1 Tuesday, 28 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar. Good afternoon to you.
7 Could you call 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: Thank you, Madam. Now, today all the accused are
11 present. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Mitchell. Defence teams,
12 I only notice the absence of Mr. Bourgon and Mr. Haynes, and that's it.
13 Mr. Bourgon and Mr. Haynes.
14 Good afternoon to you, sir. Welcome back.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to continue and hopefully finish with
17 your testimony today. Mr. Lazarevic.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: And good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
19 afternoon, everyone.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
21 WITNESS: DRAGAN NESKOVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpretation]
23 Examination by Mr. Lazarevic: [Continued]
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Neskovic. As the Presiding
25 Judge has already told you, I will try and finish my examination-in-chief
1 as soon as possible today. When we left it off yesterday, we were
2 talking about the 11th of July. I would like to take you back to that
3 time, as I say, where we left it off yesterday.
4 With regard to the state, I would like to ask you whether you had
5 any information about members of the PJP from the public security station
6 in Bratunac with regard to their activities on that particular day, on
7 the 11th of July. Were they engaged in any activities?
8 A. As far as I can remember, that same evening they were supposed to
9 go on a field mission. However, at that particular time I was at home on
11 Q. Very well. But while you were at the police station, were you
12 able to notice anything that would regard the activities of the members
13 of the 1st company?
14 A. People from my station who belonged to that company had already
15 been equipped to go on a field mission, as I've already told you, and one
16 group - and I wouldn't be able tell you how many men I saw in that group
17 - arrived in front of that station. They were talking to each other. I
18 suppose they were discussing their joint field mission. I don't know.
19 Q. Very well. And when your shift was over on the 11th of July,
20 what did you do next? Did you go somewhere? If you did, where did you
22 A. Just like any other day, I went straight to my apartment and I
23 stayed there until the following morning when I returned to work.
24 Q. Very well. And now this brings us to the 12th of July.
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] And let's look at 4D620, page 24
2 in the B/C/S version or page 1 in the English version of that same text.
3 Q. Let's just wait for the relevant page to appear on e-court. Do
4 you see the entry for the 12th of July? It says here that at that time
5 you were at the public security station from 7.00 in the morning until
6 1700 hours; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were you really in the station all that time on the 12th of July?
9 I'm talking about the time between 7.00 and 1700 hours.
10 A. I wasn't there all the time. During the morning hours, or, to be
11 more precise, around 10.00 in the morning, out of curiosity I went to
12 Potocari. My intention was to look up two of my friends, and if I saw
13 them I wanted to extend my assistance, if I could extend any. And that's
14 where I stayed for about an hour. This was my only absence from the
15 police station. The rest of the time I was there.
16 Q. You've already told us that curiosity took you to Bratunac. Let
17 me ask you this: Did somebody ask you to go there? Did you ask any
18 officers' approval or any of your superiors' approval?
19 A. Nobody ordered me to go there. I just informed the deputy
20 commander, Branimir Tesic. He also wanted to join me because allegedly
21 he had a relative there, and he wanted to see whether he would be able to
22 locate him in that large group of people.
23 Q. Just a small correction in the transcript, page 3, line 21. It
24 says here: "He also wanted to join me..." Brano Tesic wanted to join
25 you. Is that what you said?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So you left the police station. According to your best
3 recollection, it was around 10.00. You were together with Brano Tesic.
4 Was anybody else with you on that occasion when you left the police
6 A. No, not in the car. There were just the two of us.
7 Q. When you arrived there in Potocari, what did you see there? What
8 was the situation there like?
9 A. It was an ugly scene for me. There were a few thousand people as
10 if they were on a village fair. There were -- they were fenced off by
11 plastic bands, and in front of the plastic bands there were members of
12 the Serb military, soldiers, and also officers from the UNN.
13 Q. And while you were there in Potocari, did you have an occasion to
14 see Mr. Borovcanin at any point?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You've already told us that you wanted to look up two of your
17 friends and that Brano Tesic wanted to find a relative of his, if
18 possible. Did that materialise? Did you see your friends? Did you find
19 them, and did Brano Tesic find his relative?
20 A. I did not see these people. I probably would have stayed longer,
21 but many people knew me. They were calling my name. I couldn't bear
22 that. I could not help everybody. I could not even maybe help the two
23 that I was looking for. It would have been hard to do. It was war. So
24 I returned, and Tesic stayed behind.
25 Q. Very well. According to your best recollection, when was it when
1 you returned to the police station?
2 A. It could have been no later than noon, 12.00.
3 Q. And while you were in Potocari, did you have an occasion or an
4 opportunity to see whether the Serb forces separated men from their
5 families? Is that something that you were able to see in Potocari?
6 A. No, I didn't see that at the moment. Everybody was still.
7 Everybody was where the army had put them, and the military was in front
8 of them.
9 Q. And were you able to see members of the Serb forces committing
10 any acts of violence against the Muslim population gathered there in
11 Potocari? Did you see anything to that effect?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. And one more question with this regard. Did you perhaps have an
14 occasion to see the arrival of a large number of buses and lorries in
16 A. While I was there, they didn't arrive. But on my way back from
17 Potocari to Bratunac, which is a distance of about 5 kilometres, I came
18 across some ten or dozen buses moving in that direction. I suppose that
19 that was where they were headed for, but I can't be sure of that, but I
20 did see them on the road headed in that direction.
21 Q. Very well. You've already told us that you returned to the
22 police station. On that same day, on the 12th of July, did the Bratunac
23 police station send out any patrols?
24 A. On that day, there were practically no stuff at the police
25 station because many had left with the station commander to Srebrenica.
1 Q. Very well. Now, let's talk about something else. We'll come
2 back to the Srebrenica event later. Do you remember whether there were
3 any patrols at the disposal of the police station in Bratunac?
4 A. The most necessary services, the most indispensable services in
5 town had to operate, so the town patrol was there.
6 Q. And while answering my question, you said that on that day the
7 public security station in Srebrenica was established. Let us look at a
8 document with this regard.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] This is P58.
10 Q. Mr. Neskovic, in the preparation for your testimony, you were
11 shown this document. Do you have a good view of it in front of you? I
12 can see you leaning closer to it. So this is an order issued on the 12th
13 of July, 1995. In the heading, it says Republika Srpska, Ministry of the
14 Interior, office of the minister.
15 This was sent to the public security centre in Zvornik to the
16 chief thereof. And if we look at page 1, we will see firstly that the
17 deputy Minister of the Interior conveys the order issued by the President
18 of the Republika Srpska issued on the 11th of July, 1995. And after
19 that, if we look at the second page. Can we please move to the second
20 page of the document.
21 You can see here that pursuant to the order referred to on page 1
22 of this document, I hereby issue the following order: Under 1, "On the
23 12 of July, 1995, establish a public security station in Srebrenica."
24 And then under 2: "Choose the senior staff of the SJB in
25 accordance with the procedure laid down in the provisions of the law on
1 internal affairs."
2 I don't intend to go on reading the whole document, but now that
3 you've had another look at it, could you tell me whether the timeframe
4 corresponds to what you were telling us about the establishment of the
5 public security station in Stanica? In other words, did this indeed
6 happen on the date stated herein?
7 A. On that day, Slavo Mladjenovic, the commander of the police
8 station, went with a certain number of men to Srebrenica. That's as much
9 as I know, and I know that that was their mission. And I know that Petko
10 Pavlovic was ear-marked for the chief of the public security station in
11 Srebrenica, and this is all I know about that.
12 Q. Let me ask you whether you perhaps know. You said that Slavoljub
13 Mladjenovic had taken a certain number of men with him and had gone to
14 Srebrenica to establish the police station. Do you know if the policemen
15 that went with Slavoljub Mladjenovic, did they long to a PJP company?
16 A. As far as I know, they belonged to 2nd company because this
17 gentleman was the officer of the 2nd company.
18 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, on the 12th of July, when your shift
19 was over, what did you do? Where did you go?
20 A. Just as the day, before I went to my apartment where I was
21 resting until the following morning.
22 Q. I've already asked you about your arrival in Potocari and whether
23 you had an occasion to see Mr. Borovcanin there. And now let me ask you
24 about the rest of the day, the 12th of July when you were no longer in
25 Potocari. Did you see Mr. Borovcanin at any time during that day?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Very well.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] And now let's look at exhibit
4 4D620, page 24.
5 Q. We have already looked at that same page. Let's look the entry
6 for the 13th of July. It says again that you were at the police station
7 from 7.00 in the morning until 1700 hours?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. On that day, on the 13th of July, do you remember that something
10 happened, something that stayed imprinted in your memory that concerned a
11 member of the police station in Bratunac?
12 A. When I went to work in the morning at 7.00, the deputy of the
13 police station commander, Nedeljkovic, Dragan, told me that in the health
14 centre there was a corpse that had been brought there and said I should
15 go and see who it was. When I went to the health centre or to the
16 clinic, I recognised my colleague, the late Ninkovic, Zeljko -- Zeljko
17 Ninkovic. I returned to the police station. I informed my seniors of
18 the fact, and I was then assigned the task that I should go to his family
19 house, see his parents, and carry out the necessary preparations.
20 In the case of the Serbs, this is a lengthy process. You have to
21 prepare; you eat meat; you drink; it's like a wedding, but people are not
22 in a happy mood. You have to have a meal at the late man's home. You
23 have to have a wake until the following day when the funeral is held.
24 Towards the end of my working day, I returned to the police
25 station to see what else had to be done, and I remained until the end of
1 my duty in the police station.
2 Q. During that time, while you involved in these activities, did you
3 have the opportunity of seeing a bus -- or buses passing through Bratunac
4 and seeing where they were heading?
5 A. On that day, I did not -- or could not see any such thing. But I
6 did see a bus in the evening on the previous day passing by my building
7 because the Srebrenica-Zvornik road is there. So whenever a vehicle
8 passes by, I can see that vehicle and hear it. This is something that
9 either that you forgot to mention or I forget to mention.
10 Q. Very well. You said that after those preparations, for the
11 funeral of Zeljko Ninkovic you were very busy, but then at one point in
12 time you returned to the Bratunac police station. Can you tell me
13 whether there are any other events on the 13th on July that you could
14 mention after you had returned to the police station? Were there any
15 over events that you can remember?
16 A. I don't know what you have in mind, but the end of my working
17 day, or perhaps I lingered on there for 10 or 15 minutes in the police
18 station because I met a colleague who was arriving at work. He was one
19 of my younger colleagues, and we spoke to each other in the corridor
20 about how to carry everything out and how to secure a sufficient number
21 of people who weren't engaged for the following day when the funeral was
22 to be held. While I was speaking to my colleague, I heard rapid steps,
23 and Mr. Borovcanin entered. I was somewhat surprised by his behaviour
24 because I know that he is a calm man. He entered in a quite rapid
25 manner, and if I remember this correctly, he said, Niko, what's going on?
1 What's being done? Give me a phone quickly. I have to phone the
2 brigade. I just had a look at him. I couldn't say a word. My colleague
3 and I said, well, you know that the communications centre is further up,
4 and he passed by. He went on, went up to the floor to the room where
5 there were communications. And then I returned home, and I didn't leave
6 until the following day.
7 Q. Very well. Now, you have just said that another colleague of
8 yours was present at the scene. Could you tell us his name?
9 A. Slavisa Simic, and I assume that Branimir Tesic was also in the
10 office, although, I didn't open the door. I saw the door was closed, but
11 I don't think he had locked the door, so I assumed that he was there.
12 Q. Mr. Borovcanin wanted to contact the brigade. Did you find out
13 whether he managed to contact them? Did you hear anything about what
14 Mr. Borovcanin had to say?
15 A. No. I was in the ground floor, and the communications centre was
16 up on another floor across the -- opposite the office of Mr. Josipovic.
