1 Wednesday, 10 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Madam Registrar. And good
7 afternoon, everybody. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. For the record, all the
11 accused are here. Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Vanderpuye.
12 Defence, I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic and Ms. Nikolic.
13 Good afternoon to you, sir.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. Very shortly you
16 will be starting your testimony as a Defence witness for the accused,
17 General Miletic. Before you do so, you are required under our rules to
18 enter a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth. Text
19 is right in front of you, please read it out aloud and that will be your
20 solemn undertaking with us.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself
24 comfortable. Ms. Fauveau will put some questions to you. She will then
25 be followed by others on cross-examination.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Your Honour, this is a witness who wants the 92 ter to be
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So you know what the procedure is.
5 Thank you.
6 WITNESS: IVAN DJOKIC
7 [Witness answered through interpretation]
8 Examination by Ms. Fauveau:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, can you tell us what are your name and
10 Christian name?
11 A. My name is Ivan Djokic.
12 Q. Do you remember making a declaration about General Miletic in
13 July [as interpreted] last year?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Have you been able to look at this statement in the last few
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is page 2, line
19 13. It is the month of May, correction.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, for that, Madam Fauveau. And it will be
21 taken care of. At page 2, line 13, instead of "July" we put "May."
22 Thank you.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Does this statement reflect what you told?
25 A. Yes, I gave this statement to the best of my recollection and it
1 does correspond with my memory of the events.
2 Q. If you were to be asked the same questions today, would you say
3 exactly the same thing?
4 A. Yes. I don't have any new information that I might add.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to read a
6 summary of the declaration made by the witness, if you will allow me.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Please go ahead. Thank you.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
9 Q. The witness was a professional officer in the JNA, and later in
10 the army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and then in the army of
11 Serbia-Montenegro. He was a lieutenant general when he retired.
12 He met General Miletic when General Miletic was a student at the
13 national defence school in Belgrade
14 witness worked at the Technical Military Institute in Belgrade
15 these professional encounters, they got to know each other better and
16 became personal friends and close personal friends. They remained
17 friends since then until today, and the witness describes their
18 friendship as a sincere and lasting friendship.
19 Since the beginning of their friendship and until General Miletic
20 left for The Hague
21 important occasions in their respective families, such as promotions or
23 The witness remembers that with his wife, he attended a lunch
24 which took place in the Miletic family's apartment in order to celebrate
25 Maja's 18th birthday, Maja being General Miletic's daughter. Her
1 birthday is the 10th of July and was celebrated one or two days before
2 that date. A few days before the lunch, Radivoje Miletic invited her,
3 with his wife [as interpreted], to attend this lunch at his flat in Novi
5 present during this lunch which took place on the Saturday or on the
6 Sunday, and during which about a dozen people were present.
7 Zoran Matejic was one of the guests. The witness remembers Zoran
8 Matejic because they worked together at the technical institute, and they
9 haven't seen each other since then. The witness also remembers an older
10 general called Banjac. He doesn't remember anyone else being present.
11 General Miletic, that's the majority -- that his daughter Maja's
12 coming years was the main reason for that celebration, but General
13 Miletic's promotion to the grade of general was also celebrated. The
14 witness is a friend of General Miletic and has a very high opinion of
15 him. He considers him as an extremely professional officer and thinks
16 that he has all the qualities of a good and honest person.
17 End of quote of the summary.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like the 5D92 to be put
19 into the file. It is the witness statement on the 28th of May, 2008.
20 And I would like to inform the Chamber that there is a slight mistake in
21 paragraph 6, 5D1392. Paragraph 6, in the English version you can read -
22 page 2 of the English version - [In English] Chief of the administration
23 for cooperation and planning. [Interpretation] And the witness indeed
24 said in B/C/S the head of the administration of operations and education.
25 Q. Sir, may I ask you a number of questions. First of all, could
1 you describe your professional background, please?
2 A. Well, I graduated from the airforce technical academy, then
3 higher airforce academy, and I worked for over 20 years in the military
4 technical institute. After that, I worked as the chief of the airforce
5 technical administration. All of the equipment of the airforce was
6 within our purview. After that I was the assistant Minister for Defence
7 of materiel, and I was assistant commander for the Main Staff for
9 As far as my extra-military activities are concerned, I taught at
10 the electrical engineering faculty in Belgrade, and now I am a professor
11 at the university in Novi Pazar.
12 Q. In your statement you mentioned that you knew that General
13 Miletic's daughter's birthday was on the 10th of July. Could you perhaps
14 explain how you knew that her birthday was on the 18th -- on the 10th of
16 A. Well, I have to admit that not many dates stick in my memory,
17 including dates from my military career that are important for me, but
18 this date did stick in my memory because this happened immediately before
19 the fall of Srebrenica and the media campaign exploitation of the event,
20 which was really quite intense. As a soldier, I knew that Srebrenica was
21 a protected area, and it came as a surprise to me. And it fixed my
23 So these two events, their correlation, stuck in my mind. And
24 this is how I was able to determine that it did, indeed, happen at that
1 Q. Just one more question. What was your grade in 1995?
2 A. In 1995 I was a colonel, and I promoted to general in 1997.
3 Q. Thank you very much. No further questions.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. Any of the Defence teams would
5 like to put questions or cross-examination to the witness? I see none.
6 I hear none.
7 Mr. Vanderpuye, he's all yours.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, and good afternoon.
9 Good afternoon to you, and Your Honours, good afternoon to my colleagues.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
11 Q. Good afternoon to you, General Djokic. My name is Kweku
12 Vanderpuye, and on behalf of the Prosecution I will put some questions to
13 you in relation to your direct examination that was conducted by my
15 Now, in relation to your direct examination, you referred to a
16 statement that you gave in May of 2008, and I believe it's on the 29th of
17 May, 2008. And you recall giving that statement and signing it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And in relation to giving the statement, I take it you had
20 an opportunity to speak with Defence Counsel for General Miletic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And on the 29th of May, which is the date of the statement, was
23 that the first time that you had met with the Defence Counsel or anyone
24 from the Defence of General Miletic?
25 A. No, maybe two or three months before that, Mr. Petrusic, General
1 Miletic's Defence Counsel, asked me if I recalled this event. Of course,
2 I couldn't recall it right there on the spot and I had to consult my wife
3 to put this whole picture together because a long time had elapsed. And
4 once I got together the picture that I presented in the statement, I got
5 in touch with him and I told him that I remembered the event and that I
6 put the things that I remembered into the statement. And then, after a
7 while, let's say maybe two months, I went to Mr. Petrusic's office and we
8 drafted this statement and I signed it. That's the statement that you
9 have in front of you now.
10 Q. I see, okay. In relation to the -- the first meeting that you
11 had with the Miletic Defence, that would have been that meeting that you
12 had with Mr. Petrusic, I think you said, yes, two or three months before
13 you actually signed the statement; is that fair to say?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And you hadn't been contacted by anyone from the Defence
16 prior to that time?
17 A. This was the first contact, both regarding this issue and,
18 indeed, in general, the first time that this case was discussed and my
19 knowledge, if any, of the events.
20 Q. All right. So we are talking about March, May of 2000 -- well,
21 I'm sorry, March and February of 2008 was your first contact with the
22 Miletic Defence as concerns the events that are in your statement in July
23 of 1995, that's accurate?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the witness please
25 repeat. We didn't hear the answer.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye, the interpreters didn't catch his
2 answer. If you could elicit it again from him, please.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, could you repeat your answer, I don't think the interpreters
5 were able to hear you.
6 A. That's correct, the first contact regarding my statement and my
7 memory of the events about this lunch, celebratory lunch was March 2008,
8 but I don't recall the exact date when I gave statement but I think it
9 was in May.
10 Q. Were you contacted by anybody besides the Defence in relation to
11 the celebratory events that were recorded in your statement before you
12 met Mr. Petrusic at any point?
13 A. No, I didn't have any such contacts.
14 Q. So you weren't contacted by General Miletic's wife or son or
15 daughter in relation to these events in July 1995 back before March of
17 A. No, I didn't discuss those issues with them. Even after I gave
18 my statement we didn't have any contacts regarding this statement, and
19 this is all I can say regarding our contacts in this matter.
20 Q. Have you been in contact with General Miletic since he was
21 transferred to The Hague
22 A. I think we met twice when he came to Belgrade, once I think he
23 had a death in the family and I saw him for maybe ten minutes in this
24 regard, and the second time was when I went with my son and some of his
25 friends after a basketball game. We all went to the basketball game, and
1 when the game was over we went over to see him. So these are two
2 contacts that I had with him.
3 Q. And do you remember about when those were?
4 A. Well, I can't give you the exact time. One of those meetings
5 when I came over with the children may have been in, let's say, 2006, but
6 I can't really recall. I didn't know that you would be asking me this
7 question. I -- otherwise I would have checked when the game was, because
8 I was not there alone. There were several of us. And the second event
9 was when General Miletic's sister died, if I am not mistaken. That was
10 the last time.
11 Q. Okay. And do you remember when about that was?
12 A. No, I can't recall that.
13 Q. Okay. So your recollection is to the celebratory events that are
14 recorded in your statement, that is, to specifically when they are
15 occurred, is based upon your conversations with your wife. Is that
17 A. I recall that event, both on the basis of that conversation, but
18 I also told you about this correlation between that event and the events
19 that followed the situation in the media, the way it was painted, the
20 fall of Srebrenica. So these are the two elements that led me to
21 remember this event and made me remember that it all happened around the
23 Q. Okay. Now, you obviously know General Miletic's family, you know
24 his wife, you know his daughter and his son. Would you consider yourself
25 a relatively close family friend?
1 A. I think we are close friends, and I can only wish that General
2 Miletic saw it in the same way.
3 Q. All right. Do you have some reason to think he doesn't?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's a question, if I understand well, it's
5 a question of interpretation. Let's move to your next question.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Do you remember when it was that General Miletic was transferred
8 to The Hague or came to The Hague
10 A. I don't know the exact date when that was.
11 Q. Do you know the -- do you know the year?
12 A. I suppose it was maybe three or four years.
13 Q. Three or four years ago?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And that's about as best as you can do. Can you tell us
16 what month?
