1 Wednesday, 24 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness appeared via videolink]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So, good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
11 All the accused are present. Absent amongst the Defence teams, I
12 notice Mr. Bourgon, Mr. Nikolic, Mr. Lazarevic, Mr. Krgovic, Mr. Haynes.
13 Prosecution today, Prosecution team is composed of Mr. McCloskey
14 and Mr. Vanderpuye.
15 Yes. The break will be at 10 minutes past 11, and then we'll
16 have another break at 12.30. First break will be of 20 minutes; second
17 break will be a full break of 30 minutes.
18 We are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis, Judge Kwon being absent
19 on official work.
20 Are we in contact with Belgrade
21 Good morning to you. I would like to have first confirmation
22 from you that you can see us and that you are hearing my voice or the
23 interpretation of what I'm saying?
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Good morning, Your Honours. We
25 can see and hear you, and so can the witness.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you repeat please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Good morning, Your Honours. We
3 can see you and hear you both in English and B/C/S.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that confirmation.
5 We are going to proceed with the testimony of this witness. Good
6 morning to you, sir.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You've been summoned as a Defence witness by the
9 accused Nikolic; and before we go ahead, we need to get a confirmation
10 from you, an undertaking, in the form of a solemn declaration that in the
11 course of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth.
12 The lady who is sitting next to you is going to give you, in your
13 own language, the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it out
14 aloud and that will be your undertaking with us.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Ms. Nikolic, who is the lead
18 counsel for accused Nikolic, will be putting some questions to you; then
19 she will be followed by others on cross-examination.
20 Go ahead, Ms. Nikolic.
21 WITNESS: MILAN RADIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 [Witness testified via videolink]
24 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President. Good
25 morning, Your Honours. Good morning to my learned friends.
1 Examination by Ms. Nikolic:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Radic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. I will introduce myself for the record. Although we have met
5 before, my name is Jelena Nikolic, attorney at law.
6 I would kindly ask you to tell us what your first and last name
8 A. Milan Radic, son of Pavle.
9 Q. When and where were you born, and how old are you?
10 A. I was born on the 13th of April, 1943. I'm 65 years old.
11 Q. In 1995, you were 52?
12 A. That is right.
13 Q. Where were you born?
14 A. In Malesic, the village of Malesic
15 post 75413.
16 Q. Where do you reside now?
17 A. In Malesic.
18 Q. What is your current occupation?
19 A. I am retired.
20 Q. You were mobilised during the war in Bosnia in 1992 through
21 to 1995?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. To what unit and what was your position?
24 A. I was mobilised into the Zvornik Brigade in Malesic. There was a
25 battalion there, as well as my company. We were tasked with defending
1 the village.
2 Q. Did you command a company in July 1995?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Do you recall having given a statement to Drago Nikolic's Defence
5 team on the 6th of April 2008?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. In the course of your preparation for the testimony, in the
8 presence of our investigator, Mr. Keselj, did you have occasion to reread
9 your statement?
10 A. I did. I'm familiar with it.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Even though there are so many hundreds
12 of miles apart, he is answering your questions too quickly. So that
13 creates difficulties for our interpreters.
14 Mr. Radic, if you could possibly wait a little bit before you
15 answer Ms. Nikolic's questions, so that you give the interpreters a
16 chance to translate to us in English and French. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Pursuant to Rule 92 ter, I will
19 read out the entire statement of this witness since it is brief.
20 During the war, and in July 1995, I was commander of the
21 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade. My deputy was Petko
22 Tomic from Malesic. The battalion command was in Malesic. The battalion
23 commander was Sreco Acimovic from Rocevic. The battalion had a total of
24 three companies. The companies were almost constantly at their
1 In the period after the fall of Srebrenica, due to my departure
2 in the field, I was replaced by my deputy, Petko Tomic.
3 In July 1995, after the fall of Srebrenica, I cannot remember the
4 exact date, the battalion commander ordered me to prepare 12 soldiers
5 from my company to go in the field on the frontline. That same procedure
6 took place in the other two companies, forming a single platoon of about
7 36 soldiers.
8 As I only managed to provide 11 soldiers, the battalion commander
9 ordered me to go with them as the twelfth soldier. As far as I remember,
10 that platoon headed towards Snagovo on the 13th of July 1995 in the
11 afternoon. In the evening, we arrived at the Maricici position where we
12 spent the night of the 13th to the 14th of July 1995. We remained there
13 the following day and one more night.
14 On the 15th of July 1995, around 11.00 a.m., we left that
15 position in Maricici. There were no combat activities with the BH Army
16 in at that region. They broke through our lines and left towards
18 On the 15th of July 1995, when we left the position in Maricici,
19 I thought that we were going back to the battalion; however, the order
20 was to continue towards Baljkovica where we arrived in the afternoon.
21 We were immediately deployed along the frontline. Those two days
22 were very hard. There was heavy combat until the 16th of July 1995 when
23 the corridor was opened, and the Muslim forces crossed the defence lines.
24 After the corridor had been opened, we went through the woods
25 towards Caparde, and we stayed there for three more days since we could
1 not go back towards Zvornik. Crni Vrh had been sealed off or closed.
2 Three days later, we returned to the battalion.
3 All that time while I was at the frontlines, I had no
4 communication with the 2nd Battalion and the commander, Acimovic.
5 After the 16th of July 1995, I returned to the battalion, and my
6 deputy, Petko Tomic, reported what had happened in my absence. On that
7 occasion, he did not report anything special, and I here by declare with
8 full responsibility that my deputy never informed me or mentioned to me
9 the existence of a telegram from the Zvornik Brigade command requesting
10 men to carry out executions. I have no knowledge about that from anyone
11 else. I'm also sure that if something like that had happened, my deputy,
12 Petko Tomic, would have informed me.
13 This concludes my reading of the statement pursuant to Rule 92
15 Q. Mr. Radic, do you recognise your statement?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. The facts stated therein, are they true and accurate?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do they truly reflect what you would testify before this Tribunal
20 if asked about the events described in your statement?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] At this point, Your Honour, I seek
23 to tender the statement of witness Milan Radic, number 3D477.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from Prosecution?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: No objection, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 From the other Defence teams? All right.
3 The document is being admitted.
4 Yes. Do you have any further questions?
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have a few
6 additional questions.
7 Q. Mr. Radic, how many soldiers were there in your company and where
8 was it exactly in mid-July 1995?
9 A. My company was about 140 strong. It was in Malesic at the
10 defence lines in the trenches.
11 Q. How many trenches were there for your company?
12 A. As far as I can recall, around 14.
13 Q. While you were at the positions, what was your regular
14 communication of your company with the battalion?
15 A. We had wire connection. There was the company command, and we
16 had land lines that we could use to communicate with the battalion
18 Q. Are these induction telephone?
19 A. Yes, I think that's what they are called.
20 Q. Did you ever communicate with the battalion command using
21 Motorolas or radio devices?
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. Did you have a Motorola?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. So you were not using it, if I understood you correctly?