17 Q. Very well. A general question now. We are dealing with July
18 1995. It's not in dispute that Mr. Borovcanin was the deputy commander
19 of the special police brigade at the time, and you have also told us
20 about the duties that you had to perform. In the light of -- in the line
21 of command, could Mr. Borovcanin issue orders to you or to someone else
22 in the Bratunac police station?
23 A. No.
24 Q. If Mr. Borovcanin, for example, asked for assistance of some
25 kind, for example, if he wanted to phone from the premises or to send a
1 telegram or something like that, would you have done that for him?
2 A. Well, look. Assistance is one thing. An order is another thing.
3 We would have probably helped him if that is what was at stake, but it
4 would have had to be recorded.
5 Q. Very well. Apart from what you have just told us with regard to
6 that meeting with Mr. Borovcanin in the police station in Bratunac on the
7 13th of July, so apart from what you have just told us, is there anything
8 else that you can remember about that meeting that you would like to
10 A. No. I have nothing further to add with regard to the meeting.
11 It was very brief, and there was nothing much said.
12 Q. Very well. And after this event, as you have already said you
13 left the premises of the police station. Could you tell us where you
15 A. I went to my flat, and I remained there until the following
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's now have a
18 look at the exhibit that we have had a look at on a number of occasions,
19 4D620, and that's the same page, page 24. I'd like to have a look at the
20 entry for the 14th of July.
21 Q. We can see that on the 14th of July you have an entry that
22 concerns the period from 7
23 on the 14th of July, during this period referred to here, the ten hours,
24 did you remain in the police station in Bratunac or did you go outside,
25 and if so, where did you go and when?
1 A. I didn't spend much time in the police station on that day. When
2 I arrived in the morning, I checked everything, did what was necessary,
3 and then I started organising the funeral of the late Ninkovic. I
4 remained there then until the very end of my duty.
5 Q. Very well. So you went to the funeral of the late Ninkovic on
6 that day. Apart from yourself, do you remember whether there were any
7 other staff members of Bratunac police station?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you remember who was there?
10 A. I remember that there was some people, so to speak, at hand from
11 the 1st company. They didn't go out into the field. They were gathered
12 or assembled to perform a ceremonial shooting, and then there were some
13 others who were assembled to carry out the funeral itself.
14 Q. Very well. I'd like to ask you about several other events that
15 have to do -- or that transpired on the 13th and 14th of July. Can you
16 tell me whether you have any information according to which on the 14th
17 of July some of the senior police station members went to Bratunac? Did
18 you hear anything about this? Did you see any such individuals? What do
19 you know about this?
20 A. When I said that my duty was over in the police station and that
21 I was going home, I heard that Mr. Kovac had been present - I don't know
22 whether he had been in the police station - but I had heard that he'd --
23 or that he was going to Srebrenica. That's what I do know.
24 Q. Did you perhaps see him?
25 A. I couldn't see him, and I told you that I was at the funeral
1 until the end of my working day.
2 Q. Very well. I have a few more questions I would like to put to
3 you with regard to these dates. Can you tell me whether you heard
4 anything about events in the Kravica agricultural cooperative on the 13th
5 of July, 1995? Did you hear anything about such events? If so, when?
6 From whom? What did you hear about it?
7 A. Yes, but I can't tell you from whom I heard about this because
8 the rumor spread after the funeral when we had this lunch. Those who
9 were present spoke to each other, and they said that in Kravica -- or,
10 rather, a group of Muslims or Bosniaks had surrendered in Kravica, and
11 they were being detained in buildings that belonged to the Oka, to this
12 agricultural association. They then tried to break out of the building,
13 apparently. They killed a policeman, took his rifle. They wounded
14 another policeman, and on that occasion there was a clash. A fight broke
15 out, and a certain number of Muslims were killed. That's what I heard.
16 Those are the stories that I heard, but I never went there. A month or
17 two after the event, I didn't go there. It wasn't necessary, so there
18 was nothing for me to see.
19 Q. Tell me, was the event in Kravica discussed in Bratunac? Was it
20 a subject that was discussed in public and frequently?
21 A. Well, naturally. As soon as two individuals meet, they will talk
22 about irregular events. So -- and that was included in the stories told.
23 There was the version that I heard and that I have told you about.
24 Q. Apart from what you have just told us, is there anything else you
25 know about these events?
1 A. No. There's nothing more precise that I could add. If I knew
2 anything else, I'd tell you about it.
3 Q. Very well. I would now like to ask you something about another
4 subject, and it relates to the same dates. Did you at any point in time
5 hear that on the 13th, at night, in 1995 a certain number of detained
6 Muslims or captured Muslims arrived in Bratunac and they were put up in
7 the Vuk Karadzic school. They spent the night in Bratunac. Did you hear
8 anything about this, or did you see it?
9 A. Well, look. Whatever happens at night -- well, at the time I
10 wasn't really working at night. It wasn't necessary for me to be in the
11 building where I work, either. So I can hear stories from others, and
12 then I can speculate about such events. I did hear that there was a
13 certain number of buses that stopped there. They went on towards Zvornik
14 and Kladanj in the morning, but I personally did not witness this, and my
15 colleagues who were on duty in town don't submit reports to me but to
16 their superiors. And sometimes these stories weren't stories that would
17 come to me. I was excluded from these stories because, you know, when
18 certain generations change, when young people arrive -- well, if you're a
19 communist policeman, a policeman from Tito's regime, then it's more
20 difficult for you to have access to such information through stories that
22 Q. Very well. So the knowledge you have is based on what others
23 have told you?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Tell me, you have spoken about your movements. We've analysed
1 this. We've analysed the events of the 14th of July, and after all these
2 events what happened in the course of your duties? Did anything in
3 particular happen after the 14th of July that you can remember?
4 A. Well, it's funny to say this, perhaps, but the following days
5 passed by quite normally as if nothing had happened.
6 Q. Tell me, you met Mr. Borovcanin in the police station. You've
7 testified about this already, and at some subsequent point in time in the
8 course of July, did you perhaps have the opportunity of seeing him again?
9 A. Well, I can claim that I -- with certainty that I didn't see the
10 gentleman again that year. When he left the brigade, he went to the
11 police administration. I think on one occasion he then came to the
12 police station, and I think that I saw him then, but apart from that, no.
13 Q. Very well. And now I have just a few questions for you. The
14 name Miroslav Stanojevic, does it ring any bells with you?
15 A. If you are hinting at the same man, there are many men bearing
16 that same name, but there was a younger man called Miroslav, a member of
17 the Red Berets. I believe that he was killed a few years ago an in a
18 traffic accident, if that's the person you're referring to. I don't know
19 any other person by that name.
20 Q. Very well.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. --
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And finally let me ask you --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic, just to give you an indication. You
25 remember yesterday we spoke of having shorter sessions and shorter breaks
1 just to give the opportunity to the witness to rest his back?
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I will certainly do this. I
3 believe that I have, like, five more minutes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Because I was suggesting that we
5 have the break at 15.15, at quarter past 3
6 resume. So as soon as you finish, we can have the break --
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe we can, rather, have a break now, and then
8 I will be -- just to make sure that I cover everything that I have.
9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that --
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 15-minute break now.
13 --- Break taken at 3.02 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 3.21 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Neskovic, I have just a couple of questions
18 left for you, and this will bring my examination-in-chief to an end.
19 Could you please tell me, when were you first contacted by the Borovcanin
21 A. It was in the summer of this year. I believe it was in July.
22 Q. And after that initial contact, did you have any other contacts
23 with the Defence team before your arrival here?
24 A. Yes, in September, also this year.
25 Q. So you've mentioned July and September, and before you arrived
1 here in The Hague
2 I'm not referring to the victims and witnesses unit. I'm referring to
3 any other contacts.
4 A. No, there were no other contacts.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Neskovic. I have no further questions
6 for you.
7 A. You're welcome.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Mr. Zivanovic.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no questions for the witness. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Mr. Ostojic.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
13 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is John Ostojic, and I represent
14 Ljubisa Beara. How are you?
15 Sir, I have on couple of questions that maybe you could help me
16 with being a citizen of Bratunac in 1995 at the very least and before
17 that. Can you tell me who Ljubisav Simic is or was?
18 A. Ljubisav Simic was the president of the municipality for a time.
19 I wouldn't be able to tell you for how long.
20 Q. Do you remember in July of 1995 whether you saw him in or around
22 A. I believe that he was in Bratunac because he resided in the
23 suburbs in his family house. He was there. I saw him, yes.
24 Q. And what date? Do you remember from some of the dates that you
25 remember? I'm not sure if you could be more specific for us.
1 A. I can't tell you anything about the date.
2 Q. Now, you mentioned that you were in Potocari and you went there
3 for an hour, hour and a half or so. Do you remember if you saw Mr. Simic
4 there at all?
5 A. I can't remember.
6 Q. What role, if any, did Mr. Simic play with the police station
7 that you were at in Bratunac? Was he involved in it at all, or was he
9 A. He was not involved in the work of the police station. He
10 couldn't. But while he was the president of the municipality [as
11 interpreted], he may have had contacts with my superiors, with the
12 commanders. And if there had been any such contacts, I can't tell you
13 what their nature was.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one small correction for the transcript. I
16 hate to interrupt, but the witness said while he was the president of the
17 municipal assembly. That's what I heard from the witness and here it
18 says "municipality" on page 18, line 8 -- or it's line 7.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It will be corrected in due course. Thank
20 you. Mr. Ostojic.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
22 Q. And sir, for example, one of the superiors you're referring to is
23 Mr. Miodrag Josipovic, correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And what I need to know from you if you remember, do you know if
1 Dragomir Vasic was in Bratunac in July 1995 to the best of your
3 A. During the dates that we were talking about, Dragomir Vasic was
4 in Bratunac. His -- he shared his office with Josipovic, or Josipovic
5 gave him the use of his office.
6 Q. Well, do you remember in July of 1995 when it was that Dragomir
7 Vasic first began sharing an office with Mr. Josipovic and when that
9 A. I don't mention any dates, maybe the 9th or the 10th. I know
10 that the staff was in Zvornik. They were monitoring the political
11 situation there, and around the time of the events in Srebrenica they
12 moved to my police station. But I can't tell you when they moved in and
13 when they moved out.
14 Q. Okay. A couple of follow-up questions on your answer. When you
15 say "staff," you're referring to the Zvornik police staff, correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And can you give us any idea if it was for more than two days or
18 any estimate as to how many days this Zvornik police staff was stationed
19 in the Bratunac police station?
20 A. The only thing I can tell you is that it would be a minimum of
21 three and a maximum of five days during that period of time.
22 Q. Okay. We mentioned some of the prominent political figures in
23 Bratunac both in your direct and I think in your cross of Mr. Deronjic
24 and Mr. Simic. What about Mr. Davidovic? Are you familiar with him?
25 A. During these events, Davidovic did not have a political role to
1 play in any structure. He went to the lines like any other foot soldier.
2 That's what I know.
3 Q. Okay. Going back to this police staff in Zvornik that was in
4 Bratunac in July of 1995, what was the role of Dragomir Vasic at that
5 time in connection with the Bratunac police station? Do you know what
6 his duties and obligations were at that time? I know you mentioned to
7 look at the political situation, but can you be more concrete for us?
8 A. He was a -- the superior to all of us, to my commander, to my
9 chief, and to all the other officers in position who participated on
10 that. I did not have any direct contacts with him. He never issued any
11 orders to me directly, so I can't give you anything in any more detail.
12 Q. Were you ever shown or given documents that purportedly were
13 signed by Dragomir Vasic during that time-period, the 12th, 13th, and
14 14th of July, 1995, to review? Have you ever seen any such orders or
15 directives from Mr. Vasic at any time up to today?
16 A. No, I didn't. I have given you my job description, and that did
17 not involve any contacts with them. The only orders I received from any
18 of the officers, that was my immediate superior.
