1 Monday, 29 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning everybody and good morning to you,
6 registrar. Could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case IT-05-88-T, The
9 Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. All the accused are here. Prosecution
11 it's Mr. McCloskey. And from the Defence teams I notice the absence of
12 Mr. Nikolic and I think that's it and Mr. Sarapa. Is he there or not?
13 No. I can't see with the column, it's just impossible to know what is
14 behind it. Same applies for the Prosecution but I understand it's just
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 We've been told there are some preliminaries from Mr. Bourgon.
17 Yes, go ahead.
18 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning judges.
19 Good morning colleagues in the courtroom.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Bourgon.
21 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, at this point in time we would just
22 like to provide the Trial Chamber with an update regarding the
23 presentation of the case of the defence of Drago Nikolic. Most of this
24 information was communicated both to the Prosecution and to my colleagues
25 in the courtroom so there's no surprise. We'd like to make it official
1 this morning. If we can go in private session, Mr. President, please.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 26383-26385 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Your Honour, for the record we are back in
11 open session, thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. Thank you. Good morning to you, sir,
13 and welcome to this Tribunal.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You've been summoned to give testimony here as a
16 Defence witness for Drago Nikolic. Before you start your testimony our
17 rules require that you make a solemn declaration to the effect in the
18 course of your testimony you will be speaking the truth. Usher, is going
19 to give you the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it out aloud
20 and that will be your solemn declaration with us.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. Thank you, sir, please make yourself
24 comfortable. There are a few things that I need to explain to you. You
25 asked for and the Trial Chamber granted you some protective measures,
1 actually almost full protective measures; namely the use of pseudonym
2 instead of your names and facial and voice distortion. Ms. Nikolic will
3 be asking you a few questions first. She will then be followed by others
4 on cross-examination. Ms. Nikolic.
5 WITNESS: WITNESS 3DPW-29
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examination by Ms. Nikolic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President. Good morning, Your
9 Honours, good morning to my colleagues from the Prosecution. Good
10 morning sir.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. We've met before but for the record I'll introduce myself. My
13 name is Jelena Nikolic, I'm appearing here for Drago Nikolic. I would
14 now like 3D510, a pseudonym sheet, to be shown to the witness. Our usher
15 will show you, sir, a piece of paper, will you please look at it and tell
16 us yes or no whether your name is on it?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Now, Your Honours, I would like to
20 move into private session for a couple of questions.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session, please.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 26388 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
21 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Sir, did you do your military service in the JNA and in which
23 branch of service?
24 A. Yes, I did, in the technical services in 1979.
25 Q. After the outbreak of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina were you
1 mobilised and if so to which unit?
2 A. I was, into the Ilijas Brigade.
3 Q. What position?
4 A. For a short while, I was a commander, then deputy commander of
5 the battalion until 1992, until October 1992, and from January --
6 Q. Please, go ahead.
7 A. From January 1993 I was in the security service in the battalion.
8 Q. You mean the Ilijas Brigade?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you spend all the time of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
11 the Ilijas Brigade?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did there come a moment when you were transferred to another
15 A. No, I was not transferred, it's just that after the Dayton
16 Accords, that unit was disbanded, it didn't exist anymore, so we moved
17 out both the unit and the local population and through a combination of
18 circumstances, I arrived in Zvornik and when I had my family settled I
19 reported to the Zvornik Brigade because by that time the peacetime
20 replenishment of units had started.
21 Q. When you said the unit ceased to exist, you mean the Ilijas
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Sir, would you kindly wait for my question to be finished and
25 then to start speaking slowly to avoid overlaps. Plus your voice may be
1 heard through my microphone, so make sure my microphone is off before you
2 start speaking.
3 A. All right.
4 Q. When you arrived in the Zvornik Brigade, to what duties were you
6 A. I arrived at the Zvornik Brigade in June or July 1996 and since I
7 had served in the security before that, I was assigned to be a security
8 desk officer under Mr. Nikolic.
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe we could move
10 into private session again because I have to ask about certain names that
11 could be identifying on the witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. For sure. Let's move into private session,
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 26392-26397 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Could we please have in e-court 1D398 next. Page 3. Sir, you
20 are about to see a document, at page 3 we'll see some names, and I wanted
21 to ask you what this part of the document refers to. I first wanted to
22 ask you whether you had occasion to see this document during your
24 A. Yes, I read the document. As for the names, these are the names
25 of the people that were the subjects of the investigation. They were
1 interesting to the service in that regard.
2 Q. Were these people being investigated within the framework of the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you, we will no longer need the document.
6 During the operation did you carry out certain investigation
7 activities, and if so, which?
8 A. Yes, we speedily gathered documentation, information. We took
9 statements from the people that we thought might be of assistance. We
10 also visited various public security stations to photocopy documents so
11 as to be able to form a solid pre-indictment file.
12 Q. In order to get by certain facts, did you come across any
13 information that would concern Dragan Obrenovic's illegal acts?
14 A. Yes, in my view, we documented that very well. It was clear that
15 there were abuses of authority on his part.
16 Q. Could we please have in e-court document 1D406.
17 Sir, this is a series of documents beginning with an order of the
18 Sekovici Crisis Staff. My first question is this: Did you see this
19 document together with its attachments in the course of the preparation
20 for your testimony?
21 A. Yes, I read it.
22 Q. Could you briefly explain to the Chamber what it concerns?
23 A. This was in a way a starting document containing several other
24 documents indicating the movements of a Golf passenger vehicle that was
25 registered to the name of Dragan Obrenovic.
1 Q. Let us see page 2, please. Between pages 2 and 4, are these
2 photocopies of various documents? And if so, please explain to us what
3 these documents are.
4 A. This is photocopy of the vehicle registration papers. The Crisis
5 Staff ordered that the vehicle be registered to the name of Dragan
7 Q. Did you ever ascertain the origin of the vehicle?
8 A. According to what we learned, it was war booty that was seized in
9 the area of Sekovici from a Muslim person, I believe.