17 A. Yes. Well, no, I can't remember. We didn't discuss it, so -- I
18 didn't discuss it with my family, either. I really feel uncomfortable
19 discussing matters that might be unpleasant for the family.
20 Q. All right. Well, you indicated in your statement that you were
21 surprised to learn that Srebrenica had fallen. Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes. I said that now in my oral response.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
24 be asked to speak up a little bit.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the interpreters are having difficulties
1 following what you are saying. If you could come nearer to the
2 microphones, that would help a little bit. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE:
5 Q. All right. You were surprised to hear that Srebrenica had
6 fallen; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Why was that?
9 A. Well, you know that I was a soldier. I also knew that Srebrenica
10 was protected by the United Nations, and when that happened, when this
11 was made public, the only logical explanation for me was that in the
12 chaos of war that there was some kind of an agreement between the warring
13 factions and the international community. I did not have any other
14 explanation, any other things that could have triggered that, because the
15 international community was deeply involved and was present throughout
16 the time involved in all the events. And, after all, Srebrenica was
17 declared a protected area by the international community, so nothing else
18 seemed logical to me. Any change in the status of that area came as a
19 surprise to me.
20 Q. Well, did you discuss that at all with your friend, General
21 Miletic, at the time?
22 A. We did not have an opportunity to discuss this because if we are
23 talking about this feast, this lunch, no topics related to his job, to
24 the developments in Republika Srpska, were discussed. And later on, when
25 it was made public that Srebrenica had fallen, General Miletic was not in
2 After the fall of Srebrenica, we know that there were all kinds
3 of contradictory points of view presented in the media. There was this
4 media campaign about the interpretation of the events, and this took a
5 different shape. But my explanation was as I just told you. An area
6 protected by the international community could only change its status
7 with the knowledge of the international community.
8 Q. All right. Thank you for that. Do you know, or can you recall,
9 I should say, when it was that you learned that General Miletic was in
10 town in July 1995?
11 A. Well, the birthday was celebrated over the weekend. I don't know
12 whether it was the 9th or the 10th. I really can't tell you whether it
13 was the 9th or the 10th, but it was over the weekend. And then two or
14 three days before that, let's say, General Miletic invited us to this
15 lunch. So I suppose that he had come to Belgrade before that event.
16 Q. When you say "invited," he invited you over the telephone or he
17 invited you in person?
18 A. Over the telephone.
19 Q. Okay. And he didn't indicate to you at the time of that
20 telephone call where he was calling from, did he?
21 A. No, I don't recall.
22 Q. Do you know when it was that he left Belgrade after you saw him?
23 A. I don't know when he left Belgrade
24 lunch, since there were many people there, we did not have an opportunity
25 to sit down together and have a chat. And there was a deal that after
1 this lunch was over, we would go somewhere and have a drink and talk.
2 After that, he didn't get in touch with me. We didn't speak again, after
3 that, and I suppose that after the news came about the fall of Srebrenica
4 that he went back to his post. But that's my assumption. I did not talk
5 to him so I don't have the exact information about when he actually went
7 Q. All right. I would like to show you one document.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could go into private session for this,
9 Mr. President, I would greatly appreciate it. It's a 65 ter --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure, let's go into it private session --
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: -- 1135.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: -- straight away.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 29458-29459 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. Mr. Vanderpuye has just
15 concluded his cross-examination. Is there redirect, Ms. Fauveau?
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Judge Kwon, Judge Stole, Judge Prost.
18 JUDGE STOLE: No, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Djokic, we have come to the end of your
20 testimony. We have no further questions for you, which means you are
21 free to go. You will receive all the assistance that you require. On
22 behalf of the Trial Chamber I thank you for having come over to give
23 testimony and I also wish you a safe journey back home.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Fauveau, I don't suppose you have any documents
2 except for the statement?
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Only the statement 5D [as
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Which I don't suppose is
6 objected to because --
7 THE INTERPRETER: 1392.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: -- it's at the heart of the 92 ter procedure.
9 Thank you. Do you have any documents to tender --
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, Mr. President. The intercept is already in
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Thank you.
13 Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Page 16, line 22. 5D1392.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, I was going to ask you that
17 So that concludes the testimony of Mr. Djokic. Next witness.
18 You wish to make any statements before the witness is admitted into the
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No warning or anything of the sort? Okay.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No. The statement of the witness
23 contains a mistake in paragraph 6. Some lines have been omitted in the
24 translation in English. We have requested a corrected translation, and
25 we are sure that it will arrive perhaps today or at the latest, tomorrow.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
2 So good afternoon to you, sir.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You are about to
5 start giving evidence. Before you do so, Mr. Matejic, you are required
6 under our rules to make a solemn declaration that you will be speaking
7 the truth. That's the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it
8 out aloud and that will be your undertaking with us.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Please make yourself
12 comfortable. You are going to be asked some questions by Madam Fauveau
13 for General Miletic. She will then be followed on cross-examination by
15 Madam Fauveau.
16 WITNESS: ZORAN MATEJIC
17 [Witness answered through interpretation]
18 Examination by Ms. Fauveau:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please let us now your name and first
21 A. My name is Zoran Matejic.
22 Q. Do you remember making a statement for the Defence of General
23 Miletic in May 2008?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you have an opportunity on review this statement recently?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Does this statement reflect accurately --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If you were asked questions today, would you make the same
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to read
8 the summary of the statement now.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please proceed. Thank you.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The witness has met General Miletic in 1967 in Zadar where he was
12 at the military academy in the anti-aircraft defence. The witness, and
13 Radivoje Miletic, remained friends and because of this strong friendship,
14 they became particularly close. This sort of friendship is traditional
15 for Serbs and is considered as a family tie.
16 General Miletic continued to serve at Zadar after he had finished
17 the military academy. The two remained in contact by correspondence
18 after the witness had left Zadar and came to Belgrade. They used to meet
19 three or four times a year. Radivoje Miletic was in Zadar until the
20 beginning of the 1990s.
21 The witness believes Radivoje Miletic came to the school of
22 national defence in Belgrade
23 Radivoje Miletic was in the army of the Republika Srpska from 1992 until
24 the end of the war and for a certain period after the signing of the
2 that the birthday of General Miletic's daughter, Maja, is on the 10th of
3 July, and that in 1995 she was becoming of age.
4 This day is particularly celebrated since all other birthdays --
5 more than other birthdays, and it was also the case in the Miletic
6 family. The witness is sure that Radivoje Miletic called him and told
7 him that they had two reasons to have a celebration feast. The witness
8 asked him what was the second reason, since he knew that the first reason
9 was the 18th birthday of Maja. Radivoje Miletic told him that he had
10 recently promoted to the rank of general.
11 Radivoje Miletic invited him with his wife to the lunch which was
12 prepared by the Miletic family on this occasion. This lunch took place
13 two or three days after Radivoje Miletic made that call. It was not a
14 weekday. It was a Saturday or a Sunday. The witness and his wife
15 accepted the invitation and went to this lunch. Radivoje Miletic, his
16 wife, Vica, and their children were present as well as the invited
17 people; among which Colonel Petar Djuric and his wife, and their common
18 friend, General -- retired General Nenad Banjac, retired, who is ever
19 since deceased, and Ivan Djokic and his wife.
20 The witness knows Ivan Djokic because they worked together in the
21 technical institute. They stayed in the apartment of the Miletic family
22 until late. And Radivoje Miletic told him that he was going to stay in
24 agreed that during the stay of Radivoje Miletic in Belgrade, he and his
25 wife would come at the witness' place.
1 One or two days after this luncheon, Radivoje Miletic called the
2 witness and told him about the fall of Srebrenica, which was a surprise
3 for him, too. Radivoje Miletic told him that they couldn't see each
4 other because he was going to return to Republika Srpska. This
5 conversation took place before the evening news, because the witness
6 heard on the news that the army of the Republika Srpska had entered
7 Srebrenica. This news surprised him, even though Radivoje Miletic had
8 told him, because the information broadcast the proceeding days did not
9 let people think that Srebrenica was going to be taken.
10 The family of the witness and the family of General Miletic are
11 very close. Radivoje Miletic has all the qualities of an exceptionally
12 honest and worthy person, dignified person. He is full of respect and
13 consideration for his friends and respects differences. He was never
14 intolerant towards members of other nations or religions. He has lived
15 for a long time in Croatia
16 of several nationalities.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would request
18 this, 5D1393, to be admitted. This is a statement of the witness.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from anyone?
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: No objection, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And I hear none for the other Defence
22 teams, so it's so admitted. Thank you, Madam Fauveau. You may proceed.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I have no other questions for this
24 witness, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam.
1 [In English] I would be surprised if there are questions for the other
2 Defence teams, none, in fact. Mr. Vanderpuye, he's all yours.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And one moment.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye. Please go ahead.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
9 Q. Good afternoon to you, sir. My name is Kweku Vanderpuye, and on
10 behalf of the Prosecution I will --
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. -- I will put some questions to you in relation to your
13 statement. Now, as I understand it you gave a statement to the -- to the
14 Defence of General Miletic on the 30th of May, 2008. Is that right?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Okay, and it appears that you gave an interview to General
17 Miletic's Defence attorney, Mr. Petrusic. Is that right as well?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And prior to giving that statement on the 30th of May,
20 2008, had you met with the Defence of General Miletic or anybody
21 representing that Defence?
22 A. In 2007, in the second half of that year, I met Counsel Petrusic,
23 and he asked me whether I wished to make a statement concerning this
24 matter. I agreed, and that was all we said during that conversation. We
25 didn't say anything else.
1 Q. Okay. So you -- in the second half of 2007, you mean, I guess,
2 sometime between -- well, sometime after June of that year, is that
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Okay. And you can't be more specific than that, that's fair to
6 say, right?