19 Q. Are you familiar with a citizen of Bratunac called Dragan
20 Mirkovic? Do you know who he is, perhaps?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic. One moment, Mr. Neskovic.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise again, but I notice that there is the
23 name of a person missing from the answer. It's page 20, line 13. "That
24 was my immediate superior ..." I believe that the witness mentioned the
25 name of this person, and I cannot see this in transcript.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Who was your immediate superior,
2 Mr. Neskovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Slavoljub Mladjenovic was my
4 immediate superior.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Ostojic.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. And do you know Dragan Mirkovic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Well, how long have you known him?
10 A. Since childhood.
11 Q. And how long have you known Mr. Simic?
12 A. Ljubo?
13 Q. Is that his nickname? Ljubisav's nickname is Ljubo? I thought
15 A. I've known him a somewhat shorter time. We not any contacts
16 until towards the end of my police career. He was a school teacher, so I
17 only knew him by sight, nothing more.
18 Q. Do you know what the relationship was between Mr. Simic and
19 Mr. Mirkovic, if any? Was it a close relationship? Were they mere
20 acquaintances, or were they distant?
21 A. Well, look. The place where we reside is small. We see each
22 other often, but I never saw the two of them together. I did not see
23 them socialize. As of recently, I've been socialising with Mirkovic
24 somewhat more often, but I have not seen the two of them socialising.
25 Maybe they have some business contacts. Mirkovic was the general manager
1 of the utilities company. Maybe they have had some contacts because of
2 that, but I wouldn't know.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. Let me turn a different topic, sir, given your
4 experience in the Bratunac police station and how those structures work.
5 I just wanted to clarify a couple of things, and you can help me here,
6 and I'd appreciate that very much. The head of the police is actually
7 the MUP, the Ministry of the Interior, correct?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
10 chief of --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... question.
13 Even I had problem in understanding it. "The head of the police is
14 actually the MUP, the Ministry of the Interior, correct?" What does this
15 mean? I really didn't understand. The translation was --
16 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll try to make it so it's clearer.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I understand it, but anyway --
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I will --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: -- if you could repeat it.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: I will. We'll just do it.
21 Q. And I apologise if it was inartful, sir. Now, we have something
22 called MUP, and you know what that is, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay, and in 1995 that existed, and at that time, either the
25 minister or the deputy minister of the MUP in Republika Srpska was Tomo
1 Kovac, correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, you mention him, so I'm sure you know of him. Immediately
4 below the structure of the MUP, you have what we've called and identified
5 CJB, which is an acronym for centar -- Centar Javne Bezbednosti or
6 centre, public security; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And how many were there in the area of Bratunac and
9 Zvornik that were known as CJBs? Was there only one, or were there more
10 than one?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic, I don't know if you were following,
12 also, in the transcript, but --
13 MR. OSTOJIC: I am now.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But the interpreters are complaining and try to
15 write -- or the stenographers are complaining because you're going to
16 fast. So if you could kindly slow down, please.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I will. I will.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry.
20 Q. Sir, and I apologise for going fast, but I just kind of want to
21 get this, and there's really actually five levels to it, I think -- five
22 levels, but we'll go through it slowly. We discussed MUP with Tomo
23 Kovac. The next level immediately under that is the CJB, which is that
24 Centar Javne Bezbednosti, or in English, the way we say it, the centre
25 for public security. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How many centres for public security were there in that area that
3 we would call from Zvornik all the way through to Bratunac?
4 A. If we draw a pyramid, there is the MUP at the very top. Below it
5 are centres, and below them there are public security stations. In my
6 part of the state in the Drina
7 subordinated stations in Skelani, Srebrenica, Bratunac, Milici,
8 Vlasenica, Osmaci, and Kozluk.
9 Q. And you're getting ahead of me, and I agree with you there.
10 Those separate sections that you've just identified, Skelani, Bratunac,
11 Vlasenica, those were called Posebna Jedinica Policije or PJP, correct?
12 A. SJB, public security station.
13 Q. Who was above the SJB, then?
14 A. The Zvornik centre, the centre in Zvornik.
15 Q. Thank you. In July of 1995, the chief guy, the number one guy of
16 the centre in Zvornik was Dragomir Vasic, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then you mention those six or two other stations, public
19 security stations that you had identified. Where does the PJP fall
20 under? Is it below each one of those stations? Where is it in the
21 hierarchy or the pyramid that you mentioned? Where does it fall under?
22 A. A PJP is part of the centre, but the commander of the centre
23 orders each station to allocate a proportionate number of its men who
24 would belong to the 1st company with the most capable youngest men, then
25 the 2nd company consisting of lesser capable men, and so on and so forth.
1 In any case, every PJP is subordinated to the centre. No CJB [as
2 interpreted] could on its own incorporate or have on its strength a PJP.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification.
4 Now, you told us that Dragomir Vasic was --
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Excuse me.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Sorry. Again, I have to correct the transcript.
8 It does says here on page 24, line 13, "No CJB could on its own
9 incorporate or have on its strength a PJP." He was referring to SJB,
10 public station not centre.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's what the witness said.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 MR. OSTOJIC:
15 Q. Now, if -- you told us about Tomo Kovac being in Bratunac in July
16 sometime about the 14th, as best as you recall, and also Dragomir Vasic
17 setting up basically his offices next to the commander Josipovic. Also,
18 for a few days or so in July of 1995, just help me with this: Prior to
19 that time in July of 1995, had there been any other instance where
20 Dragomir Vasic or another chief of the - and I just want to get the right
21 acronym here - CJB ever came to Bratunac to either perform any duties or
22 obligations for an overnight stay?
23 A. I don't know. I did not see that. There is a line along which
24 the chief of the centre can invite or order any of his subordinated
25 commanders to come.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: It seems we have a constant problem with
2 interpretation because there is -- I notice just a moment ago that here,
3 what my colleague said was "CJB came to Bratunac." It's on page 25, line
4 8. But what was translated to the witness was SJB, so there is a lot of
5 confusion here. So maybe I can just draw the attention to the
6 interpreters and also to my colleague to be careful about his --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that, Mr. Lazarevic. It's not your
8 fault, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll try to clarify it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: And really, I don't think it's that -- we're just
12 trying to get --
13 Q. Sir, we know Dragomir Vasic, the position he held. Let's not
14 mention the position, but he held a certain position in July of 1995. He
15 was in Bratunac at that time. What I am asking you, that Dragomir Vasic
16 - and you may not know how long he held that function - but a few years
17 prior to that or at any time to the best of your recollection, did
18 Dragomir Vasic as a member of the Centar Javne Bezbednosti or anyone in
19 his position as the chief of that organisation, did they ever come to
20 Bratunac for an overnight stay to perform any functions and obligations,
21 to the best of your recollection? And I know what you said
22 theoretically, but I want to know factually. Do you remember anyone like
23 that coming to Bratunac prior to July of 1995?
24 A. I can't remember any such instance.
25 Q. Now, help me with this. I thought your testimony, and I'll share
1 with you just generally - I think I'm right - that other people have
2 testified that most of the police officers were not in Bratunac during
3 the night of the 12th through the 14th or thereabouts, and I'm just
4 generalising it here. If they were all gone, what was Dragomir Vasic
5 doing there? Who was he actually giving orders to, or who was he
6 directing or providing any supervision to? What was his role if all his
7 men and the men below him were out on the field or on the terrain?
8 A. I can't answer that. These questions should be put to people
9 outside of my station. Dragomir Vasic had a circle of men who were
10 subordinated to him with whom he worked. What they did, how they
11 assigned their tasks, I really wouldn't be able to tell you.
12 Q. To the best of your recollection, do you know the names of any of
13 these men who were in the circle of men who were subordinated to Vasic?
14 Do you know any of their names?
15 A. In addition to my superiors from my station, I wouldn't know
16 anybody else because I never had any contacts with anybody else.
17 Q. Okay. And just a couple questions with respect to -- although I
18 know you didn't see it yourself, but you heard that there were Bosnian
19 Muslims who were held prisoner in the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac,
20 correct? Do you know anything about that or ...
21 A. I can just share with you stories, speculations that I heard, but
22 I don't want to speculate myself. If I've seen something, I would share
23 that with you. And despite all of my health problems that I am suffering
24 at the moment, if I had suffered like that at the time, I would have
25 opposed that. I did not see. I heard that there were people detained
1 there, but I can't tell you how many. I can't even tell you who I heard
2 the story from.
3 Q. And I am not suggesting otherwise, sir, and I respect that, and
4 thank you for sharing with me. What I want to know is, did the entire
5 town know? Did people like in these -- what we call powerful positions,
6 like Mr. Deronjic, Mr. Simic, Mr. Davidovic, would they also have known
7 or heard if they were in town that there were Bosnian Muslims being held
8 in the Vuk Karadzic school to the best of your knowledge?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Calls for speculation.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What's your comment to that, Mr. Ostojic?
11 MR. OSTOJIC: No comment, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed with your next question,
14 MR. OSTOJIC:
15 Q. Did you learn what action, if any, the political authorities took
16 in connection with either the buses that were at Bratunac or the Bosnian
17 Muslim men who were held prisoner in the Vuk Karadzic school? Do you
18 know what role, if any, they played in trying to either to move them or
19 in trying to provide anything to them?
20 A. Well, higher politics are far from me, distant from me. What
21 their intentions were, I don't know. What they were thinking, I don't
22 know. These people were supposed to be moved to Zvornik, Tuzla
23 Kladanj, I believe, and allegedly they were put up there just to
24 refresh -- freshen up and to be given water to drink and move on. That's
25 what I heard, but I can't tell you anything about the whole situation
1 from what I know myself.
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir, for helping.
3 A. You're welcome.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Ms. Nikolic?
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No question, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Fauveau?
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] [no interpretation]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE: Same for us, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Sarapa?
11 MR. SARAPA: No questions, thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
15 Q. Good afternoon.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. Is there any way in searching your memory you can tell us who it
18 was that told you that all those men that were spending the night in
19 Bratunac on the 13th, all those Muslims were there to freshen up and then
20 to be moved on?
21 A. I said a while ago that I had heard stories in town, but I can't
22 give you any names because I can't remember anybody in specific. There
23 is no name attached to any of these stories.
24 Q. When you went to Potocari and observed there, did you know -- had
25 you heard of the name of Ljubisa Beara?
1 A. I heard the name, but I never saw the man. I never had any
2 contacts with him.
3 Q. Now, you described someone as a communist police officer from the
4 Tito days. Were you referring to yourself when you said that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And did you change your political viewpoint at some point and
7 become a member of the SDS?
8 A. I was always in favour of acting professionally. I was least
9 interested in the grouping I would belong to. I acted in accordance with
10 the rules. I wasn't in favour of any party.
11 Q. Well, were you ever a member of the SDS party?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Okay. Well, in July of 1998, the Office of the Prosecutor
14 searched the SDS offices of Miroslav Deronjic, and I want to show you
15 a -- I am going to show you the originals so you can maybe tell us about
16 it a bit. You've already told us the village you were from. Can you
17 remind us?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: That should be 65 ter 3852.
19 Q. What was the village you were born in? Pobrdje?
20 A. Pobrdje.
21 Q. And is that near Potocac?
22 A. Potocac, yes.
23 Q. And do you know Mirko Stojanovic?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. Jovo Prodanovic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Nikola Obrevic [phoen]?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you go to the third page. It's page 3 in the English. It
5 should be page 3 of the -- it may -- yes, page 3 of the B/C/S, and --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This says "Local board." What local board is that? I mean, is
8 that you, Neskovic Dragan, or is there another Neskovic Dragan in that
10 A. At the time referred to here or the time that you referred to in
11 1998, I was living in my flat in Bratunac; and in village of Pobrdje
12 there was a Dragan Neskovic, son of the late Radisa Neskovic who died two
13 years ago. He, too, died two years ago. At the time, I didn't live in
14 Pobrdje, so if there's anything else you were interested in, try and find
15 out about it, I didn't join up. But as far as Obrevic Nikola is
16 concerned, well, his ideas always bothered me. I came across them in
17 various stories. So this document isn't evidence for me, but if it is
18 evidence, well, it has to do with Dragan Neskovic, son of Radisa, whose
19 mother is named Stana.
