1 Wednesday, 17 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Madam Registrar. Could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. All the accused are present.
11 Defence teams I notice the absence of Ms. Tapuskovic, Mrs. Nikolic,
12 Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Lazarevic, Mr. Krgovic. No, Mr. Haynes is here.
13 Prosecution, we have Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Vanderpuye present. I
14 understand there are no preliminaries so good afternoon, everyone.
15 Witness is present.
16 Good afternoon, to you, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And you are welcome to this Tribunal. You are
19 about to start giving evidence. Before you do so our rules require that
20 you enter a solemn declaration to the effect that in the course of your
21 testimony you will be saying the truth, speaking the truth. Madam usher
22 is going to hand you the text of the declaration, solemn declaration,
23 please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn commitment with us.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: MILISAV CVIJETINOVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
4 Mr. Bourgon will introduce himself better to you, will be putting
5 some questions to you. He will then be followed by others on
6 cross-examination. Mr. Bourgon.
7 One moment because there is a lot, a lot of background noise.
8 Okay. It seems to be gone now. No. I can still hear it. This has a
9 lot of interference. How is your -- let's try this one. If the
10 interference is such that you cannot continue Mr. Bourgon, please draw
11 our attention immediately. Thank you. As far as it goes now it seems to
12 be okay. But you never know.
13 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon Mr. President, good afternoon
14 judges, good afternoon colleagues.
15 Examination by Mr. Bourgon:
16 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. For the record allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephane
19 Bourgon and along with me colleague today, Ms. Marie-Claude Fournie, we
20 represent Drago Nikolic in these proceedings. Can I ask you first to
21 begin by stating your name for the record.
22 A. Milisav Cvijetinovic.
23 Q. Mr. Cvijetinovic, before we begin, I would like simply to remind
24 you that I will be asking a number of questions and if at any time you do
25 not understand the question, don't hesitate to ask me to either say the
1 question again or to clarify my question. Do you understand this?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Sir, what is your date of birth and your age?
4 A. 10th of April 1963. I'm 45.
5 Q. And where were you born?
6 A. I was born in Vitinica, the Bourgeon [phoen] hamlet in the
7 municipality of Zvornik.
8 Q. And before the war, sir, what was your occupation?
9 A. I am construction worker.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat his
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cvijetinovic, could you repeat your answer,
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked me what I did before the
16 MR. BOURGON:
17 Q. Yes, that is correct.
18 A. Before the war I worked in Belgrade in a construction company Dom
19 and I also worked abroad.
20 Q. And where abroad did you work before the war?
21 A. I worked in Israel
22 Q. And do you have any prior military service before the war in your
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where was that and what did you do?
1 A. I served in Zagreb
2 signals, that was my military occupational specialty.
3 Q. So that was with the JNA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And during the war where were you? Where did you live?
6 A. During the war -- I was in Israel
7 then after I received news that my family had moved out and that my
8 village was burned down, I went back to rejoin my family and I remained
9 with them.
10 Q. And where exactly did you remain with your family after you
12 A. I was in a Muslim house in the village of Skocici
13 Q. Did you have any children at the time, sir?
14 A. Yes, I had two children. Three years old, that was my elder
15 child and my younger child was two months old.
16 Q. Now, today, sir, what is your occupation?
17 A. I do the same job I had before the war.
18 Q. I understand that during the war you were mobilised within the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I understand also that you were a member of the Zvornik
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you serve with any battalion in particular within the Zvornik
1 A. I was in the 2nd Battalion.
2 Q. And what did you do within the 2nd Battalion?
3 A. I was a communications man.
4 Q. And did you have a rank?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, I would like to focus on the year of 1995, more particularly
7 July 1995, after the fall of Srebrenica. Do you recall this period, sir?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where was the command of the 2nd Battalion?
10 A. In Malesic.
11 Q. And as a communicator where did you work?
12 A. The same place, Malesic.
13 Q. And did the battalion have a communication centre?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And was it in the same building as the command or a separate
17 A. No, we were some 50 metres away from the battalion command in a
19 Q. And that is where you worked yourself as a communicator?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. You recall if following the fall of Srebrenica you were on duty
22 during this period?
23 A. Yes. I was in the communications centre at that time.
24 Q. And how did the duty shifts work during this period?
25 A. Well, there were five- or seven-day breaks except if there was a
1 state of standby, then we were on standby. If news came that there would
2 be an attack then we would all be there, the full complement.
3 Q. How many communicators were working in that communication centre,
4 if you remember?
5 A. Three.
6 Q. And did all the communicators work at the same place in the same
7 communication centre?
8 A. No. Two communicators were in the communication centre and one
9 of them was at the forward command post.
10 Q. That's the forward command post of the battalion?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And where were your sleeping accommodations?
13 A. We slept in the communications centre, those of us who were there
14 manning the communications center, and that person who was at the forward
15 command post slept there.
16 Q. You responded to my question that there were three communicators.
17 Is that the total number of communicators in the battalion command or is
18 that those who were on duty?
19 A. No, there were more of us but those were just the persons who
20 were there at any one time.
21 Q. And you mentioned that you were on duty following the fall of
22 Srebrenica, that was in the communication centre located close to the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you mentioned the battalion forward command post or IKM.
1 Where was that located?
2 A. It was at Pecine where our defences were.
3 Q. Do you recall who was the commander of the 2nd Battalion?
4 A. Yes, Sreco Acimovic.
5 Q. Do you recall how many companies were in your battalion?
6 A. Three.
7 Q. And how did the command of the battalion communicate with the
9 A. The battalion command communicated with the companies through the
10 communication centre, through us.
11 Q. And was that by radio or by phone?
12 A. By phone.
13 Q. And what kind of telephones were these?
14 A. Military induction phones. It was a wire type phone.
15 Q. So just to be precise, was this or these phones wire or wireless?
16 A. Wire.
17 Q. And who had a phone like this or where were these phones?
18 A. The battalion command, the company commanders and the logistics
19 had those phones.
20 Q. Was there a phone like that in the IKM?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If a company commander wanted to call the battalion command, can
23 you explain what the procedure he would have to follow, how did this
25 A. If a company commander wanted to call the battalion commander he
1 first had to call us in the communication centre, I would respond, and
2 then I contacted the -- I got into contact with the battalion commander
3 or whoever it was that they wanted to talk to and then I simply put them
4 in contact, and that's how they were able to speak to each other.
5 Q. And now, what if the battalion command or somebody in the
6 battalion command wanted to speak to a company commander, what was the
7 procedure then?
8 A. The same principle. The battalion command calls the switchboard,
9 and then tell us what company they wanted to get in touch with, I call
10 the company and I put the battalion command through to them.
11 Q. Now, when I look at this communications system between the
12 battalion command and the companies, were such communicators reliable at
13 the time? Or maybe if I can be more precise, did you have any problems
14 with this communication system at the time?
15 A. Well, sometimes there would be a disruption if there was
16 shelling, then the lines could be disrupted. But then --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part
18 of his answer. He is also kindly asked to speak more slowly and clearly.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, shall I leave this in your hands.
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. The interpreter ask you to speak a bit more slower and to try and
22 speak more clearly between the words so that they can better interpret.
23 You mentioned some disruptions on the line due to shelling and
24 then you added something that the interpreters did not get. So what
25 would happen if there was, for example, like you say, disruption on those
2 A. If there was a disruption then one of the signalmen would remain
3 in the centre and the other one would go out to the line and would link
4 up with the man at the forward command post to the place where the
5 disruption occurred and would fix it.
6 Q. And when you say, "the man at the forward command post," I take
7 it you mean the communicator who was there; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, yes, the signal man or the communicator.
9 Q. I would like to turn to communications between the battalion
10 command and the brigade command. How did that work?
11 A. Well, the principle was the same. If the battalion command
12 wanted to speak to the brigade command they had to call us at the centre
13 and then I called the brigade centre in order to put the battalion
14 command through to them so that they could talk to each other.
15 Q. And let's just to make it clear for the benefit of everyone in
16 the courtroom, if the battalion commander wanted to speak to the duty
17 officer in the brigade command, can you describe step by step how this
18 would be done?
19 A. The battalion command calls the communication centre. I in turn
20 call the com centre at the brigade, and I put them in touch with the
21 battalion command and then the battalion command talks to their signalman
22 and asks them to call whoever it is that they want to talk to.
23 Q. So if I understand you correctly, there were four persons
24 involved in such a communication?
25 A. Yes. The one who is making the call, I who put them through, and
1 then the signal man in the brigade.
2 Q. Now, if a call was coming from the brigade command to the
3 battalion command using that phone system that you described for us, who
4 is the first person to get this call at the battalion, to hear this call?
5 A. It's the same principle. If somebody calls from the brigade
6 command and they want to talk to somebody in the 2nd Battalion again it
7 goes through the com centre, through us, and I call the 2nd Battalion and
8 whoever is there at the 2nd Battalion picks up, the battalion commander,
9 the personnel officer, whoever it there and then they pick up the phone.
10 Q. Thank you. Was there a civilian phone in the communication
11 centre where you were?
12 A. No.
13 Q. To your knowledge was there a civilian phone in the battalion
15 A. No, I don't know that.
16 Q. Is it possible on the lines of communication that you describe
17 for the enemy to intercept these communications?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And why is that, if you know?
20 A. Because all the lines were in our territory. There was no line
21 crossing into their territory.
22 Q. And what would someone have to do in order to intercept these
24 A. Well, they'd have to put some bugging equipment on the wire and
25 then eavesdrop on the conversations.
1 Q. Now, these wires that you discuss, and whether it is between the
2 companies and the battalion command or between the battalion command and
3 the brigade command, did they sometimes break?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, I move to a different area concerning the communications
6 centre. Was there a radio in your communications centre?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you recall what kind of radio that was?
9 A. It was RUP 12 radio.
10 Q. And was there a radio in the battalion command?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Are you familiar back in 1995 with the procedure for sending or
13 receiving a telegram at the 2nd Battalion?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you describe for us the procedure when a telegram is received
16 from the brigade? Maybe let's begin first by what is a telegram, can you
17 describe for us what is meant by the word telegram?
18 A. A telegram is a written piece of text containing information who
19 the sender is and who is on the receiving end.
20 Q. And how is this written, you say, information communicated? Or
21 transmitted, maybe to use a better word.
22 A. When communicating in this way, when, for example, a brigade
23 commander is sending a message to the 2nd Battalion, their signalsman
24 calls the switchboard at the 2nd Battalion and then the message is
25 dictated and taken down. Once that is completed, the person from the 2nd
1 Battalion who responded is then being told the message word for word and
2 taken down -- the message gets taken down again.
3 Q. So if I understand you correctly, it is the communicator in the
4 communications centre who notes down the telegram that is dictated to
5 him, is that the procedure?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And how is this information -- can you describe to the best of
8 your recollection how is this information then communicated to the
9 battalion command?
10 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand.