7 A. No, I can't. He only asked me whether I could make a statement
8 concerning that birthday party. I told him I could and that was the end
9 of our conversation, except that we agreed that we would talk again at a
10 later date, which we did.
11 Q. Okay. Well, first I just want to get clear that you can't be
12 more specific in terms of a date of this conversation you had with
13 Mr. Petrusic than it was in the second half of 2007. You can't be more
14 specific than that, month, season?
15 A. It was certainly in the summer. That's all I can say. Our
16 conversation was brief.
17 Q. And who brought up the issue of the -- well, let me, before I ask
18 you this question, let me ask you: Did you speak to anybody from the
19 Defence prior to that, prior to this summertime conversation with
20 Mr. Petrusic?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Okay. And did you speak to anybody close to General Miletic
23 prior to that, such as, well, General Miletic, his wife, his son, his
24 daughter about this specific party, just so we are clear, before you met
25 Mr. Petrusic in the summer of 2007?
1 A. No.
2 Q. All right. When you met with Mr. Petrusic in the summer of 2007,
3 as you indicated, the conversation was very brief, but who brought up the
4 question of this party at that conversation?
5 A. Counsel Petrusic called me, I came to his office, the
6 conversation was not longer than 5 minutes. We agreed to talk later. It
7 was only a preliminary conversation.
8 Q. I understand that, but who brought that up? Did he ask you, for
9 example, Can you tell me a little bit about what you remember of July
10 1995. Or did he say something more directed, such as, There was a party
11 in July 1995, can you tell me about whether you were there or what you
12 know about it. Can you tell us who brought up this whole idea, this
14 A. He asked me the following: Do you remember Maja's 18th birthday
15 party. I told him I did. He said, if it becomes necessary for you to
16 make a statement or to testify, do you agree. And I agreed in principle.
17 And that was all.
18 Q. All right. So at that time there were no details concerning the
19 party discussed at all?
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. So at that time you never mentioned the date of the party to
22 Mr. Petrusic or the time or the other guests, right?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. The next time you met with Mr. Petrusic was when?
25 A. I think it was the second half of March, this year.
1 Q. All right. Before I get to that meeting, let me just ask one
2 other question about the one in 2007 in the summer. That lasted 5
3 minutes, you said. Now, when Mr. Petrusic asked you about whether you
4 were at the party, you were able to remember immediately that you were
5 there; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. And you hadn't spoken to anybody about that party, well,
8 in how long?
9 A. Except with my family, ever since that party took place until the
10 time I talked about it to Mr. Petrusic, I didn't speak about the party
11 with anyone except my family members of my recollections of that day and
12 so on.
13 Q. All right. And how long ago was that -- how long was that before
14 you met Mr. Petrusic? When was the last time you spoke about this party
15 with your family members before you met Mr. Petrusic?
16 A. Well, maybe a year.
17 Q. Do you remember what the occasion was that you spoke about it a
18 year before you met Mr. Petrusic?
19 A. I couldn't really recall that. But, at any rate, that event was
20 mentioned in various cases; for instance, when my children's birthdays
21 came up. But at any rate, we would talk about this birthday on such
23 Q. All right. You met with Mr. Petrusic in the second half of March
24 of 2008. That's true, right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. And can you remember the specific date that you met with
3 A. No.
4 Q. And did you meet with him in his office or someplace else?
5 A. Yes, in his office.
6 Q. Okay. And on that occasion did you speak to him for more than
7 five minutes?
8 A. Longer than that.
9 Q. And was it on that occasion that you discussed with him some of
10 the details concerning what is recounted in your statement concerning the
11 events of July 1995, the party in particular?
12 A. Only about this feast and perhaps some inconsequential talk about
13 this topic but that conversation may have lasted half an hour, not more
14 than that.
15 Q. All right. On that particular date, you didn't give him a
16 statement, right? You didn't sign any statement or anything like that?
17 A. No -- yes, yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have it clear, because "no, no, yes, yes," in
19 a few months' time, might confuse us. So what's your answer to the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the second half of March, I came
22 to Mr. Petrusic for a preliminary discussion about the statement that I
23 was to provide. I don't know whether this suffices by way of an
25 MR. VANDERPUYE:
1 Q. You didn't sign any statement on that occasion?
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right. Now, when you spoke with Mr. Petrusic on that
4 occasion, I take it you provided him with some details concerning this
6 A. Yes. Listed in my statement, described in my statement, not more
7 than that.
8 Q. All right. And at that time he wrote down what you told him,
10 A. I couldn't recall. It's possible that he did make some notes,
11 but I am not sure. I really can't recall.
12 Q. But was he the only person there at the time that you had this
13 meeting or were there other people there?
14 A. We were alone.
15 Q. And the next time you met with him, was that on the 30th of May,
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And did you give him a separate -- well, did you go over the same
19 party again with him on that day?
20 A. I didn't talk. We started drafting the statement. If you
21 consider that a discussion or a conversation, then we did. We actually
22 talked and then Mr. Petrusic started taking down the statement. I, in
23 other words, started giving the statement.
24 Q. All right.
25 [Prosecution Counsel Confer]
1 MR. VANDERPUYE:
2 Q. Let me just ask you, sir, between the time -- well, you consider
3 yourself a close friend of General Miletic, obviously, very close family
4 friend, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. And you, of course, remember when it was that he was
7 transferred to The Hague
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. And when was that, to the best of your recollection?
10 A. As far as I can recall, on the 28th of February, and I forgot the
11 year. But I remember the date, the 28th of February, and I don't think
12 that the year is at issue here.
13 Q. Well, between the time that he was transferred to The Hague in
14 2005 and 2007, that you met with Mr. Petrusic, and even today, have you
15 spoken to General Miletic about this particular party?
16 A. No.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the other microphone
18 for the witness please be switched on.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Could the usher please help him. We need your
20 other -- well, they are both switched on, from -- at least what I can
21 see. Yes. No, no, no, don't bother about it. Let's proceed, thank you.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE:
23 Q. Have you spoken to him about anything in relation to this case
24 since then?
25 A. You mean since his arrival in The Hague? Well, of course, we've
1 spoken. The first thing we discussed was his health, then the length of
2 the trial, the length of the Defence case, nothing more than that.
3 Because I, as his good friend, am first and foremost interested in his
4 health. That's my concern. And every time we saw each other, I would
5 always ask him that first. And in the past, as far as his professional
6 life is concerned, we never discussed it. Our professions are different,
7 and to tell you the truth, I was not really interested in the military
8 segment of his life --
9 Q. Well, you were --
10 A. -- in particular.
11 Q. Well, you as his good friend, I am sure, and I credit that you
12 are interested in his health, but I would imagine that you would also be
13 interested to know what he's charged with. And you might even be
14 interested to know whether or not there is a case against him and what
15 the case is about. That's fair to say, isn't it?
16 A. Please believe me when I say that this interest that I had for
17 his case focussed on making sure that he could be as stable and as
18 healthy as possible in order to bear this whole thing. As for the
19 information about the trial, the Prosecution case, the Defence case,
20 well, that wouldn't mean anything to me. The only thing that matters for
21 me is that this friend of mine, this year-long friend of mine, is able to
22 get out of all this as an honest man and primarily as a man in good
24 Q. All right. Thank you.
25 A. All the other -- just a moment. I didn't evince any interest in
1 his service, in what he was doing, I simply was not interested in that.
2 Q. Thank you for that, sir. I have no further questions.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye. Any redirect,
5 Ms. Fauveau, do you want to consult with your client?
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I have no
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
9 We don't have any further questions for you, which means that
10 brings to an end your testimony. I wish to thank you so much for having
11 come over and I also wish you safe journey back home.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. The statement has already been
14 tendered, Ms. Fauveau. Any further documents? None.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, Mr. President, there aren't.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That -- yes, the witness may leave.
17 That concludes the testimony of this gentleman.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Next one we'll start after the break. I think we
20 can take the break now. One thing I need to clear with you, Madam
21 Fauveau, because I had some conflicting information. How much do you
22 estimate your examination-in-chief to last with the next one, I mean?
23 Five hours? That's the latest occasion that I have.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] It says seven hours, but I don't
25 think it will last seven hours. However, we have a problem with the
1 following witness, because the Dutch authorities rejected his request for
2 visa. So it's a bit tricky for us to plan things ahead, because it's
3 going to last quite long with this witness. It's also the Pandurevic's
4 team and Popovic team's witness, so it should last about -- about until
5 Tuesday. However, I am not sure that with it -- at this time of year --
6 even Wednesday, possibly, but given the time of year I am not sure we
7 will be able to find another witness to replace him, to replace the one
8 that was supposed to come later on.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me see when there is -- you don't have a
10 problem with the visa for this next witness, he's here.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This one is already here.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So which one are you referring to, because you had
13 a list until Friday. We did get a hint in the course of earlier on this
14 week or last week that you may encounter a problem with the last one.
15 That's 5DW4. Is that the one that you are referring to?
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, Your Honour. At first
17 we thought he wouldn't be prepared to come because the 19th of December
18 is a family celebration in Serbia
19 all arrangements, and yesterday the VWS section informed us that the
20 Dutch authorities rejected his request for the visa.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed. Jevdjevic, anyway, is
22 going to be here with us for quite some time, because as you said, he is
23 a common witness with others as well. So let's have the break now, and
24 then we start.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. 25 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, to you, Mr. Jevdjevic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You have been
8 summoned as a Defence witness by several of the Defence teams, and you
9 are about to start giving evidence. I think I better tell you straight
10 away that we won't finish with your testimony this week, so you will need
11 to stay here the weekend, and then we will continue next week and
12 hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday we should finish with your testimony.
13 Before you start giving evidence, our rules require from you that
14 you enter or you make a solemn declaration to the effect that you will be
15 speaking the truth, text of which has just been handed to you. Please
16 read it out aloud and that almost your solemn undertaking with us.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself
20 comfortable. Mr. Petrusic, from the Miletic Defence team, will be firing
21 questions for seven hours or maybe a little bit less, and then we will
22 see what happens afterwards.