1 A. We were not using it because the land line was more secure.
2 Q. While your company was at the positions in Maricici in mid-July
3 in 1995, did you communicate with the battalion command in Malesic?
4 A. I had no communication with them.
5 Q. In your statement, you say that the battalion commander ordered
6 that 12 soldiers from your company be sent to some frontlines. Do you
7 remember how that particular order was conveyed to you?
8 A. I was told that by my signalsman. It was sent from the battalion
9 communications department down to the company, and my signalsman at the
10 company conveyed that to me.
11 Q. At the time, what was the situation like at the frontlines that
12 were held by the part of your company that left towards Malesic?
13 A. Do you mean Malesic or Maricici?
14 Q. Maricici?
15 A. Maricici. Well, when we left from Maricici, we arrived there in
16 the course of the night. We were then deployed along the frontline. We
17 spent the night there. Perhaps we arrived there around midnight
18 When the day broke, we stayed another 12 hours; then
19 Mr. Obrenovic came from the Zvornik Brigade command and ordered us to
20 move forward. My soldiers went towards the left. On the right-hand
21 side, there were quite many of our soldiers. We set out, and after some
22 500 metres, the Muslims opened fire upon us. They were relatively close
23 in the forest, and they clashed with us.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Radic. This was already described in your
25 statement. I apologise for interrupting you, but I want to move on to
1 another topic.
2 A. Very well.
3 Q. How did you learn of Srebrenica's fall?
4 A. While I was in Malesic with the company, people were talking
5 about it and you could hear it from the media.
6 Q. In mid-July, when you were at the frontline, did you have any
7 information about the situation in other battalions?
8 A. I did not.
9 Q. During that period, while you were away from your company, do you
10 know whether there was any fighting at the frontlines where the rest of
11 your company had been left?
12 A. There was none.
13 Q. How did you learn that?
14 A. When I returned to the company.
15 Q. Did your deputy report it to you upon your return, Mr. Tomic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In your statement, you say: "After the corridor was opened, we
18 went through the woods towards Caparde, and we spent three more days
19 there." Do you remember when you precisely returned to your company?
20 A. I can't tell you what the exact date was. It was a long time
21 ago. I can't tell you exactly. We stayed three days in Caparde. We
22 couldn't go through because the forests around us were full of Muslims.
23 There was a danger of being attacked.
24 Q. While you were away, who commanded the 3rd Company in the period
25 while you were at the frontlines?
1 A. In my company?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Petko Tomic, my deputy.
4 Q. In July 1995, when you returned to your company, what did Petko
5 Tomic report to you, as far as you can remember?
6 A. I remember that when I returned he told me that things were fine,
7 that there were no attacks, that the trenches are fully manned. That
8 would be it.
9 Q. What was your relationship with Petko Tomic, the deputy company
10 commander, in the course of July 1995 and afterwards?
11 A. We were on good terms.
12 Q. In your statement you say that, upon your return to the
13 battalion, and I quote: "On that occasion, he didn't report to me
14 anything in particular. I state with full responsibility that my deputy
15 never of informed me of any telegram for the Zvornik Brigade requesting
16 men to carry out executions."
17 Did you learn anything about the existence of such a telegram
18 from any other battalion member, including the battalion commander,
20 A. I state with full responsibility that during the time I was at
21 the company, no telegrams of that nature arrived. Had it arrived, I
22 would have been informed by someone. I have never heard of that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: This was already in the statement, Ms. Nikolic. If
24 you look at paragraph 4 or part 4, the line before the last: "I have no
25 knowledge about that from anyone else."
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Radic, do you know, by chance, whether the other companies of
3 your battalion received such a request?
4 A. I don't.
5 Q. Did you attend a meeting with other company commanders at the
6 battalion command after your return in July 1995?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Can you remember approximately when was the first time that you
9 met with the investigators of Drago Nikolic's team?
10 A. I think about a year and a half ago.
11 Q. Did they introduce themselves to you on that occasion, and how
12 did they do that?
13 A. Well, they told me that they were Defence lawyers of Drago
14 Nikolic. There was Radovan Keselj and a woman called Nevenko, I don't
15 know her last name. They were the two who -- who contacted me.
16 Q. Do you mean investigators or Defence lawyers?
17 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't remember how they introduced
18 themselves. I think they said "investigators."
19 Q. Do you remember what they asked you when you first met them, if
20 you can remember?
21 A. Well, they asked me to state my name and to say that I was
22 commander in Malesic. And after that, we discussed this issue of
23 telegram, whether I had received before I went into the field, whether my
24 deputy had received it to send people. But I said what I said in my
25 statement, that I had been on the frontline, and that after I had
1 returned, my deputy told me that nothing of the sort happened and nobody
2 informed me of anything.
3 Q. During July 1995, did you know anything at all about any
4 prisoners housed in the school in Rocevic?
5 A. No, I didn't. Rocevic is 20 kilometres from Malesic, and I
6 didn't know anything about that.
7 Q. Also, in July 1995, did you know anything about the fact that
8 these prisoners were later on executed?
9 A. No, I didn't.
10 Q. Do you have any information today about that?
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] ... we have a problem with the ...
12 correct this problem.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there a problem? I am not receiving any
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes. We don't receive the image
17 JUDGE AGIUS: In the background, still I'm hearing voices. I see
18 from the registrar a note that we have -- we don't even have the image
19 anymore. I can see the image on your monitor, and I have the image
21 Can I ask the witness to repeat what he may have answered to the
22 question put to him by Ms. Nikolic.
23 The question was the following: "Also, in July 1995, did you
24 know anything about the fact that these prisoners were later on executed.
25 And you said: "No, I didn't."
1 Then she asked you: "Do you have any information today about
2 those events?"
3 And what was your answer, sir.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't give any answer due to the
5 interruptions. Nowadays, by following the Seselj trials and the
6 witnesses who testified that is the way through which I heard and learned
7 about executions.
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Radic, in the event that there was a request to have members
10 of the 2nd Battalion to take part in these executions, would that be
11 something that would -- that you would remember even to this date?
12 A. Of course, I would, but I wouldn't allow any member of my company
13 to go out there and do such a thing.
14 Q. Had such a request existed, would your deputy, Petko Tomic,
15 conveyed it to you at that time?
16 A. I said, if it had existed, he would have certainly conveyed it to
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
19 questions for this witness in the examination-in-chief.
20 Thank you, Mr. Radic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic.
23 Any of the other Defence teams wish to cross-examine this
24 witness? I see no reaction.