11 Q. Perfectly. Once the communicator has heard the telegram and
12 noted it down, as you describe, what does he do next?
13 A. He delivers it to the person who is supposed to receive it, for
14 example, at the battalion command. If in turn the battalion command
15 wants to send a message to the brigade commander, then the brigade
16 commander would finally receive the telegram.
17 Q. And in between the communications centre and the battalion
18 command, is that done orally using the phone, or is that delivery in
20 A. Between the com centre and the battalion we used telephone lines.
21 If at the battalion command, there's only one duty officer and cannot
22 take the message down himself, then, for example, I would do it and hand
23 it over personally.
24 Q. And if you know, was the telegram transmitted by phone written
25 down by somebody in the battalion command?
1 A. Everything I dictate over the phone, they take down.
2 Q. Now, if a telegram is sent by the brigade command using the
3 military phone, the first person to hear the content of the telegram
4 within the battalion, who is that?
5 A. The first person to hear it, you mean in the battalion? The
6 battalion command.
7 Q. Maybe I will make my question more precise.
8 Within the battalion lines, the first person to hear the message
9 which is dictated, who is that?
10 A. It would be us, the signalsmen. We were the ones receiving the
11 telegram and forwarding it to the command.
12 Q. And as a signalman or communicator, did you use codes to encrypt
14 A. No.
15 Q. And was there, to your knowledge, a book in the communications
16 centre which explained to you how to code or decode telegrams?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And you yourself, were you qualified, did you have the knowledge
19 to code or decode telegrams?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You mentioned earlier that you were a communicator in the JNA.
22 Did you learn then how to code or decode telegrams?
23 A. No.
24 Q. To your knowledge, were the other communicators in the 2nd
25 Battalion qualified or have the knowledge to code or decode telegrams?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: There's no basis, there's no foundation laid for
3 the question. The answer at this stage would be purely speculative.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
5 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I think the witness knows or he
6 doesn't know, and he can answer the question.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what we think too. So if you could answer
8 the question, please.
9 MR. BOURGON:
10 Q. I will say my question over again, sir.
11 To your knowledge, were the other communicators in the 2nd
12 Battalion qualified or have the knowledge to code or decode telegrams?
13 A. No, they did not.
14 Q. Sir, in July 1995, the specific period that we will now be
15 addressing, did you have any knowledge in the days following the fall of
16 Srebrenica that Muslim prisoners were held in the Rocevic School
18 A. Yes, I heard about it.
19 Q. And can you share with us exactly what you heard at the time?
20 A. I only heard that there were some prisoners at Rocevici.
21 Q. And at that moment, during that period, were these rumours ever
22 confirmed, to your knowledge?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Confirmed by whom?
25 MR. BOURGON: Confirmed to him.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
2 Q. Confirmed to you, sir?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And at the time, did you hear any rumours as to what happened to
5 these prisoners, if there were any prisoners?
6 A. I didn't hear any such thing.
7 Q. And today, sir, do you know if there were prisoners held in
8 Rocevic in July 1995?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And where did you learn that?
11 A. I heard that over television -- on television since I moved to
13 Q. And what did you learn happened to these prisoners in Rocevic?
14 A. That there were executions.
15 Q. Now, if I move back to July 1995, as a communicator, have you
16 ever become aware in the days following the fall of Srebrenica of a
17 telegram being received by the 2nd Battalion asking for soldiers to
18 participate in the execution of prisoners?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And during the same period, did you hear any rumours about a
21 telegram being received by the 2nd Battalion asking for soldiers to
22 participate in the execution of prisoners?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And during the same period, were you made aware at any time that
25 pressure was exercised on your battalion commander or battalion to
1 provide soldiers to participate in the execution of prisoners?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you know who Sreco Acimovic was?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Who was he?
6 A. The 2nd Battalion commander.
7 Q. Did you see him from time to time at the battalion command?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did Sreco Acimovic ever tell you about a telegram received at the
10 2nd Battalion asking for soldiers to participate in the execution of
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know who Mitar Lazarevic is?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who is he?
16 A. He was in the personnel department of the battalion command.
17 Q. Do you remember where he worked?
18 A. He worked in the battalion command in Malesici.
19 Q. Did you see Mitar Lazarevic from time to time during this period?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And did Mitar Lazarevic ever tell you or provide information to
22 you concerning a telegram received at the 2nd Battalion asking for
23 soldiers to participate in the execution of prisoners?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know who Vujo Lazarevic is?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who is he?
3 A. Vujo was in the 2nd Battalion in charge of morale of the soldiers
4 and the battalion in general.
5 Q. And where did Vujo Lazarevic work?
6 A. He worked in the battalion but he spent most of his time at the
7 lines with the soldiers.
8 Q. And did Vujo Lazarevic ever tell you or inform you about a
9 telegram being received at the 2nd Battalion asking for soldiers to
10 participate in the execution of prisoners?
11 A. No.
12 Q. If we look at the battalion command where you were, how many
13 people were there working in that area where you worked, not only the
14 communication centre but the battalion command itself?
15 A. I can't tell you exactly but in the rear there were five or six
16 of them.
17 Q. Can you tell us what do you mean by the rear?
18 A. I mean the cooks and such.
19 Q. Now, were there any drivers located in the same area where you
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were there any other tradesmen working at the battalion command,
23 that you remember of?
24 A. No, there weren't any others. I can't remember.
25 Q. Now, did you during that specific period in the days following
1 the fall of Srebrenica hear any rumours about the existence of a telegram
2 being received by the 2nd Battalion asking for soldiers to participate in
3 the execution of prisoners?
4 A. No.
5 Q. I move to a different area, sir.
6 Did you know during this period or during the war, let's take a
7 longer period, who was Drago Nikolic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How much did you know Drago Nikolic?
10 A. I saw Drago Nikolic for the first time in 1993 when he negotiated
11 with the Muslim side concerning my brother who had been taken prisoner.
12 That's when I saw him for the first time.
13 Q. And did you know what was the position of Drago Nikolic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And how often did you see him after this period in 1993 that you
17 A. I didn't see him at all after that.
18 Q. Do you know Drago Nikolic enough at the time to be able to
19 describe him?
20 A. I saw him then for the first time but to me, he still looks the
21 same. Nothing changed.
22 Q. And how is that, sir? What did he look like at the time?
23 A. He was young, only his hair turned grey but that was it. He was
24 of medium height.
25 Q. Now, you spoke about a Muslim exchange of prisoners. I would
1 like now to show you a document which is document 7D454. If you look in
2 the screen in front of you, sir, a document will appear. And this
3 document is in your language. And I would like to have the second page
4 of the document, there's a paragraph numbered 2. Do you see the document
5 in front of you?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. What I will do now is I will read this second paragraph in
8 English for the record and at the same time as I read you can look on the
9 screen in front of you in your language. Paragraph 2: "Negotiations of
10 the chief of intelligence and security affairs with the Muslim side
11 regarding the exchange. The chief for intelligence and security affairs,
12 2nd lieutenant Drago Nikolic, met with representatives of the command of
13 the 106th Muslim brigade in the area between Pecine and Kovacevici hours
14 on 7 November 1993
15 Todorovic from Rocevic. The enemy side gave a list of persons it was
16 interested in and an agreement was reached to continue contacts on the
17 exchange. Contacts are still underway and our side has its own proposals
18 for the exchange. Specific to these two contacts is that they were the
19 first direct contacts between the two enemy command at such a high level.
20 We expect these contacts to build the enemy's confidence in our fairness
21 and honest intentions."
22 Sir, my first question is do you know Risto Todorovic from
24 A. Yes, I do. Risto Todorovic is a cousin of mine on my aunt's
25 side. The only mistake is that he isn't from Rocevic, he is from my
2 Q. And this paragraph that I just read out, is that the exchange
3 that you were talking about earlier?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And to your knowledge what was the result of this exchange?
6 A. It was concluded successfully. They were exchanged. Risto came
7 over to our side and two of their soldiers went to the other side.
8 Q. Did you see Drago Nikolic at any point after this situation in
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you see him in or around the battalion command or the 2nd
12 Battalion command in July of 1995?
13 A. No.
14 Q. I now move to the last part of my examination-in-chief. My first
15 question I would like to ask you is you mentioned there were a number of
16 communicators. My question is were they -- were most communicators
17 younger or the same age as you were at the time?
18 A. Some of them were younger, whereas some of them were older than
19 me. Both ways.
20 Q. Sir, when is the first time that you met with anybody from the
21 team for the Defence of Drago Nikolic?
22 A. Twenty days before arriving in The Hague.
23 Q. And sir, how do you feel about giving evidence in this trial
25 A. Regularly.
1 Q. You believe that testifying here will have repercussions on you
2 when you return home?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: I don't see the relevance of that question in
5 relation to the issues at hand before the Court.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we should discuss this in front of
7 the witness. Will you move to your next question, Mr. Bourgon.
8 MR. BOURGON: Well, Mr. President, those are my last two
9 questions, and I believe they're -- if he wants to remove his earphones,
10 I can explain why they are relevant.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you understand English, Mr. Cvijetinovic? I'm
12 talking to you. Do you understand English?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you kindly remove your headphones for a short
15 while, please.
16 Yes. Could you answer Mr. Vanderpuye's query or --
17 MR. BOURGON: Yes. Mr. President, for the Defence of Drago
18 Nikolic it's highly relevant a witness to comes here to testify and he
19 testifies in public session. To ask him how he feels and whether he
20 believes there will be repercussions about his testimony when he returns
21 home is highly relevant for himself and for his testimony but also in
22 light of what happened yesterday where another witness refused to testify
23 because he believes that something will happen to him if he returns home,
24 it is highly relevant for the Court to hear it and it's in the interest
25 of justice to know what this witness believes and what his motivation is
1 to come here today and there are only two questions about this,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, please.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: By majority vote once more could you -- yeah.
6 Mr. Cvijetinovic, could you answer the question. The only
7 relevance we see is as regards this witness's credibility, so we are
8 allowing question by majority. Yes.
9 MR. BOURGON: Should I repeat the question, Mr. President?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I can remember it quite vividly.
11 MR. BOURGON:
12 Q. Sir, can you answer the question or do you wish me to repeat the
14 A. Please repeat.
15 Q. Sir, do you believe that testifying here will have repercussions
16 on you when you return home?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And why is this, sir?
19 A. Because I live in Serbia
20 neighbours. There's no need for me to feel threatened in any way.
21 Q. And what do you think, sir, today of these events and the war and
22 the events of July 1995? What is your feeling today about these events?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What importance do you attach to all this? At the
24 end of day, who he is? Why should we know what importance he attaches to
25 those events?
1 MR. BOURGON: I must admit, Mr. President, I'm surprised that the
2 Court is not interested in finding out how the witness feels, but I will
3 stop here, Mr. President. Thank you very much.
