23 the logistics company. Isn't that what it says here?
24 A. Yes, you are right.
25 Q. Did you personally know Mr. Nikodin Borovcanin?
1 A. I think so. I believe that the name does ring a bell.
2 Q. And to your best recollection, was Mr. Nikodin Borovcanin in
3 1995, in July 1995, was he a member of the 65th Motorised Regiment?
4 A. I think so.
5 Q. And while we were still looking at the document, obviously on the
6 44 you can see a name by Bojan Subotic, sergeant head of detention unit
7 of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment; can you confirm that was what
8 is stated in this document? I apologise, you will have to speak out and
9 say your answer into the microphone, so it may be recorded.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. And now let's look at another document, 4D00539 is
12 the number of that document. It seems that this document has not been
13 put on e-court yet. I will, therefore, provide you with a hard copy of
14 the document, and the copies of it have already been distributed amongst
15 other participants in the proceedings.
16 Just for the record, this is a logbook of daily orders of the
17 65th Motorised Protection Regiment, and the page that you have before you
18 bears the ERN number 06276263. [In English] I apologise for the
19 transcript, on page 42 line 9 [sic] it says 65th motorised, it says here
20 the detection regiment but it's protection regiment.
21 [Interpretation] Maybe we could place a copy of the document on
22 the ELMO, if I could ask for the usher's assistance. Well, it seems that
23 it is in e-court after all. No, it is not. Yes.
24 [In English] Maybe for the benefit of the accused, the B/C/S
25 version should be put on the ELMO.
1 [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, let's look at the daily order. On
2 the left-hand side of this document, and you will see that the date is
3 the 10th of July 1995, and under item 1 entitled "On Duty Service" the
4 names mentioned are Nikodin Borovcanin and his assistant soldier
5 Jugoslav, Dzambas, can see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And they have been appointed as officers on duty for the 11th of
8 July 1995
10 A. Yes. Until sometime around 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning, I
12 Q. Thank you very much. Well performing the duties, the persons who
13 are appointed as duty officers, do they have access to the means of
14 communication with other units?
15 A. Are you referring to the other units of the regiment or all the
16 other units of the VRS?
17 Q. Both, the regiment and the VRS?
18 A. Only with some of the units of the regiment. As for the rest,
19 they would not be able to communicate with them.
20 Q. And just one more question, if you know, of course, in addition
21 to Mr. Nikodin Borovcanin were there any other persons sharing the same
22 family name in the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment, and I'm not only
23 referring to the officers, but also the foot soldiers, as far as you can
25 A. Yes there were. I remember both soldiers and civilians serving
1 in the army. They were mostly serving in the logistics units either as
2 cooks, drivers and so on and so forth. That's when it comes specifically
3 to the 65th regiment, I can't remember their first names; but there were
4 some people sharing the same family name.
5 Q. Thank you very much, we will no longer need this document.
6 Now, I would like to move on to another topic.
7 In the course of your testimony you have spoken about
8 General Mladic arriving in Nova Kasaba and delivering a speech in the
9 stadium and then after that buses started arriving. If I understand you
10 well, General Mladic was the one who issued the order for the transport
11 to be organised from Nova Kasaba to Bratunac, wouldn't that be correct.
12 A. Yes. And when it came to escorting prisoners of war, he was the
13 one who issued the order, and as far as I could understand, he was the
14 one to issue all the other orders for the transport to be organised.
15 Q. And was General Mladic the one that said that the prisoners
16 should be transported to the school, Vuk Karadzic, in Bratunac and
17 nowhere else?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And General Mladic was also the one who told you to hand them
20 over to the civilian police in Bratunac, that was also General Mladic,
21 wasn't it?
22 A. Yes. My commander asked him specifically who should all those
23 people be handed over to, and he answered everything will be organised,
24 you will hand them over to the public security station in Bratunac, to
25 the police in Bratunac.
1 Q. In the course of your testimony, I paid attention to one little
2 detail. You said that the prisoners had been listed, their names were
3 taken, those that were in Nova Kasaba, was actually a list made of all
4 their names, do you know?
5 A. As far as I could notice, as I was returning with a group of
6 prisoners, I found the Staff-sergeant Janusevic taking their details
7 according to the rules of the military police. As far as I remember,
8 some lists had been drafted, but I don't know to they were handed over
9 to. I don't know what happened to the list.
10 Q. I apologise we have to wait and make a short breaks to allow for
11 the answers to be recorded.
12 If I understand you well, you were the one who organised security
13 for the convoy.
14 A. Yes, Major Malinic, my commander, and myself.
15 Q. And in escorting the convoy, you were the officer with the
16 highest rank, the rest were foot soldiers, am I correct?
17 A. Yes, I was the highest ranking officer on the BOV. And the
18 commander of Praga who had a higher rank but he was not a member of the
19 military police. He was an artilleryman.
20 Q. So the Praga was not on the strength of the 65th Protection
21 Regiment was it?
22 A. No, you are wrong, the Praga was on the strength of the 65th
23 Protection Regiment.
24 Q. I apologise, I misunderstood your answer. In any case, from your
25 previous answer I understand that you did not have any lists on you, no
1 lists of prisoners when you set off from Kasaba and headed towards
3 A. I remember that I had specifically asked the commander to provide
4 me with those lists, but the commander replied that he would send the
5 list officially by official channels to the police over there.