25 Mr. Vanderpuye.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning to you,
2 good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to my learned friends.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
4 Q. And good morning to you, Mr. Radic.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. My name is Kweku Vanderpuye; and on behalf of the Prosecution,
7 I'm going to put some questions to you in relation to your testimony and
8 the statement dated 6 April 2008
9 that is unclear, please let me know so that I can try to rephrase it in a
10 way that we can better understand one another?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I suppose, right off the bat, I want to ask you: You indicated
13 that you that Major Obrenovic came at some point while you were in
14 Maricici and ordered you to move on, and I just want to get from you at
15 approximately what time it was that that occurred?
16 A. Around 1.00 in the afternoon.
17 Q. Did you personally see Major Obrenovic?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Thank you for that. Now, Petko Tomic was your deputy company
20 commander in July 1995; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I think you indicated on direct examination that you have
23 since remained on good terms?
24 A. Yes, that's what I said.
25 Q. And have you spoken to Petko Tomic about the events of July 1995,
1 and specifically about the telegram, the prisoners, the school,
2 et cetera?
3 A. Well, we didn't because we had no knowledge of the existence of
4 any telegram, so there was nothing to discuss. We never received any
5 telegram, and we also didn't hear anything about the school in Rocevic.
6 Q. Are you familiar with what Petko Tomic has said about the
7 telegram, about the prisoners, and the school, and Rocevic?
8 A. Well, he probably said that he also did not receive any telegram.
9 I suppose this is what he stated. I don't know.
10 Q. Did you speak to Petko Tomic at all regarding these matters prior
11 to your discussion -- or rather, prior to your statement of 6 April?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. Okay. And when was the last time you spoke to Petko Tomic?
14 A. Petko Tomic is even today here with me.
15 Q. All right. Did you speak to him this morning?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And is it your testimony, then, that you've never spoken to Petko
18 Tomic about your contacts with the Defence or his contacts with the
19 Defence; that is, the Nikolic Defence in this case?
20 A. No. We are just good friends. We spend time together. That's
22 Q. When was the first time you became acquainted with the idea that
23 a telegram was sent to the 2nd Battalion in July 1995, calling for the
24 formation of an execution squad?
25 A. I heard that from the investigators who came to see me and to ask
1 for my statement. They asked me about this telegram, and that was 18
2 months ago.
3 Q. And when you met with them the first time, you told them that you
4 had no information about a telegram or prisoners at the school or the
5 fact that they had been executed; isn't that correct?
6 A. I didn't tell them anything because I didn't know anything either
7 about the telegram or about the school.
8 Q. And that was 24th March 2007
9 A. Well, more or less. I do not recall the exact date, but that was
10 a year and a half ago.
11 Q. All right. You then met with them again on 23rd June 2007; do
12 you remember that?
13 A. I cannot recall any dates.
14 Q. All right. You remember that you met with them on three
15 occasions, don't you?
16 A. Yes, I think so.
17 Q. All right. Well, what I'm referring to is the second of those
18 three occasions. The date that we have and been provided with is 23rd
19 June 2007. Now, in relation to the second time that you met with the
20 Defence, did you provide them with any information different than you
21 provided them with the first time?
22 A. No, it was all the same. Whatever is written in my statement,
23 that is how it was.
24 Q. With respect to the second time you were interviewed, were you
25 asked any questions different from the questions you were asked on the
1 first occasion, with respect to your knowledge of the events in Rocevic
2 in July 1995?
3 A. No, they didn't.
4 Q. Did they provide you with any information at that time?
5 A. Yes, they did [as interpreted].
6 Q. I'm sorry. Did you say, "Yes, they did"?
7 A. No.
8 Q. All right. On the first occasion that you met with the Defence,
9 what did the investigators tell you?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse, with our permission, your client has
11 left the courtroom for a short while. I take it we can proceed?
12 MR. JOSSE: We can, Your Honour. Thank you very much for
13 alerting me.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
16 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this question was
17 already put to the witness in direct examination, and he gave an answer
18 to it.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I think I'm entitled to ask the
21 question because it's cross-examination, even if it was asked on direct.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I take it if it's leading you to
23 another question, then, yes; but, otherwise, no.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. What information -- what did the investigators tell you
1 concerning these events on the first occasion that you met with them?
2 A. I told them that I was the company commander. They asked me if I
3 had received any telegram. I had already told them that I never received
4 it in terms of sending men to execute the Bosniaks. That was while I was
5 on the line. And when I went into the field, my deputy, Petko Tomic,
6 replaced me, and he repeated that he didn't receive any telegram either.
7 Q. All right. Well, did they tell you what form the telegram came
9 A. Well, it never arrived.
10 Q. What I want to focus you on, if I may, is what information was
11 provided to you by the investigators that came to see you on the first
12 occasion you met with them. So what I would like to know is what did
13 they tell you in particular about this telegram, such as, what form it
14 was in. Did they tell you that?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
16 Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] This witness has been asked two or
18 three times in the same manner and about the same issue, and he gave the
19 answer that he is capable of giving.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: This is different. This is a different kind of
21 question. It specifically refers to whether it was put to the witness
22 the form of this telegram and other details.
23 So please, if you could answer the question, please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They persistently asked me whether
25 I had received the telegram while I was in the company, and my answer was
1 always no, in any form or shape.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE:
3 Q. All right. Did they tell you when it was this telegram was
4 supposedly -- supposed to have arrived?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did they tell you whether or not the telegram was transmitted by
7 radio or by telephone; that is, hard wire?
8 A. I'm telling you that they only asked me if I had received this
9 telegram. I said I didn't, and they didn't ask me anything else about
10 it. I cannot be asked questions about something that I never received.
11 Q. Okay. How long did you meet with the investigators on the first
13 A. Well, between half an hour and an hour.
14 Q. Okay. And you met with them after that on two other occasions?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in relation to the second occasion, you said that the content
17 essentially of the interview was the same; right?
18 A. The same, yes.
19 Q. Same questions, same answers, same information; right?
20 A. Yes, and that is when I gave my statement.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please turn off his microphone
22 when he is not speaking.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I will. Thank you.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE:
1 Q. The information that we have is that you met with the Defence on
2 three separate occasions, and on the third occasion is the date of your
3 statement which was April 6th. Do you have that recollection?
4 A. I remember these two or three occasions, but I cannot tell you
5 exactly how many times. Approximately three times, I'm not sure, but
6 that's what I think.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you would agree that, as a company commander,
8 it's important to know about the disposition of your troops in any given
9 time; right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. You had 140 troops and they were in roughly 14 trenches, I think
12 you said?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it's important as a commander, isn't it, to know how many you
15 have, how many troops you have, where they are, what they are doing, and
16 especially when they are placed in a condition of heightened readiness;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you need to know this as a commander because that information
20 is essential to your ability to command those troops?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It's vital to their being able to carry out tasks that they are
23 assigned; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It's also important to the broader interests of the brigade;
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And it's equally important to the deputy commander of a company;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And, as a commander, it's important that you know about anything
7 that could threaten the positions that are manned by your company; right?
