1 Monday, 2 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning.
6 Madam Registrar, could you call the case please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 All the accused are present. The Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey.
11 Absent from the Defence teams are Mr. Lazarevic, Mr. Krgovic,
12 Mr. Ostojic. That's it, I think. All right. Good morning to Mr. Haynes
13 and Mr. Pandurevic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We can start. We'll dispose of two matters of
16 housekeeping very quickly.
17 On the 15th of January, the Borovcanin Defence team filed the
18 second motion for admission of 88 documents from the bar table. On the
19 29th of January, the Prosecution filed a response not objecting to the
20 Defence motion. For this reason, and also because the reasons submitted
21 in the motion themselves are acceptable, are good, the Trial Chamber
22 hereby grants the motion.
23 Now, on the 16th and on the 23rd of January, the Pandurevic
24 Defence team filed their third and fourth motions respectively seeking
25 leave to amend the Rule 65 ter list of exhibits. On the 30th of January,
1 the Prosecution filed the combined response not objecting to the motions.
2 The Trial Chamber, for these reasons, grants the motions.
3 Incidentally, on the 29th of January, but we only got it later,
4 in my case I only got it today, the Pandurevic Defence team filed their
5 fifth motion seeking leave to amend their Rule 65 ter list of exhibits.
6 I don't know, Mr. McCloskey, if you have had an opportunity to look at
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think I have but I don't imagine there
9 will be any objection. But I will take a look at the break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you.
11 On your part, Mr. Haynes, if documents mentioned in the annex are
12 amongst those that you will be using today, please draw our attention.
13 MR. HAYNES: Yes, I'll do my best.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And we'll try and solve it there and
15 then as it arises.
16 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 I think you can continue your direct, your examination-in-chief.
19 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, and good morning to you. Good morning
20 everybody else.
21 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Haynes: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, on Friday afternoon when we finished off, you
25 were telling us about events in the morning of the 15th of July at the
1 forward command post at Krivace, and you had just told us about some
2 documents that General Krstic had handed to you and that you had read.
3 So that we've got a picture of it, was there a discussion going
4 on between you and General Krstic as you read the documents or did he
5 just leave you with the documents to read?
6 A. After having read the documents or, rather, having had a look at
7 them, I assessed the situation very briefly and I addressed General
8 Krstic whether a request to grant me to return to the zone of
9 responsibility of the brigade where I was going to deal with the problems
10 at hand.
11 Q. And what was his response?
12 A. It took him a while to think about it. He was assessing the
13 situation on the front line around Zepa, and he knew that the withdrawal
14 of the tactical group and its pulling out of its direction of use would
15 pose a problem for him because he would have to replace those forces and
16 cover the area with some other men. And in that sense he was not very
17 decisive. He was not in a position to make that decision immediately and
18 send me to Zvornik right away.
19 However, being -- confronting him with my request and the
20 situation in the territory of Zvornik, his final decision was for me to
21 return to Zvornik together with my forces.
22 Q. I don't believe you told us this on Friday, so let's clear this
23 up. About what time in the morning was it that you went to the forward
24 command post?
25 A. I believe that that was sometime around 9.00, maybe a few minutes
1 before 9.00 in the morning.
2 Q. And how long were you there before General Krstic made his
3 decision that you should return to Zvornik?
4 A. It's very hard for me to pinpoint the time. I can't give you
5 anything in terms of minutes or hours. In any case, I spent as much time
6 as I needed to look at the documents, carry out that conversation with
7 General Krstic and after that, to also carry out certain conversations
8 with the command of the Zvornik Brigade. It may have lasted some 15, 20
9 minutes, half an hour at the most altogether.
10 Q. Well, thank you. You've answered my next question, which is:
11 Did you speak to the command of the Zvornik Brigade that morning?
12 A. Yes, of course. The reports in the documents that I had a look
13 at were not enough for me to provide me with a complete insight into the
14 situation that the documents referred to, and that's why I contacted the
15 IKM of the corps and asked them to allow me to use their RU-1 radio relay
16 device and to establish a connection with the command of the Zvornik
18 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look please at P1171, A in the English
19 and B in the B/C/S.
20 Q. This is an intercepted radio communication at 8.34 on the morning
21 of the 15th of July and I'm only concerned with the very small entry at
22 the bottom of the page in B/C/S, Mr. Pandurevic. While you were at
23 Krivace, did you come to know that Semso Muminovic wanted to talk to you?
24 A. I believe that this was conveyed to me at the IKM. At this very
25 moment, I don't remember that; however, in view of the significance of
1 that information, I would be of the opinion that Mr. Jevdjevic did convey
2 that message on to me.
3 Q. It probably doesn't matter and you may not recall, but do you
4 recall whether that was before, during or after your reading of the
5 documents and your discussion with General Krstic?
6 A. This was probably after that because my first contact when I
7 arrived at the IKM was my contact with General Krstic.
8 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at P1173, please. That's, I
9 think, A in the B/C -- D in the English and A in the B/C/S, I think. No,
10 D in both.
11 Q. Now, when you made contact with the command of the Zvornik
12 Brigade, who did you originally speak to?
13 A. As far as I can remember, this could have been either Milosevic
14 or Jokic was my first point of contact; however, you could establish that
15 based on the analysis of these conversations and the information
16 contained herein. It would be overly ambitious for me to try and
17 reconstruct the sequence of the conversations. In any case, I spoke to
18 Milosevic, Mijatovic, and Jokic.
19 Q. What was your particular interest in speaking to Mijatovic?
20 A. I was particularly interested in the situation in the area of
21 responsibility of the brigade with regard to the documents that I had
22 already read before. I knew that the most complex situation was to be
23 expected in the western part of the defence zone, which was the defence
24 sector of the 4th, 6th and the 7th Battalions, i.e., the positions
25 ranging from Petkovci to Memici in the west.
1 Since Mr. Mijatovic at one point in time was the battalion
2 commander in Baljkovica and he was best -- most familiar with the
3 terrain, he was the one who could provide me with the most accurate
4 information with this regard.
5 Q. And was he at the command Standard on the morning of the 15th
6 when you called?
7 A. He must have been. I'm sure he was. I spoke to them. They used
8 the same telephone because his office and Milosevic's office are two
9 adjacent offices to the office of the duty operations officer.
10 Q. How did you leave things during the first conversation you had?
11 A. As you can see in this conversation, I inquired about the 4th,
12 the 6th and the 7th Battalion. Milosevic provided me with certain
13 information which was not completely consistent and he, himself, did not
14 have enough information to be able to portray the situation or assess it
15 in real time. However, information that I obtained during those
16 conversations was more favourable than the information contained in the
17 documents that I had perused.
18 Q. At the bottom of the intercept that we're looking at, it suggests
19 that you told Mijatovic to call the 4th, 6th and 7th Battalion and report
20 back to you; is that your recollection of how you left things?
21 A. Yes. I asked them to check the situation immediately. I wanted
22 to have the situation in real time. I wanted to know at the moment when
23 I was calling what the situation was on the front line. That's why I
24 asked them to do that and I told them that I would call back, that I
25 would talk to them again.
1 MR. HAYNES: Can we now have in e-court, please, P1174, A in the
2 English and B in the B/C/S.
3 Q. This intercepted conversation is timed at 9.10 on the morning of
4 the 15th of July, so if the timing is accurate, about 15 minutes after
5 the conversation we were just looking at. Do you recall when you called
6 back the second time speaking to Jokic?
7 A. Yes. When I called back the second time, Jokic was probably the
8 duty operations officer. He replied. However, I did not talk to him
9 about the situation at all. I knew him very well. I knew that he was a
10 man who is faced by complicated situations and he is not able to convey
11 the real picture of the events. That's why I wanted to be put through to
12 Mijatovic immediately.
13 Q. And do the responses recorded as being made by Mijatovic in this
14 intercept accord with your recollection of the conversation you had the
15 second time you called the brigade?
16 A. This was the information that Mijatovic had obtained after my
17 initial conversation with him. In the meantime, he had spoken to the
18 units on the lines, and since this is not a very legible handwritten
19 version, but I remember that he said everything is okay on the lines, I
20 think, and that a chief, and I believe that he meant Obrenovic, said
21 there were long columns -- it's very hard for me to read everything that
22 it says here. If you have a typewritten version, it would be better. In
23 any case, this is the most recent information, an update that I received
24 at that time, at 0910.
25 Q. Well, just to give you the opportunity, I don't think it will
1 advance things very far, but the typewritten version is 1174 D, so if you
2 would just like to have a quick look at that to assure yourself that
3 nothing has been missed by you. The document in e-court will need to be
4 on page 2.
5 A. Yes, this is it. The situation on the front line is good,
6 stable. Parts of the 28th Division, according to an estimate, some 4.000
7 to 5.000 of them are encircled, and according to his information, Naser
8 with a group has entered Krizevici. And this would be all that it says
9 in this intercept.
10 Q. Now, you were present at Zepa pursuant to an order. Did it
11 require an order for your unit to pull out of Zepa?
12 A. Since I had participated in Stupcanica 95 operation, the
13 commander of that operation, General Krstic, had to issue a special order
14 for my unit to be pulled out and sent to Zvornik. And as far as I can
15 remember, he did issue a written order for that to be carried out.
16 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at 7D686, please.
17 Q. We'll have a look at this in a little detail. This is an order
18 dated the 15th of July. If we go to the bottom, we can see the time at
19 which it was sent; it appears to be 10.41. Do you agree with that?
20 A. But I see at the end a handwritten note, "at 1000 hours" outside
21 of the original square.
22 Q. And in the body of the order, it says:
23 "The Drina Corps Commander has decided to return part of the
24 forces of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade and the Podrinje Special
25 Forces Detachment to their zones of responsibility where they are to take
1 measures to remove and prevent the consequences of a possible attack on
2 Zvornik and the link-up of Muslim units from Srebrenica and Tuzla."
3 And then in the body of the order:
4 "The 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the Ministry of the Interior
5 forces, and the attached units shall take all measures to block and, if
6 possible, break up and capture Muslim forces until the arrival of parts
7 of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade and the POSS
8 The first half of that order appears to relate to you. Are those
9 the orders you understood General Krstic to be giving you in relation to
10 the forces of the enemy that were in and around Zvornik at that time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The first paragraph under the heading "Order" appears to be
13 addressed to somebody else. Who would that have been addressed to?
14 A. It is "Return of the Elements of the 1st Zvornik Infantry
15 Brigade." That's the title. And this was also sent to the command of
16 the 1st Zvornik Brigade.
17 Q. But I just was hoping to draw your comment on the fact that
18 although the orders are very similar, one appears to be addressed to you
19 and a separate one to Dragan Obrenovic, doesn't it?
20 A. Yes, two separate tasks are contained in this order. The first
21 one in the first part concerns the units that had been with me in Zepa
22 and the other one concerns those units of the Zvornik Brigade which were
23 in the zone of defence in Zvornik.
24 Q. Okay. Well, we'll leave that there.
25 Just to tidy up the whole process of your discussion with General
1 Krstic, the documents you were shown and the order you were given, were
2 you shown any documents that made any reference to prisoners of war?
3 A. No, I wasn't.
4 Q. Did any part of the discussion you had with General Krstic
5 concern prisoners of war?