6 Q. Very well. Were you told that the prisoners were supposed to be
7 handed over to the military police as a matter of fact, the military
8 police of the Bratunac Brigade when you arrived at the Bratunac school?
9 Was that something that was ordered to you, something to that effect?
10 A. No, I heard General Mladic's orders loud and clear and Commander
11 Malinic was also there, and he can confirm my words. General Mladic
12 specifically ordered us to hand over the prisoners to the police, and the
13 police was waiting for us there.
14 Q. You've already spoken about that, but let me just clarify
15 something. At that moment your commander was Lieutenant Colonel
16 Milomir Savcic, can you confirm that at the time of these events, this
17 was indeed the case?
18 A. I think so. I think it was the lieutenant colonel.
19 Q. In any case, Milomir Savcic was the commander of the 65th
20 mechanized Protection Regiment?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you know that Mr. Savcic provided a statement to the
23 Prosecutor's Office of The Hague Tribunal on the 17th October 1995?
24 A. I didn't know that.
25 Q. Could we please have in e-court document 1D00196, page 57 in the
1 B/C/S and 37 in the English version.
2 Sir, on your right-hand side you see page 57 of the statement
3 provided by General Savcic to the Prosecutors of The Hague Tribunal.
4 THE INTERPRETER: To the investigators, interpreter's correction.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Please focus on the following sentence, it is
7 on the bottom half of the page beginning with "yes, yes, yes." Can you
8 read out what it says?
9 A. The left side or the right side of the screen?
10 Q. The right side. Start from -- can you see that there is a
11 question just before that and there's an answer which says there were
12 some military policemen there escorting the convoy which means that
13 Mladic came with the buses, trucks and other stuff.
14 A. Can I read it out loud?
15 Q. You don't have to do that, you can read it for yourself. Did you
16 manage to read the whole paragraph that begins with "yes, yes, yes." It
17 is clear in the paragraph that the prisoners were handed over to the
18 military police of Bratunac Brigade and that they had geographical
19 jurisdiction. This is what Savcic said to the Prosecutor?
20 A. I can see that, but I know who I handed them over to. I remember
21 the incident when the policeman wounded soldier of mine and a driver. It
22 was the policeman who took over the prisoners.
23 Q. Therefore you stand by what you said today?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I listened to your testimony today and since that Colonel Beara's
1 Defence provided us with some proofing notes for your testimony. I
2 noticed something there that you didn't say today. I just wanted to put
3 it to you.
4 At that time during the proofing you told Colonel Beara's Defence
5 that you handed the prisoners over to a civilian police who held the rank
6 of lieutenant; is that correct?
7 A. He did not sport any rank, but that's how he introduced himself.
8 Q. Very well, but he surely didn't tell you, I am a lieutenant; did
9 he also share his first and last name with you?
10 A. Yes, his last name, but I can't recall it.
11 Q. You can remember neither the first nor the last name of the
13 A. I cannot, that was the first and the last time I saw him.
14 Q. Can you describe him for us, as best you can remember, his
15 height, age?
16 A. He was rather tall, heavily built, dark hair. He was a bulky
18 Q. What about the uniform he wore, could you describe it for us?
19 A. He had a blue camouflage uniform worn by the police in towns and
21 Q. What about the other two policemen, you said that he was there
22 plus another two policemen, did they have the same uniform or different
24 A. The ones who waited there with their official vehicle had the
25 same uniforms. Around the school, there were other policemen wearing the
1 same uniforms. There were also many civilians wearing parts of the
2 military uniform just a pair of pants or a shirt.
3 Q. What about the uniform, did it consist of only one or several
4 parts, of course I mean the police uniforms we've been discussing?
5 A. I think they were made of two parts. They had blue police vests.
6 Q. What about any insignia?
7 A. It only said "police."
8 Q. You said you did not see what the rank of the policeman was but
9 that he introduced himself as a lieutenant; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Mr. Subotic, if you were to tell you that in July 1995 in the
12 police of Republika Srpska there were no ranks at all and that they were
13 introduced only as of November that year, would that mean anything to you
14 concerning your testimony? Do you still stand by what you said?
15 A. Yes, I do. I am familiar with that fact. Before that time they
16 did have ranks, and they went by those ranks. I don't know whether he
17 lied to me or not. He said I'm a lieutenant of the Bratunac police by a
18 particular last name that I cannot recall right now.
19 Q. Very well. Mr. Subotic, before this Tribunal there was testimony
20 that it was the military police of the Bratunac brigade that was securing
21 the prisoners in the Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic school in Bratunac. In
22 order to be able to support that, I'd like to direct your attention to a
23 certain pages of transcript of the 9th of November 2006, pages 3805,
24 3806, and 3909. Then in the Blagojevic, Jokic case pages 5732 and 5733.
25 Such testimony came directly from members of the military police of the
1 Bratunac brigade as well as from officers of the Bratunac brigade. They
2 all said it was the military police of the Bratunac brigade that was
3 securing the Vuk Karadzic school. Having in mind everything I've just
4 said, do you still stand by what you've said, i.e., that it was the
5 civilian police that was securing the school?