23 Mr. Petrusic.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. First
25 of all, good afternoon to you, Your Honours. I hope that the time
1 estimate for this witness will prove to be wrong, rather, that we will
2 take shorter time than that.
3 WITNESS: MILENKO JEVDJEVIC
4 [Witness answered through interpretation]
5 Examination by Mr. Petrusic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Jevdjevic, and first of all
7 let me introduce myself. My name is Nenad Petrusic, and I will be asking
8 you some questions on behalf of General Miletic's Defence this afternoon
9 and again tomorrow.
10 Right at the beginning, I would like to draw your attention to
11 the fact that the two of us speak the same language, and it is therefore
12 necessary for you to wait for a short while before starting with your
13 answer after I have asked you a question, in order for all this to be
14 interpreted. Perhaps the best guidance would be to look at the cursor on
15 the screen in front of you.
16 Now, I would like you to state your full name for the record.
17 A. My name is Milenko Jevdjevic.
18 Q. Sir, could you please tell us what schools did you complete?
19 A. I graduated from the military secondary school in Belgrade, and
20 then the military academy of the ground forces in Belgrade, signals
21 department; and also the General Staff's school in the centre of high
22 military schools in Belgrade
23 Q. Could you please tell us, when did you start your service in the
25 A. I joined the Yugoslav Peoples' Army in 1986 when I graduated from
1 the military academy.
2 Q. Could you tell us what rank you held when you joined the JNA?
3 A. When I joined the JNA, I had the rank of the second lieutenant.
4 Q. And could you tell us something about your military career up
5 until the time when the armed conflict broke out in the territory of the
6 former Bosnia and Herzegovina?
7 A. My first post was in the Uzice garrison where I was the commander
8 of the signals platoon, and then in the same garrison, I also served as
9 the company commander. Again, it was a signals company. And those were
10 the posts that I held until the war broke out in the former Yugoslavia
11 Q. And where were you when the war in the former Yugoslavia broke
13 A. When the war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, I was in Uzice,
14 in my garrison. And in 1991, as a commander of a unit, I was sent to a
15 front line in what is today the Republic of Croatia
17 Q. At that time, it was still the former SFRY?
18 A. Yes, it was still the area, the territory of the former SFRY, and
19 I served there as part of a unit of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jevdjevic, may I please remind you of what
21 Mr. Petrusic told you in the beginning, to allow for a short pause before
22 you answer the questions; otherwise, you will be causing problems for the
23 interpreters. Thank you.
24 Mr. Petrusic.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, at one point did you actually join the army of
2 Republika Srpska and, if so, could you please tell us when that occurred?
3 A. I joined the army of Republika Srpska in May 1992. And the first
4 post that I held for about a month was in the municipality of Bosanska
5 Krupa. And then in June 1992 I was appointed to a post in the 65th
6 Signals Regiment in the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka, near Han Pijesak.
7 Q. You said it was the 65th Signals Regiment of the Main Staff. Did
8 you perhaps make a mistake there as regards the numerical designation of
9 the regiment?
10 A. Yes, you are right. It may have been the 67th Signals Regiment.
11 Q. Could you please tell us how long did you serve in the 67th
12 Signals Regiment?
13 A. I remained in the 67th Signals Regiment until the 1st of
14 November, 1992, until the time when the Drina Corps was established.
15 This was when I was appointed the commander of the signals battalion in
16 the Drina
17 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, this is usual procedure when it comes to personal
18 details of the witnesses, and I think that I omitted to do that. I
19 actually forgot to ask you that. Could you please tell me when you were
20 born and where?
21 A. I was born in Rogatica, on the 11th of December, 1963.
22 Q. So this was a little factual digression from your description of
23 your military career. Now, I would like to ask you this: The Drina
24 Corps, you mentioned the 1st of November as the date it was established.
25 Could you please tell us where was it headquarters?
1 A. The first headquarters of the Drina Corps was in the Gora hotel
2 in Han Pijesak.
3 Q. Can you remember what military post code that was?
4 A. It was military post code 7111, Han Pijesak.
5 Q. Do you know whether between 1992 and 1995 there were any changes
6 to the military post code of the Drina
7 talking about the numerical designation 7111.
8 A. A couple of weeks after the Drina Corps was established with its
9 headquarters in Han Pijesak, for operational and other reasons, the
10 command was moved to Vlasenica. But I know that the designation for the
11 military post code remained the same, 7111, Han Pijesak, in the period
12 that followed.
13 Q. How long did you serve as the commander of the signals battalion
14 in the Drina
15 A. I served there until the end of the war as the commander of the
16 signals battalion in the Drina Corps, until the peace agreements were
18 Q. After the war, what post did you hold in the army of Republika
20 A. After the war ended, I was first the commander of an infantry
21 brigade in Sekovici, then the commander -- or, rather, the chief of
22 signals in the 5th corps of the army of Republika Srpska, which was
23 established in 1997, the headquarters was in Sokolac. And then I became
24 the commander of an infantry brigade in the same corps in Visegrad. And
25 I ended my military career as the assistant commander of the corps for
1 morale, information, and religious affairs.
2 Q. Could you please tell us what year did your military career end?
3 A. My career, as a professional in the military, ended in 2001.
4 Q. And could you tell us, finally, what is your occupation now, what
5 do you do?
6 A. Now I work in the Telekom of the Republika Srpska. I am an
7 engineer in the mobile networks directorate.
8 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, you told us that you were in the Drina Corps, that
9 you were the signals battalion commander. Are you aware that during the
10 war, at some point in time, protected areas were established on the
11 territory of the Drina Corps?
12 A. Yes, I am aware that in the course of the war in the area of
13 responsibility of the Drina Corps, at a certain point in time, three
14 protected areas were established; specifically, Srebrenica, Zepa, and a
15 little later, Gorazde.
16 Q. Are you aware how it came about that the Srebrenica protected
17 area was established?
18 A. In the spring of 1993, the Drina Corps was engaged in offensive
19 activities on the area of Cerska, Konjevic Polje, and Kasaba, and from
20 the south towards Srebrenica, Osmaci, Zeleni Jadar, and Pribicevac. And
21 I recall that at one point in time, the order arrived that the Drina
22 Corps and the other units of the army of Republika Srpska participating
23 in that operation should interrupt the operation because there were
24 negotiations going on between the two warring parties, their military and
25 civilian authorities. And I remember that at that time UN forces entered
1 Srebrenica headed by General Morillon, and I assume that it was around
2 that time that Srebrenica was granted the status of a protected area.
3 I participated personally in that operation which was stopped by
4 our superior command for the reasons I have just stated. I was engaged
5 in communications for the need of that operation.
6 Q. Were you aware that these areas were supposed to be
8 A. I remember that the first information concerning the
9 demilitarisation of Srebrenica was forwarded to us, who were deployed
10 there, in Pribicevac in 1993, came from General Zivanovic, the corps
11 commander, personally. He told us this from his command post in
12 Vlasenica, and he said that we should congratulate the officers and the
13 unit commanders on their success up to that point in time. And he
14 informed us that the entire area of Srebrenica was to be fully
15 demilitarised. He said that the members of the 28th Division would hand
16 over all their weapons to the UN forces, which were due to enter
17 Srebrenica, and that there would no longer be any organised armed units
18 in the area.
19 Q. In the course of 1994 and 1995, were you an active participant in
20 many combat activities conducted around the enclaves and launched from
21 the enclaves?
22 A. In the period you mentioned, I was personally engaged, more than
23 once, in planning combat activities conducted by the Drina Corps or some
24 of its units, in order to deal with the combat situation in the area of
25 Srebrenica and Zepa.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have 5D1224 on the
2 screen, please. The relevant part in the English version, the one we are
3 interested in, is on page 2, point 1.
4 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, please take a look this document, a look at this
5 order, and look at item 1. Tell us whether you were aware of this
6 situation regarding the behaviour of the Muslim forces in Srebrenica and
8 A. I can say that throughout that period of time, from the time the
9 peace agreement was signed, or, rather, from the time the safe areas of
10 Srebrenica and Zepa were established, the Drina Corps was facing constant
11 problems because of the military activities launched from those two
12 enclaves. They could be described in different ways. One of the ways in
13 which they took place was the infiltration of larger or smaller groups
14 from the enclaves -- from one enclave to another, and vice versa, and
15 from both enclaves towards Tuzla
16 general areas.
17 I participated in the events at the time, and I was aware of all
18 these activities. This is one of the documents showing this. It
19 mentions these armed groups going towards Zvornik and Pale, and this was
20 the only road dividing the Drina Corps in two halves, and these armed
21 groups from those enclaves often crossed that road going towards Kladanj,
22 Olovo, and Tuzla
23 Q. This road, the Zvornik-Pale road that is, was it in the depth of
24 the territory of the Drina Corps?
25 A. Yes, it was like a line dividing -- or, rather, like a line
1 halfway between the these two enclaves and the other part of the
2 federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the corps, that is, and it's more
3 or less 15 to 30 kilometres away from these enclaves.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have document 5D1032
6 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, the first passage is the relevant one, after the
7 title, where it says, "Raising combat readiness to the highest level..."
8 Please take a look at this paragraph. Have you read it?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Can you tell me whether the military authorities in Srebrenica
11 and Zepa had, as their aim, the joining up of these two enclaves?
12 A. This is a document issued by the command of the Drina Corps,
13 probably sent to all the units; although, it isn't expressly stated here,
14 but I assume that the document was sent to all the units of the Drina
15 Corps. And I personally am familiar with the situation. At the time,
16 the corps command and all the units learned from intelligence and other
17 sources that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was probably aiming at
18 joining up these two enclaves with the largest part of their territory
19 and that in certain periods of time, they would attempt to achieve this
20 by military activity from both of those enclaves and in the other
21 direction as well. And this is a document showing all this, this
22 document mentions all this. And that's why the order was issued to all
23 units to raise combat readiness to the highest level.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we scroll down a little bit,
1 Q. At the bottom of the document, you can see that it really was
2 sent to all the units in the Drina Corps.
