1 Thursday, 29 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good morning Madam Registrar. Could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam. Good morning, everybody. For
11 the record, accused Beara is still sick, I presume. I start -- I don't
12 see Mr. Ostojic, present, so Mr. Nikolic, I can barely see you behind the
14 First, I would like to have a confirmation from you that a waiver
15 is on its way, that there is no objection, that we proceed. And
16 secondly, Mr. Ostojic had to inquire yesterday what happened to the
17 waiver relating to the day before, or part of the sitting of the day
19 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know -- no, mine is off.
21 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Beara did send his waiver
22 since his health condition is still such that he cannot be present, and I
23 believe that he sent a similar waiver for the previous day which I am
24 going to check throughout the day.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Do you have an indication of how long this
1 condition is going to last?
2 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] For the time being, no. He
3 informed us that he was not feeling well, so we will monitor the
4 situation during the day, and we will update the Chamber.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you so much, Mr. Nikolic.
6 For the record, today, Mr. McCloskey for the Prosecution. And
7 the Defence teams, I only notice the absence of Mr. Krgovic and
8 Mr. Ostojic for the time being.
9 Good morning to you, Mr. Haynes, and good morning to you,
10 Mr. Pandurevic. Let's --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's continue.
13 MR. HAYNES: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
14 Honours. Good morning, everybody.
15 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examination by Mr. Haynes: [Continued]
18 Q. Before we proceed, Mr. Pandurevic, I would simply like to implore
19 you to slow down in your speaking so that the interpreters have a chance
20 to interpret what you are saying.
21 Yesterday afternoon, we finished with a document on the screen
22 which was 7D1006, and I would just very briefly like to have it placed
23 back on the screen so that we can conclude that area of the examination.
24 Thank you.
25 And just to remind you, I am sure you need no reminding, but we
1 are talking about a report from the 1st of February, 1993, and combat
2 action in Kamenica. And what I wanted to ask you is whether it was any
3 part of your orders to cause the civilian population to move out of
5 A. No. There were no such orders, but I have to say here that in
6 the territory of Kamenica, at that time there was no civilian population
7 residing in the villages closest to Zvornik. That is because in November
8 1992 there was fighting in that area, and only the Muslim armed forces
9 could be found in that area. Some would further in-depth from Zvornik on
10 the axis of our attack, there was civilian residing, and this report
11 speaks about the procedure I applied. I offered the civilian population
12 to freely leave the area of combat operations.
13 Q. And the purpose of that was what?
14 A. The purpose was humanitarian.
15 Q. And what, in fact, happened after the prisoner was returned to
16 convey your message?
17 A. A certain number of civilians, villagers, that is, truth be told,
18 did leave the area of combat activities. I don't have the exact
19 information as to their exact number, but there were some of them. From
20 some positions we were able to monitor their movements, and we know from
21 our intelligence and the writings of the Muslim media that such things
22 indeed did happen.
23 Q. Thank you. Well, we can leave Kamenica now. And I want to just
24 walk you through, fairly briefly, some of the significant combat actions
25 you took part in in 1993.
1 In April of 1993, was there an operation called Udar?
2 A. First of all, I would like to say that at Operation Proboj which
3 was launched in January and ended sometime in mid-March 1993, by its
4 scope and achievements was a very modest operation. And when we are
5 talking about an operation for a soldier, this is a term that comprises
6 widespread combat operations. We know that the American forces managed
7 to occupy Iraq in a month. As for us, we managed to advance
8 15 kilometres over three months so that upon the completion of
9 Operation Proboj towards the end of March and the beginning of April, we
10 continued with Operation Udar from a different axis.
11 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us just a little bit, please, about
12 the scope and purpose of Operation Udar and the part you played in it?
13 A. I did not participate directly in Operation Udar. This operation
14 applied to the area covering the axis Skelani-Srebrenica. This is the
15 direction from east to west, from the river Drina towards Skelani. Some
16 parts of the units of the Zvornik Brigade under the command of
17 Dragan Obrenovic did participate in the operation.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 Now, at about this time, in other words March and April of 1993,
20 in your capacity as the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, did you come
21 into contact with the organs of the United Nations - and I am thinking in
22 particular about UNPROFOR?
23 A. The geographical position of Zvornik itself and the area where
24 the Zvornik Brigade was deployed mandated contact and encounters with
25 numerous international organisations of all kind. Our most frequent
1 contacts were with UNPROFOR, i.e., the United Nations forces whose
2 mandate was the establishment of peace and the separation of the warring
3 parties in Bosnia.
4 Q. Did you ever meet General Morillon?
5 A. Yes, I did have an occasion and honour -- actually, I had several
6 meetings with Mr. Morillon. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, by
7 his dedication to the mission at hand, by his objectivities, and by his
8 charm. And it was a great honour for me to cooperate with the general of
9 the great French army and the great French people.
10 Q. When did you first meet him?
11 A. Mr. Morillon would pass quite often from Sarajevo en route to
12 Belgrade via Zvornik. His roads would cross in the area of Zvornik, and
13 our meetings started sometime towards the end of February and continued
14 throughout March and April. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly when
15 our first meeting took place; however, there were at least six or seven
16 such meetings, and they took place either in my office or in the football
17 ground where helicopters landed or somewhere else on the road.
18 Q. Well, I will see if I can jog your memory.
19 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at 7D1008, please, the regular
20 combat report for the 5th of March of 1993.
21 Q. And, Mr. Pandurevic, you might like to concentrate on the bottom
22 half of paragraph 2, though, by all means read as much of the document as
23 you need to.
24 A. Yes, I've read it.
25 Q. Does -- I think that's the first record we can find of your
1 meeting him. Is that a meeting you recall? And perhaps you can explain
2 the circumstances of it.
3 A. Well, it says in this report that there was a meeting in the
4 municipality of Zvornik, but before this meeting there was another
5 meeting on the same day between Mr. Morillon and myself.
6 General Morillon was on a mission, i.e., he was visiting the areas of
7 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, and Srebrenica, and his task was to meet the
8 representatives of the Muslim authorities.
9 In order for him to do that, my task was to provide the security
10 of his passage across the separation line. South of the village of
11 Drinjaca, some 20 kilometres from the town of Zvornik at the entrance to
12 Konjevic Polje, there were minefields, and the road was blocked. We had
13 to clear that on our side. The Muslims had to do it on their side, and
14 the -- then Mr. Morillon could successfully cross.
15 The agreement was for us to meet him in the same place on the
16 following day on his way back. Again, to secure his safe passage back
17 towards Zvornik.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. HAYNES: And we could just take a brief look at 7D1115, a
20 regular or daily combat report for the following day, the 6th of March.
21 Q. And again, Mr. Pandurevic, as is common in these reports, the
22 events of the day seem to be recorded in paragraph 2.
23 A. Yes, in this report in paragraph 2, a references made to
24 General Morillon. At that time, there were different pieces of
25 information about the humanitarian situation in the areas of Cerska and
1 Konjevic Polje. And one of the reasons why Mr. Morillon went there was
2 to check that controversial information. Upon his return from that area
3 and our meeting in Drinjaca, which took place very early in the morning,
4 his APC
5 situation in Konjevic Polje, Cerska, and the general area of these two
7 He said that the situation was not as it was portrayed in the
8 media. He said that the situation was rather difficult, very similar to
9 the situation in all the other areas of Bosnia and that he was prepared
10 to talk about all these things to the media. I asked him to join me in
11 my vehicle and go to Zvornik municipality where he would talk to the
12 media. He did that, and I believe that after that press conference he
13 was exposed to fierce attacks and criticism on the part of the Muslim
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. HAYNES: Just to show that these things are reported from
17 both sides, can we have a look at 7D752. And this is a UN headquarters
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina command Sarajevo report. And we'll start by
19 looking at paragraph 1 on page 2, please.
20 Q. Which reads in the English:
21 "General Morillon and a team of representatives from various
22 humanitarian agencies visited the villages of Cerska and Konjevic Polje
23 on the 5th and 6th of March in order to assess the real situation in the
24 area and to identify what humanitarian assistance was actually required."
25 MR. HAYNES: And then can we have a look at page 5 in the
1 document, paragraph 15.
2 Q. Which reads:
3 "It was alleged and supported by a Reuters journalist that the
4 Serbs had been putting strong attacks Sase and Potocari, a Messerschmitt
5 of world war two village had been shot down in January; the wreckage was
6 in the Potocari region. He also stated that he seen single crop sprayers
7 dropping bombs on Srebrenica, that this had stopped about a month ago.
8 It was believed that the air transcript strip they flew from was at the
9 eastern end of Bratunac. The Serb commander in Zvornik, Colonel Andric
10 confirmed this, stating that there had been three of them but that the
11 aircraft were no longer serviceable."
12 The reference to Colonel Andric, do you have any comment on that?
13 A. There may be a thing that either the name was mixed up or the
14 commander of the defence of Sekovici. Given the contents of this, I
15 didn't know that the aircraft of this type were used at that time in that
16 area. I knew sometime in June or July that some sort of improvised
17 landing strip was organised in the area of Bratunac and that some farming
18 aircraft were used or there were attempts to use them, but that did not
19 work out.
20 In what area or on what facilities, I really wouldn't be able to
21 tell you because I don't know.
22 Q. Do you recall having any such conversation with General Morillon
23 or anybody from UNPROFOR?
24 A. I don't recall, although we did talk. I could not provide him
25 with any information of any significance.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. HAYNES: Well, can we move on then, please, to the 11th of
3 March, and can we see 7D948. And this is a collection of regular combat
4 reports, and we need to start with page 2 in the B/C/S, and in the
5 English pages 3 and 4.
6 I am at it again, it should say 7D948 in the transcript.
7 Q. And just to confound me, Mr. Pandurevic, this time an event of
8 the day appears in paragraph 4 rather than paragraph 2 of the report. Is
9 this a visit that you recall? And can you amplify it in terms of any
10 meeting or discussion that you had.
11 A. It says here that Mr. Morillon visited the wounded at the medical
12 centre in Zvornik. However, I don't recall any details relating to this
13 visit. It must have been a routine visit en route to Srebrenica and,
14 therefore, I am not able to provide any further details.
15 Q. Very well.
16 MR. HAYNES: Can we move on then, please, to page 5 in the B/C/S,
17 and in the English pages 9 and 10. A daily combat report for the 8th of
18 April, 1993. And here it's paragraph 5 beginning at around 11 a.m.
19 Q. "General Morillon on his way to Srebrenica entered into the city
20 of Zvornik; however, at the very entrance of the city, he was stopped by
21 hundred women and children who did not allow him to continue his journey
22 towards Srebrenica. The reasons for their actions were the unfilled
23 promises from the earlier agreement in relation to the Serbs in Tuzla
24 upon insistent cities residents impeded General Morillon to return from
25 Zvornik, to make his way to Tuzla rather than towards the SRJ and the
1 bridges towards the Drina river."