6 A. I don't know who was securing the school, and at what time. What
7 I do know is who it was that I handed the POWs to. It is possible that
8 the military police was providing security for some facilities including
9 the school, I don't know what their authority was, but I handed over the
10 POWs to the civilian police to a patrol with an official vehicle which
11 had rotation lights on because by that time it was already dark.
12 Q. Very well, thank you.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Ms. Fauveau?
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic?
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Subotic. Good morning, Your
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
21 microphone. We cannot hear the counsel, he needs to speak into the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, we didn't receive ... [Microphone not
24 activated] what was happening the reason is that it is you are too far
25 from the microphone the interpreters couldn't hear you.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: I will change the position. Is it better now?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It is not the microphone
3 it is the fact that Mr. Krgovic should speak into the microphone. He is
4 too far from it.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I would suggest that you switch on the
6 other one. Keep it as high as possible because that seems to be the
7 problem. You are too tall.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: I will try to come closer.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, during your testimony, my learned
10 friend, Mr. Nikolic, asked you about the date when the events you've been
11 describing took place. You said that it was two or three days after the
12 shift, the rotation of the shift. It is evident before this Tribunal
13 that those events took place on the 13th of July 1995, would you accept
14 that as far as you can tell?
15 A. Yes.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone was off.
17 MR. KRGOVIC:
18 Q. [Interpretation] In your answers you've been talking about
19 certain measures you took. Before you encountered the 28th column on
20 that morning the 13th of July 1995, did you or commander receive a
21 specific order that would have to do with a passage of the Muslim column
22 or did you react spontaneously as a result of the fact that the column
23 simply showed up?
24 A. We had received no orders, at least I didn't. I can't tell but
25 commander Malinic. But in any case, he never told me that I should
1 strengthen the patrol. We reacted spontaneously. There was a shift
2 change and people went home. Had anything been planned, I believe the
3 people would not have been allowed to go home. There would not have been
4 any shift change.
5 Q. On the 13th of July you and your commander as far as you can
6 tell, received no specific orders from your superior commands concerning
7 the way you should conduct yourselves and in that situation?
8 A. No, at least I didn't.
9 Q. Until what time did most of the Muslim shoulders remain at the
10 Nova Kasaba stadium? You said that by noon there were 4 to 500, and then
11 some others came. Until what time were they at the stadium in Nova
13 A. Until we formed the column to Bratunac, that's where they were
14 taken. I'd say, 7, 7.30 in the evening.
15 Q. And by that time you were not informed by your commander of the
16 existence of any particular orders that would have to do with the passage
17 of the Muslim column?
18 A. No, there was no specific order. We were both there at the
19 stadium and the command truth be said, we didn't know what was going on.
20 It was the prisoners who told us that they belonged to a brigade or a
22 Q. Mr. Subotic, during that period did you establish a checkpoint in
23 order to control the road between Zvornik and Bratunac in Nova Kasaba?
24 Did you maintain control of that road?
25 A. Yes. It was one of the duties of my regular patrol to control
1 the traffic, and we were supposed to do that together with the Milici
2 police station; but on that morning I did send out a soldier who used to
3 be at the gate as a duty soldier to the road to control the traffic and
4 to tell people that they shouldn't use the road since they could be
5 opened fire at.
6 Q. And I suppose you were informed of all persons who on that day
7 passed by arriving in Nova Kasaba and saw and had access to the soldiers?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: To the prisoners.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it comes to the military
10 police, the answer would be yes.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The military and the police.
12 MR. KRGOVIC:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, do you know General Gvero?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. On that day in Nova Kasaba when the journalists, came, the teams
16 of journalists, did you see General Gvero among them?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And save for General Mladic whom you saw, there were no other
19 high ranking officers in Nova Kasaba on that day, would that be correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Subotic, you described the regular duties of your patrol, the
22 military police. In addition to that did you ever escort officers from
23 the Main Staff who would go to the frontline or to the meetings that were
24 connected with a high level of risk?
25 A. Yes, that was our specialty as part of our anti-terrorist
2 Q. As you performed those duties, did you ever escort General Gvero?
3 A. Yes, several times.
4 Q. I suppose before the events that were -- took place in July 1995?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me, please, how did you go, did you go in the same car or
7 did you travel in a separate car behind the general or in front of him?
8 A. We shared the same vehicle. We travelled together.
9 Q. Do you remember any specific trip that took place between April
10 and June 1995? Did you escort General Gvero anywhere that you can
12 A. I believe that I escorted him to Banja Luka to an assembly
13 meeting. I believe that there had been some threats against the general
14 on the part of Karadzic, I believe or somebody like that.
15 Q. Do you remember the vehicle that you travelled in on that
16 occasion? Do you remember the make or the colour or both?
17 A. It was a green car and it was either an Opal or a Renault. In
18 any case it was a greenish colour I can't remember the make exactly but
19 it was either an Opal or a Renault.
20 Q. Did you ever see General Gvero travelling in a black car?
21 A. No, I can't remember that.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Subotic, I have no further
23 questions for you. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa?
25 MR. SARAPA: No questions, thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Mitchell.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Mitchell:
3 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon, Mr. Subotic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. My name is Christopher Mitchell I'm going to ask you a few
6 questions on behalf of the Prosecution about your testimony today.