6 A. No. No, they didn't.
7 Q. And did you receive any order from General Krstic relating to
8 prisoners of war?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Did you at the time you were at Krivace have any knowledge of the
11 presence of prisoners of war in the Zvornik area?
12 A. No, I didn't. I didn't know that there were prisoners of war
13 anywhere. I didn't know that at all.
14 Q. Now, what did you do following General Krstic's order?
15 A. Having received the order, I returned to the sector where my
16 units were and I issued tasks to my subordinated officers. I ordered
17 them to pull out the units from fighting to form a column, to organise a
18 march and return to Zvornik.
19 Q. Was the removal of your units from the line a straightforward
21 A. Since we were engaged in combat with the enemy, that was a very
22 sensitive procedure, and removal from this combat engagement had to be
23 carried out very carefully in order to avoid any losses. And we also did
24 not want the enemy to conclude what our true intentions were. That is
25 why the whole operation took a while.
1 Q. But once it had been achieved, what did you then do?
2 A. Once the units were removed from combat engagement with the enemy
3 and when I had issued my tasks to the officers, I was the one to leave
4 with my escorts, my signalsmen, and I went in the direction of Zvornik.
5 Q. About what time did you leave?
6 A. It was sometime around 10.00 or maybe half past 10.00, or even
7 closer to 11.00, thereabouts.
8 Q. Did you stop en route to Zvornik or did you go directly there?
9 A. I don't remember whether I stopped anywhere. I can't be sure of
11 Q. And about what time did you get to Zvornik?
12 A. I arrived in Zvornik around noon, around 1200 hours.
13 Q. Now, we'll just leave that to one side for a moment to have a
14 brief look at the situation in the brigade that morning.
15 MR. HAYNES: Could we have a look, please, at P377, the duty
16 officer's notebook.
17 I know Ms. Stewart's kindly brought the original with her again
18 this morning, so if you can have a look at that, Mr. Pandurevic, you'll
19 need to find the ERN number 5756. The rest of us can look at page 138 in
20 the e-court version. 5756.
21 Q. It's the entry at the bottom of the page at 9.21. Obrenovic
22 ordered an urgent request for reinforcements from the corps, reported.
23 What can we glean from that as to your deputy's understanding at 9.21 in
24 the morning?
25 A. The duty operations officer recorded Obrenovic's order for an
1 urgent reinforcement from the corps, and it says underneath that Badem
2 sent reinforcements, and I believe that Badem at the time was the
3 code-name for the Bratunac Brigade.
4 This is a sequence to Obrenovic's request that he sent in the
5 interim combat report, sent from Zvornik at 0110 hours, between 14 and 15
6 July, as far as I can remember. I remember having seen that report at
7 Krivace. He did not request for my return expressly, but he just
8 requested for reinforcement to be sent.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. HAYNES: Now we can have a look at P1176; that's A in the
11 English and B in the B/C/S.
12 Q. This is a conversation intercepted and recorded as being at 9.39
13 on the morning of the 15th of July.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, the B/C/S version is under seal.
15 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Then it should not be broadcast.
16 Q. A conversation between Zlatar, which is what?
17 A. This intercept is a conversation between the duty officer of
18 Palma and the one of Zlatar, that is, the Zvornik Brigade and the Drina
19 Corps respectively.
20 Q. And here we see the duty officer at Zlatar saying:
21 "Z: Put me through to the duty officer.
22 "P: Right away, hello.
23 "Z: This is the Zlatar duty officer."
24 And the duty officer at Zvornik:
25 "P: Major Jokic, duty officer at Palma.
1 "Z: Jokic.
2 "P: Yes.
3 "Z: Your /deserters?/ are coming to you.
4 "P: Pardon?
5 "Z: Your ... they are coming.
6 "P: Who is coming?" says Major Jokic.
7 "Z: Your lot, fuck it.
8 "P: Our lot with the boss.
9 "Z: Come on, stop blabbering, bye.
10 "P: Bye."
11 What does this intercepted conversation appear to record?
12 A. The duty officer of Zlatar tried to inform the duty officer of
13 Palma in good time that the unit under my command was on its way back.
14 He intended to do that briefly and in code so that whoever was listening
15 in would not understand, but it turned out the other way. So whoever was
16 listening was able to conclude what this was about. In any case, he is
17 informing Jokic that the forces which had been at Zepa were on their way
19 Q. Thank you. Well, I think we can leave that there.
20 Now, with whom did you travel from Zepa to Zvornik?
21 A. Of course, the driver, escort and communications man.
22 Q. And when you arrived at Zvornik, was there anyone on the gate to
23 the barracks?
24 A. Yes, there was a policeman at the gate. I don't know if it ever
25 happened that there was no policeman or soldier on duty at the gate
1 controlling the entrance, people coming in and out. And the policeman
2 opened the gate so that the vehicle could go in.
3 Q. What did you do when you arrived?
4 A. On entering the barracks, my vehicle always parked in front of
5 the entrance to the building. And one member of the escort always went
6 ahead of me, I would follow him, and another member of my escort would
7 walk behind me. I immediately went up to the first floor where my office
8 was and also the office of the Chief of Staff.
9 Q. Did you notice any other cars in the carpark Standard when you
11 A. Yes, I did. There were some parked cars, but I didn't know whose
12 they were at that point in time.
13 Q. Who did it turn out they belonged to?
14 A. I learned later on that these were cars belonging to Mr. Vasic
15 and Mr. Borovcanin.
16 Q. Once you got inside the building, did you see anybody?
17 A. In front of me was my escort, the soldier escorting me, and at
18 the steps in front of the office of the operations duty officer, he
19 stopped and I went on down the corridor towards my office. He remained
20 where he was and went to another room. There was nobody else in the
21 corridor at that point in time.
22 Q. And which room did you go to first?
23 A. Since my job was urgent, I went straight to the office of the
24 Chief of Staff.
25 Q. And what did you do when you got to the office of the Chief of
2 A. When I entered the office of the Chief of Staff, at the head of
3 the table was Dragan Obrenovic. I remember Mr. Vasic, Borovcanin, Danilo
4 Zoljic, and Miso Stupar. Whether there was anyone else, I can't recall
5 now. Of all these people, with the exception of Borovcanin, I had seen
6 them all before and I knew them.
7 Q. Were they standing up or sitting down?
8 A. Obrenovic was the only one who got up; the others remained
9 sitting down. I said to Obrenovic, "Can you inform me immediately about
10 the situation on the front?"
11 Q. And what did he do?
12 A. As there was a map hanging on the wall, he took a pointer and
13 explained to me what the situation was in the area of defence of the
14 brigade and what activities had taken place that morning.
15 Q. Did he tell you what he knew about the size of the enemy force
16 you were dealing with?
17 A. He gave me his assessment, that was his own assessment, and also
18 the information he had received from intelligence which had been
19 submitted to him by Captain Vukotic and our intercepts centre. And he
20 told me that the forces of the 28th Division were in the area of Crni
21 Vrh, Planinac, and that there were maybe 5.000 to 6.000 men in total,
22 some armed and some unarmed.
23 Q. And what information was there as to where the forces of the 28th
24 Division were headed?
25 A. The information he gave me was that the 28th Division intended to
1 continue moving across Crni Vrh and Planinac and to come out at Nezuk.
2 He said that from the early morning there had been attacks by parts of
3 the 2nd Corps from the front but that the front line had not moved at any
4 point. Our positions at the front end were stable. There was
5 information that Naser Oric, with a group, had entered the village of
6 Krizevici but that was not correct. That was only a ploy they used,
7 trying to get us to believe that through the radio communications.
8 Q. Given the state of the information you had at that meeting, were
9 you concerned for the security of the town of Zvornik itself?
10 A. In view of the location of the 28th Division and the intentions
11 we had assessed they had, I was fully aware that there was no threat to
12 Zvornik, that the threat was over and that no one had the intention of
13 attacking Zvornik.
14 Q. Why was that?
15 A. The forces of the 28th Division had only one goal and that was to
16 reach the territory controlled by the 2nd Corps of the BH army, and their
17 combat-readiness was such that they were unable to carry out any
18 large-scale offensive activities.
19 Q. Did the size of the force of the 28th Division worry you?
20 A. At any rate the numbers did play a role, but there was a bigger
21 threat from the front line from the forces of the 2nd Corps. I knew,
22 however, that in the column of the 28th Division -- rather, I assumed
23 there were both armed and unarmed able-bodied men and that this column
24 was marching -- rather, had been marching for some five days and that
25 they must be exhausted.
1 Q. What did you -- what were your orders?
2 A. The orders I received from General Krstic were that I should stop
3 the column, block it, prevent it from going further and destroy it, or
4 rather to prevent them from joining up with the forces of the 2nd Corps.
5 This same order was issued to the Zvornik Brigade. They were to do that
6 until I returned. So acting on those orders, I issued tasks to the
7 persons present in the office of the Chief of Staff.
8 Q. Just before we come on to the orders you issued, you've said that
9 your orders were to destroy the column. What, in military terms, would
10 that entail?
11 A. I think I said something about this the other day. "To destroy"
12 means to carry out military activities which will destroy most of the
13 enemy unit so that they no longer represent a military threat.
14 Q. What are the various ways in which that might be achieved?
15 A. There's another term which is to neutralise. "To neutralise"
16 means to render harmless in another way by disarming, imprisoning,
17 capturing or putting the unit in a passive situation where it can no
18 longer act.
19 Q. So if the 28th Division had laid down its arms and surrendered,
20 that would have achieved destruction, would it, or neutralisation?
21 A. The division would have been neutralised or, rather, the military
22 threat it represented would have been eliminated.
23 Q. In that event - I know it's a hypothetical question - did you
24 have any idea what you might do with 5.000 to 6.000 prisoners?
25 A. That would have been the first instance in all my military
1 experience where there would be such a huge number of prisoners, and I
2 would ask the corps for guidance as to what to do next.
3 Q. Thank you. So let's move on to the tasks. What tasks did you
4 issue to the people present at that meeting on the 15th of July?
5 A. As Obrenovic had told me in detail, the positions of the forces
6 of the Zvornik Brigade, both those at the front line and those that had
7 organised ambushes and roadblocks, Borovcanin told me about the state and
8 disposition of his units. In compliance with the orders I had, I issued
9 tasks that these units should be engaged in cutting off the forces of the
10 28th Division and defence from the forces of the 2nd Corps.
11 Q. What was the overall plan of the tasks that you gave?
12 A. The overall plan was to strengthen the forward defence line or,
13 rather, the positions of the 4th and 7th Battalions and prevent at any
14 cost a break-through by the forces from the front, and then by cutting
15 off the forces of the 28th Division, both from the flank and across, to
16 neutralise the forces of the 28th Division.
17 Q. Were you by the time of that meeting expecting other forces to
18 join you?
19 A. I knew that at any moment a tactical group should arrive, the one
20 that had been with me. I knew that in the area of Crni Vrh there were
21 two companies previously engaged by Dragan Obrenovic. I knew that the
22 Intervention Platoon of the 2nd Battalion was at Tisova Kosa, in that
23 area, that is. And I knew that some other forces should arrive from
24 Bratunac and some had already arrived and that the MUP units under the
25 command of Ljubisa Borovcanin were ready to be used.