2 What's that all about?
3 A. As far as I know, there were negotiations in progress at the time
4 about evacuation of the Serbian population from the Tuzla area and the
5 town itself. Mr. Morillon was involved in that process. At the same
6 time, he was trying to arrange evacuation of population from Srebrenica
7 to Tuzla. Since no Serbian convoy left Tuzla, a large number of
8 civilians and their relatives living in Zvornik were apparently
9 dissatisfied with such a development, and they assembled in order to
10 prevent the passage of Mr. Morillon and his escort towards Srebrenica.
11 Q. Did you have anything to do with that?
12 A. I was involved having learned about this incident, I tried to
13 persuade the population to disperse and to open up the road and enable
14 Mr. Morillon to carry on. It took quite a lot of time. These
15 negotiations and attempts at persuasion were difficult. Mr. Morillon was
16 sitting in his APC
17 normally, in such circumstances you cannot have properly articulated
18 requests or any reasonable conversations.
19 MR. HAYNES: Can we just have a look at 7D1030.
20 Q. Some photographs of you as a much younger man, Mr. Pandurevic.
21 MR. HAYNES: We can probably just flip through them, there are
22 only three or four pages.
23 Q. Are these photographs from the 8th of April of 1993?
24 A. I am sure that these photographs are related to the events that I
25 spoke about. I suppose that's the date. I was personally there next to
1 the APC
2 only thing that I was able to do was to protect the General, himself;
3 however, I failed to persuade the civilians to disperse in order to allow
4 him to continue his journey.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. HAYNES: And whilst we are looking at paragraphs, can we have
7 a look at 7D937, please.
8 Q. Now, is that a photograph taken on the same occasion when
9 General Morillon was impeded by the civilian population or on some other
11 A. This photograph was taken on another occasion when Mr. Morillon
12 was visiting me in my office, and we had this photograph taken after we
13 finished the meeting. It was taken with his camera. And after a while,
14 when he came again, he gave me this photograph when he alighted from a
15 helicopter on a football pitch, and he also put his signature on this
17 Q. Just two or three more questions on this particular area. And
18 people seem to have made a habit of impeding General Morillon's presence
19 one way or another. When his presence was impeded in Zvornik on the 8th
20 of April, did you have anything to do with the organisation of that?
21 A. No, not at all. My task was to enable free movement of
22 Mr. Morillon in carrying out his duties and mission while moving through
23 the area, that was my responsibility. In this particular situation, I
24 reported to the Main Staff and corps command, and General Milovanovic
25 arrived in a helicopter and became personally involved in trying to
1 resolve this problem. And after that, Mr. Morillon returned towards
3 Q. On a more general level, throughout the months of March and April
4 when you were dealing with him, what was your attitude to him and any
5 requests he made of you?
6 A. As I said, at the beginning Mr. Morillon was carrying out his
7 duties really professionally with dignity and commitment. At the time,
8 as a major, I was honoured to maintain contacts with a high-ranking
9 general. His requests posed to me as the commander of the
10 Zvornik Brigade were for me to ensure free movement and free passage
11 while he was carrying out his duties.
12 Q. And did you comply with those requests?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Anyway, there was an order from the Main Staff and the
15 Drina Corps to ensure that all the UNPROFOR forces can carry out their
16 tasks unimpedingly.
17 Q. On a personal level, what was your attitude to the presence of
18 UNPROFOR in Bosnia at that time?
19 A. Well, UNPROFOR passed most often through the area where I was.
20 They didn't carry out any significant missions in the area of Zvornik;
21 therefore, I am not able to give you any specific assessment of the
22 quality of what they did apart from my contacts with Mr. Morillon. I
23 think that at the time UNPROFOR was involved in carrying out missions to
24 the best of their ability. Later on, they took a different approach, and
25 more and more reports were coming about biased conduct of UNPROFOR
1 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 Q. Well, we'll just move a little out of sequence because it's a
3 linked topic. As we know, convoys of food stuffs and other humanitarian
4 aid from time to time passed through Zvornik. What role did you
5 personally play in the policing of convoys?
6 A. The role of the Zvornik Brigade was part of the general role of
7 the VRS in terms of the convoys passing through the area. Since this was
8 a border crossing, and convoys often came from Belgrade, and pursuant to
9 the orders received from superior commands and the usual procedure, the
10 contents of these convoys were examined in accordance with the documents
11 that they were carried with them.
12 As the commander, I was not directly involved in these procedures
13 because I entrusted a reserve captain who was a former bank manager and
14 who was skilled to do this task to carry out these duties.
15 Q. What authorisation did the brigade have to allow or deny the
16 passage of a convoy?
17 A. The brigade didn't have any powers to either allow or reject the
18 passage of convoys. The people who manned check-points were only to act
19 in compliance with the usual procedure upon receiving a notice that a
20 convoy was coming and to check the contents of what they are carrying.
21 Q. As far as you are aware, how many convoys were stopped by the
22 Zvornik Brigade under the authority of the former bank manager who, I
23 think his name is Maksimovic?
24 A. All the convoys were stopped there and checked. If everything
25 tallied with the declaration that the convoy leader had on him, they
1 would be allowed to continue. However, if certain commodities or other
2 items were detected that were not permissible to be transported in that
3 way, then the superior command would be advised, and they would tell us
4 what to do in that situation.
5 I remember two instances when in two convoys certain items were
6 found that were not intended for humanitarian purposes and could have
7 been used for military purposes. And I think that there are also video
8 reports and other reports about these incidents.
9 Q. Just to finish with that topic. So far as you were aware, did
10 you receive any order to deliberately obstruct convoys of aid in the
11 spring of 1995?
12 A. No. I didn't receive any order for us to deliberately obstruct
13 the passage of any convoys on our own initiative. As far as I can
14 remember, they passed smoothly because they were headed for Tuzla and
15 Sarajevo and Srebrenica as well, and it was a very intense traffic.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. That was not a combat mission, and it took up a lot of our time.
18 It only just created problems for us rather than facilitating the
19 situation for us.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, stepping back into our, as it were, brief
21 history of combat operations in 1993, in May of 1993 there was - if
22 everybody will forgive me for leading you on this - a referendum on the
23 Vance-Owen Plan. How, firstly, did that impact upon your job?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just, can we get his understanding of what the --
25 that was, so we'll get an understanding of the answer?
1 MR. HAYNES: You interrupted my thought process. I was thinking
2 about asking that question first rather than second. I don't care in
3 which way the questions are answered. It's a sensible interruption.
4 Q. What did the Vance-Owen Plan mean to you in practical terms,
5 Mr. Pandurevic?
6 A. As a soldier, and I believe as for every other soldier, any
7 attempt at restoring peace and putting an end to a war would be the best
8 news ever that could be heard and would be a great relief. No soldier
9 wants to fight a war. Therefore, we anticipated that the Vance-Owen Plan
10 would offer an opportunity to satisfy the interests of all parties
11 involved in the conflict and that peace would ensue. At the moment I
12 cannot recall the details of the plan, however.
13 Q. What practically did it mean you had to do in the month of May of
15 A. You mean referring to the Vance-Owen Plan?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. As I remember, a referendum was called in order to have this plan
18 accepted. And since all citizens who had a voting right were supposed to
19 take part in the referendum, I remember that command organs were to be
20 involved in the voting at the referendum.
21 Q. Very well. Can we move on then, please, to June of 1993 and
22 something about which we've heard a fair bit of evidence already.
23 Operation Mac 1. Can you tell us a little bit about the purpose of that
24 operation and your involvement in it.
25 A. Operation Mac 1 was planned at the level of the Main Staff of the
1 VRS. During this trial we had an opportunity to see these documents,
2 and, of course, the Drina Corps was to spear-head this action. And, from
3 the Zvornik Brigade, a combat group equalling a battalion was also
4 involved which was based on the Podrinje regiment. The task was to
5 operate along the Rogatica-Ustipraca axis and to reach the left bank of
6 the river Drina in the area where the villages of Medjedja and Ustipraca
8 Q. As I say, we've heard a little about it. How many battle or
9 combat groups were involved in the operation other than your own?
10 A. This operation was conducted in the general area. Some of the
11 forces were acted from the direction of Visegrad, some from Rudo and
12 Cajnice, and the forces under my command including elements of the
13 Rogatica Brigade and the 2nd Romanija Brigade -- Motorised Brigade, which
14 means that all the activities took place in the general area of upper
16 Q. What particular task did your combat group have?
17 A. My combat group had a task to reach Ustipraca and thereby cut off
18 the retreat route for the forces that were deployed north of Ustipraca
19 towards Visegrad.
20 Q. And how successful were you?
21 A. Well, we were relatively successful. In a relatively short
22 period of time, we managed to reach the Ustipraca sector and to cut off
23 the Visegrad-Gorazde road in the area of Ustipraca. That section of the
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Mr. Haynes, please. Mr. Bourgon.
1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I am sorry to interrupt.
2 I would just like to have a bit of a clarification. Maybe it's a
3 translation issue. In English, the terms "combat group," "battle group,"
4 and "tactical group," have very different meanings. Maybe when they are
5 translated to general they take the same meaning. I would just like if
6 you could clarify this, please. Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
8 Mr. Haynes, would you take care of that.
9 MR. HAYNES:
10 Q. Go ahead, Mr. Pandurevic, what was the unit you were in command
11 of? Was it a battle group, a command group, or a tactical group?
12 A. I will first try to explain what a tactical group means. A
13 tactical group is a provisional formation set up of a number of combat
14 groups for the purpose of executing a specific task within a certain
15 period of time and in a certain place. The size of a tactical group is
16 usually equivalent to that of a battalion, but it has reinforcements.
17 These reinforcements can be either artillery reinforcements or armoured
18 and mechanized forces. A combat group can be part of the tactical group,
19 therefore, it's smaller in size and strength, but it sometimes can be
20 almost identical to a tactical group. Therefore, the combat group under
21 my command in Operation Mac 1, in its strength and size, was almost the
22 same as a tactical group.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 Now in comparison to you, what degree of success did the other
25 units have in that operation?
1 A. Well, to assess the success of other units involved in this
2 operation would be best made by the person who was commanding all the
3 forces taking part in the operation. I could only evaluate how my
4 adjacent units on the left and the right performed. The unit on my left
5 were made of elements of the Visegrad Brigade, and their axis of attack
6 was much more difficult, and their success dependent on my success.
7 Therefore, the operation of my forces on the flank enabled them to carry
8 out their mission better. The forces acting on the right bank of the
9 river Drina, I believe that at the time were the least successful.
10 Q. And we know the answer to this, I think, but who was in command
11 of the operation?
12 A. General Zivanovic commanded the operation from the forward
13 command post in Rogatica.