10 Q. Did you participate in the investigation concerning this vehicle?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
13 that we go back into closed session again. I am about to mention a few
14 names and place that is would identify the witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay private session, please.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 26401-26409 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I would kindly ask for 3D337 to be shown in e-court. Since the
25 witness's signature is on this document, I would kindly ask that it not
1 be broadcast.
2 Sir, are you familiar with this document, and were you able to
3 see it during the proofing?
4 A. I did see it. This is the regular form of a monthly report. We
5 used the same outline to draft such monthly reports following the same
6 structure of items.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: This is not yet in evidence, is it, this document?
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, it is not, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Just so you need to remember that we have it
10 sealed later on.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Witness, the date on the document is the 21st of May 1998?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Please tell us what is contained in the monthly report sent along
15 the professional security line?
16 A. As I said, we always followed these same items in our monthly
17 reporting. Item 1 is, as you can see, counterintelligence duties and
18 task, and this is the focus of our security work in terms of percentages.
19 Q. Let us go to page 2 next. What is in item 2?
20 A. Security and staff duties and tasks. Item 3 is pre-trial and
21 criminal proceedings. And item 4, military police duties and tasks.
22 Q. I won't go into much detail about the document, but I wanted to
23 ask you this: Is this a report that would be sent along the professional
24 line with or without the knowledge of the unit commander that you were a
25 member of?
1 A. This is an integral security organ document. It is sent by our
2 mail and we are under no obligation to familiarise the commander with it.
3 This is standard procedure in terms of reporting within the security
22 A. Of course I was familiar with it. He was in the process of being
23 assessed whether he could continue with his services with the armed
24 forces or not. Shortly after, he was retired.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's go into private session, please.
1 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in open session.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Please prepare the redaction, because
25 otherwise it will be too late. And we'll have the break. So we'll have
1 a 25-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Sir, I'd like to go back to the topic concerning the document
7 that is still before us, which is 3D377, the monthly report of the
8 security organ. You were telling us that the report encompasses
9 different duties and tasks; counterintelligence tasks, staff affairs,
10 pretrial and criminal proceedings and military police tasks and duties.
11 Which of these tasks and duties specified in the monthly report are those
12 that the security organ reports to his superior at the same time
13 notifying the commander?
14 A. The cooperation that we have with the command concerns the staff
15 affairs, and then there is also cooperation in terms of the tasks of the
16 military police given that the commander approves their use, their
17 engagement. We are thus proposing that that unit be used in certain
18 circumstances and he needs to approve that. We can also advise the
19 commander on other issues except for the counterintelligence affairs. We
20 can however advise him on the counterintelligence tasks within the given
21 territory, if he himself is not included in any such an activity or
22 investigation. It is up to us to assess to what extent we will
23 familiarise the commander with the contents.
24 Q. Specifically concerning 3D337, according to your explanation, the
25 then Zvornik Brigade commander was also familiarized with the contents of
1 this document?
2 A. In addition to this document, there is also a work plan that is
3 drafted for the unit. Certain attachments of the work plan are drafted
4 by the security organ, and they have to be signed by the commander
5 because he approves them. The same goes for certain proposals we make
6 for activities in the unit, he reads through our proposals and makes
7 change, if necessary, and then approves it if he agrees with it, except
8 for the counterintelligence domain.
9 Q. Could we please have 3D338 brought up in e-court. A moment ago
10 you talked about the military police duties and tasks, could you please
11 have a look at this document, it is an order from 1999. I would also ask
12 for the document not to be broadcast because the witness's name can be
13 found in the text.
14 Did you see this document during the proofing?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Please explain to the Chamber what it represents.
17 A. This document was drafted during a command staff exercise in a
18 hypothetical situation. In principle, it is carried out once a year in
19 order to train the brigade command to be able to operate in wartime
20 situations. This is an attachment of the security organ involved in that
21 activity. We draft and propose the use of the military police unit. I
22 think it should be specified who drafted the document. It is approved by
23 the commander. We drafted the document. If accepted, it is signed. If
24 not, corrections are made and the document resubmitted. In any case, the
25 end of the process is the commander signing it.
1 Q. Could we please see page 2 again. Can you see the text, sir?
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we broadcast this, do you wish to broadcast
4 it or not?
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The witness's
6 name is here and this is what the witness has been describing.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So we need to redact therefore this part because --
8 yeah, but she just said that the witness's name appears on it. So we
9 need to ... It will remain under seal, it's okay. Okay. All right.
10 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, please look at the document. On the left-hand side you see
12 the B/C/S version. Does it reflect what you've been describing to the
13 Chamber in terms of how the document is being drafted and what the
14 consultation process is on the use of the military police in your
16 A. Yes, this is the continuation of the document. It is page 2. On
17 the left side you can see who typed and drafted the document and how many
18 copies and the distribution list. On the right-hand side, we have the
19 commander's name, that is to say the unit commander that the military
20 police unit is part of. He is supposed to approve or not this document.
21 Q. Do you know whether the same procedure was used prior to your
22 coming to the unit?
23 A. This is a textbook example of such an exercise. It's been in use
24 for a long time.
25 Q. Thank you. In case a disciplinary procedure is instituted, in
1 order to assess any disciplinary liability within the brigade -- well,
2 first of all, were there such disciplinary proceedings?
3 A. Yes, of course, just like in any other unit.
4 Q. And should a disciplinary measure be pronounced, who could do
6 A. Disciplinary measures are issued by the command. That is to say,
7 the superior officer to a subordinate depending on what the level of the
8 unit is. In principle that is how it works. Security organs do not deal
9 with disciplinary measures.
10 Q. How long have you known Drago Nikolic?
11 A. As of June or July 1996 until the moment he was retired we worked
12 together. We were associates.
13 Q. After that threat issued by Dragan Obrenovic against Drago
14 Nikolic, did the latter help you any more in any further actions in your
15 security work?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Since you worked together for a while with Drago Nikolic, how
18 would you describe him as a human being and as an officer?