1 Q. Did anybody at the meeting suggest any other course of action,
2 other than strengthening the lines and cutting off the forces of the 28th
4 A. There were other suggestions. I think that Mr. Borovcanin put
5 forward a suggestion that the forces of the 28th Division should be
6 allowed to pass through, that the area should be opened up immediately
7 for their free passage.
8 There were other comments as to how to engage the forces of the
9 VRS in carrying out the assigned task, but as there was a need for urgent
10 action, I cut short the discussion. I reiterated the tasks I had issued
11 and I said that everyone should now set out to implement those tasks.
12 And if somebody did not wish to be engaged in this, they didn't have to
14 Q. Why did you not feel able to entertain the suggestion that the
15 forces of the 28th Division should be let to pass through at that stage?
16 A. I had quite a lot of wartime experience as regards the
17 information coming on the enemy coming in, and the information I trusted
18 most was the information I obtained personally and convinced myself on
19 the ground that it was true. It would have been irresponsible if the
20 task I had been issued by General Krstic was changed by me in the office
21 without my having gone out on the ground and seen for myself what the
22 situation was. At that point in time I didn't want to accept any other
24 Q. How long did the meeting last with you there?
25 A. The meeting didn't last long, at least not while I was there,
1 only for as long as it took Obrenovic to explain the tactical situation,
2 for us to have a brief discussion all together, for me to issue the
3 tasks. So all this might have taken some 20 minutes or so. It's hard
4 for me now to establish a time frame, but it wasn't long because I wanted
5 to go to the forward command post as soon as possible.
6 Q. And what happened at the end of the meeting?
7 A. At the end of the meeting, I sent Obrenovic to the command of the
8 4th Battalion in Baljkovica, Borovcanin went to take his units to the
9 Parlog and Baljkovica area, and I went to the forward command post.
10 Q. Now, before we leave the command of the Zvornik Brigade, a few
11 specific questions about the meeting and your arrival at the Standard
12 barracks. Is there any truth in the suggestion that you saw Obrenovic on
13 his own in the corridor before you went into his room?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Is there any question of Obrenovic stepping outside the room once
16 you were all in the meeting together?
17 A. No. I entered the room and found them all inside. No one went
18 out for the duration of the meeting.
19 Q. And did anybody, Obrenovic or anybody else, mention during the
20 course of that meeting anything about prisoners of war?
21 A. No, no one did.
22 Q. Just before the next series of questions, I'd like you to have a
23 look at the notebook you have under your left arm again, please, and can
24 you look at 5757. That's the ERN number of the page you need to see.
25 For the rest of us, it's page 139 in the e-court version. And it's the
1 entry right at the top of the page.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And it reads in the English:
4 "The Turks have cut off the road to Crni Vrh, the Chief of Staff
5 reported, 6th Infantry Battalion. IKM reports a column moving from
6 Krizevici towards Motovska Kosa."
7 Was the information about the cutting off of the road to Crni Vrh
8 available to you before you set out from that meeting towards the IKM?
9 A. During his briefing on the overall situation on the ground,
10 Obrenovic also conveyed information on the situation on the roads and the
11 possibility of moving in certain directions, secure movement, and I knew
12 that the road across Crni Vrh, Orahovac, and Krizevici was not safe.
13 Q. One of the routes to the forward command post would take you
14 through Orahovac, wouldn't it? Did you go that way on the afternoon of
15 the 15th of July?
16 A. That's the usual route one took to reach the 4th Battalion -
17 Zvornik, Orahovac, Krizevici, Parlog, Baljkovica. But on that day I
18 didn't take that route. I took the route Zvornik, Jardan, Cer,
19 Kitovnice -- Jardan, Cer, Kitovnice. That was a safer and more secure
20 route. The road was worse but it was safer.
21 MR. HAYNES: Just to reinforce that point, can we have a look,
22 please, at P2232, page 12; and 2231, that's the original page 16, and
23 this is the book of tactical intercepts.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, it's almost ten past 10.00. We stop at
25 20 past. Okay, I apologise to you. Yes, it's the second time.
1 MR. HAYNES: I'll have to make these first sessions more
2 interesting. You're obviously running out of patience with me 10 minutes
3 before the break.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I raised it because you were going to start with a
5 new thing, which I knew for sure you wouldn't finish in two minutes.
6 MR. HAYNES: No. No.
7 Q. About two-thirds of the way down the page in the English, I don't
8 know how easily you will identify it in the original script,
9 Mr. Pandurevic, but there's an intercepted call between L-1 and Igman
10 about the sending of 40 -- forces of 40 men. Can you see that? I don't
11 know precisely where it is on the page in the -- thank you. It's exactly
12 halfway down, right in the middle of the screen. Can you see that?
13 A. Yes, I can see that L-1 is reporting to Igman-1 about the 40 men
14 who should not be sent via Krizevici, and Krizevici is immediately about
15 Orahovac, but rather to send them across Jardan, Kitovnice, and I can't
16 read the last word.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. The last word is Delici.
19 JUDGE KWON: Do you find them in English? Could you take a look?
20 It's page 16 in -- what we have in front of us is page 16. Is it the
21 correct one?
22 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Judge Kwon. No, it's not. It should be
23 page 12 in the English. Thank you very much, because --
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I see it now.
25 MR. HAYNES: Yes, it's two-thirds of the way down.
1 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, in the original, did you say you can see the word
2 "Jardan" before the Kitovnice?
3 A. Yes, Jardan is a village that you have to go through first in
4 order to reach Kitovnice.
5 Q. Thank you. I mean, even to my eye it's quite clear but it's
6 recorded as "illegible" in the English translation but thank you for
7 that. Was that the advice you'd received as to which route to travel
8 towards the IKM, which of course is at Delici, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can we deal with the forward command post. I think a long time
11 ago now, the Trial Chamber and some of the lawyers in the case may have
12 visited it, but in July of 1995 what would you actually have found at the
13 forward command post at Delici in physical terms?
14 A. In very general terms, a forward command post is a room on the
15 ground from which a commander with his command group oversees combat on
16 the ground and commands this.
17 During the war, the Zvornik command had three locations for IKMs.
18 One IKM, in July 1995 and even before that, was in the village of
19 Kitovnice, i.e., in the hamlet of Delici. In some of the maps you will
20 see it referred to as Hajdukovici; however, this IKM in contrast, in
21 physical terms, was a small prefabricated building with maybe two or
22 three rooms which housed the communications centre, and next it was a
23 container which housed the security and the signalsmen, and north of the
24 object, some 300 metres away from it, was there was an observation point.
25 It was a facility made of wood and earth and it was connected with wire
1 with the prefabricated building. When I was in command at the IKM, I
2 would always be at the observation point.
3 Q. And was that where you were throughout the 15th of July?
4 A. Yes. As soon as I arrived in the Delici sector, I went to the
5 observation post from which I had an opportunity to observe the entire
6 area of combat.
7 Q. And from there would you have been aware of everybody who came
8 and went to and from the main building of the forward command post?
9 A. I did not know and I couldn't see the comings to and goings from
10 the prefabricated building. As I've told you, I was 300 metres further
11 away at the observation post, which was a dug-out building in the ground
12 with two openings from which you could indeed observe what was going on,
13 but it was also at the same time protected from artillery fire.
14 Q. What time did you arrive at the forward command post on the 15th?
15 A. 1300 hours would be that time, but it was actually sometime after
16 1300 hours, to the best of my recollection.
17 Q. And at that time how did the situation on the ground appear to be
18 to you?
19 A. The situation on the ground appeared completely different than
20 described in my previous documents. In the defence sectors of the 4th
21 and 6th Battalions, the situation was calm; there was no combat going on.
22 On the left flank in the Memici sector, I could hear sporadic fire coming
23 from there. The forces of the 28th Division, which were encircled, did
24 not make any sound. So I can say that during that period of time, at the
25 moment when I arrived at the IKM and the observation post, the situation
1 was completely stable.
2 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look, please, at the next page in the
3 book you have in front of us, 5759, and for the rest of us, B/C/S and
4 English, page 141 in P377, the duty officer's notebook.
5 Q. General Pandurevic, I want to direct your attention to the entry
6 at 1330 hours, which, according to your evidence, is about the time you
7 first arrived at the forward command post, which reads:
8 "Lazo reported that everything is okay at his end. The men from
9 Bratunac have arrived and they are deployed at Parlog."
10 Who is Lazo and what is he reporting on?
11 A. On this page, at 1330 hours, it says literally:
12 "Lazo reports that everything is okay at his end. The men from
13 Bratunac arrived and have been deployed in Parlog."
14 This is information reported by the then Deputy Commander of the
15 4th Battalion, Lazar Ristic, who was in command of the 4th Battalion,
16 while his commander Pero Vidikovic was in training in Banja Luka. This
17 man, Lazar, appeared before this Trial Chamber as a witness.
18 MR. HAYNES: Can we go on another page, please, in the duty
19 officer's notebook; 5760 for you, Mr. Pandurevic, and for the rest of us,
20 page 142.
21 Q. It's the big entry in the middle of the page, which reads:
22 "A large group of armed and unarmed Turks is blocked in the wider
23 area of Potocani. One should expect that at any given time this group
24 shall attempt to break through in a stampede towards Nezuk. They say
25 they can't do anything about it until the forces from the front do
1 something. One should expect an attack from the front early in the
2 morning. At 400 hours wake up all the troops with guns in their hands
3 and boots on their feet."
4 This is recorded in the duty officer's notebook during the
5 afternoon of the 15th of July. Who is this a message from?
6 A. I believe that this was entered in the late afternoon hours on
7 the 15th. Based on my observation of the situation on the ground and
8 information received from our surveillance sector and the reports of the
9 battalion commanders and commanders of the units which were immediately
10 involved in blocking the 28th Division, I received this type of
11 information. I conveyed this information to the duty operations officer
12 for him to be able to report to all the other battalions in the entire
13 area of defence of the brigade. I wanted us to be prepared for possible
14 combat engagement.
15 Q. Where we see in the middle of that paragraph, "They say they
16 can't do anything anything about it until the forces from the front do
17 something ..." what sort of surveillance does that reveal that you had?
18 A. Our radio surveillance station monitored the communication
19 between the forces of the 28th Division and elements of the corps, and
20 they became privy to the information that the 28th Division informed the
21 corps that they could not do anything and that their destiny was in the
22 hands of the 2nd Corps.
23 Q. Thank you. And did you, during the afternoon of the 15th of
24 July, prepare yourselves for an attack in the early morning of the 16th?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection as to leading. He's putting times in.
1 We have not established any time for this and so I think it's appropriate
2 that the witness be asked to give times.
3 MR. HAYNES: Times for what?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: The reference we just have in the duty officer's
5 notebook has no time.
6 MR. HAYNES: He said, "... late afternoon, the 15th of July."
7 Check the transcript.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, if we could get that from the witness
9 clearly, then ...
10 MR. HAYNES: Well, we've got it from the witness but ...
11 Q. What time does this entry appear in the book, Mr. Pandurevic?
12 A. In this diary on the previous page, we have the last recording at
13 1510. The following page does not contain any indications of time;
14 however, given the contents of the message, i.e., the order which says
15 that all the soldiers should be awake at 4.00 in the morning and
16 prepared, this would mean that this was recorded late in the afternoon or
17 at dusk even, because after that the handwriting in the logbook appears
18 to have changed.