14 Q. And the command --
15 A. And he was from the Drina Corps.
16 Q. And the commander of the forces to the left and the commander of
17 the forces on the right bank of the Drina were who?
18 A. The commander on the right - or, actually, this was a unit made
19 up of elements of Rogatica Brigade - were not actually involved in direct
20 combat. They were just securing my right flank. And the left forces
21 were under the command of Colonel Luka Dragicevic of the
22 Visegrad Brigade.
23 Q. Now, what was the significance of your reaching the Ustipraca
25 A. In combat there is always an attempt to use the least effort and
1 least use of potential to accomplish a task. One tries to find the
2 weakest point on the enemy's side, and in this case this was cutting off
3 his withdrawal route and bringing their forces into an encirclement.
4 Q. Well, in combat that might be what you always try to do, but is
5 that what you had done by reaching the Ustipraca section?
6 A. Yes, that's true.
7 Q. Who was the commander of the enemy forces at Ustipraca?
8 A. The commander of the Muslim forces in the area of Medjedja and
9 Ustipraca was Mr. Sejdic, Ahmed by name. I talked to him over the radio,
10 and I had a previous communication with him and organised several
11 exchanges of both dead and -- dead bodies and prisoners of war.
12 Q. When you'd cut his forces off, what was their position?
13 A. His forces were along the Drina river in the territory of
14 Medjedja village, and their position was absolutely inferior with regard
15 to the forces that were under my command.
16 Q. When you spoke to him, what did you speak about?
17 A. Our communications means could easily be intercepted, and we knew
18 each other's voices. His signalsman knew my voice, and vice versa. He
19 used my code-name Granicar, and I used to call him by his code-name,
20 Captain. His signalsman said, "Granicar, We know that you are there,
21 come in, please." I responded, and I wanted to be put through to
22 Mr. Sejdic.
23 Q. I am not sure it's clear from your answer; did he call you, or
24 did you call him first?
25 A. His signalsman recognized my voice. He came in, and he said that
1 he was aware of my presence on the line and asked for me to come in,
2 which I did, and asked him to put me through to Mr. Sejdic.
3 Q. I am sorry, that was probably clear. It's probably my fault.
4 And when did you speak to him, what was the topic of your conversation?
5 A. The first words we exchanged were greetings. We talked about our
6 previous experiences and activities, and then we started talking about a
7 current tactical situation that his forces was in.
8 Q. And what did he propose or did you suggest?
9 A. I asked him if he saw how far my forces had reached and whether
10 he knew the exact deployment of my forces. He said that he knew that we
11 had reached Ustipraca and that he was cut off.
12 My proposal to him was to tell everybody in the area of Medjedja
13 to take the road freely, either in vehicles or on foot, and that they can
14 proceed in the direction of Gorazde. I guaranteed him that my soldiers
15 would not open fire, that they would not fire a single bullet in their
16 direction. He listened to my proposal. He hesitated a little. He asked
17 me to corroborate my guarantee in one way or another. And I then told
18 him that it would be his choice whether he would be leading the column or
19 whether he would be at its rear, that it was up to him.
20 Q. And what happened?
21 A. He said, Well, if that is the case, I'll be in a blue Mercedes at
22 the very back of the column. I said, Yes, you have my guarantee, you can
23 proceed freely. And then what we had agreed was later on honoured and
24 everything happened as it had been agreed between the two of us.
25 Q. How long did the evacuation of this column take place after the
1 conversation you had?
2 A. As far as I can remember, the talks started sometime early in the
3 afternoon and lasted until dusk of the same day.
4 Q. And when did the column leave?
5 A. During that period of time that I have just indicated, both the
6 civilians and the soldiers went through.
7 Q. Could you estimate for us how many people you let go?
8 A. It's very difficult to be precise about the number of people. I
9 can only give you the estimate of how many there had been there before
10 that, and I can say that at least 3.000 or 4.000 people were evacuated on
11 that day.
12 Q. And what about military hardware?
13 A. All the soldiers and military hardware that the Muslims had was
14 able to leave the area. I was familiar with some of their vehicles that
15 they used for the exchanges of the fallen soldiers in November 1992, and
16 I saw the same vehicles on the day of the evacuation.
17 Q. Now, what authority did you have to enter into this agreement
18 with Mr. Sejdic?
19 A. I did not have any authority whatsoever, nor did I ever ask for
20 it. In that specific situation, I acted the best I saw fit. My task was
21 to reach Ustipraca, and I accomplished that mission successfully. I
22 reported back the my command and gave them the position of my units.
23 Q. So why did you reach and honour this agreement with Mr. Sejdic?
24 A. The reason is very simple, there was no point in engaging in
25 further combat and exposing those who should not have been at risk to
1 further risk. I had accomplished my combat mission, and it was not in my
2 interest to inflict damage or victimise people on any of the two sides.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, I think you may I have already told us a goodly
4 portion of this, but in the second part of June of 1993, there was
5 another operation called Sword or Mac planned, Mac 2. What happened to
6 that operation?
7 A. Basically, Sword 1 should have been continued. There should not
8 have been interruptions between the two. However, due to bad
9 coordination between the units, the operation was interrupted and some of
10 the units withdrew from that area. Among those units were also the units
11 of the Zvornik Brigade. Only a few days later were the groups brought
12 back and combat continued from the direction of Cajnice and Gorazde, and
13 then that operation got the name Sword 2 or Mac 2.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, it's past 10.10.
15 MR. HAYNES: Yes, Your Honour, I was planning to go to 10.20, if
16 that's okay.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, okay. Thank you.
18 MR. HAYNES:
19 Q. And did you play a part in Mac 2?
20 A. Originally I was not supposed to. Later on I joined and I
21 participated in the combat, but that lasted a bit shorter than Operation
22 Sword 1.
23 Q. And what was the thrust of that operation? And what did you
24 achieve, very briefly?
25 A. Very briefly, the goal was to repel the Muslim forces further
1 away from Cajnice, and to reclaim the Serbian villages on the right bank
2 of the Drina in the sector of Gorazde and to take the features from which
3 Cajnice could be successfully defended. Our success there was limited.
4 The operation was halted there. And as far as I can remember, there were
5 no further actions on that axis in the course of that year.
6 Q. There was a further action in July of 1993 called Lukavac. Did
7 units of the Zvornik Brigade take part in that? And did you personally
8 take part in that? And where was that?
9 A. Operation Lukavac 1993 was an operation that had been planned and
10 carried out by the Main Staff of the Army Republika Srpska in my
11 understanding, at least. And it was carried out in the territory of
12 Trnovo and Sarajevo and Bjelasnica mountain. Elements of the Zvornik
13 Brigade units on the strength of the Drina Corps participated in that
14 operation; however, I myself did not participate in the operation.
15 Q. And I just briefly want to take us into 1994. In April to July
16 of 1994 was there an operation called - I am never going to pronounce
17 this correctly - Zvijezda?
18 A. As far as I can remember, Operation Zvijezda, and under that
19 name, was carried out in the general area between Rogatica and Gorazde.
20 There was an attempt to take a mountain pass between Rogatica and
21 Gorazde. One unit of the Zvornik Brigade did participate in that, and I
22 remember that the young second lieutenant was killed. He had just joined
23 fresh from the academy. I can't give you the exact dates of any of these
25 Q. Other than that, was there any significant combat activity
1 throughout the whole period from the summer of 1993 until the end of
3 A. In the territory of Zvornik, there were no significant combat
4 activities. However, units and elements of the Zvornik Brigade were
5 involved partly in defence activities and active activities outside of
6 their zone; partly in the zone of the Drina Corps and partly in the zone
7 of the Sarajevo and Romanija Corps. Towards the end of 1994, in the area
8 of Zvornik on the north western part of the front line, in the direction
9 of Teocak, there were some combat actions with a view to repairing the
10 tactical position. However, due to bad weather conditions and snow
11 almost no significant results were achieved as a result of that.
12 Q. And what were you principally engaged in during that period of
13 time from July 1993 until the end of 1994?
14 A. I was engaged in my duties as a brigade commander. I sent the
15 forces outside of the brigade zone of activity. I toured the brigade. I
16 controlled the situation in the units, that's at least what we call this
17 in the military. I was engaged in daily command and control.
18 Q. And in terms of the units, you gave us on Tuesday of this week a
19 description of the personnel that made up your battalions. Did they
20 change greatly from December 1992 until the end of 1994, or were they the
21 same people?
22 A. A battalion is a tactical unit with permanent composition. When
23 I say that they have "permanent composition," that means that they have
24 strictly defined units which are companies, support units, and logistics
25 units. The number of companies within the battalions of the Zvornik
1 Brigade varied. It was not in keeping with the establishment rules.
2 As far as their position is concerned and as far as the defence
3 sectors are concerned, from 1993 until the very end of the war, they were
4 more or less identical, which means that they kept almost identical
5 position throughout that time.
6 Q. I really meant the people in the battalions, were they the same
8 A. Yes, the people were the same, and they hailed from the same
9 area, still. Some got killed, some got wounded, but we did not have any
10 special sources of replenishment, no other areas from which our men would
12 Q. Thank you. That would be it for the moment.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. We will have a 25-minute
14 break now. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Haynes.
18 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Let's briefly, together, Mr. Pandurevic, have a look at P5,
20 Supreme Command Directive 7 dated the 8th of March 1995.
21 We are not going to look at this for very long. When did you
22 first see Directive 7, Mr. Pandurevic?
23 A. I saw it here in The Hague when I was shown all the documents on
24 the EDS
25 Q. Well, let's look at, as it were, it's the subsequent document to
1 that, which is P203. And this is the order of the Drina Corps of the
2 20th of March headed "The Order for Defence and Active Combat Operations
3 Operative number 7."
4 As the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, it's addressed to you.
5 Did you in the spring of 1995 receive it?
6 A. As you can see, this is a -- the "Order for Defence and Activity
7 Combat Operations, Operative Number 7." It was sent to all the brigades,
8 i.e., subordinated units of the Drina Corps, which also included
9 Zvornik Brigade. And, yes, I did receive this document.
10 MR. HAYNES: I wonder if we could turn to page 5 in the document
11 and page 9 in the English. And paragraph 5.1, the tasks of the unit, the
12 1st Zvornik Brigade -- 1st Zvornik infantry brigade:
13 "With persistent and active defence of the assigned area of
14 responsibility in cooperation with the 1st Bratunac Brigade available
15 forces from the Zvornik MUP and a unit of conscripts on work obligation
16 has the obligation has the following tasks: To prevent the enemy
17 breakthrough along the selected tactical axis, taking control of the
18 dominant features, cutting the Zvornik-Kozluk road, and reaching the
19 Drina river. With diverse reactive combat operations using operational
20 and tactical camouflage measures tie as many enemy forces as possible
21 during the execution of the operation carried out by the Bosnia corps and
22 the Drina corps and inflict the greatest possible losses, personal and
23 material, and with your own forces plan the execution of combat
24 operations in order to improve tactical position in your own area of
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, now, wait until the interpreter -- I
3 know that they have the text in B/C/S, but they still have to catch up
4 with you, Mr. Haynes.