20 Q. Yeah, I wasn't asking you about 1998. I was just telling you
21 that's when the material was picked up. But I was asking about the
22 wartime period. Were you ever a member of the SDS in the wartime period?
23 A. It never even crossed my mind at the time, and that's also the
24 case now, and that will be the case for the future. It never crossed my
25 mind to be a member of any party, and in particular, of that party.
1 Q. Was that other Dragan Neskovic a member of the wartime SDS from
2 your village?
3 A. I couldn't say. This was a young person with whom I did not have
4 any contacts. I couldn't be certain about anything.
5 Q. And what was that Dragan Neskovic's father's name?
6 A. His name was Radisa.
7 Q. And about what year was that other Dragan Neskovic born?
8 A. Either in 1960 or in 1961, something like that.
9 Q. Okay. Now, were you aware in 1992 -- were you a police officer
10 in 1992 in Bratunac?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you have mentioned that you think Mr. Borovcanin came over in
13 maybe July or August of 1992 to take the job of komandir of the police,
15 A. I said it was in the summer in July/August. I don't know which
16 month exactly, but roughly speaking, that was the period, yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's take a look at 65 ter number 3850.
18 Q. You should get a B/C/S -- or a Serbian version of this up on your
19 screen, but I'll -- to save a little time, it says "SJB Bratunac," and it
20 says: "The list of active employees who carried out tasks and duties of
21 the public security station during the month of July 1992," and "to whom
22 the advanced money of salary has been paid for this month."
23 Have you ever seen a document like this before? It looks like
24 there are signatures to the right-hand side, and unless that's the other
25 Dragan Neskovic, take a look at number. Maybe they'll blow it up a bit
1 for you. Do you remember a document like this? It just says that -- it
2 lists the police officers and the salary.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Does that look genuine to you?
5 A. This is my signature. That's certain.
6 Q. Okay. And so by this document, it would indicate Ljubomir
7 Borovcanin, commander, was working there as well. Does that help refresh
8 your recollection?
9 A. Yes, I remember.
10 Q. Now, staying in 1992 just for a minute, do you recall a point
11 where many Muslim civilians, both women and children and men, were
12 detained in the Bratunac stadium and the men were separated from the
13 women and put in the Vuk Karadzic school?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. This is out of the scope of the
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, what's your comment to that?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: They've, you know, established --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want to --
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's always safe --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: -- comment? All right. Mr. Neskovic, can you
22 kindly remove your headphones; and before you do so, do you speak
23 English? If he can put them back. Do you understand English?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Not a single word?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not a single word.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Not even yes or no? Remove your headphones,
3 please. Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I don't intend to get into
5 this topic at length, obviously. We have heard references to this
6 historic event repeatedly over the couple of years. Basically, I want to
7 ask him for credibility purposes. We have been talking a bit about 92
8 throughout. The witness Ljubisav Simic, there is quite a bit of evidence
9 about the Vuk Karadzic school in evidence now from his 92 ter statement
10 that went in. I chose not to talk to him about it, though I could have,
11 to save a little bit for this witness. Not much, just a couple of
12 questions related to it. And it will be based on evidence I do have.
13 This is not a fishing expedition.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours -- if I can ... [Microphone not
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 JUDGE PROST: Microphone.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. What Mr. McCloskey says when he
21 says "basically," is this for the credibility purpose or not? So just to
22 be clear about this, because if it's related to credibility about this
23 witness, then it's okay, but if there is some other purpose, then I will
24 -- it's a standing objection.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I understand basically it means that that is
1 the main aim or purpose.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct. And in addition, Mr. President,
3 you may recall the witness's answers that he went Potocari to see
4 friends, to look up friends, as if, you know, old friends are going to be
5 willing, you know, to hug each other and --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. We have already taken our
7 decision, Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Lazarevic. You are authorised to proceed
8 with the question and any follow-ups, but please do it as brief and
9 expeditious a manner as possible, and try to move to something different
10 as early as possible too. Okay.
11 Thank you for your patience, Mr. Neskovic.
12 I would suggest you repeat the question, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
14 Q. Sir, were you working in Bratunac, and do you recall the event in
15 May of 1992 when a large number of Muslim population, women and men, were
16 taken to the Bratunac stadium and able-bodied men were separated and put
17 in the Vuk Karadzic school and the women and children were transported
18 out? Do you know of that occurrence or something resembling that?
19 A. I'll tell you what I could see. As you know, I said that in the
20 course of my work in and out -- in and outside of the police station, I
21 didn't have any other duties apart from when I had to go out for some --
22 Q. Sir, I'm sorry to interrupt. I think you're in 1995. I'm taking
23 you back to May 1992, the beginning of the war period, the first
24 conflicts, okay? So -- and then my question was -- we don't need a big
25 description of this event. We just want to know if -- do you recall the
1 event or something like what I had described?
2 A. I started telling you what I knew about. It's a fact that people
3 were assembled at the stadium, but it was a group that had turned up out
4 of the blue. There were some volunteers. It was over a period of a few
5 days, and then they just disappeared. Who they were, where they went, I
6 don't know.
7 Q. You're referring to the Muslim population that appeared out of
8 the blue and then disappeared, or the volunteers from Serbia?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: He never said Serbia --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: He's quoting --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: You're right. He didn't. So what?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed. Mr. Neskovic, can you answer the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have partially answered the
16 question. I said that some kind of a group of volunteers appeared. I
17 didn't know any of them. I had never heard about them. I had never seen
18 them. They assembled there. There was this looting, and they
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. Sir, I'm talking about the Muslim population from the villages
22 surrounding Bratunac. Are you aware that they were assembled in the
23 stadium in May of 1992?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe the answer that the witness gave - I
1 apologise to my colleague - he said, "They assembled the population."
2 That's what the witness said. They assembled people there. That's what
3 was said on page 35, line 24.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I appreciate that.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Now, these Muslim people that were assembled, were they separated
9 as I've described, with the men being sent to Vuk Karadzic school, the
10 women being shipped away?
11 A. I can't answer that because I wasn't there to see.
12 Q. Sir, you're a trained police officer. I am sure you were, you
13 know, aware of this situation. Can you just tell this Court if that
14 happened, to the best of your knowledge, that the men were separated and
15 put in the Vuk Karadzic school and the women were shipped out?
16 A. Sir, I don't know what you want me to do. This is not my job. I
17 told you where I worked. I told you what I did. I couldn't see what was
18 happening. And these speculations as to what someone said and so on and
19 so forth, well, I don't want to go into that because I can't testify
20 about the truth in such a manner.
21 Q. So are you saying you know nothing about the movement of the
22 able-bodied men from the stadium to the Vuk Karadzic school back in May
23 of 1992?
24 A. Not that I know nothing, but what kind of evidence would it be if
25 I tell you about something I heard that happened three days ago, and then
1 I'm told about it, and then I tell you about that? I won't accept
2 something like that. It wouldn't be honest.
3 Q. Well, sir, I have a statement from a Muslim from that school that
4 said you were there at the school with those Muslims; is that correct?
5 In May of 1992.
6 A. That's not correct.
7 Q. All right. Let's leave 1992 behind. These PJP units, these
8 combat units that went to assist in combat that were part of the CSB
9 Zvornik, can you tell us when police officers were first organised in
10 units like the PJP units of 1995 and sent out for combat missions? Let's
11 forget 1992. How about 1993? Were there police officers in Bratunac
12 that got assembled as part of the combat units to go help the army or go
13 take part in combat in other areas outside of their normal police duties?
14 A. It's very difficult to remember all the details. Sometimes the
15 line would be attacked, the population would be a threat, and the
16 policemen who were able to assist would go to the line to defend the
17 line. But as to whether there was an organised unit from the police
18 station in Bratunac that went out into the field on an independent basis,
19 no, no such thing existed.
20 Q. Well, you know it existed in July of 1995 because you've talked
21 to us specifically about it. Do you remember when that kind of organised
22 assistance first happened? Was it 1995, 1994? I'm not asking for
23 details. This is just pretty basic.
24 A. I'm not sure. I think the unit was formed in 1994, perhaps in
25 the second half of that year. I am not sure. I know that it was in
1 existence in 1995 for sure, but I can't be certain when it comes to 1994.
2 Q. You've said that Mr. Borovcanin referred to you as Niko. What
3 was Mr. Borovcanin's nickname?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: I'm afraid I -- maybe I wasn't following that
6 well, but I never heard the witness saying that Mr. Borovcanin referred
7 to him by this nickname. I could be wrong, of course, but --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, he has accepted that proposition in any
9 case. So why don't you move ahead?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, he didn't. I don't see this. He didn't give
11 his answer.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Maybe it's a translation issue, but what I heard
14 over the translator was that when Mr. Borovcanin came in, he said
15 something like "Niko, I need to use the phone."
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, he's in a position to answer now.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Can you -- what did -- he didn't say that?
19 A. I didn't use that term. I didn't have any nicknames at any time,
20 and I never use nicknames for others. That's it.
21 Q. Okay. Let's not talk about nicknames, then. Let's talk about
22 radio code names. What was the radio code name for this Bratunac SJB in
23 July 1995?
24 A. I can't remember. I didn't use the communications systems much.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: If it would be convenient for you, Mr. McCloskey,
1 it's one hour since we started this session. We need to have the 15
2 minute break we had agreed upon.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have much more.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: How much more?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Maybe 15 minutes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We will take a break of 15 minutes, and then we'll
7 let him rest his back and everything.
8 --- Break taken at 4.15 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.35 p.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Sir, you've explained to us that you were the logistics man for
13 the police station. So can you tell us on those days - July 11th, 12th,
14 13th - where the police cars -- well, how many police cars did the
15 Bratunac police station have, that period in July 1995?
16 A. Four or five cars.
17 Q. And any trucks?
18 A. No. We had a four-wheel drive --
19 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter didn't hear the end of the
21 JUDGE AGIUS: The interpreter didn't hear the end of your reply,
22 Mr. Neskovic, if you could repeat it, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had a four-wheel vehicle. All
24 the other vehicles were passenger vehicles.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Neskovic.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. And what kind of passenger vehicles, model?
3 A. Volkswagens, Volkswagen Golfs.
4 Q. And were they painted in a police colour?
5 A. Two of them were. The other two weren't.
6 Q. Can you describe the colour of the ones that were painted in a
7 police colour?
8 A. The ones that were painted, white and blue was used.
9 Q. And did they have any lights on them, obvious lights that were
10 there on the top, I mean, not headlights. I figure they had headlights.
11 A. Only one of the vehicles had a rotational light; the others
12 didn't. One was blue. The others were of a basic colour.
13 Q. The non-blue and white cars, what were they -- what did they look
15 A. One was dark red, and the other was dark blue. Indigo is what we
16 call that colour.
17 Q. And do you know what vehicle Mr. Borovcanin was using when he was
18 in Bratunac on those days in July?
19 A. I couldn't say because when he came to the police station, when
20 he was seen there, I don't know what kind of a vehicle he used. I didn't
21 leave the building to be able to see that.
22 Q. And where did your police vehicles get their fuel?
23 A. Fuel, oil, and other material would be obtained from a centre in
24 Zvornik. I'd write down what we needed; I'd forward it to them; they'd
25 secure the material; I'd go and pick it up.
1 Q. So where did Bratunac police cars fill up their tanks?
2 A. I brought fuel in metal barrels from Zvornik. Usually, I would
3 load two or three 200-litre barrels. I would then unload them and store
4 them in the storage, and then I would fuel from the barrels first using a
5 hose, and then I got a pump from which I would then re-tank into buckets,
6 and there I would refuel the vehicles.