19 Q. And what preparations were you initiating by passing this message
21 A. Up to that time, all the forces of the Zvornik Brigade which were
22 engaged in the general area of Baljkovica were in their positions. The
23 forces of the 6th, 4th and the 7th Battalions had been reinforced and
24 brought up to strength. The Borinski [phoen] Special Detachment had
25 already been deployed partly in Tisova Kosa and partly closer to the
1 command of the 4th Battalion. In the same sector there was also the
2 Intervention Platoon from the 2nd Battalion. The tank company or,
3 rather, two-thirds of it were deployed in the area of Sapari [phoen],
4 prepared for engagement against the 7th Battalion, and part of the
5 company was on the Krizevici-Parlog-Baljkovica axis. Two companies under
6 the command of Milan Maric and Zoran Jovanovic respectively were deployed
7 in the territory of Crni Vrh.
8 The company from the Bratunac Brigade, behind the command post of
9 the 4th Battalion, MUP units were deployed on the Baljkovica-Parlog axis,
10 and as far as I can remember the police from the East Bosnia Corps were
11 deployed at the contact line between the 4th and the 6th Battalions.
12 Also, the mixed artillery division was prepared for use.
13 This means that all the forces of the Zvornik Brigade were in
14 full combat-readiness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to stop here.
16 MR. HAYNES: One last question.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to stop here.
18 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll continue in 25 minutes' time.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, I just want to announce that we
23 have received the filing from the Defence team for General Miletic
24 announcing that he will not be with us tomorrow and that he will be
25 waiving his right to be present. Let's proceed.
1 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no objections to the Pandurevic documents.
3 I've informed Mr. Haynes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So the motion of the 29th of January to which --
5 the Pandurevic motion of the 29th of January to which I referred to
6 earlier is hereby being granted. Thank you. Let's proceed.
7 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
8 Q. Can we just have a look, please, again at the duty officer's
9 notebook. It's a page before the large passage you were just looking at,
10 so it's 5759 for you, Mr. Pandurevic; page 141 for us. It's the entry at
11 1512 which reads:
12 "Premier reported that the enemy is getting closer to our lines.
13 All units informed."
14 We've heard a lot of evidence about it in this case, but just
15 remind us what is Premier and what does this entry in the duty officer's
16 notebook reflect?
17 A. When I joined the Zvornik Brigade, I encountered this name,
18 "Premier." This was the code-name for the radio surveillance centre of
19 the Zvornik Brigade and it kept that code-name throughout the war. That
20 radio surveillance centre intercepted successfully the enemy's radio
21 communication throughout the war. This is one of the notes reflecting
22 their activities in monitoring the communication of the 2nd Corps and
23 provided timely information about the activities of the enemy.
24 Q. Thank you. And just to complete what you've been telling us
25 about your observations of the situation on the ground on the afternoon
1 of the 15th of July, what did you expect the enemy to do?
2 A. I expected that the forces of the 2nd Corps would launch an
3 offensive in order to take over the front line of the Zvornik Brigade and
4 link up with the forces of the 28th Division. On the other hand, given
5 the fact that the commander of the Muslim side, Semso Muminovic, had
6 requested to talk to me and had left a frequency that could be used for
7 that conversation, this was an additional argument for me to think that
8 he had something to offer and that the situation could be resolved even
9 without fighting.
10 Q. When did you first meet Semso Muminovic?
11 A. I believe that this was sometime in late 1993. That's when our
12 first personal encounter took place.
13 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look, please, at 7D454.
14 Q. This is a document dated the 11th of November, 1993, and
15 entitled, "Negotiations Between the Zvornik Infantry Brigade Commander
16 Major Vinko Pandurevic and the 106th Muslim Brigade Commander Semso
17 Muminovic," and it reads:
18 "At the initiative of the enemy, our commander, Major Vinko
19 Pandurevic, met with the commander of the 106th Muslim Brigade, Semso
20 Muminovic, at 1200 hours on the 8th of November, 1993, in the area
21 between Pecina and Kovacevici. Apart from the commander, the following
22 officers from our side attended the meeting: The Chief for Intelligence
23 and Security Affairs, Second Lieutenant Dragan Nikolic; and Lieutenant
24 Vitomir Tomic of the National Security. The talks focused on a prisoner
25 exchange and establishing a cease-fire and a truce between the two
1 brigades. The talks were constructive and showed mutual respect. It was
2 agreed that the cease-fire and truce between the brigades would enter
3 into effect at 1200 hours on the 10th of November of 1993."
4 This is a document, if we go to the third page in English, the
5 last page in both documents, please, this is one of those documents that
6 is produced by your assistant commander for moral guidance, religious and
7 legal affairs; is that correct?
8 But, in fact, we can see that this event made its way into a
9 regular combat report, if we now look at 7D945, the regular combat report
10 for the 8th of November, 1993. Under the second paragraph of this
11 document, does this refer to precisely the same meeting between you and
12 Semso Muminovic?
13 A. Yes, it refers to the same event, the same meeting. This is a
14 regular combat report where the corps command is being briefed as part of
15 the regular report, and what we saw previously was information drawn up
16 by the assistant for morale, religious and legal matters, Mr. Simic. In
17 addition to this event, it encompasses a number of other pieces of
18 information and is used for internal purposes within the Zvornik Brigade.
19 Q. What circumstances gave rise to the meeting between you on the
20 8th of November, 1993?
21 A. I don't recall all the details. I know where the meeting was
22 held. This was between the confrontation lines on no-man's land, so to
23 speak, and the topic was the one mentioned in the information.
24 In view of the fact that the front line stretched between the
25 Muslim forces of the Zvornik Brigade, which were right next to villages
1 and farm land which had to be plowed and sown and harvested, the aim of
2 both sides was to enable farm work to be carried out, depending on the
3 season, of course.
4 Q. And what was the result of the meeting in November 1993?
5 A. The result was that we carried out an exchange. I think that a
6 soldier was exchanged on that day or the next day, I'm not sure. We
7 established a hotline and had mutual contacts, and in spite of the fact
8 that in our regular combat report we included this information, I later
9 received from the corps command a request addressed personally to me that
10 I should send detailed information about this because the Main Staff was
11 asking what kind of meeting this had been and why it had been held.
12 Q. After this, did you use the hotline?
13 A. We did have occasional contact by radio, depending on the needs
14 that I have just mentioned.
15 Q. And what, generally, did you talk about when you spoke over the
17 A. We spoke about respecting our previous agreements, although there
18 was always a certain amount of suspicion that the other side might take
19 advantage of the agreement to carry out a covert offensive activity.
20 However, the experience was that the agreements were in fact complied
22 Q. Now, going back to the 15th of July of 1995, you've told us a
23 little bit about the intercepted communication we saw earlier in the
24 morning involving Milenko Jevdjevic and the name Semso Muminovic. Did
25 you become aware that he wanted to contact you when you got to the
1 forward command post of the Zvornik Brigade?
2 A. At the forward command post, Mica Petkovic gave me this same
3 information. He was a desk officer in the intelligence organ. He said
4 that Semso had asked to speak to me and had left a frequency on which we
5 could communicate through the radio equipment, the KT Motorola that has
6 been talked about so much here, something resembling a mobile phone.
7 Q. And did you call him or did he call you?
8 A. In the afternoon of the 15th, I called him. I contacted him.
9 Q. What inspired you to do that?
10 A. I wanted to hear why he had been looking for me. I assumed he
11 thought I was the most suitable person for him to talk to in connection
12 with his requests.
13 Q. What did you imagine he wanted to talk to you about?
14 A. In any case, I thought that he wanted to talk about the column of
15 the 28th Division.
16 Q. When did you first call him?
17 A. I can't tell you the exact time, but it was after the
18 consolidation of the deployment of the units that I have just described.
19 The situation was completely quiet at the time. It was in the afternoon.
20 It was certainly after 1500 hours.
21 Q. What did he say when you called him?
22 A. He said that he had been trying to contact me before, that he
23 wanted to talk to Obrenovic but that Obrenovic did not want to accept his
24 offer, and he asked me to let the whole column of the 28th Division pass
25 through in the area of Nezuk.
1 Q. And during that first conversation, how did you respond to that?
2 A. I said that we could discuss that, that to the best of my
3 knowledge, there were many civilians and unarmed men in the column and
4 that I was willing to let that sort of people go to the free territory
5 right away, but that those who were armed had to give themselves up.
6 Q. And what did he say?
7 A. He said that he was not interested in civilians, that he was
8 interested in the armed part of the column of the 28th Division and that
9 he would not accept my offer.
10 Q. When you said that the armed men had to give themselves up, did
11 you mean they had to surrender as prisoners of war?
12 A. In my original offer, yes, that was what I meant. However, when
13 he said that he was not interested in civilians, I thought that he wanted
14 to place the fate of the civilians on my shoulders and that he was
15 fighting or struggling to preserve exclusively the 28th Division, and
16 this prompted me to call him again.
17 Q. How long after the first call?
18 A. Not long after, I called him again and suggested to him that he
19 should designate a place for the civilians to gather so that they could
20 pass through, because he was in communication with the column; that those
21 who were armed should lay down their weapons and that then they, too,
22 could leave, but that they could not pass through carrying weapons.
23 Q. And what was his response to that?
24 A. He continued insisting on his position and that was the end of
25 our conversation at that point.
1 Q. So it's probably obvious but just articulate it for us, will you?
2 What was the change in your position during the second conversation?
3 A. I considered the order I had been issued by the corps command. I
4 also considered the meeting I had had in the command, in the office of
5 the Chief of Staff. I considered the request of the commander of the
6 opposite side and I thought I could carry out my task by neutralising the
7 28th Division by allowing it to pass on to the free territory without
8 carrying any weapons with them, by making them lay down their arms.
9 Q. Now, I want you to listen to something for us, please. This is
10 the tape recording of a conversation, the surrogate sheet for which -- on
11 which we'll all be able to read the words and the translation is 7D656.
12 It's already an exhibit in the case. It was tendered through PW168. So
13 would you just listen to this with us for a minute, Mr. Pandurevic.
14 [Audio-clip played]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there a transcript available of this
17 MR. HAYNES: Yes. It's 7D656 and it's on your screen now.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. HAYNES: I don't know whether you'd like to hear the piece
20 again so that you can follow. We'll do that. That's probably better.
21 It's actually quite easy to follow.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it will be better, yes.
23 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
25 MR. HAYNES: It appears that the image on e-court stops the --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. Let me just consult with my
2 colleagues that it's okay that we can proceed.
3 MR. HAYNES: We could give you a hard copy.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. We can see it on the monitor. Can we
5 proceed? We can proceed. We don't need to hear it again.
6 MR. HAYNES: Thanks very much.
7 Q. Who is speaking on the intercepted conversation we've just heard?
8 A. Semso Muminovic and I.
9 Q. And on what date was the conversation taking place that we've
10 just listened to?
11 A. The 15th of July, 1995.
12 Q. In total on the 15th of July - we'll come to the 16th in due
13 course - but in total on the 15th of July, how many times did you speak
14 to Semso Muminovic on the radio?
15 A. It's hard for me to remember now which conversation was when, but
16 I think it was five or six, although I've seen Semso's statement to the
17 effect that it was much more. But this is what I remember. This is my
19 Q. And given the position you appear to have adopted in this
20 conversation, can you help us as to which conversation we're listening to
21 here - the first, the second, the third, the fourth, or fifth, or sixth?