5 MR. HAYNES: I am very, very sorry to the interpreters.
6 "The brigade command shall form --"
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, because I just want to make sure
8 that they have cute up with you.
9 MR. HAYNES: I'm sorry, that's a schoolboy error. I should be
10 watching the transcript. All right. Let's proceed.
11 "The brigade command shall form battalion-strength ready forces
12 for the intervention along threatened axis and carrying out offensive
13 operations in their area of responsibility and by order of the Drina
14 Corps commander."
15 Q. Did you read that?
16 A. Yes, I have now, and I read it quite a along time ago as well.
17 Q. And when you read it upon first receipt, did you understand the
18 Zvornik Brigade to have any task relating to Srebrenica or Zepa?
19 A. The task assigned here to the Zvornik Brigade and the way it is
20 worded may be considered as an ongoing task which the brigade was
21 supposed to carry out throughout the war, and the task is decisive
22 defence of the assigned area; i.e., to stop the enemy from reaching the
23 Drina river and interrupting the road Zvornik-Kozluk-Bijeljina. This was
24 my principal task, always, and it remained so until the end of the war.
25 The second part of this task, i.e., to improve tactical position in the
1 area of responsibility is something that we carried out throughout the
2 war. And this part where we were supposed to form battalion strength
3 ready forces, we did have those forces and we even reinforced them. We
4 knew that we could always be used in the area of responsibility of the
5 Drina Corps and outside of it.
6 Q. This order was dated the 20th of March of 1995, what operations
7 did the Zvornik Brigade actually carry out in pursuance of it within the
8 next three months?
9 A. I believe that this order was subsequently enlarged by combat
10 orders which carried to -- followed in the realisation of the Spreca 95
11 operation, the one that has been discussed at great length here.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 Now, we need to look at the tasks of the corps as described by
14 this document, and they are set out at paragraph 2.
15 MR. HAYNES: Which is page 5 and 6 in the English and page 3 in
16 the B/C/S. So we need to turn to that, please, if we may.
17 Q. Now, I think rather than have me read into the transcript a
18 section which runs over three pages, would you just read through that
19 section to yourself, Mr. Pandurevic. And when you're done, would you let
20 me know.
21 A. Yes.
22 I've read it.
23 Q. Thank you. And bearing that in mind --
24 MR. HAYNES: Can we now go to page 8 in the English, which I
25 think will be page 4 in the B/C/S. It is page 4 in B/C/S. And that
2 "I have decided with persistent and active defence of the
3 frontlines from Orica Vis at the right boarder of the area of
4 responsibility to Gradina at the left board of the corps area of
5 responsibility and around the enclaved in Podrinje in cooperation with
6 the elements of the SRK
7 selected operative tactical axes with main forces and tie down as many
8 enemy troops as possible through diversionary actions and operative
9 tactical camouflage measures, separate physically the enclaves of
10 Srebrenica and Zepa and prevent any communications between the enclaves,
11 and with auxiliary forces (the forces in readiness) carry out the
12 Spreca 95 operation in cooperation with the IBK forces, the objective to
13 cut the Muslim forces along the Kalesija-Simin Han line and then breakup
14 and destroy the enemy forces in the area of Teocak, Sapna, and Vitinica,
15 thus finally removing the danger of a Muslim breakthrough towards the
16 Drina north of Zvornik.
17 "During the execution of Zvijezda 95 operation and in cooperation
18 with SRK
19 reduce the enclave to the size of the protected area of 3 kilometres from
20 the town centre. And in case UNPROFOR forces leave Zepa and Srebrenica,
21 execute the operation named Jadar, then breakup and destroy the Muslim
22 forces in these enclaves and definitively liberate the Drina ..."
23 Q. Let's not beat about the bush. The first half of the section
24 headed "Tasks of the Drina Corps" replicates Directive 7, doesn't it?
25 A. Item 2, the tasks of the Drina Corps, was copied, literally, from
1 Directive 7.
2 Q. After the paragraph which related directly to your unit, the
3 Zvornik Brigade, what was the most important area of this report -- of
4 this order, sorry?
5 A. As I said, the task assigned to the Zvornik Brigade was of such
6 nature that it had to do exclusively with the zone of defence of the
7 Zvornik Brigade, provided that it had one battalion stand by for use.
8 Q. Were the tasks of the Drina Corps important for you to note and
10 A. The task assigned to the Drina Corps was a very complex and
11 complicated one. It was not limited in terms of time, whether it
12 should -- when it should commence and when it should end. But, Your
13 Honours, since I have seen with how much attention you look through the
14 documents, to give me some more time to explain to you how this document
15 prepared by the command of the Drina Corps came about to be drafted.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Directive 7, as we saw, was addressed to the corps. Corps
19 commanders were obliged to literally re-write the task assigned to corps
20 from the directive. They must not change a single letter. For that
21 reason, General Zivanovic formulated the task in a manner that he did.
22 What is important, however, in this order issued by the
23 Drina Corps command, and that is from item 4 onwards, which begins "I
24 have decided ..." And this is his idea underlying the decision which he's
25 presenting there with a view how to implement the tasks that he has
1 received. His basic idea, which is a part of the decision, has applied a
2 slightly different form and slightly different meaning when defining the
3 activities of the Drina Corps. The corps tasks stem from the basic idea,
4 and we can see that there is a link between the idea underlying the
5 decision, which is item 4, and the tasks assigned to the Drina Corps
6 brigades. For that reason, some part of the assigned -- assignments
7 given to the Drina Corps based on Directive 7 are not incorporated in the
8 task of brigade nor in the basic idea of the corps command, and that is
9 this infamous sentence that has been mentioned here on numerous
11 MR. HAYNES:
12 Q. Why would that be?
13 A. The corps commander issues a decision. Once he -- he's done
14 that, his superior officer has to approve it, in this case this is the
15 commander of the Main Staff. When I received a decision from the corps
16 command, I am interested to hear the underlying part, which is item 4,
17 and on the other hand what the tasks of my brigade and the adjacent units
18 are and nothing beyond that.
19 Q. Did you think that your orders under this document included a
20 task to remove the civilian population from Srebrenica or Zepa?
21 A. The task given to the Zvornik Brigade has nothing to do with the
22 area of either Srebrenica or Zepa and, hence, with the population in
23 those two enclaves.
24 Q. And looking at the order of the corps commander, did you form the
25 opinion that that objective was part of the corps' plan?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objective, leading. We are now getting into
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it is leading Mr. -- I don't think I need to
5 consult my colleagues on this. On the other hand, is it so critical?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would really like to hear the General's
7 opinion, not his agreement or disagreement with --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you rephrase?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: [Previous translation continues]... on these
10 issues it is, I think, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
12 And sorry for overlapping.
13 Can you rephrase it please, Mr. Haynes.
14 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
15 Q. What did you see as the corps' objectives in relation to
16 Srebrenica and Zepa under this order?
17 A. In order for me to comprehend this at all, I had to take the
18 following approach: Each command including a brigade command when they
19 receive an order, like this one that we see in front of us, we study the
20 task contained therein. One of the stages of studying the task involves
21 studying it and trying to comprehend and understand the idea and the
22 objective of my commander, what he wants to achieve and in what way he
23 wants to achieve. And, also, which forces he would want to use them and
24 what kind of maneuver action he wants to undertake.
25 Therefore, I understood item 4 in a way that my corps commander
1 wants to put up a persistent and decisive defence and thereby prevent
2 communications between -- Srebrenica and Zepa enclave and to take part in
3 the planning and execution of joint operations. From his idea I could
4 not draw any conclusion that his task was to evacuate the population from
5 these enclaves and to annihilate them all together.
6 Q. Now, going back to, as it were, the infamous words which are set
7 out under paragraph 2, the tasks of the Drina Corps, how did you or do
8 you view the tasks of the Drina Corps under that heading in terms of
10 A. When I received this order, I first read it, and we call it the
11 first reading, just to get the general idea. During that first reading I
12 noticed item 2, the task of the corps; however, I didn't dwell long on
13 it. And during the next reading and analysing, I focused on item 4. I
14 cannot tell you now exactly what I understood at the time, the sentence
15 that has been mentioned here, but definitely I gave it a lot of thought
16 during this trial.
17 Q. You're probably one question ahead of me, in fact. What I was
18 asking you was the general list of tasks for the Drina Corps under
19 Directive 7, what view did you have as to the scope and achievability of
20 those tasks?
21 A. At the moment, I don't see this on the screen, but I know what
22 tasks we are talking about. It's a whole series of tasks that cannot be
23 executed within a short period of time. It's a series of tasks relating
24 to completely different areas. These are tasks that have to be carried
25 out either by the Drina Corps itself or in a concerted action with other
1 corps. So it involves a number of tasks that have to be carried out
2 along -- in a long period of time.
3 Q. And as to the phrase "create an unbearable situation of total
4 insecurity with no hope of further survival or life," how did you or do
5 you understand that?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get the whole phrase in the record. I
7 think that's going to be an important part of his understanding.
8 MR. HAYNES: I don't mind. It might be best if we answer the
9 General's complaint and have that paragraph put back on the screen in
10 front of him. So if we can go back to, please --
11 JUDGE KWON: Page 6.
12 MR. HAYNES: Page 6.
13 I don't see it in B/C/S yet. It should be paragraph 2.
14 JUDGE KWON: Wrong B/C/S page.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you have to move one further.
16 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes? I would really like to thank
18 Mr. McCloskey, because I also wanted to see this full sentence. But
19 first of all, I would like to say that the very word "enclave," and
20 "Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves," have a meaning of their own. They were
21 isolated and became enclaves thanks to the front-line of the
22 28th Division. By way of its combat deployment, the 28th Division
23 encircled its own population and thereby created an enclave.
24 Now, what it says here, "By planned and well thought-out combat
25 operations ..." It doesn't say which. There are all kinds of combat
1 activities that this task can be achieved with. Given that the
2 population lived in the enclave in the way that they did because the
3 enclave had not been demilitarised and that it was necessary to remove
4 the 28th Division as a military threat from that area, it seems that the
5 author of this document thought that this population was exposed from
6 propaganda and other activities from outside, can be incited and turned
7 against their own leaders.
8 We know that in Srebrenica there were two faction: One that
9 advocated combat at any cost and the other one which wanted total
10 disarmament and life in peace. We experienced a similar experience
11 during the NATO aggression and bombing of certain facilities in Serbia,
12 the aim of which was topple the regime of Slobodan Milosevic by engaging
13 the insider forces. This is how I read this document had.