8 A. Yes. We had our area of responsibility, there were 14 trenches,
9 and the crucial thing for me was to guard this line within my area of
11 Q. And in terms of securing that area of responsibility, it's
12 important, of course, that you know what the movements of the enemy are,
13 their number, their location and so on; right?
14 A. Well, we are far away from one another so we couldn't know their
15 movements and their numbers because the line that separated us was --
16 made the distance between us about two kilometres.
17 Q. All right. Now, your company was made up of soldiers that were
18 from villages --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
20 Ms. Nikolic.
21 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Just one intervention regarding the
22 transcript. On page 21, line 3, the witness said that they were
23 separated in trenches, and this was not recorded in the transcript, more
24 than two kilometres.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic.
1 Mr. Vanderpuye.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Your company was made up of soldiers that were primarily from
4 villages in and around Rocevic; is that right?
5 A. No. My company was made up of the residents of Malesic. There
6 was no person from Rocevic in my company. They had their own company.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. I think you indicated that Malesic
8 was about 20 kilometres or so from Rocevic; right?
9 A. Approximately, yes.
10 Q. When you returned to the brigade or -- I'm sorry, you returned to
11 the battalion after the 16th -- first of all, do you recall about what
12 date -- how many days after the 16th that you returned?
13 A. I said that I left approximately on the 13th and that I came back
14 on the 16th or the 17th, which means that I spent five days in the field.
15 Q. When you came back, you spoke to Petko Tomic, your deputy; right?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And you were informed at that time that there had been no
18 fighting while you were away; correct?
19 A. Not in our area of responsibility because our company was
20 deployed to guard the trenches.
21 Q. He told you that things were fine; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. He told you that the trenches were manned; right?
24 A. Yes. Some men were in the trenches and those who were not on
25 duty were allowed to go home on leave.
1 Q. Did he tell you that the battalion had been placed on a
2 heightened state of readiness while you were away?
3 A. No, he didn't.
4 Q. Did you ever learn that the battalion had been placed on a
5 heightened state of readiness at any time, while at any time following
6 the fall of Srebrenica up until your return on the 16th or 17th?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, you said that he didn't tell you that prisoners had been
9 brought to the school in Rocevic; correct?
10 A. He didn't tell me anything, and I have no idea about that.
11 Q. Do you know somebody by the name of Milan Nikolic?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Are you familiar with who the president of the local commune in
14 Rocevic was in July 1995?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you then or have you heard since -- well, let me ask you a
17 different way. Did you then or have you heard since about a woman that
18 was injured, I believe shot, in and around the time that you were away
19 from your battalion in July of 1995?
20 A. Where?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to state the ethnicity of this woman?
22 I think it would help the witness.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I believe she was a Serb woman.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I believe so, too, but I don't know whether
25 the witness was expecting this question.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Did you hear about a Serb woman that was shot and injured in and
3 around Rocevic during the time that you were away from your battalion in
4 July 1995?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. Do you know somebody by the name of Petko Tanaskovic?
7 A. I don't recall that name, no.
8 Q. Were you then or do you now have information that prisoners were,
9 in fact, brought to the school in Rocevic and that, in fact, some of them
10 were killed there?
11 A. As I said, I only heard about it when the Vojislav Seselj trial
12 was taking place. Some witnesses mentioned that, but, otherwise, I have
13 no other information about the event.
14 Q. And you were never told by your deputy, Petko Tomic, that there
15 were prisoners taken from the school and executed in Kozluk; right?
16 A. No.
17 Q. You said before that you would never have allowed anybody in your
18 company to participate in an execution. That's right, isn't it?
19 A. I can state that, with full responsibility, I would never have
20 allowed anyone from my company to go and execute any prisoners. I claim
21 that such a thing did not happen.
22 Q. Were you ever made aware that 2nd Battalion soldiers actually
23 participated in the detention and execution of these prisoners in
25 A. No, I was not. I didn't learn anything about Rocevic.
1 Q. Do you know somebody by the name of Milorad Ristanovic? He is a
2 soldier in the 3rd Company of the 2nd Battalion.
3 A. Milorad Ristanovic, yes.
4 Q. Does he go by the name of also "Beco"?
5 A. No, that's not the one. That's not the one. I know Milorad
6 Ristanovic. He went to America
8 Q. Did you ever hear that he was at Kozluk and participated in the
9 execution there?
10 A. No, no.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, anyway, what was your objection?
12 Okay. Go ahead.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Do you know somebody by the name of Ljubo Ristanovic? He is also
15 a soldier in the 3rd company, 2nd Battalion.
16 A. No, no. I don't know a Ljubo Ristvanovic. I know Stanko
17 Ristanovic, but not a Ljubo.
18 Q. Well, Ljubo Ristanovic is a member of the 3rd company of the
19 2nd battalion. His father's name is Pero. Did you ever hear that he
20 was -- that he was at the execution site in Kozluk?
21 A. I never heard of such a thing. I can guarantee you he would
22 never do such a thing. I know him as a quiet man. I know that because I
23 can guarantee for those who were at the frontlines. I don't know what
24 the people were doing while on leave. However, for this person, I
25 guarantee he would not do such a thing.
1 Q. All right. So you do know who I'm talking about then; right?
2 A. We call him Stanko Ristanovic. I don't know whether his name is
4 Q. All right. Do you know someone by the name of Dragan Jovic?
5 A. No, I don't know.
6 Q. Do you know that Dragan Jovic was a member of the 2nd battalion?
7 A. But not in my company.
8 Q. Not in your company, that's right. You know who I'm talking
9 about then?
10 A. I don't know. I only know that a person with such a first and
11 last name was not in my company, as far as I can remember. As to whether
12 he was in the battalion with the 1st or 2nd Company, I don't know.
13 Q. You never heard that Dragan Jovic, member of the 2nd Battalion,
14 was at the school and at the execution site; is that right?
15 A. I did not hear of such a thing, I swear.
16 Q. Do you know somebody called Zoran Simanic? He is a member of the
17 2nd Battalion, he is in the reconnaissance platoon, and he is the
18 commander. Do you know him?
19 A. No, I don't.
20 Q. You never heard that he was at the execution site either, did
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. Do you know somebody by the name of Radivoje Jekic?
24 A. No, I don't.
25 Q. And you have no information that he was involved in these events
1 at all; right?
2 A. I didn't hear of or I was never informed of any of the people
3 that I know taking part in the executions. This was far from the place
4 where I was.
5 Q. Thank you for that, sir.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I have just a few questions in
7 the area of the communications of the battalion, if I could -- I think
8 you indicated the break time is --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: How long do you expect you need more?
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think maybe ten minutes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we'll have the break now.
12 May I ask our registrar over there how long, after this witness
13 finishes the testimony, how much time do they require over there,
14 technically, in particular, to get the next witness and start him off.