7 I'd like to start off just asking you a couple of questions about
8 the structure of the 65th Protection Regiment. You've told us that in
9 July 1995, the commander of the 65th Protection Regiment was
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic; correct.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the commander of the military police battalion was
13 Major Zoran Malinic; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And his nickname was "Zoka"; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, the deputy commander of the military police battalion, that
18 was Alexander Lucic; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And the commander of the first military police company was
21 Marinko Jevdzevic; correct?
22 A. Marinko Jevdzevic was the commander of the anti-terrorist
24 Q. Now, Jevdzevic returned Nova Kasaba from Sarajevo on 14 July;
1 A. Yes, one day after the event he arrived and I left.
2 Q. Okay. But on the day of the fighting, on the 13th, the other
3 officers Major Malinic, Aleksander Lucic, they were in the Nova Kasaba
5 A. I remember that Malinic was there, but I don't know about Lucic.
6 I can't remember. It's possible that he was there. Usually the
7 commander and his deputy are not in the same place. One is normally on
8 leave, but it is possible that he was also there.
9 Q. Okay. I'd like to just take you very quickly to, can I have 65
10 ter number 3621. Page 12 in the English and page 11 in the B/C/S. So
11 this is an interview with Zoran Malinic from December 2005. I just want
12 to read you little bit of it. He is talking about the 12th of July when
13 he received information from General Zivanovic about the column arriving
14 and he says he is talking about the measures he can take with the number
15 of soldier that is he had. He says:
16 "I think that cure during that evening we called senior officers
17 and soldiers that were sent home earlier. Any soldier that was actually
18 still close to where we were. I remember two senior officers, one of
19 them was my deputy, he had already gone on leave. And he wasn't there on
20 the 12th, so he returned back on the 12th so that he could be with us."
21 So Zoran Malinic, he is saying that Alexander Lucic returned back
22 on the 12th of July to be with the unit in Nova Kasaba; correct?
23 A. It is possible that he returned on the 13th, on the 12th he was
24 on leave. I know that the commander and his deputy are not in the same
25 place at the same time, but anything is possible. I'm not sure about the
1 12th, but I'm sure that he was there or I seem to remember that he was
2 there on the 13th.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, so what was your rank in July 1995?
4 A. Corporal.
5 Q. And how many men were there in your unit?
6 A. Six.
7 Q. Okay. And did you receive reinforcements during the day on the
8 13th when all the fighting was happening?
9 A. Yes, in the evening Lieutenant Benek arrived with two APCs and
10 some 30 men or thereabouts.
11 Q. But during the day, it was you and your six men?
12 A. Yes, I had six men. However, on that particular day, I only had
13 five because one soldier was on leave.
14 Q. Okay. And you were running short on ammunition as well?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So it's your testimony that you and five soldiers with limited
17 ammunition arrested hundreds and hundreds of Muslim men along the road in
18 Nova Kasaba?
19 A. We did not arrest them. They surrendered to us. There is a big
20 difference between arrest and surrender.
21 Q. Okay. Now, so you told us that the road was under fire all day;
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. But despite being under fire and you having very limited
25 resources, you told us that you took two soldiers and went into the woods
1 because you were told that there were more Muslims there; correct?
2 A. There is no reason not to believe 200 or 300 men who were telling
3 me the same story. I knew where they were coming from, and there was no
4 reason for me not to believe what side they were on.
5 Q. Okay. So on the 28th of August this year, we received a copy of
6 a statement that you gave to the Beara Defence; and I'd just like to read
7 back a little bit of that statement to you, if I can. Can I put a copy
8 on the ELMO, please.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
10 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] This is not a statement but a
11 proofing note.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 MR. MITCHELL:
14 Q. Now, I'll just read back what you said to the Beara Defence team.
15 They said:
16 "The witness bought several of the prisoners to show him where
17 the rest of the Muslim soldiers are, and then he came to the place where
18 many dead Muslims killed in the fighting amongst themselves as well as
19 one Muslim who was hanged."
20 Now, sir, in your statement you said that there were many dead
21 Muslims killed in the fighting; correct? Killed in the fighting among
23 A. When I took the two Muslim prisoners to where they led me, I
24 realized that the 500 dead bodies were the result of their in-fighting.
25 Q. That's what I'm interested in, sir. You told the Beara Defence
1 team that there were many dead Muslims killed in the fighting, and today
2 we hear 500 bodies. Did you tell the Beara Defence team that there were
3 500 bodies?
4 A. I don't know. I can't remember the details of our conversation,
5 but I remember well that in two or three place that I inspected, there
6 were around 500 bodies as a result of suicide, shots in the head,
7 irregular wounds as a result of hand grenade suicides; and I still
8 remember the picture of that young man who had hung himself.
9 Q. That's the next thing I'd like to ask you about. In your
10 statement you said that there was one Muslim who was hanged, and yet
11 today you testified that some people hanged themselves. Do you remember
12 saying that?
13 A. First of all, I never provided any statements to anybody. I did
14 talk to the Defence, but I did not make any notes. Maybe they did not
15 reconstruct properly what I told them. I remember that I told them that
16 I saw one person who had hanged himself.
17 Q. Sir, you testified earlier today that you placed your Praga and
18 its crew at the dangerous bend in the road near Nova Kasaba; do you
19 remember that?