19 A. He was a decent man to work with. He had a strong feeling --
20 sense of justice and fairness, and I had no trouble or problems at all
21 cooperating with him.
22 Q. Do you recall that at one moment you met with the investigators
23 working for the Defence team of Drago Nikolic?
24 A. I think the first time was about 18 months ago, perhaps two years
25 ago, and there were a total of three or four meetings including the
1 proofing, so it was this year in spring and the last time was in August.
2 Q. Where did you first meet with them and did they introduce
3 themselves, did they say what they were doing?
4 A. Of course.
5 Q. Do you remember any questions that they asked?
6 A. From the very beginning they were interested in certain
7 activities of the security branch, relations within the unit, what I knew
8 from the time when I worked with Drago Nikolic, that sort of thing.
9 Q. One thing is missing from the record, where did you meet with the
10 investigators of the Defence team of Drago Nikolic?
11 A. In Zvornik.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir, thank you, Your
13 Honours, this concludes my direct examination.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Nikolic. Mr. Zivanovic.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no question for this witness, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: No questions, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Gosnell.
19 MR. GOSNELL: No questions, thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Fauveau.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. JOSSE: No questions from us, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Haynes.
25 MR. HAYNES: Just two or three.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
3 Q. Witness, you've described to us an operation that you took part
4 in I think called KOMFOR; do you recall that?
5 A. I don't recall saying KOMFOR. It was KUM.
6 Q. My mistake. That was how it appears in the transcript. And that
7 was an operation orchestrated by the security services without reference
8 to, as it were, the brigade commander; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it concerned, as it were, abuses of authority by members of
11 the army in relation to property and material, that is what you said; is
12 that correct.
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. You'd hardly call that operation counterintelligence, would you?
15 A. It was not counterintelligence activity.
16 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Mr. McCloskey.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's on, can you hear me? I ask the question
20 again. My microphone is on. I just want to make sure that it's working.
21 Are you hearing me?
22 Did you receive interpretation of what I said or not, those who
23 are following in B/C/S or French?
24 THE INTERPRETER: The French booth did hear you, thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, thank you. And the B/C/S booth, did you
1 hear me?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour we did.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So there is nothing wrong with the microphone.
4 Yes, Mr. Haynes.
5 MR. HAYNES: Just one thing, the witness's answer to my question
6 at lines 4 to -- at lines 1 to 3 is not recorded. I think he said that
7 that was correct.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Which question?
9 MR. HAYNES: Page 39, lines 1 to 3.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right. It's in line 7. What's happened
11 is I think that in line 6 there is a little bit of a confusion, part of
12 it should be a question.
13 MR. HAYNES: Yes, thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be dealt with, Mr. Haynes. You don't need
15 to worry about it anymore. Thank you. Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
18 Q. And good morning, witness.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. My name is Peter McCloskey. I'm a member of the Prosecution and
21 I'll be asking you some questions. Have you seen me when I was in Bosnia
23 A. I don't think so. Not that I remember.
24 Q. Were you present at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters when the
25 Office of the Prosecutor along with IFOR searched the Zvornik Brigade, it
1 was 6 March 1998
2 A. I was there. Not all the time but I was there.
3 Q. All right. And you were there when we searched the brigade and
4 took lots of material out of it?
5 A. Yes, I was there part of the time. Not all the time.
6 Q. Where did you go?
7 A. I was wanted in Zvornik because they wanted to break in the door
8 with a sledgehammer. Since I had the key, they wanted me to open the
9 door so they wouldn't have to break in. A messenger found me in town and
10 I came to open the door to the office so they can do their work they were
11 called in for.
12 Q. And when we were there, when the OTP was there on the 6th of
13 March, had the archives that you referred to from the Zvornik Brigade
14 already been removed to Mali Zvornik, or did that happen after March 6th
15 when the OTP searched the place?
16 A. It was after the search, if I remember correctly. Part of the
17 archives were already taken, but the smaller part had not been taken.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, just a question, to make sure that
19 we are on the right track. This last line of questions that you have
20 asked, you don't think by any chance that it could reveal his identity,
21 do you? Because I don't know how many people were there, who was there
22 and who wasn't, so I would imagine that it was a very limited amount of
23 persons possibly present there.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I recall the whole command staff lining up.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Then let's continue. Let's continue.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. All right. Can you tell us what it is the Office of the
3 Prosecutor missed that was relevant to the period of July and August,
4 September, 1995 that went over to Mali Zvornik?
5 A. The Office of the Prosecutor took whatever they thought they
6 needed, but part of the archives were not taken and that part was taken
7 to Mali
8 taken by the Office of the Prosecutor were later returned. They were
9 returned to a place called Caparde or Osmaci municipality and we received
10 them there.
11 Q. Sir, I know that you were given back quite a few materials in
12 terms of photocopied materials, but my question is, what did we miss?
13 For example, the Office of the Prosecutor did not obtain many, if at all,
14 information or reports from the security branch during that time, the
15 kind of reports that you've gone over with counsel from 1998. Where were
16 the reports of the security branch from 1995 when we searched the place
17 in March of 1998?
18 A. When I came to the unit, the safe of the security branch was as
19 it was. There were only operative documents that we kept. Those
20 documents were taken, all of them. During my tenure there, the archives
21 of the security branch were not moved anywhere. Those were certain daily
22 documents that we kept official correspondence with the superior command,
23 that's what I've found in the unit in June and July 1996. There were no
24 war archives, no archives for the past period at all.
25 Q. Well, in March of 1996 when the place was searched, where had the
1 reports of the security branch for 1995 been sent to? Sorry, that was
2 March 1998. I made a mistake on when we searched the place.
3 A. In March 1998, as I said, when people entered my office,
4 everything was taken, including the contents of the dust bin. They were
5 put in a plastic bin liner and taken away. And I'm telling you again
6 that I arrived at the brigade in June 1996 and at that time in the safe
7 of the security branch there was no war documentation. Beginning with
8 June and July 1996, there was only the regular day-to-day documentation
9 that was taken away. I found and know of no other documentation.