22 A. I think this is the third conversation.
23 Q. What authority did you have to enter into these conversations
24 with Semso Muminovic?
25 A. The authority -- well, I did not have specific authority from the
1 superior command. Based on my own conscience, I assessed that it was a
2 good idea for me to carry out this kind of conversation.
3 Q. At the time -- well, I'll take a step back from that. Over what
4 period of time on the 15th of July did you have these conversations?
5 A. Well, you can't have this sort of conversation very often because
6 the terrain is not flat and the communications equipment did not have a
7 long range. So it wasn't easy to establish contact. This was after 1500
8 hours and before dark fell, so it was in the course of the day.
9 Q. Were any of the conversations after dark fell?
10 A. Not on the 15th -- sorry, no, no, no.
11 Q. And during the time that you were engaged in these conversations,
12 how did it appear to you the military situation was? Sorry, that's a
13 very inelegant question. While you were talking to him, how did you view
14 the military situation?
15 A. I engaged in negotiations only after I had stabilized the
16 situation and deployed all the forces that would be needed if it came to
17 a fight.
18 Q. So why in those circumstances were you prepared, on the 15th of
19 July, to make an offer to allow the whole of the 28th Division to walk
20 free to Nezuk?
21 A. The reasons were very rational. I would have been able to carry
22 out the task in this way while saving many lives, or I could carry out
23 the task using fire-power. I opted for this version, this possibility,
24 and I knew that Semso knew well that the greater the pressure of his
25 forces from the front line, the more fierce would be my firing on the
1 blocked forces of the 28th Division, and that this was what led him to
2 ask for a conversation with me.
3 Q. Were agreements for cease-fire and the safe passage of enemy
4 soldiers tactics you'd ever deployed in the past?
5 A. Yes. As is well-known here, I had done similar things before. I
6 considered the use of force and weapons to be something that should be
7 done only in the direst necessity. It was only a last resort.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, throughout the afternoon of the 15th of July,
9 who was present with you at the forward command post or observation post?
10 A. To the best of my recollection, when I arrived at the forward
11 command post, I found the signalsmen there; two or three, I don't know
12 how many. I think Mica Petkovic was there, whom I have mentioned from
13 the intelligence organ. The Chief of Communications, Captain Milisav
14 Petrovic, arrived together with me. After a while, the President of the
15 Municipal Council of the Serbian Democratic Party, Brano Grujic, paid a
16 brief visit subsequently, and in the afternoon Ljubo Bojanovic arrived.
17 There may have been someone else, but I don't recall that now.
18 Q. I just want to leave that there for a minute because I want you
19 to clear up something that appears ambiguous in the transcript.
20 When you said earlier that you would have been able to carry out
21 your task in this way while saving many lives, "... or I could carry out
22 the task using fire-power. I opted for this version..." what were you
23 saying you did?
24 A. Well, the version of negotiations and agreements.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, can we just have a look, please, at a page in
1 the duty officer's notebook. For us on e-court it's page 92, and the
2 page you want to look at, Mr. Pandurevic, ends 710. And if you would
3 just look at the very top entry, it's just the name at 1400 hours, "Brano
4 Grujic." Is that the man you're referring to as having been present at
5 the forward command post on the 15th of July?
6 A. Yes, that's the man. He used to be the president of the
7 municipality, but in 1995 he was only the president of the party. He was
8 a man I was not on good terms with from the moment of my arrival in
10 Q. Did any of the people present at the forward command post on the
11 afternoon of the 15th of July tell you anything about prisoners in
12 schools in the Zvornik area?
13 A. Only Brano Grujic did.
14 Q. And at what time was he at the forward command post and for how
16 A. It's really hard for me to tell you the precise time of his
17 arrival. I knew it was after my arrival, maybe an hour or an hour and a
18 half later. He didn't stay long. He simply arrived and asked me how
19 come there were prisoners in some schools on the territory of Zvornik
20 municipality. I think he mentioned the school in Petkovci and the one in
22 Q. What information did you get from what he told you or asked you?
23 A. He said that his party activists in the local communes had
24 conveyed this information to him and that there was concern in the local
25 community where these people were situated. I said I did not have any
1 specific information about this and that I would check to see what it was
2 all about. He continued asking me questions about the situation on the
3 ground, because his native village was Baljkovica, and then he left.
4 Q. Did you check?
5 A. The persons who were then at the forward command post were
6 persons who were unable to provide me with any information. When Ljubo
7 Bojanovic arrived, and he was from the brigade command, in the operations
8 organs sometimes and sometimes in the organ for morale, I asked him to
9 give me more detailed information concerning what Mr. Grujic had told me.
10 Q. And what did Ljubo Bojanovic tell you?
11 A. Ljubo Bojanovic told me that he knew that some buses with
12 prisoners had passed by the command and that they had gone in the
13 direction of Bijeljina. But whether they stopped in some schools in the
14 Zvornik area or not, he didn't know, so he said. And he said he didn't
15 know that the command of the Zvornik Brigade had received any task
16 concerning prisoners of war.
17 Q. Was he the only other person that you spoke to?
18 A. On that day, yes.
19 Q. Now, I appreciate it's difficult, I'm sure we all do, but
20 approximately what time did you speak to Ljubo Bojanovic?
21 A. I don't mind answering any question; however, it is rather
22 difficult to pinpoint times, as you say. But I believe that the
23 conversation with Ljubo Bojanovic took place maybe an hour before I
24 drafted the interim combat report for that day.
25 Q. What about your deputy Obrenovic? Didn't you check with him on
1 the 15th?
2 A. At the time Obrenovic was in Baljkovica at the command of the 4th
3 Battalion, so I did not discuss that matter with him on that day.
4 Q. Now, in general terms, what circumstances would lead you to send
5 an interim combat report to corps command?
6 A. Since General Krstic had sent me to Zvornik in the first place,
7 there would be one important reason which was the aggravation of the
8 tactical and combat situation. That's why I believed that it was my duty
9 to draft an interim combat report and report to the corps command about
10 the combat situation in the zone of defence of the Zvornik Brigade. Any
11 other officer would have done the same.
12 Q. Before you sent your report on the 15th of July, what was your
13 understanding as to the state of the corps' information as to the size
14 and motives of the column of the 28th Division?
15 A. It was my impression that the corps command did not have all the
16 necessary information about the size and the intentions of the 28th
17 Division. Obrenovic had hinted to the fact at the meeting on the 15th,
18 because his previous report that he had sent to the corps command, at
19 least according to what he believed, had not been taken seriously. And I
20 believed that once I received complete information about the 28th
21 Division, that I should put all that information in an interim combat
23 Q. Now, how was the interim combat report of the 15th of July made?
24 A. I personally dictated to Mr. Bojanovic at the observation point,
25 so I dictated the report to Mr. Bojanovic.
1 Q. And what did he do?
2 A. I was dictating and he was writing in his own hand.
3 Q. And did he read it back to you or did you read over what he had
5 A. He did not read it back; I did not read it. I just initialled
6 the report and it was sent to Zvornik at the communications centre there,
7 where it would be encrypted and sent to the corps command.
8 Q. And how was it sent to Zvornik?
9 A. A courier driver took it there by car. In any case, it could not
10 have been encrypted and sent in an encrypted form from the IKM.
11 Q. Give us some idea of the mood you were in at the time you
12 dictated that report to Ljubo Bojanovic?
13 A. I was tired. I had been on the ground for 12 days, did not get
14 enough sleep. I worked hard. Second of all, all the proposals that I
15 had sent to the corps command and the command of the Main Staff with
16 regard to the measures that should be taken in respect of the 28th
17 Division had been rejected, and for that reason I was disappointed, even
18 angry. However, I did draft the report and I did it based on the
19 situation and the information that I was privy to at the time.
20 MR. HAYNES: Then let's look at it. P329, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please could I be provided with a
22 hard copy?
23 MR. HAYNES: Of course.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 MR. HAYNES:
1 Q. The first paragraph reads:
2 "Since the fall of Srebrenica, in the territory of the 1st
3 Zvornik Infantry Brigade area of responsibility, in the wider area of
4 Pandurice, Planici, Crni Vrh, Kamenica, and Glodjansko Brdo, there are
5 about 3.000 armed and unarmed enemy soldiers. Brigade forces are sealing
6 off and searching the aforementioned region. A few hundred enemy
7 soldiers have so far been liquidated."
8 Where did you get the information which you set out in paragraph
9 1 of that report?
10 A. I received this information mostly from Dragan Obrenovic at a
11 meeting in his office. Some of the information I received from my
12 subordinate commanders on the ground.
13 Q. As to the number of enemy soldiers in the area, did Obrenovic
14 tell you there were 3.000 or a different figure?
15 A. The figure he gave me was a bit higher and I subsequently reduced
16 it somewhat.
17 Q. Why did you do that?
18 A. Well, if you follow the part of this report to its end, the
19 previous paragraphs follow a certain logic and tally with how the report
20 ends. I knew what my final intentions were in terms of the
21 accomplishment of the mission given to me by General Krstic. The
22 information that several hundreds of enemy soldiers had been killed by
23 then was rather arbitrary.
24 Q. Well, you've pre-empted the question. What does the word
25 "liquidated" mean in this report?
1 A. It's a classical military term which is used in order to show
2 losses in fighting.
3 Q. And did you have any information that a few hundred enemy
4 soldiers had been killed in fighting during the 15th of July?
5 A. I knew that they did suffer losses, but it was unlikely that
6 there were a few hundred killed.
7 Q. Can we go to the second paragraph:
8 "Throughout the 15th of July, BH army forces of the Tuzla 2nd
9 Corps launched fierce attacks on the brigade defence area in order to
10 link up with the forces which had been cut off. The attack on the
11 defence area of the 4th, 6th and 7th Battalions along the Petkovci-Memici
12 stretch was launched at 4.30 with simultaneous actions by the besieged
14 Where did this information come from?
15 A. This information was obtained from Dragan Obrenovic and battalion
16 commanders. At the time, at 4.30 in the morning, the blocked forces were
17 in Snagovo and Crni Vrh. That's where most of their activities were
18 taking place. They did not move anywhere forward from there.
19 Q. The reference in that paragraph to fierce attacks on the brigade
20 defence area, was that an accurate reflection of the situation on the
21 ground on the 15th of July?
22 A. As far as artillery is concerned, yes, but as far as infantry
23 assaults are concerned, the answer would be no. There were some
24 attempts, but they failed.
25 Q. The artillery attack that's reported as starting at 4.30 in the
1 morning, when, to your knowledge, did that finish?
2 A. The artillery attacks were sporadic. They did not go on all the
3 time. The fire would mount at moments, then there were periods of lull,
4 and then fire would be renewed. It was altogether somewhat fiercer than
5 during any other periods of time but nothing out of the ordinary.
6 MR. HAYNES: I just want to briefly look at the other report
7 filed that day. That's P328. The original of this is very hard to read.