20 A. I suppose I remember. I only mentioned Praga as the vehicle at
21 the back of the convoy of prisoners when we escorted them to Bratunac.
22 MR. MITCHELL: If I can just have one moment, Your Honour.
23 Q. Sir, I'd like to move to a different area now, and ask you some
24 questions about the prisoners who were at the Nova Kasaba stadium on 13
25 July. You testified that when you first came to the stadium there were
1 around 500 prisoners there; correct?
2 A. No. When I first arrived at the stadium there was nobody there.
3 That was very early in the morning. The first group consisting of some
4 15 members surrendered, and then another group of some 2 to 300 of their
5 members surrendered to me personally; and then I took that second group
6 to the stadium.
7 Q. Okay. So this is later in the morning that there's 500 men at
8 the stadium?
9 A. Around noon
10 were about 500 people in the stadium.
11 Q. Sir, we have evidence in this case that by 1400 hours there were
12 over 1.000 prisoners being held at the Nova Kasaba stadium. Does that
13 help you remember when you saw 500 men at the stadium?
14 A. Well, I don't know whether there were 1400 men. As far as I can
15 remember, the total number was around 1.000 or 1200 at the most. 1400
16 seems like a lot, and as for the 500 that I saw, it was around 12 or
17 maybe half past 12
18 not a very easy thing to be very specific about, time.
19 Q. So just to summarize, sir, on the 13th of July you spent sometime
20 at the stadium in Nova Kasaba, you spent a lot of time patrolling the
21 road, at one point you went down to Milici to get bread, and later on in
22 the afternoon you led the convoy buses to Bratunac; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So it's fair to say that you moved around a lot on that day,
25 isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I've just a couple of questions about a different area. Sir, you
3 told us that you saw two UN soldiers at your command in the morning;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you only see two soldiers or did you see any other UN
8 A. That morning there were two, and the day before I believe a day
9 or maybe two days before there were several UN soldiers, they came to and
10 fro; they looked for some security as far as I can remember. But on that
11 particular day there were only two.
12 Q. Now, at any point during that day did you see any UN soldiers
13 being placed on top of a UN APC or a BOV where there were Serb soldiers
14 inside that APC or BOV?
15 A. I did see their vehicles. I don't know what kind of vehicles
16 those were, but I did not see our troops in any of them. When I say our
17 troop, I mean the troops of the VRS.
18 Q. You didn't see any VRS soldiers in the UN vehicles?
19 A. No.
20 Q. At any point did you see any Serb forces, any Serb soldiers
21 wearing or using United Nations equipment?
22 A. You mean on that day or in more general terms?
23 Q. On that day?
24 A. No.
25 MR. MITCHELL: I think it might be time for the break, Your
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25 minute --
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Excuse me? Sorry, Mr. President, if we could just
4 have an indication of the time because I think the next witness is here,
5 should we keep him, if you don't mind.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough, Mr. Ostojic. Yes, Mr. Mitchell?
7 MR. MITCHELL: Less than half an hour, Your Honour.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: It's my understanding we have approximately 10 to
9 15 minutes, it still depends on the other questions but just so the Court
10 is aware of it.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean you have 10 to 15 minutes?
12 MR. OSTOJIC: For redirect.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Redirect. We'll finish with this witness today for
14 sure, and we can send the other witness home or not home, I don't want to
15 be misinterpreted. Okay. Thank you.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Mitchell, please.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 MR. MITCHELL:
21 Q. Sir, good afternoon.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Do you know where your Praga was on 13 July before you placed it
24 at the back of the convoy that went to Bratunac? Do you know where it
25 was positioned?
1 A. In the courtyard of the school where our command was. It was
2 providing security for the command.
3 Q. Do you know if it was firing at Muslim positions?
4 A. It fired on one or two occasions. I think the first time was
5 facing the house from which the woman had come, but I think that was the
6 only occasion when it was discharged.
7 Q. So it wasn't firing into the woods at any point?
8 A. Well, as I said, it did fire on a couple of occasions in the
9 direction of the house, but the house is just before the forest. It is
10 very close to it.
11 Q. Okay. I'd like to go back quickly to something you said just
12 before the break. Now, you drew a distinction between whether these men
13 were arrested or whether they surrendered. Do you remember that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let me ask you this question: is it your testimony that hundreds
16 and hundreds of armed Muslims were killing themselves in the forest and
17 hundreds more were surrendering to you and your five men, but there was
18 only you and your five men on that stretch of the road, your Praga wasn't
19 even deployed on that stretch of the road?
20 A. Yes. It only went as far as the bridge in our direction, and it
21 was some 200 metres away from us.
22 Q. Sir, my question was, is it your testimony that hundreds of
23 Muslims were killing themselves and surrendering, but there was only you
24 and your five men there? It was you and your five men against hundreds
25 of armed Muslims, and yet they were surrendering to you?
1 A. Yes. Save for myself and five of my men, our commander was there
2 with another two or three officers from our MP battalion.