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The next witness is here, so we
16 can ...
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you repeat, please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The next witness is here, so we
19 can start immediately after we finish with this witness.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then we'll have the break now.
21 You will continue immediately after, Mr. Vanderpuye, and we start
22 with the next witness immediately after that. Thank you.
23 Twenty minutes. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.10 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I just want to confirm, once more, that you
2 are receiving me and that the witness is receiving interpretation in his
3 own language?
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour. We are
5 receiving image and sound.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Then we can proceed.
7 Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I will be much
9 shorter than the ten minutes I had anticipated, I hope.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And the Trial Chamber will be grateful for that.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE:
12 Q. Mr. Radic, you know that your commander, Sreco Acimovic,
13 testified in this case between the 20th and the 22nd of June of this year
14 publicly, and that Mitar Lazarevic, the general affairs clerk of the
15 2nd Battalion command, testified in this case on the 26th of June 2007
16 Are you saying, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you never heard
17 about the fact that they testified in these proceedings about the
18 incidents or the occurrences in Rocevic and in Kozluk with regard to
19 these Muslim prisoners that were executed?
20 A. I only recently heard that Sreco Acimovic testified in The Hague
21 I wasn't particularly interested though. It was recently that I learned
22 that he was in The Hague
23 time I hear it from you.
24 Q. Well, you didn't learn that Sreco Acimovic had testified through
25 the Seselj case, so when is it that you learned that he testified in this
2 A. I didn't know that he testified in this case. I only know that
3 he went to testify in The Hague
5 Q. When did you hear that, sir?
6 A. Perhaps a month ago.
7 Q. And from whom?
8 A. We were sitting in a bar, and a neighbour of mine told me that he
9 heard Sreco went there.
10 Q. What is your neighbour's name, sir?
11 A. Mida, Milorad Sakotic, I believe.
12 Q. What did he tell you about what Mr. Acimovic testified?
13 A. He didn't tell me anything about that. He only said that he
14 heard, too, that Sreco went to The Hague. We didn't discuss that any
15 further. We didn't discuss the reason for his going there.
16 Q. The Prosecution has information from two witnesses independently
17 placing Milorad Ristanovic, that is, of the 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion;
18 and Ljubo Ristanovic, the 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion, as being involved
19 in these events at the school or at the execution site.
20 Is it your position that you deny any knowledge of members -- of
21 the participation of members of either your battalion or your company in
22 these events?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
24 One moment, Mr. Radic, one moment.
25 Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] The question has already been put
2 to the witness, and he has answered it on several occasions.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: You wish to comment, Mr. Vanderpuye?
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do. I asked him whether or not he knew. I'm
5 asking him now whether or not he denies that they did.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We will allow the question being somewhat different
8 from the previous one.
9 Please try to stick to the question and answer the question and
10 nothing else, Mr. Radic, please.
11 Do you wish the question to be repeated to you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could he please repeat the
14 MR. VANDERPUYE:
15 Q. I want to know whether or not you deny that members of your
16 battalion and, in fact, members of your company participated in the
17 events concerning the school and the execution of prisoners in July 1995?
18 A. I state with full responsibility that I don't know of any people
19 from my company taking part in the liquidations of those Muslims. I am
20 only referring to the people from my company. I don't know about the
21 rest of the battalion. I don't know of a single man from the company
22 going to execute anyone.
23 Q. Thank you, sir.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have no further questions.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
1 Is there re-examination, Ms. Nikolic?
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it there are no questions from the Bench?
5 Mr. Radic, we've come to the end of your testimony. On behalf of
6 the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having been kind enough to
7 travel to Belgrade
8 and I also wish you a safe journey back home.
9 Our registrar will now proceed to get the next witness ready.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 [The witness withdrew via videolink]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, do you have any documents that you
14 wish to tender, apart from the statement which has already been admitted?
15 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No other documents. Thank you,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You had indicated a series of documents
18 you would have used with this witness, but you haven't used any.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So you don't have any documents either.
21 So we are finished with the testimony of Mr. Radic, and I think
22 we can proceed with the testimony of Mr. Tomic.
23 Let me just check that he is there. Yes, he is there.
24 [The witness appeared via videolink]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Dobar dan, Gospodine Tomic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, I will switch on to English, and I want to
3 make sure you are receiving interpretation of what I am saying in your
4 own language. Do you confirm that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 You have been summoned to give evidence by the Defence team of
8 Mr. Nikolic. And according to our Rules, before you start your
9 testimony, you are required to make a solemn declaration in the sense
10 that in the course of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth.
11 The gentle lady sitting next to you will give you the text of the
12 solemn declaration in your own language. Please read it out aloud so
13 that we can hear you, and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Tomic.
17 Ms. Nikolic will introduce herself, will put some questions to
18 you, and after that, we'll proceed with cross-examination, if any.
19 Ms. Nikolic.
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 WITNESS: PETKO TOMIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 [Witness testified via videolink]
24 Examination by Ms. Nikolic:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tomic.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. My name is Jelena Nikolic, attorney at lawyer, appearing on
3 behalf of Drago Nikolic. We both speak the same language; therefore, I
4 would kindly ask you to wait before answering so that the interpreters
5 would have sufficient time to interpret everything we said and to have a
6 correct transcript. Did you understand me?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. Please statement your first and last name for the record?
9 A. Petko Tomic. I was born on the 7th of October, 1955, in Malesic.
10 Q. Do you reside in Malesic?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. How long have you lived in Malesic?
13 A. Fifty-three years, since the day I was born.
14 Q. Can you tell us what your occupation is?
15 A. I am a construction machinery operator.
16 Q. Where are you employed? What is the name of the company?
17 A. In Novi Sad
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the name of the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you repeat the name of the company, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Backa Put in Novi Sad. Vojvodina
22 Put is a bigger company that owns Backa Put.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. For how long have you been working for Backa Put in Novi Sad
25 A. Since March 1977.
1 Q. How far is Novi Sad
2 A. Around 170 kilometres.
3 Q. Were you mobilised during the war?
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. In what unit?
6 A. The Zvornik Brigade.
7 Q. Were you in any particular battalion or company?
8 A. I was in the 3rd Company in Malesic that belonged to a battalion.
9 I did not change my location during the war.
10 Q. You are referring to the 2nd Battalion?
11 A. There were eight battalions there. I forgot where I was and who
12 commanded what at what time.
13 Q. Do you remember giving a statement to Drago Nikolic's Defence
14 team in April 2008?
15 A. I do. I remember that it was more than a year ago. I don't know
16 whether it was April, but sometime in the course of last year.
17 Q. Before going to Belgrade
18 reread your statement in the presence of Mr. Radovan Keselj?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Did you check the date on the cover page of the statement?