3 A. Yes, yes, that's what it says here. I was surprised not to see
4 it in the heading, in the preamble.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D1038 on the
6 screen. Excuse me, excuse me, before that, 5D1037.
7 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, please look at paragraph 8 on page 2.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] And in the English version it's
9 also paragraph 8.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Can you tell us whether at this time the forces of the Drina
13 Corps undertook activities to prevent these incursions by armed groups
14 from Srebrenica and Zepa?
15 A. Yes, that's what this document shows. That's something that is
16 the worst thing possible for a soldier when he feels that his back is not
17 protected and that there is the possibility of sabotage groups
18 infiltrating you, the depth of your territory, and wreaking havoc. From
19 the information the corps received in that period of time, it was evident
20 that this was a real threat. So certain measures were taken and the
21 units were ordered to be active in preventing such enemy activities.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Document 5D1038 please.
23 Q. Could you please take a look at paragraph 1, the third paragraph
24 in point 1, which begins with the words "Last night ..." Please read this
1 A. I've read it.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I am going to object at this point.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We had a problem with the microphone and there is
5 an objection.
6 Yes, one moment, Mr. Petrusic. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: These questions are more time consuming than they
8 are probative, which I think is an important issue. This is 1994. These
9 are not contested issues. Mr. Butler testified about this. I think the
10 adjudicated facts have talked about this. This is an area that has been
11 gone over and over again. I can direct the attention to a Muslim
12 document from 1995 that -- from the 28th Division, where they state it's
13 their policy to do this kind of thing, to tie down the VRS from going to
14 the Sarajevo
15 the Krstic case and the Blagojevic case, and now, again, I don't think we
16 need to waste time, especially in 1994. Perhaps, as we get closer to our
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, do you wish to comment, Mr. Petrusic?
19 Mr. McCloskey, I understand your objection, of course, but it seems to me
20 if you look at page 31 -- 41, sorry, lines 1 through 3, which refer to
21 the basic question that Mr. Petrusic put to the witness, it's not
22 exactly -- it doesn't exactly refer to what the armed forces of the
23 Muslims did during 1994 or the period that he's referring the witness to,
24 but, rather, what was the reaction of the Serb forces. But, again, we
25 are not far off from the events that you mentioned and which, very
1 rightly, put -- are not in contestation.
2 Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Why don't you go straight to what is relevant
3 to this case and which is contested by the Prosecution.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in order to be able
5 to reply in full to your question, or, rather, to respond to the
6 objection raised by the Prosecution, perhaps it would be good for the
7 witness to leave the courtroom. Or perhaps I might consult lead counsel,
8 Ms. Fauveau, who might perhaps respond in French. It's not a problem.
9 I'm -- I can do it, but it's a linguistic problem.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I can quite understand. Perhaps you can
11 consult with Madam Fauveau, first, and see whether you want to proceed
12 with this matter or whether you want to move on to -- with your
13 questions. Switch off your microphone, please.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Do you wish the witness to
18 leave the courtroom?
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jevdjevic, if you could kindly leave the
21 courtroom for a short while. We'll be calling you back soon.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what I've been
25 trying to show, or, rather, what the Defence has been trying to show by
1 producing these documents are not facts, not the fact that attacks were
2 launched from the enclaves or that there was a corridor linking the two
3 enclaves. Enough documents have already been produced to prove those
4 facts, and I am sure that the Trial Chamber will take them into account
5 when deciding on these matters.
6 These documents from the Drina Corps, from the army of Republika
7 Srpska, are produced in order to show that even before Directive Number 7
8 was issued, there were problems there and that the army of Republika
9 Srpska had been trying unsuccessfully to solve the military problem of
10 the enclaves, to shut them up or dissolve them even before Directive
11 Number 7 was issued.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that in contestation, Mr. McCloskey?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: No. As a matter of fact, I think we have been
14 giving you maps and battle plans from 1993 of the same thing. I think we
15 started with the six strategic objectives. They have been trying to
16 clear that area out for a long time, and that's not in contest.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically, I feel very uncomfortable in stopping
18 you, Mr. Petrusic. On the other hand, you know, I mean, we can't go on
19 with each and every witness that comes here from the VRS or from the
20 previous JNA repeating the same story all over again when, for the past
21 two and a half years, we have heard it for the umpteenth time and there
22 is no disagreement on what happened both on the Muslim side and on the
23 Serbian -- Bosnian Serbian side. Anyway, I don't know if you want to
24 consult further with Madam Fauveau. I think we sent the message loud and
1 It's more interesting for us to proceed and hear the substance of
2 the testimony of this gentleman, who, after all, is also being summoned
3 by the Popovic and the Pandurevic Defence teams. Shall we bring the
4 witness back?
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Mr. President,
6 very briefly just two sentences. The reason why we try to tender these
7 documents and to examine the witness about those circumstances is to
8 introduce the subjective element of the crime that is mentioned in the
9 indictment, by providing this context, the Defence is trying to challenge
10 the Prosecution allegation that after the Directive Number 9, or, rather,
11 Directive Number 7 was issued, all those who were involved in the
12 activities that related to Srebrenica was -- were aware of the criminal
13 intent and thereby tried to -- or were involved in the criminal activity.
14 It is our argument that the intent of the army of Republika Srpska was
15 the same even before Directive Number 7 was issued and remained the same
16 after its issuing. In other words, its conduct was legitimate.
17 So there was no intent to cleanse the population from Srebrenica
18 but to find a military solution for the problem of the enclaves.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Given that that was the position, why don't you go
20 straight to 1995, Directive Number 7, and ask the witness whether
21 anything changed with Directive Number 7.
22 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just very briefly, and I absolutely agree with
24 Counsel in a way. We have targeted this indictment to begin in March
25 with Directive 7, but I do believe that the same conduct was going on
1 since the beginning of the war. We have not charged it here because we
2 want this case to end eventually, and his -- he's got a different take on
3 1992 and 1993 and 1994, and that's fine, and we can argue about that, but
4 we agree on everything else.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Hope springs eternal. Let's continue.
6 Let's bring the witness in, please.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I will try not to object to that, but this is
8 bringing me back to General Krstic, Mr. Petrusic and this witness, but I
9 will try to refrain.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Jevdjevic, for your
13 Mr. Petrusic, bearing in mind what we have stated, I suggest you
14 go straight to the point and avoid reviewing the historical background.
15 And, of course, you are then free to ask whatever question you like,
16 provided it's relevant and probative.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, do you know that the forces of the Drina Corps
19 were in contact with the forces from Srebrenica and Zepa?
20 A. Yes, that was a notorious fact.
21 Q. Do you know whether the Drina Corps forces had sniper weapons in
22 its armory?
23 A. I often toured the various front lines in the Drina Corps area of
24 responsibility, and believe me when I say that I never saw a single
25 soldier who was issued with a sniper rifle. I like weapons and that's
1 why I know. Semi-automatic sniper rifles have only ten bullets, you can
2 only fire single shots, and you can talk to any soldier and ask them, and
3 they will all tell you that they preferred to have automatic weapons
4 issued to them. And we didn't have such rifles at all in our stocks --
5 well, there were situations where shots were fired from light machine
6 guns or semi-automatic rifles, and then when it buzzes past somebody's
7 head, that person assumes that he was being targeted by a sniper. I know
8 that such assumptions were made on our side, and probably it was done on
9 the other side, too.
10 So when single shots were fired, people assumed that those were
11 snipers targeting them. But that's just that, assumptions, guesswork. I
12 never saw any of our soldiers in positions around the enclaves or
13 anywhere else -- I never say anyone carry sniper rifles when attacks were
14 being launched.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Mr. Petrusic. Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could the witness be instructed to answer the
17 question. That was at a simple question, "Do they have sniper rifles?"
18 And he went on and on. If that goes on, we will be here forever.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Mr. Petrusic.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, do you know any dominant features around the
22 protected area of Srebrenica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please tell us what were they?
25 A. I am familiar with the features on -- to the east and to the
1 south, Kuarac, Pribicevac, Javor, Teocak, Klokoc, Caurka, Bracan, Rogac,
2 Ravni Buljin, and so on.
3 Q. Earlier in your testimony you told us something about the road,
4 Zeleni Jadar, the Zeleni Jadar road. Now I would like us to focus on
5 that issue.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] So could I please have 5D1046.
7 Q. Could you please look at the preamble of this document below the
8 word "reference" and then could you please look at paragraph 5.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] In the English version that's at
10 page 2 and in the Serbian version you just need to scroll down a little
12 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, are you familiar with this order?
13 A. I have not had an opportunity to look at this order before, but
14 now that I have read it I know about the situation, the situation that
15 this order deals with.
16 Q. Could you please explain to us what situation are you talking
18 A. Well, here the Drina Corps, the command of the Drina Corps,
19 orders some of the units that are deployed in that part of the Srebrenica
20 enclave to take the features, geographic features, that remained -- or,
21 rather, that couldn't have been taken before because of shortage of
22 personnel. This is the area between the Skelani Battalion and the Milici
23 Brigade positions. I am familiar with this area. About 7 kilometres
24 were not covered, and we believed that this area was used by armed groups
25 to move from one enclave to the other. So these are Kostur, Caurka, and
1 Klokoc, those three features. In fact, I took part in this combat
2 action -- or, rather, this was not a combat action, because not a single
3 bullet was fired.
4 I remembered when I read item number 5, it says that the signals
5 chief will set up the communications in time to -- for the purpose of
6 this task, and I was actually tasked with setting up the communications.
7 I was at Pribicevac at the time, and I know that there was a heavy
8 snowfall in the area. And attempts were made to reach those features.
9 Since defence positions had not been set up there, I am talking about
10 dugouts or bunkers, all the units after the march and the reconnaissance
11 of those features, simply returned to their original units or commands.
12 Q. On the 3rd of January, 1995, then was it difficult to access the
13 village of Zeleni Jadar? Were there any problems there?