14 MR. HAYNES:
15 Q. And just so we are clear, is that what you thought when you first
16 read it? Or is that the thoughts you had having considered it years
18 A. I said that during the first reading of this order, I didn't
19 take -- pay too much attention to it. I didn't memorize it, and I did
20 not think about it in the way I think about it now.
21 Q. And just to clarify how you've come to interpret it, what
22 facilities were you talking about in Serbia that were bombed by NATO
24 A. Those were non-military facilities; for example, electric grid,
25 bridges, roads, railroads, everything that can make life for the civilian
1 population hard.
2 Q. Why was that done?
3 A. Mr. Wesley Clark and Slobodan Milosevic knew that better.
4 Q. Thank you. We are going to leave that document and turn to a
5 rather different document about a month later in April 1995.
6 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look please at P2920.
7 Q. Can we go straight to page 3 in both languages so that you can
8 confirm for us that this is a document with your signature on it.
9 A. Yes, that's a document that came out of the Zvornik Brigade, and
10 I signed it.
11 MR. HAYNES: Can we go to the first page, now. We can see it's
12 dated the 25th of April, and it says "Report number 88."
13 Q. Who wrote this document?
14 A. This is information addressed, as you can see here, to the Drina
15 Corps, one copy, and probably other copies were forwarded to subordinate
16 units of the Zvornik Brigade. This document was produced by the organ
17 for morale, religious, and legal affairs. And the purpose is to inform
18 the units, our own units, about the psychological and propaganda
19 activities aimed at the enemy.
20 Q. Do you know the person who wrote it?
21 A. This information was written by Major Nenad Simic, assistant for
22 moral guidance.
23 Q. And what does it mean that it says "Report number 88"?
24 A. It probably means that this is a sequential number, or it is a
25 document number 88 from his remit or from his scope of work.
1 Q. Did that organ write many reports?
2 A. Yes, they did, just like all other organs who wrote various
3 documents relating to their area of responsibility and scope of work.
4 Q. Now, other than writing reports like this -- well, I don't know
5 they are all like this. But other than writing reports, what did
6 Mr. Nenad Simic's job entail?
7 A. In addition to writing these reports, Mr. Nenad Simic was
8 involved in arranging funerals for the fighters who were killed,
9 providing for their families, supplying humanitarian aid, and things of
10 the similar nature.
11 Q. And what had been happening to him about the 25th of April 1995?
12 A. Before the war, he did not live in Zvornik. He was living
13 somewhere in Central Bosnia in a village near Zivinice, as far as I
14 remember. And at the beginning of the war, he had experienced a personal
15 tragedy when his son was killed. That is why he arranged these funerals,
16 and he attended the funerals of the fallen fighters, and he expressed
17 condolences to the families that were affected.
18 Q. Did you read this before you signed it?
19 A. I just glanced at it without reading the whole document.
20 Q. And when it was produced in this court a year or so ago and you
21 read it, what was your reaction to it?
22 A. My reaction was the same both then and now. It should never have
23 been written, and my signature should never have been put on this kind of
24 document because there are certain parts and sections that, as they are,
25 should never have been included in this kind of report.
1 Q. Just to satisfy all our curiosity, do you know the derivation of
2 the word "poturice"?
3 A. A lot has been said about this word and other words as well. I
4 don't like to go back into history, especially not too far back into
5 history, and for that I apologise to this Court. But I will have to say
6 a few sentences about this.
7 The word "poturica" originates from the 15th century which is the
8 time when the Ottoman empire occupied the Balkans. This word contained
9 religious and cultural features and connotations. It is related to a
10 specific period in time, to a specific empire, and to the culture that
11 grew as a result of the rule of that empire. This word, "poturice" was
12 used both in Bosnia and in other Balkan countries and it became rather
13 prominent in the last war. It did not, however, have any specific
14 meaning, but it would have been better if it didn't have the meaning that
15 it did.
16 Q. I won't lead you. Is it a nice thing to say to somebody?
17 A. I wouldn't say that the term is nice if you use it for somebody.
18 But I know from practice that Muslims also use this word in addressing
19 each other, and they don't think much of it. Serbs also call themselves
20 Chetniks, and they don't think much of it. However, if the word is used
21 between the two different ethnic groups, it assumes a different
22 connotation. There is a Muslim family named "Poturak" which also
23 originates from that word "poturice," just by way of explanation.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry, Mr. Haynes, but what does it actually
25 mean? Literally translated, what would that be?
1 MR. HAYNES: I think General Pandurevic can answer that.
2 Q. What does it mean?
3 A. Your Honours, in the process of Islamisation, which is a process
4 that which taking place in the Balkans when Christians were converted
5 into Islam, since this was done by the Turkish, authorities which
6 represented the Islam in the Balkans at the time, whoever was converted
7 into Islam somehow was perceived as being on the side of the Turks. But
8 they were not referred to as Turks, but "poturice," the convert. Or they
9 would also call them Crypto-Christians which means covert-Christians.
10 This is as much as I know about the history of this term.
11 Q. Thank you. I am sure we are all very grateful. Be the use of
12 such terms -- I'm sorry, I am going to start this again. Were such words
13 always used in documents of the brigade during the war?
14 A. No, they were not used throughout the war -- or, rather, from its
15 beginning. At one point in the war, they creeped into our documents. I
16 don't know exactly what that happened. You can see in the documents
17 themselves. In any case, it was in 1992 and the forward or most part of
18 1993 when the word "enemy" was used. I even found some reports dating
19 back to November 1992 where it -- where in one of the reports it says
20 "The blue." And that was the word that was used in the staff military
21 games in peacetime. The enemy was always represented as "blue," and our
22 own forces were red, and that was the colours that we used on our combat
24 Six months into the war, some people were still not aware of the
25 reality of the situation. They were not aware that the war was really
1 going on, but as the war continued, as the casualties mounted, the anger
2 and hatred also mounted, and those words assumed a different meaning and
3 gained in prominence.
4 Q. I don't want to dwell on this topic for too long, but just way of
5 illustration --
6 MR. HAYNES: Can we take a look at 7D965.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a quick question, Mr. Haynes.
8 MR. HAYNES: Of course.
9 JUDGE KWON: All the other reports coming from Zvornik Infantry
10 Brigade has the title either "regular combat report" or either "interim
11 combat report." This document says just "report." Does it have any
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
14 Your Honours, this is about two different types of documents.
15 Regular and interim combat reports are documents that are drafted daily,
16 on a daily basis. And this is information that is tied to a different
17 organ in the brigade command, the organ for morale, religious, and
18 political affairs. This information was drafted periodically. That's
19 why it is not entitled "Report" but rather "Information" in the Serbian
21 MR. HAYNES:
22 Q. And --
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 MR. HAYNES: [Previous translation continues]... to conclude this
25 topic we are going to have a look at a document from 1992. It's a Main
1 Staff document.
2 Q. And people are free to read through it, but as you observed,
3 Mr. Pandurevic, it begins:
4 "The enemy are taking advantage of various talks regarding peace
5 and truce and are trying to use their last chance to attain some
6 positions in the battle-field of in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 "This refers in particular to Muslims ..."
8 And two paragraphs lower it refers to the Muslims enemy, and
9 people can read through it. You've read a lot of documents, and it's
10 your observation, is it, that at the start of the war such terms were not
11 used in army documents?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already answered --
13 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues]... that question.
15 And if I may ask him again on going back to "poturice," I have something
16 here which tells me that "poturice" is a degenerate or hypocrite. Would
17 you agree to that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not how I interpreted the
19 word or how I perceived it, for that matter. However, those who were
20 converted into Islam did not do it of their own will. Some did, but some
21 were under pressure, and they were forced to be converted. There were
22 cases, for example, of one brother remaining Christian and the other
23 becoming Muslim, so the Muslim brother would put pressure on the
24 Christian brother to convert. Maybe, between the two of them, there were
25 such an understanding of this word.
1 However, Your Honour, I have never tied such connotations to this
2 word. I've never been aware of -- of this connotation, and I am sure
3 that it cannot be applied to a whole group of people or even a whole
4 ethnic group.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 MR. HAYNES: And, in fact, a rather better document to illustrate
7 your own point.
8 Q. One that you signed, 7D946, from January of 1993.
9 MR. HAYNES: And we need to see page 5 in the B/C/S and page 6 in
10 the English.
11 Q. Can you identify that as your regular combat report from the date
12 of the 9th of January 1993? We can all read the words.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. During the night, the enemy did not carry out any major offensive
15 activities except for minor provocations ..." et cetera, "However, a
16 large concentration of enemy forces was observed in the sector of the
17 village of Jajici," and so on and so forth.
18 A. Yes, the word that is used here is "the enemy" and nothing else.
19 Q. Now, let's move on. In May and June of 1995, were both you and
20 Dragan Obrenovic --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you continue, I stand to be
22 corrected, but I want to make sure. If you go to page 40, line 9, 8 and
24 "To conclude on this topic, we are going to have a look at the
25 document from 1992 ..."
1 And then you ask questions, I pointed out he has already
2 answered, et cetera. But we don't have a record of the -- of the
3 reference of that document, because then you move to another two.
4 MR. HAYNES: It was 7D945, and then 7D946.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, 946 we have, but we don't have 945. Thank
7 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much for that.
8 Q. Now, the question I was in the course of asking you was, in May
9 and June of 1995 were both you and Dragan Obrenovic present in your
10 offices at the command of the Zvornik Brigade?
11 A. No, we were not present together. Major Dragan Obrenovic had
12 been wounded in mid-April during Spreca 95 operation, and he was being
13 either -- he was in treatment, and I was on my own at the brigade
15 Q. And during the month of June, were the forces of the
16 Zvornik Brigade and the Drina Wolves entirely located within the area of
17 defence of the Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. Some troops of the Drina Wolves were in the area of defence of
19 the Zvornik Brigade, and some of them were carrying out a task in the
20 area of responsibility of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
21 Q. When did you first find out about Operation Krivaja 95?
22 A. I believe this was on the 1st July, 1995.
23 Q. And how did you first find out?
24 A. General Krstic called all the brigade commanders -- actually, not
25 all of us, some of us, and I don't know exactly where we met, but in any
1 case we went to Pribicevac where we carried out commanding,
2 reconnoitering that had to with Krivaja 95 Operation.
3 MR. HAYNES: I would like just quickly to look at 5D351, please.
4 And if I can -- this is a regular combat report of the 20th of June of
6 Q. And I want to direct your attention to paragraph 2, and in
7 particular the entry, "as of today, 955 soldiers are engaged outside the
8 brigade's zone of responsibility." And it then lists where the various
9 of them are.
10 Given that sort of commitment to other theatres of war at that
11 time, would you have anticipated for -- that the brigade would be asked
12 to form another battalion to go outside its area of defence?