21 A. I think it said the 6th of April. I don't remember exactly.
22 Q. 2008?
23 A. Well, yes.
24 Q. Pursuant to Rule 92 ter, I will read out your entire statement,
25 Mr. Tomic, given that it is short.
1 MS. NIKOLIC: My name is Petko Tomic, and I live in Malesic near
2 Zvornik. I have been employed for almost 30 years in Novi Sad
3 Vojvodina Put in Serbia
4 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade. I was a deputy
5 commander of the 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion.
6 The commander of the 3rd Company was Milan Radic, and the
7 commander of the 2nd Battalion was Sreco Acimovic.
8 The battalion command was located in Malesic, and our company was
9 away from Malesic at the positions that is the combat lines.
10 I remember that in July 1995, after the fall of Srebrenica, a
11 group of 12 men from our company, including Commander Radic, received an
12 order to go to the positions in order to secure the lines that were
13 rather long. They were sent to Maricici.
14 When Commander Radic departed, I remained at the company as his
15 deputy. We were placed at a high level of readiness, and we were at our
16 usual positions. We stayed on the line day and night since the order was
17 to defend the line due to the proximity of the enemy.
18 During that period after the fall of Srebrenica, while I was
19 replacing Commander Radic who was absent, at the company I was not
20 contacted by the battalion commander, Sreco Acimovic, either by phone or
21 personally, in order to inform me about the existence of any telegram.
22 I have never heard about the existence of any telegram from the
23 Zvornik Brigade command requesting men to participate in executions. I
24 have no knowledge about that.
25 The position where I was is far from the rear. I have no
1 knowledge about those events, and I never heard that anyone exerted any
2 pressure on the battalion commander, Sreco Acimovic, to select men to
3 carry out executions.
4 With this, I conclude the reading of the statement pursuant to 92
5 ter rule.
6 Q. Mr. Tomic, do you recognise your statement?
7 A. Yes, entirely.
8 Q. Are the facts contained in your statement true?
9 A. Yes, they are.
10 Q. Do they fully reflect what you would have testified before this
11 Tribunal had you been asked to describe the events concerned?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The quality of the sound
13 via videolink is very bad.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if we can do anything about that,
15 certainly not from our side, but our registrar there perhaps can have a
16 chat with the technicians.
17 If I could ask the interpreters what the problem really is. Is
18 it low volume? What is it?
19 THE INTERPRETER: It's barely audible at times, but there's a lot
20 of background noise. I don't know where it's coming from.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that information. I suppose
22 Ms. Alvarez has heard that, if she can give us feedback whether she can
23 improve the reception.
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, I'll see if I can.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go on in the meantime.
1 The witness if he could kindly speak into the microphone, and the
2 technicians try to eliminate any background noise that there might be.
3 You had a question, Mr. Tomic, which was a simple one. I'll read
4 it out for you. Ms. Nikolic asked you whether the statement, the
5 statement that was read out, fully reflects what you would have testified
6 before this Tribunal had you been asked to describe the events concerned
7 mentioned therein. Would you have stated the same things in other words?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say the same. What has
9 been said, I would repeat that before the Tribunal.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Back to you, Ms. Nikolic.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for your
14 At this point, Your Honour, I would like to request the statement
15 of this witness, 3D478, to be admitted into the evidence.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, we would like to defer the
18 Prosecution's position with respect to this statement. My colleague,
19 with respect to the last witness, essentially took the witness through
20 the contents of the entire statement. To the extent that she does that
21 in this case, we would be objecting to the admission of the statement as
22 cumulative and unnecessary under the circumstances. But if it covers new
23 matter, we will have no objection.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure that Ms. Nikolic has got the message. We
25 didn't stop her before. I suppose she will restrict herself to putting
1 questions that haven't been already answered in the statement that she
2 wishes to tender.
3 Ms. Nikolic.
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I'm going to
5 ask the questions that were not asked when the witness gave his
6 statement, and also the ones that I believe need and require additional
8 Q. Mr. Tomic, how many soldiers were there in your company and in
9 how many trenches, if you remember?
10 A. I think that there were 14 trenches and about 130 or 140
11 soldiers, but it varied afterwards.
12 Q. To the best of your recollection, how did your company
13 communicate with the battalion command?
14 A. Well, we had those telephones, induction telephones.
15 Q. Did you communicate with the battalion command perhaps via radios
16 or Motorola or anything else?
17 A. Well, there were radio sets for a time, and there were Motorolas
18 as well.
19 Q. How often did you use radio sets or Motorolas?
20 A. Well, I don't know. We had -- the two of us had the Motorolas,
21 or three of us, and we always carried them with us. We also had radio
22 sets. The communications officer used it to communicate sometimes.
23 Sometimes we had them, sometimes we didn't during the war.
24 Q. What devices did you use more often among those that you just
1 A. The induction telephones.
2 Q. How did you learn about the fall of Srebrenica?
3 A. Well, when Commander Radic called me, I was off duty. He called
4 me because he had to go to re-enforce the line, and that something had
5 happened a couple of days later. We heard that Srebrenica had fallen,
6 but I cannot remember now who I heard it directly from. It was in the
7 media too.
8 Q. Did you receive any information directly from your battalion
9 command in your company about the fall of Srebrenica?
10 A. Not on that day; however, the command heard about this later.
11 Q. Did they inform your company about this?
12 A. They only told the company to reinforce the line because the
13 enemy was close and might attack our combat line.
14 Q. Did you receive any information about the movement of the BH Army
15 column retreating from Srebrenica?
16 A. Well, when Radic went to the frontline, we heard that they were
17 withdrawing from Srebrenica over there, but that was the next day.
18 Q. Do you remember who told you that or how you received this
20 A. Well, I believe that most probably we, Radic and I, spoke; but
21 I'm not sure. It was a long time ago.
22 Q. Did you have any information about the situation in other
23 battalions in those days in July of 1995?
24 A. No, I didn't, because children were right behind our lines and
25 all I took care of was my company.
1 Q. Were you involved in any combat activities in July 1995 along the
2 line defended by your company? I'm referring to the period when
3 Srebrenica fell.
4 A. Well, there was just sporadic shooting, nothing serious.
5 Q. Do you know where the closest battles were?
6 A. Well, in that part, Maricici and this area, Baljkovica.
7 Q. Did you spoke on the phone, on this induction phone, with
8 Commander Acimovic in mid-July 1995?
9 A. No. I never had an opportunity to talk to him directly over the
11 Q. Do you remember when your company commander, Milan Radic,
12 returned from the line?
13 A. He was on the line four or five days; but at what time and when,
14 I don't know.
15 Q. While Radic was on the line in Maricici, did you have any
16 contacts with him?
17 A. Yes, a couple of times.
18 Q. And what did you talk about?
19 A. Just about the situation over there and the situation where we
21 Q. And what did you tell your commander, Radic, on that occasion?
22 A. That nothing was happening, that we were on the line one hundred
23 percent, and that we are expecting something to happen any day.