4 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 Mr. Zivanovic, you had asked for 20 minutes.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I shan't cross-examine this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Mr. Nikolic you had asked for 15 minutes.
10 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] There must be a mistake Your
11 Honour, we have no questions.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. It's probably Mr. Ostojic's mistake,
13 not yours.
14 Mr. Gosnell.
15 MR. GOSNELL: No questions, thank you Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Fauveau.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No question, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 Mr. Josse.
20 MR. JOSSE: No mistake here. We offered no time which we don't
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: I just want to ask the witness one question of
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please go ahead.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
2 Q. Witness, today at page 12, lines 19 to 21 when describing how you
3 would deal with an incoming telegram, you said between the communications
4 centre and the battalion we used a telephone line. Is that correct?
5 A. Well, yes. When I received a telegram from the brigade command,
6 I relay it to the battalion command over the phone in turn because I say
7 the words and the duty officer at the battalion writes them down. He is
8 on the phone and I'm on the phone.
9 Q. Thank you. So it would follow, to clarify some earlier answers
10 you gave, that there was a telephone at both the communication centre and
11 the battalion command?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Mr. Vanderpuye.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to
17 you, Your Honours. Good afternoon to my colleagues.
18 Q. And good afternoon to you, Mr. Cvijetinovic. My name is Kweku
19 Vanderpuye. On behalf of Prosecution I'm going to ask you questions in
20 relation to your direct examination, and if I ask you anything that's
21 unclear just let me know and I'll try to rephrase it in a way that we can
22 both understand each other a little bit better.
23 All right. Now, I'm going to ask you a little bit about this
24 telegram a little bit later on but I just want to be clear about what you
25 are saying. Are you saying that in the days following the fall of
1 Srebrenica, while you were a member of the communications unit of the 2nd
2 Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade that you didn't receive any
3 communication, telephone call about prisoners at the school in Rocevic?
4 Is that your testimony?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So you had no information whatsoever in those few days following
7 the fall of Srebrenica that there were a good number of prisoners that
8 were actually at that school, between say 500 and 1.000?
9 A. We in the battalion did not have this information at all. I did
10 not have this information at all.
11 Q. Now, you seem to recall specifically that you were on duty
12 following the fall of Srebrenica in those first few days; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Didn't take any days off, right, between the 11th and the 16th of
15 July? Right?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please speak into the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was my turn to work. My
19 shift had just commenced in those days.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE:
21 Q. All right. So you didn't take any days off between the 11th of
22 July and, say, the 16th of July, that's your recollection, is it?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. All right. Now, as a signalsman, it was your training, and you
25 understood of course, that it was your job to handle communications
1 between the battalion and its subordinate units, which is companies and
2 platoons and so forth, and the battalion and the brigade; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And was your function as a signalsman limited to those avenues of
5 communication as between the battalion and subordinate units and the
6 battalion and the brigade, or did you actually have to route
7 communications from the battalion beyond the brigade to other brigades in
8 the corps and so forth?
9 A. No. I communicated only with the brigade command, the battalion
10 command, and those who were on the line, the companies, in other words.
11 Q. All right. Now, you would agree with me that there's certain
12 information that can be relayed from the brigade to the battalion that is
13 of significance and importance to the battalion; right?
14 A. I don't understand your question.
15 Q. Okay. Well, did you receive any communications about enemy
16 movements, enemy locations at your battalion from the brigade?
17 A. Well, I received information. If any attacks were on the line
18 from the Muslim side or if any sabotage actions were expected, then we
19 would receive this information so that we could be ready.
20 Q. Well, did you receive any information concerning the movement of
21 Muslim forces following the fall of Srebrenica, at all, at your
23 A. Well, yes, on that day I received information that our line
24 should be in a state of readiness lest we should be caught by surprise
25 and lest our line should be broken through in an attack.
1 Q. You said that day. What day are you talking about?
2 A. On that day, the Srebrenica day.
3 Q. All right. How about subsequent to that day?
4 A. Again, that the line should be in a state of readiness lest they
5 should be caught by surprise.
6 Q. All right. Well, did you hear anything about the movement of
7 Muslim forces, at all?
8 A. Well, I heard that from the direction of Srebrenica they were
9 heading towards Tuzla
10 state of readiness. That was the only message that we had received, the
11 message that we were supposed to relay to the defence lines.
12 Q. That's the only information you got regarding the movement of
13 Muslim forces following the fall of Srebrenica?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You got no other information concerning your battalion or any
16 other battalions following the fall of Srebrenica with respect to the
17 movement of those forces; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were you aware that the 4th battalion on the 14th of July 1995
20 was engaged in combat?
21 A. I knew very little. I really didn't know much.
22 Q. Well, okay. Well, did your battalion receive any of this
23 information concerning the combat operations of the 4th battalion with
24 relation to the Muslim forces following the fall of Srebrenica?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Do you know that with respect to the presence of prisoners,
2 Muslim prisoners at schools, that information was relayed to the 4th, the
3 1st, the 6th battalions concerning their presence at schools, following
4 the fall of Srebrenica?
5 A. No.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, yes or no? He has answered it,
8 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, he is at the 2nd Battalion.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm only asking him if he knows about it. I
11 think that's a reasonable question, Mr. Bourgon.
12 Q. You have no information whatsoever about information that was
13 received by the 4th Battalion, Lazar Ristic of the 4th Battalion, the
14 deputy commander of that battalion about the position of prisoners in
15 Orahovac on the 14th of July 1995, you don't know anything about that;
17 A. I don't know anything about that. I was in the 2nd Battalion.
18 Q. Okay. Is it your testimony there was no communication amongst
19 the battalions with respect to the presence of Muslim prisoners in the
20 Zvornik area, is that your testimony, sir?
21 A. I didn't understand your question.
22 Q. Is it your testimony that there was no communication amongst the
23 battalions of the Zvornik Brigade with respect to the presence of Muslim
24 prisoners in the Zvornik area?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. So you had no information with respect to the
2 disposition of any other battalion in the Zvornik area in the days
3 following the fall of Srebrenica, that's your testimony?
4 A. Well, that is my testimony, but I did not have to know that. I
5 didn't have to know anything about what was going on in the other
6 battalions because I was in the 2nd Battalion.
7 Q. You were in the 2nd Battalion in the communications unit; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All communications to your battalion, according to your
10 testimony, went through you and your unit? All of them; right?
11 A. Yes, sir, but sir, I received information only from the brigade
12 command and the battalion command, and then I relayed them to the
13 battalion command or the brigade command. I had nothing to do with the
14 other battalions.
15 Q. All right. Well, my question is, did you receive information
16 from other battalions? That's all my question is. I don't care whether
17 you have anything to do with them or not, I just want to know whether you
18 received any information from them.
19 A. No, no information whatsoever.
20 Q. Now, you were asked the question about what would it take to
21 intercept the line, that is the hard-wire line between the communications
22 centre and the IKM of the battalion; right?
23 A. Well, there could be a disruption of the lines if there was
24 shelling because fragments of shells could damage the line and disrupt
25 the communications.
1 Q. Okay. And in the days following Srebrenica did that occur in
2 your battalion?
3 A. Yes, there was shelling and as a result, the communications were
5 Q. And in the event that the hard-wire line is disrupted, what means
6 do you use to communicate?
7 A. We would immediately go out to fix the damage.
8 Q. I appreciate that answer, but what means would you use to
10 A. There was a Motorola.
11 Q. A Motorola. Okay.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. There was also an RUP 12; right?
14 A. Yes, the RUP 12 was used only when attacks were in progress.
15 When a unit would come under an attack, that's when the RUP 12 was used.
16 Q. All right. And you are aware that in the days following the fall
17 of Srebrenica, that the 7th Battalion had their communications line go
18 down; right? Do you know that?
19 A. What battalion?
20 Q. 7.
21 A. 7th. Well, I don't know about the 7th because I was in the 2nd.
22 Q. What about the 4th Battalion, do you know that their forward
23 command post was overrun, right, and their communications were also cut?
24 Do you know that?
25 A. I don't know that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. If my colleague is going
3 to suggest from the evidence that the 4th Battalion command post was
4 overrun, he should put a date on that, because that's later in the time.
5 Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye, I think that is a fair
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Sorry, I'm just catching up.
9 Q. Did you ever hear that the 4th Battalion was overrun at all in
10 the days following Srebrenica?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You said you got in contact with the Defence in this case about
13 20 days ago, or 20 days before you arrived here; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I take it you met with them and discussed the subject matter
16 of your testimony; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you hadn't spoken to anybody else about the be subject matter
19 of your testimony before you were first contacted by the Defence 20 days
20 ago; right?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And with respect to your meeting with the Defence, who did you
23 meet with?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
25 MR. BOURGON: My colleague didn't say when he is talking about or
1 just in general at least the witness can know.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think he said he met 20 days ago, he was
4 contacted 20 days ago, that's the point of reference that I'm referring
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it should be clear enough to the witness.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE:
8 Q. If you recall, can you tell us when it was that you met with the
10 A. Well, I don't know the exact date. 20 days before I was due to
11 come here, they came to my place and I gave them a statement and that's
13 Q. Okay. And that was at your house, I take it?
14 A. Yes, in Sabic [phoen] where I live, at my house.
15 Q. Who did you meet?
16 A. Well, there was Mrs. Jelena and Mrs. Navinka [phoen].
17 Q. All right. And you discussed what you are testifying about
18 today; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you were specifically asked about this telegram; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What were you asked about this telegram?
23 A. Well, they asked me what kind of telegrams I received and that's
25 Q. All right. And it's your testimony that you've never received a
1 coded telegram; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. During the time that you were in the JNA in the communications
4 unit there, you never dealt with a coded telegram; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You never dealt with a coded telegram during your the time that
7 you served in the 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It's your testimony that no other person in the battalion signals
10 unit was able to decode a telegram, that's your testimony, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you know how all of them were trained; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. And you served with all of them in the JNA too; right?
15 A. No, no. I was older than some and younger than others so we
16 didn't all serve -- we didn't all do our national service in the same
18 Q. Okay. You know someone named Dragan Stevanovic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who was he?
21 A. He was the commander of the communications section.
22 Q. Commander of the communications section. Was he working on the
23 14th of July of 1995?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You sure about that?
1 A. No, no.
2 Q. Okay. And as the commander of the communication section, is it
3 your testimony that he didn't have the ability or the facility to decode
4 a telegram? He didn't know how to do that?
5 A. I say that he didn't.
6 Q. How do you know that?
7 A. Well, I know that he didn't know. I know that he didn't know.
8 None of us knew how to do it. We hadn't been trained to decode them.
9 None of us had the requisite training.
10 Q. You know that coded telegrams were used or were used during the
11 time that you were in service; right?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
13 MR. BOURGON: Which service, Mr. President, the JNA or in July
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I would imagine July 1995. Is that correct,
16 Mr. Vanderpuye?
17 MR. VANDERPUYE:
18 Q. While you were in the VRS, during your period of time that you
19 served in the VRS.