8 Q. Can you read it, Mr. Pandurevic? I'll hand you a hard copy.
9 A. If it's blown up a little, I might be able to.
10 Q. I'll hand you a hard copy. It's easier.
11 A. Thank you.
12 Q. This is the regular combat report of the 15th of July and this
13 was sent at 11 minutes past 7.00 in the evening, about a quarter of an
14 hour before the interim combat report, and under paragraph 1, it reads:
15 "On the 15th of July, 1995, at around 4.40 in the morning, the
16 enemy launched a heavy artillery attack on the defence lines of the 4th,
17 6th and 7th Battalions. The attack ended at about 5.30 but the enemy
18 continued firing artillery and infantry weapons at short intervals?"
19 Did you write that report or was that written by somebody else?
20 A. This report was drafted by the duty operations officer. It is
21 obvious that we had the same or at least similar information.
22 Q. Which of those two reports more accurately reflects the situation
23 on the ground on the 15th of July?
24 A. The regular combat reports mention the names of the fallen
25 soldiers; however, more detail about anything else that was happening on
1 the ground is provided by the interim combat report. The intention of
2 the interim combat report was certainly not to repeat the facts mentioned
3 in the regular combat report, that's for sure.
4 Q. Very well.
5 MR. HAYNES: Let's go to the third paragraph. If we can have
6 P329 put back on the screen, please.
7 Q. "Enemy attacks were vigorously supported by all calibres of
8 artillery and tanks. Attacks of varying intensity followed one another
9 from the direction of Nezuk and Kalesija on Memici. The attack on Memici
10 is still in progress. All targets deep inside the territory and the
11 suburbs and town of Zvornik have been under artillery fire. All attacks
12 have been repulsed successfully so far. So far, according to information
13 received, we have four dead and a dozen or so wounded. With all
14 available forces, we have sealed off the wider area of Crni Vrh and
15 Planici and partially the area of Kamenica. All brigade forces are fully
16 engaged and we have no reserves."
17 Where did the information in that paragraph come from?
18 A. The information in that paragraph, particularly the part that
19 refers to the past time, is something that I received on the ground, and
20 the information about the current situation is something that I
21 personally witnessed. When this report was drafted, there was no
22 artillery fire opened on the IKM sector or the city of Zvornik opened.
23 All the artillery fire had been opened earlier in the morning.
24 Q. How accurately did that paragraph reflect the military situation
25 at about 7.00 in the evening, when you were dictating the report to --
1 sorry, I shouldn't say that. How accurately did that paragraph in the
2 report reflect the military situation when you were dictating the report
3 to Ljubo Bojanovic?
4 A. I suppose that information that I received about the events that
5 had happened before I arrived is correct and that this passage reflects
6 that situation. I also believe that what I had noted about the blockade
7 of the Crni Vrh, Planici and Kamenica, it was also correct.
8 Q. Let's go to paragraph 4.
9 "An additional burden for us is the large number of prisoners
10 distributed throughout schools in the brigade area, as well as
11 obligations of security and restoration of the terrain."
12 Were you aware of any order or instruction not to mention
13 prisoners in any oral or written communication at that time?
14 A. Up to the moment when Mr. Grujic conveyed the information to me
15 about the existence of POWs, I did not have any information about them or
16 the fact that there was a ban on reporting their existence.
17 Q. So did you think there was anything wrong in writing this report
18 and explicitly referring to the prisoners you'd heard about?
19 A. I believed that this should be conveyed to the corps command. At
20 that moment I did not have any reliable information as to where they had
21 come from, why they were there, and I fully believed that the corps
22 command would react upon the receipt of my report.
23 Q. Why the corps command?
24 A. Because that was my superior command who were the recipients of
25 my reports in the first place.
1 Q. What did you mean when you said the prisoners were a burden to
2 the brigade?
3 A. The whole report mentions certain facts and information of
4 different significance. The term "additional burden" does not mean the
5 same as if we had been given a task or were under some obligation towards
6 the prisoners; however, this just shows that those people were there and
7 might present a burden in different ways. For example, there could be
8 reactions of the families of the fighters who resided close to the
9 locations where POWs were located.
10 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, did you intend the references to what in Serbian
11 is "asanacija" and what has been translated as "security of the terrain"
12 to refer to guarding and burying prisoners in the Zvornik area?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, leading. "What did you intend that to
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, can you rephrase it, please.
16 MR. HAYNES: I don't think that's a leading question. He is
17 entitled to answer the case that's put against him absolutely. That's
18 the Prosecution case. He is entitled to answer that as steadfastly as he
19 is entitled to enter a not-guilty plea.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I absolutely agree, but he first needs to set the
21 foundation by letting the witness say what he intends. That's the
22 important thing.
23 MR. HAYNES: Well, I've got nothing further to say. I'd like you
24 to rule on this.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Our conclusion is that we consider the question as
3 put as leading, to be a leading one, and we therefore suggest that you
4 rephrase it and possibly agree to the way suggested by Mr. McCloskey. Of
5 course, you will be able to follow it through once you have rephrased the
7 MR. HAYNES:
8 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, when you wrote this report, what did you believe
9 to be the state of health of the prisoners that Brano Grujic had referred
11 A. I didn't know anything about the state of the prisoners. I just
12 stated in the report that they were present and that was all, nothing
14 Q. Did you know whether anybody had been executed?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you know whether anybody had been buried?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you know about any plan to execute or bury prisoners?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. In this paragraph, when you referred to "obligations of security
21 and restoration of the terrain," as we have it in English, what were you
22 referring to?
23 A. When I was dictating this report, I knew what I was referring to,
24 I knew what I meant to say. I used the appropriate words to convey that.
25 "Obligations of security," that is the wrong translation. These words
1 mean support. "Asanacija" is a military term and it's well known what it
2 means and what it refers to, and that's the way I used it.
3 Q. Let's deal with "asanacija" first. As a military term, what
4 responsibilities did you regard that as placing upon the brigade at the
5 time you wrote the report?
6 A. Military commanders have the duty to carry out "asanacija" of the
7 battle-field or of the terrain on which combat is carried out. That's
8 what I meant. "Asanacija" involves a number of activities and stages.
9 One of the first activities or stages in "asanacija" is finding and
10 taking care of the wounded and sending them to appropriate facilities,
11 then finding the corpses of those who had been killed. After combat,
12 complete "asanacija" has to be carried out, which means inspecting the
13 terrain and removing any remains that would be a threat to the lives of
14 people or that might cause epidemics on the ground.
15 Q. What work did you anticipate would need to be done by brigade
16 resources in the event of a fully contested battle involving your forces,
17 the forces of the 2nd Corps and the forces of the 28th Division?
18 A. The fighting was already going on. There was combat starting
19 early in the morning of the 15th, as we have already said. There was
20 sporadic fighting on the left flank in the course of the day. Those
21 three men in the medical corps had already been killed, in the medical
22 vehicle, so that was already something that involved the first stage of
23 "asanacija". If you have a single wounded man, you need at least two or
24 three soldiers who are fit to take him to the field hospital and
25 therefore you have fewer men to be used in fighting, so this is certainly
1 a burden.
2 MR. HAYNES: I wonder if we could just have a quick look at
3 another document while we're considering this one, and it's 7D480,
4 please. We're going to need page 6 in the English -- I'm sorry, page 6
5 in the B/C/S, page 5 in the English. This is "The Federal Secretariat
6 for National Defence Instructions on Hygiene and Sanitation Measures in
7 Battle-fields of 1991."
8 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, can you see the whole of point 2 there, which is
9 what I wanted to refer you to?
10 A. Yes. Yes, now I can see all of it.
11 Q. It reads that:
12 "Hygienic and sanitation measures in battle-fields include the
13 following: Finding the wounded who are accidentally left behind,
14 gathering them, giving them first aid and evacuating them to medical
15 institutions; finding, gathering and helping wounded or diseased animals
16 and animals that were accidentally left behind; finding, gathering and
17 burying or burning those who have been killed or have died of natural
18 causes and establishing the necessary records; finding, gathering and
19 removing animal carcasses ..." and so on and so forth.
20 Does that conform with your understanding of what hygienic and
21 sanitation measures on a battle-field were required of you?
22 A. Certainly. At the military academy, we had a special subject,
23 rear support, and "asanacija" of the battle-ground was dealt with in that
24 subject. So this is all familiar to me.
25 MR. HAYNES: Can we go back to P329, please, and can we go to the
1 second page in the B/C/S only.
2 Q. Now, I don't know if a pen can be made available to you, General
3 Pandurevic. I wonder if you could just mark for us, please, the last
4 four words of the second paragraph on that page.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you. Now, I want you to give us a word in Serbian now,
7 please. If you were referring to your security organ or security
8 service, what word would you use?
9 A. I would use the word security -- "bezbednosno" or "obezbedjenje,"
10 security support.
11 Q. Well, what word would you use to say "security organ"?
12 A. "Organ bezbednosti."
13 Q. Chief of security?
14 A. "Nacelnik bezbednosti."
15 Q. Would you read the last four words of that paragraph, please.
16 And I don't want them translated.
17 A. "Obaveze obezbedjenja i asanacije terena."
18 MR. HAYNES: I want another document put onto the screen, please.
19 Can we have P6 --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to save this one, please.
21 MR. HAYNES: Yes, certainly.
22 Q. Would you --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Sign and put the date, please.
24 MR. HAYNES:
25 Q. -- initial that.
1 A. [Marks]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And it's time for the break --
3 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: -- any time you wish.
5 MR. HAYNES: It would be a good time now, actually.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Let's make sure that the witness
7 signs ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My signature is already there, but
9 I can put another one on it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. We'll have a 25-minute break.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
13 MR. HAYNES: I wonder if we could just illustrate this point
14 graphically by placing into e-court, please, P407.
15 Q. These are the rules of service of the security organs, and in
16 Serbian, "security organs" appears as "organa bezbednosti"; is that
18 A. Yes, "organa bezbednosti," that's right.
19 Q. Now, the words which you circled for us on P329 include the word
20 "obezbedjenja." I wonder if, so that we've got it clear on the screen,
21 you would just spell that word for us, because you wrote it in Cyrillic
22 or, rather, Ljubo Bojanovic wrote it in Cyrillic. So would you spell
23 that word in Latin letters.
24 A. Yes. O-b-e-z-b-e-d, with a diacritic or alternatively "dj,"
1 Q. And so that we're clear, can you see that word on the document we
2 have on the screen now, the rules of service of security organs?
3 A. No. No, we can't see that word on this document.
4 MR. HAYNES: Can we have now, please, into e-court P694, the
5 brigade rules, chapter 5.3; the B/C/S page 105, the English page 65.
6 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, do we see on that document the word
7 "obezbedjenja" that you put in your report as the heading to chapter 3?
8 A. Yes. I see here under number 3, "bezbednosti" or "obezbedjenje,"
9 but that's something different from "obezbedjenje" of the terrain.
10 Q. Do we also see the word there used for security in terms of the
11 security organs, "organa bezbednosti"? So we've got both of the words
12 we've been talking about juxtaposed on this document; is that right?
13 A. I'm not sure I understand your question.
14 Q. We'll move on.
15 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look, please, at the same document,
16 page 56 in the English, page 92 in the B/C/S. And this is P694, just for
17 the correction of the transcript at line 6.
18 Q. Again, simple question, Mr. Pandurevic: At the heading of
19 chapter 5, do we see again the word "obezbedjenja" that you wrote in that
21 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And what, just so that we're clear, are "borbenih dejstava"?