7 Q. So were you the one who was personally responsible for
8 re-fuelling police cars during this period, July 11th, 12th, 13 July?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And did the police -- did your Golf police vehicles use more
11 fuels on those days, the days that the Muslim population was being
12 shipped out of the area, than they did normally?
13 A. No. There was a strict rule on mileage. The vehicles could not
14 make as many kilometres as people wanted, and by having inspected the
15 fuel consumed, I could tell that the mileage that was done on those days
16 was average.
17 Q. Did any Bratunac police cars follow or lead or escort in any way
18 the buses full of Muslims that went from Potocari through Bratunac,
19 passed Vlasenica, Tisca, dropping people off at Luka? Any police -- any
20 Bratunac police cars take part in that?
21 A. As far as I can remember. Not during those days. If somebody
22 ever went - and I'm saying "if" - then it would be my officer who would
23 have to know that. I would not have to know. I would just have to
24 inspect the fuel, how much of it is left. I'm not the one who had an
25 insight into the travel orders of the people using the vehicles. That's
1 something that my officer, my superior officer would be privy to.
2 Q. Were there blue and white Golfs from other police departments
3 that came to the Bratunac area during those days, the two days that the
4 Muslims were there?
5 A. I'm not excluding that possibility, but nobody ever turned to me
6 to ask for any of the supplies from my storage. There were no such
8 Q. Sir, we can see police cars escorting buses out of Potocari on a
9 video. I take it you don't know a thing about that?
10 A. I have to go back to my statement that I have repeated several
11 times already. I worked in an office, in an enclosed building, from --
12 in no windows or doors could I see the streets. I could only see one
13 square in my town. I could not see the transit of any of the vehicles.
14 That view was blocked from me.
15 Q. Did any of those four police cars have radios in them, and I mean
16 two-way radios?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What kind?
19 A. I don't understand what you're asking me. The radios in the car
20 were -- I can't really remember the make of those radios.
21 Q. Well, you would have been the one to resupply the broken antenna
22 when that gets bent or the parts if somebody pulls off a microphone or
23 kicks it or make sure it gets sent out for repair, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Maybe you can describe the radios. I take it we're not talking
1 about little handheld radios. We're talking about something attached to
2 the car?
3 A. I know what you are asking me, but I really can't remember the
4 make. I don't know whether it was a Motorola or a -- something of Czech
5 production. It was a small set. It could almost fit in the pocket. It
6 was indeed fixed, but I really don't know how else to describe that
7 device because I can't remember the brand name or the make.
8 Q. Well, could a person -- a police officer with a radio like that
9 in their car communicate to the Bratunac headquarters, say, from downtown
11 A. It was not easy at the time because there were not enough
12 repeaters, so you had to look for a suitable point in order to establish
13 a connection across certain routes.
14 Q. Did you know Dragomir Stupar, the logistics guy from Sekovici,
15 special police?
16 A. No.
17 Q. We interviewed a person by that name that said he was the
18 logistics officer and that he obtained material from Bratunac at a little
19 warehouse on the main road to Srebrenica or a little building. Do you
20 know what he's talking about? Surely, you must have worked with the
21 police forces to help them stay supplied.
22 A. This is something new to me. It is the first time I hear that
23 there are some other storages or depots. I was the only one. If there
24 had been something else, I should have had to communicate with them and
25 cooperate with them. I can vouch that this is not true.
1 Q. Perhaps he was getting material from you, but you have no
2 recollection of that?
3 A. Sir, it's very hard to believe that I would issue something to
4 somebody without knowing them. If I'd known him, I would have resupplied
5 him, but I never heard the name before. The first time I hear the name
6 is now, from you.
7 Q. Okay. Let's go to this time where you say Mr. Borovcanin came by
8 the police department and asked to use the phone. Was that on the first
9 day that Muslims were in Potocari or the second day they were in Potocari
10 or another day?
11 A. I don't know how many days the Muslims stayed in Potocari. I am
12 saying that the contact happened after my departure from Potocari.
13 Whether they all left or not, I don't know. I can't say for sure. So on
14 the day when I was in Potocari, the following day in the afternoon I saw
15 Borovcanin and -- at the police station.
16 Q. Well, did you go to Potocari the first day that Serb troops were
17 in Potocari, or was it the second or third day that Serb troops were in
18 Potocari, if you know?
19 A. I've already told you that I was in Potocari on the 12th of July
20 before noon.
21 Q. So you do remember the dates?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's unfair. I mean --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: No, let him answer the question. It's a fair
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. So you do remember the dates?
2 A. I had a paper in front of me, and I saw it right there in front
3 of me. The questions were put to me in a sequence following the course
4 of the events as they unfolded, and that's how I answered.
5 Q. So you were taking your dates off the paper that was in front of
6 you when you testified?
7 A. Well, my memory still serves me. I may not be able to remember
8 all the details. I may not be able to tie them to certain dates or days,
9 but I certainly do remember those three or four days. I remember them
10 well. They were well imprinted in my memory.
11 Q. Sir, you told us you were looking at a piece of paper and the
12 dates were on the paper. What were you looking at? You pointed at the
13 screen, the TV screen. There is nothing wrong with refreshing your
14 recollection from the TV screen or the paper. I'm just asking you.
15 A. I was shown those lists with the entries showing when I worked on
16 those days. That's what I was referring to. I was shown those lists
17 with my schedule during those days.
18 Q. So it's possible you went to Potocari and saw the events the
19 second day that Muslims were there, the second -- excuse me, the second
20 day that Serb soldiers had gone to Potocari, and so that it was actually
21 the following day that Mr. Borovcanin came by the police station?
22 A. That's what I stated. I stated that on the day before I saw
23 Borovcanin, I'd gone to Potocari.
24 Q. Now, when you saw Mr. Borovcanin, did he tell you that one of his
25 men had just been killed and one of his men had been injured, and he was
1 just over at the health centre with the injured guy?
2 A. We did not exchange any stories. On that second occasion, we
3 never even shake -- shook hands. I've told you that his appearance at
4 the police station was very sudden, very abrupt. He zoomed past me. He
5 didn't even have time to shake hands.
6 Q. At that time that you saw him, had you heard the reports of the
7 Muslims, the dead Muslims at the Kravica warehouse, dead and dying
8 Muslims, any report like that before Mr. Borovcanin zoomed in?
9 A. I've said previously that the first time I heard about that was
10 when we buried my late colleague, Zeljko Ninkovic.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: No further questions, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is there re-examination, Mr. Lazarevic?
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: No redirect, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 Mr. Neskovic, we have come to the end of your testimony. Our
17 staff will give you all the assistance you need for your repatriation.
18 On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come over
19 to give evidence, and I also wish you a safe journey back home.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I will always
21 remember your kindness and how good you were to me. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic, documents?
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, we do have two documents. One is 4D620, and
1 the other one is 4D621. The first one is CJB Bratunac attendance roster,
2 and the other one is payroll for June 1992 from Kladanj police station.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection, Mr. McCloskey?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from the other Defence teams? None?
6 So these documents are admitted. Mr. Ostojic, you don't have any
7 documents. Mr. McCloskey?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. 65 ter number 3850, that
9 list of active employees for July; and 3852, the list of the SDS members.
10 I would also like to offer the July -- excuse me, the January and
11 February SDS minutes indicating Mr. Borovcanin was a member -- or was
12 recommended as a member and then a member of the SDS, as well, in
13 response to his comment about that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, for the third one -- for the first
16 two, I have no objection. For the third one, first of all, this document
17 was not used through this witness, and this is under objection. I
18 believe Mr. Gosnell can explain that. He already filed an objection to
19 this document.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the reference --
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is a pending motion.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the reference number of this document? Is
23 it 210 or ...
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: One of them is 210.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's the huge one, and all we wanted was I
2 think January and February from it.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the -- I offer it because they offered
5 evidence that, you know, he was not a member, if I remember correctly.
6 So I would offer them again. I mean, it doesn't matter if something is
7 involved in some sort of litigation. If it's -- if they're going to make
8 an issue out of it again, I can bring in the material again.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You have been called into cause, Mr. Gosnell,
10 by your colleague. Do you wish to comment? It's obviously part of P210,
11 which was objected to in your motion that I referred to yesterday. But
12 it's only part of that, and it is relative to what Mr. McCloskey has just
13 referred to. Do you know --
14 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, clearly there might be different
15 issues in respect of the --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I think so.
17 MR. GOSNELL: -- different excerpts.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so.
19 MR. GOSNELL: So I can't say for sure now having not looked at it
20 if the same issues are in play or not. Well, if it -- but I do
21 understand that it is the same excerpt, and accordingly, even if it's
22 used in a different way with a different witness, we would take the same
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but you will agree with me that even if P210
25 as objected to in your motion were to be excluded from testimony on the
1 basis of the submissions contained in that motion, it doesn't necessarily
2 follow that parts of it cannot be introduced today on a different basis?
3 MR. GOSNELL: That's certainly true, Mr. President, but I think
4 the more fundamental point here is the questions were asked; the witness
5 answered; everything that is necessary for you to assess the witness's
6 credibility is on the record; it's on the transcript; so we continue to
7 objection to the admission of this --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
9 MR. GOSNELL: -- of this material.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment, Mr. McCloskey?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, very briefly. I did not specifically ask
12 this man about that particular document because he said he wasn't a
13 member of the SDS and he had a name of another guy that was. And so I
14 didn't want to take the time to show him a document that he clearly would
15 have said "I've never seen before" or anything like that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: But I think I can bring in something else and
18 offer it to -- as a credibility and impeachment issue.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Gosnell.
20 MR. GOSNELL: Well, now I object more strongly because the
21 document wasn't put to the witness to get a reaction. Now what's
22 happening is that the document is actually being put in opposition to
23 what the witness said, and that's highly improper. Now it is being used
24 as evidence, so we do object.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: What's the point of tendering P3852, which the
2 witness denied being himself?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're going to do a little research on that one,
4 Mr. President -- Your Honour, excuse me, to see if there are in fact two
5 folks like that, and this is my only chance to offer it in, and it may be
6 very relevant to his credibility. I don't take this man on his word on
7 that. I just don't know. But I think given it was part of the
8 questioning of the witness, part of the questioning of Mr. Ostojic
9 earlier, apparently it was at 27412 that this was done. But it may
10 become relevant. This is an issue, you know, who's a member and who's
11 not of the SDS. It's something that was started, frankly, by the
12 Defence. It's been moved on by the Borovcanin Defence, and it's
13 something I want to be prepared for --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- as it comes up next time.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Finished. I don't think we need to
17 hear anymore submissions. Thank you.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Our decision is as follows: All the
20 documents that you wish to tender or have asked to tender, Mr. McCloskey,
21 are admitted with the exception of the excerpt from P210. The reason for
22 denying your request is that we do not consider it relevant to this
23 witness, it not having been put to the witness. Of course, you are not
24 precluded from later on making use of the same document with other
25 witnesses, and then we will decide whether it will be admitted or not.
1 All right. Mr. Lazarevic.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just for the record, what I would like to state
3 that this document, P3852, has no date, and I just wanted to have it in
4 the record. And furthermore, this is a 14-pages long document. The only
5 portion that was shown to the witness was one page with this list, and I
6 don't know whether we should admit the whole document or not.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: A ruling has been made. I can continue to
9 comment on it, but I'm reluctant to since a ruling has been made. If you
10 would like me to, I can.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need any discussion on this.
12 You've put your point on the record, and we know exactly what our role
13 and our function is.