20 A. No, we never received any coded telegrams. I didn't decode any
21 and I didn't know how to do that.
22 Q. That's not my question. My question is, you know that they were
23 in use at the time that you served in the army, isn't that true?
24 A. Maybe in the regular army, but I didn't use them while I was in
25 the JNA. I never used them.
1 Q. So you've never seen, for example, telegram codes?
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can I have 65 ter 3749, please, in e-court. If
5 I could just go to --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Your microphone, please.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And we will be stopping at 15.40 instead of 15.45.
9 That's in a minute's time. Today the end of the sitting will be somewhat
10 earlier than usual because we need to finish before, in other words, we
11 will be finishing at 18.40, that's 20 to 7.00, which means that we need
12 to reduce a little bit the breaks that we have which instead of being 25
13 minutes duration will be of 20 minutes duration. So I suppose you can
14 stop here for the time being, Mr. Vanderpuye, and continue after the
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's fine. Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll meet again in 20 minutes' time.
18 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, just for planning purposes, I don't
19 know how much longer my colleague intends to take. He indicated a
20 certain time, but for the next witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you for reminding us. How much longer,
22 Mr. Vanderpuye?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I don't think I will be more than 20 minutes
24 when we get back. I don't think so.
25 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.39 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, for the record, Ms. Nikolic for the Nikolic
5 Defence team is present, as well as Mr. Thayer for the Prosecution.
6 Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. If we could just go to, I believe it's the next page ending 616.
9 Sorry, 617. Thank you. Yeah, if we could go to the bottom of the page,
10 please. Thank you. What you see at the bottom of the page, sir, is
11 codes, telegrams.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
13 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Before this document is
14 used we should establish some kind of a basis has the witness ever saw
15 this document before, what is the document in the first place and where
16 does it come from. Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Still have to see it anyway, so --
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you for that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE:
21 Q. This is a document that came from the Bratunac Brigade, was
22 seized in 1998, and the question that was put to the witness was had you
23 ever seen telegram codes such as the ones depicted here in this
24 particular document? Have you ever seen anything like that, sir?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Now, you can see in this document under the term
2 Svemir that this is a code for telegram and it assigns certain numbers to
3 letters right? A is 70, B is 22, C is 14 and so on, so forth; right?
4 A. I don't understand this and I don't know about this type of
5 sending telegrams, I'll not familiar with it at all.
6 Q. So you've never heard of numbers or letters being coded in the
7 way that's depicted in this particular document as a signals officer,
8 that's your testimony?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: He's not a signals officer, he is a communicator,
11 big difference.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE:
13 Q. All right. I believe -- I'll correct myself. Communicator or
14 signalsman; right? You've never heard of documents, of letters or
15 numbers being coded in this particular way as you see in the screen
16 before you? Right?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. If we could just page up just a little bit, and you see this at
19 the top of the screen, this talks about artillery code tables. You've
20 never seen a document reflecting the words "Razgovornik" like you see
21 here, which is a table of these kinds of coded information, have you seen
22 anything like that as a signalsman or a communicator, right?
23 A. Sir, I repeat that I never received such a telegram and I never
24 came across this.
25 Q. That's not my question. My question is whether you've ever heard
1 of anything like this before, as a signalsman.
2 A. No.
3 Q. And as far as you know, nobody in the signals unit in your
4 battalion knows anything about coding done in the way that's depicted in
5 this document, that is, codes for certain terms and codes for certain
6 letters? Right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So nobody in the communications unit in your battalion has the
9 ability to decode a message in this case, for example --
10 A. No.
11 Q. -- that uses the term 100 referring to a code table by the name
12 of MEDA, nobody could understand that that is a code?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. And as far as you are aware, nobody in your battalion had
15 that ability, that is to decode or understand coded communications?
16 Nobody in the communications battalion, nobody in the area of security or
17 anything of that nature; right?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: As far as you know, of course. Yes.
19 Yes, Mr. Bourgon, if you wish to add anything to what I said,
20 please go ahead.
21 Mr. Cvijetinovic, if you could answer the question, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, as far as these people in the
23 communications department, we were not able to handle coded telegrams. I
24 don't know about the command battalion, though.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE:
1 Q. When you say you don't know about the command battalion, what do
2 you mean by that?
3 A. I mean the commander, assistant commander and others who worked
4 at the battalion command.
5 Q. You don't know whether they had the ability to decode
7 A. Yes, I don't know, and I don't think they knew how to do that.
8 Q. All right. Now, we talked a little bit about, well, a little
9 while ago we talked about the possibility of the line going down between
10 the IKM and the communications centre. You said it's possible if there's
11 an instance of shelling, for example; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it's also possible that that line could be tapped or listened
14 in on?
15 A. They could not listen on -- listen in because the line between
16 the forward command post and the communication companies was in our
18 Q. All right. Well, they could be in your territory and you not
19 know about that, isn't that right, Mr. Cvijetinovic?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 Q. Well, you do know that you didn't know that they were in the
22 schools; right?
23 A. I'm not clear about the question. You are mentioning?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. BOURGON: I don't know what the question is about my
2 colleague could clarify his question where he says I don't not know that
3 they did not know that they were in the school, I mean, can he clarify
4 his question so that the witness can answer a right question. What is he
5 talking about?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE:
8 Q. You say that the line can't be tapped because it's in your
9 territory; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And in order for it to be tapped, an enemy would have to be in
12 your territory to do that; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what I'm putting to you, sir, is that you did have enemies in
15 your territory that you admit you didn't know about, in the days
16 following the fall of Srebrenica; right? They were at the school; right?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't raise your voice unnecessarily,
18 Mr. Vanderpuye.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Sorry, I was a little too close to the
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not the microphone.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hear from you for the first time
23 that -- I've only just learned about such information. I had no
24 knowledge of it prior to this testimony.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE:
1 Q. That's my point Mr. Cvijetinovic. What information am I bringing
2 to your attention for the first time today?
3 A. That there were Muslims, I mean, enemies in our territory able to
4 wiretap. I'm not clear about that.
5 Q. Okay. You know today that there were in fact prisoners in the
6 school in Rocevic; right? While you were --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And you have said today that you did not know, or you had
9 no information that they were there at the time; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And so I put it to you that if you didn't have that
12 information, isn't it possible that you wouldn't have other information
13 relating to whether or not your lines had been tapped by the enemy?
14 Isn't that a possibility?
15 A. I had no such information that the enemy was listening in. It is
16 possible. I don't know.
17 Q. That's all my question is, is whether or not it's possible. And
18 it is, isn't it?
19 A. I don't know.
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vanderpuye, are you done with this document?
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: I am, I am.
22 JUDGE KWON: If you could read the title so that I can catch the
23 meaning of it. What does MEDA mean?
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: My understanding is that MEDA refers to the name
25 of the code, that is the code that applies to this table. Svemir applies
1 to the table that is for the telegram codes so that which code is being
2 used is clear to the person decoding.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon. I think it's MEJA and not MEDA.
4 Is that correct?
5 MR. BOURGON: Maybe my colleague can testify where these codes
6 were used, who was using them, what table it is, what date it is, where
7 does it come from. We have no such information and the witness has never
8 seen this document, Mr. President.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I haven't put the question to the witness as to
10 whether or not he used this document and I'm sure my colleague well
11 understands it and if he wants to redirect the witness on it, I'm sure
12 he's welcome to --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: -- with the permission of the Court.
15 JUDGE KWON: And if you know the meaning of the second title in
16 the lower part, "Svemir Sifra Za Telegrame."
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Oh, I'm sorry. We don't have the English
18 translation up in e-court.
19 MR. BOURGON: We don't.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: I apologise for that. I thought we did.
22 The second part reads, telegram codes, Svemir, and that is the
23 name that applies to that telegram code.
24 MR. BOURGON: And how does my colleague know that, Mr. President?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's proceed, please. Let's proceed.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. You've testified, sir, that you didn't get any information
3 whatsoever concerning the fact that there were prisoners either on their
4 way or in the school in Rocevic; right?
5 A. Right.
6 Q. Which means that that information couldn't have gone from your
7 unit to your command or your commander; right?
8 A. Yes, it wasn't forwarded and I did not receive such information.
9 Q. So you received no information that transportation was needed in
10 order to move these prisoners from the school to another location; right?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You got no information that personnel were required in order to
13 secure these prisoners at the school?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You got no information that personnel were required to secure
16 these prisoners and escort them for the purposes of being executed?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And you got no information that these prisoners were executed?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And you got no information that members of your battalion knew
21 about that execution?
22 A. No, no information.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... participated in it?
24 A. No.
25 Q. That means that your commander didn't have any of the information
1 that would have come to you over the communications line?
2 A. Not via our section. He didn't receive such information through
4 Q. You know that he testified that he did receive that information
5 through the signals unit?
6 A. I did hear of it.
7 Q. Where did you hear of it?
8 A. I heard it there, in Serbia
9 Q. All right. Did you hear it because you followed the proceedings,
10 or did you hear it because somebody told you about it?
11 A. I was told by the Defence that Sreco was here to testify.
12 Q. Were you told by the Defence what he testified to?
13 A. No, they didn't say that.
14 Q. Did they say anything about his testimony about a telegram?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Okay. Did they mention to you that Mitar Lazarevic testified
18 A. I didn't hear of it. They didn't mention Mitar Lazarevic.
19 Q. So the first time you heard that name Mitar Lazarevic from anyone
20 from the Defence was when Mr. Bourgon asked you about him on your direct
21 examination today? That's the first time you heard that name from the
23 A. I didn't understand the question. The first time what?
24 Q. The first time you heard the name Mitar Lazarevic mentioned by
25 the Defence, was that when Mr. Bourgon asked you about him on your direct
1 examination not an hour ago?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So the Defence had never mentioned to you Mitar Lazarevic at all,
4 right, before today?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you spoke to the Defence about 20 days ago, I think that's
7 what you said. That's right, isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. You talked about your commander, Mr. Acimovic, right?
10 A. Sir, I did not discuss with the Defence about my commander or
11 anyone else. The Defence only talked to me about communications and
12 telegrams. That was the topic of our discussion and that's why I'm here.
13 I absolutely know nothing of anything else. What I told you is what I
14 stand by as I said to the Defence. I'm telling you the same thing, I
15 know nothing of anything else.
16 Q. I'm curious, I received a note from the Defence and in that note
17 they say that you provided the following information, and the information
18 that you provided was that at the time of the fall of Srebrenica in July
19 1995 you were on duty for seven days, in that period the witness, that is
20 you, received no coded telegrams requesting Commander Acimovic to select
21 a squad for execution of prisoners, and the communicators in the 2nd
22 Battalion either before or after 1995 never received coded telegrams, and
23 that you weren't trained to receive such telegrams; right? Right?
24 A. Yes, yes, I confirm that.
25 Q. And in the course of that conversation with the Defence, you
1 never spoke about Sreco Acimovic, that's your testimony?