13 A. The meaning of this regular combat report and its contents was to
14 be used as information for the corps command when they considered
15 possible engagement of the Zvornik Brigade. They were supposed to know
16 exactly what resources that the Zvornik Brigade had at its disposal in
17 its own area of responsibility and which of them are outside of their
18 area of responsibility. I, as a commander, did not expect that -- that I
19 would be asked by anybody to put the Zvornik Brigade under even more
20 pressure and to extend its resources even further.
21 Q. What did General Krstic tell you about the proposed operation on
22 the 1st of July?
23 A. I remember that the group that was engaged in the commander's
24 reconnaissance spent some time in Milici and had lunch there. I don't
25 know whether this preceded the reconnaissance of followed it, I don't
1 know. But I know that we visited three working points from which we
2 carried out commander's reconnaissance and estimated possible directions
3 of use of the Drina Corps.
4 And during that reconnaissance, General Krstic told us that --
5 that the enclaves had to be separate completely, that communication had
6 to be interrupted between Zepa and Srebrenica, and that the 28th Division
7 should be prevented from moving on towards the Sarajevo theater of war
8 where the Muslim forces, either BiH Army attempted to carry out the
9 lifting of the blockade, and they wanted to launch a strategic operation
10 aimed at reaching the Drina river.
11 Q. And did you know during the course of that meeting what the
12 commitment of your brigade was to be?
13 A. From a point immediately below Pribicevac, which commands the
14 best view of the planned direction of the use of the forces from my
15 brigade, I was given the exact direction and targets, i.e., the exact way
16 I was going to use the units and the lines I was supposed to reach as a
17 result of that.
18 Q. And in terms of the planning of a military operation, was there
19 anything unusual about the processes that lead up to Krivaja 95?
20 A. When it comes to planning at the operational level, such as the
21 level of corps, I don't know of any such situation happening before,
22 i.e., that on the same day commander's reconnaissance would be carried
23 out, a decision would be taken, and the following day the use of troops
24 would be ordered. Reconnaissance one day before use or -- this can be
25 done only at the level of battalion or company, at a tactical level, that
1 is. In other words, this decision on active combat operations dubbed
2 Krivaja 95 was an ad hoc operation.
3 Q. And when you were told of the purpose of the operation, what was
4 your reaction?
5 A. Since the objections of active combat were limited, I believed
6 that they were objectively obtainable and that they would not pose a
7 major problem.
8 Q. Were you expecting to get such an order?
9 A. I never expected to get such an order before the day I actually
10 got it.
11 MR. HAYNES: Let's move on one day, please. Can we have a look
12 at P106. In fact, I'll stop that just now. Can we have a look at 7D1022
14 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, I am going to give you a hard copy of this
15 because it's a very simple point I want to make, and it would probably be
16 quicker for you just to read through it than for the document to be
17 scrolled down through e-court. And I'll ask you the question in advance.
18 This is the regular command report of the 1st of July, and would
19 you just confirm that it makes no reference to any responsibility the
20 brigade might have to put together a battalion for Krivaja 95?
21 A. In this regular combat report, there is no reference to
22 Krivaja 95. At bullet point 2, refers to an order of the corps command
23 dated 1st of July, 1995, and it says that the brigade should form a
24 company that will become -- be put on the strength of the brigade that
25 was supposed to be sent to the area of Glamoc which is the area of the
1 2nd Krajina Corps.
2 Immediately on the eve of -- at the end of June, combat was
3 taking place at this feature at the contact of Sekovici and Zvornik
4 Brigade, and part of the Sekovici Brigade was also engaged in that area.
5 So it was not feasible -- it was not probable that a new task would be
6 given on the 1st of July, and it was indeed.
7 Q. And can we -- before we go to the preparatory order, just have a
8 look at the combat report for the following day, which is 7D0123. 1023.
9 And I'll adopt the same -- oh, no, it's not necessary. It's a one-page
10 document. You can read this on the screen.
11 This is the regular combat report for the 2nd of July. Is there
12 any mention of the brigade's responsibility in that report?
13 A. No, the bullet point talks about main tasks, but there are no
14 tasks concerning Operation Krivaja 95.
15 Q. And we can see at the bottom of the document the time that it was
16 received and processed. What time is that?
17 A. [No interpretation]
18 Q. Well, that wasn't translated --
19 A. 1715, that's when it was processed.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. HAYNES: Now, can we go to P106 please, the Drina Corps
22 preparatory order for the 2nd of July.
23 Q. And again, if we go to the bottom of it, I wonder if you could
24 help us with the time it was dispatched and/or received and, if not,
25 whether you can help us as to when during the course of 2nd of July, if
1 it was that day, you first saw it?
2 A. Can this be blown up just a little? This document was sent on
3 the 2nd of July at 1025.
4 Q. Now, if we look under paragraph 2 and paragraph 2(a), it says
6 "The 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade shall form forces equivalent to
7 forces of a light battalion" --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
9 MR. HAYNES: I am very sorry.
10 Q. "The 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade shall form forces equivalent to
11 a light battalion with combat hardware and strong support for the conduct
12 of activities along an independent axis."
13 Had General Krstic told you that the number of men he was
14 requiring you to contribute?
15 A. Paragraph 2(a) makes a reference to the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
16 They were supposed to be equivalent to a light infantry battalion with
17 the necessary combat hardwares and strong support. It is not a battalion
18 as it should be by establishment. What it says here is that a temporary
19 unit should be established tantamount to a battalion with all the
20 necessary hardware and reinforcement. When you take all that into
21 consideration, this would have been a tactical group.
22 Q. And how big is that in terms of manpower?
23 A. As far as I can remember, the strength of that unit was
24 approximately 400 men.
25 Q. Thank you. Just before we go any further on the document, there
1 is one point I forgot to deal with at the very top of the document.
2 There are two dates there, the 2nd of July under the title "The
3 Command of the Drina Corps," and the 3rd of July under the title "The
4 Command of the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade." Can you help us as to
5 why those two dates are different, how that would have come about?
6 A. I believe that we have seen similar documents so far with similar
7 stamps or identical stamps. The document was drafted on the 2nd of July.
8 It was dispatched to the Zvornik Brigade on the 2nd of July. It, indeed,
9 arrived in the Zvornik Brigade on the 2nd of July. However, it was filed
10 in the staff office of the Zvornik Brigade under a certain number and
11 under the date 3rd of July, 1995.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 Now, can we go to paragraph 4 as there might be an important
14 mistake we need to correct. The order was received by you in written
15 form on the 2nd of July. How long did you have to put the forces
17 In the English it suggests it's the 8th of July. Can you,
18 firstly, have a look at the document in the original document and,
19 secondly, tell us how long you actually had to get this force together so
20 that we know.
21 A. The original document reads the "2nd of July, 1995." Therefore,
22 it's a mistake in the translation which reads the "8th of July" because
23 it doesn't tell you all the other dates. When I received this
24 preparatory order on the 2nd of July, I started drafting my own
25 preparatory order and started forming the units that were to be
1 dispatched to carry out the task.
2 Q. So you had to get the battalion together or the light infantry
3 battalion together the same day you received the written order?
4 A. The dead-line for the preparation of units for carrying out
5 offensive actions was the 4th of July; therefore, I had the whole day on
6 the 3rd of July to work in order to prepare these units and make them
7 autonomous and ready to carry out the tasks along the designated axis.
8 Q. Then you can help us, Mr. Pandurevic, what is the difference
9 between forming units and conducting offensive activities?
10 A. If the Army of Republika Srpska had been established in the
11 spirit of the professional standards, there would have been no
12 differences. I would just issue a command for them to move because the
13 unit would be in existence with all its equipment and means. However,
14 what we were required here was to take from various units of the
15 Zvornik Brigade, to single out elements from them, and to form a unit and
16 prepare them. And only after that would we be able to send them to carry
17 out the tasks that was required.
18 Q. Now, we can all see it, but the preparatory order of the 2nd of
19 July doesn't seem to tell you what you've got to do. Is that usual?
20 A. A preparatory order governs things in principal without providing
21 any details. A unit is designated to carry out a task, a tentative area
22 for the execution of the task, and the time as well is stipulated.
23 Q. Very well. Well, in straightforward terms, Mr. Pandurevic, what
24 did you do on the 2nd of July, 1995?
25 A. On the 2nd of July, 1995, upon receipt of this preparatory order,
1 I gathered my inner circle of the brigade command, and we jointly
2 reviewed and studied the order, decided what our obligations were, and
3 started drafting our own preparatory order which is also referenced here
4 as well. In this order, I set down all the details that have to be
5 resolved prior to sending the unit to carry out the task.
6 Q. What do you actually do to form the unit?
7 A. You're probably referring to some practical steps. I sent this
8 order to my subordinate units, each battalion received their respective
9 task in terms of how many men they have to make available. Elements of
10 the Podrinje detachment who was in their base also had to assemble and
11 prepare their equipment. That also referred to the logistics who had to
12 do what their duty was.
13 This was not done in one location. Some of the job was done in
14 the battalion, some in the logistics department, and some in the Podrinje
16 Q. Thank you. Can we go to the other thing you did concretely on
17 that day which is P318, your preparatory order of the 2nd of July. This
18 is a rather more detailed document about how your own unit was going to
19 be set up. Who would you have sent this to?
20 A. I drafted this order pursuant to the order from the Drina Corps,
21 and it is addressed to all subordinate units of the Zvornik Brigade whose
22 duty was to make troops available for the execution of this task. In
23 addition, it is also sent to the command organs my assistants because
24 this order also implied certain obligations for them.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, any time.
1 MR. HAYNES: That is perfect.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break now. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
8 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. We left off -- and the document is still on the screen. The
10 preliminary order drafted by you and dated the 2nd of July. Not much to
11 ask you about that. The deputy commander is named as Milan Jolovic, he
12 was rarely known as that name, he was more familiarly known as what?
13 A. He had a nickname, Legenda, and he came to the Zvornik Brigade
14 with that nickname. That's not the one that I acquired there.
15 Q. I wonder if you could just tell us the structure of the unit you
16 were -- the tactical group you were leading.
17 A. Item 1 of this order shows that this tactical group had its
18 command, one combat group made of the Podrinje -- or elements of the
19 Podrinje detachment; combat group two, made up of two infantry companies
20 from all battalions numbering about 60 men; an armoured and mechanized
21 company; a battalion fire group; Howitzer regiment 122; and logistics
22 element. All these elements made up a tactical group.
23 Q. And if we go over to page 2, very quickly, we can see at 2.4,
24 there was an armoured mechanized company which comprised a tank platoon,
25 an armoured mechanized platoon, an anti-aircraft gun squad, and a
1 handheld anti-rocket gun squad, and then a Howitzer platoon. How many
2 men, in fact, did the tactical group comprise?
3 A. I said that it had around 400 men, maybe fewer than that, but
4 basically around that number.