14 So, next witness. Correct me if I am wrong, we are talking of
15 Slavisa Simic, aren't we? All right.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, excuse me. Can I just --
18 [The witness entered court]
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- ask for guidance when the next break is going
20 to be. I think I lost some trace of time.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That's precisely what I have been discussing with
22 our Court officer, and I suggested an hour and a half from when we
23 started, and that means an hour and a half from half past 4.00. Okay,
24 it's 6.00, basically.
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a break at quarter to, quarter to
2 6.00, of twenty minutes.
3 Good afternoon to you, Mr. Simic.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You have been
6 summoned as a witness by the Defence team for accused Borovcanin. Before
7 you start your testimony, you are required to make a solemn declaration
8 to the effect that in the course of your testimony you will be speaking
9 the truth. Madam Usher is going to give you the text. Please read it
10 out aloud, and that will be your solemn commitment with us.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable now.
14 Mr. Lazarevic will be asking you some questions. He will then be
15 followed by others on cross-examination. I doubt if we will be able to
16 finish today, but we'll try. We'll try. I mean, there is a possibility
17 if he keeps his questions short and to the point. I left the microphone
18 open on purpose.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour puts me in a very difficult situation
20 right now, but I'll do my best.
21 WITNESS: SLAVISA SIMIC
22 [Witness answered through interpretation]
23 Examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
24 Q. Good evening, Mr. Simic.
25 A. Good evening.
1 Q. For the sake of the transcript, I'll introduce myself to you,
2 although naturally, we have already met on a couple of occasions. My
3 name is Aleksandar Lazarevic, and together with my colleagues, I am
4 defending Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin before this Tribunal.
5 As in the case of all other witnesses that I examine, whether
6 it's examination-in-chief or cross-examination, I would just like to draw
7 your attention to -- to the following. Since we speak the same language,
8 please wait for me to the complete my question, and only then answer the
9 question so that we can avoid overlapping, which would cause problems for
10 the interpreters.
11 A. Very well.
12 Q. For the sake of the transcript, can you give us your full name --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Lazarevic.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Lazarevic and Mr. McCloskey, we were
16 trying to see how we could economise on time, and our suggestion is --
17 suggestion to Mr. Lazarevic is with reference to the first two paragraphs
18 of the summary that you are in possession of and that we are in
19 possession of, the summary of this witness, the 65 ter summary, that in
20 relation to the first two paragraphs he can lead, provided there is no
21 objection from the Prosecution, and that he can then put all the
22 questions he wishes in relation to the rest, which appears to be, at
23 least on the face of it, the more substantial part of his would-be
25 I am sure we'll gain at least 30 minutes. You can easily say,
1 no, I oppose, and we'll proceed as normal, and we'll have lost two or
2 three minutes.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I won't object.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You won't object. All right. So you can lead
5 Mr. Lazarevic. Have you understood me?
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I did, and I will go through
7 this question in a leading fashion so we'll finish with this in the most
8 efficient way.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And then you concentrate on the second half of that
10 summary, which is what is more interesting and --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Maybe just one -- one more
12 thing. I mean, in our proofing notes, there are reference to many other
13 events, which I believe I'll have to go through with this witness. It's
14 not just --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not restricting you in any way. We are just
16 trying to simplify --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: All right. All right. So just --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Having him saying that, I don't see we're going
20 to gain any time because as we saw from the last witness, he led him
21 through the first two paragraphs anyway. If it's the fast leading, I
22 have no problem, but if he's going to still ask stuff about these first
23 two paragraphs, it defeats the purpose.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: My idea was if you do not have the intention of
25 adding anything to what is contained in the first two paragraphs, then
1 you can lead. If you want to add more, then obviously, I mean, let's
2 proceed in the normal way.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, there are some things that I would --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then let's --
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- like to add, and I will do it --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed in the normal way. Let's proceed in
7 the normal way.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Very well. I apologise, Mr. Simic. I put a question to you.
10 Could you for the sake of the transcript tell me your first and last
12 A. My name is Slavisa Simic. I was born on the 7th of December,
13 1971, in Bratunac.
14 Q. Can you tell me something about your educational background?
15 A. I have completed my primary and secondary school, education in
16 Bratunac. Later, I studied in Republika Srpska. I have qualified as an
17 economic technician, and I currently work in the police station in
19 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked to speak up a
20 little and to speak more clearly.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. [No interpretation]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We are -- I am at least not receiving
24 interpretation. I don't know --
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The interpreter has told us that you should speak up a little and
2 perhaps a little more clearly. That's what it says, so if possible,
3 please do so.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... the warning
5 to the witness.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed. Okay, but I couldn't
7 understand what you were saying in any case.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Very well, sir. You told us about where you were worked. Could
10 you tell us where you lived at the time that the war broke out in Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina
12 A. At the beginning of the conflict, I was living in Bratunac
13 together with my family in my father's home in the settlement of Rakovac,
14 which is in Bratunac municipality.
15 Q. Very well. If my colleague McCloskey allows me to do so, I will
16 put a few leading questions to you so that we can get through this a
17 little more quickly. At the beginning of the events in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina around April, you were mobilized into the Territorial Defence
19 in Bratunac municipality; isn't that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And afterwards -- after that, you joined the intervention platoon
22 that was called the Red Berets; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That's quite enough. These are questions that you can answer by
25 just saying yes or no. And while you were a member of the Red Beret
1 platoon, Bosko Meskovic [phoen] was your commander; isn't that right?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. And that unit at the time was under the command of the 1st
4 Bircani brigade was under, or rather, the 5th battalion in Bratunac, and
5 subsequently it was under the command of the Bratunac brigade; is that
7 A. Yes, that's correct. That's the information I have too. At the
8 beginning of the conflict, we were part of the Bircani unit, which had
9 its headquarters in Bratunac, and later on towards the end of 1992 we
10 came under the military post Bratunac. 8042 [as interpreted] was the
12 Q. Very well. I apologise. The number in the transcript doesn't
13 correspond to what you said. Could you repeat the number of the military
14 post in Bratunac, or rather, of the Bratunac Brigade?
15 A. 7042.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: 7042. That's the number that the witness gave.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Did you at one point join the reserve police
19 A. Yes. That happened on the 8th of March, 1993. I joined the
20 reserve police force of the Bratunac police station.
21 Q. Very well. And now, I would like to ask you the following: From
22 the time that you joined the reserve police force -- well, after that,
23 did you receive training of any kind, policemen, where and when if that
24 was the case?
25 A. Yes. That year in July, I would say in 1993, I went to Jahorina
1 for training. There was a police course that lasted for three months
2 that was held there. Upon completing that training course, we returned
3 to the police station where we had another three months of internship,
4 and then we received a decision on employment, pursuant to which I was
5 granted the profession of policemen in the Bratunac police station.
6 Q. And did you also receive an official ID card, a badge, and so on
7 and so forth on that occasion?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down and please don't overlap, Mr. Lazarevic.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: I'm sorry. I was caught.
10 Q. [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. Simic. This was my mistake. I
11 moved on too rapidly after your answer. Could you just repeat your
12 answer, as it hasn't been recorded in the transcript. I asked you
13 whether you received a badge, a police ID, and all other such items that
14 policemen who are employed in police stations have?
15 A. Yes, that's quite natural.
16 Q. And can you tell me something about the event that resulted in
17 you leaving your post for a lengthy period of time? When did that happen
18 and why? Can you tell us something about that?
19 A. On the 23rd of December, 1993, I had a car accident on the way
20 from my home to the Bratunac police station. I was, in fact, a
21 pedestrian, and there was an accident. There was a passenger vehicle
22 that was involved. And as a result of the accident, my lower limbs were
23 seriously injured, and there were also injuries to my head and so on and
24 so forth.
25 Q. Tell me, we won't go into all the details, but how much time did
1 you spend in hospital, and how much time was spent on rehabilitation?
2 A. It took me over a year and a half to recover. So in July 1995, I
3 returned to my post for policemen in the Bratunac police station, and
4 that's when my sick leave came to an end.
5 Q. Very well. Given your answer, your sick leave was terminated.
6 That's what you said. Had you fully recovered or not?
7 A. Well, as far as the injuries are concerned, they were partially
8 treated successfully. There were two treatments, physiotherapy
9 treatments, so I could to an extent walk normally. But to this very day,
10 I have a first-degree invalidity, and that will remain with me until the
11 end of my days.
12 Q. Very well. You have first-degree disability. Now, do you know
13 Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin? Can you tell me that now, please?
14 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin. He was my commander in
15 the Bratunac police station.
16 Q. Since when have you known Mr. Borovcanin? Did you know him
17 before you joined the Bratunac police, or was it on that occasion that
18 you met him? Please tell me.
19 A. I first saw him on the 8th of March, 1993, when I first joined
20 the police station. He received me in his office for a short interview,
21 and that's when I remained working at the police station after this first
22 encounter with Mr. Borovcanin.
23 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this: From the day when you joined the
24 police station until the moment you were injured, Mr. Borovcanin was your
25 commander, wasn't he? Was he transferred to another post during that
2 A. Well, he was the commander of the police station. He did not
3 perform any other duties. He did not hold any other posts.
4 Q. Very well. And while you worked there, what was the relationship
5 between Mr. Borovcanin with yourself and the other members of the police
6 station in Bratunac?
7 A. My relationship with the commander as well as the relationship of
8 my other colleagues with the commander was very professional, very fair
9 while on duty and off duty because we are talking about a professional --
10 a good commander who did his job well.
11 Q. Very well. Let's move on to the year 1995. You have already
12 told us that at the beginning of July of that year, you returned to work.
13 Given your health condition at the time, what tasks and duties were you
14 assigned to perform at the Bratunac police station when you returned from
15 your sick leave?
16 A. It was a duty officer at the police; in other words, I performed
17 the duties of the desk officer or the duty officer at the police.
18 Q. Very well. And when we are talking about the duties of -- of the
19 duty officer, are we talking about regular police duties?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What type of uniform did you wear while performing those tasks
22 and duties in the course of 1995?
23 A. I had a camouflage police uniform like all the other policemen
24 who were attached to that police station at the time.
25 Q. When you say "camouflage police uniform," would you be able to
1 tell us what its basic colour was? It was a camouflage uniform, but of
2 predominantly what colour? Was it green, blue, or some other colour?
3 Could you tell us that?
4 A. It was a kind of navy blue, dark blue colour.
5 Q. Very well. When performing your tasks and duties as a duty
6 officer, did you carry weapons? If you did, what kind?
7 A. Yes. I had my own personal weapon that had been issued to me.
8 It was a police pistol, and I also had other things that police officers
9 normally carry, and I also had a semi-automatic rifle that had been
10 issued to me.
11 Q. Very well. At the time in July 1995, who was the chief of the
12 public security station?
13 A. In 1995, the chief of the public security station was Miodrag
15 Q. Very well. And who was the commander of that same station?
16 A. The commander was Slavoljub Mladjenovic.
17 Q. Who was your immediate superior? Who did you report to at the
18 Bratunac public security station?
19 A. It was my commander whom I've already named, Slavoljub
20 Mladjenovic. I reported to him. He was my immediate superior.
21 Q. I apologise. I am going to slow down for the record. Did the
22 public security station in Bratunac belong to a security services centre?
23 If that was the case, could you please name the centre?
24 A. Yes. The Bratunac public security station at the time belonged
25 to the security services centre or CJB in Zvornik.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: The English translation is "public security
2 centre." Here it says "security service centre." This is how we refer
3 to it, just to make a sure that we have clear transcript on this.
4 Q. [Interpretation] It's okay now. Mr. Simic, could you please tell
5 me who was the chief of the CJB in Zvornik in July 1995?
6 A. At the time, the chief of that centre was Dragomir Vasic.
7 Q. And just a few more questions about your tasks at the station.
8 The first one is this: Did you have a police rank in 1995?
9 A. I just had a functional marking of a policeman at the time. I
10 did not hold any ranks at the time.
11 Q. In addition to being a duty officer at the station, were you
12 deployed to perform any other tasks or duties within your station? I'm
13 again talking about July of 1995.