10 Q. Sir, maybe you misunderstood my question, but we know that
11 there's a process by which material gets sent to archives. We know that
12 many times when people are studying material for one period they want to
13 go back into the wartime period to determine what had happened, whether
14 it's to chase a Golf or a tractor or something like that.
15 So surely, sir, when you took over your position, you knew where
16 those wartime materials of the security branch was, you must have relied
17 upon them for your investigation into tractor movement?
18 A. Those archives were operative archives. Everything that
19 concerned crime and other lines of business in the security operation
20 work was in the safe. But I'm telling you that from the moment when I
21 came, there were no war archives in the safe of the security branch.
22 There were certain documents concerning crime, and that was the basis on
23 which I followed up, including the work in the operations action KOMFOR.
24 Q. Now, aside from looking into the tractors and the cars and the
25 fibreglass boats that was what we've heard about KUM, did you investigate
1 any allegations that in the area of Zvornik Muslims committed crimes
2 against Serbs?
3 A. No, we did not.
4 Q. Were you assigned to take part in any investigation of crimes
5 allegedly committed by the VRS against Muslims, specifically in July and
6 August 1995?
7 A. No, we did not receive any such instructions. Other services did
8 that. The security service mainly has to do with protecting the unit.
9 In terms of counterintelligence the territory is usually covered by other
10 services. Of course we have to cooperate with those other services if
11 they request such cooperation.
12 Q. Sir, we've seen documents in this case where the security officer
13 and the military police actually took part in the investigation and
14 Prosecution of people, soldiers in the brigade; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes, the military police has that job to take statements from
16 certain people and to interview them.
17 Q. And the security officer has a role in that process too, doesn't
19 A. Yes, that's what I said before. In professional work, the
20 security branch controls the military police, but any use of the military
21 police must be approved by the commander, so we can't just steal or
22 borrow the military police. In that way, he is aware. On a daily basis
23 we submitted to the military police a list of people who were taken into
24 custody to be interviewed, and the commander is informed. That's one of
25 their roles. However, these people whom we interviewed were asked to
1 come to his office to tell him what they were asked about and what we
2 wanted from them. That was one of their duties.
3 Q. What investigation, if any, have you heard of the RS or VRS
4 authorities undertaking regarding the events of Srebrenica in 1995?
5 A. Well, probably there were some investigations probably in order
6 to help some teams that were working in the field. I don't know whether
7 these teams were formed by the government or some other institutions. At
8 any rate, this part of the area was frequently under different
10 Q. Sir, what I'm talking about is the period that you were working
11 for the security branch in Zvornik, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. What
12 investigations do you know about that the RS, the MUP, the VRS took part
13 in? Surely if this happened it would have involved the interview of
14 civilians in areas, it would have involved the interview of military men
15 many of whom were in the area, it would have involved looking around the
16 terrain for potential crime scenes. That really never happened, did it?
17 A. No, we did not take direct part in these investigations,
18 investigations of this kind. Other teams we knew did come organised by
19 other organisations, and some of our services were engaged. I don't know
20 to which extent. We personally did not take part in any investigations
21 of that.
22 Q. Okay. What RS or VRS organisations took part in these
24 A. Nobody asked me personally. I believe there was a document
25 requiring us to place at the disposal of any team that would come to see
1 us whatever they wanted, but I don't remember that anybody asked me
2 personally to provide anything. There was an office of the government in
3 Banja Luka, but I personally wasn't asked to do anything or I don't
4 remember there was any document requiring us to do anything. Maybe some
5 documents did arrive regarding this issue, but not because we were
6 directly involved in any investigation, just because it was our
7 responsibility to provide whatever was needed. But we in the army did
8 not conduct any investigation.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm relying on your discretion considering that we
10 are in open session to make sure that the questions that are being asked
11 and the answers that are being given do not in any way expose the
12 identity of the witness. All right. Okay.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, of course, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm just drawing your attention, that's all. I
15 don't think we have any problems for the time being but I just want to
16 make sure.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll do my best.
18 Q. Sir, I'll ask you one more time, what RS or VRS organisation are
19 you aware of that engaged in some sort of Srebrenica investigation while
20 you were security officer?
21 A. Units in the army or rather the security organs of the VRS as far
22 as I know did not participate directly in such investigations, but, as I
23 said, at the request of some other services, they may have been required
24 to provide information as requested. So we did not take any
25 investigation ourselves on that issue.
1 Q. Sir, a lot of things may have happened. What I'm asking you is
2 are you aware of any request from any other service?
3 A. No, no, I don't know. I don't remember. I personally don't
4 remember any request addressed to me personally for assistance in any
5 such matter.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Could we go into private session for a
7 question or two.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure. Let's go into private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 26428-26440 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in public session. So that means you must
1 be careful both of you not to put questions or answer questions that
2 might reveal the identity of the witness.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Sir, so if you and indeed officers of the Zvornik Brigade were
5 aware of Madeline Albright having landed at the Branjevo farm, having
6 shown aerial imagery to the United Nations and after you arrived there
7 you are aware of the exhumations that are occurring at Branjevo farm and
8 Orahovac, tell me about a meeting you had with Drago Nikolic discussing
9 these events. You must have had a meeting with Drago Nikolic to talk
10 about what you are going to do about the international community finding
11 these mass graves.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
13 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Maybe it would be a good idea if my
14 learned friend would give a time frame for this question.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you in a position to give a time frame? I
16 think it arises out of the question itself, but I don't know if you --
17 maybe you have some other time frame in mind, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. I'm talking the summer of 1996 shortly after you arrived and the
20 world, and yourself and Zvornik, everybody knows about the Branjevo farm,
21 aerial imagery, Orahovac, forensic diggers coming up with bodies. There
22 must have been a meeting with Drago Nikolic and others to discuss this.