5 Q. Thanks.
6 Now, on the 3rd of July, what did you do?
7 A. On the 3rd of July, following the formation of the command of the
8 tactical group and the appointment of the commanders of combat groups, I
9 organised my own commander's reconnaissance, and along with combat groups
10 commanders and an operations officer from the command went and carried
11 out the commander's reconnaissance in the area Pribicevac and
12 Zeleni Jadar.
13 Q. I just want to show you a couple of documents relating to that.
14 MR. HAYNES: First, 7D91.
15 Q. And I think we can deal with this fairly quickly, this page.
16 What was the name of your driver during this period of time?
17 A. His name was Dragan Stevic.
18 Q. And what sort of vehicle were you being driven around in at that
20 A. It was a jeep, Nissan Patrol.
21 Q. I wonder if we could just have a look, not for the last time, at
22 the second page of this document which shows on the 1st of July
23 Zvornik-Bratunac-Milici-Pribicevac, what does that journey record?
24 A. This refers to the day when we went to carry out commander's
25 reconnaissance lead by General Krstic.
1 Q. On the 2nd of July, Zvornik local. But then on the 3rd of July,
2 Zvornik-Bratunac-Zeleni Jadar, what does that journey record?
3 A. That's a journey to the commander's reconnaissance of the
4 tactical group 1.
5 MR. HAYNES: And just a quick glance at 7D1098.
6 Q. And again under paragraph 2 we see:
7 "Preparation of units for assignments in the area of Srebrenica,
8 as ordered by Drina Corps command.
9 "Relief of a unit in the Osmaci area.
10 "Reconnaissance by commands in preparation for the next task in
11 the Srebrenica area."
12 Does that record what you were doing on the 3rd of July?
13 A. Yes, it says that the command of the TGs going to -- or to make
14 preparations for the next task in the Srebrenica sector.
15 Q. We also see in that paragraph a reference to the Chief of Staff.
16 And you told us that he had been injured during May and June. When did
17 he come back to work?
18 A. I think that he was in Meljine on rehabilitation, which was the
19 same institution where I was in 1994. I believe that he came back
20 towards the end of June, but he was convalescing at home. I think that
21 he reported back at the brigade on the 2nd of July, 1995.
22 Q. Now, can we move to the 4th of July.
23 MR. HAYNES: And we'll have a look at 7D242, please.
24 Q. This is a marching order. Who issued this?
25 A. I issued this order.
1 Q. What does a marching order actually mean?
2 A. A marching order, it's self-explanatory, it's an order which
3 governs the way in which the unit to which this order refers to is going
4 to march. Item 1 contains information about the enemy that might appear
5 along the marching route. Then there is details relating to the unit
6 carrying out the march, its strength, the starting point, the regulation
7 points are determined, the end or the destination of the march, who is
8 going to come out, et cetera, et cetera.
9 Q. And I think we all ought to just have a look at page 2 of the
10 document so that we can see the route and ...
11 The references to number 1 and number 2, what are they?
12 A. According to this order, the whole TG column was divided into two
13 echelons; the 1st echelon and the 2nd echelon. Since the echelons were
14 of different composition and were moving at different paces, then they
15 had different starting times and arrival times.
16 Q. When did you leave the Zvornik Brigade barracks?
17 A. You can't see exactly in this order when that was, but as far as
18 I can remember I joined the 2nd echelon. The armoured mechanized company
19 was the first, because it was the slowest, and I believe it was at around
20 1400 hours when I set off. You can see that the 1st echelon, as it's
21 written here, will set off at 1400 hours.
22 Q. And what date was that so that we are clear?
23 A. That was on the 4th of July.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Pandurevic, you are going to turn around and start
25 looking at a map in a minute. The rest of us will be able to see what
1 you see on our screens, because we are going to upload a digital version
2 of that map. And for everybody's information, they've all got their own
3 disk of this map. It was disclosed as part of the supporting materials
4 to our expert report and -- so everybody has their own disk, but we'll be
5 able to follow it on the screen.
6 Now, where did you march on the first day?
7 A. The march started on the first day on the axis
8 Zvornik-Bratunac-Skelani-Jezero, and that involved the 1st and the 2nd
9 echelons. The 3rd echelon marched along the Zvornik-Bratunac-Pribicevac
11 Q. And where did the 1st and 2nd echelon get to the by the end of
12 the day on the 4th of July?
13 A. On the 4th of July, in the early evening hours, the 1st and the
14 2nd echelons reached the village of Jezero, situated between Skelani and
15 Srebrenica which is east of Srebrenica and Zeleni Jadar, a little bit
16 closer to Skelani.
17 Q. And the 3rd echelon?
18 A. The 3rd echelon, after passing Bratunac, made a detour towards
19 Pribicevac where they spent the night.
20 Q. And on the following day?
21 A. On the following day, the 1st and the 2nd echelons, with whom I
22 was, after we had spent the night in the village of Jezero, continued to
23 March along the Jezero-Zeleni Jadar axis and deployed next to the
24 Zeleni Jadar river.
25 Q. Now, so that we can all follow this, you have the key to the map
1 on the physical map there which we don't have because the map has been
2 zoomed in so we can see the relevant area.
3 Can you tell us, please, for those of us watching this on the
4 screen, what the yellow arrows indicate?
5 A. The yellow arrows on the map behind me indicate the starting
6 positions of the units that were planned to be used in Krivaja 95
8 Q. And the pink arrows?
9 A. The pink arrows indicate their movement from the line and their
10 advancement towards the Muslim positions.
11 Q. The blue arrows?
12 A. The blue arrows indicate the positions and the axis of operations
13 of the forces of the 28th Division.
14 Q. And lastly, the orange arrows?
15 A. The orange arrows represent break through in-depth by forces
16 taking part in Operation Krivaja 95 north-west of the town of Srebrenica.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 Now, what activity were you involved in on the 5th of July?
19 A. On the 5th of July, after the units arrived in the area of
20 Zeleni Jadar, I personally went to the Pribicevac sector to see the 3rd
21 echelon, which was the armoured mechanized company and the Howitzer
22 regiment, and Major Milutinovic. I wanted to investigate the situation
23 there and give them specific assignment.
24 Q. And what other preparatory activity was taking place on the 5th?
25 A. Given that on the 3rd, commanders of combat groups and part of
1 the command were on the commander's reconnaissance, on the 5th group
2 commanders reconnoitered their own axis of use.
3 Q. What information or intelligence did you have as to Muslim
4 positions in and around the enclave?
5 A. Considering that for almost two years these positions had not
6 been moved and that on the opposite side were the positions of the
7 Bratunac Brigade of the VRS and an independent battalion of Skelani, they
8 knew very well where their positions were. They had a complete layout,
9 and they have marked their firing points, and we were very well aware
10 where the 28th Division troops were deployed.
11 Q. And what did you develop from that information, or what did your
12 artillery units develop from that information?
13 A. In keeping with the information on the deployment of the
14 28th Division, I determined our own firing points for the 128-millimetre
15 Howitzer platoon. This was in the area of Bukova Glava. From there one
16 could observe the positions of the brigades of the 28th Division on my
17 axis of attack. We drew up a sketch of the target. We determined all
18 the elements, and when the attack started, we were ready to use our
19 artillery to neutralise the enemy's firing points.
20 Q. And what other preparatory activity did the artillery unit engage
21 in on the 5th of July?
22 A. The artillery unit on the 5th of July reinforced its position.
23 It cleared the wood and all the obstacles that were ahead of them for
24 better reconnoitering, and they masked their own positions.
25 Q. Explain that to us. What do you actually do to clear the wood
1 ahead of you and make the firing easier?
2 A. I don't want to go in-depth, but I would like to tell you that
3 there are certain conditions that a firing position has to meet. As far
4 as the clearing of the wood goes, and as far as the clearing of the
5 obstacles in front of the artillery tools, that meant felling of the
6 trees, branches, so as to allow the gunner to find his aim.
7 Q. When did the attack start?
8 A. In the early morning hours on the 6th of July, all the units of
9 the tactical group were at their starting positions, and they launched
10 the attack, all of them together. It was before dawn.
11 Q. And what activity -- what were the points of attack on the 6th of
13 A. On the axis of attack of the tactical group, there were two very
14 important features. At the front part of the defence line of the 28th
15 Division, and one feature was Biljeg and the other feature was called
16 Tri Sise or three elevations without name.
17 Q. And do we see those on the map that we have?
18 A. If we look at the map, this represents the command post of the
19 tactical group, where it says BG1. This was the axis of attack against
20 Biljeg, and this is BG group 2, or the direction of attack on the Tri
21 Sise, so we were moving within the boundaries of this road.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Haynes, as for this map, I understand that this
23 does not have 65 ter number yet.
24 MR. HAYNES: I don't believe it does. I'll --
25 JUDGE KWON: You refer to a disk, but I don't know how I can
1 locate it among a lot of the disks. When was this map drawn?
2 MR. HAYNES: It was drawn in preparation of our military expert
3 report, so it was drawn last year sometime.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could I ask by who?
6 MR. HAYNES: Somebody, a military expert, commissioned to draw
7 it. I mean, if you want a precise name, I will see what I can do.
8 Q. You were pointing at two arrows. Are they the two arrows we see,
9 as it were, moving either side of a yellow flag with a one on it?
10 A. Yes, these are the arrows and one red one which then goes back
11 towards the point from which it had originally started.
12 Q. What progress did you make on the 6th of July?
13 A. On the 6th of July, the forces of the 28th Division put up a
14 strong resistance, and we did not manage to make any progress or push
15 them back from their positions.
16 Q. Was there any difficulty in conducting combat on the 7th of July?
17 A. On the 6th of July, in the evening after the failed attack, in
18 the course of that day I wanted to regroup BG1 and 2 and continue on the
19 7th of July. However, the metrological conditions were very complex:
20 There was a thick fog, rain, diminished visibility. So that on the 7th
21 of July there were no combat activities. The forces were at a standstill
22 on the positions that they had reached.
23 Q. Were the conditions any better on the 8th?
24 A. On the 8th of July the conditions were combat were much better,
25 and combat activities thus continued. In the course of the 8th of July,
1 we managed to take Biljeg feature and Tri Sise feature, and we created
2 conditions for further advancement.
3 Q. In relation to Biljeg and Tri Sise, where were the 28th Division
4 positions locations located?
5 A. The positions of the 28th Division were on the -- those two
6 features. On the Biljeg feature there was also an UNPROFOR observation
7 point. The positions of the 28th Division were in line with the UNPROFOR
8 observation point. As for the Tri Sise feature, they were well
10 Q. Did your tanks fire at the UNPROFOR observation post?
11 A. No, no chance.
12 Q. Where did you stay on the night of the 6th, the 7th, and 8th of
14 A. Let me say that between the 4th and the 5th of July, I spent the
15 night in a tent near Jezero, the next day in a tent near Zeleni Jadar,
16 and the next two nights in a tent below Vukovar Glava. This was my
17 command tent.