14 A. All I did at the time was duty service. I was a so-called duty
15 policeman. Later on in a subsequent period, I became a member of the
16 crime prevention police in Bratunac, and I am affiliated with the same
17 department to this very day.
18 Q. Very well. And now just one more question with this regard.
19 Could you please tell me, were you a member in July, again, of the
20 so-called special police units or PJPs?
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... called
22 "special police units here" in [microphone not activated].
23 Q. [Interpretation] I apologise. We always have the same problem
24 with special police or PJPs. My question to you is: Were you a member
25 of a PJP?
1 A. No. I was not a member of a PJP.
2 Q. Why?
3 A. My health condition, the fact that I had been injured, the
4 disability that I still have. My physical abilities are limited. I have
5 a physical handicap.
6 Q. Very well. Do you know - and we are still talking about the year
7 1995 - do you know that there were police staffs, that they existed at
8 the time?
9 A. I believe that one such staff of the police forces was
10 headquartered at the CJB in Zvornik, and on the eve of the events in
11 Srebrenica it was transferred to the police station in Bratunac.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just for clarification, it's not really clear to
14 me what this is, this police staff. It wasn't from the other witness,
15 either. So before we continue referring to it, could we just get what it
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, of course. My colleague could have cleared
19 this up with the previous witness or with our expert, but I will try to
20 do it with this witness.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, what is a police staff, to your best
23 A. It's a staff composed of the leading men in the centre, the
24 commanding officers of the police forces.
25 Q. Was this staff in a position to exert command over the police
2 A. I'm not really clear what you're asking me. In any case, those
3 were superior officers, the commanding officers of the-then police
4 forces. I suppose that they were in a position to issue tasks to
5 subordinated policemen. That, at least, is my view of the staff.
6 Q. Very well. To the best of your recollection, you said that that
7 staff had been moved to Bratunac. If you can remember, for how long did
8 it continue operating from Bratunac? If you can remember, of course.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before you answer this question. Yes,
10 Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, what staff? I mean, there's an objection
12 for, you know, foundation.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I think that the witness said that
14 there was a police staff. I apologise. I don't want to speak about this
15 in front of the witness. He has his earphones, but he can remove them.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, but are you referring to the same thing that
17 you --
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, that was the same police [overlapping
19 speakers] --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's proceed, then.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- that existed in Zvornik, moved eventually to
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we just get who? Because all we've got is
24 that a commanding officer unit came down and --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Can you help us, Mr. Simic? You
1 followed the discussion, and in a way it was better to have you follow
2 the discussion. There is obviously a query from the Prosecution as to
3 what staff we're talking about. Can you enlighten us on this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We've already said that the chief
5 of the centre at the time was Dragomir Vasic. He was one, and then his
6 deputy, his assistants subordinated to him, I believe that his deputy at
7 the time was Mane Djuric, those are officers who were above my level at
8 that time. They were the ones who made up this police forces staff.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think it's time for the break. We will have
10 a break of 20 minutes. Thank you.
11 --- Break taken at 5.45 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 6.08 p.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, with your permission I would like
15 to clarify this issue which was raised by my learned colleague about
16 police staff with two documents. I didn't show them earlier to this
17 witness. So --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- they are not on our list, so just to make sure
20 that we are talking about the same thing.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see them.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I apologise, Mr. Simic. Since my learned friend wanted to have
24 some issues clarified with regard to the police staffs, I would like us
25 to look at two documents which you have not seen before, but we will call
1 them up in e-court, and you will see what they are about.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce
4 Q. Mr. Simic, look at the document. You will see that this is a
5 report from a meeting of the staff of the police forces of centre, and we
6 can see that this is the public security centre in Zvornik, and we can
7 also see the date when this dispatch was sent. It was done on the 21st
8 of March, 1995.
9 I would like to draw your attention to the first paragraph. The
10 document was sent to the MUP of the Republika Srpska in Bijeljina, to the
11 office of the minister, as well, and it says here: "Acting on your order,
12 a meeting of the police forces staff of the Zvornik public security
13 centre was held on 21st March, 1995
14 to read any further.
15 My question to you is this, sir: Does it transpire from this
16 document that there was indeed a police staff, and does the document say
17 when they held their meeting? Can you see when this was --
18 A. I was waiting for the end of your question. I can see the date,
19 21st of March, 1995, but I've not seen this document before. And the
20 text that you have just read out reflects what I read in the document.
21 Q. And now let's look at another document.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we see who wrote this document?
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Of course, of course. [Interpretation] I
1 apologise. Before we do that, can we please move to the following page
2 of the document that we have on the screen now.
3 Q. Do you see who the signatory of the document is?
4 A. Yes, do. Dragomir Vasic, the centre chief.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. And now can we go
6 to the next document, P66.
7 Q. Again, we see that this is a document issued by the public
8 security centre in Zvornik and sent to the same addressees: The MUP RS
9 Bijeljina, the office of the minister, the Bijeljina MUP police
10 headquarters. The date is 1 August 1995.
11 Let's look at the first paragraph of this dispatch. It says:
12 "Acting in accordance with your dispatch, we have held a session of the
13 War Staff of the centre, which has been working continuously since your
14 order of 21 March 1995."
15 If you recall the previous document, would that be the date that
16 is referred to within this document, the date since which the staff has
17 been in operation continuously?
18 A. Yes, it's obvious.
19 Q. Let's have a look at the next page of the document so that we can
20 see the signature.
21 Can we see that the chief of the centre, Mr. Vasic, signed it,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And there is one more document I would like to have a look at --
25 I would like us to have a look at.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] 4D333.
2 Q. Very well. Let's have a look at this document, then. I know
3 that you haven't seen it before, but I believe that we'll be able to
4 clarify what is at stake here very easily. It's another dispatch sent on
5 the 9th of July, 1995, sent to the MUP of Republika Srpska Pale, the
6 office of the minister, and to the RS MUP Bijeljina, the police command
7 staff. I am not interested in the contents of the document itself, but I
8 would like us to have a look at the signature, and the date is obviously
9 the 9th of July, 1995. Could we have a look at the bottom of the
10 document? And in the lower part of the document, we can see that it says
11 "Staff commander, Dragomir Vasic."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] I will no longer need this
16 Q. But given what we have just seen -- given the documents we have
17 just seen, is this the body that is at stake in the public security
18 centre in Zvornik? Is this the staff that you were referring to?
19 A. Yes. As I have said, this is the first time I've seen this
20 document here.
21 Q. Very well. But have you heard people referring to the staff, the
22 police in the Zvornik centre and so on?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. I think we have dwelt on this subject for long
25 enough. I apologise for going off on a tangent, but I wanted to clarify
1 certain matters here.
2 Mr. Simic, when did you hear that the Republika Srpska army had
3 entered Srebrenica?
4 A. Well, it was on the 11th of July I had received some information
5 about the event.
6 Q. I won't insist on all the details, but if you can remember, do
7 tell me who you heard this from or how you heard this.
8 A. Well, I heard stories according to which people were assembling
9 in Srebrenica. That was information I received. I was working on that
10 day. I didn't have any concrete information about that, but there were
11 these stories and rumors and so on.
12 Q. And let me now ask you the following: I would like to move on to
13 the events and to the period of the 10th to the 15th of July, 1995
14 introductory question is as follows: In the Bratunac public security
15 station, were records kept of the daily activities so that staff members,
16 records about where they were, whether they were in the police station or
17 outside the police station? Do you remember anything of the sort?
18 A. Yes, records were kept. Such records were kept. This had to do
19 with the duties of the staff. There was a working list, and on the basis
20 you draw up a schedule for the department.
21 Q. Very well.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to have a look
23 at 4D620, page 28 in the e-court system.
24 Q. It should come up on the screen in front of you in a minute.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could we scroll down a little
1 bit, please? No, that's too far. That's fine.
2 Q. Mr. Simic, now that you have this document before you, are these
3 the records that we were just discussing?
4 A. Yes. You can see my name here, under number 21.
5 Q. Very well. In the first column, we have a number. It says
6 number 21. Second column, position or function; that's empty for you and
7 for all others -- all the others in the list. You have your name and
8 your father's name, which is the middle letter, and then it says service
9 or duty or changes with respect to the last man -- the previous man. The
10 that column is empty too. In the following column, we can see the date,
11 the kind of service, the changes and the number of working hours.
12 So these are the categories that we can see in this list. Now,
13 let's have a look at numbers 1 and 2 in the last column. Does this have
14 to do with dates?
15 A. I apologise. In the transcript on the screen I just have this
16 information, but perhaps we could scroll down a bit -- no, that's fine.
18 Q. I think that's good now. We have numbers 1 and 2 above, 3, 4,
19 5 -- up to 15. Tell me, do these numbers have to do with the dates of
20 the month?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The days of the month?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If we could just scroll up a bit so we can see the top left-hand
25 corner on the page. Which month and year are mentioned here -- are noted
1 down here?
2 A. July 1995.
3 Q. Very well. Now let's have a look at the first two entries for
4 July 1995. For the 1st and -- 2nd of July in your case, in your case we
5 can see the letters "S" in the boxes. What does this mean?
6 A. It means free on the 1st and 2nd.
7 Q. Had you started working in the police station in Bratunac in the
8 public security station before this initial date, which here is the 3rd
9 of July?
10 A. No, I hadn't. As I have already said, I started working at the
11 beginning of July, during this period, and here it says that it was on
12 the 3rd, that that was the date.
13 Q. So that in fact was the first day that you worked upon returning
14 from sick leave; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Well, now let's have a look at the following entry, the entry for
17 the 10th of July, and here it says D06 to 14. Tell me, what does "D"
19 A. This is an initial for duty service, for the staff member who is
20 to be on duty on that day.
21 Q. Very well. Lower down, it says 8. What does that mean?
22 A. That's a -- those are the working hours, eight hours they are on
23 duty, and that's -- in the previous column, you can see that it's from 6
24 to 1400 hours: 6 to 1400.
25 Q. Let's have a look at the 11th of July, 1995, the next entry. It
1 says from 6 to 18. Below, it says 12; is that correct? That means that
2 you worked 12 hours on that day?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And here's a general question with regard to this: Did you
5 always stay in the station for the periods of time referred to here, or
6 did you sometimes come earlier, go back later? Did you stay on longer?
7 Can you give us a general picture of how things worked?
8 A. Yes, there were such cases. As an authorised official, it was my
9 duty to arrive at least half an hour before my duty started, and
10 sometimes I would stay on after work or after my working hours were over.
11 It depended on the work.
12 Q. Very well. During that period from the 10th of July onwards, did
13 you ever have the opportunity of meeting Mr. Borovcanin at any point in
14 time? And if so, when was the first time that you met him during that
16 A. Yes, I did meet Borovcanin. It was on the 11th between 12.00 and
17 1.00. He entered the police station. I was on duty at the time. I saw
18 him entering the police station. I approached him. Since I hadn't seen
19 him for a long time, we just greeted each other, and he went up to the
20 chief's office. That was on the 11th. He took the stairs to go up to
21 the floor.
22 Q. Very well. Apart from greeting each other, did you talk about
23 anything else? Was there conversation of any kind that you would like to
24 tell us about?
25 A. Well, it was very brief. We greeted each other. I hadn't seen
1 him for a long time. He asked me about my health, my recovery. It was
2 very brief. I saw that he was in a hurry to get to the chief's office.
3 Q. Very well. After that meeting, did you see Mr. Borovcanin again
4 on that very same day?
5 A. Not on that day.
6 Q. Fine. Let's dwell a while, briefly, on that date, the 11th of
7 July, 1995. Tell me, did the Bratunac police station, the SJB, use its
8 staff members to fill up the membership, the staff ranks, of the Zvornik
9 special police brigade?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I just want to
11 intervene for the sake of the transcript. We are talking about the PJP
12 units, since we -- I'll just say PJP, nothing else, so that everyone can
13 follow the record in the same manner.