23 A. First of all, I said a moment ago that I'm not sure I was in the
24 unit when Mrs. Albright visited. I remember the event but I'm not sure I
25 was in the unit at precisely that time. I had been there since July, and
1 I think it was perhaps before I joined the unit. That is one thing.
2 Another thing, I did not discuss these things with Mr. Nikolic and he
3 didn't discuss it with me. Maybe he discussed it with someone else. I
4 can't think of any reason why he would say anything about it to me. Even
5 if he knew anything about it, it's a big question to what extent he could
6 trust me and why he would talk to me about it. In any case, the fact is
7 that Mr. Nikolic never discussed it with me.
8 Q. Were all these mass graves, the ones that the international
9 community didn't know about, was that a closely held secret in the
10 Zvornik Brigade?
11 A. Well, I'm telling you I personally had no dealings with it and it
12 was not a subject of my work. As for what I wrote here, I wrote about it
13 as a current event. I personally didn't cover this and nobody talked
14 about it in my presence. Even people who had knowledge about it would
15 hardly have talked about it in my presence.
16 Q. So when you wrote about the number of bodies that the
17 international community was digging up on a weekly basis, this was to you
18 was, how did you put it, a current event?
19 A. Yes, those were events that we recorded and reported up our chain
20 of command. It's an event that's happened and I don't go into the
21 details, and I don't go into the whys and hows.
22 Q. You received training on the Geneva Conventions, didn't you?
23 A. Well, more or less. Not really in detail.
24 Q. When you got there in the summer of 1996, where was Vujadin
1 A. I don't know that. I never saw the man practically. I heard of
2 him. I heard that he had been in the security service, but we didn't
3 know each other.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing further, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Is there we direct,
6 Ms. Nikolic?
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, just a few
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
10 Re-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] I'd like to go back to the document that my
12 learned friend showed you a moment ago. I think it's still on the
13 screen. I have just a few questions on the document.
14 The information contained --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, just to make sure, no broadcast of the
16 document, please.
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you,
18 Mr. President.
19 Q. The information contained in the document related, for instance,
20 to the arrest of General Krstic, is that information that you received
21 from that alleged source?
22 A. As to the arrest of General Krstic, I'm not sure I am referring
23 to that alleged source close to the law office.
24 Q. How about the other information on the first page?
25 A. On the first page it says that somebody close to a law practice,
1 and the names below, does come from that source, but on the second page,
2 I don't invoke the source.
3 Q. Did anybody ever ask you to look into these facts and investigate
4 and to get information, or did this information just reach you, just
5 happen to reach you?
6 A. No, nobody asked me to do that. We didn't have any specific
7 tasks or jobs in this regard, we never had any instructions to conduct
8 activities of this kind. You could say that we were observers from the
9 side line. [No interpretation].
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment because I at least did not receive any
11 interpretation, I don't know about my colleagues. We haven't received
12 interpretation. Ms. Nikolic, if you don't mind, could you repeat the
13 question, please.
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. Of course,
15 Mr. President.
16 Q. As for the other information and reports that my learned friend
17 questioned you about, using previous documents, were those reports the
18 result of your regular operational activities and monitoring the
19 situation on the ground?
20 A. Yes, this is in the format of a monthly report, whereas daily
21 reports were incorporated into the monthly report. Of course it was our
22 duty to report at least on what was going on in our area. Those are
23 regular activities.
24 Q. I'd like to go back to one question that you were asked on page
25 39, or perhaps it was 36. Tell us, what is the difference between
1 counterintelligence work and an operative action, and why would the
2 commander not be informed of an operative action?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment before you answer that question.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, I didn't get into all that.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You could have asked the question during --
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree, but my learned friend
8 did deal with it -- sorry, my learned friend from the Pandurevic Defence
9 did deal with it.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's correct. I apologise.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then go ahead.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Shall I ask the question again or you understood it?
14 A. Please ask it again.
15 Q. Please, tell us what is the difference between
16 counterintelligence work and an operative action?
17 A. An operative action may be counterintelligence in nature.
18 Operative actions are not only combatting crime, although they could. In
19 this case, since Mr. Obrenovic was a subject of our interest, it was not
20 counterintelligence work. It was an attempt to stop certain criminal
21 activities in the unit. And since he was the target of the
22 investigation, of course we didn't inform him. However, he soon found
23 out. It was not a big secret.
24 Q. Just one more question. Did you personally take part in any work
25 related to the discovery of mass graves? Were you ever asked to get
1 involved in that?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge or any involvement in any work done by
4 the VRS in 1998 or the following years?
5 A. No, I have no knowledge about that. I just said a moment ago, if
6 somebody asked us to do something in this respect, we would have done it,
7 but we had no specific tasks in these matters.
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you,
9 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic. So we don't have any
11 further questions for you, which means you are free to go. Our staff
12 will assist you. On behalf of the Trial Chamber I wish to thank you and
13 also wish you a safe journey back home. We need to bring down the
14 curtains first while he is walking out of the courtroom.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: While we were still in open session, Ms. Nikolic,
17 documents? You have four documents here.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It's the list
19 filed before the Chamber with the proviso that two or three documents
20 should be admitted under seal.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose the first two; correct? And the last --
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All of them, then?
24 MS. NIKOLIC: Document 3D323, 337, and 338 and the pseudonym
25 sheet because the earlier documents have already been admitted.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... from
2 Prosecution or anyone else for that matter.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: None from the Prosecution.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. None from the other Defence teams. So
5 all these four documents are being admitted and they will be preserved
6 under seal. Do you have any documents, Mr. McCloskey, to tender?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, just the two, Mr. President. 3767 and 3773.
8 Those two reports I dealt with.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: They will also be preserved under seal, I suppose.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I think that's a good idea. And one of them
11 is not yet translated and we'll get that going.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So these two. Any objection?
13 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. But these are
14 completely new documents to us. They have not been discovered to us
15 until now.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Not a problem. Any objection from the other teams?