2 A. That is correct. There was no need to mention him at all.
3 Q. Okay. Just bear with me for a moment. Did you learn that Sreco
4 Acimovic testified in this case, sir?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Who did you learn that from?
7 A. I learned of it here. I learned that he was here for the
9 Q. From who?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
11 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, the question was asked and answered
12 before and the answer of the witness was exactly I was told by the
13 Defence that Sreco was here to testify.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but he's saying --
15 MR. BOURGON: From whom?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He is now saying that he wasn't told by the
17 Defence. Anyway, let's proceed.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE:
19 Q. From whom?
20 A. From the Defence appearing here.
21 Q. Who? Who? From Mr. Bourgon?
22 A. Well, yes, Mr. Bourgon.
23 Q. Did you learn at any time that Mr. Acimovic had mentioned that he
24 received a telegram in relation to his testimony in this case? Did you
25 learn that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who told you about that?
3 A. The Defence.
4 Q. When you say the Defence, do you mean Mr. Bourgon?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And did he also tell you that Mr. Acimovic said that that
7 telegram was coded?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And did he tell you that Mr. Acimovic said that coded telegram
10 was received by the signals unit?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did he tell you that Mr. Acimovic said that the signals unit
13 decoded the telegram?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did he tell you when the telegram was supposedly or supposed to
16 have been received?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did he tell you what date Mr. Acimovic says he received that
20 A. He didn't mention a date.
21 Q. And did he mention to you whether or not anybody else had
22 testified about that telegram?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. And who did he mention had testified about that telegram?
25 A. Mitar Lazarevic.
1 Q. And he told you that 20 days ago when you met with him?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What did he tell you about what Mitar Lazarevic said about that
4 telegram, sir?
5 A. That he confirmed what Sreco had said. I can't quote the exact
6 words, though.
7 Q. All right. He said -- you said he told you that Mitar Lazarevic
8 testified about that telegram; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. And do you think that you could be in trouble for passing
11 on a telegram that called for an execution squad to be assigned?
12 A. I absolutely did not receive or send such a telegram; therefore,
13 I don't know why I would be in trouble.
14 Q. You have a specific recollection that it wasn't received; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you think you could be in trouble for passing on a telegram
17 such as that?
18 A. Well, let me say this again, I don't think that I would be in
19 trouble because I did not send any telegrams at all.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Could I just have 65 ter 312 in e-court, please.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please switch off his
22 microphone when not using it.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Is there an English translation of this in
24 e-court? If we could go to page 2, the next page in the English.
25 Q. Under number 4, do you see your name, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If we could slide over on the B/C/S, please. I don't know if
3 it's possible to make it smaller so we could see the dates on the top.
4 Maybe we could just look at the B/C/S version, then. I think it would be
5 easier. Do you see your name, number 4, under 13 July?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... indicate?
8 A. What do you mean?
9 Q. What does the symbol indicate that's depicted next to your name
10 under the date of 13 July?
11 A. Well, I don't know. There are pluses and minuses here. Probably
12 whoever put this in put it there in order to indicate when I was present
13 and when I was on leave or absent. Whoever put in those pluses and
14 minuses knows best what it meant.
15 Q. Well, what it shows is the letters "OD," which mean that you were
16 off on that day.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You see that?
19 A. Yes, the second date here.
20 Q. When I asked you if you were working the whole time, you said you
21 were? Do you remember that too?
22 A. Well, yes, yes, yes. I was there.
23 Q. It also shows that your commander was there, right, on the 14th
24 of July? That's in the top.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It also shows that Mitar Lazarevic was there on the 14th of July;
3 A. Let me just have a look.
4 Q. He's number six --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- on this list? You see that, right?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cvijetinovic.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have no further questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
11 Is there redirect, Mr. Bourgon.
12 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Please go ahead.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
15 Q. Sir, do you remember that the --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I've just been informed that the
17 document that has been -- last document used is under seal. So did we
18 broadcast or not? Yeah, we did. So we need to block that. We've got a
19 30-minute -- transcript, I don't know. I would like to have a feedback
20 from Mr. Bourgon and Mr. Vanderpuye on this. I would rather play it safe
21 and redact that as well. I don't know why it is under seal but it seems
22 to be under seal.
23 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, as long as it's under seal, I
25 would ask that it remain that way. I can't remember why it is.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't remember either. The thing is that if it
2 is correct that it is under seal, we have to respect that. The blocking
3 of the broadcast, external broadcast, there's no problem.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: We are looking into it right now. Hopefully,
5 we'll be able to tell you in a minute.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't help you here because I don't remember.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: We are checking, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. And in the meantime think on
9 whether we should redact also the text from the transcript. Well,
10 actually I don't see why we should redact because it only refers to him.
11 Actually the questions that were put only refer to him, but there are
12 other individuals there. I don't know why we put it under seal if we
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: We are unable to tell you right now,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Okay. Let's play it safe. The transcript I
17 don't see the need for any redaction. You don't know either. So let's
18 play it safe. We redact the broadcast insofar as it was shown. That's
19 the only thing we need to redact or block. Okay. All right. Otherwise
20 the transcript I think it's safe as it is. No other persons, no other
21 names were mentioned. All right.
22 Sorry to interrupt you like this, Mr. Bourgon. Please go ahead
23 with your redirect.
24 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Cvijetinovic, do you remember that the first person you met
1 from the Defence of Drago Nikolic was our investigator?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: I know that my colleague is on redirect but I
4 don't think that's an excuse to lead the witness. I object on that
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But come on, I mean, let's restrict the
7 objections to substantial ones. Go ahead.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat your
10 MR. BOURGON:
11 Q. First, do you recall whether I was there 20 days ago when you met
12 with the Defence?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you remember if the first contact you had with the Defence
15 whether Ms. Nikolic beside me was there?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was there, to your knowledge, a first meeting before that when
18 you met somebody else from the Defence?
19 A. I don't understand your question.
20 MR. BOURGON: One minute, Mr. President.
21 Q. Do you recall, sir, how many meeting, how many times you met with
22 the Defence before you came to The Hague?
23 A. There was only one meeting before my arrival here.
24 Q. When you provided the first information to the Defence of Drago
25 Nikolic to the fact that there was no telegram received at the 2nd
1 Battalion command concerning executions, when this information you first
2 mentioned that, do you recall if before you mentioned that there was ever
3 any mention of the testimony of Acimovic or anyone else in this case?
4 A. The first information I got was from the Defence when we met 20
5 days ago, and before that I did not have any information.
6 Q. And what is the first information that you gave to the Defence?
7 The first thing that you said before we gave you any information?
8 A. Well, my information regarding telegrams and communications, I
9 confirmed, as I have confirmed here, that I did not receive any telegrams
10 containing such text.
11 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Radovan Keslelj?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember meeting with Radovan Keslelj at your place?
14 A. Yes, I remember that.
15 Q. Do you recall that when you met with Radovan Keslelj, Ms. Nikolic
16 was not there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you remember that Radovan Keslelj was alone when he saw you?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, we will need to have a little short
21 break. I will get the notes from the investigators which I will show to
22 the witness and file them before the Court so we know exactly what was
23 said when the investigator took the notes so I can put that to the
24 witness so he can confirm that, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: How short?
1 MR. BOURGON: Very short, I just need to get a photocopy so I
2 can --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's handy, in other words.
4 MR. BOURGON: Yes, it's not very far. We have it on the screen
5 here, in our records, we just have to print it and show it to the witness
6 to say exactly what was asked of him and what he said on that day to our
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you found the document?
11 MR. BOURGON: Yes, we do, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you make -- yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I would just like to
14 have an opportunity to look at the documents, if I may.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: And secondly, I don't believe that the witness
17 has laid the foundation to have his recollection refreshed.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. That's what we were getting to.
19 Mr. Bourgon, you need first to lay precisely the foundation that
20 Mr. Vanderpuye is obviously referring to. And perhaps you have a spare
21 copy for Mr. Vanderpuye or if you don't you can let him have a look at
22 the notes before you put the questions.
23 MR. BOURGON: Unfortunately I just --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Have one copy.
25 MR. BOURGON: Only one copy was delivered.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That is understandable in the circumstance.
2 MR. BOURGON: But I can -- I have no problem in waiting a few
3 minutes to get more copies so that everyone can get a copy of this. I
4 have no difficulty whatsoever, Mr. President, and I will establish the
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's only Mr. Vanderpuye who's interested.
7 I don't figure out that the other Defence teams have any interest at all.
8 But if you --
9 MR. BOURGON: Should we wait until we have a copy?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, at least for Mr. Vanderpuye. In the
11 meantime, you can ask the foundation questions.
12 MR. BOURGON: I need my copy to ask the foundation questions.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Have a look at them, Mr. Vanderpuye, please.
14 All right. Can we proceed? Mr. Vanderpuye, have you returned
15 the document?
16 Yes, let's give Mr. Vanderpuye two minutes to go through it.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Bourgon.
19 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Cvijetinovic, first you mentioned to my last question that
21 you did -- you do remember meeting with the investigator from the Defence
22 Radovan Keslelj; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you remember what Radovan Keslelj asked you on that occasion?
25 A. Well, yes. He also asked me about communications and about
2 Q. Do you remember if he asked you on that occasion whether you had
3 any -- whether you were -- or where you were at the time of the fall of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And do you remember if the investigator asked you whether you
7 were on duty during that period?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And do you remember that he asked you if you remembered any other
10 communicators who work with you at the 2nd Battalion?
11 A. Yes, he did ask but we didn't talk that much. He talked to me
12 mostly about the documents afterwards over the phone. This was just a
13 brief meeting in person.
14 Q. And do you remember that the investigator asked you questions
15 about what you knew, if you knew anything about the use of coded
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 Q. And before that did he tell you that there were no coded
19 telegram? Did he suggest anything to you before asking that question?
20 A. When I said that I never received any such telegrams --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't catch the last part of the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I don't know if there was a last part of the
24 answer. I didn't hear anything, but could you finish your answer or
25 repeat it please, Mr. Cvijetinovic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave a statement to Mr. Keslelj
2 about telegrams and communications. He didn't ask any questions, any
3 further questions because this was just a brief meeting.