14 A. I remember this quite well, when this operation ended in 1993 and
15 when the UN forces entered Srebrenica, I, myself, went back to the
16 command in Vlasenica using that road leading up to Zeleni Jadar,
17 Jaseziovo, Podravanije, Milici, because it was under our control at the
18 time, in the territory that we controlled. And later on when the borders
19 of the demilitarised zone were set up, and I can't tell you now. I don't
20 know exactly how this border went. I know that our units, in that area,
21 because of the difficult terrain, pulled back and set up their defences
22 to more favourable positions in other geographic features away from that
23 road so that this road, at the beginning, was absolutely in our territory
24 outside of the borders of the demilitarised zone. And I know that there
25 were some problems later in that segment.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D1227.
2 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, this is a document from your command dated the
3 18th of March, 1995. Could you please look at the preamble. Could you
4 please read it.
5 A. I've read it.
6 Q. Are you familiar with this situation from March 1995?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you tell us whether anything was done at the time to liberate
9 that road?
10 A. Nothing was done at that time to liberate that road or, rather,
11 to put it under the control of the army of Republika Srpska. The village
12 itself of Zeleni Jadar is near the -- well, there is a cross-roads there,
13 and there are only two or three factories there. And as I've already
14 stated, after our defence positions were moved to more favourable places,
15 that place remained more or less a no man's land, although it was
16 technically on our side of the demarcation line. And this document shows
17 that the other warring side, making use of the vicinity of various points
18 where -- from where they could cover the valley with firepower,
19 dismantled the industrial facilities, the plants that had remained there
20 until March 1995.
21 Q. And was the road still cut off, the one that was supposed to be
22 liberated at that time?
23 A. I think that in this period the units of the Drina Corps, which
24 had organised defence in that area, were still not able to make a full
25 use of that road.
1 Q. Are you aware whether UNPROFOR took any -- undertook any
2 activities to prevent the Muslim units and to protect the property in
3 Zeleni Jadar?
4 A. I am not aware of that. I know that the UNPROFOR checkpoints was
5 between Zeleni Jadar and Srebrenica, but I am not aware of any activities
6 to prevent the looting of property from those factories that is described
7 in this document.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have 5D1082. 5D1082.
9 Q. This is a report from your command of the 23rd of May, 1995 [as
10 interpreted]. Please look at point 2 and comment on it and on the events
11 described here.
12 A. I am aware of the activities described in item 2 of this regular
13 combat report of the command of the Drina Corps. The commander of the
14 Drina Corps, with some of the officers from the command, was in the area
15 of Zeleni Jadar, and he was in charge of the action as it says here, in
16 the Zeleni Jadar valley. The result of that action was that the
17 industrial plants were put under our control as was the
18 Skelani-Jadar-Jasenova asphalt road.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] A correction in the transcript,
20 please, page 50, line 21. Instead of the "23rd of May," it should say
21 the "31st of May."
22 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, who was in command of that action in Zeleni Jadar?
23 A. The direct commander was the corps commander, General Zivanovic.
24 He had a team consisting of several officers from the corps, and I was in
25 the area at the time in charge of organising signals or communications.
1 Q. And where did you set up the communications line?
2 A. I was in the Pribicevac location, and I established
3 communications with the small combat groups which had specific tasks in
4 the Zeleni Jadar valley and along the Zeleni Jadar-Jasenova road.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have 52894, P2894.
6 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, can you tell us what this document is about?
7 A. This is an order which the commander of the Drina Corps, General
8 Zivanovic, from the forward command post at Pribicevac, sent to the units
9 participating in these activities around Zeleni Jadar, concerning
10 physical control of these facilities and the asphalt road that we
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Please, could we have page 2 of
13 that document. Could we scroll down a little -- up.
14 Q. Can you read to us the handwritten text.
15 A. It says here, "For the Skelani Battalion," or "The independent
16 battalion Skelani. Jevdze [phoen] will convey this." It probably refers
17 to me. Probably the order, signed by General Zivanovic, and we see his
18 signature here, "as we didn't have a typewriter at the forward command
19 post at the time this is probably typed out by the signalsman on the
20 teleprinter, and he made copies for the units to which the order refers."
21 I don't recall exactly, but probably whoever wrote this thought that I
22 should take this order to the Skelani Battalion, which was on the left
23 bank of the Zeleni Jadar river. They had their positions there, or
24 something like that. I don't really remember what this was about.
25 Q. It says, "In the second line, engage self-propelled guns at 0500
1 hours." Did you have self-propelled guns at the time?
2 A. I don't recall that we had self-propelled artillery weapons in
3 that area and that they were used in the area for that particular task,
4 but, well, they have a longer range, so perhaps whoever was planning
5 this, I really don't know what this was about, thought they could be used
6 from another location. But that command group included Colonel Veletic,
7 and I think he was an artillery man, and he would probably know what this
8 is about. I know that in that area at that time we didn't have these
9 self-propelled weapons; although, as I say, their range is very long, and
10 if somebody was planning this, they may have planned using them from a
11 longer distance, but I can't really be precise about this.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: This may be a translation issue, but I don't
14 think so, but among the English version, I have I believe it's a receipt
15 stamped of the Bratunac Brigade, not the IKM at Pribicevac, as the
16 witness is suggesting.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Could you address this to the
18 witness himself who has heard Mr. McCloskey, anyway.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, are you speaking of the Pribicevac forward command
21 post or the Bratunac Brigade?
22 A. The Pribicevac forward command post, which was established by the
23 Drina Corps command, for the needs of this activity in Zeleni Jadar.
24 That's what I am talking about.
25 Q. Now, please, go back to the order. You have had occasion to see
1 it, and tell me, please, did you about on it and if so how?
2 A. I had occasion to see this order recently a few days ago when
3 preparing for this testimony. It does not refer specifically to me but
4 to two smaller units which had a smaller number of men at the time and
5 certain possibilities were incorporated in the plan that they might run
6 into in the course of carrying out the task. I felt that this order was
7 written using terminology which is not characteristic of highly trained
8 officers, but, well, that's up to the person who wrote it.
9 Q. At the end of this order, now that we are discussing it, please
10 tell us when this action was carried out, was military force used?
11 A. What I remember very vividly from that period is that I observed
12 this activity with a great deal of apprehension, and the units to which
13 this order refers took new positions; thus, leaving the asphalt road
14 behind their backs without firing a single bullet which shows that this
15 area was, in fact, no man's land at the time and that it was actually
16 behind the demarcation line separating the two enclaves or, rather,
17 separating the two warring sides.
18 Q. Are you aware that an UNPROFOR checkpoint was moved, was
19 relocated at that time?
20 A. I know that at that time an UNPROFOR checkpoint was relocated.
21 It was moved closer to Zeleni Jadar along this asphalt road, running from
22 Zeleni Jadar toward Srebrenica. But as I was at Pribicevac, and this
23 area is in a valley, in a canyon, in fact, in a depression, I don't have
24 any precise information as to how this was done and what the area in fact
25 is, what size it is.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have 5D1083.
2 Q. This is a regular combat report from the command of Drina Corps
3 at Pribicevac dated the 13th of June, 1995 [as interpreted]. And in item
4 2, it says:
5 "After the withdrawal of UNPROFOR, the inhabitants of Zeleni
6 Jadar moved out in panic..."
7 THE INTERPRETER: In fact it's paragraph 2 of item 1,
8 interpreter's note.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Are you aware, sir, bearing in mind this report, where it says
11 that the population moved out, did the population really move out?
12 A. To the best of my knowledge, the area of Zeleni Jadar was a
13 purely industrial zone with two or three factories. There was a factory
14 producing furniture and another one producing marble. I didn't observe
15 any residential houses in the area. And as a soldier I can draw the
16 conclusion that even when the front end of our defence was moved to new
17 facilities, leaving the road behind our backs, the units engaged in this
18 did not come across any defensive positions of the enemy side, which is
19 quite logical. And speaking from experience, I know that the population
20 on both sides never lived and worked in front of the defensive positions
21 of the army, but rather behind them so that it would not be logical to
22 think that there was any civilian population living in Zeleni Jadar,
23 because that would mean that they were living literally in front of the
24 trenches and in front of the barrels of their own soldiers.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: We needed a foundational question that he could
2 see that from there, because the previous question, he said he's up in
3 Pribicevac and he can't see the area of Zeleni Jadar. And then he starts
4 describing all these things that aren't happening. So foundationally, we
5 need to get to A before we get to B.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I get you, Mr. McCloskey. Perhaps you could ask a
7 direct question to the witness to explain -- asking him to explain how
8 come he's giving this description.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, are you aware whether in that area there was any
11 civilian population?
12 A. Well, as I have already said, in that period in 1993, I passed
13 through the cross-roads in Zeleni Jadar more than once, and I know that
14 there were mostly industrial plants there and that there were no
15 residential houses there, and the second part of my reply, why I think
16 there were no people living there, is that the defensive positions of the
17 28th Divisions were downstream from Zeleni Jadar towards Srebrenica, and
18 even if there was a residential house there, it would not be logical for
19 people to live in front of the defence lines of their open army. The
20 people always lived behind the backs of their own armies in every war
21 theater I have ever been in.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] On page 54, line 15, instead of
23 the date the "13th of June, 1995," it should say "the 3rd of June, 1995."
24 Could we have page 2 of this report, please.
25 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, please look at the last sentence before item 3.
1 Are you aware that the things mentioned in this report were captured?
2 A. I am not aware of this.
3 Q. And did you observe any modern premises as described here?
4 A. All the observations --
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Foundational, the last one we saw was purely
8 speculation and so if he's there and can see it, fine; but otherwise,
9 this is speculative, like the last one was.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 Yes, Mr. Petrusic, I think Mr. McCloskey is right. He's -- you
12 first have to ascertain with the witness what he could and couldn't see,
13 or establish.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, when passing along this road, did you observe
16 these modern specially built premises?