3 Q. Which officers were there?
4 A. Major Malinic, Sergeant First Class Kunusevic [phoen]
5 Staff Sergeant Petrovic, well they are NCOs; and there may have been
6 Captain Lucic, I think he was there, but I'm not absolutely sure.
7 Q. Now, sir, you testified that back at the stadium about 4 p.m.
8 General Mladic arrived and gave a speech to the prisoners. Now, you saw
9 General Mladic give this speech; correct?
10 A. Yes, it wasn't a speech as such, but he talked to the men. I saw
11 him do that.
12 Q. Okay. And was Major Malinic there as well?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. I'd like to ask you about an incident that happened during
15 General Mladic's speech. And if I can have 65 ter number 2207. It's
16 page 10 in the English.
17 Sir, this is the statement of a Bosnian Muslim man who testified
18 that he was captured near Nova Kasaba on 13 July. He was taken to the
19 stadium in Nova Kasaba, transported to Bratunac and then ultimately to
20 the Branjevo farm where he survived the execution of over 1.000 Bosnian
21 men. Now, he says in his testimony he talked about General Mladic's
22 speech and then he says:
23 "Then he ordered the soldiers to make a list of the names of
24 those captured. At that moment, a prisoner got up and the Serb soldiers
25 approached. They kicked him and hit him with their rifle butts and then
1 one soldier took out his pistol and killed him. And he was thrown into
2 the other. Mladic was present, he didn't respond in any way."
3 Sir, you remember General Mladic's speech and you were there, do
4 you also remember this man being killed in front of General Mladic.
5 A. I claim full responsibility that no one was killed in the
6 presence of General Mladic. There were no incidents of that sort
7 whatsoever. I remember this speech, and I remember General Mladic
8 strictly ordering us not to beat or kill the prisoners; but to treat them
9 in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, they were many, had they not
10 cooperated with us, me and my men would not have survived.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry to interrupt. On the Exhibit 65 ter number
12 2207 at page 64 line 4 my learned friend says page 10, the actual
13 transcript starts with this at 3015, so he could just give me an accurate
14 page, so I could follow along I'd appreciate it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Mitchell?
16 MR. MITCHELL: Page 10 in e-court. Sorry, it's transcript page
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
19 MR. MITCHELL:
20 Q. Now, you've testified that later in the day you organised the
21 security for the convoy of buses and trucks that went to Bratunac;
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were ordered to go to the Vuk Karadzic school; correct?
25 A. Yes, as ordered by General Mladic.
1 Q. Did you have any communications equipment with you when you were
2 escorting the convoy?
3 A. Yes. We had radios, GP 200 the plain police Motorolas, and we
4 had our regular devices in both the armoured vehicle and the Praga.
5 Q. Now, you told us that there were six or seven buses in the
6 convoy; correct?
7 A. It is six or seven, I'm not quite sure.
8 Q. And these buses hold approximately 75 men each; correct?
9 A. There may have been more. There are I think 75 seats but perhaps
10 a bus like that could hold up to 90 or 100 because some of them can
12 Q. Okay. So it's your testimony that there were between 90 and 100
13 men on each of these buses?
14 A. Around 90, more or less.
15 Q. And there were also six or seven trucks in the convoy, you said?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And how many men were there in each truck?
18 A. I really don't know. We didn't count. Maybe 50 or 70. I really
19 don't know.
20 Q. And were all the men transported in one convoy or was there
21 another one that left either before or after you?
22 A. At that moment there were those in the stadium and the group of
23 the 15 prisoners which took prisoner first, they also went to the stadium
24 to join the convoy. We transported all of them to Bratunac.
25 Q. So all of them went in your convoy?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, the Trial Chamber has seen a lot of evidence in this case
3 that Muslim men were surrendering to the Serb forces all day along the
4 Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, Bratunac road just as the same they had in
5 Nova Kasaba. You must have seen that in your trip to Bratunac; right?
6 A. In certain places I could only see our soldiers and policemen.
7 As for any specific prisoners, no. Anyway, by that time it was getting
8 dark but I can tell you that there were no crowds.
9 Q. We've heard a lot of evidence from both Serbs and Muslims about a
10 large gathering of prisoners on a meadow beside the road in Sandici,
11 which is on the road between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac. There were
12 several hundred to 1.000 men who were detained there during the afternoon
13 of 13 July. You don't remember seeing anything like that?
14 A. First of all, I don't know where Sandici is. I was securing the
15 convoy and the five or six metres around it, meaning the road, the
16 transport; that was my extent of my activity and orders. Nothing else.
17 Q. Sandici is on the road between Konjevic Polje and Kravica, and
18 the prisoners were detained in a meadow right next to the road. You
19 didn't see anything like that?
20 A. No, I did not; I had a lot on my mind. When the column would
21 stop, sometimes I had to go to the rear to radio someone. I was either
22 at the front or at the rear with the Praga depending on the prisoners'
23 requests for water. That's what preoccupied all of my attention. As for
24 the rest, I don't know.
25 Q. Who did you talk to on the radio while you were leading the
2 A. I talked to the Praga crew commander.
3 Q. Can I just clarify that with you. You just told us that you
4 sometimes had to go to the rear to radio someone. Wasn't the Praga at
5 the rear?
6 A. I didn't go all the way to the rear to radio anyone, but to help
7 the rear to secure passage and provide safety for the prisoners who were
8 leaving the buses so that there would be no clashes between them and any
9 of the soldiers or civilians who began gathering by that time.