4 MR. BOURGON:
5 Q. Did he ask you if you knew Drago Nikolic?
6 A. Yes, he did.
7 Q. Did he suggest to you at any point what to answer?
8 A. No.
9 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I'd like now to show to the witness
10 this document. I think I've established some basis for the document so
11 that the witness can read the document and confirm whether any
12 information included therein was not provided by him on that occasion.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I don't know if my --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Should we discuss this in the presence of the
16 witness or not? I prefer not.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Perhaps not, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cvijetinovic, can you remove your headphones,
19 please. Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President. I don't believe that my
22 colleague has laid the foundation to refresh the witness's recollection,
23 he hasn't indicated that he has not recalled anything and there's no
24 basis otherwise to show him the document, certainly not for the purposes
25 of confirming the information that's contained in it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
2 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, the Prosecution is challenging
3 directly the credibility and the integrity of the Defence, and they are
4 using this, if I can say, a tactic I've never seen in the courtroom
5 before in order to attack the credibility of the witness who is before
6 you, and it is normal for that witness to see the information he provided
7 to the investigator who was the first person to see him so that he can
8 confirm whether he provided that information before he spoke to any
9 members of the Defence team. This has got two reasons, of course to
10 re-establish the credibility of the witness which is the purpose of my
11 redirect examination, so show that there was no reason for him to lie in
12 any way but to confirm the information that he provided to the Defence
13 before he spoke to any member of the Defence team. This is a serious
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President. Mr. President.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Your Honours. I appreciate that. I
21 don't necessarily wish to dignify the comments that my colleague has made
22 with respect to the tactics that are involved in cross-examination of the
23 witness. But I would like to remind the Court that the information that
24 my colleague is seeking to rehabilitate the witness with is information
25 that was not provided to the Prosecution and had it been provided to the
1 Prosecution, there may not be the need for this redirect examination to
2 begin with. The witness has not indicated that he met with an
3 investigator when those questions were directly put to him as to his
4 contacts with the Defence in this case. That's not a tactic. And the
5 witness simply answered that he had met with the Defence on one occasion.
6 My colleague is now trying to establish something completely different.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Your final comments, Mr. Bourgon, and let us
9 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, these are notes from the
10 investigator. They are not given to the Prosecutor. It is a byproduct
11 of our own work such as like the notes of the Prosecution investigators
12 are. We never get the notes from the investigators that are compiled by
13 the Prosecution investigators. Now they use documents in this
14 cross-examination, documents that were never put on their list before
15 that were never disclosed to the Defence --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, okay.
17 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, this is such low tactics coming from
18 the Prosecution --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
20 MR. BOURGON: -- that this witness must be given an opportunity
21 to see whether he gave that information to investigator in the first
22 place. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Keep cool. Don't get keyed up, there's no need to
24 get keyed up with us because we can handle any situation.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Big deal, a storm in a teacup. We see
2 your point, Mr. Vanderpuye, and in common law terms you are probably a
3 hundred percent right, but this is a mixed system and I think considering
4 the areas that -- the instances when the witness was hesitant not exactly
5 knowing the circumstances, we would rather allow the question by a
6 majority vote.
7 So Mr. Bourgon, please proceed and let us get it over and done
9 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Sir, first I'd like to apologise -- can you hear?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'd like to apologise for this conversation but I think I did
13 warn you that there would be such a thing and not to worry about it. Do
14 you recall me saying that to you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I would now show you a document, ask the court usher to show you
17 a document. And maybe the best thing would be for everybody to put it on
18 the ELMO beside you. Sir, we'll put the document just on the machine
19 beside you. And I just ask you that you read this document and I will
20 read it in English in the meantime.
21 And it's called information report submitted by Radovan Keslelj,
22 investigator in the defence team for Drago Nikolic. It says a
23 conversation with Cvijetinovic, Milisav and it talks about a conversation
24 on 17 and 26 August 2008. And the participants are identified as
25 investigator Radovan Keslelj and the place is Sabac in Serbia.
1 Information paragraph, "On 17 and 26 August investigator Radovan Keslelj
2 spoke to Cvijetinovic, Milisav from Sabac on his knowledge in relation to
3 events in July 1995. When the war started in BiH the witness was
4 temporarily working abroad in Israel
5 and was mobilised to the Kiseljak Battalion as a soldier on the Defence
6 lines. After his brother got killed on 22nd March 1993 the witness was
7 withdrawn from the line and was deployed as a communicator in the 2nd
8 Battalion in the Zvornik Brigade, this while he was serving his military
9 service in JNA, he was a communicator. The witness remembers that the
10 time of the action on Srebrenica in July 1995, he was a communicator in
11 the 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, the command of which was in
12 Malesic and the commander of which was Sreco Acimovic. He remembers that
13 at the time after the fall of Srebrenica he was on duty as a communicator
14 in the command of the 2nd Battalion in Malesic but he cannot remember who
15 was also a communicator working with him in the shift. He thinks that
16 the communicators change at the same time when there was a shift of the
17 soldiers on the line. Besides him communicators in the 2nd Battalion
18 were Miodrag Pisic, Govan [phoen] Ilic, Stevanovic Dragan, Stambi
19 [phoen]. The communicators at the battalion command never received coded
20 telegrams. The witness said they never received coded telegrams but only
21 connected the communications. At the battalion they never used coded
22 messages and he never decoded any messages. And also other communicators
23 at the battalion were not trained for decoding. When asked whether he
24 had any knowledge about a telegram arriving to battalion requesting to
25 appoint soldiers, volunteers who would carry out execution of prisoners,
1 the witness responded that he never received or heard about such telegram
2 or order. He remembers that at the time after the fall of Srebrenica
3 when the column of Srebrenica people was moving towards the territory of
4 the BiH Federation Vinko Pandurevic called battalion command and said to
5 strengthen the Defence lines and state of readiness in case of an attack.
6 He never heard from Pisic or Ilic or anyone else that the telegram arrive
7 requesting soldiers for execution. The witness says he did not send a
8 telegraph to the brigade informing the brigade that the battalion has no
9 people for execution and he never heard anything about that. The witness
10 says that he never knew Drago Nikolic personally but he know who he
11 looked like at the time. He was young but had grey hair. He remembers
12 that Drago Nikolic came to IKM in Vitinicka Pecina and that he negotiated
13 with the Muslim side to exchange Rist o Todorovic who was captured by
14 Muslims. Those negotiations lasted for several days but Drago managed to
15 carry out an exchange. Risto Todorovic was a cousin of the witness.
16 This exchange took place in December 1993."
17 Sir, my question is the following: do you recall providing this
18 information to Mr. Radovan Keslelj?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you remember whether you provided this information before you
21 met with any lawyers on the team of Drago Nikolic? That means Jelena
22 Nikolic and myself Stephane Bourgon.
23 A. I met him first.
24 Q. Is there any information that I just read out from this report
25 that was suggested to you by Mr. Keslelj?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you recall that five minutes before testifying I went to see
3 you in the witness room in the back?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember that for the first time I would ask you the
6 question whether Sreco Acimovic gave any information to you concerning a
7 telegram that he sent -- concerning a telegram that would have been
8 received at the 2nd Battalion concerning a request to send people to
9 participate in executions?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And again please decide whether what you are going
13 to say should be, ought to be said in the presence or the absence.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: It shouldn't be in the presence.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then Mr. Cvijetinovic, could you remove the
16 headphones again, please. My apologies for the inconvenience.
17 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, the question is leading. This is
19 precisely the issue upon which my colleague is seeking to rehabilitate
20 the witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It is definitely leading. If you could rephrase
22 it, Mr. Bourgon.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: And Mr. President, I would say at this point
24 that the cat is out of the box. I don't know that my colleague can
25 rephrase it in a manner that wouldn't have influenced the witness's
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Mr. Bourgon has a lot of cats in the bag.
3 So he can make use of one of them.
4 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
5 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, before
6 the witness puts back, the Prosecution started the process by challenging
7 again I say the credibility and the integrity of the Defence. I do not
8 appreciate, my colleague does not appreciate and we need to clear the
9 record not only for our name, we never suggested any information to the
10 witness. He cannot hear what I'm saying right now. We never tried to
11 influence this witness in any way. And I think that what the Prosecution
12 suggested to the witness was inappropriate and that's what I'm trying to
13 correct right now. And I did ask a new question to the witness five
14 minutes before walking in the courtroom and I think it is quite
15 appropriate for the witness to tell us what questions I told him five
16 minutes before walking in the courtroom that I asked of him.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's bring this to an end.
18 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, the questions that were put to
20 the witness concerned his contact with the Defence as concerns his
21 testimony. There is no implication the Defence did anything improper.
22 It was simply to establish the fact that he had contact with the Defence
23 or had information concerning the be subject matter of his testimony
24 which is exactly --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: That may be true. I don't even want to discuss
1 that but obviously the questions were put.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. My hunch is that by now the witness
4 would have even forgotten what the question was, so if you could perhaps
5 rephrase it and be careful how you rephrase it, Mr. Bourgon.
6 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And to know better how much he remembers, I suppose
8 if you just put a simple question, when I met you five minutes before,
9 what did I mention to you, what did we speak about. I think leaving it
10 that vague, we'll see what he answers and then we'll be in a better
11 position to make an assessment.
12 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Sir, do you understand, can you hear me?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I put a question to you earlier saying that you recall that we
16 met five minutes before this court session began and you said yes. Do
17 you recall what we discussed then?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you say the names of the three people that we discussed,
20 three names that we discussed that I would be asking questions about?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, this is leading in itself again. I mean,
22 try to elicit an answer without putting leading questions, please,
23 Mr. Bourgon.
24 MR. BOURGON:
25 Q. What persons did we speak about, if you recall?
1 A. We talked about Vujo Lazarevic.
2 Q. Anybody else?
3 A. I don't know. My memory doesn't seem to be working right now.
4 Q. I fully understand.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Could you please ask him whether he
6 wishes to have a break, in which case we'll have the break now.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, a break would be good.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll have 20 minutes and then we'll
9 proceed right through until 18.40. Thank you.
10 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 --- Break taken at 5.18 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
14 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You have last asked him whether you had discussed
16 or you had talked about Vujo Lazarevic and then anybody else and he said
17 I don't know and his memory was failing him at the time.
18 MR. BOURGON: I will move on to a different topic, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
20 MR. BOURGON:
21 Q. Welcome back, sir, I only have a few more questions for you and
22 this will be over. Can you hear me?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. One of my colleagues put a question to you earlier to the effect
25 that there was a telephone line in both the battalion command and the
1 communications centre. What kind of telephone are we talking about?
2 A. It's a military induction phone that you start up with a lever.
3 Q. And all the questions that were put to you today, the
4 communications between the brigade --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Bourgon. Your colleague
6 Mr. Zivanovic.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. One word was not translated it was
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Which means what?
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Wire.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 MR. BOURGON: I thank my colleague for this missing word.
13 Q. Sir, all the communications that we discussed today between the
14 brigade command and the battalion command, on what kind of telephones or
15 telephone lines were these communications taking place?
16 A. Wire, by wire. Through a switchboard.
17 Q. And are these the same type of military inductor phones?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. My colleague showed you a document with some type of coding or
20 codes or letters. Did you at any time within the communications centre
21 of the 2nd Battalion see any book or piece of paper with codes like this
22 on them?
23 A. I think I said three or four times that we didn't have such a
24 thing. We didn't work with coded telegrams.
25 Q. My colleague asked you a question about information concerning
1 the movement of troops, and you said that you received telegrams about
2 ensuring that the companies would be in the highest state of readiness.