17 A. On my return from this task, I was not relatively close to that
18 checkpoint, but those were containers, all those observation posts were
19 really prefabricated containers, if that can be described as a modern
20 specially built premise.
21 Q. In point 3 of this report, it says "We have had no casualties, we
22 have expended small amounts of ammunition, and three zoljas," or handheld
23 rocket launchers. Do you know whether these three zoljas were fired, and
24 if so, where?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise, I will withdraw.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And Mr. Jevdjevic, if you could answer
3 the question, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, I had no information,
5 nor did I know, that zoljas were used in this activity. I simply didn't
6 hear about it, although Pribicevac is some 10 kilometres or less from
7 Zeleni Jadar. But the detonation from a zolja would probably be heard
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Sir, at the end of the report, it says, "Major Milenko
11 Jevdjevic." Did you compile this report?
12 A. No. To the best of my recollection, no. Because I was part of a
13 time lead personally by the corps commander, and there were some highly
14 positioned officers from the corps command there, and it seems almost
15 incredible that I, as the most junior officer in rank, in charge of
16 organising signals, would be given the task of compiling this lengthy
17 report in which there is information which I have seen now first time.
18 And anyway, it was not my duty at the time, while I was engaged in
19 communications, to draw up reports for these commands. And, finally, I
20 do not see my signature here, although a telegram can be sent in such a
21 way that the signature is not visible. However, I do not remember
22 compiling a report like this when the corps commander and his other
23 officers were there at the forward command post.
24 Q. Do you have any explanation as to how it's possible that your
25 name appears on this report?
1 A. Well, quite simply it sounds very illogical. When the corps
2 commander is personally in charge of an action, to send a report to the
3 staff commander, that would be a superior sending a report to a junior
4 officer. And furthermore, I see that this report arrived in the corps
5 command at around 2120 hours, that it was deciphered at 2125, and I think
6 that on the 3rd, I was probably not in the area anymore, that I had
7 already left and arrived in the corps command before this report.
8 I assume that one of those officers did that who were there, but
9 why my name is mentioned here, I really would not want to speculate.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think there is a -- maybe a translation error
12 in the English. It says "The GS VRS to the Chief of Staff personally" in
13 what I've got, and I look at the -- what I think is the one you are
14 talking about, and it says "Command of the Drina Corps." I might be
15 wrong, but it sounds -- it looks like a pretty significant translation
16 issue, or I've mixed up the documents.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't help you there.
18 Yes, but perhaps, Mr. Petrusic, you are in a better position than
19 we are to deal with this. But I think from what I see here -- yes.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, obviously there is a mistake in the transcript.
22 So you were talking about who -- whom this report was sent to, here it
23 says "to the Main Staff of the VRS." Could you please look at this
24 report and tell us whom it was addressed to?
25 A. If the usher could please take us back to the beginning of the
1 document. This report was sent from the forward command post of the
2 Drina Corps at Pribicevac, which was under the direct command of the
3 Drina Corps command, it was sent to the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps
4 command at the Drina Corps command. That's what it says here. In
5 military terms, it is quite illogical for the corps commander, who is
6 present at a place, in charge of an activity personally, to be sending a
7 report from that location to his Chief of Staff.
8 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, are you familiar with any other activities that
9 the Drina Corps in the spring of 1995 was engaged in in its area of
10 responsibility in concerted action with the East Bosnian Corps?
11 A. I am best familiar with an action that the Drina Corps engaged in
12 in the broader area from Zvornik to Majevica. In response to a
13 large-scale offensive mounted by the enemy that had preceded it, and this
14 is when the Drina Corps in concerted action with the forces of the East
15 Bosnia Corps, carried out an operation in the broader area between
16 Zvornik and Majevica; to be more specific, in the direction of Teocuk.
17 That was the area.
18 Q. Do you perhaps know what was the code name of that operation?
19 A. That operation had the code name Spreca, Spreca 95.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is not the
21 exact time that we usually take our break, but I would like to explore
22 this topic at some length and perhaps this would be a good time for a
23 break in that light.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I will not fight with you for two minutes,
25 Mr. Petrusic. Let's have the break now, 25 minutes. Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.15 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, you told us that you knew about Operation Spreca.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I please have 5D975 up on
7 the screen. I apologise.
8 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, could you please look at this order and could you
9 please tell us whether you have any knowledge of it?
10 A. Yes, I actually do have some knowledge about implementation of
11 what this order discusses.
12 Q. Do you know when the 4th Serb Light Infantry Brigade was actually
14 A. To the best of my recollection it was established sometime in
15 late March or early April 1995.
16 Q. Did you in any way participate in that unit?
17 A. Yes. It was a task force, and I was assigned to be the Chief of
18 Staff of this brigade.
19 Q. Could you please tell us what task did this brigade have?
20 A. Well, roughly to the best of my recollection, that brigade was
21 tasked to operate in concerted action with other units of the Drina Corps
22 to stabilize this front line in the broader Majevica region, and to carry
23 out attacks in concerted action with the East Bosnian Corps, in an effort
24 to cut off this pocket in the Majevica area, Teocuk, Sapna, and some
25 other smaller villages were located there in that pocket.
1 Q. And did you then stop performing your regular duties in line with
2 this order? In other words, we are talking about establishing
3 communications and maintaining communications.
4 A. Yes, while I was temporarily engaged in this task force, in that
5 period of time, I was not the commander of the signals battalion and I
6 can only assume that probably I was replaced by one of my officers.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D983 up on
8 the screen.
9 Q. Before we move on to this document, could you please tell us me
10 where your command post or your forward command post was during the
11 Operation Spreca?
12 A. It was located in a village north of Zvornik. I think it's
13 Trsic, it was called Trsic, it was in the school building, the elementary
14 school of that village. I am referring to the command post of the 4th
15 Serb Brigade.
16 Q. This document, 5D983, bears this code name Spreca 95. It's a
17 combat order, and now I would like us to look at the last page of this
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] That would be the penultimate page
20 until the English version.
21 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, you can see here just before item 3, it says:
22 "IKM of the GS VRS in Zvornik." Did you know that a forward command post
23 of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska was established in
25 A. Yes, I did know that.
1 Q. As you went about your business as the Chief of Staff of this
2 unit, the 4th Serb Brigade, did you have any contacts with the officers
3 at the forward command post, the IKM, of the Main Staff?
4 A. We, in the 4th Serb Brigade, did not have any direct contact with
5 the officers from the forward command post of the Main Staff in Zvornik,
6 because the Drina Corps itself had set up its own forward command post in
7 Zvornik in the Zvornik Brigade command. And I know that the corps
8 commander himself was there quite often, so it was quite logical that we
9 were more often in contact with the corps command and with its forward
10 command post in Zvornik, and I assume that it was in turn in contact with
11 the forward command post of the Main Staff.
12 Q. Do you know which of the officers from the Main Staff actually
13 was at the forward command post?
14 A. Well, I don't have any specific knowledge because the brigade
15 commander, Colonel Veletic, attended the briefings in most cases. I
16 think that I went there only once because some military tasks were given
17 out. I think that there were a few officers there. They were rotating
18 from the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
19 Q. And did any name stick in your mind? I am not insisting now if
20 you can't remember.
21 A. I think I may have seen General Milovanovic as I passed by. I
22 don't know whether he was heading in the direction of the East Bosnia
23 Corps at that time. And I assume that some of the officers from the
24 logistics organ in the Main Staff were there, or some of the operations
25 officers, because those were the key functions for -- the key posts for
1 the functioning of the forward command post.
2 Q. And did you have any operation officers at your forward command
4 A. The 4th Serb Brigade did have its operations officer, if that's
5 what you're referring to. The operations officer, who was again taken
6 from one of the subordinate units and assigned to that post.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, Mr. Jevdjevic, please, if you could be kind
8 enough to allow a short interval before you start giving your answer.
9 Thank you.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, the role of your operations officer, was it
13 A. Well, his role was important for the functioning of the staff
14 segment of the command of the 4th Serb Brigade.
15 Q. If I understand you correctly, you said that even at the forward
16 command post of the Main Staff at Zvornik, there were some operations
17 officers, but please ... yes, do go ahead.
18 A. Well, I assume that it was the case. That was the logic, that's
19 how it worked. I can't really recall the officers who were actually
20 there, but it is usually -- it is usual military practice. Logistics
21 officers are always important. From our point of view -- so somebody
22 from the logistics organ, from the Main Staff, had to be there in order
23 to organise the supply of the units that participated in the operation.
24 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, do you know that in July 1995 there was an
25 operation in the Drina Corps area, its code name was Krivaja 95?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you tell us what does this operation mean and when did it
4 A. Before the operation began, I knew that the units of the Drina
5 Corps were tasked --
6 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, we'll get to that. I do apologise for
7 interrupting you, but what I am interested in is for you to tell us what
8 did this code name mean in translation, Krivaja 95, and when the
9 operation was actually launched.
10 A. Krivaja 95 is just a name, like any other name that is assigned
11 to an operation. Krivaja is just a river in Bosnia, and probably those
12 who planned the operation gave it this name. And the operation itself
13 started in early July 1995.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like us to look at
15 document 5DP106. The document is 5DP106. Could we please look at page 1
16 of this document.
17 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, can you tell us what this document is about?
18 A. This is a preparatory order issued by the command of the Drina
19 Corps which it issued on the 2nd of July 1995 to its subordinated units
20 with the task of carrying out preparations for the forthcoming operation.
21 Q. To whom was this document sent, please?
22 A. This document was sent, as it says here, to the commands of the
23 Zvornik Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, the 2nd Romanija Motorised
24 Brigade, the 1st Vlasenica Infantry Brigade, the 1st and 5th Podrinje
25 Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, the Milici Brigade, the 5th Mixed
1 Artillery Regiment of the Drina
2 Infantry Battalion; in other words, to the subordinate units of the Drina
4 Q. Please look at item 2 and tell us whether this is the task given
5 to the subordinate units in this preparatory order.