17 No. So these documents are being admitted. They will be kept under seal
18 and the one which has not yet been translated will be MFI'd in the
19 interim. So I think we can take the break now. The other witness is
20 ready, I suppose.
21 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President. And although the estimates
22 show that we might be running out of time, I think we can finish this
23 witness before the end of the day.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll have a 25-minute break
25 starting from now. Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, to you, Mr. Stanisic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there a problem, Mr. Bourgon?
7 MR. BOURGON: Not the right name, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Isn't the next one Ostoja Stanisic? No?
9 MR. BOURGON: Number 19 was withdrawn.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see, I see, all right, okay, all right.
11 This is Mr. Gavric, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Good morning to you anyway. You
13 are about to start giving evidence. Your name is Todor Gavric, isn't it?
14 And before you start giving evidence our rules require that you make a
15 solemn declaration to the effect that you will be testifying the truth.
16 Mr. Usher is going to give you the text, please read it out aloud and
17 that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: TODOR GAVRIC
21 [Witness answered through interpretation]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Please make yourself comfortable. Mr. Bourgon will
25 be asking you some questions, he will be followed by others and we hope
1 to finish with your testimony today if we are lucky. Mr. Bourgon.
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Examination by Mr. Bourgon:
4 Q. Good morning, sir.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. For the record allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephane
7 Bourgon. AND along with my colleagues, this is Jelena Nikolic and
8 Ms. Marie-Claude Fournie, we represent Drago Nikolic in these
9 proceedings. Before we begin, sir, I'd just like to remind you if at any
10 time there is a question that I ask that you do not understand, please do
11 not hesitate to stop me so I can say the question over again. Do you
12 understand that?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. Can you please state your name for the record?
15 A. Todor Gavric.
16 Q. What is your date of birth and what is your age?
17 A. 16 November 1955
18 Q. And where were you born, sir?
19 A. In Bratunac.
20 Q. And where do you live today?
21 A. In Bratunac.
22 Q. And what was your occupation before the war?
23 A. I was a waiter.
24 Q. Did you also play any sport?
25 A. Yes. I was an active football player in the football club
1 Bratstvo and I worked for three years as a coach before the war broke
3 Q. And today, sir, what is your occupation?
4 A. I work in catering. I don't have a full-time job. My company
5 went under, so I accept odd jobs whenever I am invited.
6 Q. Sir, I understand that during the war you were mobilised within
7 the VRS?
8 A. Yes, correct.
9 Q. And that in 1995, you were a member of the Bratunac Brigade; is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what did you do in the Bratunac Brigade in July 1995?
13 A. I was in the artillery of the Bratunac Brigade. That was my
14 unit, my battery.
15 Q. Do you remember who was your commander at the time?
16 A. The chief of artillery was Mico Gavric and the commander of the
17 battery was Stevo Ilic, but my main commander was Mico Gavric. In terms
18 of VES, which is military evidentiary specialty it was called chief of
19 artillery and Mico was my chief commander.
20 Q. I would like to focus on the days following the fall of
21 Srebrenica in July 1995. Do you recall these days in particular -- in
22 general? Sorry.
23 A. I remember that well.
24 Q. And do you remember any day when you had to travel to the Zvornik
1 A. I remember. It was in the evening of the 14th. I was at a fire
2 position on the road from Bratunac-Kravica-Konjevic Polje near the
3 Repovac village. I was manning a cannon, and we were asleep that night
4 when commander Stevo Ilic came in 30 minutes after midnight, told us to
5 take our weapons and go down to the road Bratunac-Konjevic Polje where
6 transport would be coming for us.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness come closer to the
8 microphones, please.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, if you could.
10 MR. BOURGON: We'll just ask you to get closer to the microphone.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think he is much closer than before.
12 That's better.
13 MR. BOURGON:
14 Q. Sir, did a transport arrive that night, and if so, what kind of
16 A. We went down towards the road near Repovac a bus came and when we
17 got on the bus we found the chief of artillery Mico Gavric with some men,
18 with some soldiers, we got on to the bus.
19 Q. Who were these soldiers and how many of them were there?
20 A. Those were soldiers from my unit but different batteries, 105 and
21 122, also under Mico's command. We were 30 to 40 men.
22 Q. At that moment did you know where you were going?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So can you share with us what happened when you got on to that
25 bus, where did you go?
1 A. We were a bit sleepy, some of us slept on the way, and only when
2 I woke up we were still driving, I realised we were going towards
3 Zvornik, we reached Zvornik, we passed it, and the bus stopped outside a
4 barrier manned by a policeman who did not let us through immediately. It
5 was a checkpoint.
6 Q. And what time was it when you arrived close to this --
7 A. 1.30, 1.45 perhaps. Not more.
8 Q. And what happened at that time?
9 A. Our commander Mico Gavric got out, he told us to wait on the bus,
10 and then he went off with a policeman, I don't know where, perhaps
11 towards the command. At any rate, he came 15, 20 minutes later alone.
12 The policeman still wasn't letting us through and when Mico came back
13 alone after 15 or 20 minutes, the policeman let us get back [as
14 interpreted] on to the bus. We collected our effects, our weapons, and
15 then we got out.
16 Q. Just to clarify, maybe there is a translation mistake, it says
17 here the policeman let us get back on the bus. So just tell us what
18 happened to you once your commander came back.
19 A. He told us to take our weapons and other stuff and get out of the
21 Q. And did you realise where you were at that time?
22 A. Yes, yes, we realised we were at the command of the Zvornik
23 Brigade. We realised that only when we arrived.
24 Q. Sir, I'd like to show you a picture, which if I can have in
25 e-court, please, 3D502. A picture, sir, will appear on the screen in
1 front of you, and I would like you to tell me first if you recognise this
2 picture, and if so, what is it? It will appear in front of you.