10 Q. And this was when you were stopping along the road and the
11 prisoners were getting out and going and having a drink at the river;
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, the Trial Chamber has also heard a lot of evidence that
15 later that day those prisoners who were at Sandici were taken down the
16 road to the agricultural warehouse in Kravica and executed towards the
17 end of that day and into the night. You were ambushed at Kravica on the
18 way back so you must know where Kravica is; correct?
19 A. I do more or less where Kravica is, at least the centre of the
20 village. I was ambushed as you enter Kravica itself.
21 Q. Do you know where the agricultural warehouse is, right next to
22 the road?
23 A. More or less.
24 Q. Did you see any executions when you drove past that warehouse?
25 Do you remember seeing anything like that?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You didn't see any bodies outside the warehouse?
3 A. No. If the warehouse is the place that I'm thinking of, there
4 were none.
5 Q. Did you see any Serb forces there?
6 A. I saw forces along the way from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac, but
7 not many of them. Perhaps two or three at a time, and then I would see
8 another group a couple of hundred metres further down the road. This
9 resembled patrols of sorts.
10 Q. But you didn't see any particular concentration of them at the
12 A. No. The only concentration was that of the civilian police in
13 Bratunac around the school.
14 Q. Did you here any shooting around the warehouse?
15 A. In a distance, up in the hills, in the forest occasionally.
16 Q. And how about on your way back from Bratunac, did you notice
17 anything unusual at the warehouse? Anything at all?
18 A. I was ambushed before the warehouse, if that's the building I
19 have in mind. I ordered my soldiers to turn off our lights, to turn on
20 our war lights. We were short of ammunition, and we kept on pressing for
21 the command because we could not engage in combat any more.
22 Q. So you saw nothing unusual at the warehouse on your way home back
23 to Nova Kasaba?
24 A. To tell you the truth, I couldn't even see the road then.
25 Q. Okay. Now, can you just remind us what time did you arrive in
2 A. Around 9.30 in the evening, more or less.
3 Q. And we've heard you talk about the police to whom you handed over
4 the prisoners. Other than these three policemen, what other Serb forces
5 were there guarding the prisoners?
6 A. I saw another police vehicle with two members in it, in the
7 school compound. I don't know, I couldn't see because I didn't go there.
8 Around the buses and trucks when I arrived, there was only a large number
9 of Serb civilians without weapons.
10 Q. You were telling us that this school with hundreds of prisoners
11 and buses and vehicles with additional prisoners was secured by three
12 civilian police officers and Serb civilians without weapons, is that your
14 A. I really don't know whether any of the prisoners were in the
15 school. I didn't go in. All I can tell you is about my prisoners.
16 Q. You handed your prisoners over to three civilian policemen,
17 that's your testimony?
18 A. Yes, I handed them over to a member of the police who introduced
19 himself as a police officer. He asked me how many were there, I couldn't
20 tell him and he said, Well, no matter, we'll count them. I asked him if
21 I was free to go and he said, Yes.
22 Q. Now, what was your understanding of what would happen to these
24 A. To be honest in listening to General Mladic's words, I believed
25 what he told them. However, later on in the media I heard of things. I
1 don't know whether they are true or not.
2 Q. What did you hear?
3 A. I heard in the media that there were murders around Zvornik or
4 Pilica; I don't know exactly.
5 Q. The first time that you learned that the prisoners that were
6 detained in the Vuk Karadzic school were executed, the first time you
7 heard that was in the media?
8 A. Yes, since I went home the next day.
9 Q. Did the buses that you took the prisoners in from Nova Kasaba to
10 Bratunac, did those buses stay in Bratunac when you left?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did the buses stay at the school or did any of them go over to
13 the football stadium at Bratunac?
14 A. I truly don't know.
15 Q. Just to go back for a second, these reports that you said you
16 heard in the media, when did you hear these reports?
17 A. After some 15, 20 days ago -- after that and perhaps a month
18 later. Since I lived in Sarajevo
19 and Serbian television.
20 Q. Did you see any other buses in Bratunac with prisoners on board?
21 A. No.
22 Q. So I have one final area I'd like to ask you about. Now, you
23 know as well as anyone that the column of Muslim men who you engaged with
24 on the 13th of July presented a grave risk to the Serb territory it was
25 travelling through; correct?
1 A. I don't know what risk they were. I only know that I was scared.
2 Q. On 13 and 14 July, and particularly 15 and 16 July around
3 Baljkovica the Serb forces were heavily engaged in fighting that Muslim
4 column; correct?
5 A. I really don't know. On the 16th of July, I was at the cemetery
6 commemorating my late brother's death in Sarajevo.
7 Q. You don't know about the fighting around Baljkovica on the 15th
8 and 16th of July?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Do you know that during that same period Serb forces were also
11 tasked to sweep the terrain around Srebrenica?
12 A. I really don't know. I was on leave.
13 Q. And are you aware that Serb forces from the Zvornik brigade, the
14 Bratunac brigade, and the 65th protection regiment among others were
15 engaged in the operation against Zepa during this period?
16 A. I said I really don't know where my unit was. I was on leave and
17 my leave was for some seven or eight days. I was at home.