24 Q. When your commander returned from Maricici, did you report to him
25 about the events in the company?
1 A. Well, we just talked normally about what had been happening while
2 he was away and so on and so forth.
3 Q. During July 1995, what were relations between you and your
4 commander, Milan Radic, on the 3rd Company?
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the answer from the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat your answer, please, Mr. Tomic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] we were always on good terms.
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation].
10 Q. Let me ask you a general question. How did you receive
11 information from the battalion command in your company? Was it in
12 writing or orally?
13 A. Orally, for the most part.
14 Q. In July 1995, were you present in mid-July at any meeting with
15 other company commanders at the battalion command headquarters where the
16 telegram was discussed and where Mitar Lazarevic was?
17 A. I don't know where Mitar was, and I didn't attend these meetings.
18 Q. And are you aware of any such meeting being held at the battalion
19 command with other company commanders and deputy commanders?
20 A. I have no knowledge about that.
21 Q. Do you recall meeting the investigators of Drago Nikolic's
22 Defence team, and can you tell us approximately when that took place?
23 A. Well, I think about a half -- a year and a half ago for the first
25 Q. Did they introduce themselves to you?
1 A. Yes, they did.
2 Q. What did they tell you who they were?
3 A. They told me they were investigators, they told me their names,
4 and then they asked me a couple of questions on that occasion.
5 Q. Do you remember the questions that you were asked on this first
6 occasion - I mean the investigators from Drago Nikolic's Defence team -
7 and can you tell us where the meeting took place?
8 A. It took place in my house, and the first thing that they asked me
9 was about this telegram and whether I knew of it; and they also asked me
10 whether we had singled out men to go and carry out some executions.
11 Q. Did they ask you about what you know about prisoners and the
12 events in Rocevic?
13 A. Yes, they did.
14 Q. Let us go back to July 1995. I'm asking you if you knew about
15 the prisoners held in the school in Rocevic in July 1995?
16 A. I didn't know anything at all. This became known maybe a month
17 later because this is some ten kilometres away.
18 Q. Also, in July 1995, did you know anything about these prisoners
19 being executed in Kozluk?
20 A. No, I didn't. It might have been six months later, or one year
21 later, that I heard of it on TV and read about it in the press.
22 Q. Can you just tell us how far were your -- how far apart were your
23 company and the battalion command?
24 A. Approximately one kilometre or maybe one and a half kilometres.
25 Q. Did you hear and do you know --
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, my
2 colleague is warning me that we might have a correction for the
4 Q. Excuse us, Mr. Tomic.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone.
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Page 41, line 12:
8 These prisoners were being kept at the school in Rocevic, or held.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Instead of "health," it's "held."
10 Thank you. Let's proceed.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Do you know Vojo Lazarevic?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Did you see Vojo Lazarevic in the course of July 1995?
15 A. I can't recall, but it is quite likely that we saw each other.
16 Q. When you did, did you exchange a few words?
17 A. I don't know --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
19 Mr. Vanderpuye, yes.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, the witness said that it was
21 quite likely that they saw each other and there's no indication -- I
22 think the next question is without foundation.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You are right. You can rephrase the
24 question: "When you met or when you saw each other, did you exchange any
1 So, Mr. Tomic, if you've been following, you said that you can't
2 recall, but it is quite likely that you did see Mr. Lazarevic, Vojo
3 Lazarevic, in the course of July 1995. When you saw him, did you speak
4 to him or did he speak to you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I see Vojo frequently.
6 Whether I saw him in July --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We are talking about July 1995 only.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember exactly. It is
9 very likely. Since he was at the battalion command, it is quite likely
10 that we saw each other.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is not only whether you maybe saw each
12 other but whether you spoke to each other on that occasion when you
13 probably saw each other?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About what? I don't know. We
15 always talked as friends.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right.
17 Let's move, Ms. Nikolic, please.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In those friendly conversations, did you ever hear from Vojo
20 Lazarevic that he sent a request for the 2nd Battalion that their
21 soldiers take part in the execution of prisoners?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you ever hear anything of the sort in July 1995 from Mitar
25 A. No.
1 Q. Had such a request been made, would you have mentioned it to your
2 company commander, Milan Radic?
3 A. Certainly.
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. At this
5 point, I have no further questions for the witness.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 Do any of the other Defence teams wishes to cross-examine this
8 witness? I hear no response.
9 Mr. Vanderpuye, Prosecution?
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: How long do you think you have.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would guess about a half an hour, maybe
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't think you can restrict it to 15 minutes?
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'll try.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. Thank you. You will be doing one of
17 us a favour in other words, because after 12.30 we have a problem.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: May I proceed, yes?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course. Thank you.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tomic. My name is Kweku Vanderpuye, and on
22 behalf of the Prosecution, I will put some questions to you in relation
23 to your statement in your direct testimony. If there's anything that I
24 ask you that is unclear to you, please let me know and I will try to
25 rephrase it in a way that we can better understand one another. Okay?
1 A. That's fine, and good afternoon to you, too.
2 Q. Good afternoon. Sir, according to your statement, you were
3 interviewed by the Defence?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You were interviewed by the Defence on three occasions:
6 24th March 2007
7 A. It is.
8 Q. And you are aware that those are the same dates that your
9 commander, Milan Radic, was interviewed by the Defence, about these same
10 events; right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And you know that because you've spoken to Mr. Radic about his
13 interviews with the Defence; right?
14 A. We did talk in the meantime because we are from the same village.
15 Q. Well, I'll not talking about casual conversation. I'm talking
16 about specifically the fact that Mr. Radic was interviewed by the
17 Defence, that you were interviewed by the Defence, and that you two spoke
18 about those interviews?
19 A. No. Since I work in Novi Sad, I also work on most Saturdays;
20 therefore, I arrive late in the evening on Saturday and I depart the day
21 after on Sunday. Therefore, I do not move about the village much.
22 Q. All right. So you've not spoken to Mr. Radic about the fact that
23 you were interviewed by the Defence; is that your testimony?
24 A. No, not then. Later, we talked in a bar. I heard from him that
25 he was visited by the Defence, and then I told him they visited me, too.
1 That was the extent of our conversation that we had in the village.
2 Q. So you never spoke about what it was you were interviewed
3 concerning; is that your testimony?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, an intervention for
6 the transcript. Page 45 line 19, the witness said they spoke in the bar,
7 not in the village.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But please, next time, wait until he
9 finishes answering the question, and then you can raise the transcript.
10 This applies to everyone. Try to avoid interrupting the process,
11 if it's just a transcript error, until at least the question has been put
12 and answered.
13 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye. You probably need to repeat the question to
14 the witness.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. You never spoke with Mr. Radic about what it was you were
17 interviewed concerning by the Defence; is that your testimony, sir?