3 My question is, how many such telegrams do you recall receiving during
4 those days?
5 A. I don't remember how many, but at least two or three. They were
6 there to warn the lines to be on the ready.
7 Q. And do you recall any other types of telegram that you received
8 while you were working as a communicator?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you receive any telegrams, for example, concerning list of
11 equipment that would be required?
12 A. Daily we would receive such things, for example, from the
13 logistics command that would concern supply in terms of food and
14 clothing. That's what we would usually receive, although I can't tell
15 you any exact dates.
16 Q. Thank you. If I can have in e-court, please, document P312. And
17 I'd like to have, to begin with, the first page of this document.
18 While the document is being put before you, sir, I have another
19 question. You just responded to my question that you would usually
20 receive telegrams from logistics command concerning supply but that you
21 cannot remember the exact dates. My question is, if you had ever
22 received or been made aware of a telegram asking people to participate in
23 executions, is this something that you would remember?
24 A. No. I never heard of such a telegram, I never received it and
25 I'm not familiar of such a -- with such a telegram.
1 Q. I apologise, my question was not precise enough. If such a
2 telegram existed, would you remember such a telegram? If it existed?
3 A. Of course. Had it existed, I would have remembered it. Much
4 like I remember now that I didn't receive any such telegrams.
5 Q. Now we have the document before you. If you can look on the
6 screen before you, I'd just like to draw your attention to the list of
7 names that are there. If I draw your attention and I will read out those
8 names. Sreco Acimovic, did you know him?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And Stevo Savic [phoen]?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Maybe I will go more quickly. Is there anybody on that list, do
13 you recall that those people you work with them in July 1995?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, I think and we all think this is the
15 document which we said was under seal.
16 MR. BOURGON: It is, Mr. President. I think it should not be
17 broadcasted and --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We have in the meantime, Mr. Bourgon,
21 Mr. Vanderpuye, we did our researches as well to see how come it was
22 under seal, and the circumstances are such that for the purpose of this
23 testimony in particular, we don't need it to remain under seal at all and
24 we can lift the confidentiality, so that's precisely what we are doing.
25 Okay. So go ahead.
1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. So, sir, we can look at this document that is before you. And
3 the names of the people that appear in -- beside the numbers 1 to 16, do
4 you recall working with these people in July 1995?
5 A. Some were there but I don't remember all of them. I don't know
6 which of them was in the command during those days.
7 Q. And coming from any of them that you do remember, did any of
8 these people ever provide you with any information concerning a telegram
9 received at the 2nd Battalion requesting people to participate in
11 A. No.
12 Q. Now, if we look down at the bottom of this document, you have the
13 list of the communicators. Do you recognise the names of the eight
14 communicators who are there?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, Stevanovic, he is the commander. My question to you
17 concerning Stevanovic, did he operate the switchboard or it was only
18 communicators who operated the switchboard?
19 A. He did too. He only commanded the squad but he did the same
20 things we were doing.
21 Q. And did any of these people, these communicators that are on that
22 list, did any of them provide you any information or even rumour
23 concerning a telegram that was received at the 2nd Battalion requesting
24 people to participate in executions?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And my last question, sir, is simply, coming here today, do you
2 have any reason why you would not tell all the truth about this telegram?
3 A. No reason. What I had to say, I did and I stand by it.
4 MR. BOURGON: I thank you very much, and I apologise for the
5 times that you had to remove the earphones. This is normal proceedings
6 between lawyers but I inform you of that. So thank you very much, sir,
7 no further questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, with leave of the Court I have
10 just a few questions to put this to witness with respect to the document
11 he was shown. I know it's extraordinary to ask to recross a witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: What questions?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: The questions I have --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And if you please -- first, again you will have to
15 suffer a little bit more, Mr. Cvijetinovic. Could you please remove
16 again your headphones, please.
17 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye, we would like to know what the questions
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: The first has to do with what's indicated in the
20 report, that he spoke to this investigator on two separate occasions and
21 my information is or my understanding is he has only met with him on one
22 occasion. I wanted to know whether he met on one or more occasions. The
23 second has to do with whether or not he had any information concerning
24 the fact that Mr. Acimovic had testified and the subject matter of his
25 testimony before he met the investigator since that was unknown to me
1 during my cross-examination initially that he ever even met an
2 investigator. The third question has to do with the specific reference
3 that he made in the --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please speak into the
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you can lift it, lift it up as much as you
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: They are right, because if I remove my headphones I
10 can barely hear you while I hear everyone else.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. I apologise for that, Mr. President. The
12 third question has to do with, well, really his recollection because it
13 says in the statement itself that he remembers that he was on duty but he
14 cannot remember who was also a communicator working with him in the shift
15 which he apparently seems to recall at this time. And the last question
16 has to do with a specific recollection of Vinko Pandurevic calling the
17 battalion command in reference to strengthening the lines in the state of
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, do you wish to comment, Mr. Bourgon, before we
21 MR. BOURGON: As long as the my colleague is asking these
22 questions and they are questions that were not raised and not discussed
23 at all during the either examination-in-chief or cross-examination and
24 these are completely new questions. I understand that they are raised on
25 this document but this document was used for the purpose of for a very,
1 very limited purpose. So the first two questions, I have no problem
2 because they are a link to why the document was used in the first place,
3 how many times he met, whether he had information about Acimovic before,
4 I have no problems.
5 When he gets into the contents of the information itself, if the
6 Court allows it I have no problem, but this was new information that
7 should not be asked. Thank you.
8 MR. HAYNES: It may well be if the last of these questions is to
9 be gone into, then I'm going to ask for the leave to discuss the matter
10 with my client, have the witness come back tomorrow morning, and ask some
11 further questions in cross-examination. I think we've probably reached
12 the point with this witness where enough is enough, frankly.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I consider those words of wisdom, Mr. Haynes.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Our decision is to allow the first two questions
16 only. We see no need or regularity in allowing the second and the third.
17 The third and the last, sorry. So it's the first and second question
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you Mr. President.
20 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
21 Q. Mr. Cvijetinovic, I just have a couple of questions for you. You
22 were shown a document by my colleague Mr. Bourgon which is denominated as
23 an information report in it. In paragraph one it indicates that you on
24 the 17th and 26th of August spoke to Radovan Keslelj in regards of this
25 matter. Now, did you meet with him on two separate occasions as well or
1 did you simply speak to him on two separate occasions?
2 A. We met the first time when he came.
3 Q. Which of those two dates would that have been?
4 A. I don't recall. I don't remember.
5 Q. Did he identify himself, by the way, as an investigator for the
6 Defence when you spoke to him?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. On both occasions?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Now, at the time that you spoke to him, did you have any
11 information about the fact that Sreco Acimovic had testified in this case
12 about having received a telegram and about knowing about the prisoners in
13 Rocevic School
14 A. No.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you for that. I have no further
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cvijetinovic, we have come to the end of your
20 testimony. On behalf of the Trial Chamber I wish to thank you for having
21 been kind enough to come and give testimony here and on behalf of
22 everyone I wish you a safe journey back home. Our staff will give you
23 the assistance you require.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, documents?
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I have --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have the list?
4 MR. BOURGON: Yes, we have the list to which only the information
5 report will be added, the one that we -- that was given to the witness,
6 we did not have time to add this.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The one you read out?
8 MR. BOURGON: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think once you have read it out we don't
10 need a copy of it.
11 MR. BOURGON: Then that's perfectly fine, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So the others -- we don't have a list, so
13 I'm not in a position to follow you.
14 MR. BOURGON: That's only 7D454, the documents I used concerning
15 the involvement of Drago Nikolic in exchange of prisoners.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Any objection?
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, Mr. President, there's none.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from the other Defence teams? None.
19 So it is so admitted.
20 Mr. Vanderpuye, do you have any documents that you wish to
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Just -- it's just the one document that I used
23 with the witness, 65 ter 3749.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Which is already tendered, no, I understand?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: I believe I have an English translation for that
1 now for the Court as well.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
3 MR. BOURGON: I object to the admission of -- the admissibility
4 of this document. 3749 is the document with the code, unless I'm
5 correctly -- if I'm wrong?
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: You're correct.
7 MR. BOURGON: It's a document that the witness does not
8 recognise, knows nothing about. It is a new document and there's no
9 reason to admit this document at this time, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The fact itself that he didn't recognise it is
11 sufficient for its admission.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, is what you mentioned the only grounds
14 that you have for objecting to the admissibility of this document?
15 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, in addition to this, this is the
16 type of documents concerning communications where we are now in the
17 Defence case, these documents were never disclosed to the Defence, they
18 might have been somehow given in some big collection but they were never
19 disclosed. During the case of the Prosecution, many questions were asked
20 about code, coded telegrams, list of documents. I myself used documents
21 like this during the case with the Prosecution. These documents should
22 have been given to the Defence at that point. The Prosecution is using
23 the ruling of this Court to use any documents in cross-examination to
24 supplement his rule 65 ter list. This is, Mr. President, an objection
25 that I wanted to make for a long time but it didn't touch my client so I
1 refrain because I know the Court doesn't appreciate these objections. I
2 refrain from doing so, but now I will be filing a motion because I
3 believe the Prosecution is using the ruling of the Court to at this
4 moment enter a whole bunch of new evidence that it should have done so
5 during its case in chief. In all these documents, whether they are
6 accepted or not, admitted or not, at the end of the case then they will
7 ask for these documents to be admitted through the bar table.
8 And this reverse process, Mr. President, makes it that this
9 document should not be accepted. Now, specifically with this one, the
10 only reason if the document is accepted, if it's accepted that the
11 witness did not recognise it and not for its content, then I agree it can
12 go in. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. My colleague is
15 correct, the document was used for the purposes of establishing whether
16 or not the witness was familiar with this type of document. I think it
17 was very specific in my question of it. The document is not being
18 offered as substantive evidence of the fact that these particular codes
19 were used by the 2nd Battalion or by the Zvornik Brigade even. This is a
20 document that comes from a seizure of the Bratunac Brigade. The Bratunac
21 Brigade apparently has this kind of information. By inference it would
22 suggest that the Zvornik Brigade had similar documents. If he is not
23 familiar with that, he is not familiar with that. We are not offering
24 for that purpose. We are simply offering it for the purpose of showing
25 that these types of coding information were used during the time that he
1 was in service, or I should say in the VRS in the Zvornik Brigade as a
2 communications --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Enough, enough, enough, please.
4 JUDGE KWON: And, Mr. Vanderpuye, you do not have any information
5 when this document was actually in effect?
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do not.
7 JUDGE KWON: And just out of curiosity, this document is entitled
8 as "Work Plan of Signal Corps Station Artillery Communication Post
9 Measure." Where did that come from?
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Where did the document come from?
11 JUDGE KWON: No. The title in the e-court system.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Oh, I'm sorry, the title.