14 Q. Could you now answer the question, if you remember it, please.
15 A. Yes. Our police station did allocate staff members to those PJP
16 units, the special police units if there's a translation problem.
17 Q. Very well. On the 11th of July, did you see any PJP members who
18 were members of the SJB, the public security station? If so, which
19 company were they from?
20 A. I had the opportunity to see gatherings on the 11th, a gathering
21 of members of the 1st company. This was an hour or two before the end of
22 my working hours. They came to the station. They were preparing to go
23 somewhere. It wasn't clear to me why they had gathered there, though.
24 Q. Very well. To have a clear transcript, we're talking about
25 members of the Bratunac SJB; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. These were members of our Bratunac police station.
2 Q. Very well. We know how long you worked on the 11th of July. Did
3 anything in particular happen that you can remember on that day, apart
4 from what you have already mentioned?
5 A. Well, my shift ended at 1800 hours on that day. I then went
6 home. The PJP members stayed on in the station after I had left. On
7 that day I could go home to rest, but there is nothing particular that I
8 can remember apart from that. I don't know if you have anything in
9 particular in mind.
10 Q. If there is nothing in particular you can remember or what
11 happened, what you've said is quite sufficient.
12 Very well. Let's now talk about the 12th of July.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Let's have another look at 4D620,
14 page 28.
15 Q. Again, you'll see it on the screen. Can you see the document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Here we can see that you were in the police station from 6.00 in
18 the morning until 6.00 in the evening. Is that the period that you spent
19 in the station as far as you can remember?
20 A. Yes, that's the period that I spent in the police station. I was
21 on duty again.
22 Q. On that day, did you leave the police station, to the best of
23 your recollection?
24 A. As far as I can remember, I didn't, because when you're on duty,
25 your work has to do with what takes place within the premises of the
1 police station itself.
2 Q. A few more questions about this day. Do you know anything about
3 the establishment of the police station in Srebrenica?
4 A. What I could emphasize is that on the 12th, our 2nd company, or
5 rather, policemen from the Bratunac police station who were members of
6 the 2nd company went to Srebrenica on that day in order to establish that
7 police station. That's what I knew at the time with regard to that date.
8 Q. And tell me, who was in command of the PJP 2nd company?
9 A. Slavoljub Mladjenovic was in command of the 2nd company.
10 Q. Is this the individual who took or escorted the 2nd company to
12 A. Yes. That's the person in question. They left on that day.
13 They went to Srebrenica in order to establish the police stations. A
14 significant number of policemen from the Bratunac police station went to
16 Q. Very well. There is just one other document I would like to have
17 a look at. You haven't had the opportunity of seeing it.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] P3109.
19 Q. Look at the document, please. If you need time to familiarise
20 with its contents, please take time, and then I will put my question to
22 A. Yes, I do need some time.
23 Q. Of course. Maybe we can scroll down for you -- for your benefit
24 to see the whole text. This is a dispatch which was sent on the 12th of
25 July, 1995. As we can see, it was sent from the public security centre
1 in Zvornik to the MUP of Republika Srpska, to the police headquarters in
2 Bijeljina, to the office of the minister in Pale, and to the public
3 security department.
4 And if we look at the first paragraph of the dispatch, you will
5 see that it says that Petko Pavlovic, acting chief of the Srebrenica SJB,
6 was appointed, he was born in 1957 in Ratkovica and so on and so forth,
7 and the signatory of the document is chief of the centre Dragomir Vasic.
8 It also says here the appointment of commander of the Srebrenica
9 PS and the transfer of 15 soldiers and police are underway, of which you
10 will be informed in due course.
11 Now that we have seen this document, and when we have seen the
12 date, will that tally with your recollection that that was the day when
13 the police station was established in Srebrenica? I'm talking about a
14 public security station in Srebrenica.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It was also the date when the 2nd company was sent to Srebrenica.
17 As I've already told you, on the 12th of July, 1995 --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, leading.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, the witness -- I'll rephrase the
21 question, but the witness already said that he noticed that they left on
22 the 12th.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, rephrase the question, please.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. What do you remember about the departure of the 2nd company of
1 the PJP to Srebrenica? What date was that?
2 A. The 2nd company of the PJP left for Srebrenica on the 12th of
3 July, 1995.
4 Q. Very well. And now let me ask you: To arrive in Srebrenica,
5 which route did the 2nd company have to take? Which places did they have
6 to pass?
7 A. Well, they had to travel along the Bratunac-Zuti
8 Most-Potocari-Srebrenica road.
9 Q. Very well. We are still talking about the 12th of July, 1995.
10 Did you stay at work until the end of the shift as it is indicated in the
12 A. Yes. I stayed until the end.
13 Q. And where did you go next once your shift ended?
14 A. When my shift ended, as usually, I went home. Maybe you want me
15 to tell you where my house was?
16 Q. Yes, go ahead.
17 A. From the police station, my house; i.e., my father's house where
18 I resided, is at two to two and five -- and-a-half-kilometre distance
19 from that police station.
20 Q. Let's move on to the next date, which is the 13th of July, 1995.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] And could the Court please
22 produce again 4D620, page 28.
23 Q. Very well. And let's look at the entry for the 13th of July. It
24 says here that your shift started at 1800 hours, and your shift lasted
25 until 2400 hours, and then you continued on the 14th from 000 to 0600; is
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So these are practically two 6-hour shifts, aren't they?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. The total shift lasted 12 hours and lasted
5 from 13th to the 14th.
6 Q. Very well. Does this reflect the time when you arrived at the
7 police station on the 13th of July, approximately?
8 A. As I've already told you, I always tried to come to work half an
9 hour or even one hour before, but the time indicated here is the
10 beginning of my shift.
11 Q. Let me ask you a few more things. When you arrived at the
12 station, did you learn at that time about the death of a colleague of
13 yours? If you did, could you please tell us who that was and what did
14 you learn?
15 A. I learned that my colleague, a policemen, Zeljko Ninkovic, was
16 killed, and that's why I came to work a little earlier. I was curious
17 about the details of his death, what happened and how.
18 Q. And did you see Mr. Borovcanin on that day? If you did, what
19 were the circumstances of your encounter, if there was one?
20 A. On that day, I did see Mr. Borovcanin at the police station in
21 the corridor in front of the duty officers' room. I was in the middle of
22 a conversation with my colleague, and we were discussing the
23 circumstances of our late colleague's death. I noticed that
24 Mr. Borovcanin had arrived at the Bratunac police station about that
1 Q. And can you tell us in your own words how the things continued?
2 What happened? Did you talk to him? What about?
3 A. I noticed that Mr. Borovcanin was agitated, angry. I'd never
4 seen him with such an expression on his face before. He entered the
5 police station. He wanted to make a telephone call, and he went upstairs
6 to the chief's room or to the signals' men room.
7 Q. Were you alone, or rather, you have already said that you were in
8 the middle of a conversation with another colleague and that you were
9 talking about the death of your colleague. Who was it?
10 A. It was Dragan Neskovic, a colleague of mine. When I entered the
11 police station in Bratunac, he was coming down the stairs at that moment.
12 Since I knew that he [Realtime transcript read in error, "I"] was the
13 head of maintenance and that he was also in -- responsible for the
14 arrangements about -- that had to do with the death, I wanted to the
15 learn about the funeral of the -- our late colleague.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] A correction in the transcript.
17 Page 78, line 22, it says that [In English] "He was the head of
18 maintenance." [Interpretation] It says: "I was the head of maintenance,"
19 and it should read "He was the head of maintenance."
20 Q. Very well. I believe that this is clear now. When you saw
21 Mr. Borovcanin, did you talk to him, or what you have just told us, is
22 this all you can remember?
23 A. As I've told you, all he said was that he needed to make an
24 urgent telephone call, and he went upstairs.
25 Q. Did you have an occasion to learn whether Mr. Borovcanin did make
1 that telephone call? Who did he call? Do you know anything about the
2 contents of that conversation that might have taken place?
3 A. No, I could not hear that. I was not in a position to know that
4 because I remained on the ground floor, and then I went to the duty
5 officers' room to take my shift, and the two rooms are physically
6 separate from each other.
7 Q. And now I would like to ask you a very general question. Given
8 Mr. Borovcanin's line of command and his position in the special brigade
9 of the police, did he have any command role with regard to the public
10 security station that you belonged to? Was he in a position to issue any
11 orders to you?
12 A. No. At that time, I could not receive any orders. My superior
13 officer was the commander of the police station in Bratunac. That's who
14 I received orders from.
15 Q. And now, talking about the night between the 13th and the 14th of
16 July when you were on duty at the police station, did you learn at any
17 point in time that during that night a large number of Muslim detainees
18 had been brought to Bratunac?
19 A. I heard stories to that effect. I heard rumors to that effect.
20 The story had it that the Muslims were transported by buses from Potocari
21 in the direction of the federation --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: He's relating rumours. That doesn't do us any
23 good, which is what he's just said.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But let him finish, Mr. McCloskey. Let him finish
25 because there are rumours and rumours.
1 Go ahead, Mr. Simic, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I already said it, those were
3 rumours. While I was working at the police station on the day, I could
4 not see any transports. I could only listen to what was being said.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you remember who you heard the story from, if you can
7 remember, if you can?
8 A. I really can't remember exactly who I heard this from. I can
9 only speculate if you wish me to do that. I wouldn't be able to give you
11 Q. No, we don't want to speculate, sir. In very general terms, what
12 was the number of the policemen in the police station in Bratunac on the
13 13th of July? Were there enough policemen? Were there people who were
14 on leave? Were there enough men at the disposal for work?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, that's compound, and, you know,
17 there's never enough of anything, so I think that's part of a compound
18 question that is -- doesn't --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That is definitely a compound question. If you
20 could simplify it, and we've got five minutes left, Mr. Lazarevic. And
21 I'm working with a handicap because my LiveNote has gone kaput.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: All right. I'll do that -- I'll do that, Your
24 Q. [Interpretation] To the best of your recollection, how many
25 policemen were there at the police station in Bratunac on the 13th of
1 July? I'm not insisting on the exact and correct number. Give me just
2 the best approximation you can.
3 A. Very few policemen were on duty, not more than one patrol. There
4 was also me as the policemen on duty and the deputy commander of the
5 station. As I've already told you, most of them had left on the 12th.
6 They went to Srebrenica.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Slight clarification. You're speaking about
9 people at the police station. He's talking about people on duty.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Simic, I asked you about the physical presence at the public
12 security station in Bratunac. The body count in Bratunac, is that what
13 you were talking about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were there any other policemen that were available in addition to
16 the ones that you've just mentioned?
17 A. I've just said that there was just one patrol, one group on
18 control. But again, we're talking about two or three men, not more.
19 Q. Very well [Realtime translation read in error, "many"]. Was that
20 enough to maintain, or rather, to perform basic policing that included
21 maintenance of public law and order in Bratunac?
22 A. That was not enough. The number was insufficient. It would take
23 a second patrol to fulfill the task, but the circumstances were rather
24 unusual, and we only had two or three men in that one patrol.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to make a
1 correction in the transcript. Page 82, line 3, my question apparently
2 starts with "very many," although my question actually started with "very
3 well." I would like this correction to be made in the transcript to set
4 the record clear.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: I am not starting on another topic. Maybe it's
6 time to adjourn for tonight.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We can stop here. Mr. Simic, we are going to stop
8 here for today. We'll continue tomorrow, and hopefully we'll finish with
9 you tomorrow. Before you leave this courtroom, I need to inform you that
10 according to our rules, between now and when you resume your testimony
11 tomorrow, you are not to communicate with anyone on the subject matter of
12 your testimony. Is that clear?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are adjourned until tomorrow at 2.15.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of
17 October, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.