18 Q. Well, we know that the threat to Zvornik was so great that the
19 VRS pulled troops out from around Zepa and sent them back to Zvornik. We
20 also know that there was talk of mobilising civilians, we know soldiers
21 were sent from the Krajina corps and MUP forces were sent from all over
23 return on the 12th, that is Aleksandar Lucic was ordered to return. It's
24 your testimony that in the midst of everything that was going on that you
25 were given a week's leave starting from the 14th of July?
1 A. Sir, I'm a technician. I'm not a strategist, I really don't know
2 what the command and the police did at the very top. And as far as my
3 leave is concerned, this had been arranged before because my brother was
4 a member of the battalion of the military police the same that I was, and
5 the commander and two more men were supposed to go as well because that
6 is a custom in our parts. However, because of the events, they couldn't
7 go, and I was the only one who was allowed to go on leave.
8 MR. MITCHELL: May I just have a moment, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you Your Honour, no further questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic, please try to conclude by quarter to
13 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Nikolic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, let's just clarify some terms here.
16 When I examined you, you said that on the way back from Kravica after the
17 ambush you returned to your command under war lights. Can you please
18 explain the notion of war lights, what is that?
19 A. These are greenish lights, very small lights whose beam cannot be
20 more than half a metre to a metre in front of the vehicle. Not more.
21 Q. When Mr. Borovcanin's Defence team examined you, you were
22 confronted with General Savcic's statement provided to the OTP and in his
23 statement General Savcic stated that the prisoners that you had escorted
24 were handed over to the military police; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's what was read out to me.
1 Q. Do you know that General Savcic testified before this Tribunal?
2 A. No, I didn't know that.
3 Q. To be very objective I would like to say that it was on the 12th
4 of September 2007, that when he testified under the same oath as you are
6 A. I've already told you that I didn't know that.
7 Q. On that occasion General Savcic on page 15292, line 1, was asked
8 about the surrender of the prisoners and he stated that he remembered the
9 event and I quote:
10 "But currently I don't have the transcript in front of me. If I
11 said I had been hand over to the military police over the Bratunac
12 brigade then I misspoke."
13 Are you aware of that, are you familiar with that?
14 A. I said I didn't know anything about that.
15 Q. On the same page, line 21, General Savcic stated, "Yes, I can see
16 that but I have to correct myself."
17 Mr. Subotic, you handed the prisoners over or rather escorted the
18 prisoners from Bratunac -- to the Bratunac school, could you please
19 repeat for the Trial Chamber who you handed them over to?
20 A. I handed them over to the civilian police, to the public security
21 station in Bratunac. At least that was what the person who was in charge
22 introduced himself to me, he said that he was in Bratunac. He said that
23 he was a lieutenant, and he was equipped as a policeman would be. He
24 wore a uniform and had all the other things that would be worn by a
1 Q. To my learned friend's question you described the policeman's
2 uniform. Are you a hundred percent sure that that was indeed what he
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Subotic, in your unit were there any other persons who shared
6 the same first name "Zoran"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Name one?
9 A. As far as I know there was a Lieutenant Zoran Benek, who was the
10 commander of the military police company.
11 Q. Did he have a nickname of any kind?
12 A. I suppose so, but I can't remember. We all had nickname that is
13 we used in our mutual communication.
14 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
15 further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Documents? Mr. Nikolic, do you have
17 any documents?
18 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic? You've got two documents.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, we already submitted ours.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 538 and 539. Any objections Mr. Mitchell?
22 MR. MITCHELL: No objections.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic?
24 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] None.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And any objection from the other Defence teams?
1 None. So they are all they are both admitted. Do you have any
3 MR. MITCHELL: No documents.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: No documents. Thank you. Mr. Subotic, we've come
5 to the end of your testimony. On behalf of the Trial Chamber I wish to
6 that you so much for coming here to give testimony and on behalf of
7 everyone I wish you a safe journey back home.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Incidentally before we adjourn, in
10 relation to the previous Witness Kerkez, we admitted those photos in
11 evidence as exhibits. Did you have any other documents that you wished
12 to tender, Mr. Ostojic?
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 MR. OSTOJIC: We did not, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Same applies to you Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President. So madam registrar
17 and ourselves have been actively working on a plan to accommodate the two
18 video conferences, videolinks, sorry, that are in the pipeline. We are
19 still awaiting a confirmation that other Chambers are prepared to
20 accommodate our needs as well, so I can't guarantee that because
21 obviously everyone has its own requirements. But if it works out, then
22 we will have Jovanovic or whatever his name is on the 9th in the morning,
23 and then the other videolink connection if we manage to swap our sitting
24 from the morning to the afternoon, it will be on the 10th and the 11th.
25 The understanding would be the following: That having looked at the time
1 estimates, you will need to finish with Jovanovic in one day, that's on
2 the 9th, which is within the time estimates. And the other guy on the
3 10th and the 11th, that is two days. And that again is within the
4 estimates of six hours 45 minutes or something like that. So that's the
5 understanding. But we will communicate to you a confirmation of this
6 arrangement tomorrow hopefully when we have confirmation from the other
7 Chambers. All right. Thank you.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
9 1.41 p.m. to be reconvened on Tuesday, 2nd
10 September 2008, at 2.15 p.m.