13 JUDGE KWON: Is it the Prosecution that put that title?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is an English translation I think in
16 JUDGE KWON: Because I didn't see that kind of information from
17 the document itself, work plan of signal corps station.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: The document itself as far as the English
19 translation is -- I don't know if --
20 JUDGE KWON: No, there's no English translation, but we have
21 English title in the e-court system which was provided by the
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I understand there actually is an English
24 translation, but it wasn't at the time that I used it, to be fair, to the
1 JUDGE KWON: Now we have it.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is now, I think.
3 JUDGE KWON: Let's leave it there.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Kwon. Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Having heard your qualification in response to
7 Mr. Bourgon's questions, we are admitting this document into evidence,
8 but not for the proof of its contents.
9 So anything else? None. We can proceed with the next witness.
10 Next one is Milisav Nikolic, isn't it?
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MR. THAYER: I'd discussed with my friends raising a quick
14 preliminary before the next witness was brought in. It's something
15 frankly that could be raised in the presence of the witness. However,
16 the Court pleases --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
18 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you and
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. THAYER: And everyone. General Pandurevic has brought to my
22 attention that I made an error yesterday, obviously through counsel, that
23 I made an error yesterday during my cross-examination of Mr. Sakotic. I
24 asked a question, and this is at page 25797 of the record, at line 4:
25 "Well, the Trial Chamber has heard evidence from Mr. Ristanovic as well
1 as survivors of a mass execution in the Orahovac area and Mr. Ristanovic
2 testified that he used that backhoe excavator to dig a mass grave while
3 the executions were still going on in front of him, do you know anything
4 about that, sir? And the answer was: "No, not at all," and that was in
5 the context of me showing a particular vehicle work log showing a backhoe
6 excavator July 14th digging trenches at Orahovac for six hours.
7 I made an error when I asked that question and suggested that
8 Mr. Ristanovic had stated in his testimony that he used that particular
9 backhoe excavator on the 14th of July 1995 at Orahovac. In fact, what
10 Mr. Ristanovic testified in Blagojevic was that he used another backhoe
11 excavator, a G700 which was located at the Zvornik Brigade engineering
12 company compound but which was owned by the Zvornik prudevij [phoen]
13 company, Zvornik road company, which is based in Zvornik.
14 So the question I should have asked Mr. Sakotic was, since he had
15 been clear in his Blagojevic testimony that he had used another backhoe
16 was I should have asked him or put it to him that he had used a backhoe
17 excavator at Orahovac on the 14th of July. Not the one that was depicted
18 on the log that I showed him. So I wanted to clarify that for the
19 record. I thank the Pandurevic team for bringing that error to my
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So the witness --
22 MR. HAYNES: I should say thank you too.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we give him a punishment, Mr. Haynes?
24 MR. HAYNES: I'm thinking of it.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good evening to you, Mr. Nikolic. And welcome to
2 this Tribunal. You are about to start giving evidence. Before, you need
3 to make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth.
4 That's the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it out aloud and
5 that will be your undertaking with us.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, please make yourself comfortable.
9 WITNESS: MILISAV NIKOLIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic is going to put some questions to you.
12 She will be followed by others on cross-examination.
13 Ms. Nikolic.
14 Examination by Ms. Nikolic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good evening to you,
16 Your Honours.
17 Good evening to you, Mr. Nikolic. We've met before but let me
18 just state my name for the record. I'm Jelena Nikolic and I represent
19 Mr. Drago Nikolic here.
20 Could you please state your full name for the record, please.
21 A. My name is Milisav Nikolic.
22 Q. When and where were you born?
23 A. I was born on the 1st of January 1963 in Brano Bacici, Bratunac
25 Q. What is your occupation, Mr. Nikolic, where do you work today?
1 A. I'm a construction technician. I work in a construction company
2 in Backa Topola named predemij [phoen].
3 Q. And where do you live now?
4 A. I live in Novi Sad
5 Q. Are you married, do you have children?
6 A. I'm married and I have two children, a son and a daughter.
7 Q. What is your ethnic background? What is your religious
9 A. I'm an ethnic Serb. And I am an Orthodox Christian.
10 Q. What about your wife?
11 A. My wife is a Croat and she is a Roman Catholic.
12 Q. Could we please have 3D383 up in e-court, please.
13 THE INTERPRETER: There is a lot of background noise such as
14 typing and --
15 MS. NIKOLIC:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, could you please look at this
17 document that you see in front of you on the screen. On the right-hand
18 side I think you can see the B/C/S version. And could you please tell us
19 what is this document?
20 A. This is a baptismal certificate of my wife.
21 Q. And her name is?
22 A. Her name is Ruza and the name she was given at her baptism is
24 Q. Her maiden name?
25 A. Horvat.
1 Q. I won't be needing that document anymore, thank you. In the
2 period between 1992 and 1996 were you mobilised into the Army of
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you related to Drago Nikolic?
6 A. Yes, he is my brother.
7 Q. Do you have any other brothers or sisters apart from Drago
9 A. I have an older brother Dragan and a younger brother Borislav,
10 but he died.
11 Q. Could you please tell us where did you grow up, all of you?
12 A. We all of us grew up in the village of Brano Bacici in the
13 Bratunac municipality in our family home where we lived together with our
15 Q. Could you please describe briefly the circumstances in which you
16 grew up, you and your three brothers. What was your family like?
17 A. Well, we grew up in -- we grew up poor in a rural family. My
18 mother was a housewife and my father was a farmer. He would spend his
19 summers working as a construction worker. We had a little bit of land
20 and we worked it, and we children helped do that. And as we grew up, we
21 helped him perform all those jobs.
22 Q. If we go back a decade or so, were your parents able to continue
23 to work and to work the land in the past ten years? What is their
24 health? What has their health been like over the past ten years?
25 A. Well, they were not able to do so because they are ill. As they
1 grow old, they get more and more ill. My father had throat cancer and he
2 had surgery for it in 1986, and my mother had been ill even before that,
3 she had thyroid problem, so because of that, because of their ill health
4 they had been unable to work.
5 Q. And how were they able to make ends meet, your parents?
6 A. Well, the four of us brothers, we helped them. Depending on what
7 they needed every month, we gave them as much money as they needed. We
8 also gave them food and other items that they needed.
9 Q. Did you provide for them?
10 A. Not only myself, all of us four brothers, we provided for them.
11 Q. Could you please tell us more about your brothers?
12 A. Well, my eldest brother Dragan has a degree in political science
13 from Sarajevo
14 And he currently works in the Bratunac municipality in the municipal
15 office there. And also I have completed the school for construction
16 technicians and I live and work in Novi Sad. My youngest brother
17 Borislav has a degree from the mining engineering faculty in Tuzla
18 Before the war he also had a job in the Milici bauxite mines. And after
19 the war he worked in the Zvornik quarry until he retired, and then
20 afterwards he died.
21 My brother Drago completed the military high school in Sarajevo
22 He left for Sarajevo
23 he completed his school in the military dorm and after that he remained
24 in Sarajevo
25 moved to Zvornik where he worked until he retired in 1998.
1 Q. Did Drago spend all his working life as a military professional?
2 A. Yes, up to the moment when he was retired in 1998. From the
3 moment he had started the high school education.
4 Q. Can you tell us why did Drago Nikolic leave home when he was 14
5 to begin his study at the military high school and who made that
7 A. The deciding factor was our father's decision who was forced to
8 make that decision because of economic necessity. At the same time, my
9 older brother was in attendance of the mining -- or school for mining
10 technology in Tuzla
11 primary school.
12 So our father was unable to finance the education of all of us.
13 As is well known, at the time military schools were free, the state paid
14 for that.
15 Q. Mr. Nikolic, for one to be admitted into a military school and to
16 attend a JNA school, did the family have to undergo certain checks
17 including of course the potential student?
18 A. Certainly. For someone to be admitted into such a school the
19 family had to be loyal to the then communist system. This meant that no
20 one from the family was allowed to have either a criminal file or even
21 misdemeanour file, and they ran their checks even outside our immediate
22 family. That was one of the preconditions.
23 Another precondition was Drago's good grades in school. I
24 remember well that at the entrance exam he achieved one of the best
1 Q. Tell us something about the family circumstances of your brother
2 Drago Nikolic's family.
3 A. My brother is married. His wife's name is Milena. He had three
4 children, a daughter by the name of Dragona who is now married, mother of
5 one child. Another daughter, Vida with two children, married. And he
6 had a son Dragisa who died when he was eight in 1980 in the Forenza
7 [phoen] Hospital near Sarajevo
8 Q. Could we have in e-court 3D382, please. Mr. Nikolic, again you
9 will see a document on the screen. Once it is there, please have a look
10 at it and tell us what it is.
11 A. It is a death certificate for Dragisa Nikolic, Drago's son.
12 Q. Thank you, we will no longer need this document. How did this
13 event influence your entire family?
14 A. It was a tragic event for the whole family. It was particularly
15 difficult for Drago's immediate family, and for him as well. It is a
16 loss of a child. You can only imagine what that is like.
17 After that there were some changes in the family. They got
18 closer. Although before that he would usually visit us alone. After
19 that he began visiting us with the rest of his family. You could see
20 that he changed physically. Although, up to that point, he had been
21 partially grey in terms of his hair. At that moment he turned completely
23 Q. Tell us, please, what was the relationship between the four
24 brothers and the family?
25 A. Our relationship was a brotherly one. We were fair to each
1 other, we respected each other and we felt close. Ever since we were
2 little kids we were raised that way to help each other, to take care of
3 each other by our parents.
4 Q. When any of the brothers had particular needs, did the others
5 come to his aid even later on?
6 A. Certainly. For example, when I was building my house in Novi
7 Sad, my brothers, Dragan and Drago, took leave, annual leave and arrived
8 together with our father to help me constructing the house, although it
9 was not long after little Dragisa had been buried. When brother Borislav
10 bought a company of his -- bought an apartment of his company and the
11 apartment was not finished at that point. Since he was ill at the time,
12 my brothers and myself agreed that we would finish the apartment. We
13 bore the rest of the costs.
14 Then it seemed to be Drago's turn to deal with his housing
15 situation. He was trying to buy a house in Banja Koviljaca. I remember
16 that Dragan at that time lent him some money to purchase the house. I
17 wasn't able at the time financially to assist him. I know that he lent
18 him some money and later on when --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand the last
20 part of the answer.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, he needs to actually repeat the last
22 part of the answer. He said, "I wasn't able at the time to assist him
23 financially, I know that he lent him some money and later on when," you
24 said something which the interpreters didn't catch. If you could repeat
25 it, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He also lent him money when Drago's
2 daughters were getting married.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any time when it's convenient to you,
4 madam, we'll adjourn until tomorrow.
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this is a
6 good time for the break.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are finishing early as we intimated to you
8 before. We'll resume tomorrow at 2.15 in the afternoon. Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
10 6.40 p.m.
11 September 2008, at 2.15 p.m.