6 A. Yes, this lists all the tasks issued to the subordinate units by
8 Q. Were you aware of Directive 7 and Directive 7/1?
9 A. No.
10 Q. In this task, is there any separation of Srebrenica and Zepa and
11 any narrowing down to the city area, the town area, in these items 1 and
13 A. No, that is not there in this order.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have P107 please.
15 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, this is a document issued by the same command as
16 the previous document, and it bears the title "Command of" -- or "Order
17 for Active Combat Activities Operation Number 1." Can you tell us to
18 which order this unit was issued?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Petrusic, I hate to interrupt you, but do we
20 have to go through this? Can't we see it ourselves. If there is a
21 problem with anybody who may have or may not have received this document,
22 I can understand the question, To whom was it sent, but otherwise, I can
23 read it, I don't need the witness to tell me.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, in relation to the previous document, the document
1 you have before you, was it sent to all the units?
2 A. This particular document was not sent to all the units to which
3 the preparatory order of the same date was sent.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we see the last page of this
5 document, please. Actually, in English it's the page before last.
6 Q. In view of the nature of this document, do you know who
7 participated in its drawing up?
8 A. The entire corps command participated in compiling this order,
9 everyone dealing with the aspect that he was in charge of.
10 Q. In item 11, we have command and communications. Did you
11 participate in compiling this document as far as this item goes?
12 A. I personally did not.
13 Q. Do you have any informations as to whether anyone from
14 communications participated in drawing up this document?
15 A. When this document is concerned, and every other document where
16 communications are planned, it was the chief of communications of the
17 corps who had exclusive competence and power to deal with this.
18 Q. And what was your relation to the chief of communications of the
20 A. Are you referring to subordination within the corps? The chief
21 of communications was an advisory organ advising the Chief of Staff, and
22 professionally he was superior to the communications Battalion; that is,
23 to me, but only as far as the professional side of our work was
24 concerned. As for the military and disciplinary aspects, we were
25 subordinate directly to the corps commander.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let's go back to page 2 of this
2 document in the Serbian version; whereas it's page 3 in the English
3 version, item 4.
4 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, in line 3 of item 4, it says:
5 "The more immediate task is to reach the ..." and so on.
6 What does that mean, "the more immediate task"?
7 A. The more immediate task was given to the units as a line on the
8 ground which the units are supposed to reach in the first offensive
9 action, the first assault, that is.
10 Q. Two lines further down, it says "The next task ..." and so on and
11 so forth. My question is, when is the next task carried out, is there a
12 deadline, is there a timeline, is it implied automatically?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Do we have just one foundational question? I
16 mean, he says he didn't take part in the making of this, he doesn't know
17 about the things that are cited in it, was he given this, did he study
18 it, was he part of the operation? That one question would tell us;
19 otherwise, we don't know.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can you handle this or would you handle this,
21 Mr. Petrusic, please. Thank you.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, were you a participant of the Operation Krivaja
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Are you aware of Banja Guber, Zivko, Brdo, Divjakenje [phoen],
2 Gradac, and so on, as parts of military terminology?
3 A. Yes, I am aware of these facilities.
4 Q. You explained the what the immediate task of the next task means,
5 or, rather, what the immediate task means, and now my question is what
6 does the next task imply?
7 A. The next task is the task which the units carry out after they
8 have carried out the immediate task pursuant to orders and approval from
9 the commander.
10 Q. Does this imply that the next task is obligatory, that it must be
12 A. Well, it's already regulated in the order itself. On the ground,
13 in practical terms, it depends on the decision of the commander in charge
14 of the operation.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let's see now document P3753
17 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, do you see this document. Tell us, are you
18 familiar with this document?
19 A. Yes, I am.
20 Q. It seems to consist of several parts. Can you explain it to us?
21 A. The first part is a work plan for the radio network used for
22 command in the Operation Krivaja 95. And the second part, underneath it,
23 with the small dense writing, is a signals table. These are the usual
24 military terms adapted for this purpose in case some orders need to be
1 Q. So this signals table means that these numbers are written
2 instead of the words we see here?
3 A. Yes. To transmit certain information or convey a certain order,
4 when you have a message, one could use a combination of certain numbers
5 in order to convey to another unit certain information.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let's go back to the first part
7 where we have several participants -- or, rather, more participants than
8 are mentioned in the order.
9 Q. If you remember, there were six participants in the order, so I'm
10 interested on what basis did the chief of communications or whoever drew
11 up this document include more participants in the communications plan?
12 A. Whenever such work plans are drawn up for radio networks, the
13 possibility is always envisaged that some of the participants in the
14 radio communication, that is, some of the units, who are within the radio
15 network used for commanding the operation, should also include at least
16 two reserve units in case new possibilities open up. This has to be
17 flexible to avoid having to draw up a new plan simply because another
18 unit has been added on or resubordinated or attached. So this is done in
19 order to be able to deal with new situations. That's why at least two
20 reserve participants are always included.
21 Q. These frequency ranges, the ones in megahertz, can you tell us on
22 what sort of equipment these frequencies may be used?
23 A. This is a work plan for a radio network which we had with a radio
24 apparatus called RUP-2/2K, which is similar and compatible to RUP-12 as
25 regards the frequencies and number of channels. A good side of this
1 equipment was that it was modified in such a way that crypto --
2 crypto-protection could be attached to it, a special device could be
3 attached to it, and it worked on 32, 79.89 megahertz or hertz, and the
4 frequencies mentioned here 1 to 20, this is not a frequency but the
5 position of three switches used to take up a certain frequency. In our
6 signals terminology this referred to a channel, for example, channel 250
7 doesn't mean that the frequency is 250 megahertz, because I have already
8 told you what the frequency range is. But one can easily calculate what
9 the frequency would be. It doesn't really matter right now, I assume.
10 Q. And could you tell us this last column here, letters and numbers,
11 what is this all about? And below this, we can read that it says "Table
13 A. Well, this is an instruction so that if this radio network
14 experiences some problems, such as, for instance, if it is being
15 disrupted or jammed by other participants or by the enemy, or if this was
16 going on at a certain time of day or night when electro-magnetic waves
17 move in a particular way, then this made it possible to change the work
18 channel if this channel no longer meets the requirements. And here it is
19 indicated that the working channel should be switched. This is
20 confidential and this is in code.
21 Well, I can't really read it, because it's not very legible, but
22 let's say for instance you have a word here, and then it says "15," and
23 this means that all the participants should switch to channel 15, which
24 is envisaged here.
25 Q. And did you receive this document when you set off for
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, could you please tell us when did you set off to
4 Srebrenica and who issued you that -- you the direct order, the marching
5 orders in fact?
6 A. I set off on the 5th of July, that was when I started
7 implementing this operation, and I assume that I received those documents
8 from the chief of communications or signals. Since I can't recall having
9 received it from the corps commander or the Chief of Staff, and it was
10 quite usual for the communications chief once the communications plan is
11 drafted in accordance with the orders of the corps commander, to deliver
12 this communications plan to the unit that is supposed to implement it in
13 accordance with the professional line of command. So I assume that he
14 issued this order.
15 Q. And do you recall who ordered you to go to Srebrenica?
16 A. I think that it was either the corps commander or the Chief of
17 Staff, well, one of the two. I can't recall. But it was just a task for
18 me. Perhaps it was even the communications chief who relayed this to me,
19 but I can't really recall the details.
20 Q. As far as the equipment is concerned, the communications
21 equipment, can you tell us what you had? What kind of equipment did you
23 A. For the implementation of this task, I had at my disposal radio
24 equipment with speech encryption technology, and I used them to set up
25 communications with the subordinate units participating in Operation
1 Krivaja 95. As for the communications with the superior command, the
2 Drina Corps command in Vlasenica, I used the radio relay equipment RRU1,
3 and this made it possible for us to send written reports that were first
4 encrypted. And my encryption officer who went with me had appropriate
5 encryption equipment. Again, he also had the teleprinters in order to be
6 able to send those encrypted telegrams. So this was the equipment that I
7 had with me in order to implement this operation.
8 Q. And did the Main Staff or the 67th Signals Regiment or the chief
9 of the Main Staff, did they provide you with any elements necessary to
10 establish your communications at the forward command post of the corps?
11 A. No. This was an operation of the Drina Corps. It used only its
12 own forces, and there was no need to involve the Main Staff or the
13 signals regiment of the Main Staff for the implementation of this task.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D1105.
15 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic --
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we just scroll down a little
17 so that we can see the stamp.
18 Q. It was issued in the morning of the 5th of July, 1995. Could you
19 please tell us when did you actually head for Srebrenica?
20 A. Well, I started on the 5th of July. I would say it was around 10
21 or 1100 hours; in the morning, at any rate. And I arrived at the forward
22 command post at Pribicevac in the early afternoon.
23 Q. Before you set off to set up the communications centre at the
24 forward command post at Pribicevac, did you know what tasks were issued
25 to the Drina Corps units participating in this operation?
1 A. I knew roughly what these were, because I did not receive the
2 order with the tasks, but I did know roughly -- or, rather, I knew
3 specifically what units were participating and what more or less were
4 their key tasks on those axes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time it's convenient for you, Mr. Petrusic, we
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, did you know the equivalent of the forces in
9 numerical terms that participated in the operation?
10 A. I did know that there on the spot, so to speak. I knew what
11 units participated and I knew, more or less, their equivalent on the
12 ground. And all those units that were from the broader region, from the
13 south, attacking -- or, rather, carrying out this task, they, all told,
14 did not go beyond the strength of 1.000 soldiers.
15 Q. Just one more question. Now, if we compare it to 1993, let us
16 draw this parallel, this is when you again participated in that area,
17 that was before the protected areas were set up, can you tell us whether
18 this time the forces were stronger or weaker, numerically speaking?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Vague. I don't understand what operation is he
22 talking about.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- in 1993.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Shall we leave it until tomorrow?
1 Okay. So we stand adjourned until tomorrow in the afternoon, like today,
2 2.15. Thank you.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
4 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday, the
5 11th day of December, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.