18 A. It is, yes. We only talked about the fact that we were both
19 visited by the investigators, and they were only asking questions about
20 the telegram.
21 Q. All right. So you did discuss the telegram with Mr. Radic, that
22 time you met him in the bar?
23 A. Yes, we did afterwards.
24 Q. And I take it that you know that he said that he wasn't aware of
25 any such telegram; right? You knew that after you met with him and spoke
1 with him?
2 A. Yes, yes. We heard about the telegram from the media and the
3 stories which were going around after the events had taken place. It was
4 last year that we discussed it.
5 Q. Now, I believe you said that you heard about the prisoners in the
6 school and the events concerning those prisoners, their execution, and so
7 on, about a month after the fact; is that right?
8 A. Well, I said a month or two months later or maybe a fortnight
9 later; but, in any case, afterwards.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. Maybe even up to half a year.
12 Q. So anywhere from a fortnight after to about a half a year; is
13 that your testimony?
14 A. Well, yes, yes, more or less. I can't recall everything. It's
15 been a long time.
16 Q. And at the time that you learned about these events, your
17 commander also learned about these events; right?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Well, weren't you with your commander immediately following these
20 events after the 16th or 17th of July 1995 on out?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. All right. And the two of you never discussed what you learned
23 in the press following these events?
24 A. I didn't understand the question.
25 Q. You never discussed with your commander --
1 A. Which two?
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you and your commander. You
3 never discussed with your commander what you learned about the events
4 that occurred in Rocevic in July 1995 when or close to when you first
5 learned about it?
6 A. I can't tell you. Since I was deputy company commander, I wasn't
7 with the commander all the time. We just met on that he occasion, and it
8 is my company commander that he communicated with, not myself.
9 Q. All right. I take it that when you found out that there had been
10 executions in Rocevic, a fortnight or so after the events themselves, you
11 spoke about that with your commander. Are you saying that that never
13 A. Excuse me?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there a problem or what?
15 MR. VANDERPUYE:
16 Q. I am sorry, sir. Did you hear the question?
17 A. I did. That conversation never took place within myself and the
19 Q. Okay. So, when you found out that there had been executions
20 anywhere from 14 to 20 kilometres from your positions manned by your men,
21 you never brought that to the attention of the commander even though you
22 heard about it in the press. Is that what you are saying?
23 A. No. I'm trying to say that I talked to the commander only in
24 exceptional circumstances if my "komandir" was absent. I had no
25 communication with the "komandant."
1 Q. Sorry. When I am talking about the "commander," I'm talking
2 about Milan Radic, just so you know who we're talking about. I apologise
3 if I've caused some confusion. I mean Milan Radic.
4 A. Yes, that's what you mean. Then there was a mistake.
5 Q. And you spoke to him about the events that you learned concerning
6 what occurred in Rocevic when you learned about it; right?
7 A. Well, I don't know if I talked to him. It was almost at the end
8 of the war, and I left for Novi Sad
9 Q. Sir, I'm given to understand from your testimony that you have no
10 information or had no information at the time that there were prisoners
11 that had been brought to the Rocevic School
12 detained, transported, and executed in Kozluk; is that the substance of
13 your testimony, sir?
14 A. My testimony is that I didn't know at all that they were held at
15 the school. I didn't know they were executed until half a year later or
16 so. I can't remember when it was that I heard about it.
17 Q. Did you learn at any point, sir, that members of the 3rd Company
18 of the 2nd Battalion, your unit, were involved in the detention,
19 transportation, or execution of those prisoners? Were you aware of that,
21 A. That didn't take place and no one from the 3rd Company took part.
22 Q. Do you recognise the name of Milorad Ristanovic and Ljubo
23 Ristanovic? Do you recognise those names, sir? They are both in the
24 3rd Company of the 2nd Battalion, your unit.
25 A. Yes, I know them.
1 Q. Those two individuals have been identified independently as
2 having to do with the events at the school and/or the execution. Do you
3 know anything about that?
4 A. I can't tell you. This Ljubo Ristanovic was in a different unit.
5 Milorad Ristanovic, I can't tell you anything about him. I don't believe
6 that happened that way.
7 Q. Do you recognise the name Ljubo Ristanovic, son of Pero? Do you
8 recognise that name?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. And you are saying that person wasn't in your unit; right?
11 A. He was, he was, but only about a year. Otherwise, I know the
12 man. Of course, I know him from the village.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Just bear with me for one moment.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] but he certainly did not do that.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I know that it's 12.30.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have any further questions?
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I can go for five more minutes, I think I
18 could be finished. I don't want to detain anybody.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. It's all right. Let's go on for five more
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You think you have re-examination so far as least,
23 Ms. Nikolic?
24 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Not for the time being, Your
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MR. VANDERPUYE:
5 Q. Sir, this Ljubo Ristanovic that you referred to, do you know how
6 he is referred to, what his nickname is?
7 A. Stanko. We call him Stanko.
8 Q. All right. And were you aware then or have you become aware that
9 other members of the 2nd Battalion were also involved in the events at
10 the school and the execution, the transport, I should say, and execution
11 of prisoners in Rocevic? The execution was in Kozluk.
12 A. No, I didn't know anything of the sort.
13 Q. You testified that you did receive communications from the
14 battalion command orally for the most part. Do you recall that?
15 A. Via the induction telephone, orally, yes.
16 Q. And with respect to the communications that you received, it's
17 fair to say that you did occasionally receive them in written form;
19 A. Well, the war lasted for three or four years, and there were
20 eight battalions there. I don't know which battalion used what at what
21 point in time, and if they used written orders.
22 Q. Thank you for that, sir, at this point.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. I have no further questions for this
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much.
1 Ms. Nikolic?
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it would have
3 been fair to the witness to determine the framework, temporal framework,
4 about the battalion communications, but the witness has already answered.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
6 No re-examination, I take it? Questions? Questions?
7 Mr. Tomic, we have no further questions for you which means you
8 are free to go. Thank you for having cooperated and come over to give
9 testimony; and if you have to travel back to your home residence, have a
10 safe journey.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you and I wish all the best
12 to you. I wish to say good-bye to everyone in the courtroom.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Message received. Yes. The
14 communication videolink communication can be terminated now.
15 [The witness withdrew via videolink]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, you had tendered the statement, 92 ter
18 No objection, I take it, now?
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, there isn't, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So it's admitted.
21 No further documents, I take it, either from --
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, sir.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We stand adjourned until tomorrow.
25 We are going to start with the expert tomorrow, aren't we?
1 Yes Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE: I know the Court is very anxious to adjourn, but
3 could I just say the Gvero team have been working very feverishly and can
4 say that we have no opposition to the 65 ter motion of General Miletic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much.
6 There also being no opposition from the Prosecution, we can deal
7 with it tomorrow. All right. Thank you.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.36 p.m.
9 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
10 September 2008, at 9.00 a.m.