23 A. "Borbenih dejstava" is an overall term covering all kinds of
24 combat activities in fighting.
25 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look now, please, at P699, and we want
1 page 93 in the English and page 100 in the B/C/S.
2 Q. Again, in the heading of chapter 5, do we see the word you used
3 in the report, P329, again "obezbedjenja"?
4 A. Yes, we do.
5 Q. And we know now what the last two words you understand to be, so
6 we can move on from there.
7 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at the same document, please,
8 page 116 in the English, page 125 in the B/C/S.
9 Q. And again, at the heading of chapter 10, in that document, do we
10 see the word you used in your report, P329, "obezbedjenja"?
11 A. Yes, we see the same word here, "obezbedjenja."
12 Q. Now, at the time of writing the interim combat report of the 15th
13 of July, were you aware of any measures that had been taken to cope with
14 the problem of "obezbedjenja terena" within the brigade?
15 A. In part some measures had been taken, but most of the measures
16 still had to be taken as concerns the roads and the rear of the forces of
17 the Zvornik Brigade. This activity followed later on the 15th and in the
18 morning of the 16th.
19 Q. It probably wasn't a very good question, but what men were going
20 to be used to deal with that?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection; vague. Deal with what? We haven't
22 established what this is.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Mr. McCloskey is right, Mr. Haynes.
24 MR. HAYNES: Very well.
25 Q. What's the R Battalion?
1 A. I do apologise. Let me just say this word, "obezbedjenja" of the
2 terrain, is a combat activity carried out by units. The R Battalion is
3 the reserve battalion which was mobilised when required by combat
4 conditions, was supposed to carry out the tasks of "obezbedjenja" of the
5 terrain, the general area.
6 MR. HAYNES: Let's have a look, please, at a few documents,
7 therefore. Can we start with P377, the duty officer's notebook. You
8 will need to look at page 756, and the rest of us at page 138.
9 Q. I'm interested in the entry about Mr. Galic. Who was he?
10 A. Galic was the assistant of the Chief of Staff for organisation,
11 mobilisation, and personnel in the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
12 Q. And when it says, "Galic to mobilise all able-bodied men," as
13 simply as you can, what would that have involved him doing?
14 A. He was supposed to send a request through the corps command to
15 the department of the Ministry of Defence to mobilise the R Battalion,
16 and above Galic's name we see the name of Jagodic and the telephone
17 number. That's the person who was doing that job in the Ministry of
19 MR. HAYNES: Okay. Let's go to the Ministry of Defence, shall
20 we? 7D775, please.
21 Q. This is a document signed by Stevan Ivanovic. Who was he?
22 A. Stevan Ivanovic was the chief of the department of the Ministry
23 of Defence in Zvornik.
24 Q. And it's dated the 15th of July, it's from the Republika Srpska
25 Ministry of Defence Zvornik Secretariat, and it says:
1 "For the purposes of guarding the territory in the zone of
2 responsibility from infiltrated sabotage groups and broken-up Muslim
3 groups from Srebrenica, immediately mobilise on all conscripts fit for
4 military service from the area of the Zvornik municipality department who
5 have not been assigned to RJ's war units."
6 And if we go to the first line there, what do the third and
7 fourth words say in Serbian, Mr. Pandurevic?
8 A. The words used were "obezbedjenja teritorije."
9 Q. What is the difference between "teritorije" and "terena"?
10 A. They are synonyms; they mean the same.
11 MR. HAYNES: Now can we go to 7D109.
12 Q. I'm sorry, could you just help us as to what that document is?
13 A. It is a document issued by the Ministry of Defence and it shows
14 the procedure followed when carrying out mobilisation of conscripts in
15 this case. It shows that the instruction issued by the Ministry of
16 Defence was complied with in the process of mobilisation, and the
17 secretariat in Zvornik is called upon at the request of the Drina Corps.
18 So the command of the Zvornik Brigade could not do this directly; it had
19 to go through the corps command. And this shows that the procedure was
20 complied with.
21 MR. HAYNES: Yes. Can we now look at 7D109 so we can follow the
22 process through.
23 Q. Another document from Stevan Ivanovic in which he orders:
24 "In order to secure the territory in the corps' zone of
25 responsibility, immediately complete mobilisation of all conscripts fit
1 for military duty from the territory ..." et cetera. And the phrase in
2 the top line of that order is what?
3 A. "Obezbedjenja."
4 MR. HAYNES: Can we have 1D698, please, a Drina Corps order of
5 the 5th of July.
6 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Haynes, just to be clear in the transcripts, I
7 think twice we're getting a reference to 1D709, and that might cause us
8 problems later, at 11 and 12 on page 55, and then again at line 4 on page
10 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much, Judge Prost. The document I
11 called into e-court is 7D709, and I do not have 1D709 on my list of
12 documents for examination of this witness. I do have 1D698, though.
13 Q. 1D698, what is this document, Mr. Pandurevic?
14 A. This document was issued by the corps command. In it the corps
15 addresses the Ministry of Defence with the request for urgent
16 mobilisation of conscripts with a view to securing the territory in the
17 zone of responsibility of the corps.
18 Q. And do we see that word "obezbedjenja" appearing there as well?
19 A. Yes, in the first line.
20 MR. HAYNES: Now, to complete the picture, can we have a look,
21 please, at 3D125. The English translation is only partial because it's a
22 list of names, so it doesn't really matter. But there is one correction
23 that needs to be made to the English translation.
24 Q. What's this document, Mr. Pandurevic?
25 A. This was issued by the Zvornik section of the Ministry of
2 Q. And what does it record?
3 A. The Zvornik section of the Ministry of Defence informs the
4 Zvornik Brigade, i.e., military post 7149 Zvornik, which conscripts had
5 been called on 15th July and who was supposed to be mobilised. This was
6 for the Zvornik Brigade in order to be able to collate their lists with
7 this one and see whether all the conscripts who had been mobilised
8 reported to the brigade.
9 Q. Thank you. And you've probably already confirmed this, but on
10 the English version it suggests that the date of mobilisation was the
11 17th of July. What's the date of mobilisation on the original?
12 A. Yes. The report was drafted on the 17th and the conscripts were
13 called on the 15th of July.
14 Q. How many of them were called? You might need to go to the last
15 page of the document to see that.
16 A. The last digits are 254 [as interpreted], as far as I can see,
17 but I believe that the last digit is not correct. That was the number
18 called, but it doesn't have to mean that everybody responded.
19 Q. Well, we'll come on to that.
20 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look, please, at P377, page 768 for
21 you, and for the rest of us, 150.
22 Q. About a third to half the way down the page, can you see a
23 reference to the R Battalion?
24 A. Yes, R Battalion is mentioned. It says that 195 were mobilised
25 and are ready in Standard at 1740 hours.
1 Q. It might seem obvious, Mr. Pandurevic, but you have to give the
2 evidence, not me. What does that tell us when we compare it to a list of
3 245 men who were mobilised by order by the Ministry of Defence?
4 A. They called 245; however, only 195 responded and reported at the
6 Q. And just remind us, what were those men mobilised to do?
7 A. "Obezbedjenja terena," or territory.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we get a definition of that?
10 MR. HAYNES: Oh, we're coming on to it.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: From the booth?
12 MR. HAYNES: Why?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I know the booth is trying to be cooperative and
15 I think that's good, but I think I have a right to know what that means
16 in English.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We have been -- yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just as I sit here, I recall that sometimes it's
20 very difficult for the booth to tell what something means because of the
21 context it's in. If that's the situation here, we can just leave it and
22 we'll try to sort it out ourselves, as opposed to them guessing or going
23 along with the context they're not clear about.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not how I have understood things to be
25 developing, but Mr. Haynes, perhaps, can clarify.
1 MR. HAYNES: What I was going to move on to do next was ask
2 Mr. Pandurevic to specify what tasks these men were to be put to, which
3 will give us a better understanding of what the phrase meant in the
4 document, according to him. We have already the word, I think,
5 "obezbedjenja" translated in four different ways in the documents we have
6 before us.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. We can proceed, because that more or less --
8 not more or less. It actually tallies with how we were viewing your
10 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's proceed, and then if you are not happy,
12 Mr. McCloskey, you will make submissions to us.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's no problem. I don't need to put the booth
14 in that spot. We'll sort it out.
15 MR. AGIUS: Okay.
16 MR. HAYNES:
17 Q. Now, given the situation on the ground on the 15th of July, what
18 did you need to mobilise these 200 men, give or take a handful, to
19 actually do?
20 A. In order for us to understand the situation better, I'll try and
21 provide a short explanation of the situation on the ground on the 15th.
22 We know that most of the column of the 28th Division crossed the
23 Crni Vrh-Zvornik road. We also know that elements of the 28th Division
24 remained in the territories of Snagovo and Kamenica as well. We also
25 knew at the time that the Zvornik-Crni Vrh road was not safe. In order
1 to provide security or support for our forces which were blocking the
2 better part of the 28th Division, we had to mobilise additional forces to
3 secure the terrain.
4 That's why we mobilised this R Battalion. As for their task of
5 providing security, or "obezbedjenja," for the terrain, it was carried
6 out by way of setting up ambushes, blockades, carrying out patrols, and
7 setting up observation points. These were all types of combat actions
8 which are comprised in the overall task of providing security or securing
9 the terrain.
10 MR. HAYNES: Let's have a look at how in fact they were used.
11 Can we have a look at P377, please.
12 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, you will need to turn to page 772; the rest of
13 us, to page 154. And we see at the top of that page:
14 "R Battalion to join men from Bratunac to be given one combat set
15 of ammunition and take up the Crni Vrh-Planici line. It should leave at
16 7.00 a.m. The line was taken up at 8.00 a.m. The commander to call
17 Petrovic regarding communications. Distribute 1.800."
18 Tell us a little bit about what that means.
19 A. This was a task given to R Battalion once the R Battalion was
20 mobilised and brought up to strength. This shows that they were sent to
21 Crni Vrh where they were to join the Bratunac men who had already been on
22 the -- securing the terrain detail.
23 Pursuant to my report or based on my interim combat report
24 drafted on the 15th, General Krstic also sent some of the Vlasenica
25 military brigade elements to carry out the same task.
1 MR. HAYNES: Can we now just follow that through by looking at
2 page 775 in the original book, or page 157 for the rest of us.
3 Here we see it says at the bottom of the page:
4 "The R Battalion took up positions between quarry in Grbavci and
5 Crni Vrh, 163 conscripts and 80 conscripts from Bratunac. The platoon
6 deployed on the Devanje-Kruska [phoen] line returned from that position."
7 There were 195 at Standard earlier that day. Do you know what
8 the other 32 were doing?
9 A. Those who were supposed to report to Standard, I believe that
10 that number is correct. However, I believe that some of those men were
11 also demobilised, because brigade commanders would know some people and
12 would demobilise them, and I believe that the rest remained in the
13 barracks, in the rear.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. HAYNES: Can we go back to P329 now. You will need to see
16 page 2. Indeed, everybody who speaks your language will need to see page
18 Q. When, in paragraph 4 of that report, you referred to
19 "obezbedjenja terena," what obligation of the brigade were you reporting
20 to corps command?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That is not what he says in the
22 document. I don't mind a reading of the document, but that's counsel's
23 interpretation. I could read it in B/C/S and that's not what it would
24 say, literally. So I think he can just say what he means by that last
25 sentence, but please don't misquote it like that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
2 MR. HAYNES: I don't think it requires a contribution, Your
3 Honour. I'm sure the witness can answer the question however I phrased
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Pandurevic, you followed the exchange of
6 comments and you can go straight to the point, please, particularly
7 explaining to us what you mean by "obezbedjenja terena" and "asanacija".