3 A. I can see it. I recognise the photograph.
4 Q. And what is it?
5 A. That was the command of the Zvornik Brigade, the entrance.
6 Q. Thank you. We won't need that picture anymore.
7 Sir, what happened when you got off the bus?
8 A. When we got off the bus commander Mico Gavric led us into some
9 sort of hangar to spend the night and to be there. We stayed there
10 through the night, and we asked what next and we were told until we get a
11 new assignment, so we stayed there all night, and we didn't get any
12 assignment to go anywhere.
13 Q. And, sir, you yourself during the night, do you recall what you
15 A. I was nervous, anxious, I paced around a lot smoking. I couldn't
16 wait for sun break to get out, because I had run out of cigarettes, I
17 didn't know where to get some tobacco, I was going to look for somebody
18 to bum some cigarettes and when I got out I saw Commander Mico Gavric,
19 Dule Nikolic and Drago Nikolic. I saw them standing and talking, and I
20 was kind of reluctant to approach them. I didn't dare from my commander
21 Mico because discipline was strict in our unit. However when Mico left I
22 came up to Dule and Drago and said hello.
23 Q. If I can stop you here, sir, just for a moment. What time was it
24 when you saw your commander with Drago Nikolic and Dule Nikolic?
25 A. I cannot be sure, but it was between 8.00 and 9.00 a.m., around
1 that time.
2 Q. And when you approached, Drago Nikolic along with Dule Nikolic,
3 do you recall what was said or what happened?
4 A. I asked for a cigarette, Dule gave me one, then we started
5 talking about what is new, what is up, we talked for about 5, 10 minutes
6 as I was leaving, Dule got out a pack of cigarettes, gave me some more.
7 Further on I noticed another soldier. It was Stevo Kostic but I didn't
8 come up to him to greet him because I know him from playing football. He
9 played for the Drina
10 knew this Stevo Kostic of the command.
11 Q. What did you do, sir, after meeting Drago Nikolic and Dule
13 A. I returned to the hangar, shared some cigarettes with my mates
14 and we waited there further for any command to be issued to leave.
15 Nothing arrived, and around 10.30 or 11.00 Mico Gavric came, ordered that
16 we picked up our personal weapons and equipment and that we were to go
17 back on a bus to Bratunac.
18 Q. Do you know who is Dule Nikolic that you mentioned or Dusan
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Who is he?
22 A. He was a good neighbour, a friend of mine I used to know. He was
23 a fine lad. That's it. We hale from the same village, that is to say,
24 my parents are from the same a village as his mother.
25 Q. And, sir, do you know if there is any relationship between Drago
1 Nikolic and Dusan Nikolic?
2 A. I think there is a relationship. I think they are related.
3 Q. Sir, do you know what happened in the days that followed to Dusan
5 A. I do. I heard the next day that he had been killed.
6 Q. And when did you obtain this information, at the time or later?
7 A. Later. The day after.
8 Q. And when you spoke with Dusan Nikolic and Drago Nikolic, did you
9 notice how Drago Nikolic was dressed?
10 A. He was in a military uniform.
11 Q. And once you received the orders from your commander, I think you
12 said to get back on the bus, we were to go back on the bus to Bratunac,
13 is this what happened?
14 A. Yes. We boarded the bus and arrived in Bratunac between 12.00
15 and 1.00. Then we were let go home.
16 Q. Sir, how many times do you recall meeting with the Defence team
17 of Drago Nikolic, with myself?
18 A. Three times.
19 Q. Did anyone from the Defence team of Drago Nikolic ask you to sign
20 a statement?
21 A. No, nobody did.
22 Q. And what kind of questions were we interested in knowing from you
23 when we met, if you recall?
24 A. You wanted to know whether I met Drago Nikolic, whether I was
25 with him. That is what you wanted to know.
1 Q. And, sir, did members from the Defence team, including myself,
2 did we tell you about anyone who had testified in this case or who would
3 testify in this case?
4 A. You did not.
5 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much, sir, I have no further
6 questions. Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, any of Defence teams wishes to
8 cross-examine this witness? None. Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, good afternoon to you,
10 good afternoon Your Honours, good afternoon everyone.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Make an effort to finish.
12 MR. THAYER: I will finish before the end of the session,
13 Mr. President.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer:
15 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. My name is Nelson Thayer. I'll be asking you just a couple of
18 questions on behalf of the Prosecution. From this hangar where you spent
19 these several hours, could you see the front gate where the military
20 policeman was when you entered the Standard barracks?
21 A. No, I could not.
22 Q. And you testified that you were anxious walking around, hoping to
23 find some tobacco, did you stay in the hangar during that time or did you
24 go outside the hangar?
25 A. Just in front of it, near the gate. I wasn't actually going
1 around it.
2 Q. And when you say near the gate, are you referring to that front
3 gate, the entrance to the Standard barracks where the military policeman
5 A. The entrance, the entrance.
6 Q. Now, you testified at page 70, line 17 that when you arrived with
7 your bus to the Standard barracks, that Mico, I'm just quoting to you,
8 went off with a policeman. Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Just to be clear, that was a military policeman from the Zvornik
11 Brigade; correct?
12 A. I suppose so.
13 Q. Now, do you recall whether that guard was alone when you arrived,
14 or whether there was more than one military policeman at the front gate?
15 A. I don't recall. I don't think there were several or many, but I
16 don't remember.
17 Q. But to be clear to your recollection, it's the same guard who
18 stopped the bus escorted Mr. Gavric to the command; correct?
19 A. I can't remember if it was the same man or another.
20 Q. If we may a have 65 ter 383, please. Sir, I just want to show
21 you one document. This is page 6 of the English and page 8 of the
22 original in e-court, please.
23 Sir, do you see a document in your own language before you on the
24 screen? What it is is a duty officer logbook page for the barracks of
25 the Standard command, and it's for the period of the 14th to the 15th of
1 July 1995. Do you see there's a reference there to "a bus with the
2 prisoners stayed overnight at the compound of the barracks." Do you see
3 that? It's towards the bottom of this page.