18 Q. When you took the positions at Biljeg and Tri Sise, what did the
19 Muslim forces do?
20 A. The Muslim forces withdrew in-depth towards the village of
21 Ljubisavici, Zivko Brdo, and the Rajna feature.
22 Q. And did your forces encounter any UNPROFOR personnel at the point
23 of taking those features?
24 A. Yes, we did encounter the UNPROFOR observation post at Biljeg
25 feature and in the Zeleni Jadar sector, at two points, actually.
1 Q. And what happened on those occasions?
2 A. I was personally present at the Biljeg observation post. I
3 encountered some soldiers of the DutchBat who were there. They were
4 inside in the observation post. And pursuant to General Krstic's order,
5 our instruction given to them was to go in the direction of Bratunac, and
6 they said that we could take everything save for their combat vests. My
7 order was that nothing should be taken from them and that the soldiers
8 could be escorted via Pribicevac and sent away in the direction of
10 Q. Did any of your men take any property from UNPROFOR soldiers?
11 A. At that observation post, which was well appointed, everything
12 was in place for a comfortable life. My order was not to take any
13 property. There were some bottles of mineral water, some food maybe. I
14 don't know if any of my soldiers took any of those. I am not sure. But
15 I did not allow my soldiers to take any of their combat gear.
16 Q. What about the other point at which UNPROFOR forces were
18 A. The Podrinje detachment forces were there, together with Legenda,
19 they reported back that there were soldiers at that point, and the order
20 was conveyed for them to go first to Pribicevac and from there to proceed
21 towards Bratunac.
22 Q. Now what happened on the 9th?
23 A. On the 9th in the morning we continued combat operations. The TG
24 forces managed to take Zivko Brdo feature as well as Rajna feature; and
25 thus, they reached the planned line that we were supposed to take
1 according to plan. Left from the forces of the tactical group, there was
2 a tactical group from the 2nd Romanija, and the tactical group from the
3 Bircani Brigade which later on took the planned featured Alibegovac and
4 Kak, thus we managed to establish a line from which we could fully
5 control the boundaries of the enclave and prevent any communication
6 between Srebrenica and Zepa.
7 Q. I would just like to pause a moment so you can help us find those
8 features on the map. Zivko Brdo?
9 A. This is the feature, and this is the line.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Can't -- can't he point on the monitor or not?
11 MR. HAYNES: No, because it's not e-court.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
13 JUDGE KWON: Could you help --
14 MR. HAYNES:
15 Q. Yeah. So could you help by describing where it is you're
16 pointing to? We see what appears in English to be "TM" and a little
17 blue -- what looks like a weather man's rain sign, right in the middle of
18 the screen, and just to the left of that you see Zivko.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: If we have problems, we will look at the video
20 recording then. Okay. Thank you.
21 MR. HAYNES:
22 Q. We see -- do we see Rajna and Bojna on there?
23 A. Yes, where the blue and pink arrows cross.
24 JUDGE KWON: I see a pointer here. Could you help -- if your
25 case manager can help us. In the screen there is a pointer.
1 MR. HAYNES: Ah, the cursor.
2 JUDGE KWON: The cursor. Yes.
3 MR. HAYNES: There is Zivko Brdo. And if you move due north, you
4 will see Rajna.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 MR. HAYNES: And then above that, Bojna. Two more that we need
7 to refer to, just trig point 780.
8 Q. Where is that, Mr. Pandurevic?
9 A. I can't see it too well, I must admit.
10 Q. Okay. Well, trig point --
11 A. But it should be on Zivko Brdo.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 And trig point 664, which is there.
14 A. It's just in front of or before Rajna feature.
15 Q. Now, at that point -- we'll come to the order in a minute, but
16 how did you regard the state of your task?
17 A. Well, if we look at the line which connects the trig point in
18 front of Rajna feature, Zivko Brdo, and to the west, Vagan feature, then
19 we get a new line with very strong and dominating features which
20 completely blocks the passage of the 28th Division from Srebrenica
21 towards Zepa. And in my view, this was the task that we were originally
22 given pursuant to the instructions of Krivaja 95 operation.
23 Q. Thank you. So can we now take the map away and have a look at
25 MR. HAYNES: And for Judge Kwon's benefit, he can find the map in
1 two places. It's 7D100 -- 1066. It's also attachment 20 to
2 Admiral Andric's expert report which is 7D891. And in this document I'd
3 like to look at paragraph 5 in B/C/S, page 2, and English page 3.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, under 5, these are the tasks
5 to the units which were involved in this operation and also a task was
6 given to the battalion from the 1st Zvornik Brigade, i.e., the tactical
7 group. I don't want to go enumerating all the features, but the general
8 axis was Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica along the asphalt road. And the task
9 was to take Zivko Brdo feature, Rajna feature, and to reach the next
10 feature in line, which was Bojna.
11 Q. And while we're there, can you explain the phrase: "And be ready
12 to continue the attack."
13 A. Yes, it's a cliche which is used in all military documents such
14 as combat orders, because an army always has to be prepared for ensuing
15 combat activities of any kind.
16 Q. Now, what did you do on the night of the 9th of July?
17 A. On the night of the 9th of July, I organised a withdrawal of the
18 Podrinje detachment from Zivko Brdo feature, and that feature was taken
19 by the units of the independent battalion Skelani, and the units of BG2
20 from my tactical group remained in their positions during the night. I
21 moved my tent to be closer to Rajna feature, and that's where I spent
22 that night between the 9th and the 10th.
23 Q. What happened the following morning, the 10th of July?
24 A. On the 10th of July in the morning before dawn, there was a
25 counter-attack launched by the forces of the 28th Division. They
1 followed the general direction of Bojna-Rajna-Zeleni Jadar and the
2 auxiliary direction Rajna-Pusmulici-Zivko Brdo. Those forces managed to
3 push the forces of the tactical group, and they actually pushed us back
4 almost to our starting positions, to the Tri Sise feature and the
5 northern slopes of the Biljeg feature which means that we lost all the
6 positions that we had taken the day before.
7 Q. Where were you while that was going on?
8 A. I was in my tent when the counter-attack was launched. And then
9 I went to the Zivko Brdo sector. I tried to consolidate the forces and
10 stop the forces and stop the counter-attack; however, I failed. And I
11 also withdrew to the Biljeg feature sector.
12 Q. About what time was it that you finished withdrawing, as it were?
13 A. The tactical group was consolidated at the Tri Sise feature in
14 front of Ljubisavici village on the northern slopes of the Biljeg feature
15 above the asphalt road. And sometime around 10.00 when the Podrinje
16 detachment had already been engaged, we were again ready to launch a new
17 attack against the aforementioned features.
18 Q. Did you speak to General Mladic on the morning of the 10th of
20 A. Yes, I remember that conversation with General Mladic on the
21 10th. It was sometime before noon. We established communication via
23 Q. Where was he?
24 A. He was at the forward command post of the Drina Corps at
25 Pribicevac feature.
1 Q. And what sort of mood was he in?
2 A. First of all, I was taken by surprise to hear him on the radio.
3 I did not have any previous knowledge about his whereabouts. I didn't
4 know that he was there. I didn't know of any plans for him to be there.
5 He was in a standard mood. His attitude was his familiar attitude. He
6 did not want to listen to any explanations as to why the situation was
7 what it was. His order was to urgently regain the lost positions and
8 continue fighting, continue combat activities.
9 Q. And what did you say in this conversation?
10 A. I said, I understand. That's what I said to him aloud, but I
11 kept the real message to myself.
12 Q. What about the reversal you had suffered in combat, what did you
13 say about that?
14 A. I said I would do all I could and that we would regain the lost
15 positions in the shortest possible time.
16 Q. And did you?
17 A. Yes, we did. We launched a counter-attack, we re-grouped our
18 forces and launched an attack on Zivko Brdo and our auxiliary forces in
19 the direction of Rajna feature along the road. And in the afternoon
20 hours we managed to take Zivko Brdo feature again, and we proceeded
21 towards Rajna and Bojna features.
22 Q. I just want to deal with a few stray pieces of evidence and see
23 whether you can help us with them. On the trial video we saw, at one
24 stage, your deputy commander, Milan Jolovic, shouting into a radio. When
25 was that going on in the history of the fighting around Srebrenica?
1 A. I remember that video clip. Milan Jolovic was in Zivko Brdo
2 area. He was commanding his troops, encouraging them, shouting, and
3 trying to boost their morale.
4 Q. But at what stage in the fighting, do you know?
5 A. Combat was underway. There was fighting very close to them.
6 Q. Do you know what day it was?
7 A. I believe that it was on the 10th during the counter-attack.
8 Somewhere above Pusmulici village if my memory serves me right.
9 Q. Thank you. Well, you've led me into my next question which is,
10 how did Pusmulici village feature into the counter-attack on 10th of
12 A. Pusmulici village is situated directly beneath the Zivko Brdo
13 feature, and that was one of the attack axes of the 28th Division, who,
14 taking advantage of the poor visibility of the terrain, attacked
15 Zivko Brdo. Therefore, later fighting broke out in Pusmulici, village
16 and, as a result, one could see smoke coming from the houses in the
18 Q. Thank you. Were you aware of a Swedish settlement anywhere in
19 the outskirts of Srebrenica?
20 A. I knew that building material for the construction of the Swedish
21 settlement in the village of Slapovici was being transported in
22 humanitarian convoys. It was to the west from the axis of my attack, and
23 it was not in the line of my attack. From Zivko Brdo I was able to see
24 this settlement.
25 Q. And just one last small thing. I will ask you to look at this
1 section of the trial video.
2 MR. HAYNES: It's P2047. And it begins at 1 minute and 8 seconds
3 or thereabouts.
4 [Videotape played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Open this bag, see what's inside.
6 "And in this one? Well, I don't know. Here, have some.
7 "There is some wine here."
8 MR. HAYNES: That's enough. We will stop that there.
9 Q. Whose car was that?
10 A. That was my car. Or, rather, the vehicle belonging to the
11 commander of the Zvornik Brigade.
12 Q. And what were you doing there?
13 A. You can see in the video a signalman, my driver, my escort, that
14 we stopped during the combat operations to have a snack or -- and a
15 drink. You see that there is mud on the vehicle, and you can see a small
16 section of the road. I can not be able to tell you exactly the position
17 that we were in.
18 Q. Do you know what day that was we see on the video?
19 A. As far as I can see, I haven't shaved, so it must have been a
20 couple of days after the combat operations began.
21 Q. So how did events finish on the 10th of July?
22 A. On the 10th of July, we managed to recapture the lost positions.
23 We did that during the morning, and we also captured a new line on the
24 Rajna feature, and we managed to get closer to the Bojna feature where
25 the repeater was. I stopped there, and I spent the night there.