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this
9 document is one that has been quoted most and interpreted most of all
10 that I've ever written, and I believe that it has been misinterpreted and
11 things have been taken out of the context quite a lot.
12 What I'm saying is that this report is one whole, and that in the
13 first part of this report, on the first page thereof, I speak about every
14 single problem that the brigade encountered at the time and which arose
15 from the combat situation. And at the end I state in this document that
16 all the brigade forces were fully engaged, that I had no more reserve
17 forces at my disposal. And I also say that there is an additional burden
18 as a special problem and also I add this obligation of "obezbedjenja" and
19 "asanacija" and I -- what I mean is combat activities undertaken by the
20 units of the Bratunac Brigade and the R Battalion.
21 In other words, this obligation of "obezbedjenja" and "asanacija"
22 were -- are current obligations and also obligations which continued
23 throughout the next few following days.
24 MR. HAYNES:
25 Q. Were you referring in that report to guarding and burying
1 prisoners of war?
2 A. This passage may be interpreted from the linguistic point of view
3 but it would take other kinds of experts to do that. I can only
4 interpret it from the aspect of the essence of the matter that is
5 contained here. This has nothing to do with guarding prisoners or
6 burying their bodies. It cannot even be suggested by the words that were
7 used in this document.
8 MR. HAYNES: Can we move on to paragraph 5 now, please.
9 Q. This command cannot take care of these problems any longer, as it
10 has neither the material nor the resources. If no one takes on this
11 responsibility, I will be forced to let them go:
12 "I made an offer to the commander of the other side to separate
13 out the civilians and have the other surrender, but he refused asking
14 that they should all be released together.
15 The situation is still complicated but under control."
16 What did you mean in that section referring to "these problems"
17 and "this responsibility"?
18 A. Since General Krstic ordered me to go back to Zvornik and gave me
19 concrete tasks, and that concrete task was to prevent a break through of
20 the 28th Division and its linking up with the forces of the 2nd Corps, I
21 explained my problem to him. I told him about the situation, about the
22 forces that I had available to me in the brigade, and in this paragraph
23 here, I indicated that I would let them go because that's the decision
24 that I had reached after my conversations with Mr. Semso Muminovic. And
25 when I say that I would let them go is confirmed in the next sentence
1 which reads, "I offer the commander on the opposite side that the
2 civilians should be separated and that the rest would surrender," which
3 was turned down, and we were asked to let everybody go. I am talking
4 about the column of the 28th Division and of them being let go.
5 Later on, this was confirmed by the events on the ground.
6 Q. What do you mean by that?
7 A. What I'm saying is that on the 16th, the column was let go, they
8 were get through.
9 Q. At the time of writing this report, did you have any idea how
10 many prisoners were in the schools in the Zvornik area?
11 A. No, I did not have a figure in mind. I didn't know that number.
12 Q. How many schools were being used?
13 A. I said that I remember Grujic having mentioned school in Petkovci
14 and Pilica. I didn't know anything about which schools existed in the
15 territory of the municipality, whether POWs were housed in all of the
16 schools or not, I didn't know that at the moment.
17 Q. What was your purpose in writing this report in these terms to
18 corps command on the evening of the 15th of July?
19 A. My purpose was to inform the corps command and let them gain a
20 complete insight into the situation in the territory of Zvornik or rather
21 in the zone of responsibility and defence of the Zvornik Brigade,
22 especially bearing in mind the task which brought me back from the
23 territory of Zepa.
24 Q. Why did you threaten in that document to let the column of the
25 28th Division go?
1 A. As I've already told you, the tone of my entire report was set so
2 as to enable me to say at the end that I would be forced to let the
3 column go especially after the conversation that I had had with
4 Semso Muminovic. All who had Motorolas at the time could listen to our
5 conversations, and in some way, I wanted to use the report indirectly to
6 let the corps command know what my final decision would be when it came
7 to the column of the 28th Division.
8 Q. Thank you. Just one more thing on that day. Given what you'd
9 been told earlier by Brano Grujic, why did you not try and find out as
10 much as possible about the prisoners he told you about?
11 A. Well, as I'm talking about these events, and as I'm reading the
12 documents and especially this report, I'm trying to place myself in the
13 past. I'm trying to go back in time and put myself in the role that I
14 played at the time because that's the only way one can understand the
15 events; and I would ask the same question if I'd been anybody else but
16 the commander at the time.
17 First of all, General Krstic had sent me back with a clear task.
18 He did not give me any alternative information or information of any
19 other kind. All he gave me was a combat task.
20 Second of all, the information that I was provided about the
21 prisoners, I did try to check that information with Ljubo Bojanovic who
22 was in a position to know something more if the command of the Zvornik
23 Brigade had been issued with such a task.
24 Since I did not receive any additional information, any
25 information pointing to the fact that the command of the Zvornik Brigade
1 was supposed to deal with POWs, and I also did not receive any
2 information to the effect that those people were treated in any way that
3 was against the law; and I also sent a report to the corps in which I
4 mentioned POWs, and I expected that if the corps did not know anything
5 about this, they would ask for some additional information or they would
6 order me as to what to do. However, I never received any feedback from
7 the corps with this regard.
8 Q. Where did you spend the night on the 15th and 16th of July?
9 A. At the forward command post in the prefabricated building there.
10 Q. And did you remain there throughout the day of the 16th?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what was the focus of your attention throughout the night of
13 the 15th and 16th?
14 A. In this period of the information I had, I drew up the task that
15 we read out here addressed to all the battalions, in readiness to have
16 them all go at 4.00 a.m. in -- with weapons in their hands and boots on
17 their feet ready to meet an enemy attack. I was awake at that time at
18 the observation post.
19 Q. And did that attack materialise?
20 A. In the early morning hours, there was an attack by the 2nd Corps.
21 It was focused on the positions of the 4th and 7th Battalions and partly
22 the positions of the 6th. And they had artillery support.
23 MR. HAYNES: I'm going to leave that there until tomorrow and as
24 it were look at some parallel events now.
25 Can we have a look at P377. You will need to look at page 761
1 and we'll have to look at page 143. Thank you.
2 Q. Now, firstly can you help us by perhaps looking back in the book
3 to ascertain what time on what date the entries at the top of that page
4 would have been made, approximately?
5 A. The sentence that begins with the word, "Early in the morning to
6 report to Major Golic," is that what you are referring to,
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic would report to him?
8 Q. Yes, I'm asking you whether you can place a time on that entry.
9 A. As it says in the morning, probably on the following day, and
10 that's the 15th in the afternoon or evening, as it says in this notebook.
11 Q. Who is Major Golic?
12 A. I knew a certain Major Pavle Golic who worked in the intelligence
13 organ of the Drina Corps.
14 Q. Now, can we go forward two pages please to page 763 in the
15 original which you have and pages 145 in the document we have.
16 And here, the entry I'm interested in, we can place a time on,
17 8.45. Again, here we see Golic asked Popovic to call them and said that
18 he can forget what he asked for and what he wrote about. He knows what
19 he's supposed to do according to agreed procedure, "Boss from panorama,
20 message conveyed to Popovic at 9.10."
21 Who is the boss from Panorama?
22 A. Panorama was the code-name for the Main Staff and when it's used
23 next to 01, that refers to the commander of the Main Staff. Just as I
24 was Palma 01.
25 Q. If we go to the entry at the bottom of the page, there's a
1 reference to Panorama 155, does that mean anything to you?
2 A. When you say code-name or when you use a code-name, whether it's
3 Palma, Panorama, or Zlatar, and a three-digit number next to it, you are
4 referring to an extension. So this is an extension in the Main Staff
5 from that number that the code refers to. I don't know whose it is.
6 Q. Can we go over the page, please, to page 764 in the original book
7 and page 146 in the e-court document.
8 At 11.15 there is an entry relating to a report from Zlatar.
9 You've already told us what Zlatar was, but can you remind us?
10 A. Somebody from the command of the Drina Corps is telling the duty
11 officer of the Zvornik Brigade conveying the message that screening of
12 the wounded has to be carried out and it says here in brackets that this
13 was conveyed to Beara.
14 Q. Did you know he was at the command of the Zvornik Brigade on the
15 morning of the 16th of July?
16 A. No. No, I was not aware of that.
17 MR. HAYNES: Can we go forward to page 766 in the original,
18 please, and page 148 in the e-court version of this book.
19 Q. 1400 hours, "Popovic requested a bus with a full tank and 500
20 litres of D2. Zlatar duty officer and Golic informed."
21 Did you know anything about this?
22 A. No, I didn't know anything about it.
23 Q. Did you approve anybody being given a bus or any fuel on the 16th
24 of July?
25 A. No, no, I did not.
1 Q. And at 2.00 in the afternoon of the 16th of July, did you know
2 that anybody called Popovic was at the command of the Zvornik Brigade?
3 A. No, I wasn't aware of that, no.
4 Q. We'll come on to it in a bit more detail. What were you doing at
5 2.00 in the afternoon on the 16th of July and where were you?
6 A. At 2.00 p.m. on the 16th of July, I was close to the corridor we
7 had opened up and overseeing the passage of the column of the
8 28th Division.
9 MR. HAYNES: Can we just have a quick look please at P1189 A in
10 the English and C in the B/C/S. It's under seal in the Serbian but not
11 in the English.
12 Q. Do you know who Basevic is?
13 A. I know Major Tomislav Basevic who was the chief of the technical
14 service in the rear of the Drina Corps.
15 Q. When a duty officer says over the radio, "Somebody is in the
16 field." What does that mean?
17 A. I don't have the original before me. Could it please be shown to
19 MR. HAYNES: Certainly, it's a two-page document, and it's
20 probably easier for you to look at the hard copy. We may all appreciate
21 going to page 2 for a little while.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please repeat your
23 question now?
24 MR. HAYNES:
25 Q. Yes. If a duty officer says that a certain person is in the
1 field, what does that tell us about their location?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we have a misconnect here. We're getting
4 a hypothetical question and the witness thinks he's referring
5 specifically to the document and if -- I think we should do one or the
6 other but not both.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
8 MR. HAYNES: To say that I'm astonished to receiving the
9 objection from that quarter, that would be putting it mildly, but I will
10 correct the problem.
11 Q. At the bottom of the page in English, the Palma duty officer is
12 recorded as saying, "Well I don't know. He just called me from the field
13 and told me to pass you the message over there."
14 That person is said to be the Palma duty officer. If a duty
15 officer says that somebody has called from the field, what does that tend
16 to mean about their whereabouts?
17 A. It means that the person who called the duty officer of Palma was
18 somewhere out on the ground, not at the command from where they can use
19 communications to achieve contact.
20 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. We'll leave it there for the day.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. We will continue tomorrow
22 in the afternoon at 2.15, correct? Thank you.
23 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic. All right. Okay. Thank you. So we stand
24 adjourned to tomorrow. Thank you.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 1.45, to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
2 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.