4 A. I see it.
5 Q. My question, sir, is do you recall at any time when you were
6 there at the Standard command, do you recall seeing a bus with prisoners?
7 A. I went outside on two or three occasions and did I not see any
8 bus with prisoners, I can tell you that for sure. I am a person who
9 sleeps little, and I can confirm to you that between the 14th and the
10 15th, I did not see a single bus there on those few occasions I went
12 Q. Okay. And I just want to look at the next page and just confirm
13 your recollection of the exact dates. You just mentioned that your
14 recollection is that it was the evening of the 14th to the morning of the
15 15th that we are talking about. And if I understand your testimony
16 correctly, sir, you would have arrived at the Standard barracks in the
17 early morning hours of the 15th of July; correct?
18 A. Before 2.00, 1.30, 1.45.
19 Q. Again just to be clear, that would have been 1.00 a.m. in the
20 morning of the 15th; correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Now, if we just look at the next page in both the English and the
23 B/C/S, you testified that you arrived with about 40 members of your
24 platoon. There's reference here to "at about 1000 hours a new shift of
25 the Bratunac Brigade arrived which was sent to the field some time
1 later." Do you know anything about that?
2 A. I don't know anything about that. I only know why I was there
3 and I told you the truth.
4 Q. So is it your testimony, sir, that you did not see your
5 replacements, if any, arrive while you were there?
6 A. A new shift did arrive, but I don't know how many people it
7 comprised. They probably got off before somewhere. He arrived there
8 with an empty bus to pick us up.
9 Q. Now, just for my last couple of questions, taking you back to the
10 VRS's operation on the Srebrenica enclave, from the 6th of July to the
11 11th or 12th of July, where was your platoon situated during those days,
13 A. The village of Repovac
14 the right and up the hill.
15 Q. And what type of artillery equipment did your platoon have there
16 at that site?
17 A. B1, it is a mountain gun. Its calibre is 56 millimetres.
18 Q. And how many members of your platoon were there present with you
19 during these days from the 6th to the 11th or 12th of July?
20 A. In my battery, there were some 15 of us.
21 Q. And other than the B1, was there any other artillery weaponry at
22 your battery?
23 A. No, only the B1.
24 Q. And during this period of time was your B1 functional,
1 A. I can claim full responsibility that it did not fire at all
2 during the period when Srebrenica fell.
3 Q. Okay. My question actually, sir, was simply, was it functional
4 during that period of time? Was it operational?
5 A. Yes, it was functional.
6 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber when you first became aware or
7 when your particular battery first became aware of the VRS operation
8 regarding Srebrenica?
9 A. Can you please repeat the question.
10 Q. Sure. When did you first become aware that there was going to be
11 a VRS operation regarding Srebrenica?
12 A. We didn't know that, we were just plain soldiers. I was a
13 regular soldier and I didn't know such things.
14 Q. Well, can you tell the Court when you first learned that there
15 was in fact a military operation underway with respect to the Srebrenica
17 A. I learned two or three days before.
18 Q. Before the 6th of July, sir?
19 A. I can't recall the date, but it was all of a sudden. I don't
20 remember the date.
21 Q. And what did you learn two or three days before, sir?
22 A. What did I learn? I can't remember what it is that I learned.
23 Q. Well, certainly you were told something prior to the operation,
24 that something would be going on, understanding that you were a
25 soldier -- let me finish, sir, so the translators can catch up with us.
1 You testified that you learned something two or three days before. I'm
2 trying to find out what you learned, so my question is, certainly you
3 heard something with respect to the upcoming operation two or three days
4 before, as you just said. My question is what was it that you learned,
5 can you tell the Trial Chamber? We understand that you weren't a
6 high-level commander or anything, but what was it that you learned was
7 going to happen?
8 A. Nothing was being prepared, but we were just told to be on the
9 ready. That's what we were ordered to do. I don't know.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, sir, I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is there re-examination.
12 MR. BOURGON: Very briefly, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
15 Q. Just to clarify, sir, when you returned to Bratunac after
16 spending the night in the Zvornik Brigade barracks, were you told why you
17 were being returned to Bratunac?
18 A. We were not.
19 Q. And do you know if someone actually replaced you on that day?
20 A. I don't know. An empty bus arrived. Somebody probably did
21 replace us. I think Zoran Kovacevic arrived. Otherwise, I don't know
22 who was there. In any case I didn't see anyone on the bus.
23 Q. Thank you, sir. About the gun, the B1 that you were manning,
24 close to the position you mentioned in Repovac, I believe, I'm not sure
25 if my pronunciation is right, my friend referred you to some dates
1 starting on 6th of July, I would just like to know if that gun was fired
2 at any time until the fall of Srebrenica?
3 A. It wasn't fired at all. We did not do anything. We were not
4 ordered to do anything.
5 Q. And my last question, sir -- well, maybe two questions. You did
6 at some point during the war fire this gun, did you?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And bearing in mind your position, to your knowledge, did you
9 ever fire the gun on civilians?
10 A. Never. Nobody ordered us to do such a thing ever. It was a
11 proper army with a command and we were never ordered to fire at
12 civilians, nobody ever ordered me to do that.
13 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We don't have any further questions for
15 you which means you are free to go. Our staff will assist you. On
16 behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come over and
17 also a safe journey back home.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Documents. Mr. Bourgon.
21 MR. BOURGON: No document, Mr. President. The witness was asked
22 a question on an existing exhibit. However I do wish to address the
23 Trial Chamber before the end of the day, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Thayer, do you have any documents.
25 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Bourgon.
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you. If we can go into private session,
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sure, let's go into private session.
5 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And your next witness would be 3DW-28, in order to
10 make sure I don't get the names mixed up.
11 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President, Mico Gavric, he will be
12 ready to begin first thing on Wednesday afternoon.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Wednesday afternoon, yes. We will not be sitting
14 tomorrow, it being a United Nations public holiday. Thank you.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 1.40 p.m.
17 1st day of October 2008, at 2.15 p.m.